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

ToffeeWeb MailBag
Letters from our readers — January 2006

ToffeeWeb Letters from December 2005

ToffeeWeb Letters from February 2006

Just finished watching the highlights on Sky and was very pleased with the first half. We bossed the midfield, McFadden led the line well and Osman and Cahill looked lively, just a shame that we conceded right on half time!!! Stubbs or Weir not picking up the unmarked man.

Second half completely different and it was end to end stuff but I thought Wigan shaded it. What really pisses me off is FERGUSON. WHAT A COMPLETE PRICK. A total lack of discipline and since we have a shortage of strikers already, I make it that we have McFadden as our only forward!!! TOSSER, TOSSER AND FOR THE RECORD, A TOSSER. As an experienced forward he should no better.

Now as for Moyes, if he had any foresight he should have signed a striker long ago. Surely he must have thought 'What happens if Beattie gets injured', or 'What happens if another forward gets injured' or 'Someone gets sent off'. SUPRISE SUPRISE DAVEY ITS HAPPENED. What an utter knob and a total fucking arse wipe for not planning ahead. As I'm writing this piece we have 35 mins before the deadline. PULL YOUR FINGER OUT MOYES AND SIGN A STRIKER !!!!!

Well done lads, a good point earned and still unbeaten.
Steven Bibby, Kent  (31/01/06)

Thank you, Dominic Clements!
Just wanted to say thanks to Dominic Clements for his "Nugent in the bag!" scoop.

Good old Dominic claimed he had heard on the "highest authority" that Nugent would sign for Everton on Monday.

Great scoop, Dominic, but would have been better if any of it was actually true. I'm not saying you lied but maybe your "highest authority" source if full of shit?

Anyway, a really good draw against high flying Wigan and it now looks like we have got this season going the right way again.

We are all disappointed Moyes didn't sign a striker (although there's still 90 mins left as I write this) but we have to believe in Moyes and trust that he knows what he's doing.

No point wasting all our money on Nugent who could be another McFadden (not quite good enough). Moyes will use what little money we have to better effect in the summer.
Dutch Schaeffer  (31/01/06)

Deadline signings
Just having a look through deadline day forwards on the move and, okay, Earnshaw is somewhat over priced at 3.5m but what would have been wrong with Florent Sinama Pongolle on loan or the Arsenal kid Quincy Owusu-Abeyie who destroyed us in the Carling Cup last season? There really can be no excuse for not adding one forward to a very weak strike 'force' after selling Marcus Bent.
Martin Beesley, Carmarthen  (31/1/06)

You'll get plenty of excuses at tomorrow morning, Martin!

Lighten Up, Blues
Good Day to you Blues

Recently I've been getting incredibly fed up with the negative mood in the Mailbag. Be it from guys posting, to the responses being given back.

We're not having the greatest season, but when do we ever? We're a mediocre team and have been for a good ten years now, we scrape by with what we've got.

I agree with the guys who say that Moyes is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. He could resign tomorrow and you guys would be slating him for being a coward.

Why not stop moaning like children cos you're not getting your own way and get behind the team, if you've not noticed we're currently sitting 12th in the league with Wigan to play this evening.

Hopefuly we'll get a result tonight, sign Defoe on loan at 5 to Midnight and end up finishing a not bad 3rd in the league

Simple stuff.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain  (31/01/2006)

And as long as there are fans out there with such lack of ambition, the longer this club will remain mediocre and there will be no pressure at all on Kenwright to give someone else a go with his trainset.

Please, God, give us a striker!
I hope I am wrong and we do sign a striker and a few other bodies before the deadline, but I feel we are all going to be let down AGAIN!!

I cannot believe that DM and the Board are just going to hope that we don't get relegated? Maybe they think because we have won a few games things are going the right way and why should they spend money (which they have not got) and the team will survive for another year in the top flight! I think "survive" is all they want for EFC and not to try and go forward, as this would be to much to ask!!

We will get "Oh, we tried to get thingy and whats his name" but we all know the truth, don't we Billy? True Blue my arse!!! If he was he would move heaven and earth to try and get money into the club? I just hope the boys get the three points tonight and then we will be closer to the 40 points mark:-)

Sorry for the rant, but I just feel let down again!
Jim , North Wales  (31/1/06)

And so you should, Jim, because you were let down again in a big way.

Can't believe Moyesy is getting slagged off here by blokes from Texas and Thailand!! Having been to every home and away game (and seen Anichebe numerous times for the reserves) I'd have to say he got it spot on on Saturday. Anichebe is a good, honest lad who MIGHT make a Premiership player. Hardly likely to give John Terry nightmares, though.
Jim Kelly, speke  (03/03/84)

Fearing the worst
So David Moyes tells The Echo today that all the rumours are untrue about signing Nugent and, in any case,`new players would take a while to fit in`. Either Kenwright has put the block on his spending more money or the manager is a stubborn arrogant fool who is totally lost when it comes to operating transfers at Premier level. Either way, without re-inforcements, I fear the worst for the rest of the season.
Colin Tunstall, Woodvale  (31/01/06)

Don`t panic
Don`t panic folks, David Nugent will be an Everton player by midnight! Word is that Wyness is playing hardball over North End`s demand that the down payment is stepped up £500K to £3m. Cash must be in short supply at Goodison!
Dominic Clements, Penwortham  (31/01/06)

Wasted Opportunity
Was anybody else screaming out in frustration during Saturday’s FA cup tie when McFadden went off and Gary Naysmith came on soon after the start of the second half. I live in Perth Australia and so was able to watch the match live on TV. Up to that point Everton had matched and even bettered Chelsea in the midfield, looked strong at the back, and despite our personnel up front had taken a deserved 1 goal lead. Infact we looked quite confident we could not only hold on but get another goal.

I reiterate - Up to that point… Straight away my mind raced back to Euro 2004 when England sat deep and defended a 1-0 lead against Portugal who were brimming with attacking intent. England, it seemed were bound to finally concede and were left to rue the cowardice of a manager who brought on Phil Neville to try to rescue the game.

Anyone who watched the match last weekend, would have known within the first few minutes of Naysmith’s arrival that Chelsea were going to equalise, and would have recognised the similarities between the two games. After wave after wave of Chelsea attack, with only Ferguson as the outlet, we defended deeper and deeper, until you felt it was just a matter of time. Infact it was as inevitable as the Titanic going down after its five watertight compartments had been breached. Sure enough after a great save by big Nige, Lampard finally delivered.

I was fuming in my armchair. Chelsea had attacking players in the shape of Crespo, C.Cole, J.Cole, Duff, Robben and Lampard on the pitch. Hardly a side you want to defend against for 40 minutes! But because they had so many attacking players on the pitch surely the best form of attack was to bring on the youngster and try to stretch them at the back where they only had 3 defenders and Makelele. To compound matters Naysmith was truly woeful. Infact we might have well as played with 10 men. His ponderous attacks down the left went nowhere and we created more in the 3 minutes Anichebe was on than the rest of the 2nd half.

The draw for the Cup has really opened it up for us. If we can get past Chelsea we have a genuine chance of winning it. If the manager had shown a little more bottle and bravery, I believe we would already be there. He is very much as cautious and defensive as the much maligned England Manager himself.
Chris Watts, Perth Australia  (31/1/06)

Nugent would be nice
Well I’m sure I’m not the only one touching wood, finger/toe crossing and contemplating hacking off bunny’s feet etc... I do hope that we sign David Nugent. In fact I do hope we sign a decent striker full stop, but for those of you who haven't seen it here's an interview with him talking about how he'd love to play for us (something that you don't hear too often these days).

Putting a negative spin on this piece though, this doesn't necessarily mean that he'll be any good. I remember reading something about Arteta apparently arguing with the coach of Real Soceidad about the playing style and that he wanted to play "pretty football"... then he signed for us on loan?!!

This leads to my next point which is in response to Mike Price's "Risk Management" letter. He complains that we always pay over the odds for players, while to my recollection quite few deals have fallen down because Moyes has felt that the club are being held to ransom. This almost happened with Arteta when we got him on a permanent deal.

It is easy to point the finger at the Kroldrup deal... but look at the players like Ferrari and now Valente (since he's changed his Toblerone boots). We have been crying out for a striker for a while and while all thought Beattie would be like a "new player” this season it didn't start like that. I also genuinely believe that if James Vaughn had of come back when he was supposed to, we would have been seeing a lot of him now.

I can't believe that Mike Price actually thinks that bringing Fowler to Goodison would be a good idea!! Lay aside the history, just the likes of somebody who effectively burned out at 23 but still commands a massive salary is not what we want surely.

It is a shame that Moyes don't give players like Victor Anichebe a little longer on the pitch from the reports from Saturday.

Still, Moyes is not a bumbling idiot. He's done exceptionally well in general and I'm not surprised he's trying to keep any interest he has for players quiet after the summer's hijackings.

I would say if there's one thing that the wryly Scot doesn't do is overspend, unlike his fellow countryman Mr Souness, who seemingly feels that you have to change the entire squad before you can be held accountable for results.
Chad Schofield, Cirencester  (31/01/06)

Transfer Window Debacle
It's very puzzling. Since the transfer window closed in August, we have needed a striker. So what does Mr Moyes do when it opened again? Sell a perfectly good one and acquire a defender. If the plan was to sell Marcus Bent, why wasn't it set up so that he would go and replacement comes in. In fact, he should not have been allowed to go until a replacement had been acquired. Maybe I am missing the subtleties of a cunning plan which will be revealed at one minute to midnight tonight.
Chris Stubbs, Seoul, South Korea  (31/01/2006)

1 day to go
Well here we are, final day of the window and not a dickie bird. To make matters worse, PNE have caught wind of our desperation and want to milk what they can out of us. 4m for a guy who aint kicked a ball in the top flight, please, come on. I'd like to ask Mr Moyes just who will play up front tonight at Wigan. If Beattie is still injured we don't have 1 single recognised striker at the club who is fit. Ferguson cant play 2 games in 4 days and make an impact. This is mismanagement of the highest order. If I forgot to recruit engineers to do certain parts of the projects I was managing id be sacked for incompetence. If we have no money Moyes just come out and say, dont fart around with little one liners, you've been around KenWrong too long. I bet we get a dodgy foreign loan signing.
Steve Boileau, Liverpool  (31/01/06)

Dithering Dave
Right, I'll cut the sh*t and get straight to the point. Moyes says we need a striker in the summer, Moyes says we need a striker in January. Does Moyes get a striker? Erm NO! What's the point in going out and saying we need a striker if we can't get one? Im not bothered if it's Nugent or whatever, anyone will do because he's completley taking the piss now. Every single transfer window without fail he dithers then tries frantically last day to sign someone and all but one window has failed. He needs to get his act together quick because at this rate we have an ageing Dunc who can't play 90minutes and Anichebe whos only played 5 minutes of first team football. What a prick of a manager we've got. And by the way editors, I dont appreciate sarcasm.
Marc Pitt, Maghull  (31/01/2006)

Pity about that Marc, 'cause the Ed deals out sarcasm in spades. Lucky for you he's still on his jollies! Lyndon

It's in the bag
Well here we are again. The last day of another transfer window and the burden of choice must be almost too much for Moyesie to bear.

Does he go for Arrowe Park, Hoylake, Royal Birkdale or West Derby?!
Neil Scott, Southport  (31.01.06)

Talking about players....
Wayne Routledge has signed for Pompey on loan. Gabri (of Barcelona) going to West Ham for $1.5 million and this guy can play centre half, right back as well as right mid and a former international to boot!

Samaras going to Man City for $6 mil and like some people mentioned David Thompson, Robbie Fowler on a free. Thompson, Fowler are players that fans know of, what they can do on the field. if you're skint, then these are the type of players to go for; on loan or frees. what harm can loan players do? they are after all a short term solution.

Lastly Joey Barton wants away from City. Barton anyone???
Jalil Noor, Singapore  (31/01/06)

Tail End Charlies
We`re almost at deadline day and I still think Moyes will pull off a signing -- but why do we ALWAYS have to see all the action take place in the last frantic hours of a month long window ?

Every other club has been doing business but we`re always the Tail End Charlies!Is it that the Ginger One can`t make up his mind until he absolutely has to or is money so tight that the Club don`t like parting before `the death?` Either way it`s no bloody good for my blood pressure!
Morton Jones, Alwoodley  (30/01/06)

Nugent & Preston!
Does anyone else think Preston are having a laugh demanding £4 million for David Nugent?

Dean Ashton had scored 20 goals for Crewe before his £3 million January move to Norwhich, Robert Earnshaw had scored 31 goals the season before his £3 million move to West Brom and Darren Bent scored 19 goals the season before his £2.5 million move to Charlton.

David Nugent has only scored 16 goals in total during his year-long career at Preston and they are demanding £4 million for him???

I know he's Preston most valuable asset and they don't want to lose him on the cheap but is he really worth a million more then Ashton, Earnshaw and Bent?

Preston think they can demand a high price because Everton are 'desperate' for a striker but I applaud David Moyes for refusing to easily part with our sparce funds.

Preston can keep Nugent for the time being and we'll get him in the summer.
Dutch Schaeffer  (30/01/06)

Result against Chelsea
Which of the following is the stronger Everton team?

Martyn           Wright

Hibbert          Ferrari
Neville          Yobo
Weir             Stubbs
Valente          Pistone

Osman            Van Der Meyde
Davies           Cahill
Arteta           Carsley
Kilbane          Naysmith

McFadden         Beattie
Ferguson         Vaughn

Just goes to show what a good result our 'miniscule' squad achieved against the corrupt might of Chelski - though wasn't it Mourinho who wanted equal cover in every position?
Ben Patchesa, York  (30/01/06)

Joey Barton hands in transfer request, on his way to Everton? An Everton fan but hardly one who has a good relationship with the Goodison faithful. Poor image also.
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (30/01/06)

Don't know wether to laugh or cry
I found this picture on a Norwegian site. Apparently there's a debate among fans of the sh*te about this picture of Steven Gerrard from 1985...

It's something they don't like to be reminded of, but for us it's no doubt a loss that he isn't playing for his boyhood club...
Jens Hansen, Norway  (30/01/06)

In your Wildest dreams!!
So Davey doesn't want to sign anyone in a hurry in case he changes his mind about them within three days and isn't going to be rushed into any decisions... perhaps he should have taken that line of thinking before signing Kroldrup!!

Perhaps he is going to spring a mega surprise on us and tomorrow will parade Defoe, Nugent, Trundle and Gravesen all bearing blue shirts... in your wildest dreams, Pat
Patricia Beesley, Carmarthen  (30. 01. 2006)

Andy van Striker,my arse!
So Davey feels that if he fails to boost the strikeforce he can rely on Van the Man to do a decent job up front. (Today`s icLiverpool site) Leaving aside the fact that never throughout his career has he been fit enough to play more than six games on the trot, the Dutchman`s goal record does not exactly fill me with confidence!

Soccerbase shows that in a nine year career, he has found the net just 23 times in 183 games. Now I suppose that in comparison to some recent Everton strikers (notably Bent) a strike record of circa 1 goal in 8 games ain`t too bad but as we can hardly expect him to make 8 appearances before the season ends, I`m not sure he`ll contribute much to our woeful goals tally! No doubt another gem fed to the manager by our `cutting edge`communications department?
Damien Gilhooley, Knowsley  (30/01/06)

Just a quick question... but was there really only 29,000 fans at saturdays game? or are we being constructive with the figures to make more money? Seems quite low for an fa cup game against the champions
Daniel Ford, Newcastle Upon Tyne  (30/01/06)

You're not the first to wonder that so there might be something in it.

Riki? another one!
A sports programme here in Spain casually mentioned that Palma and Everton were trying to sign Getafe's Riki. No more details were given though. Mind you, the same programme also touted Gravesen to Real Madrid before anyone else.
Paul Lowrie, Barcelona  (30/01/06)

Moyes : I won't be forced....
Firstly, Jez - I have to agree with your comments regarding the game on Saturday, mate. Good call - some are never happy!

However, what gets on my goat is when the official site quotes DM's poorly thought-out beauties such as, "We are still looking but I am not going to sign somebody who makes everyone feel good for three days and then when we see him play we are disappointed. I won't do that."

Surely it should read "I won't do that AGAIN."
Wayne  Francis, N Wales  (30/01/06)

Well, quite.

Risk Management
Money is clearly tight at Everton, it has been for decades now and so it amazes me that our transfer policy is so risky. Why is it that we never seem to get good quality free transfers, on short term deals that have very little 'downside' if they fail?

Instead we always seem to pay way over the odds for poor players that hardly anybody else wants. Moyes is particularly bad at this with his signings of Simon 'Mike Milligan' Davies, the ridiculous Per Kroldrup and the caricature that is James Beattie. That's over 15 million pounds risked on rubbish before you even get to salaries. Wouldn't it be prudent to sign players like Thompson and Fowler on frees, both of whom are better than the players I've just mentioned but with little risk attached?

Is it lack of ability to identify good players, or motivate them, or convince them to sign, or be quick enough to get them to sign...or what? It just seems obvious to me, but we just carry on missing out on quality players whilst taking huge gambles for no reason, and always over-paying. Personally, I think its Moyes' achilles heel and will be his downfall.
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  ()

Tactical blunder...again
On 53 minutes, with Everton one-nil in front and looking good, McFadden is injured in a challenge on the second string Chelsea goalie. McFadden having to be withdrawn, Moyes pulls a tactical masterstroke in sending on a second-rate fullback just back from a long-term injury, when the Blues' shape and balance called for a strong, quick young lad to play off the embattled but effective Ferguson. Although untested at this level, Moyes could have instructed the young fella to stretch the Chelsea defence with his pace and power, and also more crucially, pressure the fullbacks. Ironic that the equalizer was conceded because I think Gallas was allowed to approach within about 35yards unchallenged.

Once again, our man Davie proves that while he may be a great coach on the training ground, he's lacking in experience/nous/the balls to take on, compete with and then beat the best. Saturday's home game with Chelsea was our one chance to progress into the 5th round. A draw is as good as a loss. Going to Stamford Bridge on a Wednesday night in ten days will serve to conjure the same old excuses from the management of draining the resources of a depleted and, dare I say, under-manned squad.

I'm old enough to remember a nearly manager called Gordon Lee, and his nearly teams. Seems like history has a knack of repeating itself.
Mike Greaves, Houston, Texas, USA  (1/29/06)

Some people
Do some fans not realise who we actually had missing yesterday :-

By my reckoning - Yobo, Ferrari, Pistone, Stubbs, Cahill, Carsley, Van de Meyde and Beattie (as well as the recently departed Bent and Kroldrup). That we were not dead and buried by half time was in itself an achievement. I think Old Trafford is the only other ground that Chelsea have not won at this season, but that is not good enough for some fans. The 'know it alls' think we would have won if Anichebe had come on - yeah course we would, John Terry would have shit himself I'm sure. Our Vic, who Mr Marsh believes has been scoring goals for fun in the reserves, has 4 goals in 15 appearances (according to the official website) and if we had a decent sized squad probably wouldn't have played for the reserves yet.

With a one-goal lead do you bring on an international defender or a 17 yr old yet to make his 1st team debut - get real. Any groans for Naysmith were due to the fact that he was our only option.

Get behind the team and get behind Moyes and hope that we can soon turn out our 1st team of Martyn, Hibbert, Valente, Yobo, Ferrari, Arteta, Cahill, Neville (or carsley) with Osman and Van de Meyde playing off Beattie. Doesn't look like a bad 11 to me and David Moyes bought 9 of them !

Off the pitch, for the correspondent who was asking why Buster receives so much stick, where do you want me to start ?

He seems to pride himself on customer relations yet of the 6 or 7 e-mails I have sent directly to him with what I believe to be worthwhile comments or questions, I have yet to receive even a 'thanks for your e-mail' reply. Some of my questions have been asking why only 4 ticket booths are open for selling tickets when we have a 90 minute queue. Or why did I have to pay a £15 booking fee when renewing my 3 season tickets on-line - most businesses charge you less !

Maybe he gets stick from those people who were moved from their seats without consultation.

Maybe he gets stick from those season ticket holders panicking about getting a ticket for Villareal or from the fans stuck at Liverpool airport instead of being in Romania.

Maybe its because he has tried to single handedly tried to take credit for our improved financial position despite only taking over half way through the financial year.

Or maybe it's because of the 30% of empty seats I see in the corporate areas every home game.

Or maybe because every time he opens his mouth you do actually wonder if he has a brain never mind that he is taking home £177k of our money

I could go on !

When I can see evidence of him bringing investment into the club, then and only then, will I believe him worthy of his salary. Neither of the only decent commercial deals we've recently done we through him (JJB and Chang). And I don't include a 20% rise in season ticket prices as bringing in investment

For me I wish the jury was only out on Buster but I'm afraid that passed a long long time ago
Jez Clein, Childwall  (29/01/06)

Honesty & Clarity; Part Two
In response to an article just read entitled `Honesty & Clarity`; one must look at both sides of the coin when analysing results.

It is far too easy to look back on our recent good run and surmise that we were lucky and could have easily lost several of those games and therefore the `revival` is nonsense.

How about putting the same theory to the defeats preceding this run; if Beattie's goals against West Ham and Liverpool hadn`t been disallowed, if Riley had penalised Baros' handball (and surely I cannot be the only one who is astonished that he has not at least been asked to explain his decision in public - it defies belief) and if McFadden's equaliser against Bolton had been allowed etc etc.

Games, of course, can be won and lost on such fine margins. Instead of being so negative let's be proud of the fighting performances we have witnessed recently and look forward to our run continuing. A balanced view next time please, Ray.
Mark Manns, London  (29/01/06)

Nugent looks certain?
The rumour mill may well be right. Preston have just completed the signing of Bret Ormrod on a free transfer (PNE own website). Looks like a replacement for Nugent and, as it's a freebie, that would allow them to drop the price for Nugent to a fee evn our Davie would like. Still not sure if it makes DM a canny Scot or a bloke looking for his missus' Xmas present at 5.30 pm on Xmas eve.

Like most Blues, I have got everything crossed for the next few days.
Mike Duncan, Bristol  (29/01/06)

Re: Another chance blown
And I log on to Toffeeweb and think 'oh no, not fucking Tony Marsh'. Who do you want then? Who is going to come and save us? What millionaire is going to come in and wave the magic wand? Answers on a stamp please.
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (29/01/06)

Honesty and Clarity
Dear all,

So we draw a game against the mighty Chelsea. That makes it 7 games unbeaten. And there my friends is where the good news ends.

Do we, as honest and intelligent people, honestly believe that EFC are turning a corner?

Open your eyes and look at what's in front of you.

Sunderland: We were overrun in the second half and were lucky to get the winner.

Charlton: Excellent win, but I felt that if Charlton had scored a second we would probably have been lucky to draw the game (and before anyone asks, yes, I did go to the game).

Millwall: Okay, this was the FA cup, and yes, we were unlucky not to beat them, but they were bottom of the championship and getting hammered by some pretty dire teams.

Portsmouth: Are getting beat by everyone and are probably going to be relegated. Millwall: Another decent game, but the same old gripes. Lack of pace, crazy passing, poor shooting etc.

Arsenal: Again, another good win, but I felt that we played the game as if we were waiting for them to score a goal. Also, this Arsenal team are, at least this season, not the best of travellers.

Chelsea: Excellent first half, and then on the back foot for the rest of the game. Now before anyone writes in and says that Chelsea do that to every team, let's be honest, if Everton had had someone with a bit of pace either in the midfield or up-front, do you not think that we could have gone on to win the game?

Now, go and look at Everton's run of fixtures between now and May.

How many points do you think we will amass? Be honest!

Even against teams that we assume (falsely?) we will gain points from (ie Blackburn and Birmingham home), are not as easy to predict as we think they are. Blackburn have beaten us in the past two home games and have only lost one game in their last five away games. We have struggled against Birmingham, who by the way are finding a bit of form and hitting the back of the net with more regularity. Newcastle away will surely be a hard game no matter how poor they are playing.

I didn't want to write something with a 'doom and gloom' attitude, but I am an honest person and I can't believe that we are getting carried away by Everton's current form.

Please, and for the sake of this great club, honesty has to start at the bottom and work its way up.

I say again, open your eyes and don't be decieved by Everton's current form. The next couple of months will surely show us how good our current form is.

Roll on next season.

I'm sitting back and waiting for your replies.
Ray Hesketh, Liverpool  (29/06/2006)

In response to Tony Marsh's ideas about blooding the youngsters I'd like to bring to his attention the problems at Middlesbrough. They're currently having to play their kids due to injuries and this has led to their really bad run that they're having. This can only be demoralising for the youngsters and potentially harm their development. It goes to show that youngsters aren't always the answer. Plus from what I've heard about Anichebe he's not a particuarly quick player.
Tom Bennett, Coventry  (29/01/06)

Defoe in Airport? Sign for Everton? I'm dreaming?
Sorry I don't want to turn this page into a rumour website but I have just heard something that you might find interesting. I have just got back from the John Lennon Airport (my belated holiday!) and I've just seen Defoe rushing past me at about quarter past two. Of course, this doesn't seem like much, but he was stopped by what looked like a reporter and quietly asked whether he was here for transfer reasons. He looked shocked as though his secret had been found out and dashed off with the reporter in hot pursuit. I really don't want to get anyone's hope up high, I know what it is like for us Evertonians, but this just seemed dodgy to me. I never read much into rumours but I've got to say something could be on here. Loan to Everton possibly? I hope I'm not dreaming...
Tom Slane, Cheshire  (29/1/06)

Defoe moving to Liverpool has been mooted for weeks now and, if I were a betting man, I'd assume he was going there. But you're not the only person to say they've seen him on Merseyside in the last 48 hours (the fans rumour page at NSNO suggests that Defoe, Nugent and Gravesen [loan] will all be unveiled at a press conference tomorrow) and with the other lot having taken Fowler back, you never know!

David Nugent
I know it's only rumour at the moment, but Nugent is not the answer to our problems up front. He is not actually that quick, and is hardly setting the Championship alight and banging in plenty of goals. Preston are not going to let him go cheap, so it could be a big gamble forDdavey, if the final fee goes above 3m, but as I say it's only rumour at the moment. I do hope it stays a rumour. I think he would be better taking the gamble on Earnshaw.
Brian  Waring, shrewsbury  (29/01/06)

Nice bit of buisness
I see we are linked with a 4m move for David Nugent. If it is true then it represents another embarrassment for EFC as Nugent was on Evertons books as a 12 year old. Unfortunatley, his asthma was reason enough for Everton to let him go and now a few years down the line that descision looks to have cost the club millions.
Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (29/1/06)

Rooney Sale
Something has been bugging me for a while, you keep on saying that the 100k profit is only based on selling Rooney unless I misunderstand you.

Correct me if I'm wrong but that figure is not inclusive of transfer fees, so the official results says anyway. Therefore the Rooney deal has nothing to do with the 100k profit figure.

If anything the Rooney sale would have reduced the general revenue figures as he was by far and away the biggest marketing tool in the club.

The previous year we lost 17m surely these figures should be applauded not ridiculed.

I understand that we are far from being perfect as a club but a profit is still a profit and must be our first in years of neglect.
Daniel  Ford, Newcastle Upon Tyne  (29/01/06)

You're right, David. I had misconstrued where Wyness had assigned his "record profit" line. Player transactions were not included in the £100,000 profits which were down to commendable improvements on the commercial side. It was the CEO's touting of the £23.4m profit on player transfers as being a club record that supports my original point. Lyndon

Nugent in the bag!
Just heard on the highest authority (not the News of the World!) that David Nugent will move to Everton tomorrow. The fee is set at £2.5million down - funny how that amount keeps cropping up - plus add-ons for appearances and achievements.

Locals say Billy Davies is furious but the Club is skint. Well done Moysey, but you`ve certainly made us sweat!
Dominic Clements, Penwortham  (29/01/06)

Another Chance Blown
Yesterday the way we were playing I thought we were quite comfortable and a place in the next round of the FA CUP was well on the cards.

Then came the all to familiar tactical cock up by our manager.

With McFadden injured and the fans calling for big Victor to be unleashed Moyes has a choice to make.

"OH NO! Not fucking Naysmith" was all you could hear as he stripped off.

Now I am no expert but given the options available, a young pacey striker with pace to burn who has been scoring for fun in the reserves or an injury plauged left back who hasent kicked a ball for years and is crap when fit anyway.

To make matters worse, to accommodate Naysmith we had to mess around with the shape and balance of the whole side.

Kilbane who was having a great game out wide was pushed in to the middle. Osman pushed up front and that was that. Why didn't Moyes just change a forward for a forward? Keep things simple when they are going well.

In the end Victor got 90 seconds. 90 fucking seconds. What's the point? What a way to spoil a kid's debut for him. Before long Anichebe will be asking himself what he has to do to get a game.

Crippled left backs are ahead of me in the pecking order.

Our chance of progressing in the cup has now gone and it could of been so different. If Dopey Dave isn't going to sign any new players then he has got to start trusting in the kids.

Never mind all these useless twats we have got waiting in wheel chairs let some young blood in to the side and give us fans a lift for once. Hughes, Molyneux and Anichebe are all young talents at Everton so let's give them a chance.

Naysmith, pistone Advm, Lie Tie, etc, are not worth a carrot.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (29 /01/06)

There's a delicate line to straddle with young players and we're in danger of heaping too much responsibility on those kids who are on the fringes of the first team. I would have liked to see Anichebe a little earlier as well but Moyes obviously trusted in Leon Osman continuing the form he showed in the previous games. Lyndon

How Bizarre!
How weird is that, last week I sent in a post with a suggestion we sign Franny Jeffers back, an idea I thought was very unlikely and yet today I'm checking the Everton news and several sites are linking Franny with a move back to Goodison.

Is that coincedence? Are the other sites taking my post as actual news? Does David Moyes read this feedback site?

Well just in case Moyes does read this feedback I'd like to make another couple of suggestions.

Colchester Utd are the football leagues form side with defender Greg Halford (21) and Scouse midfielder Neil Danns (23) destined to play in the Premiership. They are well worth a look, Mr Moyes.
Dutch Schaeffer  (29/01/06)

Stop This, Please!
I'm sorry Lyndon but it gets me so cross when I hear fans complain that Moyes wasted an opportunity to get good players during the summer.

Yes, we were in a strong position to sign some top-quality players but it wasn't Moyes who failed.

Fact is Moyes identified his targets early on, Mikael Forssell, Scott Parker, Emre & Mohamed Sissoko and major efforts were made to sign these players.

Moyes decided to pass on Forssell after his medical (a good decision considering he's only scored 2 goals for Birmingham this season anyway), Sissoko decided he wanted to play for his old manager Rafael Benitez again and Parker and Emre decided to go for big-fat pay Newcastle pay cheques rather then join the Toffees.

I don't think you can blame Moyes for any of those transfers not happening.

Once all of his main transfer priorites had gone Moyes was forced to go back to the drawing board and did incredibly well by signing seven players, including established internationals Phil Neville and Nuno Valente, highly fancied Andy van der Meyde and fans favourite Mikel Arteta.

I think Moyes has the perfect transfer policy for Everton. Considering how much money we don't have Moyes has done miracles.

I personally wouldn't want to see a Harry Redknapp policy at the club where we sign every foreign player available.

Moyes is slowly building a team of very good players and we as fans need to stop moaning about him and get behind him.

If we don't sign a striker this month I won't be disappointed I will just trust that our manager believes he can get better quality and value in the Summer.
Dutch Schaeffer  (29/01/06)

I do have sympathy for Moyes and the circumstances surrounding the targets he did try to acquire, but, for me, the need for another goalscorer was paramount last summer. (I believe that results since then have justified my disappointment and if Beattie's current injury were to keep him out for a fortnight or more, it would also bear out the opportunity missed.)

I've always maintained that there are players out there who could do a good job for us, but our narrow focus on the expensive domestic leagues means that we're not looking hard enough in those places. Maybe Moyes was banking on getting by with blooding James Vaughan (again, he was unfortunate there) but to have expected to land the likes of Owen or Kuyt or slogging through the Champions League qualifiers and group stages with so few striking options was highly short-sighted. There didn't appear to be a plan B.

I guess we just see this one differently, Dutch. Lyndon

Fresh blood
Was chuffed to find that the game was on telly yesterday (Portuguese TV actually, they thought our goalscorer was Ferguson for at least 5 minutes before realising their error !) and was very pleased with the performance considering the wafer thin squad available.

The main plus point for me was not the result- although it was a very welcome surprise- but the brief appearance of young Anichebe. I thought he has real presence and gave the impression that there could be a lot more to come from him.

With no obvious hope of any signings to supplement the squad it may be that David Moyes will have to play him more often and I for one would look forward to that.
Stephen Alderson, Jersey  (29/01/06)

Beter than Chelsea?
An FA Cup match, a nearly 8,000 below capacity gate at a non-televised game against the league leaders.

The league leaders with over £200 million 'worth' of talent on show..

Everton with about £30 million worth of grit (Yobo and Cahill and Beattie would have perhaps boosted this to £50 million)

We made a £200 K profit last season (possibly)

Chelsea made a £150 million loss

We're a club in financial crisis... they're living in luxury

Does this mean that on paper we're better run than Chelsea?

Madness... complete and utter madness..

How did we let it come to this?
Kevin Sparke, Northumberland  (29/01/06)

How much money?
I see that the Greek guy, Samaras, is probably going to Man City for somewhere between £6M and £9M... OK, so between that and some of the high prices paid for players over the summer break it begs the question of... 'how much cash do we need to secure a class player?'...

Seemingly we have at least £5M with the sale of Bent and Kroldrup? What does £5M buy in today's market? Could we postulate that £6.5M for Beattie was actually quite reasonable for a player with his track record in the Premiership?

If Everton do not sign a striker in this window (which is the most likely senario now) then how much will they gain in cash flow from the wages forgone for Bent and Krøldrup? Will that give the extra cash required for a decent player?

Of course, I have questions and no answers as I'm guessing at what finances we have available at the moment. But I would suggest if we had the money then we would have bought a striker of some calibre in this transfer window...

Do we have good enough scouts? i.e. being in Australia we do get to see quite a range of national soccer leagues on TV. Outside Europe (mainly South America) there is a wide range of talent. Even from our leagues a player (Archie Thompson) was signed recently by PSV. Although not an exceptional player it does show that some clubs, renowned for player development, spread their scouting wings far a field.

One more question.... what happened to that Brazillian guy that we signed last year? A midfielder I think...
Michael Parrington, Melbourne, Australia  (29/01/06)

He's still playing for Malaga...

The club is in a financial mess. No news there. We've known that for years and I hope things may be improving very slowly. I don't know this as I am not any kind of expert in this area. I don't trust simplistic profit/loss accounts on the back of a fag packet and am realistic enough not to expect significant profit for years yet.

So let me paint a scenaio. With bad finances, the People's Cub issues a statement.

"We have so much respect for our fans we thought it important to confirm that we have very little money and will be in this position for a few more years yet. This means we will not have a team of proven internatonals for the forseeable future and any player coming here had better work his arse off. We hope our fans now feel we have been honest and open and that they can see we always speak directly to them."

Well the result would be no player coming within a millon miles of us, numbers of fans dropping and players and staff losing the fighting spirit it is clear they bravely maintain at present.

The club could sink further, with the thanks of some fans who are almost infantile in their naivety when they demand a company like EFC lays bare its problems in the market place it operates in. Oh that will attract investors.

Never mind. I'm sure some pub-based accountant will tell us the economics are simple through this site... before tapping a tenner off his mate on Saturday night that results in staying in on Sunday lunchtime. An opportunity to get online and explain to us why he never had any problems with his piggy bank.

Get real. Read between lines and realise the club speaks to many different audiences and not just fans.
Ged Simpson, Northwich  (29/1/06)

Fowler Play!
The Daily Star is reporting that we rejected an offer to take the little line painter from Man City. Can only assume this is a story without substance. Although we know "assume" makes an ass out of u and me.
Jason Saggers, Antrim, Northern Ireland  (29/01/06)

Some balance please
I wonder if those who continually knock the club & its 'servants' would take a step-back from time to time and think before they harp on - and in this regard I'd plead with the editors also to be more sparing with their remarks (even though they are in bright blue) which seem to be appended to every pro Moyes/EFC comment!

I've been a regular visitor to this site and its forerunners for many years but am rapidly losing the will to log-on knowing that, despite a run of great results and huge effort from the players etc., my fellow loyal Evertonians will still be tearing the club to shreds.

I am NOT one of those who believes Moyes, Wymess & Kenwright et al can do no wrong, but most on this site appear to believe they can do no right!

Take the case of our CEO. Why does eveyone have to keep making remarks about his size and appearance? Why can't he be referred to by his name instead of some snide nickname? Does he not merit the same level of respect as anyone else? And while there's lots about the club and the way it operates one might criticise, why must it all the blame be laid at his door? Weren't the toilets, ticketing arrangements and pies cr*p before he arrived? The only fair thing to do is compare the state of the club before he arrived with how it is now (in light of what he has done to try and improve matters). Let's not forget his predecessor lasted days in the job before walking away wringing his hands and shaking his head - and based on the message that that sent out, we were lucky to get anyone to accept the job!

Does it not occur to folk that Wyness might just be doing some things right? No, instead he seemingly gets the blame for everything - including the state the club is in after two or three decades of miserable decline - c'mon give the man a fair go before you stone him to death!

I'm reminded of a scene in I think it was Hemmingway's 'A Farewell To Arms' (as an ambulance driver serving in the Italian Army in WWI the author witnesses the break-up of a defeated army). Hemmingway knew his side was done-for when he sees the army turning on itself in the face of setbacks and reverses, brave men being shot for failure and (supposed) cowardice. A sickening end and not one that deserved by men who were fighting for a cause and their only crime was to be on the losing side.

What a shame it is that when our lads are shedding blood on the pitch (literally) and getting us some great results, so many fans (or should that be armchair warriors?) just seem to want to claw at their backs!

Now, I can hardly wait to see what gets appended hereafter in bright blue font...
Chris Jones, Wakefield  (29/01/2006)

Chris, thanks for the measured letter. You're right about the name-calling (I think you'll find that comes mostly from the readers) and I, at least, have always been quick to credit Keith Wyness with the fact that things have improved on the commercial side since he joined.

He irks people and arouses criticism, though, with the spin-doctoring that has been going on in recent weeks. The so-called "record profit" fooled no one. Those £23,4m gains were as a direct result of the Rooney sale. Commercial revenue may be up, but let's not forget where that "record profit" profit came from. [Edited since first being published] Lyndon

Why charge me more for buying online?
After reading one of the posts by your readers, I would like to ask EFC the same question. I came from outside of the UK to London, I paid 20 pounds at the beginning of the season to become a member of Evertonia so that I could buy match tickets online wtihout having to trouble my mate in Liverpool. I got charged 3 pounds processing fee or handling fee or whatever fee when I bought match tickets online. What is the Evertonia membership for?
Daniel Lim, London  (29/01/06)

Well, Mr Wynesss...?

When Gary Naysmith is your best replacement for an injured striker, someone has not done their job, Mr Moyes. Now Ferguson is our only fit front man. Hardly an accurate description considering how he was gassed after an hour today. Come Tuesday, we will unveil our new 3-7 formation one we will ride to forty points and ensure another year of 'top flight football'. Sometimes I wonder if relegation would shake some life back into the hierarchy of this once great club?
Ronan  Hanly, Boston, U.S.A.  (27/01/06)

I take your point but relegation would destroy us. Full stop. Lyndon

Time to wake up
Let's be honest, we faced the top (bar Barcelona) squad in Europe with a hospital squad featuring Neville at center back and Beattie crocked late on. That left us with a bunch of kids on the bench, and old man Ferguson destined for a long hard slog. Davies asked to run midfield after a month out. You must be joking!

What it turned into was an accomplished defensive display, scaring the life out of our rich opposition, Fergie bullying expertly, with Jamie Mac taking the Everton spirit at last (to the extreme), scoring a goal that not many teams will be able to score against the millionaires this season. The midfield did well to cope with their opposition, grandad in goal back as reliable as ever (best in Europe), maybe I'm dreaming but I put a small hope on us going there with Mr Ferrari and Cahill giving the extra pace we need, also the mountain young Anichebe looking as hungry as he does in the reserves as he should do what we all hope he can do and finish the job.
Adam Davenhill, Stoke, England  (28/02/06)

When I was at the game today (enjoyed it by the way), one of the lads sat near me said that Sharpy, on the radio, had said that we had signed someone and that he would be announced on Monday? Do you lads know anything? Also, rumour has it, Nugent, from Preston, was at today's game, (suspended at PNE). I've not had chance to look at the PNE stuff, so?
Mark Joseph, West Lancs  (28/01/2006)

First we've heard of it, Mark. We've heard nothing but ugly rumours of financial meltdown at Goodison Park. Lyndon

Job for the experts
I`ve only been home half an hour and I`ve already had three calls about the Moyes `three days` quotes. Talk about putting your foot in it. Isn`t it about time someone in our `cutting edge` communications department gave Mr Moyes some media training?
David Hall, Taunton  (28/1/06)

He seems to have no supporters on this website. That seems a surprising PR disaster, considering his apparent skills in theatre. I only see him on the TV chewing gum & turning his back on the camera before the kickoff -- so is he earning his pension from Everton supporters, or does he need to win them over?
Dave Tootill, Johannesburg  ()

I don't think Kenwright is making much from Everton supporters. All he is doing in massaging his ego by hanging onto the club so he can have that as his status symbol is perpetuating a cycle of selling and buying players with no real progress being made on or off the field. Lyndon

3 kids on the bench
I'm fed up of those fans wondering why David Moyes has not yet strengthened the squad and blaming him for having 3 kids and a crock on the bench for today's game against Chelsea

Think about it - do you not think he would love to have 5 internationals fighting for every place, of course he would. Unfortunately, his only crime is that is doesn't bleat like David o'Leary about lack of support from the board, infact he does quite the opposite !


Tuesday is the last day we can get any meaningful money into the club before our financial year end (31st May) unless our creative accountants are at their creative best again, or maybe Bill will find something to factor again.

I'm sure if Yobo was in the country he'd be on his way, and don't be surprised if Man Utd midfield problems are solved by Cahill or Arteta by the middle of the week.

I'm probably the only person counting down to midnight on 31st in the hope that no more players are sold.

Good old Buster secured his place in Everton history and received a nice bonus on top of his £177k salary (which, incidently, is the same as Tony Blair gets for running the country) for bringing down the debt to £25m. Now without the income from Kroldrup and Bent we'd be looking at a debt of £45m, as it is I'd be surprised if it is less than £40m. Where I wouldn't be surprised is if Buster stands down before these results are published whilst his stock remains relatively high - You heard it hear first !

We are financially fucked and regardless of the amount of megastores Buster tries to open we will remain that way until the present incumbents are removed

Rather than get excited, my heart will sink every time I see the 'Breaking news' ticker on Sky Sports News - keep your fingers crossed our squad remains intact

David Moyes for manager of the month anyone ?
Jez Clein, Childwall  (28/01/06)

Still in the draw
Back from the game and still in the draw. I thought that with the team we were able to put out I was able to thoughly enjoy the game in a backs-to-the-wall sort of way. Chelsea never looked a multi-millionnair outfit and I was left wondering what might have been with a full team.

All over the pitch there were positives with everyone pitching in and in considering my M.O.M., I was torn between Hibbert and Neville, defenders yes, but both typified todays approach.

The only negative for me today was in having only a quarter fit Naysmith as the only experienced sub. A club and players who can hold the Champions twice deserve a deeper squad.

I think today's game dispels any notion that Moyes may have lost the dressing room but also highlights the need for adequate squad numbers.

I hope we can strenghthen soon and make todays heroes lives on the pitch a little easier. See you Tuesday -- UP THE BLUES
Ken , Buckley  ()

Customer Service award?
Bully's article in the Telegraph and I quote:

"Our customer service department was recently up for a national award and our marketing and promotions area is on a par with any company of a comparable size. I handle large property transactions and run a business of 250 employees with all the HR complexity that involves. We run a major stadium under stringent safety regulations. Yes, we are a business and run on very businesslike principles."

Is this guy on crack cocaine? When was the last time he was stuck at Liverpool airport waiting for a flight to Romania? Or waiting for an apology. Or eating a cold pie after having queued up 15 mins to get it, although it was always visible in the oven throughout. An oven on nil points on the wattage score methinks to save money and just entice the punters in.

Or has queued for hours outside the Park End/ Main Stand because only one of the 'state of the art', 10 year old ticketing machines was working?

Why do I get charged extra to book online when the norm is to get charged less for booking online?

The only reason EFC Corporate is still viable is because there is no other vendor who can supply what the customer wants. If you want Everton, you have to pay Everton. Simple as. It's a captive audience and most of the people who read this website are totally addicted and beyond therapy. You can only buy your bi-weekly hit off Everton. That's the only reason this business model works IMHO.

I want a computer, so I buy Dell. Dell piss me off and I notice that Tiger OS/X on the iMac looks very sexy, so I buy a Mac next time. Bye, Bye Dell. Never to see my money again. Hello Apple - yours looks so much more sexy and never crashes; I'll buy your product from now on.

With football you don't have that choice. Everton are in my blood. I was born an Evertonian and no matter what product they release, no matter how shabby; I'll buy.

That said, spleen vented; Come on you Blue Boys.

Customer Service award; Wyness, you're 'aving a 'laff!
John Bracken, UK  (28/01/2006)

What`s with three days?
Tell me,am I confused or did the transfer window really open this morning? Moyes just said on Sky that although he needs re-inforcements, he should not be expected to make decisions on players in three days which he might regret within the same time span. Of course, he might make a mistake but what`s with the three days? Mama mia!
Gianni Morrello, Southport  (01/28/06)

Just thrown me tea at the tele when Moyes said he didn`t want to have to make a decision on new signings in the next three days which he might reget within three days of them arriving! What`s he paid for, he might be a great coach but he`s pathetic at working in the tranfer market. Which I thought was all part of the job.
Peter Waterman, Winsford  (28/1/06)

Astounding on the face of it, but if rumours of the club's financial predicament are true, he's having to spin his way through this transfer window to cover up for an utter lack of investment at the top. Lyndon

Great to be an Evertonian
Ain`t it great to be an Evertonian? Great manager, great team, yet again holding the nation`s finest to a very well-earned draw. And, by the way, we didn`t have to invest £250m in players and lose £150m (we made a healthy profit!) in the year to do it. So a big thank you to Messrs Kenwright and Wyness whilst we`re at it!
Richard  Dodd, Formby  (28/01/06)

Richard, I don't know where to start with this. We held the nation's finest to a draw. We didn't beat them — and let's face it, they didn't really start playing until after about an hour — but held on a for a draw because we barely had enough players to scrape together a full squad. That, my friend, is because in 6 years, Kenwright has brought in practically zero inward investment, Wyness obviously refuses to think about using the club's overdraft (assuming we still have one) lest his precious figures take a hit (£100,000 is a HEALTHY profit? Richard, you're taking the piss. That profit was due ENTIRELY to the Rooney sale — we'd be in administration without it a commendable improvement on the previous year's losses but on its own it's not a healthy profit unless you count the Wayne Rooney sale), and Moyes dithered so long in the summer transfer window that we lost out on the best chance to haul ourselves back to the big time we've had in a generation. So, yes, we earned a result against the country's top team like a poor lower division side might in a cup tie, but such short-term gains matter not to the bigger picture which, with every passing day in the January transfer window, looks more and more to be saying that we're up shit creek with a proverbial paddle. Lyndon

Decision Time
Just heard Moyes say on Sky Sports News, `We need the numbers but I don`t want to make a decision on somebody in three days and regret it when he comes in.`

What the f**k`s he been doing for the past 28 days, I wonder? He`ll never make a good manager as long as he`s got the proverbial!
Doug Halloran, Freshfield  (28/1/06)

Everton get no praise yet again!
Why is it that when Everton play their socks off against a top club like Chelsea we never get any credit. Take today for instance, they all say Everton earned a 4th round replay when it is Chelsea who earned it and were pretty lucky to get a replay seeing as how Everton dominated the whole game. When we beat Arsenal last week we got no praise, when we drew with Man Utd and Chelsea we got no praise. What do we need to do to get the press to get there heads out of the top 4's backsides and into the real talent?
Liam Gillespie, Liverpool  (29/1/06)

I think that Jeffers could be worth a punt. He has a lot to prove and fits the bill quite well for a little and large strikeforce.

If memory serves, he always did quite well with a big guy up front with him.

Shame Moyes doesn't like him, although I always thought that it was the team that mattered and not the ego?
Adam Carey, Berkshire  (28/01/06)

Dutch, I agree. I think that if Jeffers came back and really wanted to he could still play and do a good job. I doubt he will come back, especially after he had a barny with Moyes last time. I honestly don't think we will sign anyone. It is looking more and more like Moyes will stick with the smallest squad in the Premiership.
Chris Wright, Chester  (28/1/06)

The Striker Dilemma!

This is going to sound crazy, in fact I'm not sure even I think its a good idea but I'm going to float it out there mainly because I want an opinion from others.


OK OK hear me out before you all go mad. We need a striker desperately, there isn't one available who meets the Moyes criteria, i.e. quality at reasonable price.

So how about adding Franny to the squad to boost the numbers? Franny may not be the best striker anymore but he would surely be a useful addition to our depleted ranks.

Lets looks at his record, he was quite brilliant for us the first time around, scoring 20 goals from just 43 games, and remember that was under Wally Smith and in quite possibly one of the worst Everton teams ever.

We all know that Wally and Bully-Boy Knox didn't like Franny (or his mates Ball & Dunne) and when Arsenal made their offer young lug ears couldn't refuse.

At Arsenal Franny fell into the same trap most English players do, they can't get games under Wenger. Still Franny still scored 8 goals despite only starting 13 times for the Gunners.

Don't forget that during his spell at Arsenal Franny became a record breaking England U21 goalscorer and scored on his full England debut, which was also his only England Cap so far.

Moyes saw something in Franny and took him on loan during 03/04 but unfortunately it didn't work out and Franny spent most of his time on the bench waiting for a chance while a certain Wayne Rooney established himself in the side, still Franny did manage to score 2 goals from just 6 starts.

After that Franny has struggled, he just cant seem to get a chance, last season he was at Charlton where he only started 13 games but still scored 5 goals.

This season he's been on-loan at Rangers but again he can't get regular games.

I think Charlton would sell him for £1-2 million and at that price he would surely be a useful addition until we find that elusive striker Moyes is waiting for.

We also need cover for Centre Back and left back, but I'll wait until you have all finished blasting me for this post before I recommend Michael Ball.

One last thing, anyone still wondering why we sold Kroldrup, check out this link, the lad just couldn't head a ball:-
Dutch Schaeffer  (27/01/06)

Desperate times often require desperate measures. Personally speaking, I've no doubt we could do a lot worse than look (yet again!) at Franny. If someone had've told me last August that we'd buy a Danish centre half, playing for a side in Serie A that was to qualify for the Champions' League and we'd see make ONE solitary League appearance in an Everton shirt before replacing him with a mouthy ex-Everton centre half who'd most emphatically put the boot into his "boyhood club".......I'd have called you mad! Funny arl game... - Colm

Tick ,Tock

Don't worry about tick tock, you may as well set your alarms for 5.05 on Tuesday 31st January.

This is the only way you will stay sane for the next couple of days..These clowns that run our great football club have not got a clue.. They will point to 4 wins on the bounce - but the phrase "paper overing cracks" springs to mind and don't we know it !!
Kevin Bennett, Chester  (27/01/06)

Here's another phrase no doubt swaying our current custodians into keeping the last few shillings in the back pocket - "there's at least three worse teams than us". - Colm


As he has signed for the shite, I think it is safe to assume we were never interested in someone who knows where the back of the net is.

Kenwright just fucking do one
Jim Feeney, Liverpool  (27/01/06)

Was a time I'd have loved to witness Robbie Fowler in a Royal Blue shirt, trotting out to Z Cars. However, that became more and more unlikely as Evertonians continued to excel themselves with their treatment of the boyhood Blue who was banging them in for fun across the park. Our loss. - Colm

Peter Fearon
I found Peter's article very nostalgic, I am sure I was at that game, I was in the RAF stationed near Leeds and I and three mates, none of whom were Blues fans, drove over to Liverpool for the match. I am sure it was an evening KO. Leeds were the top team in those days with Bremner, Giles, Hunter, in midfield. Happy days.
Eddy Gibbs  (27/01/05)

The chips are down
Will you be hoping and praying that we beat Chelsea? Regardless if we are brilliant or just plain lucky? With sweaty palms and roaring vocal support at the ground (or in spirit as I will be some 12,000 miles away in the early hours anxiously hitting the refresh button every two minutes for the latest live update)? Or are you resigned to defeat and already made your mind up as to where the blame lies? Therein, my friends, lies the difference.
Dick Fearon, Australia  (27/01/06)

I'm not in the least resigned to defeat, Dick. We're on a roll and we've already given Chelsea a fright this season. But should we lose, the blame will ultimately lie where it always has done: upstairs. Lyndon

4 days to go
I keep thinking that my browser is broken, my radio has been tampered with and my Sky Sports News is on one of them programmed loops. Why am I being so paranoid? Because according to my home media we haven't signed anybody, loan or otherwise yet, and there seems to be very little coming out of Goodison (the smell of bullsh*t still lingers long).

Surely I'm being set up here, surely Jeremy Beadle is going to jump out and tell me it's all ok we've signed 2 strikers and a young centre half. 4 days to go and no news at all. In case Moyes has forgotten, we play the Champions tomorrow, and we can't do it with 1 centre half. Jeremy, where are you, are you in the wardrobe?
Steve Boileau, Liverpool  (27/01/06)

Free Transfers and Players.....
Wonder when was the last time we got a player on a free (or just paying a nominal fee for their progressive years), and I mean a reasonably young and talented player who could go straight into the first team? What I remember is we signed the likes of Ginola, Gascoigne, Stubbs on a free.

Recently read that West Ham trying for Nigel De Jong of Ajax whose out of contract in the summer. His teamates Steven Pienaar and Hatem Trabelsi (not young but former Gunners target) are also out of contract in the summer but Pienaar, it seems, has been snapped by Dortmund who also have Van Der Vaart (of Ajax). Also read somewhere an EPL club tring to get Gabri (of Barca) on a free in the summer.

Why is it that we don't try for these players?? Our scouts could be crap but at least the foreign players we have could recommend some from their former teams. I think the players themselves have the know-how of who wants out and so on and could influence a player coming to Everton. Are they allowed to recommend players to Moyes in the first place?

Nominal fee or totally free and could fit into the first team right away, players who graduate from the Ajax Academy and other well established Academies might not make it with their initial clubs but doesn't mean they are crap. Look at our Arteta (from Barcelona's academy). Their academies are obviously better than ours (it must be if Man U and Arsenal "steal" their youth players!) so why not try for these players who wants away?

On that not, how about Angelos Charisteas (yep, that Greek striker who won them the Euro Cup) to play for us? He looks like a typical centre forward that could do do the job for us and have loads of experience after playing in Greece, Germany and now Holland. Ajax would sell cheap...
Jalil M. Noor, Singapore  (27/01/06)

David Moyes assures us that just about anyone you can name has been approached. Lyndon

Tick tock, tick tock.....
Did anyone see Ewerthon (great name , shame about the lisp ) of Zaragoza distroy Barcelona last night? Here is a great example of not having to spend a great deal of money on very good players. Someone on this mailbag mentioned this player a few months back, he is a Brazilian International (may make the World Cup), is pacey, skillful, scores plenty of goals, can play up front on his own or just behind the attack. He cost Zaragoza less than £2 million last summer! (Why didn't we get him?). Not £7 million like Championship players. He is probabaly worth £5-£6 million now.

Moyes! Bid for this player, Everton are a much bigger club than Zaragoza and we could triple his wages. I don't want to hear that clubs dont want to sell at this time of year, TEST THEIR RESOLVE, make a bid! He would walk into our side, and could help get us into Europe again.
Tommy C  (27/01/06)

Of course, it all depends on the player wanting to leave for the sunny Costa del Merseyside, but you highlight something that I've been saying for years — that our seemingly limited scouting network and obsession with domestic players is severely restricting our options. Lyndon

Tony Hibbert's Boots!
Who cares what colour boots Tony Hibbert wears? Lately Hibbo has been playing really well and he can wear whatever colour he wants as long as he continues this excellent form.

I don't think red boots reflects on Hibbert's passion for Everton, after all Wayne Rooney claimed to be the most passionate Evertonian around [once a blue always a blue]but he pissed off first chance he got.

I think Hibbert is very passionate about Everton, the way he threw himself in the way to clear that ball when Arsenal hit the post proves how he fights for the cause.

Hibbert may not have Beckham's ability to cross and he'll probably never score a goal for Everton but he's an excellent tackler who never hides on the pitch. He's got just the right amount of pace and has established himself as an important member of the starting eleven.
Dutch Schaeffer  (26/01/06)

No doubt about his excellent defensive prowess. If he could just could cross a ball, he'd be dynamite.

Fiscal mess
I can't remember who posted earlier to say they believe Everton are financially up the creek without a paddle, could have been Jez Clein as he is a bean counter. I'm worried he was bang on the money. Wyness rolls out some utter bollocks about a 100k profit, then in a transfer window the fans have been waiting for since the start of the season we get either "not a pot to piss in" or "no suitable players available"; funny how a few released players have signed elsewhere and loans have been made by other Premiership sides. Everton have weakened an already weak side, the release of the debatable Koldrop at a loss, replaced by a free, end-of-career Stubbs and Bent for a surprising gain replaced with fresh air and sound-bytes in the Liverpool Echo.

Let's not forget the team is still frighteningly goal-shy and has one healthy striker in the first team. Ferguson can't guarantee fitness and Vaughan was crippled in a meaningless jaunt for Engerland. The Official website flashes spin-doctoring about young Anichebe, but he's just a kid and Vaughan, before getting, injured was a brighter prospect. What next a call up for Kissock?

Are we now to believe Billy Bushitter and Wyness are trying to glaze over big losses this season by recouping and not strengthening? Simple mathematics — the lower we finish the less cash we get, loan deals could boost our final placings in the league, whereas the Everton way of management is burying their ignorant heads in the sand and just two or three injuries could cost us very dearly.

I can't see any changes happening and I'll be the first to hold my hand up and post an apology on this Mailbag if the Ginger Misery pulls off a new signing or loan striker (note striker and NOT some 15 year old lower league defender or goalkeeper!) in the next few days, but I certainly won't be holding my breath as it's par for the course as a Bluenose to be ripped off by the club and disappointed by the current management.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (26/01/06)

Having read yet another insightful ToffeeWeb letter, I am absolutely appalled that Everton FC did not provide those fun-loving Milwall supporters with refreshements on their recent visit. Having enjoyed first-hand the hospitality on offer at the New Den, I am ashamed that our club didn't roll out the red carpet for the cockney funsters. Your correspondent is spot on. This really is a key issue; lets call it 'pie gate'. Maybe Tony Marsh can ivestigate and ask one of his sources how this dreadful state of affairs came about. Regardless, it's another question mark against Moyes's regime.

Below I have detailed the warmness of Millwalls welcome to Everton supporters in the hope of spurring Kenwright and Wyness into action.

>On arrival in London greeted at Euston by the local constabulary to 'guide' evertonians to the ground.
>Once in the ground, comforted by the locals adopting scouse uniform of stone island and white trainees
>Treated to ironic Hitler salutes and chants of 'Id rather be a paki than a Scouse' as part their prominent Kick Racism Out campaign
>Showered with free gifts of coins and half eaten pies
>Delighted as Millwall supporters vigorously tried to join the Everton end to celebrate our equaliser

If only Everton had shown such consideration when the barrow boys came north. I hope Bill reads this and makes immediate amends with free jellied eels and cockles supplied to those other laugh-a-minute wide boys, Chelsea, this weekend.

PS. I hope the Everton supporters extend as warm a welcome as they did to Millwall supporters last week too!
Steve  Connor, Liverpool  (26/01/06)

Yeah, that's the spirit, Steve. Do unto others as they have done to you and revel in how "hard" a few Evertonians are because they can throw bottles at visiting fans, the police and their horses. What an inspiration we will be to the rest of the Premiership. Sorry, but we need to rise above this, not sink to their level.

Millwall's fans may have behaved badly during our visit to the New Den but that's because they are Millwall. We are Everton, one of the biggest clubs in the country and we should aspire to greater standards of customer service than that described in the Times article, no matter who the opposition is. (And don't think for a minute that that sort of treatment was reserved just for Millwall fans.) Lyndon

Still here
Alright, so the doom and gloom merchants have gone a little quiet all of a sudden. Result-wise we are on a good little run at the moment and I am made up as it's got us out of trouble, but please don't everyone be fooled as we have seen all this before.

Great battling football but not entertaining, and that is what you will always get under Moyes no matter how much he spends. Just an opinion, though. Please don't anyone get upset. Be warned, the dark days will return...
Wayne O'Rourke, Liverpool  (26/01/2006)

As Time Goes By
Well, here we are, 5 days before the window closes and I've heard absolutely nothing about signing anybody for the past 4 days. Its got so bad that even the rumour mill has stopped churning. I'm hoping beyond hope that Moyes can't be so stupid and naive as to think that we can 'muddle' through to the end of the season with no extra striker(s). I'd have at least thought he'd be out trying to get a centre half in on loan given our possible situation for Saturday, or maybe he's struck a deal to get Brian Labone out on the pitch.

If we get someone in who can score goals there is no reason why we can't finish as high as 7th or, who knows, maybe a UEFA place. That has to be our target, but, hey, David why bother actually trying to do your job, just keep on muddling, surely we're too good to go down. 5 days and counting...
Steve Boileau, Liverpool  (26/01/2006)

The fire sale of Bent and Krøldrup. Moyes's lack of confidence in getting anyone in this month. The constant "we're skint rhetoric". It all points more towards a chronic lack of cash across the club as a whole than instransigence on the manager's part this time. Don't get me wrong, Moyes has dithered before and could well be again, but the indications are that money is very tight at Goodison these days. And although it doesn't jive at all with the "club record profits" (hah!) of the last fiscal year, that buck stops with Luvvie Bill and his utterly unprouctive tenure as Everton chairman. Lyndon

What, no grub?!
Aren't we getting posh? We actually have a supporter who reads "The Sunday Times". I am sorry, but I find it very hard to believe that the Millwall supporter could not get any food or drink in the ground and was given a rude answer when he queried why not. All he had to do, surely, was go to any of the catering outlets in the ground. Surely the seating for "away" supporters in every Premiership ground is the same .. pretty ropey. Maybe he was griping because they lost.
Pat Beesley, Carmarthen  (26.01. 2006)

Getting Carried Away
Can`t help thinking we`re all getting carried away on the back of Everton`s latest run of victories. The disaffection at the failure to make a significant signing has all but died away and Beattie, who has taken the piss for nigh on a year, is now seen as the new Bob Latchford!

In reality, nothing has changed apart from the effort rate, which for much of this season, has been abysmal. The same faults are still apparent—an alarming lack of pace, poor passing skills which constantly provide possession to the opposition and the inability to put the ball in the net from good positions.

Moyes's only game plan is effort and quick tackling which are only two of the many elements that make up a successful side. Fortunately, the paucity of talent in other Premier teams means that the game plan will succeed for a while until others match like with like. Only recent results mask the fact that we are still a very limited side and that the manager is still a baby when it comes to transfer dealings and in-match tactics.

So let`s hold the celebrations for a while and see what Febuary brings. I just have a terrible feeling that if we don`t see some urgent additions to the squad it may well be disappointment — again!
Ed Jukes, Hooton  (26/01/06)

With the exception of your comments on Beattie (who I think suffered at first from a lack of fitness and over-exuberance and now just needs a decent strike partner to really thrive), I think you're spot on there, Ed. Lyndon

Anderson Silva da Franca
Heard this lad's name from time to time but never describe in detail. Has anybody witnessed him played for Malaga? Is he looks like an asset or more of a liability?

Is he real? Or another Kroldrup...?
Kay , Malaysia  (25/01/06)

He's real alright. There's a thread about him in our forum. He's made 8 starts for Malaga and been sent off 3 times. 1 more and he gets to keep the card. - Garry

Hibbo's Boots n stuff
Tony Hibbert wears Adidas Predator boots which explains the red colour. Just thought I'd mention it before anyone else panics.

I see we still haven't signed anyone yet, ho hum, an injury to Beattie and we are back fighting relegation. Do you think the 'Moyesiah' is aware of that? I'm not so sure, perhaps we could bring back Super Kev next!! C'mon Blueboys!
Steve , Belfast  ()

Opinion Polls
On the subject of the validity of opinion polls, an inadvertant visit to the red shite part of the icliverpool site has revealed that they are running a poll entitled "Are Liverpool a better team than Man Utd?"!

If ever there was an example of why these polls are completely useless, this is it. Presumably the Echo will now run one of it's famous campaigns, based on the fact that 90% of Kopites believe they are better than United (surprise!), to have Sundays result overturned. I urge all proud ToffeeWeb readers to do their duty...log on and vote for the Mancs!
Steve  Connor, liverpool  (25/01/06)


I have just read the letter sent in by Matthew Davies. I am over the moon about the results we have been getting but to say Moyes should get credit for these results is a joke. In the last 6 games, apart from Arsenal and Charlton we have been dire.

We were piss poor against the BOTTOM club Sunderland, we were that bad against Portsmouth I was nearly crying. And great tactics by Moyes to take off your only striker. And the 2 games against Millwall we were poor. On the other hand, maybe Moyes should get some credit - credit for us playing some shite football.

I like Moyes,and would love him to be the man to take us forward, but I just can't see it. Last season was great, and Moyes deserved all the praise being heaped on him. That's now in the past and we have to look at the present, and in my opinion, we are piss poor.

One great result against Arsenal,does not make up for the hidings we have took this season.I just hope and pray that at the end of the Chelsea game, I'm walking out, wondering who were going to get in the next round. I actually think were going to turn them over.
Brian  Waring, Shrewsbury  (25/01/06)

Credit? That's Bill Kenwright's favourite Evertonian word......"now, where's Philip Green's number...." - Colm

Top to bottom
In response to Dick Fearon's note about the mailbag being prone to the more than the odd 'doomsayer' about the way the club's run, I'd say on balance he's probably right but then i'd also say there's no smoke without fire.

Being based in Australia he wouldn't have read The Sunday Times this weekend - or specifically a sizeable article entitled 'Welcome to Goodison, the Away Trip to Hell'. In it Rod Liddle details amongst other things that how as an away fan at the Millwall game:

  • We only had two turnstiles open for them so they missed the first 20 minutes
  • His seat had almost no view of the pitch
  • There was no food or drink available to them.
When he 'politely challenged' the catering staff on why this was they replied 'Well, don't be so stupid as to come here then.'

Now I know this may be a one off but I doubt it. Everton Football Club is a business that should be delivering just as much off the pitch as we want them to do on it, and at this they are just not good enough.

Those who may still be in the belief that one does not affect the other are in need of a reality check. Everton FC is now a brand and the definition of a brand is not a logo or a shirt or a team but 'a collection of perceptions in the mind of the observer' and if you were a player working out whether to choose us over another club there are plenty of factors other than the team (and the coach) that may or may not sway their decision. In short, if we are going to attract the investment/players/media support that's going to get us back to being widely seen as one of 'the' big clubs then we need to get our house in order at every level that this club operates at, and then make a few people on the outside see a glimpse of what we see.

Sorry if that seems negative again but there is are basic organisational issues that need sorting out at EFC and whilst the club continues to operate its communication policies of spin and doublespeak then this mailbag is one of the few chances we have to address what the issues are, and maybe get through to someone who may be in a position to change things.

Then again I doubt it. (oh no, negative again!) COYB.
Neil Scott, southport  (25/01/06)

Dear Dick
I don't moan, I don't whine or, indeed, bellyache. However, my view on who should replace the people you mention goes like this:

Mr Kenwright with someone 10 times as rich.
Mr Wyness with someone who can at least organise ticket sales and flights.
Mr Moyes with someone more savvy in the transfer market.

Until such time as this can be achieved then I hope the above show determination to improve.

Bit of a problem at centre back looms for Saturday. My solution if Farrari fails to make it: Try Valente and cross your fingers that Naysmith has a blinder at left back.

There you are, Dick. All solved. Easy this football lark, innit?
Ken , Buckley  ()

Typo Correction
'The Scot hasn't played any worthwhile first-team football since April 1995...' is apparently what they meant.
Luke Griffey, St. Ives Cambs  (25/01/06)

The Everton Fan
Oh how things change! 5 games ago I remember every Evertonian under the sun cursing Moyes and his team selection, transfer dealings and basically everything to do with the club.

Where have these doom merchants gone now then we ask? Moyes seems to be playing the same team as usual and he hasnt really done a thing in the transfer market except offload unwanted players, with off corse the exception of Alan Stubbs.

I'll tell you why they have gone: The Everton Fan is a fickle one we have suffered so badly in the past from dodgy managerial descisions to propsed investors that all we can do is look at the bad side of things, but now that Everton are stringing a few results together no-one seems to be giving him any credit.

All I'm basically trying to say is that maybe us Evertonians should learn to sit back and look at what David Moyes has actually done for the club. Now lets all move on from the terrible start off the season and get behind the team for a European place.

A interesting statistic from the icLiverpool site in which they are conducting a poll:

The question - Do you think the Blues will qualify for europe?
The answer - 60% off Toffees think so, oh, how things change!
Matthew  Davies, Swansea  (25/01/2006)

The same icLiverpool site also ran a poll in March of last year which had 30% of Toffees saying that they thought Everton would win the league last season. Garry

Adam Bennett - Hibbo always wears the boots with red bit on 'em doesn't he. He's a good lad though, changes them for the derby....
Wayne Francis, N Wales  (25/1/06)

What does it take to stop seemingly endless bellyaching complaints and pitiful whining that infests this mailbag?I challenge these know-alls to state who should replace Kenwright, the board, David Moyes, the entire coaching staff and half the players. Just names will do and no wishful thinking please. At the same time, name the insiders who are the font of all knowledge. I would not hang a dog on the word of someone who is not prepared to stand up and be counted. That kind of crap can be used to conjure up an excuse or reason for anything.
Dick Fearon, Australia  (25/01/06)

Poll suggestion

As there aint much news this week and the world of Everton is all seemingingly good after beating Arsenal I was wondering if Toffeeweb's next poll could be this..

Q: Which would you prefer, a top 6 position playing negative 'hussle and hope for the best' football (like now), or a Mid-Table position playing contructive 'school of science' football (like...err years ago)

Would be interesting to see how desperate the average evertonian is now for a bit of success.
Aplankofwood Withanailinit, UK  (25/01/06)

I'll leave that thought in the hands of our capable webmasters - tis their gig after all! As you say, might indeed make interesting reading sometime soon. By the way, for future reference, can we have a proper name when submitting emails - we don't bite, nothing sinister! - Colm

Krøldrup - The Fact's
I've been regularaly coming on this site now for few years and perhaps the thing that stands out the most from other Everton sites is this — the Mailbag. I can just sit in my house all day pondering over what other Evertonians think is happening to our once great club, but (and yes there is a but), will people please stop talking about the whole Krøldrup saga. He's gone; he's happy; we're happy — simple as... To clear things up once and for all about the price he went for, why not look on the 'Transfers out' page on the official site I belive it is on there.

Oh and bring on the Chelski — I've got a good feeling about this... Beattie hatrick anyone??
Matthew Davies, Swansea  (25/01/2006)

Great typo
Take a look at the article linked from Toffeeweb entitled 'Grooming Anichebe'. In the article on the Official Site they talk about Gary Naysmith's performance for the reserves. 'The Scot hasn't played any first team football since April 1995...' I knew it was a long time but, Christ, DM, if he has been out that long why extend his contract?
Steve E, Chester  (24/01/2006)

I nearly said something but figured "people in glass houses" and all that! Lyndon

I was just wondering where that player went who we signed last summer. Supposedly he couldn't get a work permit before the last deadline so joined Malaga until January, this month. So where has this player gone?! BTW, great site. Kept me updated on everything when I lived in Dubai.
Omar El-Saleh, Liverpool, England  (24/01/06)

That would be Anderson Silva da Franca. While he had hoped to get clearance to play elsewhere in the EU by January, it turns out he has to spend another 6 months in Spain. So, all being well he'll join us in the summer. Lyndon

Facts And Figures
Has any one noticed that the club we follow never gives it to us straight? Every event that takes place in and around Goodison Park these days has more spin to it than a Shayne Warne googly. If it's not a load of bullshit about new grounds or how healthy the books are then its skullduggery concerning transfers to and from Everton.

That brings me to the "Krøoldrupgate" scandal.

I have it from a very good source that the Krøldrup fiasco has cost Everton the tidy sum of £3M. The Danish papers were reporting this as an accurate figure over the weekend and again in yesterday's dailies. Apparently we paid £5.1M for Krøldrup, the whole lot up front. We are recieving £2M from Fiorentina with another £1.6M being paid on the never-never depending on all kinds of crap. The Wayne Rooney deal all over again.

As for Krøldrup, he took an instant dislike to England and his new surroundings and wanted away as soon as he got here. No wonder Moyes wouldn't play the crying little shit. The poor bastard didn't like the area he was living in. Millionaire's row in Heswall wasn't good enough for him.

That is the Krøldrup story from some one who is very close to the whole messy affair and it just about sums Everton up at the moment. Me, I couldn't care less about the big Gobshite. Good riddance to him but what I do care about is the gross mismanagement of our club funds. In effect, Moyes has wiped out his transfer kitty with this latest fuck-up and Kenwright just sits there and lets it happen.

Please try and get to the bottom of this piece of information and let our fans know the truth. They deserve it.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (24/1/06)

That game against Leeds in 1964
I was Thirteen when I went to see that game and although it is 40 odd years ago I well remember that match. It was appalling, reading the article I am surprised there were only 31 fouls in total (12 to Leeds and 19 to the Blues); there were far more fouls than that committed during the match, I was so disappointed that we lost as we stood up to Leeds with 10 men for most of the game.

Leeds were the most dirty team I've ever seen they surpass the crazy gang at Wimbledon and the likes of Bolton by miles.

I wonder how modern day Refs. would cope with a game like that? The interesting thing is 12 months earlier we had the same ref. for a game against Blackburn and he sent Tony Kay off. Another little midfield little general called Bryan Douglas was orchestrating the trouble that day as Bobby Collins did for Leeds. You don't have to be a 6'-plus athlete to mix it in a game as seems to be the requirement nowadays.
Mike Squires, Wirral,Merseyside  (24/01/06)

Tony Hibbert
Were my eyes deceiving me or was he wearing red boots on Saturday? If so he should be dropped, fined two weeks wages and then have his contract terminated. Or if the club think that’s a little too extreme maybe just tell him not to wear them again.
Adam Bennett, Liverpool  (24/01/06)

Onward Evertonians
As a man who has been critical of the current regime, including the style of football they instill into team, I would like to say well done to team. Isn't it funny that no matter how stupid one can look when EFC go on an unbeaten run after all my moaning that none can be happier than me. But oh for the days of the "school of science" and "Everton are the team that plays beautiful football."

Please prove me wrong once again DM and learn to smile. In fact take a chance now and then, go on I dare you. Send an Everton team out to entertain; let them all know we're Everton; we're here to win with style.
Gary Rimmer, Liverpool  (23/01/06)

Not sure how much winning we'd do if we tried to entertain with our current players. - Garry

Case for Defence
Great result at the weekend, but now Ferrari is injured, what's going to happen at the back against Chelsea? Just Weir on his own? That should be fun.

But seriously, surely Moyes must have realised he was going to be out on a limb in defence? Sure bringing in Stubbs is ok for cover; but what about Huth on loan? Or slapping down two or three million for Phil Jagielka at Sheffield United?

He's perfect for us. At Everton we seem to cross each bridge as it comes. Up here, Celtic have already signed Gary Caldwell from Hibs for next season!

Get organised Moyes!!
Aiden Felchman, Galashiels, Scotland  (23/1/06)

Given that Sheffield United are chasing promotion (which is worth a lot more than Jagielka!) I doubt that they'd let their star player go at the moment. That aside, Yobo will be back in around two weeks and our real problem is scoring goals. I'm sure David Moyes knows that a defender is needed, but given his reservedness to sign the striker we've needed all season, I wouldn't hold my breath. - Garry

Stubbs - get real!!!!!
One good win against an Arsenal team that was as poor as anything we have seen for at least 8 - 10 years and all of a sudden Stubbs is a saviour. Get real folks and look at some footballing facts:

1. With Ferrari (not the old banger) on the field we defended higher up the pitch and allowed the midfield to compress Arse. This created an impetus that took us to at least half time.

2. As the game progressed we sat further and further back because of the cronic lack of pace in the middle of the back four. Arse were not good enough to exploit this but our midfield could no longer harass theirs and we ceded most of the possession.

3. Ferrari marked Campbell and Campbell did not win a header when he was on from any set piece. Stubbs marked him in the second half and he won 2 easy headers at corners but they were poor. The next thing that goes after pace as you get older is the ability to jump from a standing position or with a minimal run up — ask any sports analyst.

4. Henry spent the first half on the wings and rarely attempted to come into the centre. In the second half he targetted Stubbs and Weir and constantly got in front and drew them out, fortunately the rest of Arse were not good enough to exploit any weaknesses.

5. Stubbs was allowed to go last year and we all accepted that it was the right decision as his and Weir's lack of pace was being constantly exposed. They are both 6 months older and slower so how can that improve our defence? Weir now looks sharp!

Finally if a hear one more - 'he's one of us' I'll puke. He's the one who encouraged Rooney to leave and he's the one who slagged us off in the press. What he is is someone who could see a mug who would continue paying him when he's long passed his sell-by date - now DM that's another issue!!!
Jim Hourigan, Preston  (23/1/06)

I'm not sure I've read anything that says Stubbs is our saviour. We had a reasonably good defensive record last season, yet this term we've shipped four goals on three occassions. I only hope that, despite Stubbs and Weir's ages that their partnership and knowledge of each other's games improve us at the back.

Stubbs is an Everton player again now, like it or not. - Garry

Large shape on the horizon
Did you notice, at the bottom of Dominic King's latest inanity (and yet I read it):

"Middlesbrough's Mark Viduka arriving on loan is a strong possibility"? Seems a strange thing to say given Moyes's ruling out MV last week. I can certainly see why Boro would want rid, given Viduka's chuckles with Henry when 4-0 down against Arsenal, caught on camera. Maybe Dom has learned something... I think Davey will ultimately go for a deal like this for the rest of the season, see how much money he's got in the summer, then go for Johnson.
Ted Turner  (23/1/06)

Transfer fees and the gooners
I keep reading postings about the Kroldrup transfer and how we managed to do ourselves out of £2M quid. I realise that the fee released in the summer was £5M but these days the only team that pays the big fees in full is Chelsea. Even Viera to Italy was £13M in installments, and after the deal that was done for Rooney I can't believe that we paid outright for Per and didn't have any fees based on appearances etc. Bent went for £2M, and if he plays the same way as he has for the last six months we won't be seeing any of the extra £500k that the fee could rise to. Just wanted to put a bit of perspective on things. Even though I do think we made a bit of an arse of ourselves over the whole Krøldrup affair, if he was not going to cut it then we have saved paying out any more for him.

Great win on Saturday though, so well done to the team.
Adam Carey, Berkshire  (23/1/06)

New Kit
Funny how people are quick to pounce on the recent fuck-ups made by our beloved club.

Shame they didn't read bit about the kit on Bluekipper being a mock-up of a fan's idea, isn't it?

People in glass houses....

Ha ha!
Read Things Properly  (23/01/06)

Mea culpa, Mr... erm... Properly. I was in a rush and must have missed the bit about it being a mock-up by a fan. Self flagellation will ensue... Lyndon

More embarrasment
After being:-

....REJECTED by most players we tried to sign in the summer, FORCED to re-sign Pistone, DUMPED out of two European competitions, KNOCKED-OUT of the Carling Cup, LOSING a shit load of games in a row, BEATEN by Pompey, Wigan and West Ham at home, HAMMERED 4-0 by Bolton, Villa and fucking West Brom, MUGGING bottom of the table Sunderland of three points, BUYING and SELLING Koughdrop for a 2 million loss and TAKING BACK Sunderland bench warmer Stubbs as well as enduring the number of ridiculous soundbites that Billy Bullshit, and Keith "6 necks" Wyness have to offer, I thought to myself...

"Could any more embarrassment be heaped on our beloved club"

Then I clicked on Blue Kipper to see our proposed new kit. I'm sincerely hoping that this is some kind of sick joke. I know Everton as a football club are going backwards, but all the way to 1979 surely not?!?! I guess the feeling within the Boardroom is since the club is being run by a bunch of twats the way the team look might as well mirror them.
Ryan Jones, Preston  (23/1/06)

Neville's Freudian Slip
Did anyone catch Phil Neville's gaffe in the after-match analysis of yesterdays Utd vs Liverpool game? I didn't hear it because the pub was too noisy, but I've been told today in work that Richard Keys posed Neville the question:

"So Phil, do you expect Sir Alex will field a weakened side somewhat for the Carling Cup tie on Wednesday?"

His reply?

"No I don't expect so, its not a cup we've won for a few years now so I expect to see a full strength side."

How embarrasing! Richard Keys and Jamie Redknapp had to correct him! To be fair, apparantly he then went on to talk about how great Everton is and how he doesn't regret the move one bit!
Steven Astley, Wigan  (23/1/06)

Chris Marks's Observation
This article makes a lot of sense, and I for one think that Robert Earnshaw would make the ideal partner for Biffa. He is very very quick, which is what we want, and the only reason he is not playing for West Brom is that Robson hasn't got a clue how to get the best out of him. If it was up to me, I would take the chance and sign him.
Spencer Lunt, Fleet, Hants  (23/1/06)

To Neil Vaughan:
I quote: 'Kenwright cannot or will not get investment into the club whilst no-marks like Portsmouth are able to spend £12M in a week.. we are a joke!!'

Relegation-placed Birmingham: 5 — Pompey: 0.
Everton: 1 — Top two last eight years Gunners: 0.

Shopping like a crazy housewife-Redknapp, losing games.
Moyes, (overly) prudent, winning games.

Oh, I wish I was a Pompey fan! Imagine spending £12M plus in January! That would have been something, huh? Seriously, I'm wasn't very excited about changing Krøldrup with Stubbs, but who cares as long as we're winning? I for one am still very happy Moyes is in charge of Everton, and not the lot writing in on ToffeeWeb.
Jens  Hanse, Norway  (23/1/06)

Spin Doctored
I am as frustrated as most blues are at the current lack of transfer activity during a key window of opportunity for the club; it is the perfect time for Davey and his team to maintain the upward momentum that the last seven games have given us. But I do not think that Moyes can be criticsed for being slightly misleading in his public announcements on the funds available to him.

During the summer, all the world's agents and managers knew that he was sitting on at least £20M and we were held to ransom as a result. Anyone who has the misfortune of working in the London media (as I do) knows it is always better to keep your cards to your chest and say nothing at all - and Davey is doing so now. Unfortunately this means that he cannot release a small announcement on EFC website stating, "Don't tell anyone, but I have £10M left over from the summer... strictly hush hush though" just so that we have peace of mind.

The overall picture from the vague announcements the management have made seem to indicate that they are doing their upmost to secure re-enforcements but cannot spell out their intentions for fear of being gazumped — as they were in the summer — at least three times.
John Williams, London  (23/1/06)

Krøldrup. I can't believe it....
We should have kept him at least until after the World Cup — supposedly three clubs we chasing him — now he’s back in Italy with 6 months English experience on top of his previous talent and experience – and the Italians paid less than half we did 6 months ago – they must be pissing themselves laughing!

That we (supposedly) made a loss of £3M on a young, highly rated international defender who was supposedly worth £5M last summer and is now worth less than half that. The DM statement that we made a profit on Bent (so it's ok) - has nothing to do with the fact that the Krøldrup deal was unfair to the player, awful business for a club 'with no money to spend on new players'.... smells of either bad judgment in the first place, not giving the player a real chance to prove himself (how can he improve or adapt if he doesn't play ?), and patethic business.

I'm perplexed as to why our wonderful club did this - if our dealings in the transfer market continued like that we'd be more then bankrupt very soon. It is most unacceptable to throw our money around like that — and then to 'expect no new signings'.... sorry but I'm pissed off.

This has nothing to do with the fact that I'm delighted with the three points at the weekend - well done guys & gaffer. But these are seperate issues and this is another EFC scandal. Fact.
Joe Sobe, Munich, Germany  (23/1/06)

Back to basics
A real work ethic was apparent against Arsenal, along with plenty of passion, and a will to fight for every scrap that broke loose. These were the qualities that saw us into fourth place at the end of last year, and the same qualities which have been lacking until the last 4-5 games of this season. It seems that everyone at the club from the Board down got a little bit above themselve's after the European qualification, and forgot exactly what it was that got us there in the first place. I hope we continue with this work ethic week-in, week-out, because that's the difference between 0-1 and 1-0, and any prospective signings should be told in no uncertain terms that's what is expected first and foremost!

If the team comes off at the end of a game defeated, yet they have sweated blood, fought tooth and nail, and are kicking the advertising hordens into row Z through frustration, there will be few complaints from us fans. I'm pleased to see some passion back in our game, but I won't be completely conviced until we do it against the likes of Fulham, Wigan, and Man city.

Another fifteen portions of the same please boys, with plenty of salt and vinegar!
Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (22/1/06)

New Kit
Just seen the new kit. Not sure if it is some sort of wind-up but it's disgusting. Also aren't there rules over clubs keeping kits for two years at a time? By my calculations isn't this our fifth new home kit in five years?
Chris Wright, Chester  (22/1/06)

Moyes Again!
My maths isn't very good but as far as I can count Moyes has spent around £46 million on new players since he took over 3 years ago but he has been forced to finance that by selling £34 million of players. So really Moyes has only cost the club £12 million since he's been here. £12 million is one player to the 'big' clubs.

Given the financial resraints he's under and todays corrupt (Sven's words not mine) transfer market I think he's done a decent job.

Every manager has a skeleton in their closet, Ferguson has Veron & Djemba Djemba, Wenger has Jeffers and countless goalies even Chelski's genius Mouriniho has managed to pick up duds (Wright-Philips).

So Moyes lost £2 million on Kroldrup, to most managers thats next to nothing, just look at the money Newcastle and Liverpool have lost.

So Kroldrup aside how have the other Moyes signings faired?

Joey Yobo
First to join and has been a complete success. Worth double if not triple the £4 million spent on him.

Dickie Wright
£3.5 million and to be fair hasn't lived up to his price tag. I wouldn't call him a mistake but certainly a disappointment.

Iain Turner
Youngster hardly cost anything hopefully one for the future.

Nigel Martyn
£500,000, complete bargain for a fantastic keeper who continues to impress. Moyes' best value for money transfer.

James McFadden
Some would argue he's out of his depth others would say he'll come good. Personally the jury is out in my opinion.

Kevin Kilbane
Cost a million but has been a great player. He's played the best football of his career under Moyes. Well worth a million.

Marcus Bent
£450,000. Another who has played his best football under Moyes. Unfortunately got bored (he's had 9 clubs in 10 years) and his form suffered. Did a great job while he was here and sold for a even better profit.

Tim Cahill
£2 million was a bargain for one of our most important players. Worth double that now.

James Beattie
£6.5 million was a record signing and he got off to an awful start with injuries and suspensions. But this season he's started looking a player worth that price tag. He's got some way to go but he just might prove he's worth it.

Mikel Arteta
£2 million for our most talented player. Arteta is young but has already established himself as one of our best. A great find by Moyes.

Simon Davies
Maybe is too early to judge. So far disappointing but fingers crossed he'll come good. Been average so far.

Phil Neville
£3.5 million for a player so experienced was a bargain. Neville is a very important player and will be for a number of years.

Nuno Valente
Settling in nicely. Getting better with every game and only cost £1.5 million.

Andy van der Meyde
Difficult to judge because of the injuries but potentially he could be something special.

So really only Kroldrup and Wright can be described as poor signings. Others like Beattie, Davies and McFadden have some work to do but could still live up to their price tags but most of Moyes signings have been very very good.
Dutch Schaeffer  (22/01/06)

A Matter of Opinion...
A little bit of perspective is a wonderful thing, but the editorial comment at the moment is coming down a bit heavy on the optimistic/enthusiastic blue just recently. It seems a little unfair to add the fact that you don't agree with their optimism, to the end of most of the posts of the delighted blues who write in - we know you don't.

There are a lot of things wrong with the club at the moment, and I don't particularly enjoy the style of football we are playing, but I do take delight in the sporadic victories and rare glimpses of quality. I would love to see us playing attractive, flowing football, but not at the expense of a trip to the Championship. I would also love to see some players of real quality and flair playing for us week-in and week-out, but I would hate for us to have to pay the inflated wages that would be needed if this wish were to be fulfilled.

It seems that everything I want, I can't have...bugger!
Uncle Day, North Wales  (22/01/06)

No comment!

The Ferrari Effect
All credit to the team yesterday on a hard-fought victory. What a change Ferrari has made since his recent introduction alongside Yobo. It's very noticeable that we now play the game much further up the park. Indeed, yesterday, up to the point that he was forced out of the game, we were really taking the game to the Gunners. However, we resorted to playing very deep with the introduction of Stubbs and understandably so.

As for the rumors of Ferrari's departure, well one only had to observe the players reaction to the injury that he was desperately disappointed. I suspect the emergence of Ferrari with his ability and pace had much to do with Moyes's decision to off-load Per Krøldrup. I would still like to see us sign Michael Brown from Spurs — he would certaintly give us that added edge in the middle of the park.
Gerry Wibble, London  (22/1/06)

EVERTON 1 - 0 Arsenal
I have been giving Moyes alot of stick lately and deservedley so. I am over the moon with yesterdays result, beating a side which plays far superior football to us and boasts one of the world's greatest players in Henry. How dare anyone even question my right to enjoy such a win, yous can all just fuck off right now!;)

Everton won yesterday — not David Moyes! On the BBC vidiprinter I did not see David Moyes 1 - 0 Arsenal. Get a grip of yourselves aye! Moyes is an employee and long after he has gone I will still be there supporting my beloved Everton.

On another note, I am glad Stubbs is back. It is farcical that Moyes would let him go and then re-sign him 6 months later nobody can deny that and that's what all the controversy is over. Seeing Stubbs getting interviewed after the match, it's always good to have a scouser in the side — especially one with the ability to lead, and hopefully the captain's armband will at last be taken away from the 'does more talking in the Echo' Wier.
Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (22/1/06)

I like your point, but there is an element of balance needed here also. If David Moyes is guilty of mistakes that have caused our dreadful 2005 results, then he is worthy of acknowledgement and praise for his responsibility in securing the good results, like this one. Let's try to be fair about this, Robbie. — Michael

I am not fooled
I am not fooled by any wins against top teams like Arsenal today, as that seems to happen once a while to cheer us up. Those 4-0 losses to even worse teams than us will be in my memory for years. We need an Everton team that shows improvement progressively on a year-by-year basis. And that is the job of the Manager to make that happen.
Wilson Wong, Chicago, USA  (21/1/06)

And that is indeed what he is trying to do. There are just a few bumps, potholes, huge damned great ravines along the way. [What a strange way to think about a result: that it was some devious plot to fool you...] — Michael

'Maimed goat' or SiberianTiger?
A few weeks ago I wrote a critical appraisal of Osman. I think I said ‘he lacked balance and poise and he’d never make a solid Premier League career.’ Since that letter he’s shown balance and poise in abundance! (Plus an eye for the sharp, clever and mostly accurate pass).

I’m beginning to consider that I might have been wrong about Osman… I really hope so. The last few games the lads looked a tidy little player.

One more thing: I’ve been labelled a ‘Moyes lover’ in the past because I’ve tried to counter some of the more ‘emotional’ subscribers’ bile-filled and fanciful pseudo-arguments with what I consider to be rational analysis based upon logic and reason not blind-hate, supposition and character assassination; seemingly for the sake of them making a louder noise than anyone else. As usual Shakespeare sums things up: “As a tale told by an idiot… full of sound and fury but signifying nothing” (Macbeth)

Let’s set the record straight for ever… I don’t love Moyes… I don’t love Kenwright far from it… I’m deeply critical of both. However, as Marx put it (Karl Not Groucho) “Men make their own history but not under conditions of their own making.”

To understand the mess Everton are in, you need to look beyond transitory personalities. Kenwright inherited an Everton which was plummeting to financial oblivion and has at least pulled us out of the crash dive (for now). I’m deeply critical of his methods but it could have been so much worse if he’d not stepped in. (Would we really want to be Chelsea…? what happens when the ‘Godfather of oil’ goes home…? or if football cleans up its act re who controls ownership?)

Moyes has had an up-and-down time at the helm of our once-great club (He’s been consistently inconsistent… or inconsistently consistent - I dunno, it’s late !?!). I’m honestly not sure he’s the right man for the job… but who is?

Nevertheless, what we saw on Saturday was the ‘maimed goat beating the thoroughbred Stallion in the Hay dash’ and it was fucking great — forgive me if I wallow in it. I don’t love Moyes or Kenwright… but I do love Everton – unconditionally; and this weekend was a great one to be an Evertonian… Pity I’ve got to wake up on Monday...
Kevin Sparke, Northumberland  (22/1/06)

You can lead a whore to culture... — Damn, I only remember half the punchline! — Michael

Change the System (off the pitch)
I've been reading with interest the huge gulf in opinion between the likes of Dutch Schaeffer and Mike Price on here. I'm not sure I entirely agree with either, but I'm surprised no-one has posed the following question: "Could Everton benefit from a Director of Football?"

Now I know that this system has failed on a fair few occasions in English football (most recently at Portsmouth), but it doesn't seem to have done either Chelsea or Spurs much harm of late. David Moyes is clearly a manager who is hands-on with the players in training, rather than a Wenger-style approach of leaving it all to his coaches. So why not let him focus on that and bring someone in to improve our youth academy plans, scouting and transfer strategies?

This seems to me to be the main area in which DM is deficient. Overall I would like to see DM stay in the job but he clearly needs some help in this area. The Per Krøldrup saga is unacceptable for a club where cash is not limitless, so let's see the Board take some action to make sure their money is effectively spent.

Dare I mention Bobby Robson? I think he's getting a bit past it in terms of full-on club management but it is well documented that his network of UK and European contacts is immense. If not him, then there are other candidates like Roy Hodgson, Terry Venables or even the likes of Ruud Gullit or Claudio Ranieri who have a lot of nous in these matters.

Would it upset the balance of the club and cause problems for DM? Not necessarily, I actually wonder whether he would welcome the opportunity. I kinda get the feeling he knows damn well he's very short of experience in this area. If Moyes and the Board were to look at this option now, perhaps we could have a summer transfer window this is a lot more productive than the last one?
Tom Hadley, Hampshire, UK  (22/01/06)

I thought that had been suggested a couple of times before already — including Robson. IMHO, Robson is well past it, and it is something that Moyes would have to be comfortable with, obviously. And another massive salary would just gobble up the meagre £100k profit, sending the club plummeting down the D&T Top Twenty, so I just can't see it happening, I''m afraid. — Michael

I know Moyes isn't perfect
Michael, I am not saying that Moyes hasn't bought any duffers - Wright, Davies etc, but which manager hasn't, and just because we have little money shouldn't make it any worse than Benitez wasting 14m on Cisse and 7m on Morientes.

Do you not think that he would have been quite happy to wave goodbye to most of the out-of-contract players last season? BUT he had about £15M to spend and needed at least eight more players as it was. If Weir, Pistone, Kilbane, Carsley, Naysmith, Ferguson and Osman had all been released he would have needed 15 new players! How many quality players do you think he would have been able to bring in at an average of £1M per player - please tell me as you obviously have all the answers.

For the risk of repeating myself, until Moyes is sufficiently backed and is able to add players to a team rather than having to buy players to give us sufficient numbers then how can you judge him.

I totally agree that we are playing unattractive football, but I watch a lot of football and I can't really think of too many sides who play attractive football these days and I include methodical Chelsea in that. Maybe you were riveted by WBA and Sunderland this evening?

Finally, Hibbert and Cahill are suspended next week, Stubbs is cuptied. No doubt we will have some untried youngsters on the bench - again who's fault is that? If you can't answer that one try this one - Do you think David Moyes would rather have a squad the size of Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool etc or a small squad?
Jez Clein, Childwall  (21/01/06)

Now don't get uppity there, Jez. That squad size thing is a daft question and you know it. Your rationalization of decisions you percieve Moyes was, in effect, forced to make has no more weight (actually a lot less) than the more obvious failings many of his critics have documented here, that his defenders blythly ignore. Once again, I'm looking for balance here (and I took out all that stuff about other clubs because it's not relevant to Everton FC.)

And it is Moyes's fault, I believe, that the young benchwarmers are untried. Moyes has had plenty of chances to give some of the up-and-coming youngsters the opportunity to get their boots dirty in the Premiership. We have had plenty of injuries... what better chance to blood some youngsters? But the closest we have seen is Victor Anichebe as a last-minute change on the subs bench because Davies teaked his ankle again in the warm-up. They are part of the larger squad of professionals (according to the Everton Programme) that Moyes has available to him. If they really are no good, what better way to find out than throw them on as subs in the second half? — Michael

Radio 5 Live
Interesting to hear Jimmy Armfield's comments during the radio commentary today. According to the info he had overheard, Krøldrup was dumped as he could neither handle the physical pressure of Premiership football nor head the ball!
Tony Horne, Kettering  (21/1/06)

Krøldrup's inability to head the ball was mooted early on as a reason for the problem David Moyes was having with him. I know the aerial component of the game is a lot more important in the Premiership but do they really not head the ball over there in Italy? Seems impossible to believe he had become a classy defender in a top Italian club, and a Danish international, yet had got by without this fundamental ability. Quite remarkable if you ask me. Did he not have a good header on goal in his second and final game for Everton? I suppose proof of his inability to head the ball is the fact that he failed to score with this effort...

Frankly, I beleive a lot of this is rumour and spin put out to placate the fans. This stuff about him "not settling" falls into the same category. Now if they came out and said "The lad's attitude sucks and he really can't play football the way we want him to. He's become a bad apple to have moping around the dressing room, we really can't afford to keep him anyway since we got dumped out of Europe, so we are flogging him off for a loss that, miracle of miracles, is equal to the profit we just reaped on Marcus (nice back-header!) Bent..." But such honesty would apparently be far too much to expect. — Michael

No two games are the same
Back from the game and I have to say that my last post was wrong in as much that as I feared for our health versus Arsenal. But I did say no two games were the same and didn't it prove right as we comprehensivly beat the Gunners — which leaves me wondering why we don't do it more often? Do we really need to play against a top side to show we really care and perform?

If we can take that commitment into the rest of the games then we can survive and give us fans some hope. I was absolutly delighted with today's result and can't wait for the the Chelsea FA Cup tie, but what prioity will the manager put on it?. Hey could it be be that things are looking up and we may all have to to put a different hat on when writing in. I hope so.

Today my MotM was Tony Hibbert; who was yours? Who cares... we stuffed the Gunners and until the next in depth debate from the lounge I will glory in today and accept the quirkes of football will always elude me. See you Sat -- UP THE BLUES
Ken Buckley, Buckley  (21/1/06)

Priorities indeed. Our inept and souless performance against Man Utd in the 5th Round last year still sticks in my craw. A real test will be to see if the level of committment and intensity can be upped from today's excellent perofrmance... becasue that's what will be needed to dump Chelsea out of the Cup. — Michael

Get behind Moyes ....
We don't seem to realise how lucky we are to have David Moyes as a manager. I would guess that 75% of the Premiership would quite happily have him as their manager. The amount of stick David Moyes has taken for Per Krøldrup is quite shocking. Such a big thing is being made of taking a £2M hit, ignoring the fact that he has made a £2M profit on Marcus Bent. Sir Alex Ferguson took a £15m hit on Veron who also wasn't suited to the Premiership, and I'll be surprised if Liverpool don't take a £10M hit on Cisse.

Also do you think moyes wants to have the smallest squad in the Premiership? He has to subsidize the inability of this Board to provide any meaningful funds (and I don't include selling Rooney, Gravesen and Radzinski as the board providing Moyes with funds).

Moyes took us to 4th place, and even now we are only 2 points behind Man City who supposedly currently have the greatest manager in the league and we are above Boro, Newcastle and Birmingham (Steve Bruce by the way took a £2M hit on Pandiani in 6 months) all of who have consistently spent millions and millions. If Moyes had the money, he could do exactly what Martin Jol is doing and spend £4M on every 1st division English midfielder under 20 yrs old... but he hasn't so he can't. I'm sure if Moyes could offer £80k/week in wages to Edgar Davids he would but he can't so he doesn't.

The best phrase I read yesterday was that David Moyes has to firefight — that is absolutely spot on. Do you really think he would prefer to re-sign Pistone or would he prefer to buy Wayne Bridge for £8M?? Moyes has three centre halves (two of them top class) and needs cover for 3 weeks, what should he do? Spend £5M on a 3rd or 4th choice centre half or bring in someone he knows to do a job for 4 months? If big Sam had bought Stubbs it would have been a masterstroke

Anyway today's game — you know that Stubbs lad and Weir (both re-signed by Moyes) didn't do too badly against the £50M rated Henry and £20M Reyes. Ferrari prior to his injury looked top class as well (please remind me who signed him?). £1M Valente I thought looked class as well today now he has started to string a few games together. As for £2M Cahill and £2M Arteta — they seemed to dominate the midfield but then again they were only up against Pires, Ljungberg, Fabregas and Gilberto! And I thought Beattie gave both Campbell (England centre half by the way) and Senderos an absolutely torrid time mostly upfront on his own, just think if Moyes ever had any reasonable funds to buy him a partner. One goal from two chances for me is not a bad return.

All this from a squad of players who quite clearly don't want to play for the manager — remind me is it 26 pts from the last 15 games?

Soon Wyness will have a bigger squad of deputy CEO's than Moyes has players - who do you think is to blame - NOT THE MANAGER
Jez Clein, Childwall  (21/01/06)

Jez Clein: meet Dutch Schaeffer (see below). You two need to compare notes and come up with a unified theory about the value and quality of the current Everton squad, and where it came from.

Jez: riding on the back of a few recent wins to claim that Moyes is not to blame for any of our ills simply doesn't wash. We spent a whole frigging year (that is 2005) documenting plenty of shite that is down to him, and that he himself has admitted. Let's not start this revisionist historical rewrite bullshit, please. — Michael

Good Team Performance
A good all round TEAM performance with another MoM for Osman, just edging Beatie out in my opinion. Arsenal just did not get into the game much and when they did the team had it covered, albeit with a few slips. Could this be the road to Europe and the Cup Final? Too early to say but worth thinking about. Keep this up and maybe players will want to come to Everton.
Mike Hayes, Wirral  (21/1/2006)

Fantastic Win!
A fantastic win against Arsenal. I'm delighted and it's really made my day. That said, I hope the so-called-fans who spent the whole of this week slagging off Moyes don't take any joy from this victory because they don't deserve it. Moyes isn't perfect, sure he's made mistakes, but he took a rubbish Walter Smith side, unearthed some gems (Cahill/Yobo/Arteta), has qualified for the Champions League and won Manager of the Year twice!

We are a better side now then we have been for a long time and we continue to improve. Moyes is doing a good job and I doubt anyone could do better given the poor side he inherited and limited resources it his disposal. I'm angry at the fans who are always on his back and will be even more cross if any of you take any joy from today's result.
Dutch Schaeffer  (21/01/06)

You silly boy. Grow up. That attitude is totally stupid.

And how do you have the balls to claim, after nearly FOUR YEARS have gone by, that Moyes is still burdened by the team he inheritted from Wally??? He has signed or re-signed every single one of this squad, so that bollocks simply doesn't wash, Dutch.

Oh, and yes he qualified for the CL; he also failed miserably at the first hurdle, and failed miserably again in the Uefa Cup. Or have you conveniently forgotten that already? — Michael

Getting better
Right, then... all I want now is a couple of decent signings in attack and I just might be able to put 2005 down as a bad year. All you need to do Moyes, is hold out your hand, smile and say I would really like you to play for Everton. Does that sound so hard? Come on, Davey; you're starting to turn me back on to your side!
James Bundza, Notts  (21/1/06)

Do we want the same things?
The Moyes lovers are out in full force and are even challenging us to name a manager who could squeeze so much out of such a limited squad! Well, thats the point really... it's his expensively assembled bunch of rubbish in the first place!

Oh and just because many of us hate the football he has us playing and think he is way out of his depth at Everton, doesn't mean that we're not just as happy when we chisel out great results like today's. I'm still concerned about our safety, and just hope we can get out of the other end of this season without making it any more of a disaster and backward step than it alteady is.

Sorry to be a miserable sod on the day of a great victory, but the over-celebrators are contributing to the lowering of our standards and of what we should be expecting, IMHO!
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (21/1/06)

I'm with you all the way, Mike: another sensible contribution!

A good all-round performance today; hopefully now we can hold onto a little bit of consistency. Let's not get carried away with ourselves though and start going on about top six and Europe when relegation is still a possibility. Our results have swung one way and the other all season (crap run, good run, crap run, good run). I'll settle for mid-table right now considering the dire start to this campaign. Anything above that is an added bonus!

It was also extra nice to see the whole team pulling in the same direction, and I would say everyone played well. However, if Beattie had slotted that chance, fair comment to give him man of the match, but our two smallest players Hibbert and Osman deserve the most praise by far.

Best of all was the fantastic atmosphere at Goodison, Love it!
Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (21/1/06)

Persepctive incarnate: excellent post!

Lay off Now! — 2
Oh, ye of little faith!

What exactly ever pleases the Ed and his cronies? We've just beaten the bloody Arse, on the back of a good run — and still no smiles on your faces! Only happy when we're losing you lot - so you can snuggly say I told you so - BUT we won today and will be winning again - Alan Stubbs is back, it's a New Year — go on, smile, your face won't crack you know.

I'm with Richard Dodd on this one — lay off Moyes and the lads for bit — you never know, it might even help!
Sebastian St Clair, Harrogate  (21/1/06)

Yea, yea, whatever. All I ask for is a bit of perspective. We get one slew of knee-jerkers coming on when we loose, and we get another slew of knee-jerkers kicking in the opposite direction when we win. I'm sat in the middle here seeing both camps as over-reacting, clutching at the latest straw as proof of their respective viewpoints. As I have said numerous times below and in my Match Summary it was a great win and Beattie did really well with the goal... but Beattie as MotM??? Get a grip! — Michael

Only Better when Squad gets smaller
Strange but I think that Everton only play great when we start to sell players and the team gets smaller. Can anyone explain why is this the case?
Chung Mung Hong, Singapore  (21/1/06)

Err... Team spirit, perhaps? I can't imagine that the presence of Marcus Bent in training and in the dressing room can have been anything other than highly damaging to the spirit of the rest of the team... with the exception of Per Krøldrup, who was certainly not a happy camper either. Getting shut of these two, and bringing back a "true" Evertonian (Rooney advice notwithstanding) is likely to have produced a sea-change in attitude that could well have been a deciding factor in today's game...

On the other hand, this win did come on the back of a great sequence of results that were achieved with the marginally larger squad, despite the presence and sporadic involvement of those two players before they left. So analyzing cause and effect is never going to mean very much — the eternal mnystery of football. — Michael

Lay off NOW!
Now will you all lay off David Moyes? A truly fabulous win today, carefully planned and beautifully executed with a great goal by the man they love to hate, James Beattie! Believe me, Moyes knows what he`s doing-and has done so all along. Great managers and good players don`t suddenly lose it overnight and now we`re getting right back in the groove that brought so much success last year. Up to eleventh and with EVERY prospect of finishing in the top six, let`s just relish that situation and not be always covetting what others have got.

What a shrewd move it was to bring Stubbsy back and if David feels we need additional cover for Beattie, then I`ve no doubt he`ll do something about it — when it`s right to do so. I know that there are thousands of Evertonians who, just like me, never lost faith — what a pity a few more of them don`t bother to write to ToffeeWeb!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (21/1/06)

Sorry, Richard, but that kind of over-reaction to what was a great win does no-one any favours. "Great managers and good players don`t suddenly lose it overnight" — perhaps you chose to hibernate for the whole of 2005 and have woken up in 2006 to see an unprecedented sequence of results for Everton against all the odds? The great manager and his good players really did lose it big-time, and not just overnight but for months of unmitigated dross. You're attempt to re-write the awful history of 2005 at a stroke doesn't cut it, I'm afraid. Let's try to retain some perspective here: there is still an awful lot of work to be done, and we can still slide back down the table a lot more easily than getting into the top six. — Michael

Some people are so clueless!
How do some of you manage it, eh? Beattie has a Man of the Match performance today and people like Gavin still manage to riducule him over his weight! The guy is fitter than ever at the moment and I could see towards the end of the match today that he was running on empty for the TEAM.

If anyone else comes out today and has a go at Beattie then they must have been sitting with the sun in his eyes! I'm only 16 years old and even I could see over the season that Beattie's fitness has improved greatly. Why can't you cut the guy some slack? He scores as many goals as he can without a proven goalscorer playing off/with him.

It just annoys me so much that some fans are so blind to the fact that even when Beattie gives 100% in all his matches they expect more from him! I thought we were meant to be the fans who appreciated players who give everything they have in all our matches. I for will continue to praise Beattie for all his efforts. Yes, I know Beattie has his problems (sometimes blasting shots to Stanley Park for one!) but he also has so many good attributes he brings to the team. Please get behind Beattie and when we get a proven goalscorer to play with him up-front he'll become even better.
John  Roberts, Scunthorpe  (21/1/06)

Sorry, lad, but I think you're off base. Beattie did exceptionally well for the goal but that was about it. He is still too fat and too slow for a Premiership striker, although he did well to anticipate that backpass but spoilt it farcically with that stupid first-time poke. The miss was utterly woeful, and explains in glaring clarity exactly why we have so few goals. He wants the ball to feet, and he was too often playing way too deep such that we had no target man in the box.

Yes, he's the best striker we have and yes, he's doing his best. But it's still not very good overall... and it's definitely not worth £6M. It's your choice if you want to praise Beattie for all his efforts, but you need to respect the choice of others who know he needs to be achieving a lot more if he is to really make the grade at Everton. — Michael

Just to give another editorial angle I'd like to add that not all the ToffeeWeb staff are as cynical about James Beattie as my good buddy, Michael. Every time I've seen James Beattie in the flesh this season, and also on TV, he looks interested, tracks back and gets involved. As you say, he would really benefit from somebody playing off him and, in my opinion, is often a victim of his own enthusiasm by chasing balls which pull him out of the position in which he's needed. Personally I think that Beattie is the best centre-forward we've seen at Everton in many-a-year but would really benefit from a Marian Pahars type player alongside him. - Garry

Full Circle
First of all, kudos and well done!! Beating an on-song Arsenal team is not an easy thing to do. Doing so without your best player (in Yobo) is doubly difficult. But that is exactly what the lads have done today.

So many gripes about Moyes's handling of the Kroldrup saga... Agreed that a whole lot of fuss might have been avoided by some proactive due diligence; however, I am not convinced that we know the whole story yet (or we ever will). Time to put this all behind us now (yeah, I know a £2M loss is not very easy to put behind us) but do we really know the whole story?

Just a little question for all Moyes bashers: before you sack Moyes, can you name ONE contemporary manager, that could take this current squad and get them to do what they did today?
Bsd Lover, Sydney, Australia  (22/01/06)

Broken dreams
I dreamt last night I asked a friend what the score from the Everton vs Arsenal game was. She said it was Everton 1, Arsenal 2213! I queried this with her and she said no, you misunderstand. Add 2+2+3+1 and you get 8. So, I thought, we let in one more than last season (and 'Boro last week) but at least we scored, although I suppose this will mean Davey is on his way!

What a miserable, snivelling, negative so-and-so I was.

Six games undefeated and Arsenal vanquished. So can we get behind the lads now?! Chelsea in the cup, bring em on!
Chris Jones, Wakefield  (21/1/06)

Beginning of the end?
Earlier this week, several postings suggested that Everton`s finances were no longer in the shape they appeared to be at the end of their financial year-last May. Has anyone extended that opinion to postulate that given the appalling waste of the money made available last summer, the Board have now seen the light with Moyes and have pulled up the drawbridge on further spending? Maybe, just maybe, Kenness have said `enough is enough, if you don`t think Krøldrup can play, get rid — we need the money, and Bent wants away so ditto!`

Being very hard-nosed — and about bloody time — perhaps he`s been told that, as there is no longer much fear of relegation, what have we to gain by paying over the odds for players at this time?

I do realise that all this is pure speculation but if none of us would send Moyes to buy a half-time cup of tea, why should his masters think any differently? It just could be the beginning of the end for Mr Moyes. Here comes summer!
Brent Davis, Mere  (21/1/06)

Home to roost!
All the recent postings have reiterated what I've been saying for over a year... Moyes is clueless in the transfer market and is clearly a person that just doesn't make players want to come to us. He seems dour, unable to relate to skill players and, to be honest, if you were good enough to play in the Premiership, would you want to play for him? Even as an Evertonian, unless I had few other options I don't think I would.

It's not just his lack of likeability and man-management; I think one of the main reasons we are the pariahs of the Premiership is the appalling football we play. I'm sick to my stomach of the total shite that's served up every week; even if we scrape out results, there has not been one single performance this entire season, that you could be proud of.

The 'style' of play, his shocking disregard to the importance of pace, his unpopularity and poor man-management, and his comical lack of nous in the transfer market... Wright, Beattie, Davies, Krøldrup, Pistone, Naysmith etc, make him a complete and utter liability to everyone connected to Everton Football Club — from the fans to a number of the players to the shareholders.

Our future is grey, and quite possibly black until he goes....and yes I know, 'he's going nowhere'...yet.
Mike Price, Songkhla, Thailand  (21/1/06)

Am I the only one who thinks that Simon Davies has been a decent acquisition and will be a very good signing if we can improve our standard of football? Lyndon

Yes... you are! — Michael

Responses to a few points
Just a few personal views in response to some recent postings — Steve McBride, well written as a pro-Moyes stance but, as has been posted many times in the past, bidding over the odds in a one or two horse race for dubious or unknown quality - Simon Davies, Beattie (unfit and overweight) and Per Krøldrup (unseen), especially Krøldrup when Agger would have been cheaper.

Ashton was overlooked through ponderance and anyone that went to the Everton v Crewe cup game saw him stroll through the Everton defence, so the untried against top flight just wouldn't wash. Yes, you can take a bath on some untried players but a Catch-22 example would be Bobby Zamora; very poor at Spurs but returns with West Ham older wiser and shows he can score in the Premier League.

Sidwell at Reading now voted twice as the best player in the Championship with an inflated price tag which we may once have been able to afford first time around.

It's the club scouts and manager's job to scout, shortlist and select targets then up to the chairman and money men to agree the budget available. None of this appears to happen at Goodison anymore; we see last-minute panic buys at over-inflated prices, no movement at all, or Billy Liar's favourite: phantom bids.

Other postings calling for the likes of Hasselbaink, erm even fat boy Beattie has scored more goals than Jimmy the mercenary so no thanks - Kev Sparke would put this one in the bread-head category for sure. As for even mentioning Sourness, a quick thought for you: he is reputedly paying Emre and Parker £60k+ a week, the golden council estate escapee is reportedly paid £50k a week; go figure! A manager who pays a player's worth and one that spends in a desperate attempt to save his job — when did Newcastle last win anything?
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (20/1/06)

Money to burn
This is to state the obvious, but have we as a club just blown two million pounds? We never had Kroldrup's services, so we can't say that the 2 million lost can be divided between the games he has played. We really have blown 2 million pounds in 6 months on nothing!!

It's an absoloute disgrace when you think what two million pounds could do in the real world. In fact it makes me wonder did we sell Bent for 2 million or was that just a convenient ploy to say "look everyone we lost 2 mill on Per but made it back on Marcus".

No matter what way you look at it, if any person makes that sort of money just dissappear on nothing then they should be hung.
Paul  Coleman, Kettering  (20/1/06)

I think it might be a mistake to get too hung up on the numbers, to be honest. Firstly, there is no verification of these transfer fees so, as someone has initmated, they could well be made up to appease the fans (although not in your case!). And even if true, we mere mortals have no real idea how they are actually paid, what the conditions and requirements are, the payment schedule, etc. Michael

Great Expectations?
Reading through recent posts, I remind myself: 1. Moyes is going nowhere; 2. We've got no money 3. We are now only a big club in support and tradition and are likely to remain so without serious, Abramovich-like, investment. Sad, but true.

So, with this in mind, looking at our January transfer window activity, yes it's not good in terms of what Evertonians expect in their hearts (what is these days?) but it's surely not that bad put in context?

1. We make an unexpected, fantastic profit on a striker who lacked finish and whose 'heart and soul' for the cause was on the wane at best.

2. We cut our losses on a defender who: wasn't fancied, was a crock, couldn't head, didn't want to train or for whatever reason just wasn't right, and ship him back to Serie A while his reputation there still held some stock. Moyes has admitted Per was a mistake and hopefully lessons have been learned. Nonetheless, its safe to say it probably won't be Moyes's last mistake either but you can go through probably every manager in the Premiership and find a number of transfer mistakes for each.

3. We get in a proven Evertonian, who's swallowed humble pie and therefore has something to prove, and will give his defensive all for the cause on a short-term basis until the end of the season. Remember, Stubbsy had been offered a year so would have been here anyway if it hadn't been for the contract issue, so what's the big deal? I'd concede that going back for Pistone was embarrassing because we clearly, and rightly in my view, didn't want him; but this is different with Stubbs!

If a reasonably able and priced striking option is added (although I'm still not holding my breath!), for me this transfer window will have been as good as could reasonably have been expected.
Mike Murray, Kent  (20/12/05)

A Bent in the hand is worth a lot in the bush
I have had enough of Moyes's transfer policy, selling players when he knows no one is available to take their place is at best reckless gambling. Moyes's transfer activity should be frozen immediately. Is he mentally ill? What use is money when no one will touch us with a bargepole? A transfer kitty is worthless to us as we are the lepers of the Premiership. Players are worth far more than dosh in the bank which obviously won't be spent. Moyes stated publicly BEFORE he sold Bent & Kroldrup that he thought it would be nigh on impossible to sign anyone — so why did he sell them? Who cares about the tidy profit we made on Bent? A striker in the hand is worth 10 in the bush.
Ed Bottomley, Michigan, USA  (20/1/06)

I agree that he shouldn't have sold Bent without having anyone lined up to replace him, but a wholly disinterested striker isn't worth much at all.

Why So Angry?
I really don't get all this anger towards Mr Moyes, it's like fans take it as a personal insult because Moyes has not yet signed a striker. If Moyes says there are no suitable strikers available then we have to accept that. Moyes is the manager and he makes the decisions. Why should he be forced into purchasing a striker who he feels isn't good enough (Trundle), or too old (Viduka/Hasslebaink), or overpriced (Ashton/Nugent), just to keep the fans happy? Moyes should keep what little money we have and wait until a striker is available who Moyes does rate. I remember a couple of years ago the fans got onto Moyes about buying a striker and so he made a last minute dash and signed Jeffers and McFadden, neither of those deals worked out, did they, so why make that mistake again?
Dutch Schaeffer  (20/1/06)

It all comes down to scouting. The domestic leagues are easy because they're familiar and accessible, but they hideously over-priced. There have to be suitable players out there in a world full of footballers; it's time we looked further afield than the same old, same old. Lyndon

Good God
I woke this morning desperate for news on our potential new signings. Jesus, you couldn't make it up! Ferrari will now be dropped to give Weir and Stubbs the chance to fulfill their potential. No plan, no stategy, they're making fools of us all!
Greg James, Liverpool  (20/1/06)

In response to Tommy Caldwell:
Are you off your rocker?! Beattie has been vital in most of our games this season. He gives 100% each match and even chases after hopeless punts from the back by the likes of Tony Hibbert. He will hold the ball up for us and tries to play the ball around the pitch as best as possible. So will you get off his back, please! Of course, he hasn't scored many goals this season but do you blame him if he doesn't even have a half-decent striker to partner with him? Yes, he does sometimes tend to blast some of his shots but in this position who would you rather have as your lone striker? An uninterested Bent or a player with a "never give up attitude" like Beattie? I know who I'd choose.
Andy Stewart, Peebles  (20/1/06)

Let's remember none of this is Stubbs's fault; he is a good lad and one of us. You have to say Moyes doesn't know what he is doing. A client called me today to say he saw Viduka getting into an official-looking car from Speke airport; so glad Moyes distanced himself from that one. Mark must be on his way to Prenton Park then. I also see we chose not to take Anelka as he was not the right man for the club, after Nik himself had asked his representatives to approach Everton, erm...
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (20/1/06)

"One of us"? Alan Stubbs's role in Wayne Rooney's departure forever tainted him in my eyes.

Question of style
A last comment on Per and request for help, please. Borsen Sports Pages say today that Per left Everton because the coaches did not like his style. He had been taught to play to feet (more Ferdinand than Terry) but Everton style was very direct to opposition half and they could not get him to change. If that is so we think you should have signed Daniel Agger who favours that style and has gone to Liverpool. He was also less money. Will you forgive us for adding Danny to the list we follow and have you a sister site at Liverpool we can log on to? Good wishes from all friends in football in Copenhagen.
Soren Jensen, Copenhagen  (20/1/06)

Most people realised we'd signed the wrong Danish defender when Agger put in that great performance for Denmark against England last year. We were heavily rumoured to have held talks with Agger last summer but, sadly, nothing came of it. And, no, we don't have a sister site for that rabble, ugly or otherwise. Lyndon

Last-Minute Shopping!
Considering we're two thirds of the way through the January sales, it now seems most likely that Moyes is holding off until the last minute before attempting to secure a strike partner for Beattie. This tactic can be beneficial as prices and wage demands may lower, but it's also playing with fire. Everyone is fully aware that we need a striker with pace, and preferably one that's proven in the goalscoring department. My first choice would be Andy Johnson, but I think it unlikely that Crystal Palace would allow his departure whilst sitting five points inside the play off positions.

Moyes has stated publicly that he's tried every name that any of us can think of to no avail. A comment like this is solid proof of the lack of proper scouting and pre-planning by Moyes and his staff, and the departure of £5m, 2-game man Krøldrup only underlines this point further.

The other problem with strikers is they tend to be the most tempramental and outspoken players in most squads. Maybe this is a result of pressure for goal returns, and everyone knowing they are usually the highest earners, but whatever the reason, and not only under Moyes, Everton FC have struggled to find a reliable (nevermind proloific) striker for far too long!

I hope that David Moyes can make me eat these words in the coming 10 days.
Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (20/1/06)

The closer we got to the August 31st deadline last year, the higher the prices seemed to go, so I'm not sure Moyes can count on that strategy working this time. Lyndon

I see we resigned Stubbsy today and got shut of Per, at a loss. It doesn't send out a very positive message, does it? However, with Yobo and Ferrari as first choicers I suppose Weir and Stubbs as back up isn't bad.

The bit that got to me, though, was the manager's explanation of his reasons for letting Per go. I just don't buy that. After watching him many times in Italy and for Denmark he signs him for good money then says he can't hack the Premiership. I just can't believe Moyes is that far off the mark with his scouting acumen. Maybe Tony can get a view on it from the lounge as there is a right story to be heard about this. Let's hope for a good display tomorrow. UP THE BLUES
Ken Buckley, Buckley  (20/1/06)

Yea, Tony, this is your mission: Get us the REAL skinny on this mystery from your mates in the lounges. — Michael

Dave's Dane Dealing
Fair enough – the Krøldrup saga has been a bit of a disaster, but why people feel the need to beat Moyes, by far the best manager we’ve had since Howard Kendall the first, over the head with it, is beyond me. Every manager has a bad transfer every now and then; in fact I’d go as far to say that the majority of transfers don’t work out too well. Each player bought amounts to a massive gamble on the part of the club and player.

For every Nigel Martyn, there’s a Richard Wright; for every Cahill a McFadden. Unfortunately for Moyes, the fact that funds are so tight at Everton means that he has to be especially careful with what’s available. Whereas Wenger can go out and buy half of the French youth team (they have 39 players in their first team squad), on a good day Moyes has eighteen players, tops, to choose from.

If Wenger buys ten players and just one of them makes the first team then he’s a genius. If Moyes buys one dud in three then he’s earmarked for crucifixion… out of the door, one cross each, line on the left.... If you add to that the fact that we simply can’t afford to pay the high transfer fees and wages demanded by the top targets then we are always going to struggle to attract the quantity and quality of players to compete against the top clubs in the league.

At this point I hear you ask: “Aha, but what about so-and-so or what’s-his-name?” But I ask you, just look at the top targets Moyes has ‘missed out’ on during the last year or so, what’s become of them? In the summer we were looking at Forssell – he’s played about three games all season; Earnshaw — can’t even get a game for WBA; Owen, Emre and Parker — all struggling at Newcastle for form and fitness; Darren Bent — the exception that proves the rule, i.e. that the transfer market is a massive gamble, a gamble Everton can ill afford to lose. And even when a transfer is a success, for example Dean Ashton, it doesn’t necessarily mean success for the team. Would you swap David Moyes for the likes of Frank Worthington, Steve Bruce or Graeme Souness, managers who are supposedly more dynamic in the transfer market; managers who regularly ‘beat’ Moyes to players’ signatures?

The point I’m trying to make is that the transfer business is a difficult and unpredictable one to be in, you have to rely on gut instinct and, more importantly, luck; and even when you get it right, there’s no guarantee it will bring success on the pitch. Moyes may appear to be ponderous, but he’s certainly not stupid. He’s honest, hardworking and has the best interests of the club at heart and even on the budget he’s had, he’s still managed to unearth a couple of absolute gems.
Steve McBride, London  (20/1/06)

You make some good points, Steve. For Parker and, probably Emre as well, I would say that he is suffering from playing under an abysmal manager; Owen has done pretty well under the same circumstances but he was always injury prone; Forssell's form is probably down to the condition of his knee (the one that killed his move to us).

And while Wenger has spent big money in some areas, he has also drafted in a lot of talented young players that didn't cost the earth. He benefited from his nationality and his knowledge of the French scene, but it proves that there is talent out there if you've got the scouting network in place to capitalise. We clearly don't; we tend to buy from the domestic leagues, players playing abroad who have played in the domestic leagues, or players with bad injury records that other clubs are eager to get shot of.

We should look at the way Martin Jol has been buying up talent at varying prices while we've been frittering away £25M on players of suspect caibre and injury records. Lyndon

Matteo's one of us
Wasn't it nice that, on today of all black days in the life of EFC fans, Matteo Ferrari decided, purely of his own volition, to commit his future to the club?... I wonder if Wyness bribed him or threatened him for that soundbite. Probably big Keith threatened him that EFC would actually try to buy him unless he came out today and declared that he wanted to sign! Like in Catch-22: the only way out is to claim that you are insane, but anyone who claims their insanity must be sane to want to out. This is Everton.
Ted Turner, Nottingham  (20/1/06)

Tut, tut....such unfounded cynicism!! - Colm

A Player SIGNS!!!
Get in we've signed a player!!!

Please be a striker... please be a striker - er, no... another defender - and he's fairly old... oh and we did have him anyway last season.

To be fair, I am quite glad that we've got Stubbs back and do rate him. Good we've covered the Yobo absence... but then it looks pretty definite that we are losing Kroldrop - so actually we haven't. We've simply lost a million quid odd getting rid of a 26-year-old and bringing in a 34-year-old. Jesus wept!
Chad Schofield, Cirencester  (20/1/06)

In a way I'm glad we've sold Koldorp as his name causes confusion amongst Evertonians, unable to spell his surname. Stubs is so much easier. - Colm

Where to, Guv?
I had that Davie Moyes fella and Billy Kenshight in the cab the other night.

"Where are you going boys?" I asked;

"Nowhere" was the joint reply.

"Where are Everton going?" I countered.

"Just a bit further along and then down the pan, please" they wagged.

Calling international rescue!!
Wayne O'Rourke, ToffeeCabs  (20/1/06)

Enough is enough
I am sick of us being a laughing stock!! Until Moyes goes and takes Kenwrong with him, my humble money will not be given to Everton. The man is a joke, Kenwright is a joke, our transfer policy is a joke...just fuck off back to Preston before you take us down.

For the IMWT brigade — we are not out of the woods yet and our annual drubbing against Arsenal and defeat against Chelsea will signal yet another crisis of confidence.

On the bright side - we have now reunited the quickest central defensive pairing in the Premier League... oh sorry — that was a joke!
Russ Kavanagh, Cheshire  (20/1/06)

And news hot in off the Euro Lotto numbers did not come up trumps, so there goes my dastardly plan to buy Billy's train set. For another week anyway.... - Colm

Smelling of roses......
For some reason the words 'piss up' and 'brewery' come to mind, as well as 'one leg' and 'arse kicking contest'! When the reports came through about us signing Krøldrup in the summer it did come as a shock as many of us had never heard of him, still fourth in the Italian league and a regular in the Denmark national side so he can't be a bad signing. So how come we've sold the guy after giving him less than two matches?

Not that I have anything against Alan Stubbs either, in fact I was quite pleased when he signed from Celtic, but he is in his mid 30's and any pace he had left him long ago. Does the club have this never ending urge to constantly show itself up on a regular basis? Something is starting to smell at Goodison and a new coat of paint won't cover it up this time.

This season is another to write off and go back to the drawing board. If we struggled to get in 'the players we wanted' last year when we could sell the possibility of playing Champions League football, then what have we got to offer next summer?

Message to the Board. 'Get a decent striker in pronto!' Nugent from Preston would be a good place to start.
Adam Carey, Berkshire  (20/1/06)

I've been hearing for a good while now that Nugent's a done deal. Time will tell... - Colm

Cue Roy Orbison....
For the younger readers of the ToffeeWeb Malbag... Roy Orbison was a singer in the 60s... you know... when Everton were something! By no means ever presents in the trophy winning stakes, one thing was absolutely permanent throughout this period: we had class; class in how we presented ourselves to the football world.

Look at the debacle now. I never wish to be personal...but Stubbs? I see the banner picture shows Moyes bolwing a celebratory kiss. Well I can only guess that he is kissing goodbye to the last vestige of respect he might have still had amongst many Evertonians.

Not blindly anti-Moyes, I have on occasion had a degree of sympathy for him. The Champions League draw for one was particularly cruel. However, you have to now say that he is doing himself no favours whatsoever and deserves the resulting derision. I have for a while now firmly believed that he is not the man for the long-term. However, (I do not wish to re-open old wounds) unlike Mr Marsh I do not believe in bulleting someone without a contingency being in place.W e just have to look at this sorry saga to see the damage that can cause. His time however is up. He should be replaced in the summer. But I fear he will not as he is Kenwright's linchpin.

Finally, there was an interesting article by Steve Guy regarding our (poor) media profile. I responded stating that we had to be brutally honest and look inwardly at how we conduct ourselves as a club. If proof were needed as to why the club's chronic image poblem gives rise to it being viewed as a laughing stock... this without doubt is it.
James  McPherson, Liverpool  (20/1/06)

Nice composed mail, Sir! Same message as that of Mr Marsh, mind you. As for our poor media profile - needless to say you'll not be surprised to hear that the Club seriously refute those claims. Even when made by journalists!! (Hi Ian!) - Colm

Oh dear
Scary what mistakes you can make in football and still be safe. But lets not make the mistake of Peter Lovenkrands, hated by Rangers fans who have only assumed he has something on McLeish. Just don't even think about him.
Pat  Ahern, Cheshire  (20/01/06)

Per Kroldrup
So Davie has decided to sell Krøldrup. The lad has only played just over two hours of Premiership football, and Moyes is prepared to take a loss of £1.5M. Give the lad a chance! Yobo is at the ANC for a few weeks, so here is his chance to get a run in the side alonside Ferrari. Why not let him get a few matches under his belt and then judge him? If not then we can sell him in the summer.

Stubbs should just be a deputy to fill in if there are any injuries. He can't play every match until May!

Moyes, go and sign Hasselbaink and Lovenkrands on free transfers, and see what they can do. We can afford to pay Hasselbaink's wages if we aren't paying a transfer fee.
Robert Makewait, Cheshire  (20/1/06)

I take it then that you have access to Everton's financial wealth then? - Colm

The buck doesn't stop...
I'm sorry but like everyone else I can't fathom what Everton's transfer policy is — which must leave us with the conclusion that there isn't one. The one constant that seems to run through every area of the club. I'd love to add more, to spell out my frustration but I'm speechless. I've never seen or heard anything like it. I can only give thanks that I'm a drinking man. Perhaps I'm not the only one taking the piss... but who is taking the responsibility?
Thommo Pondwell  (20/1/06)

Moyes Explains
So Moyes has admitted on the EFC website he made a mistake in buying Krøldrup. He deserves a bit of respect for this but it doesn't stop me thinking he is still a twat for not doing his homework properly which has cost us around £1M - £1.5M. What professional in any walk of life would risk £5M on something they were not sure about? It's been embarrassing for the club again.

I hope he is brave enough to also admit he made a mistake in buying Beattie; I would take £4mil for him right now. I know you want us to be positive, but that’s the best I could do.
Tommy Caldwell, London  (20/1/06)

Nice try! :)

Decisions, Decisions
So, he's actually made a decision. He's decided that Krøldrup isn't good enough. It takes a bold man to admit to an expensive mistake, so I take my hat off the the 'Moyesiah'. He's also admitted we need a pacy striker — perhaps he'll make the bold decision to buy one. Apparently that's part of the job description — to source, buy and manage players that improve your team.

By the way, here's a message to all the IMWT brigade who like to hurl abuse at us non-believers: We all support Everton, we all want Everton to succeed. Some of us happen to think that there's more to managing Everton than spending £20 million to mix boring 1-0 wins through deflected goals with 4-0 hammerings by mediocre opposition.

Four years into his reign, it would be good if somebody from the IMWT camp, or even the club, actually explained the great man's transfer strategy, his playing tactics and some positive reasons for keeping him as manager beyond this season.

I know he's going nowhere, neither are we. In my business I like to make informed decisions. Let's have some information!
Paul Tran, Kendal  (20/1/06)

If you can't do your job, get someone who can!
I have watched eargerly over the past 19 days hoping that Moyes would eventually pull his finger out and strengthen our squad. It has taken him until today to make a move... however, strengthen? I wouldn't call it that. The sale of Per Krøldrup somewhat confuses me since Everton have had a leaky defence all season; at the age of 25 he still has years of quality left in him. But no, we sold him for a 'small loss', and brought in veteran defender Alam Stubbs.

No offence to Stubbs — he was been a rock to Everton when we needed it, but he is 35. If anything he should have been brought into our existing team, also keeping Per. But my main concern is the strike force. Beattie having found a bit of form lately has found himself with nobody to play with. I think it's time to say Moyes, You cant sign players, you can't sell players, we're bring in a sporting director to help you out, or you're going to ruin our team.
Simon Evans, MIlton Keynes  (19/1/06)

Pathetic, embarrassing...
Pathetic, embarrassing, ludicrous, pointless. Choose any adjective you like to describe Everton's decision to re-sign Alan stubbs, but it all adds up to the same thing; the club have made a holy show of themselves... again.

At the end of last season, Stubbs looked finished to me, and I was relieved when he left, if only for the sake of his own dignity. To bring him back now only highlights the utter bankruptcy of ideas from our manager. David Moyes has also now sold another defender at a loss £2 million six months after signing him. In any other walk of life someone would lose their job for such incompetence, but not our Davy.

On the back of a few narrow wins against poor opposition Moyes will be able to hang onto his job for a little longer. But Evertonians like me have seen Moyes for what he is, which is a man hopelessly out of his depth. In fact, all the words I used at the beginning describing the move to bring back Stubbs to Everton could easily apply to the manager himself.
Gaz Hughes, Liverpool  (20/1/06)

Final, final, final straw for Moyes
How many final straws does it take? I thought it was the failure to sign a striker in the summer, but no. Then there were the drubbings by Bucharest, WBA, Bolton and Aston Villa. Now we've lost £2M in 6 months on one of our "star signings" and all Davey can do is re-sign a player who was past his sell by date at the end of last season. Building for the future? Heaven help us. The camel's back is now well and truly broken. Clear off Davey, you've lost the plot.
Rodger Armstrong, London  (20/1/06)

Err.. Complete this tried and tested saying: "David Moyes is going ..."

Stubbs and Weir
I can't believe it. Stubbs and Weir together again at the heart of our defence. Thierry Henry and every Premiership striker must be really worried now!

Can the management of this club really get any worse? How much deeper are the depths that they have brought us to going to get? What appeared to be a decent young defender sold and an ageing, slow and mistake-ridden replacement brought in. And please, spare me the cries regarding Stubbs of, 'Well at least he's a blue!' — it didn't seem to stop him slagging us off in the summer!
Rob Williamson, Sheffield  (20/1/06)

10 steps back
Alan fucking Stubbs! Why can't we do anything right? Stubbs was a good player for us, the time was right to let him go when we did! Pistone was a mistake to re-sign and now this! You can't tell me there isn't a younger defender of equal ability who isnt available! Fair enough he had to make a quick swoop to cover Krøldrup but this is rediculous, Tony Marsh is gonna piss himself when he hears about this.

As far as a striker is concerned we may as well give up on that as well, Nugent is a good player but it is too much to put a burden like ours on a player who is untested at the top flight. Bill and Moyesey should take a long hard look at themselve once this season is over. Is Bill Kenwright allowing Moyes to become too complacent? A good chairman should be pushing his manager to get more out of the players, not accepting poor shows because 'we have the best young manager around', this attitude is starting to wear thin, I wish we would start protesting at games to get Kenwright out, its drastic action but the fella ain't got the cash to run us properly.
Mike Mulhall, Portsmouth  (20/1/06)

You wouldn't belive it if it was in a comic
I turned my computer on this morning and couldn't believe what I saw. ALAN STUBBS returning to Everton! Yes I understand the facts about Krøldrup (couldn't head the ball, couldnt fit in, blah blah) but by going and getting Stubbs as a replacement actually sums up exactly what this club is at the moment. A fucking embarrassment. Whilst other teams go and sign young players with one eye on the future, we offer contracts to two players that we deemed 'Not Good Enough' in the summer (and one who helped Rooney escape from Goodison).

I lay the blame firmly at Moyes door for this. He must have known that Krøldrup was leaving for whatever reason. Why on earth did he not have a replacement lined up?? I'm not saying centre halves grow on trees, but surely he could have found somebody? We are a Premiership club for crying out loud, surely we have the means to find a bloody player.

I'm not an absolute Moyes hater, but his transfer skills are lousy. He couldn't attract a fly to shit. Unless of course the fly is 40-years-old and he'd just chased it out the window a couple of months before. Absolutely despondent.
Steve Boileau, Liverpool  (20/1/06)

Come on, now; try to be... Oh never mind.

Blue Farce
We have decended into the realm of farce by signing Stubbs. I have no wish to join the anti-Moyes campaign but the latest moves in the transfer market leave you wondering are we a club that is more interested in getting money in than spending to improve the team? Sadly, the answer appears to be yes.
George Carroll, Bramhall  (20/1/06)

Yes. That sounds positive... Oh wait...

Stubbsy in, Striker still needed.
So Stubbs has apologised to us Evertonians, according to the "official" website, about the way he handled things upon his departure to Sunderland. Seems like a manufactured apology put out there to appease the fans that think bringing him back is a bad idea. I myself wish he had never left because he is a born leader, true blue and as he showed last season he's not a bad defender either. Now get your finger out Moyesy and get a striker in, and when I say striker i don't mean that 17-stone Aussie from Teesside, FFS! If Viduka signs for Everton I'll jump out of my office window and cut my throat on the way down, I promise you!!!

If we've got around £6M or £7M now after selling Bent and Krøldrup surely we should be looking at someone better than Mark Viduka, Robert Earnshaw or Lee Trundle?!! That Leroy Lita has got potential; Peter Lovenkrands is an international who's been scoring in the Champions League; and why not try again for Andy Johnson? These are players we should be looking at rather than Middlesboro's and West Brom's cast offs.
Ryan Jones, Preston  (20/01/06)

Good; you're at leat trying to be positive. I like it! — Michael

What is going on?
Forgive me for being cynical but effectively swapping a 25-year-old Krøldrup for a 35-year-old Stubbs fills me with sadness, regret and furious anger. What is going on at Goodison these days? Our forward line was weak enough before we sold Bent so where are the reinforcements we were promised? We play Arsenal and Chelsea next and I am fairly sure we are about to get the drubbings we deserve. David Moyes seriously needs to get his arse into gear, while everyone else strengthens we are selling.
Stephen Burton, Belfast  (20/1/06)

Please look at the positives. Alan Stubbs brings back a wealth of experience. — Michael

Financial Trouble
Call me cynical but the goings on since this transfer window began stink of one thing.... financial problems. Alas, our Chairman has a mouthpiece in Mr Moyes. (Alan Stubbs... are you having a laugh!!!)

I, along with I expect 7,000 others, will not renew my season ticket next year.... due to a club not matching my ambitions. I will be voting with my feet, until the Chairman leaves his posistion. Kenwright Out!!!
Bobby Dempster, Huyton  (20/1/06)

Please look at the positives. We made a profit, and are now ranked among the elite in the D&T Top Twenty. How can we possibly have financial problems? — Michael

Have just read on the official website Wyness confirming that Stubbs comes back to Goodison by end of today! THAT'S IT!!!!!!!!!!!! I HOPE THIS CLUB GOES DOWN!!!! PERHAPS THAT'S THE ONLY THING THAT'LL WAKE UP THE @#$%^!!!! WHO RUN IT.
Noleen Daya, Cape Town, South Africa  (20/1/06)

Come on now, Noleen: he never should have left. They are just righting a wrong. Try to be positive. — Michael

What a shambles
David Moyes should be compelled to tell us, the fans, who pay his wages exactly what went on with Per Kroldrup. Admit you made a fucking huge mistake Davey, and whilst you're at it own up to a few of the other horrendous decisions you have made all of which have cost this club dearly.

A few recent results aside, we have been diabolical all season and for the second half of last season. As I can see, we have made no improvement on or off the playing field since January of 2005. A few 1-0's get pulled out of the hat and the exits of 3 cup competitions at the first hurdle, 4-0 drubbings to Aston Villa and Bolton, a £5M flop defender, a £6M flop striker et al are forgotten about.

I am a season ticket holder and will remain so, but as a paying fan I am entitled to my opinion. Mine is that this man simply is not good enough to be Everton manager. His 'achievements' are matched by his unwanted records which he has broken since he come here. He is naive and the man is a liability in the transfer market, proven. I just wonder how much of our depleted pot he will get to squander on more shite. I mean, a 34-year-old defender has had to be bought back to 'bolster' the squad. Fucking hell, why am I even writing this... joke.
Phil Burkert, Liverpool  (20/1/06)

Come on now, Phil: it is pretty bad, but try to be positive. We've got a big game tomorrow. — Michael

The final straw
Following last night's revelations that Krøldrup is off, further reducing our wafer thin squad, I read that Stubbs has been allowed to return, and for me this could well be the final straw for any form of support I will offer DM and Billy Liar. How can we contemplate let alone sanction the return of an aging crap player who the bottom team in the league - by a country mile - didn't want? What sort of message does that send out? He's old, slow, can't head a ball and we did right by getting rid of him last year. No matter how good or bad he may have been, the plain fact is that he was finished in the top flight. This smacks of panic, mis-management and piss-poor judgement. If the return of a 30-something has-been is seen as progress or development for our club then I'm sorry but I must have been brought up not in the tradition of Everton FC but that of Mickey Mouse United.

Moyes and Kenwright, you have lost all credibility in my eyes and I am no behind-the-goal ranter and raver. I'd like to think that after 40 years of watching and supporting as well as playing at a decent semi-pro level, I have a reasonable understanding of football. What this does is destroy all faith I have in either of you being able to lead this great club forward — sadly this shows to me you have both lost the plot and having never previously called for anyone's head I do so now with both of you.

Jim Hourigan, Preston  (20/1/06)

And not one jot of difference will your ranting make.

What is going on!
At the start of this week, our depleated team was in dire need of strengthening in two areas, attack and defence. It's not rocket science: we are one of the lowest-scoring teams in Europe and we've gained an annoying habbit of getting stuffed 4-0 by crap teams. There is barely a position on the field we can fill with a direct replacement if needed. So what do we do? sell a striker and a defender, common sense!!!!! By the end of the season I wouldn't be surprised if Phil Neville has had a stint in goal.

After last season, a big club like Everton should have built on that success, but it's one step forward, two steps back and no doubt there will be some more record-breaking embarrassments around the corner. It is plain to see all the talk about signing players like Owen was pure lies to keep us sweet, where did that money go? Did the gas bill come in Bill? It's about time someone at the club stopped treating us like mugs and told what the hell is going on! I'm not even going to get started on the Krøldrup fiasco.
Scott Graham, Carlisle  (20/1/06)

Danish Superstar Defender!!
If Moyes thinks that Krøldrup is just not good enough to be given a chance in the Everton team then I see no point in holding on to him. In fact it's probably quite sensible to get rid of him from the wage structure and recoup as much of the fee as possible.

Moyes is making a quick cash grab to give him the funds for a striker, and the players he's getting rid of are expendible. With players coming back from injury, we have enough defensive cover (when Yobo returns) to last us until the end of the season, especially with a versatile players like Neville & Ferrari. And with Carsley due back soon it means that there's cover for Neville moving back into a defensive position.

If we get a good striker out of loosing the wages of Krøldrup and Bent then the sale of the two will help us ensure Premiership safety and put us in a better position for the start of next season. Obviously in the summer we'll need to find some replacements for some of the older players left in the squad, and make sure any of the contracts that are running out are renewed!
Michael Parrington, Melbourne, Australia  (20/1/06)

Krøldrup Gone
I have just read on the Guardian site that we recieved £3M for the sale and lost £2M as a result. Even if the actual numbers are not correct, how will this look to any prospective player we try to sign? (Alan Stubbs not included.) What a huge cock up by EFC. I can't wait to see the spin the official site puts on it. "Krøldrup sold for a profit as reliable Stubbs is welcomed back to give Everton a fighting chance at the Champions League Qualification place." I can't see any positives out of this one despite what some people writing into the mailbag will dribble over the next few days. Piss off, Mr Moyes; go ruin someone else's club!
Daniel Sharratt, Australia  (20/01/06)

I have yet to see any reference on this site to the trouble that occured outside of the ground on Wednesday night. If you are looking to play these events down, then fair enough. However, I'd like to find out who this prat Liam is who was on to Radio Merseyside BOASTING about what happened. If anyone knows who he is GRASS THE PRICK UP! He and his like bring shame on Everton Football Club.
Mark Brennan, Lancs  (20/1/06)

If anyone can enlighten us, we'll publish what they have to tell us. But the news reports were pretty obscure about what really went down. — Michael

In Reply to Ed
With regards to my last posting earlier today. The first time I logged on to this website was when I had just returned from the away leg of the Villarreal tie. Someone on the plane mentioned it to me and I have been hooked ever since. Since then, I have made quite a few postings and try to give my opinions on what I see out on the pitch and what I see and hear in and around Goodison park.

The Joe Mercer lounge is where I watch the games from and have been in there or the Alex Young suite since 1995. That's eleven years of mixing with all types of people connected to Everton FC. At virtually every game I attend, I find myself chatting to players past and present, players family members, scouts, managers from other clubs, security staff etc. Recently I have had coversations with both Kenwright and Wynesss. If any place inside Goodison is going to give up its secrets then these lounges are that place.

As for proof of what I hear people telling me, what would you have me do? Take in a recording device? I am not Tom Cruise and its not an episode of Mission Immposible. It's just people who are connected to Everton FC talking before and after games. As for who said what to whom, I will not name names. What I will do is invite one of the ToffeeWeb staff to accompany me to a game this season so they can judge for themselves. If nothing else, I will guarantee they will get at least five minutes with Bill Kenwright. The offer is there, boys; you have my e.mail address. It may not prove all the things I say but its the best I can do for you.

As for today's transfer dealings, why wasnt Thompson snapped up? The lad is a quality player and would slot straight in to our midfield — no problem. He would have cost nothing on loan and would have jumped at the chance to return 'home'.

Oh I forgot... there are no good players available in January.

Moyes is a tosser.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (19/1/06)

Sorry, Tony; I must have misunderstood: "Every other day there are reports of players falling out with Moyes and bust ups at the training ground." I stupidly assumed that "reports" meant newspaper or media reports. I want the links so that I can publish them. If they don't exist, fair enough.

I know you hear all sorts of things in those lounges... did you know that Per Krøldrup cannot head the ball? That must be why he missed that chance on Wednesdat night! — Michael

Kroldrup, Anelka and other things
So Tony Marsh thinks the reason why we fail to sign players is because of Mr Moyes! Well then, please explain why Newcastle don't seem to have any problems in attracting top-class international players despite having Souness as the manager. I'll tell you why - they are prepared to pay the going rate. If a player is looking for £60k/week and someone is prepared to pay it then it is no good offering him £45k/week whether you think he is worth it or not. 95% of players — make that 99% of players — will follow the money regardless of who the manager is.

Which leads me nicely on to Anelka. We are told that Anelka's consortium of agents sounded out Everton as a possible destination. I actually believe this as his agents would be looking at clubs who were desperate for a striker and hoping for a big pay day. Once his agents spoke to the club and realised that even though we were desperate we would only cough up £30k/week thats probably when Anelka stopped "dreaming" of playing for Everton

On to Krøldrup. In my ToffeeWeb Xmas piece, What the next year will bring, I stated that in January Krøldrup would be sold basically because we can't afford him. Now, let's think about this; the club and their mouthpiece the Liverpool Echo made a big thing about our long-term debt being down to £25m or so. Since those figures were published, we have spent at least £12M to £15M on players, spent money on upgrading corporate facilites without filling them, increased the squad size, only progressed passed the 1st round of one cup competition and would be expecting at least £4M less prize money than last year.

So it doesn't take an Einstein to calculate that if we can only make £100k profit in our most successful Premiership season with such a small squad then I would be amazed if our debt is not now higher than the reported £40M to £45M before we sold Rooney. Therefore this transfer window is the only opportunity before the end of our financial year to bring in some money, so don't expect any new players — although we could of course always get an advance on next year's Sky money !

Finally, I'm not ashamed to admit that I am still fully behind David Moyes. Yes, he has made some bad buys... but who hasn't? And until he is properly backed in the transfer market then he is always going to be Dithering Dave. He had £20M to build a squad in the summer, not a team, a squad. Benitez by my reckoning has probably bought a similar amount of players in the last 12 months as Moyes and spent £70M. The likes of Birmingham, Middlesborough and Newcastle have spent millions upon millions in the last 3 or 4 years and none of them currently have more points than us. Do you not think he knows we need a striker? He even said so at the AGM.

Ask yourself this question - why has he not done anything about it? Answers on a postcard please to Bullshit Billy and his Lapdog Buster, but heres a clue:— WE'VE GOT NO MONEY!
Jez Clein, Childwall  (19/1/06)

Can Moyes Ever Win?
Poor David Moyes really cannot win with the fans can he? I'm not saying everything he does is correct but surely you're being a bit unfair?

Fans have been complaining all season that Everton lack a decent striker, fans have also consistantly complained that Marcus Bent couldn't hit a barn door. This very site described Bent as hard working but not able to score goals. So Moyes makes a decision and sells Bent to raise funds which will hopefully lead to a new striker being brought into Goodison. Do the fans rejoice? Do they heck! They give Moyes stick for selling a striker when and leaving the squad so short. Selling the very average Bent in an attempt to raise funds for a better player was a very big decision, how many other managers would be that brave? Thats a major gamble for Moyes who has been laughable called indecisive in the transfer market.

The other thing I wanted to address in that the Per Krøldrup situation has caused some fans to question Moyes ability to man-manage players and maintain a happy squad. Personally, I think that's crazy.

MAN-MANAGEMENT On this very site Michael complained that players lose form under Moyes; Which players have lost form under Moyes? Yobo has been developed into one of the Premiership best defenders, youngsters Hibbert and Osman have established themselves, Cahill and Arteta are going from strength to strength, Beattie is getting back to form, Martyn is enjoying his golden years, average players like Bent, Carsley and Kilbane have played their best football at Everton, Ferguson surprised us all by enjoying a final hoorah and that's without mentioning Wayne Rooney being developed into a world class player. I would argue Moyes has got the best out of his players.

Now I'm sure you're going to defend your statement by offering names like Per Kroldrup, Richad Wright and James McFadden as proof of loss of form and I agree there have been a couple of players who have not prospered under Moyes but that's just football. Do Arsenal fans use Francis Jeffers and Richard Wright as proof that Wenger can't man manage? All managers sign players who don't work out.

TEAM SPIRIT ONE THING IS FOR SURE: A TEAM WITH SO MANY MEDIOCRE PLAYERS HAS NEVER QUALIFIED FOR THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, getting a very average team to finish 4th takes almost superhuman man-management skills and an incredible amount of team spirit.

Give David Moyes a chance, this time last year many fans were complaining that his decision to sell Graveson would cost us a chance of European football but it didn't, did it!

Dutch Schaeffer  (19/1/06)

Well, Dutch (surely not your real name?) you have to be congratulated on sustaining a positive and Moyes-supportive attitude throughout the most difficult and challenging of circumstances for other discerning Evertonians. But it proves that you can cast Bent's abysmall perfomances and ultimate departure in a positive light; you can portray Krøldrup's farcical Everton career as a good thing for Everton; amd you can look forward with glorious optimism as we face the rest of the season with a continually depleted squad. We salute you! — Michael

Team Spirit
The fairly abrupt, if not unexpected, departures of Krøldrup and Bent have been followed with a fair degree of criticism of Mr Moyes. These complaints seem to be based on an untimely paring of an already small squad, without any clear replacements on hand to fill the places of the departed players. It is a scenario with which, on the face of it, you would have to agree makes little sense; especially in regard to Kroldrup, given Yobo’s absence until the middle of February (or longer if he comes back injured !).

So, if you take the facts as they present themselves, it’s another Moyes cock-up and another nail in the coffin many are building, based on his perceived shortcomings in the transfer market. Krøldrup’s imminent departure is galling; although I’m a season ticket holder, I have actually never seen him play. I haven’t a clue as to whether he is class or a donkey. Whichever of the latter is the case, Moyes does not come out of it well. If he was class, why (as many have suggested) wasn’t he playing ? If he was a complete mare, then why was he bought in the first place and for £5M !?

Krøldrup exemplifies my current ambivalence regarding Davie. I genuinely want to believe that he is a good manager who will get better and that we are all on a journey which will end with Everton back winning trophies. The apparent mis-management of Krøldrup, whether donkey or class act, declares that the opposite is true; Moyes has lost the plot and the football world has got it very wrong when they laud him as one of our brighter stars.

However, an alternative view might be that Moyes is putting team spirit above short-term issues of squad strength. Many contributors and readers of this site will be in some sort of team. Like myself, you might even manage one. Either way, you will know how disruptive and corrosive it can be when the team are all trying to pull one way with one individual pulling the other. I reckon Moyes has had two like this, Bent and Krøldrup.

Whether recent rumours of unrest in the Everton camp are accurate or otherwise, I don’t think that Bent or Kroldrup are likely to have helped matters in the dressing room. The body language and general demeanour of Bent has been well documented and was there for all to see from the minute Beattie arrived. He’s made little secret of his unhappiness with his place in the pecking order. Krøldrup has now gone on record saying he wasn’t given a fair chance at Goodison; I for one can imagine the amount of whining, half heartedness and face pulling that he will have been doing on the training pitch and elsewhere.

As a result, Moyes may feel he is better off without either, regardless of the negative effect on available resource, if it means that the rest are left in a more positive frame of mind. I really hope this is the case and that we see the effects in coming weeks; both in the performances on the pitch and new faces purchased with the money the players’ departure has released. The alternative is that Moyes has really lost his way and that would be really worrying for all of us.
Steve  Guy, Harrogate  (19/1/06)

It's a good talent to be able to see two sides of an issue and present them well for our consideration. Thanks Steve! — Michael

Did we actually spend £5M on Per? Or was it on the never never? I agree that this really reflects badly on the manager and maybe there is a clue why this transfer was completed successfully back in Aug 05; he only met Moyes after he signed.

Our season, if no-one comes in, hangs on a thread because of lack of personel in crucial positions. Injuries to either Beattie or Weir/Ferrari and we are fucked.
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (19/1/06)

I think "the never never" is more likely. Lyndon

Squad depletion
If the squad gets any smaller, we won't be able to field a five-a-side match!
Matthew Hayes, Wirral  (19/1/06)

If we do not sign anyone in the transfer window, this will be due to a number of reasons. Can anyone name all these great strikers who are suddenly leaving their clubs? We operate a strict wage cap; this makes it impossible to sign proven international class players so we may as well get used to being linked with Dickov, Sutton etc. When was the last time we signed an already proven star player? I will always support the Blues but fear we are no longer a big club.
Kevin Tully, Liverpool  (19/1/06)

We are a big club in history and support alone, Kevin. We've fallen behind in every other department. Lyndon

Ask the journos
Ask any national journo why Moyes finds it hard to sign players and they`ll tell you it's for the same reason that none of them ever writes a complimentary piece about him.

In short, he's known as a miserable sod who thinks the whole world's out to get him. His seige mentally is echoed in the way his teams play. Krøldrup was a class act who just couldn`t take the bollockings.
Name and e.mail address supplied, London  (19/01/06)

Now even I can recognize that as negativity of the highest order. But those who slam us for considering such lines of thought should ponder the logical extension of such insight as providing a highly plausible explanation for an otherwise inexplicable course of events: namely Krµldrup's bench-warming marathon. — Michael

Sorry I upset you with my gloat after last Saturday`s victory but sometimes you need reminding that we are all here to SUPPORT Everton and not just find things to moan about.

I have to say that this week has seen your regular correspondents at their best with half of them saying good riddance to Marcus Bent and the other half saying Moyes somehow made a good player into a bad one — come on lads, make your minds up!

David Moyes will, I am sure, be the first to say that he was disappointed with Per Krøldrup, a player we know he watched on many occasions prior to signing. Per never got to grips with the English game and, as I understand it, was far too casual in his training routines.

If the deal to return him to Italy goes through as expected, Davey will have shown himself to be a shrewd operator in the selling game TWICE in a week — so stop knocking please!

Just in case your doom-mongers have missed it, we have now gone five games unbeaten, are up to 15th in the Premier (soon to be improved on further) and safely through to the 4th round of the FA Cup. Who said this season was a disaster?

Richard Dodd, Formby  (19/1/06)

Richard, while admirable in its own way, your refusal to find any fault whatsoever in either Moyes, the administration or this season is utterly baffling. Moyes may be a shrewd operator in the selling game, but what use is that if he's abysmal when it comes to buying players and managing them? He's not an estate agent, FFS, he's manager of Everton Football Club.

This season has been an unmitigated disaster thus far; it may turn out to be a mere disappointment if we can finish in the top 10 but without urgent reinforcements up front and in defence, we are a couple of key injuries away from seriously threatening our Premiership status. Lyndon

Strange about Per
I have written before but guess that my interest in Everton will be no more as Per has been shipped out and Tommy will not return. What has gone wrong? I have said before that Per has always been excellent for my country and got good reports while in Italia before.

Both Copenhagen Post and Borsen say that he was not happy with your coach and failed many times to get meetings.Strange because he is technically good player and his English is perfect, although he never got to sound like Jan Molby!

We think also that money said to be transfer fee was not right figure but newspapers exaggerate many times. From all in Copenhagen we wish your team well for season remaining.
Soren Jensen, Copenhagen  (19/1/06)

"Once a Blue..." obviously doesn't translate into Danish. ;) Lyndon

Wait until the Summer....
I can't believe that people are suggesting waiting until the Summer to buy any players and think this might be a good move. Why would Moyes not be quoted inflated prices for average players in the Summer and why would anyone want to come to us then (presuming we are still a Premiership team)? If there are good buys to be had at the end of the season then why was this not done before the current season?

My dad always used to say that the problem with Everton is that "it's always next year". How right he was. "When we get rid of Campbell etc. then it will be Moyesy's team and we won't have a massive wage bill". "People will want to come to us cos we've got Rooney". "Now we've sold Rooney we'll have some money to spend"."Once we get into Europe then people will want to play for us" etc. etc.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Blues and always will do but they don't half test our patience!!

In terms of a replacement for Krøldrup, I can see us bringing Stubbsy back. Whilst we're at it, I wonder what Ratcliffe and Watson are doing these days and whether they have a few Saturdays and weeknights free.
Craig Walker, Wigan  (19/1/06)

Ever expanding transfer kitty!
If the rumours about Per are true then I will be honest and say it is a shame that he wasn't given a real chance to show his worth.

However, if this means that we have about £5M to add to the £2M we got for Marcus as well as the reported £3M that was available then that gives us a possible £10M.

Methinks it is time then to pull out the fingers and get in a replacement defender and at least try for two strikers. As ever with the Blues it is a race against the dealine. For once, let's beat the bastard!
Adam Carey, Berkshire  (19/1/06)

Most indications suggest that we didn't pay anything near £5M for Krøldrup; according to rumour, £1M with the rest dependent on appearances is probably closer to the mark. Lyndon

Incompetence, Incompetence, Incompetence
Just when I thought this manager of ours could not get any more incompetent, he goes and proves me wrong. He sells a striker (admittedly a bad one) when we are in fact crying out for one, and if the stories are true about Krøldrup, he sells a centre-back, just as we lose Yobo, and possibly Weir for the next month or so. I said in an earlier post that Moyes must have some sort of death wish; I am now convinced that this is in fact true. The man is a complete liability, therefore the sooner he is shown the exit door, the better, as it will mean the difference between watching Premiership or Championship football next season.
Paul Capillo, Liverpool  (19/1/06)

I find myself in the curious position of wanting to say, "let's wait and see, he may have something up his sleeve." I'm not sure we have much choice. Lyndon

Moyes Bashing and ''KoughDrop''
In light of the recent Moyes bashing regarding player morale and the failure of Krøldrup, I feel he needs defending a little. To be fair, he signed Yobo who had interest from better-performing teams than Everton and he loves the place. He also managed to sign Neville above the likes of money-enticing M‘boro. Arteta is another good capture and we do now have skillful players which I don't believe we've had for 10 years since Kanchelskis.

Ok, we're not doing so great but any team whether football or business needs time to gel. Any kid doesn't play football for the potential money; they do it because they love the game. This is what clubs such as Newcastle and M’boro fail to realize – they go after the wrong characters.

On the Krøldrup saga, you have to accept that for a young lad moving to a foreign country it isn't easy. I've just done it to the States and they're similar to us (although a little fatter). Some people just don't adjust to the culture change. It's not so easy to go from sitting around in a cafe drinking expresso all day to pie, peas and pint please mate. Having said that, I think it’s over-looked in football that players need support when moving over and perhaps Everton failed to do that with Krøldrup. Perhaps Duncan showed him his pigeons and it frightened him off!

If we manage to flog him for the same money or more and get a good replacement, no massive harm done. The guy probably joined us off the back of our European qualification and had personal goals to perform in Europe – he’s now realizing that it’s not going to happen and you can’t really blame him for wanting to leave and realize his potential. People do this every day in their regular jobs but football just has the spotlight. The wages are massively inflated but that’s just the nature of the market – anybody in any industry wants to make wages parable to the market average, you cannot fault players for that.

I honestly do believe that we don’t have any money-grabbing bastards at Everton – and Moyes and the Kenwright clan must take credit for resisting the signatures of players once they realize that all they’re after is more money. So take a break, have a brew, we’re in a blip of good form – save the complaining until we get hammered by Arsenal at the weekend!

Dan Parker, New York, US  (19/1/06)

"No massive harm done." If you say so... not. Talk it away if you like but I think the harm done is massive in many ways, for all the reasons outlined in this mailbag. But only time will really tell. — Michael

Central defenders
Like all Evertonians deeply worried about the lack of new signings last summer, I thought at least Mr Moyes had addressed the central defender problem by signing two proven European class players to join Joseph Yobo. Six long months later Krøldrup has apparently departed after surely the most farcical career in our club's history, whilst Ferrari will supposedly return to Roma in June rather than sign permanently.

Any chance of quality replacements has, of course, vanished as we have rejoined the ranks of Premiership also-rans, confirmed in the striker department by our being linked with Trundle, Earnshaw, etc.

Next summer no doubt Cahill, Arteta and Yobo will be targeted by "better" clubs and we'll be back to where Mr Moyes started four years ago. Meanwhile poor old Davie Weir will soldier on and lose us yet more points.
Ian Pilkington, Adlington, Lancs  (19/1/06)

Tony Marsh
Is this fella just seems to want to wind people up here! I get the impression that Mr Marsh enjoys Everton being in turmmoil.
Mike Mulhall, Portsmouth  (19/1/06)

It is amazing to me how anyone who expresses reasonable or heartfelt concerns about Everton's progress in the world is condemned as being a kopite or accused of somehow revelling in Everton's demise. Perhaps, considering the goings on documented by this website, you ought to instead consider whether you should be a bit more concerned yourself about where it's all headed... — Michael

Hey guys, I just found out about the ongoing saga that is Per Kroldrup's potential departure and I am interested to know why all the fuss?! Injury or not, that boy has failed to deliver even a third of what our Dave expected of him. He can't retreat to Italy soon enough in my opinion. Let's replace him with someone who DESERVES to put on a blue shirt.
Bobby Bulger, Dublin  (19/1/06)

Of course it all depends on your perspective, and how negative you want to be, but I think this whole sorry Krøldrup business reflects extremely badly on David Moyes. Despite Tony Marsh's lack of evidence for player unrest (see below) I can well belive that all is not a bed of roses in the Everton camp, and that word probably gets about among the players well before we hear about it. It would certainly help to explain why players don't want to come to Everton, and some that are here lose (or never gain) form under Moyes, and eventually leave after fairly short tenures. — Michael

Krøldrup — some answers please.
If, as seems likely, Krøldrup has been sold, somebody needs to answer some questions:

1. Why wasn't he given a fair crack in the middle of our creaking defence?
2. Does Moyes seriously think he is worse than Weir?
3. If so, why was he signed in the first place?
4. If he is no good, on whose recommendation did we spend (we are told) £5M?
5. Which skillful, commanding central defender does Moyes have in mind as his replacement, or will Cahill be drafted into that gap as he was last night into the Moyes created gap in attack?
6. If, as Moyes said, it is difficult to sign players in January, how come he seems to find it easy to sell players in the same month?
7. Exactly how far along into Moyes's five-year plan are we?
8. Did that plan include a spell in the Championship?
Rob Williamson, Sheffield  (19/01/06)

Reap what you sow
It's difficult not to be despondent. We're light on strikers, off goes the admittedly disinterested Bent.

Our £5M centre-half is kept out of the team on the basis he'll come in in Jan when Yobo's off. Now it looks like Per's off to Italy. Will it be Ferrari & Weir as first choice centre-backs now? Who will be the cover?

And then Millwall last night. Watching poor old Beattie reduced to hugging the right touchline knocking in crosses for Cahill & the boys was so frustrating. Like buying a sports car and using it for the school run.

If Moyesie isn't buying anyone to avoid paying inflated prices then he's taking a big gamble. I like Weir but he's seriously past his best and a shite captain. Yet what happens if he gets injured in the next match? Hibbert and Ferrari defence?

Much as I hate to say it, we're now paying the price for Moyes's very poor negotiations over last summer. I saw a lot of things talking about how Moyes wouldn't go above his valuation of a player — hindsight is great but now he looks like he's paying the price for being obstinate and small-minded.
Dominic Buckley, Manchester  (19/1/06)


From Inter To Swansea
Good result last night sets us up for a likely televised cup tie with Chelsea. The same old story could be seen at Goodison, however, with us just not capitalising on pressure/chances. Two goals in two games against a shite lower league side says it all; we need a quality striker... yawn, yawn, yawn.

I am 100% against the idea of signing that fat plastic scouser from Swansea, in fact I would consider it a disgrace if Moyes tried to get him. In the space of a few months, we have gone from signing players from the likes of Porto, Roma, Inter and Man Utd to haggling for local lads from the lower divisions, Moyes has lost it!

I will still keep an eye and ear out regarding potential transfers though even though my expectations are not high (today The Mirror says we are trying to get Viduka!). I expect Moyes to sign that dodgy player from Last Minute Utd, whats his name? Panique Bye!
Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (19/1/06)

We Are Not Very Good
Any one who sat through last night's game must surely be worried at the lack of quality through out the whole team. At times in the first half we also looked like a team at the bottom of the Championship. Millwall are an abysmal outfit and any half decent side would have dispatched them with ease.

The players at Everton look as though they are just going through the motions and dont really want to be here. Some of them have even said as much in the press. Every other day there are reports of players falling out with Moyes and bust ups at the training ground but a lot of our fans just seem to dismiss it as rumours and bullshit. I happen to know different. Moyes hasn't just lost the dressing room — the dressing room has emigrated never to return!

I think half of the bullshit Moyes comes out with regarding us not signing any one is just cover for the fact that no one wants to sign for Everton while he is there. There are managers in the Premier League already thinking about next season and beyond. What players they will need to compete and the direction they want to take etc. Moyes can't even sign players this season in the transfer window. Does Davie even have a vision of what our future will be? I don't think he has. Its all one game to the next and no forward thinking at all.

How much longer have we got to put up with this crap? Next season will be no different from this if we continue doing things this way. If Moyes fails to attract any new players by the end of January the fans will surely tun on him. By this I mean all of them. Let's hope Davey Boy is pulling a fast one and there are loads of new signings in the pipeline. We could do with a few for Saturday....
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (19/1/06)

Please send in the links to these stories of player unrest and we will publish them. However, I have been hard pressed to find any, never mind one "every other day". Common, Tony: let the rest of us see what you are seeing. — Michael

Let's go forward
Last night's win over the Wall showed how deficient we are in the "putting chances away" department. We made a host of openings in front of goal (again) but we manage a solitary goal for our efforts. We got away with it against a poor Championship side but will we get away with it against Arsenal or Chelsea in the cup? (Rhetorical question). Maybe DM should play TC upfront as he is capable of scoring goals and we have Arteta, Neville, Osman, Davies, Jimmy Mac and Kilbane who can all play midfield.

I'd like to see DM go for Lovenkrands of Rangers as he can score goals and is a good crosser of the ball which both Beattie and TC need. He's an established Dutch international and has played regularly in the Champions League where has scored often too. Surely a better bet than Dickov as he's younger and wouldn't be seen as a stopgap signing.

As for the 'Incredible Sulk' that is Nicolas 'No Mates' Anelka saying that we should stop 'dreaming' of signing him, I've been having nightmares of DM actually touching him (or his brothers) with a bargepole.
Dean Peamum, Valetta, Malta  (19/1/06)

Optimistic, me?
I ignore derisive honks to my licence plate, EVERTON 2. A Christmas present from Helen, another Everton tragic and my wife for the past 44 years. After all that time it is great that her optimism for the club and me still abounds. One of these days we will make her dreams come true. Please say I am right because recently my optimism for the cause has taken a bit of a battering.
Dick Fearon, Australia  (19/1/06)

Uh? Is this a subtle positivity/negativity test or what? In which case... I think I just failed. Doh! — Michael

Millwall thoughts
Back from the game and we are through to the next round. Can any fan who follows the Blues home and away remember a worse first half than that?

We seemed to start as 4-4-2 but without any player playing to the system and floundered. The Moyes shake up at half-time saw Tim back to midfield and Ossie up in the hole and still we seemed at sea. Thank goodness for a Beattie mis-placed pass for Tim to stab home.

My overall feeling of this match was that an abysmal Premiership side edged an abysmal Championship side. In tomorrows papers I expect Cahill to be given MotM although a case could be made for Osman, but for me I would give it to Valenete purely on the grounds he made the least mistakes on the night.

No two games are the same but if we we perform like we did tonight and Arsenal perform like they did against Boro... Oh dear.

I still think we lack a lot in midfield but I am willing to leave it up to Moyes to make my matchday experience that bit better by making a silk purse out of a sow's ear and running the Gunners close.

The next cup tie: Please let it be better than the last one. See you Saturday. UP THE BLUES!
Ken Buckley, Buckley  (18/1/06)

Interesting perspective there, Ken. The Radio City commentary seemed a lot more positive about our performance, so I'd be curious to hear what others who went to the game thought. Lyndon

In response to Sack the Juggler
An excellent post; whilst the average fan has their view, he makes a great case for why Managers run clubs and fans should not. Life would be very dull on this website without the mailbag, and listening to fans views. I often think that ToffeeWeb is a very negative site, but when I see the likes of STJ I am much happier that balanced views are represented.

As for selling Bent, there are not many who wanted him at the club, and I'd add many at Milwall and at home boohed him off. Shame on yer for that. I think the sale of Marcus has been accelerated by fan view, but as an Evertonian, I am surprised he has been sold without a replacement deal done. I believe there has been a cock-up here; a cock-up over a signing has happened and our cover striker was sold.

Hope Marcus does well in Charlton, equally I want the new striker that will progress the club; yes, I can wait till the summer.
Eamonn Byrne, Shropshire  (18/1/06)

Thanks for your input, Eamonn. Despite the claims of people who like to slag off Evertonians that take the time and trouble to write in, this Mailbag reflects the views of a broad spectrum of Evertonians — in fact, anyone who wants to write in and who can do so with a reasonable level of competence, providing a full name and their e.mail address (which will not be revealed).

Negative comments are usually reserved for correcting demonstrably false statements or unreasonable expectations. We always strive to be realistic rather than overtly pessimistic or optimistic. If that constitutes negativity from your perspective, so be it.

But I would invite you to tell us when you think we are being negative and over-stepping that line, rather than doing what we strive to do, which is taking a realistic and informative view of all things related to Everton. Please do let us know when we are being "very negative". Cheers — Michael

Old-timers, the unproven and J Foreigner
Not surprised to be heckled down about Dickov, but for the money seemingly available, the reality is a choice of Premiership old-timers, unproven (at Prem level) lower-league players or unknown/low-profile foreigners. Honestly, particularly when were desperate for goals, I'm not happy with any of these options but all things considered (funding, player appetite to join the club and the rediculous prices of the January transfer window - Ashton £7M???) a Premiership 'old-timer' presents the lowest 'risk' to me. I take the 'Wally-esque' point, but old timers were policy with him - I think we've seen enough of Moyes to know that any such move would be a short-term exception.

It sickens me that these seem to be our visible options but it is the reality to be dealt with. The days of us being in the frame for top players are long gone and, I fear, never to return without an Ambramovich-style investment.I pray that there is something better up Moyes's sleeve in the immediate term, a loan deal or something - but I'm not holding my breath.
Mike Murrary, Kent  (18/1/06)

Spot on, Mike; I agree 100%. — Michael

Not these boyos, please
I`m one of a small group of South Walian Evertonians who try to get to Goodison a few times each season. On other Saturdays we are reduced to watching the likes of Cardiff, Swansea and, dare I say it, Newport County? At least our love of Everton gives us a break from knocking three bars out of each other whenever we meet! I`ve rung round the lads today and nobody can believe that Moyes is serious about a bid for Lee Trundle. Some of the Swans fans who watch him every week say he`s a show pony who scores spectacular goals against shit opponents, although he`s been shit himself since November and is more interested in his commercial deals. "Would be out of his class," was the verdict I got.

Now to Robert Earnshaw, who did great for the Bluebirds but was never going to hack it at top level. He'll suit our style as he`ll run round all day but don`t expect him to find the goals in the Premier — ask Robson!

If Moyes genuinely can do no better than these two, our mob suggests he keeps his window closed 'til summer.
David Morgan, Risca,Gwent  (18/1/06)

And risk an injury to Beattie on February 4th that ends his season... That's the very real dilemma that Moyes faces: bring in a sub-standard lower division player, pay what he considers to be way over the odds for a Premiership striker, or sit tight until the summer. There is, of course, another option: take your focus off the domestic leagues with their declining quality and inflating prices and get a decent scouting network into Europe to find the next Solskjaer-type star of the future before someone else does. Lyndon

Bye bye, Bent
For anyone in any doubt about why Moyes sold Bent, they only need to ask the fans who were at the Millwall game. I believe Moyes had no plans to sell him before this game, and so played him. But in the 2nd half, when a throw in was thrown to him and he didn't even jump for it, right in front of the Everton fans, I reckon Moyes had had enough. He'd hardly set the world alight before that either. He was subbed just after and the rest is history. Moyes did well to get the price he did, because Bent's heart wasn't in it in the end, and it's not worth keeping an unhappy footballer.

I'm not forgetting how he played in his 1st year, when he did as much as anyone to get us to 4th place, but his work rate had dropped and he was no longer the same player. I'd like us to get either Prso or Lovenkrands from Rangers. They need the money, and Lovenkrands is out of contract at the end of the season. Let's just get him, even if it takes £2million to persuade them to let him go now. It's only the Bent money, and he's got 9 goals in his last 7 games. I'd also gamble on Lee Trundle. We definitely need bodies up front, and we may need to pay over the odds to get them. Let's face it, Charlton just have. Whether Moyes will or not is another matter...
Danny Broderick, London  (18/01/06)

Lee Trundle?
Lee Trundle played non-league football until he was 24. His professional career to date consists of scoring fairly regulary for League 2 side Swansea. He's nearly 30 now and you have to wonder if he is really worth paying £1.2 million for? With money so scarce it would be a shame to waste it on another Brett Angell!
Ducth Schaeffer  (18/01/06)

Is he an option? I haven't seen him play. He has a good goalscoring record this year, almost 20 goals in all competitions and is supposed to be pacy too.
Jens Hansen, Norway  (18/01/06)

He's an option in as much as he is apparently not keen on extending his contract at Rangers, he's 26, scores goals and is an established international. Although two functioning legs and a pulse would do at Goodison these days! One would hope that he falls under Moyes's assertion that every striker the fans could name as a potential signing has been contacted. If you believe that there is an international striker shortage, you can bet we won't be the only ones vying for his signature... if Everton are even interested, of course. Lyndon

Crap surgeons
Is it me but, every time one of our players goes under the knife, a few weeks later they have to have a furhter op? No doubt these procedures are procured at great expense (the Royal or Arrowe Park being out of the question for our delicate flowers) so why can't we get the occasional quack who knows what he's doing and gets it right first time?
Steve Callan, Birkenhead  (18/1/06)

Err... perhaps it's a cost-cutting thing. It must be very expensive to send everyone to that knee-bloke in Colorado every time. Although someone said these things are usually covered by insurance... ah! There's another chance for Mr Wyness to improve the bottom line and keep us in the D&T Top Twenty! — Michael

Classic goals
Seeing as the lack of a decent striker is the hot topic at the moment, it occurred to me that we never as a team score great goals. What does everyone else think? How often do you see other teams bang in 25-yard screamers, top volleys, and flowing moves, but us? A dodgy deflection. I can name three or four in the last ten years going back to Limpar's at Leicester in 95.

Oh, and a big up to everyone who works on what must be the best independent fan's site on the web - this and BBC online are the only ones I go to every day
Blue Bob, London  (18/1/06)

I hate to say it, but a team like Blackburn often seem to score much classier goals. Although I think you are forgetting a slew of great goals by Andrei Kanchelskis; Radzinski also did the biz a few times. And there was even one by a bloke called Marcus Bent (remember him?) that had me screaming with joy (yes, it does happen occasionally!). — Michael

Credit where it's due
I have long since lost patience with David Moyes and have written in to the mailbag a number of times advocating his departure. However, he has to be congratulated for signing Bent for £450k and then selling him for £2M, possibly £2.5M.

He also seems to be finally realising that Tim Cahill is actually a striker and not a midfielder. Play Cahill up front in a two-man attack and he will score goals. I hope Moyes can continue his very recent impressive form by signing Trundle or Nugent or both and not Earnshaw, Dickov or Anelka.
Tom Sullivan, Liverpool  (18/1/06)

Moyes — between the devil and the deep blue...
Moyes just can't win with some fans.

He was getting slated every time he played Bent; everyone was telling him to get rid of the lazy waster, never to play him again, and that we should have sold him in the summer and got £1.5M. When there was a rumour that Sampadoria wanted him for £3M they were screaming that we should bite their hands off. So he sells him, and gets £2.5M for him, and he starts getting stick off fans for selling him without having a replacment!!!

Now he's sold him, certain fans are hounding him to buy Trundle, or Nugent, or just "someone" as we need cover. And if he doesn't buy "someone", fans will get on his case for taking a huge risk with our club, for "dithering" in the market and missing out on players. But if he does buy someone and brings in Dickov, or Trundle, there will be yet another set of fans moaning at him for buying crap, or for panicing and wasting our funds.

If we do buy someone and their scoring record for us is just as bad as our current players, they'll have a go at Moyes for buying that player because he's not good enough. And if Sutton suddenly becomes a scoring sensation, those same fans will be again be angry at Moyes for "missing out yet again" on a bargain.

What I'm trying to say is that for each fan who comes on here, there is a different opinion about who we should play, in what position, and who we should buy, and who we should sell, so whatever Moyes does there is always someone having a go at him and i'm glad that he, at least, is being a man about it and not panicing and getting on with his job, his way.

Don't get me wrong, I want him to buy someone too, in fact I'm sure that Moyes wants to buy someone, but for god's sake let the guy get on with his job without a committee of 40,000 fans giving him a hard time over every decision he has to make.

... and you know what the final irony will be? Marcus Bent could become Charlton's leading scorer and there'll be fans on here saying "Moyes should never have sold him...."
Sack The Juggler, Isle of Man  (18/1/06)

I think you just explained in the clearest way possible why no manager worth his salt takes a blind bit of notice what the fans think or tell him to do. How would he know which one to believe? — Michael

Bad Luck!
Does anyone else feel that Everton are having really bad luck in Cup Draws? Could we have picked a more difficult side then Villarreal in the Champions League Qualifier? After that disappointment what we needed was a nice easy Uefa Cup draw but while Bolton took on part-timers Lokomotiv Plovdiv and Middlesboro got Xanthi (who?), Everton were drawn against the difficult and dangerous Dinamo Bucharest.

At least the domestic cup draws would be kinder right? Nope, for the League Cup we get have more bad luck drawing Premiership opposition Middlesboro. Then FA Cup turns up a difficult away fixture to Millwall, which despite many saying would be a giant killing, we manage to get a draw and a replay at home. Great, I thought; there's a good chance we could beat them at home and finally progress in a cup competition... but then our bad luck returned and we drew unbeatable Chelsea in the next round. Our luck has to change soon, right?
Dutch Schaeffer  (18/1/06)

Paul Dickov
I hope Moyes isn't really interested in Paul Dickov. It's not that I don't rate him as a player — he can do a decent job and be a short-term solution to our striker dilema — but is that what we really want? Walter Smith was always bringing in short-term solutions — Richard Gough, David Ginola, Mark Hughes and Gazza — but it never really made us a better side.

Moyes has always talked of creating a young side and his transfers have mostly backed this up — players like Yobo, Arteta, Cahill and Wright were all signed in their early 20's. I really don't want a return to the quick-fix Wally Smith transfers. If we are to bring in a striker, let's go for potential. Nugent would be ideal but maybe he's not available? If no-one is available, Moyes should hold onto the money and wait for the summer. If we get desperate Osman and Cahill can play as strikers and we could always recall Paul Hopkins from loan.
Dutch Schaeffer  (18/01/06)

Good point about the Wally-esque transfers... Moyesie really has had to lower the bar drammatically. But I think it's essential we do get someone in before 31 January. — Michael

Whats wrong with my name?
It's Sri Lankan.

Actually, has anyone wondered why Moyes is happy to let his strikers go? Perhaps he's done as predicted and settled on playing just one up front again?

I do hope we don't buy Earnshaw though... we'd end up with three tits up-front (if you include Beattie's)!
Aplankofwood Withanailinit, UK  (18/1/06)

Your name may well be Sri Lankan (although I think not) but our new policies may preclude your mails from being published unless you can provide us with a more sensible one.

And surely there is no mystery in Moyes getting shut of Bent. Why is this puzzling anyone? He has proved himself this season to be a totally useless tosser, and an absolute disgrace to the Everton shirt. He had to go. I'm just astounded we got anything for him, let alone £2M!!! — Michael

Is there a plan ?
The sale of Marcus Bent is further proof that Everton Football Club is being run by a bunch of muppets. Whilst not disagreeing that it was time up for Marcus and the right time to move him on, one would assume that Moyes and his merry men had a plan from last October/November as to who they would like to buy/sell in this January window... NOT A CHANCE — if they had WHY did they play him in the FA Cup? Potentially jeapordising any transfer or limiting the fee involved. Fortunately as it turns out we have got away with it — but WHY take the chance? Why make him cup-tied? WHY? Because they haven't got a clue!! They have no plan, no direction and no idea what they want neither in the short term or the long term - talk about a 5-year plan - we have not got a 5-day plan.

Whats the betting we will be scrambling around on this and other sites at 4.59pm on the 31 January for any glimpse of a last-minute signing? These people are custodians of our famous club — they need to take a long hard look at themselves!!!
Kevin Bennett, Chester  (18/1/06)

Could the money perhaps be so tight that any plan is rendered worthless by the uncertainty of the transfer market? Moyes clearly had to sell before he could buy... and even now, he is scrabbling around in the bottom of the barrel — plan or no plan. — Michael

Nevada Smiths
I recently went to New York and prior to going I did a little research on the Net to find an Everton Supporters bar; the bar above claims to be a hard core Everton Bar and when I got there they turn out to be a Man Utd and Liverpool bar with all the Yanky Kopites shouting for the "Reds to go on the Offence!"

I am letting you all know as I had to watch the shit that was the derby there, and don't want anyone else to be caught by the scam! But give them their due the American kopites know an awful lot more than the pricks here!

Apparantly Cahill will be playing off Beattie tonight; we are becoming a bit feeble now, some clubs must be pissing themselves at us! At least before Kenwright was at the helm we could attract players, and seemingly all by himself he has managed to make Goodison look like Chernobyl where no player would ever want to go to!
Mike Mulhall, Portsmouth  (18/1/06)

Errr... if we are having trouble attracting players, I don't think you can blame Blue Bill. The word is that our fearsome manager and his withering stare is enough to chill the blood of yer average Premiership wannabe... — Michael

No need for a new striker!?!!
Why waste time and effort failing to get a new striker when we have a ready made replacement... Tim Cahill! I know you shouldnt take the Sun for gospel but its story saying Moyes sees Cahill as a viable alternative to a new striker has a strange ring of truth to it. Maybe Moyes should give Krøldrup a run in the team as centre-forward and be done with it. Every time I read or hear something, I feel my anxiety levels increasing higher and higher!
Allan Price, Shropshire  (18/1/06)

Message to 'Mike in Kent' from Cloudcuckooland:

Until we can attract and realistically afford players like Walcott again, we'll never consistently compete with the Liverpools and Manchester Uniteds of the Premier League (let alone Chelsea). It's a sad indictment of how far our stock has fallen that we're not even mentioned as potential suitors of this very talented player.

Dickov probably would have been a good buy three years ago, but now his legs are in a worse shape than the 'Big Yin's' (Have you watched him recently?) and taking into account Beattie's ‘lightning pace and darting runs into the box’ (I wish) our forward line would have the mobility of a line-dancing team at a one-legged suffragettes reunion. I get your point Mike, but we should be thinking more SAS (Speed and Shots) than 'Dads Army'. If Moyes does go for Dickov that buy would have ‘panic’ written all over it and confirm how deeply in the shit we really are. Please Davey… Noooooo!!
Kevin Sparke, Northumberland  (18/01/05)

Pleased to hear that we're linked to Dickov. I've been banging on to anyone who'll listen for ages that he's the type of short-term player we need. Should be cheap, knows where the net is, and after he's done his job to keep us up this year, will be a useful squad player next season seeing out an 18-month contract (surely he wouldn't be offered any more?). A good stop-gap until the summer when there's more scope to bring in some longer-term quality. No doubt there'll be plenty of others who will bark at the thought of us signing a 33-year-old and think we should be signing young players like Walcott of Southampton — hmmm... cloudcuckooland !
Mike , Kent  (17/1/06)

Colm's Latest
And I dare say his greatest. Interesting, well written, topical, thought provoking, thoroughly researched, concise and fresh — journalism worth paying for.

If Rob Fox ever wants to learn to write articles — as opposed to meaningless long winded bullshit — he'd do well to start here.

PS - I've no desire to let people on this site know my {distinctive, as it happens} last name, my e.mail address, or even whereabouts I reside. That's my personal information; I don't see why a bunch of strangers on a footy site would need ANY of it.
David C  (17/1/06)

David, We need your e.mail address so we can communicate directly with you, rather than through the mailbag. It will be accessible to just four people who are involved with running this website. We do not divulge e.mail addresses. Other contributors provide their e.mail addresses as requested.

Also, anonymous contributions have caused us some problems, and we are considering a change of policy that may preclude their publication in future. This may be extended to contributors who withhold their last name. — Michael

Goodnight Marcus
Andy Gray sums it up nicely in his Liverpool Echo article today. If I can paraphrase even further, Bent ran his bollocks off for Moyes in the first half of last season only to find himself sidelined by the arrival of `Big Time Beattie`. Moyes was never going to give a £450k player the chance to outshine his record buy so it was goodnight Marcus and a big Thank You!

ps. D`ya know if they`re looking for `subbies` at the Echo?
Clive Chalmers, Birkenhead  (17/1/06)

You know, I read that piece by our one-time hero Andy Gray. Bent desererves to be utterly slammed for his disgusting attitude since Beattie arrived, no excuses. Do you know how much we were paying him to perform? Instead, what does Gray say? "I always believed Marcus Bent has done a good job for Everton." Bollocks!

Gray has become nearly as annoying as another jurno who writes for that rag... what is it about the Echo? Why is so much of its "journalism" trite and asinie to the point of being meaningless? Are you sure you want to be a subbie for them? — Michael

Davey's dilemma
I think tomorrow night’s line-up will at last give us some real insight into the enigma that is Krøldrup. Now that Joey’s gone, our Davey has to decide on his next-best pairing at centre-back. Assuming Krøldrup is fit and therefore an option, does Moyes go for Ferrari and Per or does he bring back Weir? If Weir is chosen, I believe his chronic lack of pace even against a Championship outfit, will yet again leave us horribly exposed at the back. But it also suggests that Moyes still prefers him over Krøldrup. If that is the case then the guy must really be crap. This then begs the question, ‘Why the hell did we buy him in the first place?’ and only Moyes can answer that one. Over to you Davey boy.

ps: Please tell me that we haven't sold one striker without another one (or two) already brought in..... yet again!!!
Rob Williamson, Sheffield  (17/1/06)

Er... I think it will tell us an awful lot. If Per plays any part in this game, it will be a small miracle.

ps: we have sold one striker without another one (or two) already brought in..... yet again!!! — Michael

Bent over double laughing
To be fair, he wore his heart on his sleeve and ran his socks off last year, but you have to laugh at this quote on Sky Sports -> "I can bring goals and am pacey, strong and good in air"
Dan Parker, New York, US  (17/01/06)

"... when I'm in the mood, and not sulking about being ousted by some fat flash bloke with man-boobs who has mobility problems."

Please Say Its Not True!
Can anybody shed light on the rumour going around that Moyes is trying to tempt Cisse to get on board on loan til the end of the season? Please say it aint so!
Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (17/1/06)

Yes, I thing that one's an absolute cast-iron certainty... is it not? — Michael

Spineless Deserter?
What can you say?

I'll settle for this - read the mailbag. I'm not the only one who's had enough, indeed there's been quite a few complaints about the Keenwright regime, and quite a few people who've indicated they're taking a similiar course of action to myself. And many more who are slowly heading in that direction. If that makes me a spineless deserter, that's fine.
David C  (17/1/06)

Goon at the Toon
So Mr Anelka doesn't want to "waste my time anymore" playing for the Turkish Club that's paying his inflated wages as he feels like a return to the Premiership (where the po-faced twat is so fondly remembered) but he is also sure that he doesn't want to waste his time at Everton either! So let's hope he gets his wish and joins the endless sream of money grubbing mercenaries that Souness is trying to build into a team, adds to the wage bill, exaccerbates the dissent in the squad and ends up looking for a new club after Mr Souness is shown the door.

If he read the News of the World at the weekend, this pompous goon might have discovered that any desire to be re-united with his erstwhile Anfield teamate is doomed to be a short one as the Gerbil has made it clear (to Sven anyway) that he doesn't want to 'waste his time anymore' trying to save Mr Souness's neck.
Mike Keating, City Centre  (17/1/06)

Fuelling the economy
Great article by Colm on the scandal of agents. But don`t hold your breath until something`s done about it, will you; it will never happen. It`s the way football has always operated, except in the old days it was the job of `gofers` with money in brown paper bags. The guy who did it for our local clubs was infamous, he was known as `The Mersey Rat` - I kid you not!

These days it`s more about offshore bank accounts with most `football men` spending more time trying to spell Netherlands Antilles than they do thinking up ways to screw the fans!

Another Irishman, the late Danny Blanchflower, once wrote of a gangly centre-forward from across the park, `He`s not for scoring, you see, more for buying and selling, a commodity to oil the football economy. `I thought of that as dear old Marcus trotted off to his ninth club in ten years...
David Hall, Taunton  (17/1/06)

Funny you should mention the Netherland Antilles... off there next week for some jollies. No bank account though. — Michael

OK, David, I'll give ya a bag of sand if (like Steve Sweeney) you can show me proof of your 25+ years of holding a season ticket! Oh... Err...sorry, I forgot you've already "Voted with your feet", and hopefully crawled back under your rock where you belong with your shithouse digs at peoples comments and opinions! You proved your a shithouse by sending your repeated Rob Fox rants, continually withholding your e-mail address, and lacking the balls to put your full name, or your relative whereabouts on the back of what you say! I have nothing more to say to a spineless deserter like yourself !
Scott  Edwards, Liverpool  (17/01/06)

Wooor! That's telling him! Now he'll have to behave...

Beware of Millwall
Last time we met Millwall in the FA Cup, they knocked us out 2-1 at Goodison — after their fans tried to take over the Gwladys Street. Let's hope there is no repeat.
Luke Smith, Kirkby  (16/1/2006)

Millwall have never beaten us 2-1 at Goodison in the FA Cup

03 Feb 1973 R4 Everton 0-2 Millwall
Hope this helps. — Michael

Go on!!!
One class player going in the window ......Wayne Bridge ......go on; live on the edge! Buy a decent left-back for a change. We don't want chmpionship class like Trundle , Nugent or Earnshaw (actully behind Campbell in the peckking order). Go on, shock us all..... as if ?
Bobby Dempster, Huyton  (16/1/06)

Another left-back? Go on yerself.

Hopeful we'll sign someone...
I think now Bent's gone someone must be lined up to come in. Even Moyes ain't stupid enough to sell a striker when we only have two fit ones. Looks like Fergie's staying which I'm quite happy with as he can change a game when he comes on. Not sure who we'll sign though, Trundle would a huge risk, it's a big jump from League 1 to the Prem, and to be honest he's more of show pony doing tricks for the Sky cameras. He is also 29 years old so no youngster and is not exactly pacy so would he be out of his depth?

I'd like to see Nugent or Jerome come in depending on price. Maybe even Earnshaw. Also any news on Vaughan? He's been out for months, which is worrying for a young lad with a knee injury. I hope its not more serious than the club are saying.
Chris Wright, Chester  (16/01/06)

Uh oh... Dave's Got Dosh
If we are to believe the media, then Everton have just recieved a cool two million quid from the sale of Marcus Bent to Charlton. If these figures are correct, then it's a great bit of buisness for Everton. My only concern now is what will happen to this money.

Let's assume that our transfer fund was in the region of around three million prior to the Bent deal. That now leaves Davey Moyes with around five big ones in his back pocket. I can see it now: chairmen all over the country rubbing their hands together with a big smile on there faces. Davey's got Five Big Ones!!! Agents all over the world wheeling out thier men from the physio rooms and hospital wards. "Get up, you twat! Davey's got five big ones."

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is no longer available on a free —he now costs five big ones. This is the scenario I fear. Can we as a club trust Moyes to do the right thing? Will this money make Dave's dithering even more intense. These are questions only time will answer. If past form is anything to go by, and assuming he is given these funds to dispose of, it worries me. Dave's next move is his biggest test yet in the management game. Fuck up now and we are toast. Make the right move and the fans will be back on board.

Imagine Moyes going out and signing a striker who bangs in ten goals by the end of the season. The words hero and saviour spring to mind. Go the other way and sponk the dough and he is dead meat. One thing's for sure: if we do bring in a new striker, we will have to change our plan of attack. Pumping aimless balls down the flanks just doesnt work. For the next few days, Evertonians every where will be glued to Sky Sports, Talksport, this website, anywhere they can to sniff out a bit of info.

Come on Bill; give Dave the dosh for one last go at the big time. Me, I cant wait to see what happens next. It's more exciting than X-factor and Big Brother put together. Well thats what I tell my missus anyway. Millwall next up; after wittnessing these lovely fans at the New Den in the last game, I really hope they get a good old fashioned Scouse welcome.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (16/1/06)

Nice little earner
Best of luck to Marcus Bent, by no means could he ever be discribed as a great Everton centre-forward and he had a tenancy to sulk this season, but for £450k and given what he did for us up until Christmas last season, plus a £2M profit.... he should leave. With our best wishes. I can only hope Moyes has something lined up; somehow I doubt it
Greg James, Liverpool  (16/1/06)

Mr Flynn's Monday challenge
Regarding your challenge, would you consider Stuart Pearce to be included in your dross? Watch the fella on the touchline; honest to god, great to see how much incompetence in others frustrates him. Bet the players like him as a man. Change is crucial for us, so crucial it hurts. Point is, it's not who comes in but the time to act is right now. So, surely, till end of the season: Jewell, Newell, even Davie Watson — that's right Dave Watson. Heart and soul boys, crucial for me anyway. Heard Mountfield talking the other day,sounded like he was going to burst out crying: heart and soul.
Tony  Cawson, Liverpool  (16/1/06)

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn...... Why do I find this topic so tiresome? It's because........ David Moyes is going NOWHERE!!!... FFS! — Michael

Bye-bye Bent.
£2.5M for Bent. Maybe Wyness is not as stupid as he looks. Glad to see the back of Bent. He lost all interest when he dropped out of the team. Let's hope that Mr Moyes puts the money to good use (ie, a young, pacey striker who scores a few goals). If the rumours are true I will be sad to see Big Dunc leave; however, I think it is for the best. Half a million quid would be a great deal for us.
Jonathan Hutchinson, Chester  (16/1/06)

Re: ''I'll Bet You...''
"I'll Bet You A Hundred Quid You Have A Season Ticket Next Year..." You're going to pay people not to go? I'll take that bet - nah ... let's make it interesting, make it a thousand quid. Even for the TW mailbag, that's a daft thing to say.
David C  (16/1/06)

Bargain Hunt
Marcus Bent to Charlton for £2M - hahaha, are they insane?? Ex-England goalkeeper with London connections, slightly past sell-by-date - £5M anyone? Two crocked left-backs, buy one get one free at £6M.....
Dan Parker, New York, US  (16/01/06)

Oh, Behave!

Typically harsh critics
Certain posts here have been slagging off Bent and how he is this and that. Strange that last season he was doing very well and winning us games which took us to our high finish. It is easy to forget the times when the player was doing well for us and all to easy to take the usual route of slagging them off when they are below par. In a time when we are literally crying out for a striker it seems odd to be selling one. I only hope a replacement is forthcoming. And a worthy one at that.
J T, St Albans  (16/1/06)

Err... Oh never mind. It's so obvious, it's really not worth my two pence. But you really should re-read those letters carefully as they contain a clear and concise explanation for why Bent became crap. There really is no need to slag off your fellow Evertonians in this case. — Michael

Nice Business
Fair do's; Moyes has done well to unload a non-scoring striker for £2M — that`s the figure showing on the official Charlton website — and if he can free up some more `wages`by unloading the `well-past it` Big Yin then we might still get somebody in who can actually stick a few in!

All I hope is that he won`t expect whoever he gets to be an extra defender. All the tearing around in the world don`t make you a goalscorer but perhaps I`m stuck in the timewarp of Lawton, Royle, Sharp and Latchford. God, it used to be great at Goodison. ps: I know... Yawn, yawn, yawn....
Harry Meek, Worcester  (16/1/06)


Marcus Bent et al
It's probably a good thing if Bent goes. He has pace and quite good control but he doesn't seem to know where the net is. Wasn't his last goal against Southampton last season? Let's just hope David Moyes has a replacement in mind.

On the subject of guts and determination what about Arca and Lawrence of Sunderland? They played well against Chelsea yesterday and showed not a little skill, especially crossing the ball from the flanks. I guess they would prefer to stay in the Premiership (am I being overly optimistic?) with Everton rather than go down with the Black Cats.
Tony Waring, Frogmore, Devon  (16/1/06)

Tut, tut, Tony; you'll be giving the football-following residents of Devonshire a bad name. Southampton last season!!! Don't you remember the only goal of the game at Bolton in August? And the only win in our first 10 league games? — Michael

Monday challenge!
Right, to Tony Marsh and the rest of the "Moyes out" brigade, a challenge for this Monday afternoon. Most businesses, when wanting to get rid of their most high-profile employee, will generally line up a replacement that will move the company forwards, and not just to appease shareholders in a short-term solution. So - if the club was to fulfill your wishes and sack Moyes, who could we realistically bring in to do a better job? Over the last few weeks on the mailbag, not one person has come up with a decent answer. In the Premiership there are few good managers (Mourinho, Benitez, Wenger), and a load of dross. Souness managed to spunk £50m and look where the barcodes are!

The fact is, I can't think of someone who could genuinely do a better job long term. Some might say get a lower league manager, but isn't that what we did with Moyes, and we'd replacing him with a person of less experience.

Answers on a postcard...... And if anyone says Mike Newell....
David Flynn, London  (16/1/06)

Oh good greif... there are two reason why no-one has botherered with this tiresome charade: Firstly, the fans don't decide who that would be: it's Bill's and the the Board's decision. And secondly, in case you had not got the message yet: David Moyes is going nowhere.

Your cunning ploy is to show, by this devious manouvre, that no-one can name a valid repalacement for Moyes. Yet it may astound you to know that, if Moyes departed, Everton would get a replacement. Of that there is no doubt whatsoever. — Michael

Farewell to Marcus
This is a small thank you to Marcus Bent who helped us achive 4th place last year; he has been one of the few Everton players who have justified their costs. I know everyone is now glad to see the back of him, I was at the Millwall game and knew then that his days where numbered.

His first 6 months as a player were outstanding especially for £450k. Then Moyes bought Beattie for £6M and at that cost Moyes clearly felt he had to play him (Krøldrup being the exception). Since then, Bent has been very poor. I actually prefer Bent playing upfront on his own to Beattie — just remember the Man Utd home game to see the difference he made to the side's general build-up play. I think if you combined Bent and Beattie together as one player you would have a decent player. Unfortunately for Bent, Everton's politics got the better of him, in the end he gave up and £2.5M is a good price for him.

There will be no more jokes like this: Chris Kamara “There is a rumour that Everton’s number 7 is bent!“
Tommy C, London  (16/1/06)

April Fool Come Early
£2m plus for Marcus Bent, thats the best April Fool I've heard since a dolphin was spotted in the Mersey.
David Rodaway, Liverpool  (16/01/06)

Headless Chickens
So Moyes has managed to piss off Marcus Bent just like he did Wayne Rooney. I thought Bent was our best player in the great run we had up to him signing wanker Beattie - what a waste of money! Whoever we get now Everton will never score goals as long as Moyes has his strikers tear-arsing round like headless chickens and heading off their own goal line.

According to the press lads at the Charlton match, Li Tie, Ferguson and Kroldrup are the latest targets for Moyes's cold-stare, no-speak treatment with Krøldrup at breaking point. I`m amazed he gets any bugger to play for him, but then again we won on Saturday!
Ray Martin, Hale  (16/1/06)

... pull your finger out and get Gravesen and Earnshaw in now!!
Steven Astley, Wigan  (16/1/06)

£2.5 mill, my arse!
Local radio down here has a fee agreed re Bent in the region of £1M plus some extras. According to Curbishley it represents the money he`s getting for selling Euell. Somebody telling porkies at Everton yet again, I wonder?
Luke Maisie, Eltham  (16/1/06)

Havin`a laff!
Virtually everyone in this office follows Charlton and they tell me that whist the possible Bent signing was all the talk at the weekend, the actual fee is likely to be £1M with add-ons. Apparently, the Addics would have to win the European Championship for it to top £2M. Sounds like somebody in our great publicity department is havin` a laff!
Kenton Wallace, Greenwich  (16/1/06)

It seems to be a lot harder to get the full breakdown of these transfers anymore. Rumour is that Per Krøldrup was also £1M down — not the £5M we were led to believe — but then that could just be spin we are being fed to reduce the outcry when he is moved on this week for something well below £5M... After all, as BK once noted, "You don't need £5M to buy a £5M player." — Michael

Another Tickets Fiasco
I didn't think that it could happen, but yet again EFC has proved itself incapable of selling sweets to little children. On Friday, I left work early to try to claim my ticket for the Millwall replay. It cost me an hour's pay and £2.40 in tunnel fees. When I arrived at Goodison I was shocked to see a queue that according to one of the stewards was at least 90 minutes long. As I had to be at my own birthday bash by 7.30, I was not prepared to stand out in the cold for that length of time and so turned around and came home. I estinmate that I have missed less than ten home games since 1963 but I am no longer prepared to waste my time and spend my money on a club that even in these dark days shows no consideration for its loyal fans. Why were only four booths open? Why wasn't the box office open on Saturday and Sunday? Why bother reducing the admission price when it's still impossible to obtain a ticket?
Cheesed  Off, Wirral  (16/1/06)

Marcus Bent!
For all those people moaning about Moyes selling our only striker with pace, would you have still moaned if he hadn't? Why are some fans never happy? For the last year, Bent has sulked, looked disinterested and added absolutley nothing but negativity to our game! Can anyone honestly say Bent deserves to be an Everton player?

Personally I would take a chance on Trundle, Nugent or Earnshaw, two of which are Evertonians and the latter will always get you goals even though he looks like a madame tausauds of Ronaldinho! I also read that Henrik Larsson is an Evertonian (as per the match programme from Saturday!)so maybe that is worth an enquiry!

Moyes has seen an opportunity to correct a few wrongs here and get rid of crap hopefully to bring in someone who can provide a fresh impetus. I think a lot have fans have lost faith in Moyes and whatever choices he makes, right or wrong, will now be challenged; to be honest I think that is an absolute disgrace — he is our manager, you should still be behind him!
Mike Mulhall, Portsmouth  (16/1/06)

Official Site
I have just spoken to someone I know in the Club`s press office and they couldn`t believe the Bent posting had got into the public domain! Apparently it was prepared on Saturday night for possible release this week but due to technical problem became accessable generally. They are trying to discover how `your man` got access — `heads will roll!`
Paul  Newman, Liverpool  (16/01/06)

Figured as much. It's an easy mistake to make. They have now removed that page and put up a somewhat different Bent story. — Michael

Not too excited
Whilst on recent form Marcus Bent wasn`t worth a bag of chips let alone £2.5M, I think Moyes fucked up big time a year ago when he replaced him with Beattie. Although Tommy G`s departure is always blamed for the fall-off in form, the further disruption to a tight-knit, fight-for-every-ball squad we had up to Christmas certainly did not help. In spite of all the attempts to talk up Beattie, his 8 goals have currently cost £1M EACH if you add in his wages to the transfer money!

Moyes goes on about Beattie's work-rate being brilliant but before his arrival, nobody did more running than Bent so where`s the gain for all that money? All I know is that every time Moyes sets out to improve the team he just makes thing worse so I`m not getting too excited about how he`ll spend the cash!
Kevin Waters, Childwall  (16/1/06)

The Supposed 'Official' Site
After reading the fantastic news that Charlton had paid way over a reasonable price for Bent, I tried to find the article on the official site. Seems like it has dissapeared for some reason. Could it be that no one is stupid enough to pay £2.5M for our Marcus. The only team in recent memory that has paid that high a price for an average striker is EFC for James Beattie. Now if the 'official' rumour doesn't turn out to be true, how is that going to affect the player for the rest of the season? I know he can't get much worse, but he might start running at Nigel Martyn when he gets on the pitch and put one in his own net.
Dan Groves, Adelaide  (16/1/06)

It's still there... at least for me — I just pulled it up. Try this if you are having any trouble. The transfer does not seem to have gone through yet, with personal terms to be discussed, according to this from The Guardian:

"Marcus Bent should complete a £2.5M move to Charlton Athletic early this week after the two clubs agreed a fee for the striker last night, with discussions over personal terms to continue this morning. Everton spent only £450,000 in signing the former Crystal Palace, Blackburn and Ipswich striker 18 months ago and the move will boost the funds available to David Moyes to find a replacement."

Krøldrup Next ?
I'm extremely pleased to see the back of Marcus Bent, and hats off to Geoff Hill for spotting a typical EFC fuck up. A few fellow blues have commented that in Bent we've sold our only player with pace, but what's the use of a striker with pace if he is devoid of skill, has trouble finding the net, lacks commitment, and has a stinking attitude ? To be honest, I'm amazed we secured £2.5M for the arrogant prick.

There are also plenty of rumours flying about that Krøldrup is the next one to be shown the door, and should be gone before the week is out. Whether we recoup the fee we paid for him remains to be seen. We can only hope that Moyes has suitable players lined up to replace them, and doesn't spunk all the money on useless cripples, or four new left backs. Methinks you boys at Toffeeweb are in for a busy week with the mailbag!

With reference to Steve Sweeney's recent comments; Steve I bet you a hundred quid you'll have a season ticket next year!!!
Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (16/01/06)

Yes, we have limited funds .No, we don't want panic buys. Yes, clubs ask over the odds at this time of year. But there's no better right back or striker available anywhere than what we have at present? Moyes says that he only wants players who will improve the team. How hard can that be?

He gives us excuses in the summer window and excuses in the January window. Either Dave is incompetent in the transfer market or there are no funds whatsoever. It's as simple as that. Time for Kenwright to remove all doubt!
Andrew Lenwey, Liverpool  (15/1/06)

Conspiracy theory
Well then, while everyone wants (including Moyes himself) to sign a striker, Moyes goes off and sells the only quick striker we have. The transfer itself seems to have been a smooth and trouble free and VERY hush hush. It amounts to a tidy 2 mill in the bank.

Moyes is not dumb, he knows now that a couple of injuries might leave him with ZERO strikers to play. He has also played down all signing hopes (he's been burnt earlier by hyping up names... eg, Owen, Keane). He has also shown the ability in the past to make "quiet" , hype-free and smooth signings (e.g. Krøldrup, Neville). This is all leading me to believe only one thing.

A NEW striker, of course!!! I expect the signing before the window is over. Will this new "mystery" striker be the salvation to all our problems remains to be seen...
BSD Lover, Sydney, Australia  (16/1/05)

I *think* I can safely say it's not going to be Tony Cascarino. For years I had nightmares that we would one day sign him. Having said that he has recently been spotted in the Goodison Supper Bar.... - Colm

Marcus Bent
I know he's got loads of stick lately, but I am sad to see our only striker with any pace leave us. I believe his lack of form coincided with his poor treatment by Moyes. He was a star for the first half of last season and I wouldn't be surprised to see him do well again at a place where he is valued and used properly.

When Beattie was bought, Moyes had to go with him no matter what in order to justify the ridiculous outlay... even when it was clear to all of us, including Marcus Bent, that he was slow, fat, unfit, not capable of playing the lone role, and well, basically shite!

I think that the whole episode led to a deterioration in team morale... Bent was clearly pissed off, and I'm sure lots of the other players were too, when a substandard player was reducing team effectiveness and he was getting paid more than most of them. Beattie and the aftermath was the beginning of the end for Moyes at Everton... even though it unfortunately looks like that end is a long way off.
Mike Price, Songkhla, Thailand  (15/1/06)

Tony Marsh
Tony Marsh says what a lot of Evertonions are thinking: the die-hard blues who are pissed off, fed up with the shite we are playing, are increasing in number.

Stop supporting Moyes; he makes them play this crap. Let's force that twat Kenwright out of our club, together with all his fucking luvvy mates. EFC will not get any money from me next season. I have had enough. I have had a season ticket for over 25 years but that loser Kenwright is not getting my money again.
Steve Sweeney, Liverpool  (15/1/06)

I have nothing but the utmost respect for what you have been through, how you feel now, and what you are going to do about it. But in the interests of maintaining morale among the fanbase, and presenting a unified unwavering positive and supportive attitude towards the club we all love, I cannot in all conscience publish this letter. Sorry.

Mystery transfer
This article appeared on the Official site on Saturday evening but I've not seen or heard any mention of it anywhere else yet which, if it is true, is a surprise to me.

Just in case it is a hoax and has now been removed I have saved a copy of it. It is regarding the transfer of Marcus Bent to Charlton for £2.5m. Although it had been rumoured for a while, I cannot find anything on Charlton's web site or any other sports site that makes it offical. Thought I'd share it with you.
Geoff Hill, Newton-le-Willows  (15/01/06)

Geoff - superb spot Sir! Well played. Own goal oncemore by the PR boys over at Goodison??? Talk about timing! - Colm

Supermarket Sweep
In reponse to Kevin Sparke's gloomy description of the third kind of player, whom he calls 'Dead heads', one assumes he would put the likes of Peter Reid, Andy Gray and Paul Power into this category? I well remember how rival fans and journos alike chuckled when we signed them!

The mark of some managers is their ability to discover diamonds others have overlooked. Big Sam at Bolton does OK with cast-offs. So of course did Kendall in the 80s. Moyes should be given due credit for his signings (and attempted ones) which, to be fair, is rarely forthcoming.
Chris Jones, Wakefield  (15/1/06)

Thank you, Howard!
I totally agree with Tony Marsh. Everton`s football on Saturday was atrocious — but then so was Pompey`s! Since returning home, I have watched live or recorded highlights of another six or seven games and with the exception of the Arsenal every team seems to be the same - crap! I have come to believe that, apart from five or six teams at the top, the general standard is abysmally poor, with any side capable of beating another on the day. That`s why I back Everton to stay up, with or without a new strikforce!

Then I ask myself would I be any happier if my team was suddenly transmogrified into say Wigan, Bolton, Blackburn, West Ham or Charlton? — All of them clubs in the top half of this wretched league. Of course, the answer is no. They are all bloody awful and the `football` they play bears the same `close it down` stamp. And why`s that?

Because all these clubs have another thing in common — each has a British manager. So is that the reason for the dross? Almost certainly yes, because to get their licence to manage they have all had to attend the same coaching/management courses-designed for the FA by that high priest of exhilerating football - Mr Howard Wilkinson! Well, I ask you, what hope is there for any of us? As Colm once said - `Football`s well and truly fooked!`
David Hall, Taunton  (15/1/06)

We're not supposed to moan and make negative pronouncements (apparently), but I could not be in more agreement with your analysis of the uttter dross that fills the middle ranks of the Premiership. Your explanation certainly sounds far too plausible to be doubted in any way — and that I find that utterly depressing in the extreme. Razor blade time indeed! — Michael

Journalist Poetic License?
Sorry for repeat post, but just read this snippet from Dominic King at the Echo - from your link BTW...

Kroldrup has endured nothing but frustration during his time at Goodison Park. Hernia surgery ensured he missed the start of the season, while the form of David Weir and Yobo then prevented him making his debut until Boxing Day at Aston Villa.
Now did I read that right? The form of David Weir??? Don't get me wrong, the guy was a steal from Hearts etc. etc... but form? What season is the venerable Mr King referring to?

I think we should be told...
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (16/01/06)

As you may have noticed, I've had a severe problem with virtually everything I have read in the Echo that Dominic King has written since he appeared on the scene in earnest at the beginning of this season. The guy is from a different planet. He has a wonderous talent for taking bad things — in this case, the prolonged non-appearance of our new £5M defender — and converting it into a 'good' thing, the wonderful form of David Weir. The only conclusion is the man is simply an idiot. And the journalistic standard of the Echo, never particularly high, drops a few more notches. Dave J wrote in (9/12/05) to inform us that Dominic King is actually a massive Kopite... Go Figure! — Michael

New Motto
Okay, here goes. Semper im faecibus profundum et variat. Bollocks, can't remember my Latin from all those years back, but it struck me as it loosely translates to: 'We are always in the shit, only the depth varies'. Welcome to Everton Football Club.

A little nugget to share. Years ago, during the Kings Dock debacle, a company I worked for was invlolved. The Director concerned was a mad Blue, and told me, right from the off, it would never happen. There was EU Objective One money on the table. But our lovely Chairman couldn't fulfil the somewhat meagre financial commitment required. If only Rooney was born a couple of years earlier, we could've had the new stadium.

Ho Hum. Gong Fa Xi Cai to our Chinese-speaking readers.
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (16/01/06)

A valuable three points yesterday, against one of our relegation rivals. I should be feeling happy and content... But instead I'm feeling cheesed off thinking of the round trip down to Pompey to watch a poor Everton, playing piss poor football again. It just gets harder to keep going the match when we're served up this shite, but I will. Maybe I should be content with the three points and stop moaning, but it's hard. Now were is that razor blade!!!
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (15/1/06)

Errr... No comment!

Back from the game ...
... and another three points toward Europe gained on a pudding of a pitch. The game was reminicent of Sunday morning footy at times but it was good fun trying to work out our formation, with all the interchanging going on I thought Moyes had gone for <>!

On the positive side, I thought Yobo and Ferrari looked a decent pairing — in fact, I thought the whole back four looked ok today. It was going forward where we lacked the quality and guile and when chances were created the finishing left a bit to be desired.

I agree with the manager that January is not the time to be looking for the quality that we so patently need; it's just not available.

We now have Wednesday to look forward to and on a decent pitch I am sure the football will once again flow. Overall a good three points, a bad match, and oh what about those subs near the end — Priceless! See you Wed.-- UP THE BLUES
Ken , Buckley  (15/1/06)

Tony Marsh Moan
Tony Marsh - Did you go to the game against Charlton? Did the quality of football played in this match not please you in the slightest? Admittedly it wasn't brilliant, but still we played some good football.

With regards to yesterday's game, when you play away from home sometimes digging in and dragging your heels is required... especially on a pitch such as their's at the moment.

Portsmouth had 4 new signings in their team on Saturday... it could have quite easily gone the other way and Mwaruwawi could have bagged a hat-trick and stole the weekend's headlines. Leave off... maybe except until Arsenal next week!!
Steven Astley, Wigan  (15/1/06)

Having read the comments about the game yesterday, read the papers this morning and watched MOTD, I agree that it was an extremely dull game and it is hard to get positives out of the game. But I will try.

The point I want to make once again is COMPOSURE!!!! Osman should have scored in the first couple of minutes had another effort tipped round the post and Cahill actually headed the ball into the ground!!! If we put these chances away it could have been 0-4. I know it's easy to say in hindsight but we would have been more pleased at this result then scraping for a 0-1 victory.

Goals breed confidence and with confidence I feel composure will come to. I know we have a poor squad and more players need to be signed but 3 wins are 3 wins and slowly but surely we are edging out of the relegation zone. Another win and we are in the top half of the table!!!! All we have is hope dont we?
Steven Bibby, Kent  (15/1/06)

Bates link
Chaps, many thanks to the link on the Bates piece. Although I am not his greatest fan and admirer, this shows what straight-talking and not pocket-lining can do for a club. I wonder how many free meals, tickets, backhanders to grease their own agendas etc are being being given by Billy Liar and Wyness?

As said a number of times in the past and again recently, a top-down change could make a world of difference and give this club the wake-up it desperately needs.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (15/1/06)

Going European
I've never been a huge fan of having a director of football and I can't think of any instances where it has worked in this country, but maybe it could be a good move for our beloved blues. Moyes is a "tracksuit trainer", rather than a suited gaffer, and his forte is getting the players fired up for a game and getting them organised and committed. Whereas his "dithering Davey" image doesn't bode well for success in the transfer market.

I don't think he has done too badly with his signings, although I thought that Blomqvist was one of the most exciting players to pull on the blue jersey in recent years and I was sad to see him go. But to spend £5M on Krøldrup to warm the bench is amazing. I wouldn't put it past Davey to not go back in for Benny McCarthey, a proven goalscorer, a Champion's League winner, desperate to come to England and the right sort of age and fee, just out of spite because Porto pulled the plug on the deal last year.

It might be good for us to have someone at the helm who knows the European game and can be decisive when it matters. Wouldn't it be fantastic if we could bring in the cream of young players from around the world? I know that we have the academy in Thailand and we have brought the Brazilian Anderson Silva, but what about Scandinavia or eastern Europe?

A director of football could cultivate the scouting network and even make sure that we bring some Scouse lads through! He could help us to develop a buying policy like Spurs (Young, English). He could let Davey concentrate on the team. Viva le revolution!
Simon Birdsey, Northwich  (15/1/06)

Want to have your say?
'Want to have your say' is what is says at the top of this page. So maybe it would be a good idea if you let people have their say, without feeling the need to batter away at them in a hail of blue type just because their say isn't quite what you want to hear. Your response to David Weston's perfectly reasonable post is actually pretty vile. What he said was true - you could hear the disappointment at us winning in your report.

I know you're good Evertonians, but whoever it was that said power corrupts, he wasn't wrong. When people post, they're speaking to all Evertonians. They're not, and God forbid they ever should be, trying to please anyone at ToffeeWeb. So don't feel the need to slaughter everything you don't agree with. Stalin's dead, you know.
Hugo Kondratiuk, London  (15/01/06)

Hugo, you seem to have missed the point. What I objected to was this Evertonian having a go at other Evertonians, rather than doing himself what (in his eyes) we all should be doing. He got a deserved response not because I don't agree with it but because I found it personally offensive and hypocritical. He did just what he criticizes us for - having a good moan.

If you want to hear about disappointment, read Tony Marsh's comments on the game directly below, and see if they don't reflect just what was written in our Match Report. Read about the quality of the football played. Read about the decision to sub off our only striker, and the reaction of the away crowd. After all, that's what we are talking about here.

If David Weston wanted to send in a gushing congratulatory letter to the lads, as he expected other Evertonians to have done, there was nothing stopping him, and of course it would have been published. Indeed he went so far as to imply that we deliberately withhold such letters from publication! Instead, he chose to have a go at us for our reporting of a truly dire game in which we played very poorly, but managed to scrape a win simply because the other lot were even worse. If that's an unsupportive analysis of the game, so be it: guilty as charged. Is it an accurate reflection of the game? I'll leave you to decide that one. — Michael

The Beautiful Game
Just got back from today's game at Pompey and let me tell you it wasn't pretty stuff. I know we picked up three valuable points but if we play like that next week against Arsenal then another seven-goal thumping is on the cards. Portsmouth and Everton today served up the worst advert for the Premier League you could imagine. Our slot on match of the day will last all of five seconds tonight.

Against my better judgement I have recently decided to lay off Moyes and hoped today that I would see some decent football played against a pub side called Portsmouth. Moyes failed to deliver. Reverting back to his favoured 4-5-1 system, we were simply hopeless. I am now starting to feel sorry for Beatie up there on his own with ball after ball pumped in to the channels.

I cant believe that the style of football we play is the idea of the players. It must be Moyes and Irvine who come up with this shit. I know we won but I just don't see where we are going playing this way. It's all hit and hope, scramble and scrap but no football is ever played.

To top it all off, Moyes introduced his new ground-breaking formation late on in the game. With two strikers on the bench and the away fans calling for a change to the attack so we could finish Pompey off, what does Moyes do? He takes off our loan striker Beatie and brings on Wier! We then went in to our new formation 5-5-0... or was it 6-4-0? Anyway the whole of our end just groaned and I believe some even started to cry. No striker on the field against a piss-poor side like Pompey is a joke. Maybe our line up against Arsenal will be a 8-2-0 and we can try to defend 0-0 for 90 minutes.

What ever happens from here-on in, playing decent stuff won't be part of our agenda; we don't have the know-how. I am still going to go the games but it is becoming harder and harder to watch this crap. All I ask for is that, as each season passes, we make a little progress in the football department and start entertaining the fans a bit. Is this to much to ask for or should we just put up and shut up? Let's see Bill put the prices up next season...
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (14/1/06)

Build on good fortune now
Notwithstanding today`s result, surely Moyes is not serious about not signing a striker! I just checked your `results` table to find that Ferguson has not scored a League goal since last April; Bent just one — back in August; McFadden, who can hardly be termed a striker ,has two; and our £6M man, Beattie only five — two of them from penalties!

OK, we`ve got away with it up to now with lucky toe-ins and the like from midfielders but that luck can`t last. Moyes must do what he ain`t much good at and that`s build on the good fortune we`ve had and boost the strikeforce NOW. Otherwise, believe me, we`ll be right back down there again in no time.
Graham Porter, Heswall  (14/1/06)

You, sir, are a moaner, and no mistake. This sort of critical negative talk cannot be tolerated in an open democratic society. Moyes himself has said there are unlikely to be any newcomers, and I wouldn't expect him to be teasing us. And anyway, Moyes is proving all the doubters wrong, one game at a time. We have no new players, yet we are moving up the table. Explain that, please. — Michael

I've browse thru your website and found some interesting interview you have conducted with past manager (Walter Smith & Joe Royle). Do you, by any chance, consider doing an interview with Moyes? All Evertonians will be very interested to know what's his perspective on transfer, Per Krøldrup, league position, player performance, future plans, tactics etc.
Jay   (14/1/06)

We usually leave that up to enterprising fans; Joe Baneerjee was particularly effective in this role. But recent attempts by Daniel Mckeown to obtain interviews with the players was met with a flat refusal, and I'm sure it would be the same for an audience with the man himself. However, since he has spoken more than once in recent months on each of the subjects you list, I'm not sure what great revelations you would expect. Don't we know pretty much where Moyesie stands on each of those issues? — Michael

Youth setup
With regards to all of the mentions about our Academy and bringing on young players, I was talking to Mick Lyons in the Springfield boozer after a game last season and he said it was a disgrace that Colin Harvey was not still involved.I said that I thought he had retired due to health reasons but Mick intimated that there was more to it than that without elaborating further.

Now I'm pretty sure that Mick Lyons must know Colin Harvey well and therefore must know something that we don't. Does anyone know anything more about this mystery? Colin Harvey was undoubtedly a master at bringing through good, young players and if he's being kept from the club for any reason other than retirement then I think we should know.
Paul Burns, Liverpool  (14/1/06)

From what we know, Colin Harvey was pretty upset and depressed when he left Everton in 2003, annoucing his retirement prior to his testimonial. Whether that was due to illness, continuing frustration over his hip problesm, or to other circumstances within the club and the manner in which he was relieved of is duties, we really don't know. However, we did publish this back in October:

"Colin Harvey and Alan Harper both left under bad terms with the people that were brought in to see the development of the new academy structure — a Mr Neil Dewsnip. Under Harper and Harvey, we always had players on the fringes; even if they were not quite good enough, we could sell them on and get a return on our investment. Now, we are just releasing anyone and everyone that Dewsnip has convinced Moyes wasn`t as good as his new batch of kids coming through."

Harvey had the opportunity in his recent book, Everton Secrets, to give the dirt... although such a move would adnmittedly be highly unusual. These "Tell-All" autobiographies very rarely do.

But the Club would be the first to tell us it's none of our busisness, since we're here (apparently) only to provide positive support — not ask any potentially embarrassing questions. I believe they operate a similar system in communist China. — Michael

Paul Hopkins!
I was surprised to read an article by Chris Marks complaining about the lack of youngsters coming through under Moyes. Not only was Moyes influential in developing the career of the most talented player England has ever produced (Rooney), other youngsters such as Osman and Hibbert have been developed into decent Premiership players. James Vaughn was being developed into an outstanding prospect before injury, and on-loan Everton youngster Paul Hopkins scored his first professional goal in his second appearance for Darlington.

Hopkins has a big reputation and Moyes has done a smart thing by sending him out on loan to gain experience. Hopefully Hopkins will be an Everton star of the future. Goalkeepers Turner and Ruddy are also gaining experience from loans. I think Moyes is doing a grand job with the youth — far better then Walter Smith who bullied out young players like Jeffers, Ball and Dunne.
Dutch Schaeffer  (14/01/06)

Lighten up, Toffemoan
It`s 8pm on a day we`ve chalked up yet another win in the great recovery. Not a single letter of congratulation to the boys has yet appeared on your site which, if you haven't heard already, is now known as throughout Evertonia!

Is it that nobody bothers to write in when we get a result or is it, as we all believe, you don`t like having to carry anything positive about the Club? I think I know the answer to that one but, for God`s sake, if you have any role to fulfill, it`s surely one of positive support for the Club we love.

Even today`s match report is written in a grudging and curmudgeonly manner as if you`re all pissed off that Everton won! There`s more to being an Evertonian than constant carping, you know, and don`t tell me it`s because you care so much. Bollocks to that one because even when the manager — who, like every one of his profession, makes mistakes — does something positive like winning a bloody match, your lot will find something to moan about.

So for Christ`s sake, lighten up, get a bloody life and start to enjoy the privilege of following a top club — otherwise you may find you`re addressing your venom to an audience restricted to a collection of manic depressives.
David Weston, Bebbington  (14/1/06)

Were you wildly enthused by that? A spwany goal fumbled over the goal-line by a midfield player again, long periods when we were under the cosh, and when we did finally get to grips with the game and realize they couldn't do much about it, we sat back, taking off our one and only striker... rather than trying to do something about our god-awful goal difference. Go and practise your Latin and you might get an inkling of what some of us are looking for from an Everton team.

And yea, just to spite you and the rest of the mindless twats, we've been holding back dozens of congratualtory letters that have been flooding in since that fabulous result, just so you could have your moan.

Where's your match report then, eh? And where's your congratulatory letter? No, you'd rather have a carp and a moan yourself, wouldn't you? And at fellow Evertonians who actually do something for the wider Everton fanbase. What a fine upstanding Evertonian you are. — Michael

Seb Gordon and Me
So Seb Gordon has voted with his feet. And I've voted with mine. I highly doubt that we are the only ones. Kenwright is alienating supporters that this club needs, not to go forward, but to stay where we are! Bullshit Billy can work 24/7 for a million years... for the simple fact that NOBODY is going to hand over a wad of cash without some power in return. And we're fucked because of that.
David C  (14/1/06)

Great win; we now compete with Fulham
Great away win, we can now thank Moyes and co that we are challenging Fulham, Blackburn and Charlton for a mid-table spot.

Interesting to note when looking at the {Premiership table, of the old 'Big Five' clubs only Everton are at the wrong end of the table. It is thanks to the combined effort of succesive Everton Chairmen, directors and managers that we find ourselves in this position and without a glimmer of hope that something may change in the near future.

Moyes, Kenwright and Wyness have little ambition for our club other than the odd cup run and a spot in Europe every five years. I wait in desperation for an ambitious and capable director to emerge at Everton who will change this appalingly mediocre management structure.
Peter Pridgeon, New Zealand  (14/01/06)

3 points and a magic fix... maybe
Thank god for a friend's child's second birthday party today, a few pints and a magic drop of optimism surrounded by reds to see Man Utd getting pumped by Man City with the usually theatrical Ronaldo getting a red card into the bargain, Osman scoring a solitary goal for the blues but they all count and three points.

Let's hope our midfield can keep it up as the strike force can't but three points is three points. Scared by the Arsenal scoreline but throws a new contender into the scrap in Boro — out of interest, does anyone else think are in financial trouble? Suddenly unloading all their top earners and showing less fight than anyone else at the bottom of the table?

ps: Tony Marsh.... bravo, keep it up.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (14/1/06)

Everton's Media Image
I have just read the excellent articles regarding EFC's media image and the responses to it. These are the best submissions to ToffeeWeb I have seen for some time, not just because of the subject matter but also the quality of writing, analysis of the issues and positioning of the arguments.

What intrigued me also is that I then looked at the mailbag (not something I have done a lot recently due to the tiresome repitition of the same comments) expecting to see lots of responses. There were a few but not that many — why?

I wonder if we are happy to wallow in our history and the injustices of Europe etc. At the Man Utd game last year when Carrol was hit by the bottle, a guy in front of me actually suggested that it was just what the FA/UEFA wanted so they could thwart our Champs league inclusion - and he really believed it!!! Did the articles not provoke many responses because we quite like to have something to moan about?

I hate Liverpool as much as any blue but whinging about their media staus compounds our inferiority complex about how we are treated. We need to up the ante for ourselves — no-one will do it for us — or rather the club need to.

The comments about how badly the club is run are all very valid and not acceptable but the response by HKLC was the most telling from a football industry insider; clearly our press office is totally incompetent and that is a direct, measurable reason why the media is ambivalent towards EFC.

Man City are a direct comparison with us and have been even less successful but are quoted as one of the best to deal with and get a good press — all this isn't rocket science is it?

More like these please.
Mike Iddon, Marlow  (14/1/06)

My take on this conundrum is that criticism of the club and the way it is run falls into the same category as slamming Blue Bill for his errors and omissions. Although many of us who have seen this particular light don't like to admit it, "most" Evertonians cannot bring themselves to do this because Bill is a Blue, and to do so would be disloyal at a fundamental level.

And even if you get over that hurdle, the next challenge is: what on earth do you do about it? The Club does not want to hear criticism, however constructive it might be. The Club does not want transparency or accountability, however desirable these may be for the fans. The change of hierarchy (advocated below) as the only mechanism that would really bring about much-needed change throughout the Club is a dim and distant prospect. And the attempts to coordinate a movement among the fans that could agitate for change are always fraught with angst, factionalism and apathy, as I have repeatedly noted here.

So where does that leave us? Is withdrawal of our support the next step, as some have done, but that is fundamentally ineffective: no-one is going to notice. So we go along and support them during the game. And we bitch and moan during the week. — Michael

Smoking Mirrors.... Again
So January is not a goood month Mr Moyes? Well, get this right through your head: January is the only month in this window, and if you don't sort it out in the transfer market... we will be relagated. 'Appy 'Arry, Mr Bruce & co are proverbially pisssing themselves that it's January, mate; so should you. Sort it out or the p45 is in the post!!!
Bobby Dempster , huyton  (14/01/06)

Err... who looks better after today's results? Certainly not 'Appy 'Arry or Mr Bruce, I'd venture. You might just have to change your tune there, Bobby. Moyes and Kenwright are clearly convinced they can do more than just avoid relegation without making any new additions. And Everton are already up to their highest meaningful position of the season (ignoring rounds 1 & 2). — Michael

Today's Moyesism
Today's latest gem from the fabled Ginger One is along the lines of "I want to run my eye over Sean Davis during the Portsmouth game"... Erm, Earth calling Ginger: you run your eye over an available player then make your mind up whether or not to buy him: game set and match on Moyes having already missed the boat on this and god knows how many other players.

I dont want to start another Sparke v Marsh here but Richard Dodd must surely be out of his mind to think Wyness's "fiscal skill" is ongoing! It ended with selling the club's crown jewels to keep the club out of administration and his own admission that virtually since that day all he has done is filled his own pockets on the club's time with his own business ventures. Has anyone heard of any more cash coming into the club apart from hiked ticket prices to existing fans, increased merchadising costs to existing fans — two key words in both sentences; "existing"?

The farce which was the AGM showed no brilliance, no new ideas, no future plans — just a daisy chain of Billy Liar and his henchmen patting each other on the back.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (14/1/06)

New Everton Motto
Like many long suffering Evertonians, I remain embarrassed by the club's malaise and apparent inability to alter its destiny. Therefore, I suggest we match the Board's expectations with their stewardship of our once great club and change our motto. I humbly would like to provide three possible options:

  • Mediocris est bonus satis
  • Mediocris est species
  • Mediocris est factum

Mike Dunne, Toxteth  (14/1/06)

I think you forgot one: Mediocris et feacesMichael

Richard`s Official Line
As long as I live down here, Portsmouth is my one `home` game of the season, so with only 120 miles to travel today, time to reflect on Richard Dodd`s contribution to the `January Window` debate.

As ever Richard feeds in what always sounds suspiciously like the `official` Club line — nobody can be that naive unprompted, surely? Whether or not this is the case, I think it reflects Moyes`s and the heirarchy`s thinking perfectly. The manager believes, as I do, that the present squad are just about good enough to avoid relegation and he is probably assuring them that Wyness`s budgeted 10th place is attainable.

His recent comments about January not being a good month for bargains is no doubt made in the light of the mugging he got with James Beattie a year ago. He knows that had he held on, Southampton would have been glad to `unload` in the summer at half the price he paid and I have personally heard Doug Ellis of Villa say that he was relieved when Beattie chose Everton because he was grossly over-priced! Again, I should be amazed if Moyes has not used the `faith in the current squad` line as a motivator in preparations for today`s game although with only 14 goals to show from 21 games he must have greater faith in the defence holding firm that I have.

So what if it all goes pear-shaped and we get tonked by both Pompey and Arsenal? Will he move for re-inforcements then? My bet is that Billy Boy will panic and persuade Moyes, against his better judgement, to have a punt in the market but I see no way that he will risk £40k a week on the likes of Jimmy Floyd or `The Toxteth Tosser`.

So, if the worst comes to the worst, you may yet see us `trundling` into February with a new name on the team sheet. What will be left to write about then I wonder?
David Hall, Taunton  (14/1/06)

Trials and Tribulations
I see we are taking yet another player on trial. It then dawned on me that this is a symptom of one of Moyes's worst traits - dithering. Either he cannot trust the word of his scouts or he cannot make up his own mind.
Russ   (14/1/06)

Do us a favour, Davey, and drop a bung
The transfer window opens and you can smell the fresh air as clubs up and down the country bring in the new Yakubus and get rid of their old Matt Jansens. Not for Everton Football Club though; we don't seem to fall for the lure of the Jauary sales. Whilst other fans get to dream of the transformation that a Noe Paramot will make to their side, we just get to stare at the implacable, yet sincere, face of Mr David Moyes.

'Are you going to throw us a bone here?' The answer would seem to be that he is not and that gives me plenty of time to wonder... why?

In discussion with countless sources (big bro and me arl fella), as well as a quick visit to Luton, I have come up with the solution. Davie isn't dithering — he's just honest. In the sleazy world of Premiership managers, chairmen and agents Mr Moyes is in fact fighting a lone, secret battle against bungs and backhanders. Whilst all the other managers meet at Knutsford Services to pick up their brown envelopes, our white knight is out on the training pitch where he belongs. Shouldn't that make us feel good?
Mike Rimmer, Liverpool  (14/1/06)

You Couldn't Make It Up
Listening to David Moyes these days is starting to become a real ball-breaker. What the fuck is he on? So all the players we have been looking at lately are limited according to DM. They should fit right in with Daves and his other signings then.

The trouble with this latest comment is that Davie has now made a rod for his own back. Imagine if he decides to get his head out of his arse and try and sign someone this month then that someone will automatically assume that he is one of the limited players Moyes was talking about. So now we have a situation were all potential signings feel as though Dave Moyes thinks they are shit. How good is that?

Can it really get any worse than this? Yes it can. The only players who would sign for Moyes now are in the Jock 3rd Division or the Conference. Well done, Davie you have just alienated every proffesional footballer in the land! Who said Moyes had poor man management skills, oh that must have been me.

Well, boys and girls, I will give you a full unbiased report when I get back from Pompey. Let's hope Beatie can pay back some of the faith Moyes put in him and get us that avalanche of goals he promised to get us when he was fit. He is fit now... isn't he?
Tony Marsh  (1/14/06)

Only one solution
The negative, harmful attitudes that others have talked about at the club can only be solved from a top-down shake up, an entirely new approach to the way Everton Football Club Co Ltd approaches its entire business, across the spectrum of the services the company provides. Such an overhaul requires great foresight, honesty, self-criticism and above all, professionalism and a desire to succeed.

These are things that people who have been in any job, in any company, for a long time find very difficult to do. I suggest that BK is in this position and it effects everything else that happens at EFC.

Having read the debates that have been taking place on these pages in recent days, weeks, months, above all other issues, one things seems abundantly clear to me. The club, the company, needs a change of direction. For this to happen, the man at the top must go. I'm not saying this will solve everything. There are other issues to resolve, but this is clearly the most important. It is the root of all other problems.

For so many years the club has been strolling, willingly, down a cul-de-sac of discontent.If it was in any other business, it would be no more. In terms of customer satisfaction, how does Everton Football Club Co Ltd do, taking into account its performance over the last 15 years? In the world of real business, Everton would have gone the way of C&A a long time ago: bust. I suggest we need to do a Marks & Spencer.

I speak as someone who doesn't make the effort to get to Goodison much anymore. I live in London now and would love to go, but when it comes to a choice of how to spend my hard earned cash, it's either a weekend away visiting mates or going to the match to watch poor quality football and probably an Everton defeat, there's only one choice to make.

A couple of years ago now, I made a decision not to put any more of my money into the club whilst BK was still owner. I haven't been to a home match or bought any merchandise since. I still love the club as much as ever, but will not contribute to the shit that is being served up. I am voting with my feet.

Perhaps this isn't the way to do it, perhaps it's the easy way out. Either way, it's the way I've chosen. I just can't abide by what BK is doing, albeit, I believe, in good-faith, to Everton Football Club.

Look at what's happened in the last couple of years. There's a list of massive errors, Rooney, Kings Dock, Fortress. Not small things. Big, big once in a generation opportunities. He's messed every one up. He is incompetent. He has to go. Done.
Seb Gordon, London  (1/14/06)

I've just had this thrown at me today from a very happy Liverpool fan: Apparently Moyes got offered his bollock-weight in sweets. Two Tic-Tacs are on the way....

Sad thing is, it's not that far off. I mean, he hasen't actually shown any balls in the transfer market. And all this "We're not looking to make any additions" crap, and "January is a bad time." During the two months in the summer he hardly brought the best money could buy. The man's as slow as a slug in salt when it comes to the transfer market.

This is only an attack against his transfer dealings not his management... although he was a little slow to realise 4-4-2 was better than 4-5-1. But in general he is a good motivator and is still learning management at the top level so is bound to get better. Perhaps someone else helping him with the first impressions bit of signing players might help. [Hint: try fucking smiling!]
James Bundza, Notts  (13/1/06)

No more sticking plaster
In spite of the outcry in your columns against the decision of David Moyes not to expand the playing staff at this time, I do believe that most Evertonians understand and accept the stance he is taking.

Under the admirable stewardship of Keith Wyness, the Club is now being operated along sound financial lines and, at the present time, it appears that only minimal funds can be made available to secure transfers. Moyes accepts this situation and is not prepared to take on second-rate players — either via free transfers or — loans just to pacify those sceaming for new faces. I am sure he believes that this stance will not only conserve funds to put towards meaningful targets in the summer but will also be seen as an act of faith in the present squad and thus spur them on to maximum effort.

This kind of co-ordinated and responsible management of resources is a dimension which has been lacking from the Club for all too long. Let us, therefore, rejoice that the era of the knee-jerk reaction and the sticking plaster is over and, instead of looking wistfully at players totally outside our grasp, all get together to encourage the lads towards achieving a good end-of-season position in the League.
Richard Dodd, Formby  (13/1/05)

That's fantastic news, Richard; exactly what we've been waiting to hear. It fills us with confidence to know that we have such a wise, knowledgeable, and yes, frugal man at the helm. We should all get behind him to a man...

... and give him a right good kick up the arse because, (I'm sorry, you nearly had me then) we don't actually believe a word of that apologist nonsense. Yes, call me bi-polar but the man really has cooked his own goose with the latest espousal of managerial brilliance: "January ... is not a particularly good month for signings to be made." September? October? November? December? February? March? April? I'm sure these are far better months, eh, Richard? I wonder, though, can you spot the tiny little problem? Answers on the back of programme, please. — Michael

Investment at what price
Having read the inside story about Russian revolution at Portsmouth in yesterday's Telegraph, a suggestion was made that Everton where approached by Mr Gaydamark but he walked away when informed of the price for his investment.

Let's get things in perspective, we are at best a poor mid-table team [one who got extremely lucky last season], that needs fresh investment. If Kenwright and Wyness do not deliver (god knows they have had long enough to find and embrace investors) then they should go in the summer.

Would it have hurt them to lower the Millwall price to £15, at least the ground would have nearly been full.
Jim Feeney, Liverpool  (13/1/06)

  1. "What is Kenwright looking for from an investor?" Money with no strings attached that would enable him to keep control of the train-set. If this inference is true, it would fit the pattern, I suspect.
  2. If Kenwright were to leave in the summer, we would have to have a new investor in order to buy him out... only it wouldn't be new investment because it would just go to him in exchange for his shares.
  3. Not convinced lowering the price fills the ground... probably sends the opposite message: "Game is not that attractive; we expect the ground to be half-empty, so we are lowering the price to persuade you to come.. please come... pretty please... with knobs on." — Michael

Curious thing about Liverpool's new signing: according to this webbsite (good luck if you can understand a word of it, his favourite English team is Everton!
Jon Park, Sweden  (13/01/06)

I used to love that Swedish Chef on The Muppet Show.... are they related?

Sorry to say.
Sorry to say after becoming increasingly wound up with everything Moyes does and says, I found myself trying my hardest not to fall out with good lads friends, all blue to the core but astonishingly, back Moyes all the way. Maybe I should let it all go over my head, like Mr Moyes and my mates eh?

Thank you, Tony Marsh, for stopping me feeling like a twisted pesimist; good to know I am not alone, just seen it early on, like you. Will the real Messiah please stand up, Mr Marsh,the stage is yours.
Tony C, Liverpool  (13/1/06)

Top half
Did you know that if we win 15-0 tomorrow then we could be looking at the top half of the table.


ps: don't tell Gavin it's Friday 13th !
Ian Ridley, Caterham,London  (13/1/06)

Ahhh... some positivity at last!

Fortress Money
I believe the Fortress money was real and the investors were buying a certain Mr Rooney and build a team around him. When we sold him then there was no interest in Everton, but this was a good chance for Mr Bill Kenwright to use as a delaying tactic, I wonder if the guy who came to the Everton board meeting and put the deal together received any money from Everton or Bill Kenwright for his services?

Then the season we had I think the extra money for finishing 4th (instead of 4th from bottom as was the our goal according to our Skipper Kevin Campbell after the Arsenal game and extra TV money we received probably came to the amount Fortress were prepared to pay for 30 per cent. So Bill got lucky. If we had ended up 4th from bottom, I wonder what state we would be in now...
Peter Knight, Vancouver,Canada  (13/1/06)

I did a page here on the way the FSF "investment" was to be structured on the assumption that new shares would be generated. I'm not sure about the Rooney factor, to be honest, since the AGM/EGM malarkey with Mr Samuelson (life-long Evertonian) transpired after Rooney was sold, and FSF was very much still alive (or so we gulible numpties were led to believe). The question about money for Samuleson's services was indeed asked at the last AGM, and it was flatly denied that he received a penny for services rendered.

But your last point is, I believe, spot on. Bill got very, very lucky with the 4th place money, and the Rooney money together. It enable us to become one of the 20 rischjest clubs in the world, you know, so there's no looking back now.... [Colm will hopefully correct anything I might have mis-stated.] — Michael

We'll start at the end - weeks, possibly months in advance of Bill Kenwright, or anyone from the Club, admitting in public that the Fortress Sports Fund investment was dead in the water: "A means to an end" Not my words but instead the words from within the Club. Bill had got lucky with Moyes and the team performing not a minor miracle but a major one. Finishing fourth, ahead of that lot, Champions League looming on the horizon, increased revenue from a higher League placing and television revenue at its highest. Bill could afford, eventually, to say whatever he liked about the possibility of the Fortress money: it could be labelled a bad deal for the Club "at this time", under the terms originally agreed; it could've been dismissed for a variety of reasons. Whether genuine or not, investment (and I say that word loosely) from unknown people located far and wide was always going to be rejected, I believe, by the majority of shareholders if brought before the shareholders for ratification. It's too simplistic to say it never existed. I believe Due Diligence was performed but the point forever made by those of us who viewed this whole exercise as nothing but a case of smoke and mirrors was that it was simply designed, at the time, as a mechanism to be used to prevent the attempt at the time by Paul Gregg and his own investors to wrestle control away from Kenwright. The one good thing to emerge from this sorry debacle was the end of True Blue Holdings.

Whatever did happen to Christopher Samuelson, lifelong follower of Everton, wheeled out by Bill Kenwright at the AGM? Does he remain a lifelong follower of Everton Football Club and if so does he continue to work on our behalf over in the Far East, as he claimed last year. The cynic in me reckons if I were ever to attend one of Mr. Kenwright's Broadway shows I just might recognise the frame of this individual, singing and dancing, playing to someone else's tune from the back row. Smoke and Mirrors. Everton style. "A means to an end...."

Bill Kenwright continues to search for investment..... - Colm

Matt Jansen
Just read Pat Cocum's letter about Matt Jansen. He wasn't at Bellefield — he was actually up at Bolton, were he has just signed a contract till the end of the season.
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (13/1/06)

Bellefield... Bolton. You can see how easily someone could get confused. Perhaps he started off the day at Bellefield... then when on to Bolton ("Matt: here are the driving directions you requested" — Clifford Finch).

Davey might have decided he was not good enough... or Davie might have decided nothing just yet, thinking he could sleep on it and decide tomorrow. If I said "Brian Rix", perhaps some of them there older readers we have might relate? — Michael

Say what?
"January ... is not a particularly good month for signings to be made."
"the players we are looking at are limited".
"[Beattie] has got to get to double figures and hopefully even beyond that."

How gutted will he be if Beattie ends the season on 99 goals after this punt? Comical words, that serve as a reminder that, with a microphone in his face, poor old Davey is not best taken literally. Remember, Toffeewebbers, not to let the ridiculous, throwaway verbals get you down.
Ted Turner, Nottingham  (13/1/06)

Doh.... you'll spoil all the fun.

Glib Moyes
I`ve just seen David Moyes on Sky News reiterating that he `expects no movement in the window`. `It`s not too frustrating as we`re no doing too bad at the minute,` he added. The glib bugger must know something we don`t or perhaps he`s already settled for 15th place!
Andy Knowles, Wirral  (13/1/06)

That is very reassuring then. Judging by all the mails on here, we are floundering near the bottom of the Premiership on the verge of being sucked back into a long and painful battle against relegation, and in danger of exiting our fourth cup competition of the season — if not this round then certainly the next. But if Davey says "we're no doing tae bard" that's good enough for me... New club motto perhaps, now that "The People's Club" has worn so thin? Jeez.. I'm starting to sound like Gavin already! — Michael

Taxi for Moyes...and co
So no-marks Portsmouth have not only found new money — it's all the same shape and spends the same way no matter how dirty it is; I for one would not turn down any new money in this club. If Portsmouth can attract money why the fuck cant Bullshitter Billy? What sort of history does that club have?

On the same note, the ginger misery dropping gems like "January is a hard month to buy players," for god's sake you useless miserable turd, Jansen — FREE — goes to Bolton; at that price he must have been worth a try over Marcus Bent or headless chicken McFadden.

Portsmouth sign Sean Davis and two other fringe Spurs players that are better than at least two of our present midfield. Not heard but has Brown left Spurs yet either? At £1M he would be a steal.

Agger goes to those that should not be named across the park - hey that's just like Sissoko, Moyes is consistently shit at not making his mind up if nothing else.

The club is a fucking disgrace and the mugs we are; the paying fans, are being taken for a ride by Billy Bullshitter, fat pockets Wyness (the slimy version of Fred Elliot), and the clueless and incredibly poor ginger misery himself Moyes. How can anyone condone or support these three clowns any longer?

I'm really finding it difficult to justify next season's season ticket with a young family to support and a club ran and controlled by people that obviously doesnt give a flying fuck beyond their own interests. And I've had a season ticket for years before anyone says fair-weather fan shite — and I have spent a fortune following the team in lean and good years.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (13/01/06)

Such bile and visceral anger, Gavin. I mean, I question a fair amount of what goes on (obviously), but you seem to have developed an intense and extremely personal hatred of these three that surely goes well beyond the bounds of reason as a football fan. They are, after all, the powers that be at the Club you claim to support. I'm not advocating psysophantic compliance but I don't think I could do what I'm doing if I felt like that about them... which raises the question: should we all be feeling like you are? Or are you just way over the edge??? — Michael

Moyes complaining about inflated valuations of players in Jan. Two words - Matt Jansen, free, gone to Bolton.... Even if he was crap it would be competition for the strikeforce which is about as potent as Pele advertising impotence solutions....
Daniel Parker, New York, US  (13/01/06)

Matt in the Hat
Whilst Sky News and all the dailies were reporting that Matt Jansen was training with Man City yesterday, it must have been a very brief session because I can categorically assure you that he spent most of the day at Bellefield! Perhaps Moyes will come up with a `Matt in the Hat` after all!
Pat Cocum, West Derby  (13/1/06)

Thanks for that, Pat. We'll be watching... ... Oh look: "Jansen jons Bolton" Doh! — Michael

How very true!!
I really enjoyed Steve Guy's article about the media coverage EFC. receives and, in particular, his comments concerning Liverpool Football Club. LFC are also quoted by the media as "being one of the big Clubs" - why because they won the European Cup - certainly not because of their success in winning the Premiership title. This "blue-eyedness" even applies to playing for can bet your bottom dollar, if you play for Chelsea, Man Utd, Spurs or Liverpool, you are in with a chance to play for your country. EFC could have the best player in the country and he would still not get picked to play for England.

As for Everton's Youth Academy policy... I do think the Administrative side at the Club needs shaking up. At the beginning of December, I received a 'phone call from someone representing EFC who asked if I would agree that the Club could have a monetary payment based on my BT phone bills. This had been agreed with BT and EFC would be given as a cash amount based on my phone bill. This would be given to EFC towards Youth Academy Funds. I had no hesitation in agreeing and was informed that within a week I would receive a letter of thanks from EFC .. I am still waiting!! As my next telephone bill is not due to the end of February I cannot even check if there is any reference to the above on the bill. Has anyone else received a similar call?
Patricia Beesley, Carmarthen  (13/01/06)

"EFC could have the best player in the country and he would still not get picked to play for England." — Uh! Did you really write that to see if I was awake?

We shall be calling soon to ask for your generous contribution towards the ToffeeWeb Towers Rennovation Fund. How about a colourful rubbery wristband as a token of our thanks? — Michael

No last minute winners,please
For the first time ever I shall travel to an away match tomorrow hoping we don`t get a spawny win from a last-minute header. It`s a terrible thing to say but only another tonking will persuade this Board/manager that there must be investment during this transfer window. And I don`t mean in another left-back!
Jamie Curtis, Waterloo  (13/1/06)

Make sure you're sitting with the away Blues for the best game atmosphere. Enjoy! — Michael

Since when is 40 old !!!
Michael I take exception to your remarks about "young talent" mate, the only thing that makes me feel old is supporting this bloody club ! I know you were only joking.... you were, weren't you? Michael.... Michael mate ??
Stephen Lyth, Ellesmere Port  (13/1/06)

Hehe... But I had been noticing an ever-increasing number of fans starting with "I've followed Everton through thick and thin these last 40 years, man and boy..." I know that's mostly for rhetorical effect in our recently dire circumstances but nevertheless, it did indicate what people have since confirmed — that the Everton following includes a substantial aging element (I won't say old!). Probably just means there is an even spread across the age range, which would normally be considered a good thing. — Michael

Re: Accountability
Michael - thanks for your response regarding the Fortress Fund debacle. While I'm not hung up on this investment failing to materialise, I am, however, despondent to see the likes of Pompey and Birmingham and co invest in new playing staff during a time of crisis and to consider what might have been had "that investment" materialised. We have on the one hand, Chelsea buying their way to glory, and Pompey, on the other hand, buying their way out of trouble. Whether this eventuates will be the focus for all interested Evertonians over the coming months.

Your response does, however, raise an interesting issue; and the allegation that Kenwright created the potential Fortress Sports Fund investment to ward off Gregg and his potential investors sinks deeper than the surface suggests. Directors of companies have, as a matter of common law, duties to behold, and one of them is to act in good faith for the benefit of the company as a whole. This is a fundamental principle of corporate law and your allegation suggests that our Board is run by an immature bunch of schoolboys only concerned by their self-interests rather than the stakeholders of Everton FC. Indeed, if Gregg did have potential investors, and the whole Fortress Sports Fund idea was a fabrication, would Kenwright have a case to answer? An interesting question perhaps.
Scott Robinson, london  (13/1/06)

Errr... No comment!

A decade without a goal scorer
I'm up late this evening, in the office, and I just happened to stumble across the page on this site of the top goal scorers in recent years. As I looked down the list, it struck me that the last time an Everton player scored more than 15 goals in a season was the 1995-96 season, and that player was Andrei Kanchelskis.

It is generally considered that a 'recognised' goal scorer should score more than 20 goals a season. The last player who did that in an Everton shirt was Peter Beardsley, way back in 1991-92. How much longer are we fans going to have to wait for our club to have a striker of that quality again? I was 12 years old the year Kanchelskis scored 15, let's hope this problem is remedied before I hit 30!
Chris Burnley, Liverpool  (13/1/06)

Mr Ferrari
As reported today, it seems that we won't be keeping Matteo Ferrari. Seems that he hasn't got his chance despite the form of Captain Weir. Having not giving him a chance to partner Yobo, we will now let go of a young defender with a lot of potential.

It's at times like these I wonder what the fuck David Moyes is up to. We couldn't play any worse with the defensive combinations we've tried. With Ferrari playing alongside Yobo, we look to have a foundation for the future (this includes Krøldrup). Now we potentially have to find another defender with no money to spend.

The manager has made it clear that he wants to get it right at the back, and build from there. Despite the form of Yobo we wont be in any stronger position than when Moyes came into the job. I hope he partners Ferrari and Yobo this weekend against Pompey and gives Krøldrup a chance when fit. May David Weir never play more than a role on the substitutes bench again this season. If you think I'm being harsh just recall Cisse scoring the third a few weeks back.
John , Australia  (13/1/06)

Gregg in??
Anyone heard the rumours that Gregg might actually be about to buy out Kenwright? Possibly as much as £40 million. Gregg is apparently desperate to own us, and actually has the investment ready and willing and plans for a new ground? It just maybe a rumour but wondering if anyone has any hard facts?
Chris Wright, Chester  (12/1/06)

Ahh.. right. That's a good one for our Rumour Mill.

Support for Tony Marsh
I just want to echo Steve Lyth in his support for Tony Marsh. I too am in my early forties and remember the good old days. Never have I seen an Everton team capitulate so early in a derby game. They are synonymous with Moyes's character - drab, clueless and dithering.

For the younger generation, our motto: Nil satis nisi optimum is there for a reason. We were a great club and we can be again. We just need a bit of luck...any rich Russians, Thais, will receive a warm welcome at Goodison.
Russ , Cheshire  (12/01/06)

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics
I feel you were wrong to dismiss the views of Jens Hansen who referred to Neil Warnock's comments on the recent Warwick Business School Study. If you read the original article there are some very interesting points made. Firstly, if all we consider is "win percentage" then Mourinho is indeed out on his own and Moyes is nowhere, but Kevin Keegan of all people is 2nd (Fulham) and 7th (Newcastle). Sign him up quick - NOT!

Failing that, Ossie Ardilles while at West Brom returned a better percentage than Benitez at Liverpool (9th and 10th respectively) and Barry Fry (Southend) comes in at 25th - any takers?

The study shows a strong correlation between a club's wage bill and its win percentage, though. Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool have the highest of both but just about every club lies on a straight line except Jewell and Allardyce who are doing better than expected, whilst Macarthy and Perrin's figures are worse. Moyes is neither succeeding nor failing but performing in line with that which his resourses dictate.

There is one interesting little table showing a table of a club's improvement in league postion during a manager's reign. Obviously this is biased toward lower positioned clubs as, say, Mourinho at Chelsea inherited a top 5 side so only had 4 places to play with. Nevetheless Moyes appears here as joint 23rd for his time at Preston.

It's a cold hard fact of life but at Everton we cannot get the rules of football changed or the honours system altered just by complaining - unlike some clubs we could mention. No doubt mistakes have been made this season but hopefully lessons have been learned. Personally, I hope Moyes is given the time to apply the experience gained at Everton Footbal Club to Everton's advantage and not to someone elses. What goes around comes around, I'll be waiting when it arrives.
Tony Horne, Kettering  (12.1.06)

Past performance means nowt!
It amazes me how many of your contributors cite Moyes's achievement of two `Manager of the Year` awards as evidence of his ability. When I was a `Captain of Industry`(more like a lieutenant really!) all the money men used to say` show me a company which picks up a Queens Award to Industry and I`ll show you a company who`ll be in trouble next year! And,do you know they were nearly always right!

It was as though such companies started believing all the complimentary crap that was written about them in the press and took their eyes off the ball. Often, flattered by all the plaudits they stopped doing what they were good at, broadened their horizons, and went straight down the pan!

And that`s exactly the same with our Mr Moyes. Instead of concentrating on finding and developing talent from the lower leagues — of which he had a plethora of experience — he stopped looking for the Cahills because all the big boys said he was a genius. Instead, he got in thrall with the big-time agents who lumbered him with all the crap no one else would sign. The rest is history.

Just like the QAI, honours bestowed for past performance mean nowt. It`s here and now that matters and here and now Everton — and Mr Moyes — are in the shit!
David Hall, Taunton  (12/1/06)

Youth not Moyes's fault
Please will someone try to explain to me why Moyes us being forced to carry the can by the fans for the state of our Youth Academy? We know this problem has been around for a long enough time but it has been glossed over on occasions (last season for a start). Has anyone stopped to consider the fact that our Academy was in dire straits before Moyes was here and still is in the need of major change? Moyes is doing that though, slowly but surely he is working through the problem.

Reading through your mailbag earlier I saw a person state that only a few players progress to be premiership quality. Haven't we already seen 4 players in Hibbert, Vaughan, Osman and Wonderboy himself prove themselves in this league? Alright Hibbert may never be world class but nevetheless he is playing in the top league. These players have only been given their chance under Moyes's stewardship of the club.

I know people may disagree with me on this point, but hasn't Moyes already upgraded another 4 players to the first team, they train with the team and even appear on the matchday programme's teamsheet. I think those 4 players have been put there on merit and are obviously more skilled than others in their youth academy.

Moyes will have a plan for restructuring our Youth System.(wasn't he the one who pushed hardest for the development of our new academy, Finch Farm, as soon as possible?) I find it hard to see the reason why Moyes would have brought two youngsters from Cambridge on trial, as he has just done, if he had no desire to change this Youth System.

Can we just leave him to this part of his job for now and concentrate on getting behind the team? Give Moyes two more years at least to have the Youth system changed. I'm sure picking holes everywhere in Moyes's stewardship will do no good for anyone even the fans.

ps: I just thought you'd like to know you've certainly got young fans on this brilliant website. I'm only 16.
Jonny S  (12/1/06)

Michael re Anelka
What is plain stupid my friend is the shit you choose to believe in. It was Moyes who revealed he tried to sign Owen not a journalist, like it was Blue Bill who said Rooney was going nowhere — on telly. Moyes with his champers (on telly) bragging we were now the best team on Merseyside — three days before Arsenal destroyed us. It's all SHIT and I for one am sick of hearing and smelling it.
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (12/1/06)

Looking inward
Well done to Steve Guy. An excellent article.

In the article, he refers and accedes to recent comments made by Ian Bonnar. Well done for that too Steve, because Ian's letter was absolutely on the mark. Read collectively, they make a great deal of sense when trying to fathom out the general malaise that now underpins the whole club.

Just one point on the 4,000th game. I believe you should look inwardly at this - directly at our PR guru Ian Ross. An inept man, so lacking in what is needed in this role, it is alarming. Then again, look who appointed him.

I'd change a lot at Everton... wouldn't we all! Ian Ross would be near the top of my list.

"If you know your history"... looking back.. always looking back.. that is how Bill Kenwright's misty-eyed era can be summed up. Perish the thought of actually making history.
James McPherson, Liverpool  (12/1/06)

Steve is the Guy
Can I just say very well said to Steve Guy for his excellent piece written for ToffeeWeb. He has really got it smack on when he talks about the little coverage Everton have always got media wise. I've always wondered why clubs like Newcastle(?!) have been linked to the same players as us, but Everton are only ever mentioned once with this story and next time it appears we've disappeared without a trace! Anyhow, might I ask Steve to contribute more as his first piece was brilliant.
Tom Clapson  (12/1/06)

Come back Mr Gregg, all is forgiven!
In a change to the current crop of letters re lack of money/transfer deals/goals/left-backs etc, and in response to another posting regarding the FSF malarkey, why doesn't Mr Gregg try to get control of the club now?

OK, he isn't a true blue but if he can draw some actual money to the club from investors then I think now is the time. Mr Kenwright, for all of his passion etc has to come to the realisation that it is the club that is most important here. It's all well and good the team over the park fighting off new investors because they actually have their own plan, but we seem to be hoping that we'll just get by and build on at our own unique pace, (slow!).

With the south coast port of Russia now spending like a kid in a sweet shop with his dad's credit card we can no longer just be hoping on three teams being worse than us!

I'm sure that things are happening in the background that are improving the club, but it all seems to be about bringing us up to date. We need to step up a few gears and start moving forward before its too late.
Adam Carey, Berkshire  (12/1/06)

Sadly, if you cash in all your chips with Gregg, you get someone hell-bent on ground-sharing with Liverpool. Personally, as bad as utterly impotent as Kenwright is, that is too high a price to pay. Others may feel differently, though. Lyndon

The Golden Vision
This is more a plea for help.

I was amazed to read the other day that BBC 4 had shown The Golden Vision a couple of years ago.

I am desperate for a copy. Would anyone out there have a tape or DVD of it? I would obviously pay well for it.

Oh and by the way, I think Osman should be starting. There you go.
Gary Williams, Walsall  (12/01/06)

Anyone willing to help Gary out, drop us a line via the feedback form and put "GV DVD" as the subject line. Lyndon

Nero Fiddles
I have written before about the Bolton home game being a potential 'watershed' in the relationship between David Moyes and Everton F.C.

It would now take a remarkable turnaround in form and subsequent results to salvage what has been a disastrous season. I was at Villa Park for the latest 4-0 tonking and whatever support Moyes enjoyed amongst the rank and file supporters, pretty much evaporated after the third goal.

Whilst no-one doubts his passion and commitment to the cause, I believe technically he is found wanting as a premiership manager.

The current non-activity in the transfer window is disturbing on two counts;

1) Our relegation rivals are all making serious efforts to strengthen their respective squads,not counting the recent cash injection at Portsmouth, I believe Harry Rednapp would still have managed to find a number of 'loan' players to improve the current squad.

2) It's not simply a matter of Everton signing new players in the transfer window, both players and supporters need a boost new players can often bring.

Like a tired old card sharp, Moyes cannot shuffle his pack any more, we have simply seen all the permutations, particularly up front, Bent/Beattie, Ferguson/Beattie, McFadden/Beattie, Beattie on his own, each combination threatens briefly, then fades dramatically.

I believe he displayed a remarkable lack of insight in the summer when he (or his network of scouts) couldn't at least identify one or two forwards from either the U.K. or Europe, who would have brought some much needed pace up front.

Whilst, no one can take away the achievements of last season, we have been on the end of some humiliating hidings in the last 9 months, (7-0, 4-0, 4-0, etc etc); this coupled with the 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Dynamo Bucharest, tells me that tatically, we have big, big, problems.

So what of the future ? Clearly, the financial pot is empty, unless the current facade is just a smokescreen, and we are about to land a couple of big buys to pull us out of our current predicament.

No, I believe the stubborn streak within Moyes will mean he will stick with what he's got, despite the chronic lack of goals in the side, and the real danger that for the first time in my lifetime, I will see my team be relagated.

Sorry for the doom and gloom, but if you don't score goals, you don't win games. Nero fiddles whilst Rome burns.
Steve Hogan, Chester  (12/01/06)

Much has already been said about Moyes, Kenwright, Wyness, the players, etc.. who really knows what to believe..but isn't it time that someone be held accountable for the debacle that was the Fortress Sports Fund affair? I sit there with shock and horror as our "relegation rivals" (especially Pompey), put the funds together to put up a fight for survival in the Premier League, yet as for Everton, the only whimpers we hear are that no new players are expected to arrive, which can only mean that.. we have NO money. Why else would quality players like Sean Davis join Pompey?!?! It is plainly evident to us all (and Moyes surely) that we need goals yet we cannot sign anyone.

The missed opportunity that was the Rooney money together with the alleged investment by the Fortress Sports Fund means that the club has missed the boat financially; and judging by the most recent transfer dealings, it seems that this is what counts the most, Moyes factor or not. If Moyes was a factor, I don't think Beattie would've joined us (and gone to David O'Leary at Villa instead).

Given that the Fortress Sports Fund was well publicised on the club's official website (and drawn out for that matter), the fact that nothing ever came of it (or any reasons given for its failure) amounts to gross incompetence. As a person who works in the financial industry, people work towards deals and negotiation is the name of the game. People do not generally walk away from deals unless there is a very good reason(s) to do so, and normally such issues are resolved at the start or negotiations would not commence. The fact that this"deal" disappeared into thin air is a travesty and its time we knew the true story as to why this club has once again fallen by the way side when the opportunity was there in the making. Can anyone please stand up??
Scott Robinson, London  (12/11/06)

Oh dear... I'll try to help but if you put so much faith in a fantasy like the Fortress Sports Fund, you're not going to like what follows. FSF was an invention — pure and simple. It was a device instigated to deflect attempts by Paul Gregg to bring in investors of his own that would have wrested control from Blue Bill. It served its purpose... and was heard of no more. End of story.

Oh, and we're Everton; we don't do accountability, meaningless AGMs notwithstanding. [God, am I a cynical mood today, or what???] — Michael

What about Florent Sinama Pongolle?
I'm sure David Moyes is frantically looking everywhere for a striker, no matter what he has said, but he need not look that far. What about Florent Sinama Pongolle from Liverpool? He's 21, 5'-11" (bit on the small side but beggars can't be choosers) and is quite pacy. Soccernet bio suggests he has "blistering pace". Now that is exactly what we need to partner Beattie. He's played six games for Liverpool this season - he's not getting any time there so let's get him out of there. Even Rafa was quoted yesterday that he may be loaned out. I don't know if he's available to buy though but he would be an ideal acquistion at a time like this, and I can't see why he wouldn't move across - it's not like he plays regularly for them anyway. I've seen him play a few times, and he's technically excellent and holds up the ball well. Cost Liverpool £3M in 2001 - surely if we made a similar bid or a little higher we could snatch him. What do you think?
James , Melbourne, Australia  (12/1/06)

I think that's a nice idea, James. You'll just have to hope that Moyesie decides to read the Mailbag today... and then says: "Of course! Why didn't I think of that!" and rushes off with Bill's chequebook to see his mate Rafa.

Meanwhile, back in the Real World.... — Michael

What does £7M get you?
Apparently three players!!! Two midfielders and a right back... Pompey just signed Sean Davis, Pedro Mendes and Noe Pamarot from Spurs for that amount! Sean Davis was a long-time target of Moyes; Pedro Mendes was highly rated even by Mourinho. Why are other clubs getting players on the cheap???

Even though we desperately need a striker, we need more cover in other departments too. Why is Moyes so reluctant to dip into the loan market if we are skint??? There are many players out there currently not happy with new acquisitions by their clubs. Now is the time for us to get them on loan with a view to a permanent move.

And now we hear moyes is bidding £7.5M for Olivier Thomert??? Even though it's just rumours and speculation but who the heck is Thomert??? At £7.5M, I'd rather have those three above... at least we know their potential and limitations and increase our squad size. Moyes is just so undecisive when it comes to transfers and our targets seems to end up in other clubs. I'm wondering sometimes are we scouting talent for them??? He definitely needs help like a Director of Football or something.
Jalil , Singapore  (12/01/2006)

I am with you, Daniel Mckeown!
I, for one, totally agree with what Daniel Mckeown is writing in his second article. And I am also young, 21 years old to be accurate. I don't know exactly Daniel's age, but what we may have in common is that we have never experienced any great Everton eras, as Colm perfectly pointed out in a mailbag response. All we know of Everton FC is mid-table positions at best, and STILL this made us fans. For me, it started with blue being my favorite colour as a kid. Eventually I somehow developed sympathy for a mid-table team who had blue jerseys, it was a match made in heaven! Last season, us young Evertonians finally experienced an Everton side capable of finishing in the top 4, for the first time in our lives! It was great!

Of course, I am not happy about our current league position. But for the younger fans, the Everton side under David Moyes represents a slight change of direction, which has seen us finish 4th and 7th in the last 3 seasons. And on top of that we have a gaffer who during his relatively short spell at Everton has been awarded with two - TWO - manager of the year awards! Sack him?

I agree with Daniel again when he claims Moyes hasn't had many bad signings. What Moyes has set as a standard in his transfer dealings, is that he wants players who really want to play for Everton, instead of people wanting to play here because we can offer them more cash than the next club. I think this is a smart transfer policy for a club in our state.

I think the reason the majority of the fans seem to be fed up with the form and style of Everton FC, and David Moyes for that matter, is that they have experienced better eras. It is not weird at all that they hold every league position up to the ones from our most successful seasons, and our winning ways. But to be fair, do you think that any gaffer could change Everton into a capable side once again overnight? It obviously takes time, and for me, it looks as though Moyes has the ambitions we need. Does he has the talent? Time will tell...
Kjetil Moen, Oslo, Norway  (12/01/06)

Wow, good letter, Kjetil. And your English puts me to shame. Well done, lad. — Michael

What will it take?
Does the hierarchy at Everton read the letters on this website? How is it possible that dedicated Evertonians are complaining about the same thing week after week, month after month, year after year, and those problems don't go away? Is there a chance we can shove these letters up their %$#@!!!!. Do you think they care what we think or feel? Do you think they'd take heed? Just about every team in the Premier League has been purchasing players so far this month but what do we do? dilly-dally, dilly-dally!!! The pain of all pains - that lot across the park is buying like crazy (didn't we want Agger a few months ago????). I give up!
Noleen Daya, Cape Town, South Africa  (12/1/06)

Didn't you get the message? Fans are a neccessary but undesireable part of the game. They fuel the hype-machine, underwrite the massive TV contracts, and provide a bit of match-time magic in the form of atmosphere and the odd expleteive caught by sound-effect mics. But opinions and wisdom? Participation and decision-making Come 'ed, Noleen, yer 'avin a laff there, lass. — Michael

Latest No Chance Signing Rumour
So Anelka is the latest name in a long line of 'smokescreens', the big-name signing that shows Evertonians how ambitious the club is, and yes, like thousands of others I would love to believe it for just a minute. But deep down (or in fact, right on the bloody surface) we all know the truth: his club want £7M for him (we'll offer £1M now and an M&S gift voucher next year; meanwhile, Newcastle will offer £9M). He probably wants £50k a week (we'll offer him half that plus two quid a week in 'incentives') and he also talks about wanting to join a club with European ambitions (we've had our run in Europe for this decade). If by some strange twist he does get close to signing, Moyes will clinch it in the interview ('we don't do attacking football and goals at this club, son').

On a much brighter note, Matt Jansen is available on a free - has started 13 Premiership games in the last 3 years, serious doubts over his short- and long-term fitness after suffering a terrible accident: now he sounds JUST our sort of player! Get the treatment table ready, Basil.
Mike O'Neill, Barcelona  (12/01/06)

In Marsh we Trust
Tony, just a line of support, mate. You are obviously a disillusioned 40-something like myself and a great number of others on this superb forum, who have seen some great teams over the years. Your posts are spot on, Tony; keep them coming fella, you have an attentive audience who don't all blindly believe in David Moyes.
Steve Lyth, ellesmere port  (12/01/06)

Oh please God,... NO!! Say it isn't so! Where's all the young talent gone???

Academy and Anelka!
There have been some interesting articles around recently and there does seem to be a theme with the lack of production out of Everton's youth policy and Everton's Transfer strategy... OK we got Rooney through the Academy, lightning does strike occasionally, but there is an obvious problem with players not moving up to the First Team over a number of years. Either the Academy is just very poor, or Moyes and his Management team are too focussed on rehashing 'proven Premiership quality' (Krøldrup) than encouraging young talent. Everton is a huge club in the World of Football according to Wyness, so surely we should be able to attract the cream of the country's Youth talent ... so where are they?

This brings me to the Transfer debacle which does my head in every time I access the web!!! The case in point is the rumours about Anelka .... £7M for a player who although talented has caused problems in every club he's been in, shows consistency only when its not his time of the month and will want to leave in 6 months

Or we take a HUGE GAMBLE! and go for David Nugent from Preston for £3M. A young keen a goal scorer and a team player — exactly what we need alongside Beattie. Ok, he's never played in the Premiership but we got Cahill by default as Moyes couldn't find anyone else so he was the last option and he's proven himself. There are lots of players in the lower leagues who would be a better bet than some of the clowns we are connected with, and a lot cheaper.

Isn't one of the major problems at the moment the size of the squad? Could that be because we pay too much for Premiership Quality Has-beens, rather than investing in young talent? Wouldn't you think that the current injuries and suspensions would have opened up opportunities for some of the Reserves to make debuts? but OH NO, we roll out Naysmith onto the subs bench, even though he's not played football for a year... and are we ever going to give Li Tie a game??? He can get a game for the Chinese National Team but he's too much of a risk for our beloved Everton!?!

The bottom line here is that we don't have the cash or the capabilities to compete with the likes of Chelsea (or even Portsmouth now!!) to fill a side full of £5M+ players most of whom are not worth that anyway; we need another option. Seems that the 'play it safe' strategy of David Moyes and his Management Team are the problem and in danger of killing the club ...
Rog Walker, Portsmouth  (12/1/06)

Reply to editor
Of course the situation is not ok in terms of the obvious lack of fire power at present. But I am pretty sure Moyes would agree with that. The manager is doing a good job, but people must realise that it takes time to build a team that is a regularly in the top 6 or 7. I can't think of any team except Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool and maybe Chelsea who have been top six over a sustained period of time since the PL started in 92. Hopefully this piece from Neil Warnock can make some jump off the 'Moyes Out' bandwagon.
Jens Hansen, Norway  (12/01/06)

Yeah, right. "Good job"... fewer and fewer people are convinced of that, Jens. And as for Warnock, look at the last paragraph: "Sometimes a manager does need to be changed. He can get stale, the players under him can get stale and when that happens the only option is to get rid of him." Nail. Head. — Michael

The end!
Have to say that I am fully in the Tony Marsh corner and still find it impossible to believe that the vast majority of Blues don't realise what a total tosser Moyes is.

The start of the demise, as I suspect we all secretly know, was the sale of the one person who could have lifted Everton back up to where they belong. Moyes was undoubtedly partly culpable in this, as time will show. The second he thought Beattie worth signing, never mind for a staggering amount, was the moment I realised we were really in trouble. His transfer dealings, and remarkable aversion to pace, have led our club down a very rocky road. We have the second worst squad in the Premiership, a much higher wage bill than most of the Premiership, hardly any saleable 'assets', and play the worst football I have seen in over 30 years of watching Everton.

Unfortunately, a fast becoming jaded soundbite, a flukey season, a recently signed lucrative contract and the fact that our Chairman will be basically admitting gross incompetence by admitting he was wrong all along about Moyes, is protecting the most out-of-his-depth manager I have ever seen at Goodison Park. This is a man who cannot relate to skill players; a man who players don't really want to play for, or sign for... we are all suffering for his failings.

What he has achieved is a legacy that will haunt us all for years. A club nobody wants to come to, if they are any good, and a squad of unbelievably average players with no pace whatsoever, that will be millstones around our necks for years after this fool has gone. And to think I didn't think it could possibly get any worse after Walter Smith.
Mike Price, Songkhla,Thailand  (12/1/06)

About our youth policy
It is possible that Moyes comes in for more criticsm than he deserves. That he 'got rid' of a generation of youngsters implies that he is not a good judge of talent. Could it be that he 'got rid' of them because he is a good judge of talent.
Dick Fearon, Australia  (12/1/06)

Danish defender
I wonder, did Moyes sign another Danish defender (by mistake) rather than the one that he watched, as reported in the media yesterday? The fee is close, £5M vs £5.8M, but the class and abilities are world apart... He did watch Agger apparently, but signed Krøldrup. I won't even start on the quality of the football that the Blues play.
Dragan Tomas, Skopje, Macedonia  (12/1/06)

Players must want to play for Everton
I really hope that we don't pursue our interest in Anelka and Gravesen. They have let it be known through the media that they want to go to Newcastle and Man Utd respectively. What is the point of embarressing the club by chasing players who don't want to know. We need players who would love to play for Everton. Obviously these players are not going to be household names but I'd rather see limited players giving their all than big names sulking because they don't want to play for the club.

We had a chance of attracting top players last season with qualifying for the Champions League but that's gone now. David Moyes should not kid himself into thinking we can attract such players. He should be looking at the lower leagues or emerging talent in Europe. Nugent, Sidwell, Ashton etc are the type of players we may be able to attract. They are also younger and may prove a better investment. The top players want big money, European football, great stadiums and talented managers. We at present can't offer any of this.
Tom Sullivan, Liverpool  (12/1/06)

2006-07 Season
Based on the presumption that we finish outside the relegation zone this season whilst inevitably getting knocked out the FA Cup at some stage, what can we expect next season? With little money to spend and a manager who obviously doesn't know how to spend it, can we expect anything better than 10th place and a cup run? Most importantly, regardless of results, has anyone seen consistently good football by an Everton team under Moyes? Or even since the glory days for that matter?

The end of last season was the pinnacle for any blue supporter in recent times. Full of hope and optimism for the near future. Unfortunately, that's gone flying out the door quicker than Craig Bellamy after his alleged meeting with Mr Moyes.

We currently are a club who are reactionary in our transfer dealings rather than having a clear set of goals for the players we want. DM seems to be too close to the action to have the insights that many supportes see as plain as day. Probably the worst and only reason for his lack of successful transfers to date.
Strato , Australia  (12/1/06)

Cheeky Bastards
Just read my Va Va Voom e.mail from the marketing department at EFC. What a great offer that is! Go and sit in a tent in Stanley Park Road and eat some microwaved roast dinner before crossing the car park to the main stand just in time to catch the Arsenal game kick off. Corporate hospitality the Everton way. At a reduced rate of course. This type of shit is typical of the way the club is run.

They boot out supporters from seats in the lounges they have held for years. I know one guy who had the same seat for 40 years in the Joe Mercer/500 club and left when they hiked the prices up to double what they were. It's now 2 grand a seat. The Alex Young suite last season cost a grand — that's gone up to £2750 a seat. All of this was done out of greed and the fact that the club was in the champions league... HA HA.

The Alex Young has been sold out for years; now there are 53 unsold seats this season out of 200. What a way to run a business! Treat your most loyal customers like shite and then when your greed and stupidity backfires on you, go cap in hand with the begging bowl. Every home game this season, Rita London and her lackies come in to the Joe Mercer suite trying to sell tickets for the other empty lounges. Can you believe this shit? Everton FC being run like a garden fate tombola.

Can any one out there imagine a situation like this arising across the park or at any other club in the Premier League for that matter. The whole club is rotten from top to bottom. Corporate facilities, ticketing, youth policy, transfers, the way the first team is run its all a mess. Steptoe and Sons scrap yard is run better than Everton FC. Yet still we turn up in our thousands every week, home and away, desperate for a slight glimpse of success... only to be crushed at every turn.

I take my hat of to my fellow Evertonians all of you. We suffer more than any other fans in the world yet still we soldier on. What happens from now is anybodys guess. Me; I haven't got a clue. What would I know? I just talk shit and make things up.

See you at Pompey boys.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (11/1/06)

Tony - Mr Wyness (CEO at "The People's Club") told the AGM that we now had "approaching 85% occupancy of the Lounges". Yeah, I didn't believe him either. Burning question though... if we're now back almost full in the Lounges (food still abysmal)... is Rita London and her ticket selling now surplus to requirements?! - Colm

Where have all the young men gone?

The famous educator Robert Shaffer said, "We must view young people, not as bottles to be filled but as candles to be lit." This applies equally to young players as to undergraduates. All too often, Everton's young players appear to have been filled like bottles and not lit like candles. I completely agree with the analysis of Everton’s youth policy by Chris Marks but it’s just one symptom of the whole spectrum of neglect.

Over the years, with money tight, we neglected investment in training facilities at Bellefield, neglected Goodison Park and neglected the entire youth set up. This is tragic because you can spend many millions and end up with a disappointment like Beattie, but developing a star player from youth level costs far less and is far more profitable in the end. We need not only to rebuild the infrastructure of our youth system in terms of facilities, we need to actively go out and recruit young players from all over Europe and North Africa, and light them like candles.

Juventus literally goes from village to village, suburb to suburb in a bus trying out young talent, and so do many other clubs. Only a handful of young hopefuls ever make it at any level at any club, but we seem to have forgotten how to recruit and fully develop young players - and worse, we seem to have lost interest in doing so.

That would be a serious problem even if our dealings in the transfer market were usually successful. Unfortunately, we are not only leaving it to others to develop youthful talent, too often we seem similarly inept at purchasing new players.
Peter Fearon, Liverpool  (11/01/06)

Agree 100% Peter, though Mr. Wyness has stated that "We are close to reaching financial agreement to start in February, with occupancy planned at the end of next season (2006-07 season)." Time will tell... - Colm

Windows — Blues edition
Windows - What wonderful inventions for fueling debate, rumour, claim, counter-claim, truth, half-truth and untruth. The Blues edition contains official statements saying little or no money available, no incomings or out goings expected and we go with what we have got until the summer.

We then declare an intrest in £5M & £6M players. Odd or what? I tend not to bother too much about anything until such time as I may see someone waving the shirt for the Post and Echo photographer and declaring Everton were the only club they would have come to.

I assess each window as it closes to see if there is anything to give me hope of progression because at the opening of a window I always wonder if the manager will bring in the type of player that I have perceived we need from my seat in the stand and invariably I am disappointed. For this window my hope is for a striker that can fit in with Beattie and form a partnership which is different than just signing a striker.

My big hope is we can sign a strong fit central midfielder who can pick a pass, crunch a tackle, score a goal and get around the pitch lifting both players and fans. Just hopes of an individual fan.

I will now switch off Windows and keep my eye on the back page photos in Post and Echo.

Ken Buckley, Buckley  (1/11/06)

One problem with our edition of Windows, Ken - we're using Windows HP instead of XP. With HP, you beg, borrow and steal from wherever you can in order to strengthen the squad. "You don't need £5M to buy a £5M player..." - Colm

This guy has been paid by Wyness
Surely Daniel McKeown's article was sponsored by the official Everton website or paid sureptiously by Mr Wyness himself. I admire his optimism;, however, blind optimism without some degree of pragmatism is laughable along with his psycophantic blabber that Moyes has never made a bad signing.

Moyes is a poor judge of players and the examples I offer for this are:

  • Kilbane: has touble passing, crossing, defending and cannot read the game at all

    Bent: Cannot score struggles to pass and has no idea who is in his vicinity when he has the ball

  • McFadden: how long does this guy need to develope, he has some level of skill however this is completly lost by his 'I will go it alone attitude' he shoots when no shot is on, he takes on players when he has two or three players availble in advantages positions and then looses the ball
  • Van der Meyde:P forever injured (incidently as he was with Inter)
  • Davies: very average at best when he does not dissapear.
  • Wright: no confidence and not commanding in his area, a real liability.
  • Arteta: outstanding player; however, his temperament gets him sent off and yellow carded too frequently
  • Neville: good solid player; however, he can disappear good game bad game.
  • Kroldrup: to be fair he had one howler of a debut; cannot say any more yet.
  • Beattie, I was so disappointed when Moyes bought him, I remember saying to a Liverpool supporter when Gerrard Houllier was showing interest in him, that he was a classic Houllier player all hype and no substance, he will not get 20 goals a season; he is not Owen, Shearer,or even Crouch.
Moyes's lasting legacy to Everton will be the distruction of the youth academy and he will be forever known as the man who sold Wayne Rooney. We have a real chance of going down this season and Moyes may also be known as the man who put the final nail in our coffin.
Peter Pridgeon, New Zealand  (12/01/06)

Peter, in fairness to Daniel, I believe he's a young fella (unlike the rest of us aged curmudgeonly arl gits!) and it's nice to read what a young Blue thinks - irrespective whether we agree with him or not. What frightens me when reading some comments from younger Blues is that they know little else bar surviving Premiership relegation battles. Last season was alien to them. Any wonder EFC marketed "The Magnificent Seventh" a few years back! - Colm

Another Nail

The recent focus on the disappearance of `The Likely Lads` is yet another nail in the coffin of `The Great Moyesiah`. Your columnist, Daniel McKeown, must be the only person on Merseyside who thinks Moyes has done anything but waste the untold millions provided to him and there is little dispute that the quality of the football he dishes up is appalling. But given all these failings is he on the way out?

No, Moyes survives - and will continue to do so - on the back of a sequence of favourable results achieved over a year ago and some mighty shenanigans in the season before. He is indeed fortunate that the part he played in the Rooney move will keep our illustrious chairman in debt to him for some time to come.

But one day all those chickens will come home to roost-just let`s hope we are not down in the Football League by then!
Mo Fearnley, Parkgate  (11/1/06)

Amen! I do wonder though what it might take to shake a percentage of Evertonians from their apathy to the very real possibility that this beloved Club of ours is going down the pan, right before our eyes and under the absentee landlord that remains Mr Wm Kenwright. - Colm

Do I look stupid to you?

Why does the club make us look like a laughing stock? With so much need and hope for new players, this month makes our club look totaly pathetic. Rumours of new players, talk of deals going through, and every international star being linked to us, but what normally happens: No activity until the last few hours when we get a journeyman has-been (signed for a 'nominal fee'), an average player from the Championship and an unknown foreigner on loan till the end of the season (all of which are probably carrying injuries).

The spin that comes out from Moyes, Wyness and utimately Billy 'Liar' Kenwright is ridiculouss. The stories and comments that come out about the club from these people are amazing. We all are hoping and expecting for a striker in January, but Mr Moyes annouces that he doesn't envisage any action on the transfer market this month as we've no money. Then the news that our £7.5M bid for Thomert has been rejected. WHAT? So within 24hrs we've sundenly found a transfer target and magically £7 million has appeared from nowhere. So what are the fans meant to think now? We are tying to buy players and there is money for it.

Along with the lies and misleading about the transfers, there is the more serious matter of the clubs finances and future. We need the truth about the future af this club; no more lies and false expectations, give us some real hope. The last thing I ask is to Messers Moyes, Wyness and Kenwright, please be honest with us. We are loyal fans who follow this club through thick and thin, that would do anything for this club. PLEASE TELL US THE TRUTH!
Kristian Boyce, Camp Lake, WI  (11/1/06)

Sorry mate, but if you believe anything in the Rumour Mill then I worry about you. And if you believe enough to go off one one against the club and everyone, then I fear you really might be stupid. David Moyes has denied the Thomert nonsense as a total fabrication. Exactly how does that make you feel? What more is there to say, except Get a Grip, FFS, and don't believe any of the shite that gets written about the tranmsfer window. A lot of it is pure bollocs; since you have no way of knowing what is and isn't, the best way — trust me on this — is to not believe a word of it. Of course you could choose to belieev all of it on the off-chance that some of it is true. But then you end up twisted and bitter. Your choice, I suppose. — Michael

With regards to the 'Whatever happened to the Likely Lads?' article, I think its a subject that does need explaining by David Moyes.

Our youth system went down the pan when Colin Harvey retired. It's no coincidence that the last two times we have won the Youth Cup have been periods when he was in charge of youth development. He was the one who helped produce the Youth players mentioned in the article.

Times are now different and, despite Moyes squandering £30 million of various examples of shite, we are still living on a financial tightrope. This is in some way explains why Moyes gives free transfers to all the Academy staff at the end of every season (why waste money retaining potential stars of the future when you can waste it on current 'stars' such as Wier and Naysmith...HA!).

This seems fair enuff methinks but then Wyness announces that we are going to create a new footballing academy that will be the envy of the premier league at no expense spared, I think "Whats the point?".

What's the use in having a state-of-the-art academy complex if the manager is going to give them all free transfers at the end of the season? The new training complex may produce one or two better players but, given Everton's current record in the Premier League and now the relatively poor record of the youth teams, why should a decent youngster want to sign for us in the first place?

I want Moyes to decide what he's going to do with the club. When he started, he said he wouldn't sign over-the-hill players and would give the youngsters a chance. Initially he did this but lately he seems to have lost 'focus'. He has a choice I believe, either (a) He invests all available money in the first team and continues his current policy of letting all the youngsters go; or (b) He invests in the youth team, gives them a chance and gets rid of the old gits (regardless of who they are) in the first team squad.

To me, the club is going around in circles at the moment (or ever decreasing circles on a downward path!). In the past, we had a clear image of what Everton stood for: A stable club who has one the odd trophy every now and then but always playing an attractive brand of football. Today, we are more likely to be known as a boom-bust club whose style of football bores the pants of most TV viewers (who in the end will be potential future investors in the club whether we like it or not).

We need some re-branding of our image and clarification of what direction the club is going to take in the next 5-10 years (a youth orientated club building for the future, selling players like Rooney and wiping out our debts) or a quick win club hoping to compete with the likes of Bolton any position from 5th to 16th scraping away, barely keeping the debtors away each season?).
Aplankofwood Withanailinit, UK  (11/1/06)

Some excellent point there, planky.

To all of you bitching about lack of firepower, strikers etc; Do you really think that Mr Moyes hasn't noticed?? Of course he is doing everything he can to rectify this, both in the transfer market and on the traing ground! Do ya think he is quite happy sitting in his office thinking - "Oh, my. We have scored 14 goals this season. That is not bad". Jeezez!
Jens Hansen, Norway  (11/1/06)

Oh that's fine, them; no worries, eh? Moyes is on the job. Thanks for that, Jens; we had no idea what he was up to. — Michael

Sign Him Up
Davie, get yourself or your chief talent scout down to the George's playing field on Sunday. Watched a guy there last week who was playing up front for a local pub team, and he seems to be just the type of player you are looking for. Ok, so what if he is the wrong side of 35, a few stone overweight, with a limp and slow as fuck, he's ideal. He missed chance after chance after chance, the goalie even managed to save one, and he limped off after an hour. The good news however, he is only likely to be out for 6 weeks. Get your arse down here Davie before he signs for someone like The Quiet Man. I think you could get him for about £6M and put him on a 12 year contract, at £30k a week. If you can't get down here Dave, I could always send you the video.
Paul  C, Liverpool  (11/1/06)

Downing Steet for Daniel
As a trained journalist, Daniel McKeown`s syntax is better than his judgement! As our esteemed editor is fond of saying,`the table never lies` so don`t try to fool us, Daniel, that 15th is really better than 3rd!

`Moyes hasn`t made many bad signings` is another gem which most Evertonians would seek to disagree with. Apart from Arteta and Cahill, I don`t imagine there would be much of queue of Premier clubs if Moyes made most of his `scoops` available for transfer. Of the £40M he has spent since his arrival, I think most of us would say at least two thirds was wasted; so wrong again Danny Boy!

I do hope my comments will not put you off further contributions to `the great debate`, Daniel, but do try to be realistic in your appraisal of the club`s situation and the `ability` of its manager. Otherwise we shall be packing you off to Downing Street where your type of spin will be very well received!
Harry  Meek, Worcester  (11/1/06)

Meek in name only... you told him what I did not have the heart to; thanks, Harry. — Michael

Matt Jansen
I see Matt Jansen has been 'released' by Blackburn - he will be available for next to nothing and could be a terrific signing for us. Here is a honest English footballer who, at 28 years of age, would just be coming into his prime had he not suffered that unfortunate road accident.

He will feel he has a lot to prove and is not a trouble-maker — the lad just wants to play football and has proved that by publicly saying he wants to end his stay at Blackburn for a new challenge. Surely David Moyes isn't stupid enough to pass up this opportunity to sign him ,which will then give us a decent, hard-working ALL-English strikeforce? I think the Beattie-Jansen pairing would go well together.

He's got to be worth a try? If it doesn't work out for him then at least we've tried to improve things up front instead of coming out with pathetic claims that we are trying to sign Nicolas Anelka.
Steven Astley, Wigan  (11/1/06)

Re Daniel McKeown's latest DM promo:

"The Millwall game summed up our season - bags of chances". We did create more chances from open play against Millwall than we have done during the rest of the season but maybe there is a simple explanation for this - maybe playing championship teams like Millwall is our correct level; maybe it is also Davie's level....

"I just like to think of this year as a transitional period " Does this mean there's another one due in 2007-08?
Wayne O'Rourke, Liverpool  (11/1/2006)

The 'Big Yin'
Regarding Nick Armitage’s piece on Big Duncan, my assessment of Dunc is of a bloke with a heart as big a lion… and unfortunately the temperament to match. Ferguson’s combative style may have terrorised many a centre-half but a wise one knew that all you had to do is tread on his tail a couple of times and he’d react. I’ve not got the figures to prove this but I’m willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that 80% of the 50/50 decisions went against him. His reputation as a bruiser went before him and I’m quite sure influenced referees to hardly ever give him the benefit of the doubt. Not entirely his fault but he did himself no favours with his OTT violent conduct on occasions.

Yet I’m a reluctant fan of Ferguson, because in an era where heroes are at a premium, he was, and still is genuine ‘hero’ material… though, I’m left pondering ‘what if?’ and I suspect at the end of his career… so will Duncan. I think the best assessment of Duncan was made by Joe Royle… ‘He was a great player before he was a good one’

Finally, ‘Kraut-smacking…’ Oh dear Nick… Nick, sentiments like this belonged at Dunkirk or the Anzio beachhead or Arnham circa 1939-45. But the war is over (for you 'Tommy') The game is called ‘football’ Nick and lauding Duncan’s Neanderthal tendencies using quaint and antiquated terminology does him no favours. I prefer to remember the sublime (Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal goals) rather than the ridiculous (bang! Sent off and another 3 match ban!).

Duncan was devestatingly effective at times, but given the choice I'd rather have Sharpy, Gray, Cottee or even Heath in my team any day of the week.
Kevin Sparke, Northumberland  (11/1/06)

True Blue
The ‘voice of reason’ bellows his discontent yet again with the manager and his fellow blues and (yet again) misconstrues what it is actually being said by people who don’t feel the need to embark upon character assassination and hype to build an argument.

To quote the great man: ‘If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?’

I think you’ll find that there is many a ‘True Blue’ who is ‘bleeding’ right now over the state of our once great club… but this doesn’t mean that we have all lost our sense of reason.

I wasn’t defending Moyes Mr Marsh; I was attacking idiots who feel the need to resort to sophistry and peddling un-sourced shite and gossip to get their points across. (I’m glad you felt that this applied to you by the way, it was intended to).

Do yourself a favour Tony, have a read of Harry Conn’s book The Football Business. It’s a little bit dated now but should help you to find a focus for your irrational and badly constructed outbursts. In this book you’ll find the real villain in Everton’s downfall and if our story is ever to have a happy ending, understanding the plot and subplot of this book is a good place to start.

For a glorious five minutes it seemed as if we’d found a genius who could bring Everton back to the top despite all the years of financial mismanagement, despite the fact that we were competing against teams who were able to buy the best players in the world when we can't even buy the best players in the Championship, despite the fact that our boy prodigy had decided his future lay with a ‘big’ club and our small-thinking chairman was happy to offload him for an outrageously small fee.

Sadly, as so often is the case, our genius is only a bloke after all; and though I enjoyed the campaign, and we won a few battles… it looks like we’ve lost the war and perhaps the general should fall on his sword.

But for five oh so brief minutes it looked as if we just might achieve the impossible... however reality reared its ugly head and it turns out we were wrong.

Tony, please don’t take this personally, but I’d rather live for five minutes as an optimist than a lifetime in your shoes.

Now kindly get out of my face!
Kevin Sparke, Northumberland  (11/01/05)

And with that, I'm terminating any further direct discussion between you. Thanks, fellas. — Michael

New Formation
We should all stop worrying... I hear that Moyes is in private consultation with George Graham, working on an exciting new formation strategy: 4-6-0 — so we don't need any new strikers!!
Michael , Melbourne, Australia  (11/1/06)

Errr... shouldn't there be more left-backs in there?

What did you expect?
At the end of last season, could anyone predict the position we are in now? If they had, they may have been laughed at or called overly pessimistic. With hindsight, it seems that our current problems are so predictable it's depressing. DM has never had an expensive signing prove a success, so what did we expect? We've rarely had money to waste in the transfer market like other clubs but DM has done just that. Now we have more over-priced average players than when DM came into the job (Valente, Neville, Beattie, Pistone - again ). Regardless of this manager or the next, I would dearly love to offload 70% of the squad, get a refund and start again.
Xavi Mckitterick, Adelaide, Australia  (11/1/06)

Yeah, right. Just as if. How come there are other Evertonians (Daniel Mckeown on our main page, for example) who maintain the squad we have is better than last season's... you know, the one that finishged 4th? Someone's telling porkies. — Confused

Damned if he does.....
Damned if he does and damned if he doesn`t. That`s David Moyes in this tranfer window. For every name put forward by the press as a possible signing, we hear screams of derison from so-called supporters. Then Davey says that nobody suitable is available and another lot start saying he`s useless in the tranfer market.

Those of us who continue to believe that our manager knows more about the game than we do are happy to leave things to his judgement. After all it`s his job at stake and it`s one he`s done pretty well in up to now.
And ps, Mailbaggers: Please don`t keep confusing me with Richard Dunn(e) — I don`t even drink!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (10/1/06)

I thought you might be related to Ken Dodd.

What the hell is going on? First we're told there will be no additions to the squad and then we announce our interest in Anelka on Sky Sports! Why do we constantly announce our interest in players even before any negotiations have taken place? It must be to alert Newcastle, Liverpool etc. of their availability so they can sign them from under our bloody noses. (I don't need to give examples — we all know!) Has nobody at the club any idea how to conduct business???
Seamus Murphy, Dundalk,Ireland  (10/1/06)

Cynics are right
So Anelka`s not interested in joining Everton and Tommy G wants to go to Man Utd. Every other club seems to be snapping up players but the one`s Moyes is interested in clearly don`t want to know. Perhaps the cynics are right after all — nobody wants to play for Moyes! Given some of the performances we`ve seen this season, that goes for the buggers he did sign as well!
Ken Mills, Aintree  (10/1/06)

Millwall replay
I can't believe there will be no cash on the turnstiles for the Millwall replay. There won't be a massive gate, only the Third Round against lowly opposition, most of our bigger cup crowds have come when you could pay on the night as well as buy tickets in advance. The last Third Round replay in 1993 was against Wimbledon and only attracted 15000. If the police have demanded all-ticket, when will they learn: any trouble always occurs away from the ground.
Colin Hughes, Liverpool  (10/1/06)

Window washout!
If we don't have much finances, why can't we arrange swaps or player plus cash deals using Bent, McFadden, Wright, Naysmith, Kilbane, Pistone, Tie?

Allowing Fulham to sign Niemi without making a bid is a mistake. Nige is struggling with injuries, and Niemi is a proven Premiership keeper. The fee is undisclosed, but believed to be in the region of Richard Wright and a packet of Jaffa Cakes.

As far as a striker goes, Anelka is a proven goalscorer, but like Bent he's had more clubs than a senior tour golf pro! I know Rob Earnshaw may not be ideal to most Evertonians but he does score goals, has pace, he's dying for a fresh start, would fit the wage structure, and in my opinion is worth a swap for Bent, half a mil, and a few copies of Pistone and Killa's pornos! Add a few million to that for sending McFadden and Naysmith back North to the slow league were they belong, and you have funds for maybe one or two more !

However, in light of his past record of transfers, I wouldn't trust Moyes to cut a decent deal in an Amsterdam coffee shop!
Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (10/1/06)

Call me cynical but....
...anyone else think we'll 'move heaven and earth' to make the Anelka deal happen only to see him move to another club?
Richard Jones, Hemel Hempstead  (10/1/06)

Why do we end up with managers like this
I have been an Everton supporter since the Gordon Lee days. I can honestly say I thought we'd never get a worse Manager or as negative football since Walter Smith - OH HOW WRONG I COULD HAVE BEEN.

14 GOALS this season, our top scorer was a midfielder last season and this clueless prick we have as a manager doesn't sign a striker in the summer. It carries on, another one won't be arriving this January!

Pompey will get plenty of players in, Birmingham will hit form with a better squad & West Brom have the personnel to score (7 strikers to choose from) OH DEAR — we are going down, and Davies, Kilbane & Co won't get us back up. We have old wooden seats in the stand, and we have old wooden players on the pitch.

It really does sadden me, when I look at Liverpool - has the gap ever been so big?
Joe McMahon-Bates, Rossendale  (10/01/06)

Bigger: We were in Division 1 and they were in Division 2.

Cashflow problems
We have £2M to spend so flog Bent and McFadden for £1M each. Bring in Nugent and the fat one wot plays for Swansea and pray to god that Vaughan gets fit sometime this season. Can they be any worse than Bento and Faddo?
Steve , Belfast  (10/1/06)


Is this the latest in a long line of bullshit attempted signings to appease us? What surprises me is it's not Crespo or Van Nistlerooy we are connected with. While you're right about Moyes going nowhere, let me tell you something: 'no one will be arriving either'.
Mark Lyth, Netherton  (10/1/06)

While you may have a point, what you write is plain stupid. This bullshit is made up mainly by journos who have nothing better to do than invent stories on the slimmest of pretexts. Why blame the club... Oh I get it: Damned if they do; damned if they don't... Michael

No New Signings (surely not)
If David Moyes thinks the squad of players he currently has at his disposal is good enough to keep us in the Premiership, then he must surely have some kind of death wish. While those around us are busy strengthening, Moyes appears to be quite blasé about the situation, believing that we can actually score enough goals to remain in the Premiership.

Having painfully watched the latest efforts of messrs Bent and McFadden, I would dread to think what would happen if either Beattie or Ferguson (or both) were to get seriously injured. If Moyes wants to drive head on into a brickwall without wearing a seatbelt, then I don't want to be his front-seat passenger. I only hope that his latest quip about no new signings is some kind of Glaswegian satire; otherwise we're on a first-class trip to oblivion. Oblivion, by the way, is just outside Burnley.
Paul C, Liverpool  (10/1/06)

Nail, head.

A Crank
Seems on Sky Sports News some French reporter has stated that Anelka has said he wishes to return to the Premiership, but not to Everton. Good! We don't want that crank anyway; I know we need a striker but not a headcase. I don't believe there is any truth to this story, just lazy reporting due to the obvious need for strikers (yes the plural) at Goodison. I beleive Anelka to be exactly the type of footballer Moyes detests (personality wise); however, if I hear a word out of Moyes mouth to give this credibility then I will have to ask who is the real crank.
Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (10/1/06)

The winter silly season is upon us!

Sean Doherty
What a great site!! I'm one of the lads at Port Vale that put out our 'zine and wonder if you can help. We've just got Sean Doherty, but he seems to have a chequered past. When he was with Everton was he scrapping and boozing? Was he mates with Rooney? And do you know if George Pilkington (who is now with us) was involved with either of them?

I've spoken to OOFIF and they just reckon he wasn't very good even though Fulham paid a lot for him. Same story in Holland where they let him go early.Any help, any gossip would be great.

Good luck against Pompey at the weekend!
Dick Dale, Port Vale  (10/1/06)

Nick on Dunc
This was a brilliant article on the big man by Nick. Once again ToffeeWeb proves itself the best there is! Thanks Guys!!!
Ger Loomey  (10/1/06)

Thank you, Ger; we'll pass that on to Nick.

Le coq sans tete
The Incredible Sulk meets up with the Ginger Whinger next week:-

IS: 'What's with thees taclinback and running round like le coq sans tete, I don't do thees stuff. I am great goalscorer!

GW: 'Listen laddie, when ye play for me ye'll do as ye're told. We have a work ethic here and I'll no have ye hanging aroond yon penalty area tae get all the glory - we have a wee Aussie tae do tha and I'm nae happy wi him neither!

IS: 'Mon frere! Theese is a big mistake, I am so unappy. Get me a move as soon as signing cash in bank-next I fancy Brasil, they are ready for my skills.

GW: 'Nae lad, I dunna care how much ye've cost us, ye'll warm y'arse on bench till ye see sense. Anyway, I'm away noo, I've a left-back tae sign!'
Mal Tunicliffe, Waterloo  (10/1/06)

calm down everyone
I wrote a few monthe ago saying I would not be going to any more games (home or away) and I am sticking to it! I have found the radio the best way of hearing about EFC and I can make a cup of coffee, while the team struggle to find the net. I have had time to think on the many Everton teams I have seen over the 40 years of watching them; except for a few very good sessions, Everton have only ever beeen a middle-of-the-road team. So my question to you all is what has changed? Everton are never going to be anything fantastic and win loads of trophies, so why expect it? The manager and players are only human and they are only average, so why expect anymore from them? Let's just enjoy our EFC and take each game at a time and just hope for some improvement, because you cannot expect anything else. Good luck, blue boys.
Jim , North Wales  (10/1/06)

A plea for mediocrity and it's acceptance? Shocking! — Michael

Toffee crumble
I find it increasingly frustrating that Kenwright is doing his best to turn the club into a circus! He proceeds to tell us there is money, then there isn't. What is it all about?

I now live in Portsmouth and, to be honest, I am a little jealous of their chairman Mandaric! Although the man has sold half of his shares is dodgy (in my opinion) he has managed to find a keen investor. Now, if their chairman can sell a small city club with a limited fanbase, why can't Billy Liar sell our great club?

My backside the fella is doing all he can to sell the club to the right person. The club keeps his face in the spotlight and earns himself a nice few quid I bet! My point is is that a team like Portsmouth, crap as it is, is run by an astute businessman who actually knows how to run a football club.

I am not old enough to remember the true great days and only have the '95 FA Cup win as a great memory (maybe last year as well, but Kenwright spoilt it seeing his face on the Season Review DVD!) and I am afraid that, if this fella is in charge of this club much longer, I never will see this club challenge the big guns again, sad as it may be. If anyone disagrees then they really are stuck in the 80s! A big club we are no longer, and the longer this fella is in control, the smaller we are becoming!
Mike Mulhall, Portsmouth  (6/1/06)

Errr... not to disagree or anything but I feel obliged to point out the following: Bill Kenwright is going nowhere. Hope this helps. — Michael

Cool it!
It's noticeable that there is an increasing amount of bickering between certain factions in the ToffeeWeb Mailbag and poor Tony Marsh seems to be copping his fair share but I can't understand why. He is of the opinion that Moyes is useless and I am in total agreement with him and that's all it is - an opinion so what's the problem? If other people think Moyes can turn water into wine then that's fine by me. There's no need for all the vitriol being thrown around so let's all just keep disagreeing in our own merry little ways.

More worryingly, it is reported that Anelka is a top target and if it so be this would be another cock-up to add to DM'S ever growing list. Amongst the attributes to consider in potential signings are character & temperament: Anelka scores a big zero on both counts. Somehow I don't think the mix between manager and player would be safe — just light the blue touchpaper and stand well back.
Wayne O'Rourke, Liverpool  (10/1/06)

Reminds me of the infallible conclusion: "If that's what you think, then you're more of a fool than I took you for". All this guff about respecting a person's opinion doesn't go very far in yer average football forum. [Note: I'm being ironic.] — Michael

Big Dunc
What a short memory Harry Meek has... he doesn't remember any memorable goal by Duncan Ferguson!! You are winding us up aren't you, mate... how about the fantastic goal he got against Villarreal that would have carried us through to extra time in the Champions League game except for friend Collina?? What about the goals he scored against Liverpool? When Duncan was playing against Liverpool I felt confident we would achieve a result and the day he left for Newcastle my heart sank and I wondered "Who is going to frighten the Reds now!!" I was like a dog [or should that be bitch?] with two tails the day he came back to Goodison.

Big Dunc is my idol.. when I see him come on to the pitch, I grin from ear to ear. Old crock he might be but the opposing team are still frightened by his presence. He endeared himself to me — a true blue for 50 years — the day he had the Everton crest tatooed on his arm. He is idolised by thousands of Everton supporters because he brings a bit of life to our games. The day he has to retire will be a sad one for me.
Pat Beesley, Carmarthen  (10./1/06)

Lack of Goals
Can someone please explain to David Moyes that, in order to win football matches, we need to score more goals than the oposition. In order to do this, we need a player who is commonly refered to as a striker. The role of the striker is to put the round leather object, again refered to as a football, into the goal — that's the white stucture located at either end of the football pitch, which just in case he doesn't know is the surface covered in the green stuff which is grass.

James McFadden, Marcus Bent, Duncan Ferguson or James Beatie seem unable to do an a regular basis.

If you're ill, you go see a Doctor, he is the man for the job, you don't see the Dentist. Same principle.
Graham Peach, Liverpool  (10/1/06)

New players
I hope the Board can cough up some money and sign Anelka, Gravesen and Brede Hangeland. Hangeland is in his final year, has refused a new contract and would come cheap. This would improve the squad and the first XI.
Hans Jensen, Norway  (10/1/06)

Well said, Nick Armitage
Excellent piece by Nick on Duncan Ferguson — summed up the feelings of myself and many Evertonians I suspect.

In some ways the debate reminds me of one a generation ago, about another Duncan. I could never understand why some of my fellow supporters couldn't see that THAT Duncan was special too, statistics nothwithstanding. How many people remember Jim Pearson now — and yet there were Blues who maintained that he was 'more use' to the team than his more memorable colleague.

Perhaps a club needs heroes more than functionaries to keep the flame alive.
Brian Denton, Liverpool  (10/1/06)

I see Bull Shit Billy has come out with another cracker this morning... Nicolas Anelka.
Steven Astley, Wigan  (10/1/06)

Sky Sports reckon we are going in for Anelka! I know he will get goals, but all he is is a better Bent, a striker with an attitude problem! Anelka also states he wants to come back to the UK for a big club — tha'ts us out already then!

Why cant we get rid of the crap we have (Bent, McFadden, Naysmith and Pistone, the porn star lookalike!) and use the fiver we get for them on a lucky dip on the lotto?
Mike Mulhall, Portsmouth  (10/1/06)

Nicolas Anelka. Discuss.
Jer Sweetnam, Cork  (10/1/06)

In Moyes we trust... Ha Ha Ha!!!
So the truth about Moyes is finally out: he is clueless after all. Everton supporters everywhere are devastated by his latest statement regarding new signings that we won't be making. What did any one really expect from this man?

Some of us have been on to Moyes and his way of doing things since last season and some of us have blindly stuck by him. After these latest comments I don't see many rushing to defend him now. The Moyes brigade have been having a right go at me lately on this site for daring to Question Darling Dave's abilities. Are they still so sure Dave is the man for them? What makes me laugh more than anything is that it is Moyes's own words that condemn him this time — not mine. Why didn't he just keep his mouth shut and say nothing about transfers? — at least some of us wouldn't be on suicide watch.

Moyes has finally proved what a poor manager he really is and how little he understands about us Everton fans. We expect better leadership than this. It's that bad that I am no longer arsed giving this clown stick any more... what's the point when the blind still follow him [including Kenwright]. I bet Kev Sparke feels a little bit daft now after his latest posting. If only he had waited 24 hours he could of saved himself the job of defending [wrongly] his beloved Dave.

Come on Dave prove me wrong: go out there, lad, and bring us a top striker who will get us some goals. I wont be holding my breath.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (10/1/06)

Red Herring?
If our cash supply is so limited, whatever would EFC have done if Michael Owen had agreed to come to Goodision Park.... would they have had to take a collection amongst the fans to raise part of the £12M reputedly offered for him? What a load of bullshit we poor fans put up with!! We all know these statements have no solidarity in them and are only made to keep the fans happy and non-complaining.

Having been gazumped on so many occasions during the last transfer window by the likes of Graham Souness and Steve Bruce when EFC publicly announced they were interested in buying a player, perhaps David Moyes is putting out a red herring by saying he won't be buying a striker which he knows, and we all know, we badly needed last time — never mind now!! Perhaps this comment has been made so other Managers don't know who he is interested in bidding for. Doesn't it make you sick, though, when you see other Clubs making transfers, whilst we poor sods search the website and Sky Sports in vain for news that we have captured a decent striker.

Give us something to feel happy about please Davey!!
Pat Beesley, Carmarthen  (10/1/06)

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse
Methinks Moyes is missing something up top. It was plain LAST season that we needed a striker (with pace please) to play alongside Beattie. We didn’t get one in the summer as we all prayed we would and have since exited three cup competitions at the first hurdle and endured a torrid time at the foot of the table. And guess what, we’ve scored fewer goals than any team in the Premiership. How'd that happen? But hey, we’re Evertonians, so we put up with this glaring omission and waited patiently for the January sales to get the striker we so badly need.

Now we hear we’re not getting a striker. Brilliant! Ferguson wants to retire, Bent wants away and Vaughan is injured. I don’t count Jimmy Mac as he’s never been given much chance in the striker’s role although this may have to change now. So between now and May we could have one recognised striker (who has recently had injury and fitness problems) or none depending on injuries and suspensions.

Moyes also said “The people I would prefer to bring in are not available.” Davy lad, they NEVER will be because the players we all would prefer go to the richest clubs. Maybe DM is only kidding and we’ll get another unfit midfielder or defender who'll make their debut in April.
Dean Peamum, Valetta, Malta  (10/1/06)

Good memory
Nick Armitage says there`s no goal like a Fergusson goal... he must have a bloody good memory!
Harry Meek, Worcester  (10/1/06)

A view from the window ledge......
If the quote from Moyes is accurate, "No new players will be coming in as the players we(I) want are unavailable", then Moyes stands condemned out of his own mouth. There will be those who will defend him by stating that he will not settle for second best, regardless of how you would describe the present squad, but Moyes, like the rest of us, must have identified the need for new (better?) players in order to make those comments. The question must be asked as to when (and how many times) Moyes came to this conclusion and if the possibility of those "wanted" players being unavailable ever occured to him?

I have never been a supporter of Kenwrong as I don't think he has what it takes, money or otherwise, to successfully run a Premiership football club. But he did, whether on the drip, the never-never or through the Rooney money, provide Moyes with sufficient transfer funds at the begining of the season. It is, therefore, ironic that Moyes's only excuse (unless there are no transfers whatsoever by any club!) seems to be that the backing from the Board is not what it should be.

It also seems unlikely that the financial situation will improve before next season (although relegation could have an opposite effect), we have no juniors coming through and selling the only players (any raise on two?) worth anything is not going to improve the situation unless Moyes suddenly rethinks his "available" players policy. Blue Bill, who seems to be the only Premiership Chairman who has actually lost a Russian oligarch investor, has indicated that Moyes is going nowhere (a Chairman's vote of confidence?) and we can only hope that the same can be said at the end of the season for Everton's long held status in the leading football division.
Thommo   (10/1/06)

Transfer news
With 4 or 5 left backs in tow it seems the time is right to get another in on a trial... meanwhile, no sign of the holding midfield player or the striker we desperately need. We can't even afford £1m for Michael Brown! With Rednapp set to bring in 3 players and Brown possibly one of them it could well be a difficult weekend ahead and we may well be right back in it. Marcus Bent sadly appears to have lost the will to play for us and yet Moyes insists there is no way he can be sold. Surely we could have at least offered Bent plus the £2M in exchange for Earnshaw?
Gerry W, London  (10/1/06)

EARNSHAW - are we bothered?
Sorry, but this guy can't even make the bench with the Baggies (Campbell gets more starts), so why are we even bothered discussing it? The very fact that such a transfer is being discussed (despite Moyes's claim that we have no money) tells its own story of woeful underachievement and poor preparation for this season.
Mike Keating, City Centre  (9/1/06)

Just imagine if there could be Earnshaw on the right, so that Hibbert would never play anything more forward than a square pass again, and Van der Meyde miraculously played at least 3 games in the 2nd half of the season. They would have to re-lay the turf by the touchline in the last third at each end.
Dave Tootill, Johannesburg, South Africa  (9/1/06)

Moyesey, if for some bizarre reason you're reading this...(for inspiration perhaps!) get Robbie Earnshaw in now. The lad has bags of pace (which a bat could see we have a chronic lack of), skill (ditto) and can score goals for fun (14 for West Brom last year, and he hardly ever played... and they're shite!).

Perfect partner for Beattie, who will come good with the right support. Take out a loan if you have to, swap Bent and Naysmith in the deal... Just do something!
James Newcombe, Oxford  (9/1/06)

Can't see the Gwladys Street being overly impressed with Mr Earnshaw's dreadful goal celebrations though! Then again.... - Colm

Surprise Surprise
It's January and guess what? Moyes doesn't expect any new arrival's. Which is no surprise as the ones he Really wants are not available...BULLSHIT!

What does this say for Everton's attitude toward's the rest of the season? Forget a cup run for starter's, top-half finish is at best what we can hope for. I really feel so sorry for the poor supporters who have had to put up with the worst football at Everton in a long time this season, who can all remember every goal scored (which is not hard really). Taxi for Billy Liar...
Jamie Carroll, Ireland  (9/1/06)

How would "Billy Liar" fit his trainset into a taxi?! - Colm

Well-connected up-and-coming foreign manager

I think that this is a great point made by Tommy C. But since DM is going nowhere we might as well bring in a well-connected up-and-coming foreign ASSISTANT manager. He can provide the contacts and, in case DM screws up, the person can take over.
Chung MH  (9/1/06)

What manager, in their right mind, would willingly bring in a guy he doesn't know, to work with, and then see take his job?! - Colm

Back to the future
Qoute: "Er... Moyes is going nowhere. End of" Unquote

Extension "Everton are going nowhere; end of" Extension end.

So two entities have something in common.
Robert Jarvis, Burnley  (9/1/06)

Relax, Robert. We're now into double figures with our goals scored total this season. The School of Science has returned! - Colm

No new arrivals!
After a summer of lost opportunity as far as buying a new striker goes, I can't beleive the downbeat crap coming from Moyes telling us not to expect any new arrivals this January. The man has had 7 months to line up a striker and we are suffering because he hasn't. I am normally an upbeat supporter but it is so frustrating to see other teams getting players that they need and we, who have struggled to score goals all season, are now expected to just hope that we get by.

When will the Board realise that getting by is not what we as fans want? Show some bloody ambition and let's get on with it. If Portsmouth can attract £100M worth of possible investment why can't we. Lets start selling the School of Science and the Nil Satis motto and get someone who can take us back up where we belong.

There is something very wrong with the club if we can't land a decent striker, even on loan, or attract some more money from investors. I'm not asking the earth but hoping for a top-half finish is not good enough.
Adam Carey, Berkshire  (9/1/06)

Bill's working 24/7 on securing the money to get in a striker! We don't even need £5M to get a £5M striker, you know! - Colm

Terrified of the drop
Further to the excellent reply on the main site to the supporter who amazingly wonders what Blue Bill has done wrong, I would suggest that everyone at Everton is terrified of relegation. If we go down, the financial consequences would be disastrous for this club with high weekly salaries and a Board of Directors with no money to pay them. That can be the only reason why Moyes puts out such defensive sides, why he leaves out our main strike force at Millwall when all the fans would love a good cup run, and why he buys journeymen Premiership players instead of building a young attacking side.

The cap has been put on it by the article in the Daily Post saying there is no money for a new striker this January. Everton, as one of the big five, instigated the Premiership with all its financial potential, never dreaming they might be threatened with the drop. Kenwright is crapping himself now and knows that, if we go down, we are doomed. And don't be fooled that he is thinking of the fans — not the people; just himself as always.
Mick Wrende, Macclesfield  (9/1/06)

The sound of Nero fiddling while his Rome burns. Sounds oh too familiar! - Colm

Bad for my health!
Following Everton is bad for my health! My doctor says that my blood-pressure problems are down to driving too much whilst the missus says it`s from getting all steamed up by what I read on ToffeeWeb!

Certainly this afternnon`s news that we should not expect any addition to the `strike force` has put my `top figure` back over 200. Although I just can`t believe that Moyes is so stubborn/arrogant/intrasigent or plain bloody incompetent to think we can see the season out successfully with the jokers he laughingly calls strikers, I do know if he doesn`t do something we are doomed.

Just look at the records of our non-scoring strikers over the past 12 months:-

Bent 43 appearances, 2 goals = 1 every 21.5 games;
Fergusson 39 appearances,3 goals = 1 every 13 games;
McFadden 38 appearances,4 goals = 1 every 9.5 games;
And last but not least,Mr Prolific:-
James Beattie 34 appearances,8 goals = 1 every 4.25 games.

Surely,somewhere in the world there is a Brian McBride who could come in for a few weeks and do better that that lot.... O God, I`m having another turn.....
David Hall, Taunton  (9/1/06)

If Moyes fails to bring in a striker (ANY STRIKER!) then my advice to him is to place his head between his legs and kiss his backside goodbye.... - Colm

Miserable Moyes does it again
As predicted, Moyes has nothing left in the cupboard since he pissed it all away on shite. To give him one plus, at least he has admitted that much rather than more Billy Bullshitism of "We tried to sign ..." One question though is how did £3M suddenly become £2M - our reported transfer kitty for January?

Yes, I'm glad we didn't buy Sutton as he is crap but oh for some decisiveness and a big slice of what could have been if Moyes hadn't blown the cash on cripples and crap when he had the chance! A decent goalscorer, a holding midfielder and a solid centre-half... instead, we are stuck with a striker who doesn't give a toss in Marcus Bent. My only thought now is Davies has a huge pebble in his left boot that pulls him off the right wing into the centre of the park even though he cant play either position well, and a centre-half made of tissue paper or glass in Koughdrop.

Why the hell can't Everton get it right and constantly settle for this rabid mediocrity? Too many of this team are a laughing stock.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (09/01/06)

Simple answer, to the last part of your question, without a 15,000 word thesis? Too many Evertonians have become accustomed to mediocrity and accept it. "Going the match"? That's now a day on the beer with yer mates, interrupted by 90 minutes of dross. - Colm

I imagine David's "preferred" players would be people like Keane and Gravesen BUT surely any manager would have Plan B!!!! Just to say "the few players I want are unavailable so that's it" isn't good enough. Did he really want Martyn and Kilbane in 2003??? Ok, Kilbane has been average since his first season but Martyn has been excellent.

With Ferguson knackered, Vaughan injured and McFadden and Bent playing like pub players (no offense to the pub boys) SURELY we need a striker of some ability. If Moyes is saying that player isn't out there then we are in a lot of trouble. Unless he is playing mindgames... but something tells me he isn't.

Oh well; let's hope Beattie stays fit, who would have thought we'd be praying for that!
John Audsley, Leeds  (9/1/06)

Tis a far cry from as little as two months back when Mr Moyes stated that "the priority will be to bring in another forward player if possible, as Bill and the board know." Hmmmmm... is right! - Colm


David Moyes, you had better be pulling the wool over everyones eyes when you say 'no new arrivals'. All we ever hear from you is "there is no-one available".

Well lets try looking outside the English divisions shall we?? Get a grip ditherer before you are demoted to coach.
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (09/01/06)

Ah yes. Any free-scoring left backs out there? - Colm

Davie Weir is saying on the Everton website that we've got a good draw against Chelsea in the FA Cup and it provides an incentive to beat Milwall.... I'd much prefer a crap team — gives us half a chance. Time to concentrate on the league instead methinks. We're not some non-league side who rely on the gate receipts to keep us going for a year — or do we?
Daniel Parker, Glasgow  (9/1/06)

Err... "One game at a time" — we have still to beat Millwall. And someone said cynically "Millwall and Everton... two teams in need of cash... replay guaranteed." — Michael

I wrote the 'Slow-Witted' itema few days ago and would like to correct how it was interpreted.

The point I was trying to make was the attempt to sign Roy Keane was a dreadful decision by Moyes and showed a complete lack of ambition in the transfer market. What could Keane give us!? People say 'leadership', but good players do not need a kick up the arse every game; good players have always been self-motivated — that’s why they are the best in the first place. On rare occasions that good players do need a bollocking, it should come from the manager. But it seems that Moyes needs to do this every other game, hence the attempt to sign Keane. This effort to sign Keane only confirmed that we have shit players, as shit players need a kick up the backside.

Moyes shouldn't be signing 'stop-gap' players like Keane, Neville, Davis, Valente, Bent, Kilbane, Pistone and Naysmith. He should save Everton's money and just sign good players who don’t need the extra motivation. Some say it's not lack of ambition that we couldn't sign the likes of Scott Parker but in fact that we wouldn't pay their wages. As I see it, Moyes spent £7M on Davies and Neville and their combined wages must be £50k or £60k per week. This is exactly the cost of Scott Parker; I know who I'd rather have.

Moyes has simply bought in poor players, wasted £20M and the chance to get us back to where we belong. We are back to square one. What we need is a well-connected up-and-coming foreign manager who can bring in unknown, cheap good players from abroad. I don’t want us to keep wasting our money on overpriced technically inferior British players.
Tommy C, London  (09/01/06)

Er... Moyes is going nowhere. End of.

Passing the buck
If Moyes fails to strengthen the Everton attack appreciably `because sufficient funds were not available`, I hope supporters wil not be blaming Kenwright. I`m no lover of Billy Liar but in passing Moyes all the Rooney money — and more — he has done his bit to support the manager. If the cupboard is now bare it is only because of the manager`s exceedingly bad judgement in signing injury prone `no hopers` and failing to address the glaringly obvious when he had the chance. Please don`t be fooled by blame diversionary tactics like `I recognize we have to work within our budget`. On this occasion the buck stops with Moyes!
Nigel Gibson, Birkdale  (9/1/06)

True supporters?
I’ve come to the conclusion that I really hate David Moyes and David Moyes hates Everton. Why? Because it is obvious that he is secretly in the pay of a betting cartel comprised of North Korean businessmen dedicated to overthrowing Western Capitalism by destabilising the economy.

My observations of Moyes during the game reveal to me that his animated gestures are in fact covert signals to a strategically placed sub-orbital satellite which traverses the upper atmosphere on match days. I’ve yet to decipher the code but I’m almost sure that ‘Get forward Killa’ accompanied by energetic waving of the right hand means ‘Put $500 million on 1-0’.

I can’t prove anything I’m saying; its actually idle speculation, but hey, doesn’t this mean I’m a ‘True supporter’ now that I’m concentrating upon pure character assassination and embarking upon un-sourced flights of fantasy fuelled by hearsay. (Courtesy of ‘you know who’...)

I guess what it is I’m somewhat convolutedly trying to illustrate is analysis is good, even if I personally don’t agree with it; it creates debate and is enjoyable to read and respond to. Delusional rants characterised by emotional flatulence, usually aimed at a convenient scapegoat, say nothing beyond illustrating that the ‘ranter’ has very little of value to contribute to the debate and he really should be treated with compassionate contempt.

If I’m a little touchy on this subject it is I had to give up a bloody good seat because of a ‘True supporter’ who would regularly slag off a certain player every game; often before the bloke had kicked a ball (once when he wasn’t even playing!). This completely ruined my Saturdays as I spent an inordinate amount of time restraining my urge to chin the bloke for screeching ‘HE’S SHITE’ down my earhole every five minutes, after yet again picking out bits of spattered steak pie from my flat-top haircut (well, it was 1983).

The player in question became our post-=war top goal-scorer and it gave me an obscene amount of pleasure when this player found himself in our company at the end of a distinguished career and my ‘True Supporter’ mate was fawning all over him; to ask my mate to repeat some of the things he used to shout on match-days in front of this player now. He declined until the player was out of earshot and then my mate consistent as ever spent the rest of the evening explaining exactly why this player was overrated.

You can’t win with these people… we theorise, think and are convinced by reasoned argument… they already KNOW and don’t need the inconvenience of speculating WHY. Tsk... 40 years a blue and I still can’t hack it as a ‘True Supporter’ — perhaps I never will.
Kevin Sparke, Northumberland  (9/1/06)

Lazy Bastard
I went to Millwall yesterday and to be honest I witnessed one of the worst performances I have seen by an Everton player... Marcus Bent! We all know he isn't good enough and that's not his fault but he serverly lacks effort to an extent that it's embarrassing that he is even on the pitch. If he tried and weren't good enough, I would accept that because at least he was having a go but he is just not interested his body language emphasizes that he just wants to get off the pitch.

Yesterday, Valente took a throw-in towards the near post to set up a free header for Bent about 7 yards out but he couldn't even be bothered jumping. Our fans went crazy and hurled loads of abuse at him (rightly so) but not just then — on numerous occassions throughout the game. I have been on to him for a long time and am glad everyone else is now; that's why he got booed off the pitch yesterday. Hopefully, Moyes will soon open his eyes and notice how low his effort levels are so that we never see him in an Everton shirt again.

This is probably why Bent has had so many clubs; no matter where he goes, he is never happy. The first thing he did when he came to us was complain about the training facilities! Doesn't he realise how lucky he is to even be an Everton player? We are by far the biggest club he has ever played for — or ever will! Get him out because he we don't want him and he doesn't want us!
Ryan Barton, Liverpool  (9/1/06)

Duncan Ferguson
I was surprised about some of the comment's made about Duncan. First of all, depending which report you read we made a slight profit when we bought and sold him so Duncan cost nothing — and when I think of Clause Thomsen amnd Danny Williamson plus a bunch more... He has scored 71 goals for us — none bigger than the goals against Man Utd and Birmingham last season when Moyes wanted to give him half a million pounds to play for someone else [what a blunder that would have been!].

Since we bought him back, he has three red cards in the League; Neville has two in 20 games so far. Duncan is known worldwide and I am sure he has added fans to the gates and shirt sales over his time. Someone mentioned we could have bought some younger player's with the money paid to bring him back. We could have bought Ashton and Bent for less than we paid for Beattie and if all three players were sold now there would be a nice profit on Ashton & Bent... how much would we get for Beattie ? I think Duncan has done well for Everton. I would have liked to see a younger Duncan playing with Duff and Robben.
Peter Knight, Vancouver  (8/1/06)

The difference in red cards, Peter, is that Big Dunc's tend to be for violent offences that carry an automatic three-match ban. So that's 9 games missed, plus significant parts of the games in which he got the cards. Not that I in any way condone the red cards Neville has picked up, but they have cost us a total of three games, and one came just seconds before the end.

In today's climate of cynical footballers and the triumph of passion over skill, Duncan Ferguson found an accepting and supportive fanbase at Goodison Park. But in comparison to the great tradition of Everton centre-forwards in whose footsteps he followed... well, let's just not go there, as there is no comparison. — Michael

Goal shy and striker shy still
Have to agree with lots of postings about Moyes's mistake fielding a weak team for the Millwall game and not a dig Richard from Formby but, correct me if I am wrong, Everton haven't come from behind for a win since last February. So "inspired subsitution" could also read "saved face" as it did not actually win the game. Everton need to score first this season and hold on, maybe increasing the lead as they did against Charlton.

Another posting about Beattie's one-trick pony move brought a smile to my face. Whenever I watch the game from the Park End and see the ball heading for outer space from five yards out during an Everton attack on the Gladyws Street goal, I don't even have to guess that it's another Beattie shit-or-bust toe-poke. In the derby match he had a difficult but not impossible chip over the already grounded Reina to make and blasted it over the bar at the Park End. And, in more games than I'd care to mention, he has done the same when a placed shot or tap would have been the obvious way to score.

Sadly, all I hear on TV is that Jol appears to have found his ideal strike partnership of Mido and Keane — so that boat has sailed, even if we had the cash - now blown on the likes of Davies and Krøldrop. Tal;king of whom, is he or isn't he going back to Italy for a fiver? Usher lookalike Defoe will be too expensive, anyone else half-decent will go elsewhere — Agger to Liverpool, Niemmi to Fulham, Ashton to Portsmouth — just wait and see for a £15M bid for the unachieveable and then disappointment with an injured mercenary... or Moyes saying we have to mend and make do.
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (8/1/06)

Shrewd he ain`t!
I see that several of the `Sundays` are tipping Everton to sign Norwich striker Dean Ashton if we can find the £6M fee. My dad never misses an Alex game and says that Moyes,Irvine and Lumsden `had season tickets` at Gresty Road in the months before Ashton`s move a year ago. Much as I shall rejoice if, at last, we sign a proven striker, at the price quoted now Moyes`s dithering over half of last season will have cost the Club £3M quid! Whatever his other attributes, shewdness in the tranfer market sure ain`t one of them!
Martin McDermott, Crewe  (8/1/06)

True Supporters
With reference to the letter by Tony Marsh, Liverpool (a great supporter), deluded Evertonians should realise that criticising the manager does not make you a bad Evertonian. What deluded Evertonians should realise is that, when Moyes finally does go, he'll walk off with a load of money and he won't think twice about our club, but we'll be left carrying the can (I only go to all the home games and that's enough for me).

The Evertonians who are not helping the club are the ones holding on to the crazy notion that Moyes is a decent manager. I am not going to go over the facts again but everything that's happened since the end of last season proves that. If we had more supporters like Tony Marsh it would be for the better. How many of these Moyes supporters are now prepared to hold their hands up and admit they said Gravesen was crap a couple of years ago when in fact he was our best player? Not many I suggest! But I remember them. Can ToffeeWeb remind us?
Ged Dwyer, Liverpool  (8/1/06)

I'm not sure I really get your point, other than some devisive effort to get "true supporters" and "deluded Evertonians" arguing with each other about whether or not Moyes is a decent manager. If you really believe that poeple's opinions on Moyes "are not helping our club", then I think you might need take another look at just who is "deleuded"...

When people said Gravesen was crap, he was crap. Moyes changed the system; Gravesen became good; Gravesen's head swelled at the thought of Real Madrid; Gravesen left; we became shit. Does it really matter who said what to whom and when? They were the perceptions at the time. Things change, perhaps even the perceptions of "true" supporters change...

Okay, look: you sucked me in. I'm not going to tolerate this utter bollocks about "true supporters" or and "great" versus "deluded Evertonians". Other websites do far more justice to those inane concepts than we ever can. You're an Evertonian if you see yourself as an Evertonian. There are no grades or levels. And your opinion of David Moyes, good or bad, is no reflection on that whatsoever. So get your head out of your arse, Ged, and cut this bullshit right now, Okay? — Michael

Reading the Phillip Neville comments in the mailbag, I ask myself one thing? If our friend had come from the First Division, would would we be giving him that much slack? Surrounded by good players at United, take him out that environment (as with Nicky Butt) he is not even ordinary, if not awful.

Consistantly giving the ball away (see Liverpool & Chelsea games), and unable to give any form of dominance, people seem to be easily pleased. (Why did idiots clap when he was sent off in the derby?)

"But he is a model pro" they cry. Well, so is my mate John at the bottom of our road, but is he a good player?

At manager is judged by his signings. Both Phillip & his mate Davies (actually worse than Mike Milligan, if that's possible) are not good enough. Results speak for themselves. And if anyone is asking why we are skint, have a look at these two characters, because they are the supposed heartbeat of the worst Everton side I have seen in 30 years (statistics back that up!).
Bobby Dempster, Huyton  (8/1/06)

What's this 'First Division' then, fella? The wonderful powers that be first changed it into a meaningless lie, and now have taken it away altogether.

But I think you're right about Neville and Davies: they are not cutting it for us. — Michael

Mike Newells Luton Play Better Footy Than Us
In response to Michael's respone, at least Luton are half decent to watch!

I know we are crap at the moment but there is absolutely nothing to be proud of in the watching the players (no skill), management (not even interesting to be interviewed!), or the way we play at the moment. I could accept being crap but only if we tried to at least make an attempt at being creative and entertaining rather than just turn up and hope the other team doesn't score first (as is the case now).

And I'm sorry I've tried to be patient in the past but if we had been beaten by Millwall then I would have asked Moyes to go...and no I don't care if we have no replacement now, I just can't take any more humiliations.
Aplankofwood Withanailinit, UK  (8/1/06)

Big Dunc
I can understand why some fans rave about the passion Dunc shows when playing for Everton but didn't he also show the same passion, injury allowing, when he played for the barcodes? Although to my knowledge, he has no tattoo on his arm showing his allegiance to their cause. If we had spent the money we payed to buy him back on a couple of untried strikers from lower divisions and brought them through the ranks, maybe — just maybe we might have a striker now capable of scoring more goals than our midfield players???
Steve Willis, Bristol  (8/1/06)

Rueing missed chances...
Just a quick little note about David Moyes's transfer activity this summer. Don't get me wrong, he has made some excellent buys on a tight and limited budget: Arteta, Cahill, Bent, Yobo. But I could think of a much better way to spend the better part of £9 million. Per Krøldrup (making one start this campaign) and Simon Davies (doing nothing this campaign) with a combined worth of £8.5 million+ — that money should have been invested in a striker.

And I know of one going begging at roughly that price if not cheaper - Yakubu! He's one of the top goalscorers playing for Middlesborough, he's hit 10 already this season, a quality international and proven goalscorer. The word prolific might even be used! We might've even had a million to spare, which could've been spent more wisely... or saved until now, where we seem to be able to afford nothing but loan deals!

It's a sham! He's spent nearly half of his transfer kitty on two useless mugs. His wretched transfer buys frustrate me - and probably him, too!
Sean Wafer, Liverpool  (8/1/06)

Don't worry, Sean: everyone is convinced we're going to buy the striker we need to move us forward. Why, we're just a week into the transfer window... and... errr... Well, there's not much happening. But We ARE getting a new striker... aren't we? Please!!! — Michael

No Faking
In reply to Steve Connor and James Mcpherson.

Firstly Steve this Tony Marsh that you think doesnt exist is the same TM that left the house at 7am this morning to catch the 8am train to London for the Millwall game [were you there?]. I have just walked through the front door to my house and it is 11.55pm. I make that a 17-hour round trip to watch Everton.

Most of the day was spent being treated like human cattle and getting locked in a concrete prison they call the New Den. Now I am not complaining in fact I LOVE it. I have been doing this kind of thing for 30 years and will keep on doing it until the day I die.

Watching the blues is in my blood and if you and J Mcpherson want to have a pop at me over my views thats OK by me — that's what its all about: opinions. I will admit I sometimes go a bit over the top were Moyes is concerned but sometimes I do have a point. If worrying about Everton and being passionate with my support is a crime then I am guilty as charged. Over the years, I have come to realise that Everton will never win much as regards to trophies and titles so all I ask, like many thousands who go to the games, is that we play a bit of decent football and show some pride in the shirt.

We all have are own views on the team we support. At the moment I think our football stinks and we are going no where fast but, if some people are happy with it, that's up to them. Personally, I would like to see a bit more out on the pitch and only the manager has control over that. Moyes is not my cup of tea and I don't rate him as a manager and that's that.

As for me not existing, just you ask my Ma — she will vouch for me.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (8/`1/06)

I'm surprised there hasn't been more of a fuss kicked up about the fact that our esteemed manager actually rested players for the FA Cup! Here he is telling us how he recognizes all the great traditions of the Club. Well, the FA Cup is one of them.

I haven't done the stats in recent years but we used to be able to claim that Everton had won more FA Cup matches than anyopne else. I wonder if that is another record that has now gone forever under the guidance of Moyes. — Michael

Back from the game ...
... and we live to fight another day. On seeing the line-up, I was disappointed. I thought the manager should have built on the last two games in terms of continuity.

Nige and Joe being replaced was fair enough as they are both carrying knocks but the rest of the changes made no sense at all to me. For all of our teritorial advantage, we still looked at sea when it came to understanding. This means our next game will feature a changed line-up and all that goes with it. So after such a horrendous start to the season, just when we seemed to be getting something together, it's all change again and I just can't see the logic in it.

It took the substitutions that the manager eventually made to restore us to what should have been the starting line up for us to draw level and indeed we should have won it. Some people may say they were excellent substitutions at the right time. I don't. I think the manager played only lip service to the FA Cup yet with Chelsea having all but won the league this is the big one now and wins can improve confidence, even in such teams as ours (who are experts at failing in the first round of cup competitions this season), to help with Premiership performance.

Overall, I thought we should have won despite the manager's selection; my forgoing rant may prove I would be a useless manager but, as a fan, I was disappointed we didn't put out our best players and go for it. Now it's a replay, which would have been best avoided, that is looming. I just hope there isn't another cock-up on the ticketing front. See you Saturday — UP THE BLUES
Ken Buckley, Buckley  (7/1/05)

Just reading the comments on Phil Neville and I totally agree with Mr Veitch and his point of view, it is spot on.

Neville can play in four different positions and do a job effectively in all areas. In sSome positions, he is stronger than others but the fact is that he can play in all these areas. No other player in our squad can do this.

Secondly, continuity for a player is extremely important. The lad seems to be in a different position each week to 'do a job' because of injuries etc. Give him a lengthy run in the centre of midfield (which he claims is his best position) and he will show his worth.

Thirdly, to say he doesn't command his role effectively is in my opinion, unjust. He shouts at players, gives them instructions to press and squeeze etc, or to get tighter to players, and is therefore commanding. He has won something like six Premiership titles, FA Cup winners medals and a European Cup winner medal. This experience at top flight football is crucial and trying to pass his experience on to his fellow pros in this way is superb. You can't beat experience, and our side at present has none in terms of Premiership, FA Cup or European titles.

I honestly believe that Neville will be a great player and great captain for us. He just needs time in one position.

We will get Millwall back to Goodison and give them a right arse-whipping. We created a lot of chances today and, with a bit more composure on goal, the game would have been dead and buried. With the home support behind us, we will beat them comfortably.

Steve Bibby, Kent  (07/01/06)

Can any Everton player get within 10 yards of the goal without always trying to break the net? Beattie is the worst culprit. Instead of trying to keep the ball low and into one of the corners, he always has to hammer it. The result flies high over the bar. Does moyes actually do any shooting practice with the players?.
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (7/1/06)

First of all, may I say that reading through the mailbag has got me hooked, more than any other Everton website. It makes interesting reading and has actually made me put my thoughts in a letter.

I am just wondering if any of the people that are writing these letters have actually played the game. I don't mean a five-a-side match or Sunday League but actually to a decent standard. If they have they will understand what Phil Neville is going through. Not getting a run of games to get settled in one position is very annoying for a proffesional footballer. To be playing at full-back one week then midfield the following can take some getting used to. It is a different ball game(pardon the pun!).

It takes a special player to be good in a variety of positions at the level that we are talking about. You don't see Kilbane, Osman, Hibbert or Fergie playing any other position, not yet anyway. The argument about Carlsey being better in midfield is a bit dubious. His best games were when Gravesen was in there with him. Maybe with Carsley and Neville fit we won't be such a walk-over in the middle.

As for the game against Millwall, come on: two clubs struggling for money, a chance to get another game in for more revenue... it was obvious we wern't going to settle it down there. See you all for thr replay.
Andy Veitch, Oxon  (07/01/06)

Get Real, Richard!
Moyes sycophant Richard Dunn makes me squirm. The total cost of the Millwall squad was less than £3M -- Everton`s is ten times that amount! Of course we should have done better than struggle to earn a replay. I suppose if we`d lost, Richard would have been the first to say `Now we can concentrate on the League`. Just grow up man and get real!
Brian Calderwood, Wavertree  (7/1/06)

Mike Newells Luton Play Better Footy Than Us
I've heard Mike Newell's name pop up a few times when talking about possible future managers and at the minute I am watching them completley hold thier own against Liverpool. Admittedly, this is the first time I have watched them play but they look good playing nice attacking footy, better than any of the stuff produced by the Blues this season. Also, Liverpool have fielded the same line up (almost) as in the derby, so what does that say?
Robbie Muldoon, Huyton  (7/1/06)

Errr... 3 - 5; says it all. — Michael

To David C
A Request  (7/1/06)

David: we need your e.mail address: please enter it with your next submission. Thanks! — Michael

No picnic
Another great fight back sees The Blues get a well-earned replay against Millwall. No doubt your usual tribe of moaners will say we should have won easily but Millwall away is no picnic for any team. I was pleased to see that the manager was brave enough to `rotate` the squad and, once again, proved his tactical acumen with the most effective introduction of Leon Osman. I have a funny feeling that 2006 will be a great year to be an Evertonian!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (7/1/06)

Errr... see below!

Tactics are all wrong
I write this before the end of the Millwall match, in disgust at the selection and tactics of Moyes. The week before, we see pace movement and enthusiasm in the centre of midfield; this week, Neville is available and what does Moyes do? - he resorts to his negative approach and puts Neville in the centre. This, in my opinon, is why he has a negative goal difference - instead of dropping Hibbert and putting Neville in his best position he thinks that Neville will somehow shore up the midfield. We should have left the two players alone and looked to go forward for a win. Then when under pressure he resorts to Ferguson and the long ball. As I said, we are losing as I write this, and whatever the outcome the fact we aren't winning comfortably is because of this negative and defensive attitude. Moyes, you have to wake up and see what most of us can see so plainly.
Jim Hourigan, Preston  (7/1/05)

Errr.... see below!

No good position for Neville
After initially in support and quite pleased at the signing of Phil Neville (Gavin Ramejkis will remember that!) I'm coming to the conclusion that, even though he is a pretty decent footballer... he just doesn't fit into our team:

  • Central Midfield — Just isn't right for him — it also pushes Arteta out onto the right — a waste, in my opinion.
  • Defensive Midfield — supposedly his best position, but he hasn't been as effective or trustworthy as Carsley.
  • Left Back — probably where I favour him to play if he does, although he doesn't seem to concentrate for a full 90 minutes... often getting caught out.
I may risk a rath of abuse with this opinion, but I also don't agree with the way he takes a commanding role. He isn't the type of player to do this 'effectively' and he seems to create uncertainty within the team in trying to do so. He isn't as much of a workhorse and I imagine doesn't have as much respect with fellow team-mates as much as someone such as Carsley probably has. I personally would appreciate Carsley shouting and ordering me on the pitch more than I would Phil Neville.

Just my opinion anyway, would be interested to see if anyone else has started to feel this way. I'd still expect to see Carsley (when he's fit) slotting in ahead of Neville in any place in Midfield.
Steven Astley, Wigan  (7/1/06)

Tony Marsh
Is Tony Marsh a real person or have ToffeeWeb made him up to encourage responses from readers?
Steve Connor, Liverpool  (6/01/06)


Safety in numbers
I note that one of the international sites is reporting that Portugese under-20 left back, Jose Goncalves, is currently on trial at Everton and may well be signed during the window. His somewhat ironic name and the fact that he is due a foot operation during the next few weeks no doubt attracted him to Moyes who must desperately be seeking to strengthen his squad with a SIXTH left-back. There`s safety in numbers, they say!
Kevin Jackman, Crosby  (6/1/06)

Scouts and/or vision?
Do Everton have any form of scouting system in this country or abroad? Even through the old boy network which is former players and management friends? Time and time again, whether the club has a pot to pee in or not, we seem to miss completely relatively unknown but obviously quality players such as Mido - who would have guessed an Egyptian striker would have proven so good?

Can anyone shed any light on this? Without wanting to have another bash at Davey and suffer the wrath of the pro-Moyes brigade now resurfaced, we only seem to see limited scouting by Moyes and or Irvine themselves or the token tidbits from Billy Liar and his lapdogs insulting our intelligence with reports of bids for players way beyond our reach.

Surely somewhere in Europe, Africa, North or South America there must be some gems waiting to be scouted and trialled when the price is right and the player is right?
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (6/1/06)

Regarding: Slow-witted !
Regarding the mial below 'Slow-witted!' I think the likes of Owen and Keene (& Scott Parker) not beeing willing to sign for us is as much to do with our wage ceiling as our ambition. Unless the definition of ambition is paying a bunch of superstars £60k to £80k a week and still not getting the results... Newcastle, Man Utd (Real Madrid?) must have ambition by the bucket-load!
Colin Evans, Newbury  (06/01/06)

Point made!
Must say Dave J makes Tony Marsh`s point for him perfectly!The list of players Dave uses as supportive evidence of Moyes`s `ability` with transfers is a catalogue of the injury-prone and long-term disaffected in which most managers had no interest. A cursory check of their playing records would have shown that most had never given value for money and were never likely to do so.

Between them — with the possible exception of Phil Neville — they made so few appearances in the months before their transfer that any scout sent to watch them would have been hard-pressed to ever see them in action. During Moyes`s tenure, I have always suspected that the video machines (no doubt supplied by friendly agents) were by far the most active scouting tool employed. And if you pick your players that way, you don`t even have to waste your charm on them!
Harry  Meek, Worcester  (5/1/06)

Big Dunc and Bungalow Bill
I remember remarking on the train to Charlton in December 2004 that a win here could put us second.

The game started with us fighting like the terriers that we had been that first half of the season. Then they brought Big Dunc on. He lasted no more than five minutes, if that - floored a Charlton player and off he went — and down we went 2 - 0. It all seemed to go down hill from there. Big Dunc's momentary lack of control spoilt the team momentum. Ironically compare that to his motivational performance last week. He probably represents the heartbeat of the team like no other Everton player.

And a word on Bungalow Bill. When, invevitably and continuously, he was asked about our ambition when we were flying high in 4th last year, I was sick and tired of him (and later Moysey) saying that we were just grateful to be up there. He was even saying it before the Champions League kicked off - he even said it before the Uefa Cup kicked off! I bet he will be just as grateful that we stay in the Premiership this season.

Bill, you are supopsed to be a leader! Show us ambition and set us targets. Don't rest on laurels. I would rather you were unrealistic in ambitious expectations (some of it would rub off and even attract outside interest in the club) than just to be thankful for what we have acheived so far. Always aim high! It will be interesting to listen to Martin Jol and Daniel Levy in the coming weeks and months....
Alan Rooney, Gillingham, Dorset  (6/1/06)

When it becomes personal....
As an avid viewer and occasional participant of this mailbag, I often read the thoughts of Mr Marsh.

Regarding Moyes, the disparity between his views and mine are actually not that wide. The single biggest difference is the timing of the event. My view is that, in any walk of life — be it business, sport or whatever — you should not remove something/someone without there being something better to put in its place.

Enough of the views...let's look at the delivery.

Mr Marsh, quite simply you have lost the plot. Your letters now are no longer constructive, never offer a solution and the latest offering is pure vitriol... no more, no less. The supposition you make surrounding Cahill's goal celebration is as absurd as it is tenuous. This imbalance deepens further when you allude to Moyes' physical approach during a game. What is wrong with a manager standing up giving instructions? It's part and parcel of the role.

Furthermore, having read (countless times) your vilification of the team's lack of passion, solely attributable to (you've guessed it) David Moyes, your statement smacks of rather ludicrous double standards.

I believe there is a serious debate to be had concerning Moyes's tenure. Your style of argument, and its purely personal tirade, weakens the cause of the critics of Moyes. I suggest you take a break from the site, take stock and return with contributions that offer balance and contain an element future potential solutions to the admittedly shocking situation the club presently finds itself.
James McPherson, Liverpool  (06/01/06)

Geez, I really wish I'd written that. Bang on the nail, James. Quite sums up the personal reaction I had to his stuff when proofing it for publication. We have a job here for you as prime mailbag respondent. Apply within! — Michael

Tony Marsh....
So would I be on the touchline on their backs all the time. They have been shite this season and if we had a Sven on the sidelines then we would be bottom. For all David's errors, at least he has a bit of passion. If it is true about him and Tim then I would be secretly pleased because it shows that my players have the passion and desire to perform for Everton. I agree that he should have had a transfer lined up, though....
Paul Coleman, Kettering  (06/01/06)

Tony Marsh
Yawn, yawn, yawn...

So Moyes demands maximum effort from his players on the training ground and they do not like him for it as they object to his "sargeant major" style of management? Personally, I want a manager who will make the players earn their money every day of the week and will not tolerate anything less than 100% effort.

Cahill was on television following the Sunderland and Charlton games saying that David Moyes was quite right to be critical and demand more from his players as performances have not been good enough. As for no decent players being prepared to sign for him, then why did Beattie, Davies, Krøldrup, Arteta, Valente, Van der Meyde, Neville etc have no problem in committing pen to paper.

You might counter by arguing that the above are not what you would call decent players given recent performances, but the fact is that all had pedigree prior to siging for Everton under David Moyes's stewardship within the last 12 months.

Bring back Walter Smith!!
Dave J, Liverpool  (06/01/2006)

Big Dunc - A legend
Just to join in on the Big Dunc debate. How many times was he brought on last year when we needed a goal and he turned the game around? I believe that Duncan made a massive contribution to our Champions League qualification last year and that is enough to earn legend status in my opinion. I believe that without him we would not have qualified... and that we have really missed him this year, now that his body can no longer hold up to the rigours of the Premiership. The sight of Big Dunc charging up to the crowd with his fist in the air after scoring is the definition of what it means (or should mean!) to play for Everton. I for one will miss him!
Matthew Hayhurst, Urmston  (6/1/2006)

Ideal striker
Must say that Blackburn `giveaway` Matt Jansen sounds like a very Moyes-like target to me. The `striker` can boast of a most impressive injury record which has restricted his appearances this season to 5 (0 goals) and 8 last season (2 goals). He should be an invaluable addition to a team which finds it totally impossible to find the net from open play! But I understand the lad`s desperate and can take a good rollicking from the best of them! Get him signed, Davey Boy!
David  Hall, Taunton  (5/1/06)

Danish television claimed tonight that our target Agger has agreed terms with Liverpool. The Sissoko Story all over again... who's the rat?

I think Moyes now should try to get Brede Hangeland once again. He's developed since the club last monitored him and has established himself as first choice in the Norwegian National team. Tall and pacey, definetely not injury prone. In Norwegian papers he is linked to Leeds and Sheffield Utd at the moment, but he's definetely too good for the Championship.
Arlid Anderson, Oslo, Norway  (6/1/06)

Quiet Times A Head
Not much activity going on as regards to signing players. Dithering Dave has done us proud once again.

The way we have shaped up this season you would've thought Davey would have had at least one player in place to come in as soon as the window opened. Just one signing would have given the whole club a lift and the fans could start dreaming of better times a head. Well this is Davey Moyes I am talking about and he probably has other ideas now we have won two on the bounce.

I will tell you where there has been plenty of activity over the holidays: Bellfield. Moyes and Tim Cahill had to be pulled away from each other during a training session not long after the Derby game. All season long, Moyes has held Cahill back and played him in a defensive type role and Cahill got fed up and it all spilled over on the training ground. Whatever was said or done, it obviously worked: Cahill scores three in two games and is seen at his most dangerous all season.

We heard about the set-to the day before the Sunderland game and are wondering if Cahill's new goal celebration is anything to do with it? Anyway, Cahill can join Marcus Bent, Duncan Ferguson, and very soon Mikel Arteta as players who are at war with Moyes. From what we are hearing, training and playing for Moyes is like being in the army and Moyes is like a Sargeant Major.

You only have to look at Moyes on match days to see what he is like. He never sits down and lets the players play. He is constantly on their backs, screaming and shouting with his eyes bulging out of his head. It's no wonder the players make silly mistakes with him on their case for 90 minutes.

Believe me, any decent players we have got will not stick around much longer and work under Moyes; as you have said on this site before, no decent players will sign for him because they know what he is all about. And we all know he is not getting sacked, so where will that leave us in the future???

Ah well at least Chris Sutton got away.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (6/1/06)

Slow-witted !
Other teams are already signing players, which means that contracts etc where dicussed months ago, but do you get the feeling that Everton have only just started enquiries? Moyes's opinion that clubs don't want to sell this time of year is clearly nonsense seeing how many players have swapped clubs already.

A great manager, one worthy of bringing Everton back to the top, needs three qualities: man management, good tactics, and ambition in the transfer market. Moyes has done well on the first two points, but so far he has done terribly on the last point. Has he learnt his lesson? We will see this January.

He has spent £20M+ on average players while missing out on the likes of Roy Keane and Michael Owen. I include Owen in this because it showed a great difference in ambition between Souness and Moyes. Newcastle wouldn't take no for an answer when trying to sign him; they forced the issue and Owen was won over by their ambtion. In contrast, all Moyes did was call Owen and ask if there was any chance in him joining Everton. Newcastle easily won even though they were in the Uefa Cup and us in the Champions League. Moyes needs to really go for his targets — and quickly.

I have been calling for Moyes's head recently because of this flaw but I will change my mind if he can do a couple of great deals this January, assuming he really didn't go for Chris Sutton!
Tommy C, London  (6/1/05)

Oh, Tommy, Tommy...................
A quick quiz. Who said this:

"The Everton fans are a special breed who have a really strong relationship with the club. That's why I prefer to play for one club in each country, because there's so much rivalry. I think it's more appropriate to move away from the country entirely, so you're not in their faces.'

Answer: Thomas Gravesen - May 14th 2005 - The Guardian.

What price he ends up at Old Trafford or St James' Park then?
David Jones, Rochdale  (05/01/06)

And they say us fans are fickle!

What about Norway?
I have been an Evertonian as long as I can remember, and have winessed all the ups (few) and downs (several). I moved to Norway and settled down in 1980 and now can only follow the Blues on the box; luckily there are not many games I don't get to see thanks to excellent coverage these days.

One thing has always amazed me, and that is the Toffees' lack of interest in Norwegian players. Yes, Thomas Myhre had a good run for a while and is still cutting it at charlton. Someone at the club should open the door to some real talent playing here at the moment. These players can be bought cheaply and are always excellent professionals (apart from Erik Bakke). I have tried to pass the word on to Goodison but it is not easy.

A name to watch out for in the future is Christian Grindheim, a young midfield player already established at national level and twice as creative as Simon (run all day and do nothing) Davies. Now just watch as some team like Portsmouth or Fulham buy him for peanuts then sell him for a fortune next year, probably to us. WHY CANT WE EVER WISE UP!!! You have been warned.
Tony  Cheek, Haugesund, Norway  (5/1/06)

It sounds like a great idea in principle: Get more Norwegians in. Colm went through a spell of saying "Get more Irish lads in". Even the Icelandic guys have been at it... to some effect with Bjarni Thor Vidarsson kicking on in the Under-18s and more recently Everton Reserves. But imagine, of all the Evetonians the world over, how many are sending their scouting ideas in to Goodison Park? I have no idea, but probabaly rather a lot.

Meanwhile, the Everton scouting machine (stop laughing at the back!) has its targets, watchlists and priorities. I know it' s well-meaning and you want the best for Everton but what you are essentially doing as an amatuer talent-spotter is coming to a professional and basically telling him how to do his job. You might get lucky in that some scout might take you up on your tip. But I have this feeling that most will say "Yeah, right, thanks, bye." or a less polite equivalent. And they are probably missing out once in a thousand. — Michael

Here we go again, other clubs signing players already and Everton - nothing...... Time for another failed last-day bid for a £15M star.
Daniel Parker, Glasgow  (5/1/06)

New Striker?
Everyone wanted a new centre forward for Christmas but Sutton has got to be a bigger joke than Gazza or Ginola. I believe Sheringham might be available next season on a free!
Kevin Tully, Liverpool  (5/01/06)

Michael to be fair, Dunc's spell in Barlinnie was for a far lesser offence than that slimy Cantona's karate kick against a Crystal Palace fan, it was down to mickey mouse Scottish law.

Whatever he has done in the past, it's probably only half the story as like most other things we only see part of the story, he obviously inspired a down-beaten team to a great overall team performance against Charlton and screamed non-stop at Beattie which saw him do more running than he had done previously in months.

I'll take the highs and lows as long as it got the results, although I agree, some of the sendings-off have been ridiculous in the extreme. But then who in the press has a go at Rooney when his passion gets the same or when crease-head Gerrard (seen yet again clearly smiling as he stamped on Nolan) goes unpunished or slated by his own fans?
Gavin Ramejkis, Upholland  (05/12/05)

Big Dunc
What's with all the Big Dunc bashing?? He's been great for us over the years and I think its ridiculous to say he's cost the club more than he's contributed. He's one of the few players that shows any passion for Everton.... the way some of you have been going on, anyone would think thats a bad thing.

I bet you weren't complaining when he was scoring some great goals over the years; Man Utd, Liverpool... Need I say more??
Sean G, Liverpool  (05/01/06)

Yes, you need say more... goals that is. Given his legend status as a centre-forwad, his goal return is abysmal. And passion is great up to the point where it degenerates into punching and strangulation. Or is that Okay too? — Michael

Who needs srikers?
What a disappointment that after talking to The Moyesiah, Chris Sutton has opted to sign for Birmingham.He fitted the ginger one`s criteria for recruitment perfectly. Long standing injury problems, handful of appearances in recent times, and all of a couple of goals this season. Our transfer maestro must be mortified that for once his renowned charm didn`t work.

But don`t worry, folks; he`s persuaded Big Dunc to make one more sacrifical effort for the cause and go on accepting his albeit reduced salary of £16k per week right up to the end of the season!

Who needs strikers?
Terry Skuse, Rhyl  (5/1/06)

I cannot precisely define or even if that I spelt it correctly yet this undefined (perhaps badly spelt) word exemplifies what Ferguson has and what so many of our squad badly lacks. I take 'on board' all that other correspondents have stated yet for some strange reason I love the man in the same way that loved Dave Hickson who also was prepared to shed his and others blood for the cause. If that disqualifies me from from being a new age something or other man so be it.
Dick Fearon, Australia  (05/01/06)

I think you did spell it wrong. I prefer "Presents"?

Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?
Although I can appreciate why Duncan is such an iconic figure at Everton, I've never been a fan of his and have to agree with the view that he's taken the piss out of Everton much more than he's ever contributed to the blue cause. There's a fine line between 'passion and commitment' and moronic thuggery, and Duncan has breached it way too often, frequently dropping his team in the shit, but always managing to add to his own bogus legend in the process.

Duncan being sent off seems to affirm for many fans how much he cares, when for me it illustrates what a poorly-disciplined and selfish sod he is. Never was I more embarassed as a blue than when the Big Man was sent off to rapturous applause in a game we were being hammered in, with one genius screaming 'Go on Duncan, if we can't beat them at football, let's beat them at fighting'. A minority view, perhaps and I can't really blame Duncan for that sort of reaction. But it remains one that's always summed up the Big Dunc enigma for me.

For every time his undoubted ability has benefitted Everton, there are scores of times when his stupidity has cost the club. His legend was born more through circumstance than design, and I'm certain that he's a player who could have only ever made his mark at Everton when the club was at such a low ebb. His brutish style of play was the perfect antidote to the cack Evertonians were used to watching when he first arrived. But all too often his apparent willingness to get stuck in has been confused for actually contributing in a positive and consistent way.

We should never have brought him back from the barcodes, and I for one won't be attending any testimonial the club throws in his honour (which will no doubt have the air of importance usually reserved for a royal funeral). He's already had enough out of my wallet.

He did his bit, but let's not get all sentimental about him. Everton Football club is definitely better off without him, shite as our striking options are at the moment.
Andrew Conroy, Stoke-on-Trent  (4/1/06)

Well said, sir!

Big Duncan
I think the reason I and many others have so much time for Big Dunc is because he's inspiring. We haven't had much to cheer over the last 10 years but watching Duncan terrorise defenders has been one of the few high points. On his day Big Dunc had the ability to inspire Everton and destroy opposing teams. His legs have gone now days but he still has that fire which can still play a big influence in a game. Sure, the injuries have robbed Dunc and Everton of the career he should have had but personally I'll always cherish what we did have.

My best memories over the last 10 years involve Big Dunc with that Blue Nose at the FA Cup final, Big Dunc scoring goals in big games against Man Utd and Liverpool, scoring that hat-trick against Bolton!

I love watching him whip his shirt off and go mad when he scores, you can see his Everton tattoo and see how much it means to him, if only Rooney had that kind of passion for Everton. One last reason I love Duncan, how many other fans can boast that their Captain kicked the shit out of two intruders who made the mistake of entering Castle Ferguson?
Dutch Schaeffer, UK  (4/1/06)

Ah, the wonder of a selctive memory. Don't forget the on-field assault that earned him a spell in Barlinnie, countless stupid sending-off offences that involved such well-honed skills as punching and strangling, and bottling a penalty-kick shootout at Sunderland, where poor John Oster was pushed forward for more embarrassment. Dunc is a legend with a dark side. Let's have some balance. Actiually, Joe Royle was right: he simply doesn't meet the minimum criteria for being a legend. — Michael

While I agree with most of what Jim Hourigan says about Big Dunc, I think the reason why he is worshipped by a lot of fans is that, when he does play, he plays with passion and commitment. If the rest of the team had shown these qualities this season, the league position might be a bit better than it is now. Against Charlton, the players did show passion. I'm not saying that with Dunc playing and captain, it was down to him... but who knows!!!
Brian Waring, Shrewsbury  (4/1/06)

The 2006 squad. Thanks Dutch
I'd like to thank Dutch Schaeffer for one of the most insightful pieces I've ever read on Toffeeweb. When I leave my Hermit's cave under Queens Drive and head to the match, I shut my eyes and put my fingers in my ears. I never listen to radio or TV, never read a newspaper, a website or a match programme, and, of course, I have absolutely no idea who plays for the team I support - whose name escapes me at the moment. Something FC.

The original content contained within the article has proved invaluable to me in my quest to understand the Something FC 2006 squad. Gems like Nigel Whatsit may not be able to hack it any more because of his age and Tim Thingie is one of our best players - well, I never did. My only complaint is that Dutch didn't mention the name of the ground where we play, which is useful information to know when heading for a game at - well, wherever we play. I think it's Good, Goodis, nah, it's gone.

Two questions. Did Dutch ever attend the University of The Bleedin' Obvious? Was it a quiet week for articles at Toffeeweb Towers?
Harry Hermit, Cave - Queens Drive  (4/1/06)

Hasn't been a quiet week at all - we've had to wade through hundreds of e-mails from prats like yourself, too busy slagging off others to contribute anything useful. - Garry

Osman's new-born-foal-like balance!
An interesting question was posed about Osman's supposed lack of upper body strength and poor balance.

In my opinion (and it's by no means qualified), for a player like Osman, upper body strength isn't essential. What's more important is his balance and this has more to do with lower body strength and the positioning of his centre of gravity. Osman's problem is that his centre of gravity is probably too high in comparison to his height. This means that, generally, he can't stay on his feet long enough to do some damage to the opposing teams and looks like a new born foal taking his first steps.

Players like Zola, Juninho and Kinkladze all had great power in there legs and low centre of gravities (like most good footballers). Better examples would probably be Pele and Maradona - but I'm not expecting that level from Osman!

Some people are born with those attributes, but if for somebody like Osman, who doesn't have them, one solution would be to get him running or hiking up steep mountains at least once a week, aswell as his usual training. This would be better than using weights on the legs, as it would better prepare his legs for the rigours of a football match. I would hope that the Everton coaching staff know infinitely more on this area than me!

Having watched Osman since he first made the first team its a crying shame that he hasn't pushed himself onto a higher level of performance. But, hopefully, as his body matures he should, if he looks after himself, develop into a extremely effective player.
Declan Reilly, Taipei  (4/1/06)

Unfortunately, I think you're right in your analysis of Leon. Having said that I do believe, as do others, that he can do a job for the team. Last season's review DVD surprised me in how often Leon Osman was involved in crucial goals. His chances have been limited this season but, again, in the games he's played he has done well and while on paper I wouldn't pick him ahead of Van der Meyde or Davies, I believe that form should dictate selection and Osman should be on the teamsheet at the moment.

It's a real shame that he had to wait until the ripe old age of 23 to get Premiership experience as the expectations upon him should be those of an average 18- or 19-year-old player; instead he's expected to be an integral part of the team. - Garry

Ferguson - what do people see?
Twenty matches since his last goal... I don't know how many since his last good 90 mins ( — has he ever had a good full 90 mins?). What have people seen in him over the last 3 years?

Duncan Ferguson has robbed our club of millions and played on the emotions of those people who have never seen a decent centre forward. How does he compare against Sharp or Latchford? He has now reached the stage when he can't jump, won't run and doesn't know how to shoot. When he did the overhead kick against Charlton we all burst out laughing - the efforts of an ageing over-rated thug. How many times has he been sent off and cost us games?

And before all those people jump to his defence. list the games that he has won for us and if you get beyond 5 over the last 3 years then I obviously attend the wrong matches. It's time to wipe the sleep from peoples eyes - a goal in a derby win does not allow someone to bleed us dry of millions in wages and influence a style of play that is absolute garbage.

When he's on the pitch, look at the way players hump the ball forward - I for one will be only to glad to see him retire and replaced by someone who plays regularly, scores goals and contributes to a style of play that we can appreciate. A tattoo should not make you an icon at Everton, players who have skill, vision and ability make you icons players like Labone, Ball, Harvey, Kendall, Latchford, Sharp, Sheedy, Steven, Gray et al are icons Ferguson is just an over-rated thug.
Jim Hourigan, Preston  (4/1/06)

I've been thinking and saying much the same thing for years, Jim, but he does just enough to keep people's affection for him alive. His goals at Norwich last season, the headed winner against United at Goodison are two examples off the top of my head. Personally, if he's being held together with enough tape and string to play the odd game in half a dozen, I think it's massive waste of wages and am at a loss why Moyes feels he needs to persuade him not to retire. Lyndon

Things not right?
Whilst I would not wish to deflect from the win on Monday, and indeed the manner of it, I fear everything may not be hunky dory between players and management. There were two particular instances were players were basically telling Moyes to "go away in short jerky movements":

  • Mikel Arteta and Tim Cahill, both of whom were outstanding, were clearly arguing with Moyes, who was on the touchline, as usual, shouting at them, or to them, as the case may be.
  • I also noted that when Ferguson was taken off, after a superb performance, Moyes applauded him off but never went to him, or vice-versa, yet he was greeted warmly by the others in the dug-out.
Is the alleged dressing room rumpus now rearing itself on to the pitch? Is the manager actually losing the respect of the players? Or, and I hope this is the case, are all parties as passionate about Everton Football Club as I am and will do what they believe is best for it, and if that means arguing to do it, then let's get on and argue?!
3rd Eye, Top Balc  (3/1/06)

Payment by the minute
From where I am, I can watch 38 Everton games on satellite for a marginal cost of nothing. But if I had paid for a season ticket, & paid for the petrol as well, wouldn't I want to know about these £40k-a-week contracts? Where do the number of matches played, win bonuses etc. come into this? If no-one knows, it only creates mistrust about 'mercenaries' and so on, who arrive for a few million and play three games before Christmas, which is hardly in the long-term interests of the players union (if there is such a thing anymore).

Michael, if you know & don't want to disclose it, fair enough, but if no-one knows, it stinks, to me.
Dave  Tootill, Johannesburg, South Africa  (3/1/06)

Confidentiality. The buzz word of modern business practices... perhaps it has always been thus. The kind of thing you think you have a right to know is, I believe, strongly protected by confidentiality agreements on all sides. How would you like your contract of employment to be bounced around the Internet? You may see it as "mis-trust"; they all see it as "none of your business". Sorry to be so blunt! — Michael

More good news?
Just when you think things couldn't get any better after the wins against Charlton and Sunderland, Everton are sitting pretty at the top of the league if you subtract goal-difference from points total -

1 Everton (23 - -17) =40
2 Wigan(34 - -1)=35
3Portsmouth(17 - -17)=34
And look who's at the bottom -

I think this conclusively proves... well I'm not entirely sure what it proves — but still... good news!
Alex Riddle, Bognor Regis  (3/1/06)

Errr..... Let's think about this. Earning points is good; having a positive goal difference is good. Each on it's own merit: the bigger the better.

I could understand it if you were to add   these things together. But if you take a good thing (points) and subtract  another good thing (goal difference), you get... nothing much to speak of. Especially as (in our case) subtracting a negative goal difference actually means adding a large number to the points total!

Nevertheless, for remarkable ingenuity and bullshit quotient, you win tonight's Star Prize in the category Lies, Damned lies.... and Statistics.Michael

Signing African Players
Are we allowed to sign African players during the transfer window? If we are, when will the African Nations Cup end?

The reason I asked is hopefully we can get some players from African nations who would be playing in the World Cup this year. Surely they will be motivated to play against the best players in the world in Premier League. By the way, African players have great pace.
Chung Meng Hong, Singapore  (4/1/06)

I'm sure there is no restriction on signing African players (other than availability of the necessary funds!!!). The Final of the African Cup of Nations is set for 10 February. — Michael

Killer to Celtic??
Cynic that I am, Killer had a storming game against Charlton, I wonder what motivated him?
Eddy Gibbs, Brecon  (3/1/06)

Ferrari looked good
I agreed with Ken Buckley's comment about Matteo Ferrari's performance in the game against Charlton. I thought he had a great game at centre-back and was glad to see him in the starting line-up alongside Yobo. When Moyes brought him in, he tried to use him as a left-back but he's definitely better in the middle. Weir has tired legs and for me is not a good choice as captain so it was good to see Ferguson with the armband; shame he can't play week-in, week-out. Also a pity we are about to lose Yobo to the African Nations Cup!
Steven Smith, Ipswich  (3/1/06)

Let's not kid ourselves
Two wins on the spin and people are singing Moyes's praises. Let's just remind ourselves we got battered by a team who are bottom and a Charlton team who are slumping down the table having lost 9 out of 11... Don't get carried away, folks; the hammerings we've taken against Bolton, Villa and Liverpool are still fresh in my memory. Defeat to Millwall and Moyes will once again be the villain!
Kunal D, London  (3/1/06)

It makes you wonder about that "one game at a time" adage. If we do lose a game (especially Millwall!!!), does that entitle us to go off on one? — Michael

Strikers, strkers, strikers
With the transfer window now open, we surely should be looking at strikers available but there aren't many. Earnshaw is one who has pace but I feel £2M or £3M is too much. Sutton is past his best by miles so I hope we don't get him. Keane is playing well at Spurs so he is off the list. Jeffers has pace but weve been there before so he's another one off the list. And Fowler and Evertonians don't match (although he used to be one) so Moyes will have to look abroad... But I wouldn't build your hopes up because it's not going to be easy!!!!!
Phil McRacken, Southport  (3/1/06)

Sign Robbie Fowler???
... as suggested by Frank Burrige of Northwich. Are you completely out of your mind? Do you actually realise what he thinks of us bluenoses?

Maybe you should take a peek into his autobiography. Try suggesting we should sign him once you have seen the 'kind' words he has to say about Everton Football Club and its supporters.

If we signed him, it would be an even bigger farce than the Harry Redknapp - Portsmouth/Southampton/Portsmouth situation was.

Also, perhaps more importantly, you seem to be forgetting the fact that as a player, Robbie Fowler is now .. well .. basically.. WANK!
Steven Astley, Wigan  (3/1/06)

The current poll
You ask who should be first choice at left back? The answer is Phil Neville. This however is not displayed as an option?
Dave J, Liverpool  (03/01/2006)

Hmmm, you have a point, there, Dave. Guess we'll just have to see who our readers feel is the better choice of the three presented, especially as Moyes is likely to field one of them ahead of Neville when fit anyway. Lyndon

All we expect
Recently,a number of younger Evertonians have contributed postings and the question was posed as to what we wanted of our club. I asked around our group in the pub after yesterday`s match and the overwhelming reply was `Premier League survival.`

Most of us were just kids during the brief revival under Joe Royle but we have seen little success apart from last season`s unbelievable fourth spot. And quite frankly we don`t expect success on a regular basis — only the chance now and then to celebrate a victory.

Why so many old timers want our club to be viewed by the media in the same light as Man Utd or Liverpool is beyond us; if it were we`d probably lose interest anyhow! Over the years, we`ve developed a seige mentality and wouldn`t be without it.

No, all we ask is the priviledge of going to Chelsea rather than QPR, or Newcastle rather than Hull: good results are a bonus.

And ps: Moyes is King!
James Bailey, Speke  (3/1/06)

re Osman
Michael and Garry, Re your theorising about Osman’s lack of effect in many games and being brushed off the ball.

To me he does lack upper body strength but more importantly he lacks balance and poise. The three players you mention Michael; Juninho at Middlesbrough, Kinkladze at Man City and my personal favourite Zola at Chelsea, all had balance in abundance and were able to distribute their body weight at speed in such a way that attempts to knock them off the ball either looked clumsy and crass and were ineffective or the opposing defender/midfielder would be forced into overstepping into foul play.

As to whether the game is more physical now; I’d say that it is much more physical… above the waist. 20 years or more ago tackles were certainly more ferocious, but there wasn’t the constant wrestling, elbowing, shirt pulling and gouging that goes on now. I’m not saying this sort of thing didn’t happen but referees were much more likely to penalise upper body contact than a ‘meaty’ slide tackle. I suppose it’s all down to Fifa directives and a cultural shift. (By the way, just how does Gerrard get away with it!?! If Big Dunc had done that to a player he’d have been sent down for 5 years hard labour)

I’m not sure balance and poise can be coached and unfortunately Osman is probably never going to quite make the grade as a Premier League player.

Hope I’m proved wrong.
Kevin  Sparke, Northumberland  (03/01/06)

Balance and poise. Sounds good to me. Nice explanantion, Kevin. — Michael

Rob Fox writes when things are good, disappears when things are bad - and never ever changes his tune, or makes an effort to write concisely, or acknowledges that this season has been a disaster and it was Moyes that got us here. Okay LL? It ain't because he supports or likes Moyes. That is not an issue at all.
David C  ()

I wanted to deal with this privately but Mr C. didn't supply his e-mail address, so in response to the above (which I have edited substantially) the point I wanted to get across was that there are more constructive (and less public) ways of letting Rob or us know that you disapprove of his articles. I thought some of your comments were unnecessarily harsh and derogatory and wanted to say as such publicly. Matter closed. Lyndon

Osman was fine
I thought that Osman did a better job than what he was rated... Afterall, he did play that ball to Beattie for the penalty... not forgetting it was he who was fouled to earn the free kick for the third goal.
Elgin Joshua, Singapore  (3/01/06)

Osman could and should be a great little player... but that's the problem, it seems: he lacks the physical stature or upper-body strength for Premiership football. I personally thought that was bollocks but, each time I watch him, I see him getting brushed off the ball far too often for it not to be true. The game should have been harder and more physical in the days of Alan Ball and Alex Young... how did they do it? — Michael

On the other hand it could simply be the way the player chooses to play. Juninho at Middlesbrough, Kinkladze at Man City and Zola at Chelsea all proved that even the smallest, weakest of players can make a difference. I'm not suggesting that Osman is in their league, but what those players did have were footballing brains that got them out of physical situations before they got into them; perhaps an asset Leon Osman has yet to gain. I'm sure playing, almost exclusively, for the reserves and youth team 'til he was 23 hasn't helped. — Garry

Back from the game...
... and in fact back from two games. The Sunderland game I thought we were hammered into a 1-0 win and I will take that anytime.

Today, I found it hard to believe that the manager gave us a line-up that gave us a chance going forward. You have all seen it and no doubt we deserved the win. In our pub after the game, the banter was "Who was Man of the Match?" and it all resolved around Cahill or Arteta, fair comment. But I thought Ferrari was a revelation in not only defending well but organising the other members of the back four. I also thought he freed up Yobo to play his own game without worrying about cover to his defensive partner. Okay, it took him 20-odd minutes to get the pace of things but after that I thought we had a gud un. My only worry is that he is here on loan.

I thought Moyes got most things right; could this mean we are progressing? I am willing to give the bloke a chance but I still hope he tries to plug the obvious gaps in midfield and that much-sought-after striker is on the agenda.

I may be targeting the wrong man as I am not sure who is in charge of signings but, after today's performancem is it not worth building upon? Over to you, Blue Bill. UP THE BLUES
Ken Buckley, Buckley  (3/1//06)

Payment by the minute
This topic has puzzled me for some time. If a player like Dunc is/was on a reported £40k a week, what does he receive if he plays only about 900 minutes in a season? And if you buy someone for a reputed £5M & he plays about 3 games because of 'injury', then what? Is there a refund in the contract?

There's no point in fans getting emotional about supporting a team if there's some accountant or mathematician behind the scenes picking the team based on sponsor's fees, salary bill and transfer creditors.
Dave Tootill, Johannesburg, South Africa  (02/01/06)

Foreman: "Trouble at mill: Akroyd's lost his arm"
Mill Owner: "Humph... put 'im on 'alf-pay!"

I don't have direct knowledge of this, but any agent worth his salt will make sure his client gets paid his full wedge come hell or high water. I'm pretty sure that a footballer's salary is not normally conditioned on them making any appearances. And most transfer don't come with a play-or-return guarantee. That's why clubs put new players though a "rigourous" medical (stop laughing at the back!) before they complete the transfer. — Michael

Let's get Robbie
Two lovely wins for us; let's hope we can go on a run now. I would sign Robbie Fowler on a 6-month deal; he would be a perfect foil for James Beattie. And let's get the lad Sidwell from Reading. Two or three decent signings and Davey will be doing his famous Newcastle victory jig! God bless all Blues.
Frank  Burrage, Northwich  (02/01/06)

Well said, Eamonn Byrne!
I completely trust Moyes, and it's regardless of today's great win. I have been losing sleep in the last few weeks (in fact for most of the season), but I cannot see any manager who would be better for Everton than Moyes. There are not many great managers around, and most of them have encountered their ups and downs through their careers. I don't see Wenger or Mourinho wanting to take over at Everton. The most realistic target I suppose could be Paul Jewell, but why would he want to leave?

So before you start calling for Moyes's head, just remember that there are plenty of Sounesses around. Moyes has done, and is doing a good job for Everton. Regardless of the current position, the squad is far stronger than it has been in years. All the players he brought in last summer were International players. But injuries have been bad and a larger squad with so many new players will take time to settle. And top class strikers with pace, and powerful midfielders with great passing skill are few and far between.

I am not saying it's all rosy and sweet, but stability in management is crucial to long-term success, i.e. Arsenal and Man Utd. The performances this season have been pretty much unacceptable, but Moyes knows that as well and no one is working harder than him to rectify this. Besides, one should not forget the players who have actually played, when discussing the league position.

It's a fact that Cahill and many others have not been firing on all cylinders this season. And it's not all Moyes's fault that these players have under achieved... I have faith that next season we will again be challenging for Europe. We will stay up this season, but if it's in 17th or 11th place is hard to predict.
Lars  Myklebust, Bergen, Norway  (02/01/06)

Do I like that!
So, just as I predicted, six points from the last three matches and time to ram all your doubters' words back down their throats! Once again Moyes and the boys have come up trumps and we now need only a point a game to secure a decent Premier League position. Do I like that!
Richard Dodd, Formby  (2/1/06)

Hmmm, a point a game is still less than 40 points, the traditional target for Premiership safety. If you think that 17th or thereabouts is "respectable" then you're obviously not one of the majority of us who have loftier ambitions for Everton FC, particularly the season after finishing fourth.

If David Moyes is able to steer this team to safety, he will have done little more than get the club out of a mess of his own making. Only a sustained run of results akin to the form shown in the first half of last season will "ram all your doubters' words back down their throats," I'm afraid. Mere survival doth not a successful season make. Lyndon

At last
Blimey... two games on the bounce when the ref hasn't cost us a goal, or even the game. No wonder the team played very well today: XI against XI is much better — maybe the refs have been told to start watching what's going on, instead off day-dreaming. Let's hope it lasts, them we might climb up the table. A good start to the New Year, and well done the Blues.
John Daley, Cumbria  (2/1/06)

Err... were you day-dreaming or what? The ref did cost us a goal. Tim Cahill deserved a hat-trick and there was nothing wrong with the third goal he scored that was then disallowed by — you guessed it — the referee. — Michael

Notably, it was the same referee, Uriah Rennie, who was relegated to refereeing Championship games a couple of years ago for making similar mistakes on a regular basis. — Garry

Two Games - Six Points
Two games, six points, must be time for the Moyes apologists to pop up again!

Expect a torrent of "this is the turning point" "told you Moyes was the right fella for the job" "we're going to Europe if we win all of our games for the rest of the season". I'm personally looking forward to Rob Fox's magnum opus, "Life, the Universe and Everything in Relation to a Football Club in Merseyside England"

Regardless, I think we can all agree on one thing - more performances like today's will lead to a rise up the table. And that's all we care about isn't it? ;}
David C  (2/1/06)

OK, David, can we ease up on Rob Fox now? There's no need to single him out with barbed comments just because he is this site's most prominent pro-Moyes camp member. Lyndon

Does the fact that we are seeing and hearing more from Alan Irvine suggest Moyes is getting his arse in gear on the transfer front? - I bloody hope so. A striker please and not over the hill...
Anthony N  (2/1/06)

Trading Standards
Over the holiday period there have been a number of postings on the relative merits of Everton managers. Whilst in the final analysis only success in terms of results seems to measure success or failure, I do think that the ability to trade successfully should be put into the equation. On this count, the much maligned Walter Smith is head and shoulders above Moyes — and virtually every other Everton manager!

Although we can only go on the figures posted at the time of transfers, I make Moyes`s expenditure to date ~£45M against Smith`s ~£55M. However, when we look at sales we find that Smith managed to generate well over £40M from `transfers out` of 27 players against Moyes` ~£25M on just seven sales of which Rooney accounts for at least £20M! I know it will be said that Smith left Moyes little that was saleable but, on the same account, what will be the legacy of our next manager given the pitiful standard of the present squad, I wonder?
Rob Maguire, Fleetwood  (2/1/06)

Relegation the end
Terence Leong suggests that relegation might be a good thing for Everton FC. In the sense that it might serve the Board of Directors right, ok, but it`s effect on the Club would be disasterous.

`They need to get relegated` was a debateable philosophy even before the birth of the Premier League but nowadays it is a recipe for meltdown. Although `parachute payments` temporarilly ease the cash penalty of relegation, the dramatic fall in income and the need to service players` contracts and long-term debts is usually catastrophic.

In the total absence of saleable players and with such a weak boardroom/financial structure, I am positive that for Everton it would be much more Sheffield Wednesday and Nottm Forest than West Ham, Bolton or Charlton. Just remember, even Leeds were able to raise £30 million in their `fire sale` and it hasn`t exactly been easy for them!And we`ve already flogged our crown jewels and blown the cash!

No, Mr Leong, away with you — relegation has always been a dirty word but for our Club it might well spell The End.
Harry Meek, Worcester  (2/1/06)

Poll Result
The fact is that Moyes is responsible for the performance of his team and the stats do not lie. Equally - do 45% reaslly believe he should stay if he comes in at 17th? If they do then I am afraid that many blues are now so used to mediocrity that they will accept anything.

I have a theory about this. I firmly believe that younger generations are so entrenched in the ideology of celebrity that Moyes and his lucky soundbite about being the People's Club, has earned him cult status.

Well to me, if he sends us down (and I really think he could) then he will not be a cult figure, more of a c**t figure.
Tom , Wirral  (02/01/06)

Billy's train-set
The dividend that Bullshit Billy hopes to take is {don't laugh, I'm serious} - continued success and improvement in league finishes of EFC.

I know he's got some bizarre methods of achieving it! But as the largest single shareholder, there ain't any point taking pin money out the club, and having to share it around. {Our after-tax profit was £100k for chrissakes!} Much better to get consistent success, and consequently watch the club increase in value to a friendly {or hostile} bidder. That's Billy Liars dividend; as much as it kills me, he wants success as much as anyone at the club.

He's just not prepared to relinquish or dilute his own role to see success achieved. And that's why I loathe him.
David C  (2/1/06)

Good Luck From Japan
Having been over in Tokyo since 29/12 visiting family and generally enjoying Japan, it was a relief to see us finally win. Like Cahill said, it matters not how we played this time; the result is all-important.

The Charlton game is the same — it doesn`t matter if we scramble along if we get a win. They too have a `soft centre` which we can exploit. Wins can breed confidence etc. Not sure of who we`re buying but if Sutton costs only £250k he is a chance worth taking, especially as he can also play centre-half.

Anyway, just watched a few J-league games and can say that the pace of the game is nearly on a par with our league, but that the Japanese players seem technically superior to most of ours. There are never any meaningless humps upfield. Nakamura Shunsuke, currently of Celtic, is the big star here and they are looking for him £ôo star in Germany 2006.

I`m off to the hot springs followed by a few beers and hot noodles. Hope you all enjoy the game tomorrow and all the best for 2006. If we keep winning, I may well never return...
Mark Manns, Tokyo, Japan  (02/01/05)

Phoenix from the flames..? My arse!
I've read a few letters similar to Terence Leong's (01/01/06) over the last few months about whether relegation may not be such a bad thing to get Everton back on track, as it were. I've been surprised no-one has bothered to respond, well here goes...

Relegation would be an unmitigated disaster for our club. Financially it would tip us over the edge, into the abyss. Forget new stadium, new investment for a few years, we would be rebuilding totally from scratch.

Put that up against a number of Championship clubs which are already better run than we are, and show me where guaranteed promotion is the following season? Or during the following 5?

If the other 'big clubs' who've suffered relegation in the last few years do make it back into the Prem (thinking Leeds, Sheff Weds, Forest) then what guarantees their squad can sustain that position?

Sunderland were a team like us earlier in the past decade - occasional good positions, followed by consistent flirting with relegation. They went down, rebuilt, came up, went down etc.

So, sorry Terence, but this isn't NFK (sorry for non-Singaporean-based readers!) There would be no Phoenix from the Flames — just the ashes of the dreams of all the fans.

And, I understand you wouldn't appreciate this, but to have to put up with the gloating of those lucky skanks from across the park would be too much for many. Happy 2006!
Matt Traynor, Singapore  (02/01/06)

New Years Resolution
A lot of the postings on this site recently seem to think the root of all our problems stem from Bill Kenwright. Maybe Bill is not the greatest of chairman we have ever had but who else threw their hat in the ring when EFC was last up for grabs? The answer is no one.

It's easy to say "Get rid of the board, get rid of Kenwright," etc but the truth is no one else wants the club. We call him Billy Liar as if he is the only football chairman ever to spin a few porkies.

They are all at it.

Peter Johnston, Alan Sugar, Doug Ellis, Martin Edwards, Freddy Sheperd, John Moores [the red one], Mandaric, Peter Riddsdale... the list is endless. They all lie: it comes with the job.

What I want to know is, who will take over at Goodison if Bill Kenwright wanted to chuck his hand in? Is there a scouse Abramovich I haven't heard of waiting to pump untold Millions in to our club? No there isn't. Kenwright is all we have got at the moment and, like it or not, he is going nowhere.

Maybe we should hand the club over to Paul Gregg so he can turn Goodison in to a drive-through McDonalds.

Where we go from here I don't know but calling for Bill's head is a none starter. I am am all for change but where is change going to come from? It would be easier to sell Ian Rush memorabelia in Juventus than to sell Everton.

I am honestly losing sleep at nights worrying about this football club of mine but it won't stop me from going to Millwall at the weekend, that's for sure.

Moyes is staying; Kenwright is staying — thats the way it is and we have just got to get on with it.

All I want for Xmas is a Fourth Round draw.
Tony Marsh, Liverpool  (2/1/06)

No Investment
Everton have actually invested nothing in new players this season, because all of our purchases were covered by the sales of Rooney and Gravesen!

We did well last season, picking up £9M off Sky for our 4th place finish, and in the last year we have been on TV almost every other week, with those appearances netting us an average of around £350k per game. I realise there are players' wages to take into consideration, but surely they are well covered by gate receipts, shirt sponsors, kit sales and corporate functions etc. Plus we don't exactly have the biggest squad anyway !

Unfortunately, our Board seem un-willing to put money into the team, yet they go on about having the best year in the club's financial history, new stadiums and all the investment which is supposed to be coming in but never materialises.

Steve Smith made a comment in an earlier post that the directors may be taking back-handers. Well, lots of Blues have thought that over the years, but the shareholding directors are fully entitled to take dividends at the end of the clubs financial year, and don't think they won't be taking them in a year showing good figures!

The players we did manage to buy in the summer were mostly shite or injury prone, and if you add to that all the crap we re-signed, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out why (YET AGAIN) we're all now shitting ourselves over the drop.

At least the fans are reliable! Happy new year!!!
Scott Edwards, Liverpool  (01/01/06)

I thought Wyness said the transfer/wages budget was something like £30M. Rooney + Gravesen = £22.5M. And £10.4M of that was "spoken for"... so the Board must have coughed up between £8M and £18M to fund Moyes's transfers. I know people want to believe that Moyes is not being supported, and that's why we are doing so badly right now, but the facts just don't seem to support that belief. Your point about the signings Moyes actually made is far more crucial to our current predicament.

Regarding dividends for shareholding directors, I believe that would be illegal: dividends would need to be paid to all shareholders; no such dividends have been paid. Again, your allegations are pretty serious. — Michael

Robbie Fowler
Why do you bother to post pathetic rumours such as the one Bill Ponce has just made about Robbie Fowler?
Steven Astley, Wigan  (1/1/06)

Rumours are the Number 1 attention grabber for fans. We love rumours. The more pathetic, the better, I say. Maybe eventually someone somewhere will figure out that they are just so much shite. But until then, we'll go on posting them. And you'll go on reading them. Happy New Year! Michael

Eventually one or more of those rumours will be true. Take Phil Neville, for example. A week before he joined, we received an e-mailed tip that a deal to bring him to Goodison was done . Besides, what else is there to look for except hope at a time like this? Lyndon

I'll tell you what.....
I'd rather have Fowler than Sutton! Take Fowler on a short-term contract 'til the end of the season to pull us out, with the option of one more season if he performs. Surely this is better than giving Sutton a big fat contract, then watching as he refuses to break sweat on his last biggie!
Craig McManus, Mold  (01/01/06)

Everton lack quality
Living where I do, I don`t get to see many games live but Sunderland was akin to a home fixture for a young Evertonian like me. Whilst we snatched three much-needed points, I thought Everton`s performance was dire with a lack of quality throughout the side and a plethora of mistakes from everyone apart from Martyn. Almost eveyone seemed incabable of passing to a blue shirt and the defence`s tactic of just kicking the ball away from their penalty area meant that Sunderland kept coming back at us.

I know Moyes was without several key players but surely anyone wearing an Everton shirt should be capable of a little more than this. If we are to do anything other than stay in the relegation dog fight, money will have to be found to bring in some real quality over the next month but when I said this to my Dad, he said he wouldn't trust Moyes to buy him an Everton programme!

Is he really that bad?
Shane Diskin, Northallerton  (1/1/06)

Your dad has a point. Call it bad luck or bad judgement, but the number of man-games(!) missed by David Moyes's new signings this season amounts to something like over 100 (out of ~130 total for the squad). Getting on for 4/5ths of games missed due to being injured or unfit. That does not reflect well on Mr Moyes, I'm afraid. He's has generally bought players who have injury problems, of that there is no doubt. The suggestion has been made that he does this becasue he can't get decent fit players: they don't want to play for him. That may also be a key factor in this transfer window. — Michael

Where's all the money gone?
So the January transfer window has now opened and already we are stuck trying to get what we can in the loan market! The name Chris Sutton has been mentioned and also Angelos Basinas the Greek player — two players who have played little or any football for a while. At one time, Sutton was a very good player and a good motivator for players around him, which is certainly something we currently need, but he has suffered from injuries and hasn't had much football at Celtic recently. Basinas is a player released from Panathanaikos in September and hasn't played since then!

What about all that money we had to bid for players in the summer? Big bids for Andy Johnson, £10M bid for Dirk Kuyt just before the close of the transfer window and big bids for other players such as Emre and Scott Parker. Granted the bids all failed but the money seemed to be their, and it wasn't spent elsewhere. A few months have now passed by and I hear Moyes saying we have little money to spend so we will have to play the loan market! So no chance of Gravesen returning then or a top class srtiker coming in! Maybe a board member is taking a tidy little back hander???
Steven Smith, Ipswich  (01/01/06)

I thought I answered this one already, but let's try it again: If you remember, when these bids were made, there was a month or so left in the transfer window; Moyes knew that he had missed out on signing the striker he desparately needed. Some high-profile but expensive names came up (Owen, Kuyt). Bill agreeed to gamble, hoping that Moyes could secure the player(s) needed to score the goals needed to carry Everton to the lucrative group stages of the Champions League...

Bill relied on the extra income from the ECL to finance the ongoing 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?

You imply that, 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. The long-term funding mechanisms to produce that money were in place, although likely dependent on future success... success that never came. It would have been a gamble... it might not have paid off... we shall never know.

The money is not there now because it was never really there in the first place. But that does not mean a board member is taking a tidy little back-hander; far from it. You should be very, very careful about making stastements like that, however flipant you may think they are — that is an extremely serious allegation. I can't understand the mentality that even considers such an explanation. But then maybe I'm just as gullible as the next man. — Michael

Moving Averages Plots
Interested to see the moving averages plot and the suggestion of some recent improvement. As our final position has varied so much over recent years I should imagine there is a fair margin of error in these average values. Any chance we can have a look at this?

Historically, does a greater variation in error herald a new dawn or is consistency the portent of a happier era?
Tony Horne, Kettering  (1/1/06)

I'll have to think about that one... By "Margin of Error", I assume you mean the variance or spread of positions that underlies each average number. And at that point you are starting to get into statistics. Turn away now!

The standard deviation for each of those points on the chart varies typically between 2 and 10, reflecting if you like our inconsistency. Over the last 20 years or so it has (somewhat surprisingly) been at the low end of that range (between 2 and 5) but is indeed increasing for the last set of points (between 5 and 6), reflecting the increasing yo-yo effect under David Moyes.

I'd be very hesitant to use any statistics to form a projection, but standard deviation did peak in the early fifties, when we went through that terrible plunge. It gets pretty low during the Catterick years (when we were consistently good) and during the 1990s (when we were consistently bad), so I think you'd be pushing it to draw any meaningful conclusions from that, to be honest. Thanks for your interest! — Michael

What are we prepared for?
While fans have experienced the roller-coaster rides of facing relegation in the last 15 years or so, I wonder how many of us are really prepared for the drop, and prepared to view the drop as positive thing?

As so clearly elaborated by many, the real problems lie within the boardroom, and it permeates through the dressing room. When we consider the lost opportunities to seize leadership of the league during the golden 80s, be it in talent scouting (Fowler, Mcmanaman, Owen, Carragher, Gerrard), or improving the stadium (the 1st club to have underground heating, the imposing stands, which today are described as old and tired), attracting investments, overseas fan base, etc, it is clear that the root of it all lies in the boardroom.

Unless that changes, our improvements might be nothing more than cosmetic. As long as we continue our top-flight status, the impetus to change is quite unlikely. If Moyes again pulls us out of the current woes, the board will only hide behind the situation, throw in a few quid to purchase players & appease the crowds but not really change the status quo.

If Moyes fails to meet our expectations, the board will sack him (just as it did with Smith), and again the emphasis will be on how bad the manager is.

We need a violent shake up within the club before it can see greatness again. That kind of shake-up is unlikely to come if we cling to our Premier League status. If we are ever going to see true change, it might require something so drastic that the current powers that be will be willing to relinquish their reins on the club, and allow others to step in and really get something done.

We are no longer part of the Big 5, unless you want to hang on to statistics. Maybe we first need to go down before we rise again.
Terence Leong, Singapore  (1/1/06)

Fact or fiction?
Living where I do, I get different stories from different folk. The latest gem comes from my colleagues at the City of Manchester Stadium and involves a certain Mr R Fowler esq. This little gem has been going around Manchester for a couple of weeks.

It seems that Mr Fowler is set upon a move to his spiritual home and, if Blues fans accept it, he will sign on the 6th of January. Stranger than fiction?

Happy New Year to ALL Blues. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.
Bills Ponce, A580  (01/01/06)

Wow! How exciting will that be?

It's not Moyes's fault, really...
Looking at Everton's 'Recent' demise (ie, since 1987), ever since the Moores took daddy's cash and made haste across the Park to the dark side, every player signed by Everton who was worthy of the School of Sience has been sold by our hard-up board: Keown, McCall, Beardsley, Kanchelskis, Speed, Hinchcliffe, etc)

Looking at Joe Royle's time, once Claus Thompson was brought in and Speed left, well, they paid peanuts... and, as the saying goes....

Walter Smith had a tasty midfield of Barmby, Collins, Hutchinson, Ball... Guess what? ALL SOLD! He then spent out on: Nyarko, Gravesen, Alexanderson. So why were they sold? So they could move on to BETTER clubs.

It seem's Moyes is having the same problem's that has afflicted other Everton manager. If you see Moyes with an expression that says after another defeat 'What am I going to do...' — HE DOES KNOW WHAT TO DO! It's just that the solution went over the road in 1987...
Jamie Carroll, Ireland  (1/1/06)

Agree with Glasgow Blue
It's not so much the tactics of Moyes but the players he has got to work with that's the problem and concern in our current situation. After nearly 4 years in charge, this is his own fault. For the first time in 15 years we had the chance to move out of the bottom half of the table for good but instead we buy Neville, Davies, a couple of unknowns and allegedley some Danish defender. These would have been good signings if we had bought some bigger players to fill in the much-needed gaps; however, they were never going to be the saviours of Everton Football Club.

I agree that we could search into the lower leagues to find some talent but I think we need a couple of match winners, some star names — not just to get us out of this mess but to move us in a new direction. But do we give him the keys to the kitty going on his past form? And if we do, who would want to come to Everton now if we couldn't attract people when we had a potential Champions League place beckoning?

I do not expect great things in the next month.
Rob McNicholas, Auckland, New Zealand  (1/1/06)


We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.