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Our “easy to please” disease

By Neil Mumford :  06/09/2007 :  Comments (72) :
Andy Johnson has not scored in his last 13 games. "Unlucky" everyone says, ever ready to make excuses for yet another disappointment in Everton colours.

Now I like AJ and accept that his `selfless running` is good to watch and is exactly what his manager expects of him. The odd goal would be a bonus. But is that really the truth? When the little man came to Goodison, Moyes talked glibly of signing `a genuine 20-goals-a-season man` just as he had done when Beattie arrived. Now he finds it necessary to expend another £11M on boosting the strike force in an effort `to move us to the next level`.

Now Kenwright may buy into all this football-speak twaddle but the fact remains that Everton have won nothing since 1995 and I think we, the fans, are partly to blame. Unlike the followers of certain other teams in the locality and two down in London, we, uniquely are happy to put up with mediocrity. The acceptance ? indeed lauding ? of a non-stiking stiker comes in the hope that he`ll one day come good. The failure to tie up an early deal for Fernandes is excused because `the money wasn`t available`, just as if that player was the only one of his ilk we could have signed at a third the price.

Over-tolerance of the `average` has become a disease of Evertonians ? and I don`t just mean the Board and its luvvie Chairman. No one typifies this more than the simpering Richard Dodd whose `10th is Good` mantra throughout last season was taken up by many hardened followers as a reality. The stoic acceptance of a second-class stadium outside `The City of Football` is but another example of the falling aspirations of our clan. We just roll over and put up with it.

Now Moyes has just gambled £11M on yet another striker who is going to provide us with those magic 20 goals ? given that we lose him for a month in the New Year, that`s a big ask ? and we are told `we are all tooled up for Europe`. Well, we`ve had a good ? if not spectacular start to the season ? and hopes are running high. All I ask is that we keep our aspirations at this high level, that we don`t readily accept early exit from cup competitions, any failure to make European qualification and `wonder strikers` who just run about.

Let`s get back to the days when Evertonians DEMANDED success and voted with their feet if it wasn`t forthcoming. Let`s just stop being such easy to please whimps. Only then will begin to see things happen.

Reader Comments

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Mark P
1   Posted 06/09/2007 at 14:35:56

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WTF...Lets start with AJ. Yes he is a genuine 20 goals a season man, lets not forgett he spent alot of the end of last season injured and he still got 11 goals, not a bad return for his first season in the team.

Second you have to lok at the ammo being given to him. With Cars, Stubbs, and Hibbert lobbing up the big up and unders AJ didnt have much of a chance! When we played quality football and gave the chances he put them away, remember the goal against the Arse?

AJ has played well so far without scoring, which I know is his job, he has created goals for others, and also with his pace pulls defenders out of position allowing the likes of Yak, Ossy, Arteta and Cahill when he returns to take advantage.

AJ should of scored a couple but the keepers he has faced have played blinders against him, and he has to be fair missed a couple of sitters. AJ is quality and will start scorring very soon, he is in the England Squad and I hope he gets a chance as I think he will score against a average Isral side.

With regard to "I demand" well yes we all want good football played with footballing stars donning the Blue shirts, but we simply dont have the money, I’m glad the board havent done a Leeds and pissed our future away on a roll of the transfer dice. I like the fact that DM and the Board have built up a squad of young players with some experience and added quality to it every year. I love the fact that the team play for each other.

We demand that the players give their all and that the manager playes the type of football we want to see, and to be fiar we are seeing that now and over the last 3 seasons. Before that with the squad DM inherited I dont think he had much of a chance.

We have had relative success, finishing 4 and 6 last year were good results, instead of being perennial relegation fighters, now we are Euro chasers, and Im sure that will continue.

COYB
Erik Dols
2   Posted 06/09/2007 at 14:43:50

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I always read we will be missing The Yak in the new year. But last Africans Nations Cup (2006), he decided to stay home because he wanted prove himself to his relatively new club Middlesborough. Why wouldn’t he do the same thing for us this year?

On the other hand: it could be we lost both Yakubu and Anichebe to the ANC (and of course Yobo, but he isn’t a striker so irrelevant to this story) in january. With Vaughan’s injury-problems, we’re down to Johnson and McFadden at that time. I don’t think of McFadden as more than a decent sub, and Johnson needs to get back to scoring before that time, otherwise we could have a very, very cold winter ahead...
James Byrne
3   Posted 06/09/2007 at 14:38:10

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Hi Neil,

Interesting read but I am not sure if you actually make much sense here; AJ is not doing it at the moment but what would you do with him, would you drop him? I wouldn’t dare drop him on the basis of his work rate and the fact that he is not the problem he is not scoring; I honestly don’t think we have a team good enough yet to cope with his speed and we don’t yet provide him the right service. AJ is a ground player, as long as we have donkey’s in the team such as Stubbs, Carsley and sometimes Neville he will keep receiving the long ball which, against near 7’ defenders he won’t achieve anything; the introduction of Gravesen together with Arteta & Peinaar he may start to receive a better amount of service. As for Yakubu I don’t think £11M is too much for him going by his score ratio & age; who else could we of got with a score ratio similar to his. Darren Bent + £5M? As for Everton fans "just rolling over and putting up with it", I don’t agree with you here one bit, I would regard Everton fans to be the most loyal and passionate in the Prem and our expectations are and always will be of the highest standard.
Remi Murray
4   Posted 06/09/2007 at 14:35:33

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I think you’re a bit unfair, to say the least, in some of your comments. Evertonians, overall, do have high expectations of their team and rightly criticise when criticism is due; witness the reaction to the last-minute defeat at home to Spurs last season. When you argue that Evertonians should vote with their feet if success isn’t forthcoming, what are you suggesting? That we not turn up and support our team? We may expect that of Man U, Chelsea and, for all their pretensions of being great fans, Liverpool (how would their support have fared if they had experienced the decline we did in the 90s?). Their successes are not down to great fans who demand the best, but down to money. I can’t agree with your comments regarding the new stadium either. The location may be controversial, but the stadium plans are anything but second class.
Mark Jones
5   Posted 06/09/2007 at 14:58:44

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a very cynical read i must say.
Brian Noble
6   Posted 06/09/2007 at 14:52:55

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Sorry Mark, your reply just made precisely the point Neil was putting forward.We ARE too easily satisfied!
alex creevy
7   Posted 06/09/2007 at 14:48:57

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Neil, i couldn’t agree less with you on the majority of points you make.

Why would a manager who has broken a club record on strikers three seasons in a row talk ’glibly’ about 20 goals a season....does he not really believe they can/should score that many....if so why is he wasting his time and the club’s money!

Do you blindly think the ’next level’ for us is the premiership title? if you do then I think a good healthy dose of reality is required, the Blues fans are intelligent enough to see that Moyes, and the board have made slow but sure progress in first securing our status as a premiership club, then to cement a position in the top ten, and the next level (for me anyway) is to ensure we finish in teh euro spots. Not enough for you? I want EFC to be crowned champs, I want silverware I want us to be great again....and d’yer know what? This is the first season in a long time that I have felt it getting closer!

I am not that ’easy to please’ ask my missus!I demand that the staff EFC put on to the pitch perform to the best of their ability, when they don’y I let them know! I don’t believe that EFC have fielded a team/squad that any sane bluenose believes could win anything, do you?

You talk about supporters voting with their feet if the success they demand is not forthcoming......see ya!
The Dude
8   Posted 06/09/2007 at 15:04:01

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Very unDude.
Harry Meek
9   Posted 06/09/2007 at 15:01:35

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I think Neil is only expressing the views put forward by the likes of Tony Marsh,Nobby and myself over many years.It sure don’t take much to please most Evertonians whose satisfaction levels have moved in line with the total lack of success over 20 or more years.
Kenwright and his predessors,including Carter(today laughingly described as our best ever Chairman)have had it very,very easy!
David Jones
10   Posted 06/09/2007 at 15:10:10

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Very good post Neil, I agree with the vast majority of it. AJ’s performances have not been up to scratch for a good while now and his initial ’burst’ of goals papers over some rather large cracks. Work rate alone, alarmingly, seems to be enough to wholly satisfy some people. Progress is definitely being made at the club but I have long held the view that it could have been made a heck of a lot quicker if our fans were less willing to accept garbage and mediocrity and make excuses for it. If someone is under performning they need to be told, not molly-coddled. For £8.6m and £40k a week I expect more than someone who can run around a bit and get the occassional assist. Johnsosn head doesn’t look right to me, he seems to lack belief. If you can’t stand the heat as they say.....get well soon James Vaughan.
Nick Lewis
11   Posted 06/09/2007 at 15:20:27

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Sorry fella but we’ve never DEMANDED success, as you put it, not in my time anyway, and we’ve always had a soft spot for mediocrity; (Mick Lyons anyone?) We didn’t beat the shite for seven years in the 70’s. Andy King is a Goodison legend for breaking that particular trot. Not a bad mid-fielder but legend? This is the best Everton team since 85 - 87, of that there can be little doubt. AJ’s having a bad run, but as the cliche goes, once he gets one he’ll get more. I think it’s time we cut Moyes and Kenwright some slack.
Sack the Juggler
12   Posted 06/09/2007 at 15:27:47

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Fine, lets get rid of AJ, and the YAk and while we’re at it we’ll get rid of Moyes and the Board. Maybe we’ll be able to get Abramovich in, and maybe Scoleri as manager, and we’ll get in Kaka and Eto and you know what - you’ll still be moaning.

I’m not satisfied with being second best and we’re not even that close yet, but until we the cash to put together a squad of guaranteed 20 goals a season players (like... ?????) we’ll just have to take risks spending £11m a pop, because even Torres who cost twice as much will NOT get 20 goals a season.

I know we wont win the league this year, or next year, but what bugs me is that YOU know we wont win the league this year or next year, but instead of being happy with the progress being made, some people prefer to pull it to pieces.

Maybe some people are easily pleased but some are just never pleased.
Danny Mullally
13   Posted 06/09/2007 at 15:36:56

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Neil,

The only thing your post has highlighted to us Evertonians is how much you do not understand the game, or Evertonians.
To accuse us of settling for average and allowing our club to struggle the last few years stinks to high heaven. What would you deem as exceptional if you deem qualifying for the Champions league two years ago, finishing fourth, and qualifying for the UEFA is average?
Off the field we have never had the resources of the Man Utd’s, Arsenals, Chelsea’s and I feel that considering the financial meltdown we faced a decade ago we are competing very well on and off the pitch. We have bought exceptionally well in some areas with Cahill, Lestcott, Baines, Jagielka, Yakubu, Johnson-All World class international players. I feel that we have also Sold very well, getting top dollar for our mercenary’s like Jeffers, Ball, Rooney, and not forgetting getting millions for Davies, Beattie, Kilbane, Pembridge etc.
Your argument and post is fundementally flawed we do not accept the average, we continually strive to be the best team and club that we can be.
Do not insult my intelligence-so called fans like you are what I would call below average.
Jay
14   Posted 06/09/2007 at 16:19:55

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Most things bad at the football club are down to that balloon Bill Kenwright and his back slapping mate’s!!!! Easy street is not the word for them.
Tony Senter
15   Posted 06/09/2007 at 16:38:51

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I fail to see how Andy Johnson can be classed as an Everton failure.Before coming here,he scored a goal every three games throughout his career and has carried on at that rate with us.Surely Moyes knew what he was signing and the lad has lived up to his expectations.
James Beattie was a different matter-he never performed for Everton.
Kevin Sparke
16   Posted 06/09/2007 at 16:58:21

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I DEMAND success!!!


... right... what happens next Neil?
Kevin Sparke
17   Posted 06/09/2007 at 17:02:18

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I’ll try again...

I DEMAND the finest football team known to humanity!!!

I DEMAND it here!

and I DEMAND it now!







.... still waiting....
GR
18   Posted 06/09/2007 at 17:12:05

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Yes, its the acceptance of mediocraty from the fans that influences the performance on the pitch.

Tit.
Jack
19   Posted 06/09/2007 at 17:10:11

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I DEMAND THAT WE DO NOT ABBANDON OUR ....I REPEAT...OUR CITY
Michael, Dublin
20   Posted 06/09/2007 at 17:21:41

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your talking rubbish pal. lets start being positive for a change. im sick of reading doom and gloom.
GR
21   Posted 06/09/2007 at 17:24:44

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I want won’t get.
You rude little boys.
glen strachan
22   Posted 06/09/2007 at 17:16:43

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OK , Neil.

I’ve never been a wimp.

I’ve never been easy to please.

I always strive for personal success and work hard to try to get there in any way I can .

But your comments ?

I DEMAND SUCCESS FOR EVERTON.....NOW !

I SAID NOW !!!!!!!!!!!

NOW !

So forget all this wimpy shite about ’the Big Four’...........they are no better than we are !!!!

Are they ????????????

Compare our Blues squad and its manager with Chelsea.

WE CAN TAKE THEM !

Compare with Man U !

OK WE WILL EAT THEM 5-0 /6-0 NEXT WEEK TO PROVE HOW MUCH BETTER THAN THEM WE ARE RIGHT NOW !

Compare with Arsenal

TOO EASY.....WE WILL TAKE THEM !

Compare with the Murderers across the Park - the Fabled Red SHITE.

WE ARE DIFFERENT CLASS TO THESE RED MURDERERS AND THE GUY WITH THAT PERVY FACIAL HAIR...........TOO EASY !

Right so that’s England..............Champions League next season or we all vote with our feet !

IF THE EDITOR OF THIS WEBSITE PICKS UP THIS POSTING .................YOU DIDN’T SPOT MY INTENTION LAST TIME.........SO LET ME SPELL IT OUT VERY CLEARLY THIS TIME !

I AM TRYING LIKE HELL TO SHOW NEIL HOW FAR OUT OF LINE I FEEL HIS VIEW TO BE !

I REPEAT MY EARLIER COMMENT THAT ’REAL MONEY’ IS NEEDED TO MAKE US THE KIND OF FORCE THAT WE ALL WANT EVERTON TO BE !

Here’s an alternative suggestion that Neil might regard as ’wimpy’ but others could see it as common sense - remember common sense anybody ?

Let’s get behind the side we have now and take the next game as our project.

Go for three points against United and getting past the ’banana skin ’ that is our UEFA Cup tie.

To close out on the grand strategy of ’I Demand Now ’.

I DEMAND PEACE AND PROSPERITY FOR IRAQ

I DEMAND A CURE FOR CANCER...TODAY !

I DEMAND THE RETURN OF MADDY AND THAT NO LITTLE LAD IS EVER AGAIN SHOT BY SOME LOUT AS HE COMES HOME FROM FOOTBALL TRAINING !

I DEMAND A SOLUTION TO GLOBAL WARMING !

I DEMAND THAT I WIN THE LOTTERY THIS WEEK AND NEXT !

When all that is sorted out we can demand instant success for Everton.

SORRY NEIL

I STRONGLY SUSPECT YOU WILL FIND THAT LIFE IS JUST NOT LIKE THAT BUT ...........
ALL THE BEST IN YOUR EFFORTS !
Phil Griffin
23   Posted 06/09/2007 at 17:10:15

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Neil M you say lets start voting with our feet if success is not forthcoming. What do you consider success?!?! How do you measure it?!?!

By saying everyone should avoid going the match until we?re given success, do you not think that the chances of success would be even less likely with a half full stadium.

Mark Jones
Posted 06/09/2007 at 14:58:44 a very cynical read i must say.


Brian Noble
Posted 06/09/2007 at 14:52:55

Sorry Mark, your reply just made precisely the point Neil was putting forward.We ARE too easily satisfied!



TBH I think the opposite is true. Some Blues and in particular Blues on these boards are some of the most cynical and difficult to please I’ve ever had the misfortune to be associated with. I?m sorry Brian but it fans like you and the author that tarnish fellow Evertonians good name. Nothing will ever please you, you?re the type that cannot wait for things to go wrong so you can call the post match phone-ins.

I read on the BBC forums last year someone saying Moyes should be sacked as the football was boring and so was life not challenging at the very top or as he put it without the excitement of a relegation battle ? unbelievable!!

I genuinely believe there are some Evertonians out there that aren?t happy unless Everton are struggling so they can have a good moan.

For once just get behind the team you propose to love instead of your constant whingeing about the stadium, certain players, the board etc.

COYB
simon amble
24   Posted 06/09/2007 at 17:46:05

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Er, that’s a little strong Glen! I think most people would agree that Neil is a glass-half-empty guy but he’s entitled to his opinion. I do side with you on this one Glen but I don’t think we need to compare Neil’s points to the woes of the world. This is an Everton website after all.

That said - Neil, really, cheer up pal!
glen strachan
25   Posted 06/09/2007 at 17:56:49

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Point taken , Simon !

My problem with the original posting was that there is probably a similar posting on some Derby County website demanding instant success and while we all love our clubs and sure , they do frustrate us , let’s keep it in perspective !

Anybody else remember smacking five past Man U and hitting the woodwork about a dozen times on that great day at Goodison ?

Then we went to Old Trafford on the mid-week and stuffed them again !

My wife was quite new to football in these days and asked me a simple question at half time...........which one is Brian Robson ?

He was close to completely invisible in the first 45 minutes and has, since then, always been known in our house as ’Brian Who’.

Happy days indeed and boy was that glass full to capacity !
Keith Harrison
26   Posted 06/09/2007 at 17:31:53

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Years ago, Robert Maxwell - remember Captain Bob ?? - had a stake in both Derby and Oxford. When they ended up in the same league, the Football League decided that this could be open to shenanigans, and stated that only one club could be majority owned by a business/family whatever.

The Moores family withdrew their bankroll from Everton and remained with Liverpool. EFC were effectively up a creek with no paddle. This was exacerbated by the loss of European football, when many of our stars went abroad (a lot to Rangers admittedly) following both their European dreams - and a club that could pay them well.

We didn’t exactly accept this situation, rather tolerated it.

Since then, with the club effectively on its uppers, the present board have worked SLOWLY but surely towards bringing the club back on an even keel.

That is the reason we didn’t go for the King’s Dock, why Ferguson,Bally and Rooney were sold - because we were skint. I guess it would be scary to know just how close we have flirted with Administration over the last 15 years.

As we finally have arrived at our best team since the mid 80’s (still need a top notch creative midfielder) our sights should be higher than of late. We will not, however, be playing the beautiful game overnight, New players will need time to bed in, and get used to a less hoofball type of game.

Which brings me to AJ.

I don’t think the lad is the best goalscorer in the world, Vaughan is much more a natural finisher than him. He has, however, improved his ball control etc this season, and just needs that lucky bounce in off his arse to go on a spree. The football we have played in the last few seasons does not suit his style, and the sooner it is on the deck for him to burst on to the better.

Remember Dunc only scored a rebounded penalty in his last season, and there were thousands of high balls for him to head, although not many facing the goal.

To vote with your feet by not attending will reduce revenues so to prevent us going on to the next level which you (and Kevin Sparke LOL) demand.

Please don’t be counter-productive by boycotting whatever stadium we are playing in, and get behind the team as Evertonians.

This is much more likely to result in the success you crave.
Dave Roberts
27   Posted 06/09/2007 at 17:26:07

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I read about some research some years ago that suggested that strikers score from about 12% of their chances (on average). This is ALL strikers. Within that calculation account has to be taken of purple patches and lean spells, when performances can be well above or way below the mean. AJ had a purple patch when he first joined Everton after a lean spell in pre-season where he failed to score. He then trotted along quite nicely for half a season before hitting another lean spell which seems to be continuing, for now at least.

Yakubu has just emerged (or hopefully he has!) from a lean spell which lasted almost half a season. Until his goal against Germany, Frank Lampard was beginning to look completely incapable of scoring for England again but his earlier international career was spiced with goals.

This is all part and parcel of the game and of human performance psychology. Let’s be honest, Everton are not a side at the moment that makes many clear cut chances and 12% of not many is not many either! If we could slide 100 balls through for AJ to latch onto in the penalty area over a season (3 a game!) then, according to the research at least, we could expect him to score 12 goals. Add to that the self-made goals, the set pieces and the scrambled/lucky efforts and there is your 20 goals a season striker! Everton do not play to AJ’s strengths and we are more likely to see him chasing balls towards the corner flag rather than towards the penalty spot.

Where psychology comes in is that AJ knows his primary task is to score goals and he also knows he is not performing to expectations on that score (sic) at the moment. The effect of that is that when a chance comes along it is too important to relax. There is a mental and physical stiffening and poor decisions are made, the move doesn’t flow, feet don’t follow the brain and the chance goes by. It gets harder and harder and desperation sets in and sometimes players can be so desperate they begin to look incompetent (James Beattie?)The lean spell becomes self reinforcing.

Eventually one will go in for AJ and I believe he is good enough to take advantage of that and he will hit the goal trail again...until his next lean spell!

One more thing about AJ though, some strikers in the midst of a lean spell become absolutely useless to the team they play in because they can’t offer anything else. AJ can, a hell of a lot in my opinion (Yakubu’s goal for example?) and that is why the sort of criticism levelled at him from some in this thread is very unfair.He can make a significant contribution even if he is having a lean spell.

As for voting with our feet if things are not good enough for us...I just don’t get that! Things will never be good enough, there will always be something better that we want...so why bother going at all? I am an Evertonian. I go to watch my team because I am an Evertonian. Unfortunately that means I sometimes have to suffer for the love of my Club. If I don’t like what I see on the pitch I will let the club know via my voice. If I am sitting at home they won’t be able to hear me!
Liam Young
28   Posted 06/09/2007 at 18:07:30

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If the team is winning and the player contributes a large amount, why is it certain fans critiscise andy johnson, he pretty much scored by setting up an easy chance (yet good movement) from yakubu. Some evertonians just want something to moan about, and too many people these days look at statistics instead of looking at whats going on, on the pitch, Thats sky TV influence by the way. Everton is a growing club, and why??, because of a great manager, and group of staff to assemble a good squad. So some fans are moaning about yakubu for £11m??, not so long ago it was moaning cos we had no money, simple fact is i feel robert earl has input some funds. But lets face it, we have signed a forward who has scored nearly 20 goals every season for last 4 years, and as long as they are both causing defences problems, and we are winning matches, why not get behind the team and stop moaning. things are looking up, maybe some of these fans should start following that idea too, stop dwelling on the past, lets focus on present and future and cheer our team on.
simon amble
29   Posted 06/09/2007 at 18:43:41

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point taken, Glen. I appreciate the sentiments.
glen strachan
30   Posted 06/09/2007 at 18:42:18

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Just checking !

We are still joint top of the league then ?

That is with the prospect of a soon to be match fit Tommy Boy Boy in our engine room and the long-awaited Yakubu up front , Cahill getting fit again and the ever so welcome james Vaughan return in early 2008 ?

Surely there is a decent future to look forward to for all Evertonians...let’s enjoy ourselves with a side that can score a few goals in a style that we have not seen for a while !
Gaz
31   Posted 06/09/2007 at 18:49:17

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I dont believe in slating AJ for not scoring goals. He is a quality player, and will eventually get on a good run.

I would be worried however if we had a player for Everton not running hard for the club and creating assists. Correct me if im wrong but AJ has created 2 goals for us. To me, thats as good as scoring, and long may it continue.

Everyone needs to start getting behind the team rather than moaning constantly. I keep reading articles and posts that moan about conceding a goal, when we have just won away at Bolton! Most managers in the Prem would love to have the start that we have had, and apart from the trip to Reading and the game to Blackburn, we have played pretty good football.

We are finally spending money, getting some good consistancy in the league, and have the best squad ive ever witnessed in my lifetime (16 years a supporter).

So my message to supporters of all ages: Support the team no matter what happens and we will be the stronger for it!

EFC FOREVER.
Cash
32   Posted 06/09/2007 at 18:38:18

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see AJ for what he is, he’s not top Draw, they cost 20 odd million
He is however a prodigious worker who has never given less than 100% and thats all we ask

I know his goal drought seems as long as a Dave Roberts post, but I bet he gets 15 + goals
Peter Singer
33   Posted 06/09/2007 at 18:47:20

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Not being happy with average performances is one thing, demanding success is another. The latter is utterly arrogant and should be avoided. Take Spurs, not only is it pathetic when their fans turn against their team if they’re down a goal or two at home, it doesn’t help the team either.

At the end of the day if a player did what he can do, be it Hibbert, Johnson or Arteta, I wouldn’t criticize any of them. Moyes could be criticized for fielding a player who’s not good enough or not in form but it’s not the player’s fault if despite all his efforts he’s not good enough. If you think Johnson is not the man we need because he doesn’t score, fine. But it’s pointless to criticize him for that.

But turning it around, those who say we shouldn’t criticize anyone just because we happened to win the match are wrong as well.

I can clearly see how booing Moyes’ failed tactics against Spurs home last year helped him to realise that’s not what we want. I don’t see though how it would help if fans didn’t turn up. Because ultimately helping the team is what all fans want to do, isn’t it?
John
34   Posted 06/09/2007 at 19:00:45

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I think Neil has made a good point but is has been missed by a lot of people. I have no problem in recognising progress (however slow at times - still waiting for consecutive top ten finishes)but dont start using phrases like ’outstanding success’ about Johnson or ’legend’ about Moyes when to date they have not done enough to merit such accolades. The truth is that Johsons finishing is awful at present. His workrate will deservedly buy him some time but at the end of the day he must produce the goods. Just because we have been served shite for so long don’t mistake competence for greatness
Fred Dobey
35   Posted 06/09/2007 at 19:52:36

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So everybody is over the moon with Everton this afternoon.Id just like to see the reponce to the same point Mumford makes when we next ’do a Reading’.A couple of wins and we’re worldbeaters-lose two and we’re crap.
Evertonians are not just easily pleased ,they are also easily made despondent!
David Barks
36   Posted 06/09/2007 at 20:06:55

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AJ has not scored in his last 10 games, not his last 13 games. He was injured for the last games of the season, you can’t count those against his non-scoring tally. And this season he has failed to score in the first 5 games, but has directly set up 2 goals in those 5 games. So AJ is on a bit of a dry spell for himself and we should start booing him?? Don’t we want a player who continues to work hard and set others up when things aren’t quite going his way, rather than a player who hangs his head and stops giving his all?? On top of that, he would have had a goal against Spurs if not for a finger tip save by Robinson, and has had a couple of shots cleared off the line in other games. So he easily could have had a couple of goals already, which will start hitting the back of the net when his luck changes. Some people are so damn fickle it is pathetic.
Anon
37   Posted 06/09/2007 at 20:18:02

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Maybe AJ would score 20 goals if he wasn’t running around like a headless chicken, on his own up front with no support chasing hopeful long balls. What he needs is a quality strike partner ... like Yakubu! No fuck off and shut up you miserable cunts, I’m sick to death of listening to you all slag off everything from the board down to the friggin toffee girl. If your going to support Everton then fucking support them, if your not ... then just fuck off
David Barks
38   Posted 06/09/2007 at 20:38:21

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Damn Anon, well fucking said!!!
Dave Lynch
39   Posted 06/09/2007 at 20:42:42

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Fucking hell Glen !
Hate to get in a podium debate with you mate.
But i’ll give you one thing buddy.
That is one of the most sensible rants i have ever read on here.
Not so much of a rant, more of an explosion.
Now tell me about your childhood.
Kristian Boyce
40   Posted 06/09/2007 at 19:35:04

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Neil, I think every supporter of this club expects success from our team. If there are supporters that are happy for us to be what is seen as average performances, there is a good reason for it. For a fan who is under the age of 25, what do they know as success? A solitary cup win in ’95 and the Charity Shield later that year. These fans have had to grow up in one of the most depressing periods of our great club. What did they have to celebrate? Surviving relegation year in year out during the depressing ’90’s. These fans were either not born or two young remember when we the best team in the land in the 80’s. I consider myself lucky to be old enough to remember our glory times during the 80’s, pretending to be Andy Gray and Gary Lineker on the playground. Also being the club which broke transfer records and spending what was considered a huge fortune on world class players.

To many fans, what we think of being average or below par, to some it means a great success, because that is all they know.
Richard Parker
41   Posted 06/09/2007 at 20:23:54

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AJ is a good player, but appears to be lacking a bit of confidence in front of goal at the moment.

He is not a clynical goal poacher and will never win headers playing long balls, but he is a nighmare for defenders as he never gives them a moments peace.

We need him running at defenders with the ball on the deck to take advantage of his biggest asset ’his pace’. Tommy will send him on his way!!

I feel he’s been very hard done by having 10+ blatent penalties turned down whilst at Everton and it turned out to be the biggest public witch-hunt of an innocent player I have ever seen. He never dived on any off them. Its a disgrace.

He is a confidence player and has proved he can score in the big games. Without AJ we wouldn’t have beaten the Shite and Arsenal.

Remember AJ put the biggest smile on your faces last year and must be backed.

He can forge a good striking partnership with either Vaughan or Yak that I don’t doubt. The sooner Vaughan gets back from injury the better and then id expect to be a goal-feast on the cards.

Everton 1-0 Man Utd, AJ 89mins
Att 40,200.
Martin Denholm
42   Posted 06/09/2007 at 21:10:54

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Wow, thanks Neil - great way to bring a guy down!

"Well, we?ve had a good ? if not spectacular start to the season ? and hopes are running high."

Um... we?re joint-top with 10 points and in 3rd place, mate. Did you miss the league table? Pretty good, if you ask me. Of course hopes are running high with a start like that. Sure, there?s a long way to go - but you have to start somewhere - and we have.

"Over-tolerance of the ?average? has become a disease of Evertonians. The stoic acceptance of a second-class stadium outside ?The City of Football? is but another example of the falling aspirations of our clan. We just roll over and put up with it."

Utter nonsense. I?m not sure how you can speak for every Evertonian here, but having been a fan since I was 7, I certainly don?t tolerate average. And trust me, the Everton teams throughout most of my life have been pretty damn average - and mostly just downright poor. Tolerate? No. Expect? Perhaps. But times have changed over the past few seasons and I think it?s taking time for Evertonians to come to EXPECT much better - i.e. a top 6 finish every year. That?s what I expect. And given our resources compared to others, I think that?s pretty good.

Plus, what?s all the "stoic acceptance of a second-class stadium" drivel? As far as I?ve read (and that?s a lot), far from "stoic acceptance," many Evertonians put up a serious anti-Kirkby fight - and still are. Not ecaxtly "rolling over and putting up with it." Besides, the stadium isn?t even built yet, so how do you know it?s "second-class?"

And your criticism of AJ, while correctly pointing out his lack of goals recently, is pretty unfair. It?s not like he does nothing to help the team. In fact, the team could actually help him more by giving him more to feed on that hopeless high balls, or long punts into the corners for him to chase. He ain?t gonna score goals there! I believe his running and tireless work actually leads by example and creates more space for others - like Yak and Ossie to mention just two.

Moyesy has Everton is moving forward pretty impressively - but you?re still not happy. Let?s not get down on things when there isn?t really any need to just yet, eh?
Dave wilson
43   Posted 06/09/2007 at 20:37:36

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Easy to please ?

After the halcyon days of the eighties we’ve struggled and stumbled, poor choice of managment, unjust European bans, desperate leadership from custodians who claimed to care but were only ever interested in what the club could do for them

Throughout what is arguably the darkest period in our history we - the fans - have displayed attributes other supporters didnt have, we had a colective will, a stubborness, a desire to get through these these bleak times

In my football watching life I have seen them all - with the exception of Arsenal - go

They have all hit the canvas, not us, there were times when we appeared perpetually on the ropes, but that collective desire carried us through

We could well have had our longest trophyless period - havent checked the records - but we’ve had it in the top flight

Easily pleased ? you must be joking, listen to your mates, what a bunch of moaners we are !
but Know this, 90 other clubs would swap with us in a heartbeat

we are not as claimed easily pleased, but we recognise the value of supporting our boys when we are far from being the best, supporting a winning team is easy

we appear to be coming out of our "dark period" lets hope so, no doubt older people will point out that history show’s we have been out of the top flight, before I was born, but no one has been in it longer, easily pleased people dont ever get to make such
Joe McMahon
44   Posted 06/09/2007 at 21:30:04

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What I will say that the arguement for AJ is always his pace. Branch & Cadamatari had pace too.

AJ’s shooting is awfull- always too clsoe to the keeper, if on target at all?
David Barks
45   Posted 06/09/2007 at 22:27:44

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Joe, "if on target at all"???? Check the stats and I think you will see that AJ leads the league in shots on target. It’s always better to get them on target and have them saved than to sky them over the bar trying to pick out the top corner every time. It opens up the possibility of scoring from a rebound. The guy has five scoreless games and we slate him. It’s unbelievable, it really is.
Brendan McLaughlin
46   Posted 06/09/2007 at 23:04:11

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What absolute drivel! If thats the solution why don’t the fans of every other team who have won nothing for the last umpteen years simply DEMAND the premiership title.
Andy Macrae
47   Posted 06/09/2007 at 23:29:29

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I think that AJ is a 20 goals a season striker, but maybe not in our team.

The style of football played last season wasn’t conducive to chances for the strikers.

Maybe its a case of give him more opportunities to score & he will get the ball in the net (just like Andy Cole)
Brendan McLaughlin
48   Posted 06/09/2007 at 23:04:11

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The point is (and someone made this point before some time ago) - good strikers come in pairs. So give them a chance. And by the way when we get a midfield in quality ,anyway any close to our strikeforce, we might go somewhre.
Steve Williams
49   Posted 07/09/2007 at 00:21:46

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Life is just not like that Neil . . . if we followed your belief of ?voting with our feet if not successful? there would be empty stadiums across the country. Having been an ardent supporter of Everton football club for over 40 years I am living proof that we are not an ?easy to please? rabble having enjoyed great success along with miserable failure during that time. I along with many thousands of Evertonians do not ?readily accept early exits from cup competitions?. You have to understand that being an Evertonian is a lifelong experience with its many highs and lows ? enjoy the ride ? being a supporter does mean active interest in our successes and unfortunately our failings. Get used to it!
Michael Tracey
50   Posted 07/09/2007 at 04:14:26

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Neil you are a complete and utter prat! Anon was right. You sound like a pathetic spoilt tosser. Maybe you should head down to the Kings Rd and support a club from around there. I Demand this I demand that! Well I demand that people like you who seem in great supply on this site just fuck off! Never satisfied, we have no money. Moyes has won manager of the season 2 out of the last 3 years! Our progress considering our financial plight has been outstanding. If The Spainish version of David Brent down the road or Jose the Marvelous managed our club we would be in the Championship right now. Get a cat scan you weirdo!!!!!
Derek Thomas
51   Posted 07/09/2007 at 06:23:11

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If you get in the habit of doing ’just the bare minimum’- ’no more than is required’ be it at home, in school, at work, on the training field or on the football field. You will never find out how far you can go and if you are not in the habit of doing so (use it or lose it, anybody??)...when you need to you won’t be able to. It’s called self satisfied, complacent etc.

Neils somewhat caustic and acerbic piece is just an encouragement to do better. Being happy with 6th is only allowed when the alternative is 7th or less.

Being UNhappy with 6th is fine when the alternative is 5th or higher.

Can do better...must try harder...how many school reports has that been written on.
Poor, average, good, better, BEST, so goes the increments of excelence...

And we all know what the motto says about THAT. but to be the best you have to strive to be the best and strive even harder when you get there to stay the best.

It’s tough at the top- but it’s tougher at the bottom,and downright boring in between.
Peter Singer
52   Posted 07/09/2007 at 08:06:19

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Derek, and which one of our players or coaches do you feel does no more than is required?
Shaun brennan
53   Posted 07/09/2007 at 10:00:11

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Neil, I must admit. Standards have certainly droppedin regards to expectations.

Heres to the league. Whenever that may be!

cheers
Mark Perry
54   Posted 07/09/2007 at 09:43:20

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Premier Leauge HQ - Fat twat 1 and fat twat 2 here of incomming demands fron EFC.

FT1 - "Crikey Derick and Neil have demanded that Everton win the leauge!"

FT2 - "Well then since they demanded lets give it to them, I?ll wring Fergy and you call the special One to tell them not to bother this year. Neil and Derick should of said something earlier!"

FT1 - "If they stamp their feet and hold their breath till they are blue well through in the FA Cup as well"

For fucks sake - there are 19 other clubs with equaly demanding fans. Everton have made great progress from the Smoth years, so get behined the team or fuck off
Ravo Stanley
55   Posted 07/09/2007 at 10:22:31

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Neil,

I understand your general sentiment but to be honest I’m still reeling from the Walter Smith era!

My expectations and demands are gradually getting higher and the team, if not the joke of a board and ground move, are moving in the right direction.
stu jonno
56   Posted 07/09/2007 at 10:39:11

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Thanks for brightening my day up NEIL.
Give me some prozac please oh and give him a double dose
Harry Meek
57   Posted 07/09/2007 at 13:07:27

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Good post,Neil.Far too many Evertonians have caught ’Dodd’s Disease’ and buy into the excuses that players and management put forward.
Adjusting for inflation,Moyes has spent more in five years than ANY previous Everton manager.You may say he needed to given what he inherited but this summer’s £20Million should bring a demand from the Board of at least 5th place and a Cup Final.Otherwise,the money has been wasted and Moyes should pay the price.(Pressure,what pressure?We don’t set goals this is Everton,I hear you all say!)
Alan Makin
58   Posted 07/09/2007 at 13:23:34

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Picking up on figures,Harry,and allowing for wages,I reckon Beatties goals cost a £Half Million apiece whilst AJ’s are running at a cool £1 Million each!
Whilst I don’t care who scores as long as we win,somebody has to find the net regularly this season else I can see even Bill’s patience expiring!
Mike Prentice
59   Posted 07/09/2007 at 14:00:03

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All this ?we?re more tolerant at Everton?is bollox. Just wait till we lose three on the trot and see how tolerant we are!Moyes has to deliver this year not just ruffle the pack. I reckon Harry Meek?s target of 5th and a Final is a realistic goal. I?d expect decent progress in UEFA as well - after all it is a competition for the ?also-rans?!
Tom Davies
60   Posted 07/09/2007 at 14:34:15

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I do not agree with that, we are not accepting mediocrity, we are doing what Evertonians are good at, we are being loyal to the club we genuinely love!

Look at Newcastle, every other game they have been calling for the heads of all of there managers and board members in the last few seasons, no doubt they’ll be at it again when the season is properly established.

Liverpool are also guilty, They started to lose faith in there manager on a few occasions, they also love a player 1 minute and hate him the next. Evertonians don’t show that sort of stupidity, we show support and loyalty to our club.
Bert Abrahams
61   Posted 07/09/2007 at 15:04:21

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Good to see so many up-beat (unreal) Evertonians but our aspirations have been at a low level since 1996 and none of us expects the team to win anything. We love to beat the Reds and the Mancs and as long as we do that and finish in the top half wtf? Long may it be so!
Gary Carter
62   Posted 07/09/2007 at 16:51:47

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I think you’ve made a tool of yourself there my friend, I "Demand" that you never post such utter twaddle again. Now go and sit in the room with Kenrick and watch the games from the 80’s. If you squint your eyes a little you’ll see us playing football exactly like Brazil.............Michael does !!
Clarence Whitaker
63   Posted 07/09/2007 at 16:51:23

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I see once again we are in familiar territory. Sometimes you have to be careful what you say or have to bite your tongue as not to get others backs up or if they get the wrong idea about what has been said. Just as well they have a content abuse policy. Good idea to cut down on unneccesary profanities . In any event since the ousting of Johnson (thats peter) rthe club has moved forwards albeit in a slow almost uncoordinated way. We came out of the bars merry and content in 1987 and more of less remained sober for the next twenty years. A quick half in the mid nineties mind. A drunken stagger through dangerous territories later and the club is now getting to its feet and making the right way for home. I attended my first game in 1963. As defending champions at the time we were lucky enough to have seven years of relative success. A spell out in the cold, and soon another golden harvest albeit for less spell of time than the catterick era. Since the days of kendall in his first spell a la 81-87 we havent really come close to winning anything. Apart from the cup win and and another mersey final defeat. And lets not forget a sound beating in the zenith data systems trophy final. I dont expect with what we have to go on another three or five year success spree. Far from it. I cannot honestly say when success will arrive but from i have read thus far in the past few days nobody quite seems to know. Some are under the impression (or should that be under illegal substances) that this club will win the title in the subseqent years. (Or is that the championship if we underachieve and are relegated). Some say that we are making progress and are in our best condition for many a year and a trophy is not far off in the distance. Which is where i stand. I could sit here all day but im not going to. In the simplest terms lets keep it realistic not expect to much and in time, be it years or decades(?) this club will rise to the fore once more and become a force once again. Whether we can go back to the catterick or kendall days is another matter. But its going to be interesting. See you at the MUFC game. Upper Bullens road if you want to talk (or thump me) after todays chitchat.
Tommy Coleman
64   Posted 07/09/2007 at 18:00:26

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Agree 100% with Neil, yet he will get critised for pointing out this simple truth by only the fans who all accept 2nd/3rd best.
John Andrews
65   Posted 07/09/2007 at 18:19:42

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Neil, I have to say what a load of twaddle ! What on earth do you expect ? We have little or no money and although not a great fan of the manager I have to say that we appear to be going in the right direction. Does anybody remember the transfer window when Moyes went out and wasted what precious money we had on Kilbane, McFadden and the like ? This no longer happens.
As far as AJ is concerned this may be a surefire way to encourage him to look elsewhere. He will score, have no doubt.
Andy Maher
66   Posted 07/09/2007 at 21:10:40

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This article is appalling, who chooses who writes on this site!!!! Johnson has assitted two goals this season, he is more than just a goal scorer if he had taken pens last season he would have scored almost twenty goals, and to compare him to Beattie shows you dont go the match or don’t know football.
Ray
67   Posted 07/09/2007 at 22:14:53

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Lay off AJ..Its only the first week of September for goodness sake..Berbatov only just got his first goal for Spurs on Saturday..Tevez hasnt scored yet..Rooney hasnt scored ( dont care if he’s been injured,still hasnt scored has he?) It may actually work out better for AJ rather than last season when come the turn of the year he suffered burn out really after perhaps starting his Everton career too well if theres such a thing..I will be certain come the end of the season he will have scored somewhere in double figures just as Yak will..But will people please stop going on about 20 goals a season..Maybe in all competitions if you play for a team that lasts ages in all of them but nobody scores 20 league goals anymore just take a look at the records from recent years..Anywhere between 12 and 16 for both Yak and AJ will do us fine.
Paddy Connors
68   Posted 07/09/2007 at 22:48:14

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Jesus - what do you peple want. Its not 1985 - the league isnt open to any young manager with an uounce of footballing know how. Evertin are doing well, we can hold our head high,, Moyes is working hard and intelligently with what we have. This is as good as it fuckin gets my friends. We will have a good season a few good cup runs and plenty of highs - believe me!
paddy connors
69   Posted 07/09/2007 at 22:50:44

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Sorry for the spelling mistakes - Juan Ernest Gallo on sale in Tescos!
Robert McWilliam
70   Posted 07/09/2007 at 23:52:49

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Some intersesting points of which of some i disaggree with but in all i aggree with the main point. I think we are settling for mediocrity, perhaps not so much with our latest signings as they are whats within our grasp, but with (i hate to mention it) choosing a second class stadium that is supposed to be our home, for the next 120 odd years. This is supposed to be our castle, somewhere we can blow the socks off of visiting teams, instead we have a second class bastille,(which is already f_cking being overshadowed by plans from shitty Portsmouth potential stadium!) situated outside of everton, where no aspiring youth(footballer or fan) is going to be influenced to be a blue, when they have the redshite an arms drop away in their area. We will fade in camparison to the RS! Anyways thats my thoughts i promise no more stadium talk.

Rob
arthur jones
71   Posted 08/09/2007 at 06:28:09

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Why pick on AJ ? we scored loads of goals last season , more than we’ve scored in a season for years , simply because he was pulling opposing defences apart leaving space for 14 other outfield players to hit the net . We’ve already scored 8 this season , only bettered by the RS , and thats ’cos of their 6 against the prems worst ever team .. (in my opinion) , Arsene wenger was making goo goo eyes at him last season and he’s not a bad judge of player , FFS, the only way the opposing managers could stop him last year was to play loudly on the ’ diver ’ claims , subsequently disproved . oh yes and if being happy that we’re now a team that is looking for European football each season rather than having those last day nightmares , then yes , I’m easily pleased , I’m even more pleased that we are an improving team with a good squad that now opposing teams are ecstatic when they get a draw !!
Davey Childs
72   Posted 09/09/2007 at 14:55:48

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Absolute rubbish mate.
This bears no resemblence to the facts.
I wish that evertonians would just stop moaning constantly.
Lets just enjoy what should be a great season.

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