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Much More Required

By Tony Marsh :  01/02/2008 :  Comments (61) :
I reckon we needed to gamble when the transfer window opened; to my mind, the business we have done comes nowhere near helping us achieve a 4th place finish. The chance to grab this elusive spot won't come around all that often if the powers that be have their way, so if we miss out this season we have only ourselves to blame.

We definitely need another striker who will guarantee goals as Andy Johnson seems to be turning into a baldy Stewart Barlow. AJ's goal tally for the past 12 months is pitiful. I know it is not all his fault with the tactics employed but he doesn't make the most of his chances when they come along. Spurs Wednesday springs to mind...

Without Yakubu, we really struggle in the goals department. Since the end of December we have managed to score one goal at Man Utd and one at Chelsea in the cup. Two at Wigan but only one goal to show for the last 4 games played at Goodison. We couldnt even find the net against Oldham Athletic. Hardly prolific is it?

I don't think we will stay in 4th place if we can't find the back of the net on a regular basis and Yakubu could be gone for weeks yet then come back knackered. We have definitely missed a chance to progress further by not bringing in some more quality.

As I said back in November, once Yakubu went off on his jollies we would struggle for goals. I also said sell AJ to West Ham if they still wanted him and try to bring in Darren Bent on the cheap ? he is a far better finisher than Johnson. Instead, we bring in another defensive player who is on a permanent sicknote. At least he is bigger than the usual 5-ft-nothing player Moyes likes to buy, so that's a plus.

What is it with all these midget players we have got at the club at present? Take Lescott and Yobo out of the squad and it is embarrassing to look at the size of some of our lot. It's one area were Moyes really needs to sort out. Not in any team sport can you give away so much height and weight advantage and hope to compete properly. Pace and power is everything in football these days and we lack both in abundance.

I know there will be screams from some of you about negativity when we are sitting in 4th place but if we lose tomorrow we could well end up in 6th ? that's how tight it is. I don't want to be on a negative vibe because I think we doing ok at the moment but, like I said, I think a golden opportunity has been spurned once again with this lack of activity. Go in to debt if neccesary as a 4th place finish would be payback time anyway.

More grim Uefa cup football is just not the same as a crack at the CL league is it? Game after gruelling game on a Thursday night and for what? There is no money in it unless you reach the final and even that's a pittance in comparision. It's all about being winners and having ambition. Call it having ideas above our station if you like but I only wish we had more ruthless and determinded people running our club and team.

I am convinced Kenwright and Wyness are only waiting to fill their boots on the Knowsley gravy train before doing one with the loot, while Moyes is just a decent fella who lacks the self-belief and coaching skills to turn our potential into something of real substance.

If we do miss out on 4th place this season, cry all you want to but remember the chance was there to step in ? we just didnt take it. Goals is what we need and I just don't see them coming any time soon...

Reader Comments

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Rich Grisdale
1   Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:05:32

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How did I know you'd write something like that...COYB?s tomorrow, we can defo do it....
Rich Grisdale
2   Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:07:04

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What would happen if we had ’gambled’ big and then not make 4th spot? Who was avaliable to buy anyway? the market is poor in jan hence why no business was done by other clubs... there wiil be mcfadden money for summer then... doesnt moyes know best???
James Smith
3   Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:11:42

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At the end of the day, the players aren’t available at this stage of the season at a reasonable price. Moyes has always maintained this, and is one of the reasons why he’s so fond of loans.

I’m not really sure of anyone who we could’ve gone for at this stage - you mention Bent, but he’s (a) injured and (b) the only backup Spurs now have for Keanatov. Plus we have no idea if they would have wanted to get rid anyway, irrespective of what Defoe did. He’s their long-term replaement for Bebatov anyway, so I doubt they’d write him off (or the large fee paid) so soon.
Shaun Croker
4   Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:07:54

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Try analysing it from a diffeent point of view. You can have the best strikers in the premiership, but it counts for nothing if you don’t have a decent attacking midfielder either laying on th eball or attacking himself. Look at our midfield, Carsley works hard but would have trouble hitting the ball into the Grand Canyon, yet alone the net. Cahill is lighweight but good at set pieces. Arteta, undoubtably skillful, but prone to knocks, Osman is similar. Manny is not yet fit, but the jury is out for the moment. Now, if we had a a certain mister C R at Utd, then we might be up there. Can somebody remind me, how many has Rooney scored, Saha even Tevez? It’s not all about strikers, service and the number of opportunities is the primary key, there’s no point in going into every game playing 451!!
Peter Jones
5   Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:19:08

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Who do you think decides the spend? What do you think Moyes would do with £65m for instance? Do you imagine that no debate goes on in the transfer window? Tell us what Alex Ferfuson would do were he manager of EFC at this point in time?
Mark Murphy
6   Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:20:22

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Got to say I agree with Mr Marsh here. AJ was attracting interest and tho I like his work ethic he doesnt deliver the goals he should. To my mind there was a similar style player but much more prolific available who has now ended up on the south coast with appy Arry.
We should have gone for Jermaine Defoe.
Still, think we will finish sixth and I would have settled for that last august, but we could have pushed on for fourth.
John Fergson
7   Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:34:20

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Tony ... What did I expect, the glass is always half full. .....Please change the fookin record. You really depress me with your constant negativity... We are not the finished article but we now have have a much improved squad and strong team ethic (all down to Moyes). We are fighting positively on two fronts and once the ACON boys return are in a good position to kick on for the rest of the season. Let’s get behind our team instead of the constant carping.

Please either go to the pub or take some happy pills!!
Alan Kirwin
8   Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:44:24

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Tony Marsh has some valid points and some way wide of the mark. I agree with his point about AJ. No way will David Moyes ditch him as he’s still talking him up and just extended his contract.

If West Ham really were prepared to pay £12m then we should have taken it and gone straight for Steve Kitson or Kenwyn Jones. AJ’s a great lad, but things have changed for us since he arrived. He’s no longer the main man, our football has gone up a notch (in the main) and he’s lost confidence and touch.

I really hope James Vaughan gets the nod this weekend. The kid has it all to burn, pace, control, bravery and a goal habit. AJ too often looks lightweight (esp. against Chelski).

In the unlikely event that we do finish 4th this year then next year could be totally amazing for us toffees. If we were able to bring in another top striker and a strong midfielder (i.e. Stephen Appiah), then we’d be the match of almost everyone from 1 to 11 (or 39 as it is now).

And if that was to happen, my only sadness would be that we can only fit 40,000 into Goodison and 20% of them have restricted views. Bring on the CL, new stadium, and new dreams. It will have taken us 20 years to overcome the injustice and hurt of 85, but that will just make everything taste just that much sweeter.

Finally, in the close season I just hope DM brings in a continental free-thinking coach as his deputy, rather than some dour northerner (!).

Yak, get your big arse back here pronto!
Ben Goodman
9   Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:56:54

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I think you are being very negative, we have not been playing well and winning and that spell we went through where we were scoring goals has stopped and we are getting the odd one.
We have missed Pienaar and Yakubu, Pienaar has natural ability to stay wide and create something and link up the play. Whilst Yakubu’s preditory insticts are clearly missed. Several times you think he would have scored, and Johnson’s miss against spurs was one major case! Cheer up for god’s sake!!
James Martin
10   Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:34:06

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Fair shout Tony. not so sure it’ll turn out so bad, but we certainly noticed against Chelsea that the difference between success and failure is the quality of back-up. I was hoping we’d bring someone in. Most people have (rightly) talked about the box to box MF and the wide player who can cross. However, I agree that another potent goalscorer would have seriously boosted our chances. I was pretty keen on the idea of Chevanton, Seville’s Uraguayan striker, but he got injured last Saturday. Another who could have been perfect. Just signed for Español as cover for the injured Raul Tamudo. Fast, skillful and a good goal scorer. who else, Brazilian striker EWERTON.
PS. ’A baldy Stuart Barlow’ Fucking love it
Dave Jeanrenaud
11   Posted 01/02/2008 at 22:04:43

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It never ceases to amaze me how the average football fan (distinctly average in your case Mr Marsh) thinks they can do a better job than the man in charge of their team.



David Moyes is a miracle worker and i am quite happy to trust his judgement and let him get on with the job he is paid to do. I would not dream of offering advice on who should be in his team for the simple reason that i observe his players for 90 minutes once or twice per week whilst he sees them every day of the week and is therefore better qualified to judge who should be in our starting XI.

As for not buying in this transfer window then i think he should be commended as of all the players that moved i cannot think of one who would have offered value for money whilst adding strength to our squad.

Three or Four years ago when we were in a similar position to what we are now we went out and bought James Beattie and that proved to be a mistake. I am sure that Moyes has learnt from this and i am glad he chose not to squander money in this window.

And who is Steve Kitson anyhow??
Ben Thomas
12   Posted 01/02/2008 at 22:10:59

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Hey I agree with Ben Goodman that you are being negative! Think about our team when everyone is available.And also you must be one of the negative minority, I for one think that he we will finish 4th for sure, I just can’t see Liverpool winning more games than us! They are losing to teams that we have beaten that is their problem. Yes I am sure Moyes will bring someone in summer in the forward department. Imagine this:
Howard
Neville Yobo Jagielka Lescott
Arteta Fernandes Carsley Pienaar
Cahill Yakubu
Personally we need a driving midfielder not another Carsley but someone who is inspiring. Appiah is the one we need or Bradley!
Peter Jones
13   Posted 01/02/2008 at 22:12:36

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What is all this shite about ’midgets’. The finest Everton players I have seen were ’midgets’ by your definition - Ball, Young, Kay, Reid, Bracewell, Harvey, Kendall, Collins, Wilson, Arteta et al. Where did the School of Science name come from? What is the point of grocks like Sissoko, Carlto Palmer, Jarosek, De Silva et al if they cannot play football. I cannot believe that you know anything about Everton to talk such bollocks. What I want to see is footballers passing, moving, dribbling, running. This team does this but it’s the ’midgets’ which do. Anthony Gardner wiould presumably walk into your team as a ’big’ guy.
Stefan Tosev
14   Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:59:30

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Good points Tony,

I agree totally about AJ as he is really disappointing this season and if Moyes decides to offload him I will be more than happy; Anichebe wont cut it for me either.

Everyone can see that we need players with height, speed, passing, vision and finishing abilities in certain positions and some of us will look at the this transfer window as a missed opportunity but for me the things are going in the wrong direction of the pitch.

You are speaking of a gamble now, I think we gambled big time in the summer with another massive loan to buy Yakubu and people don?t realise how close DM was of walking out, when told of the paltry budget of 5m GBP, when we were linked with a lot of players and we bid only 4M + add-ons.

Reading the exceptional financial analysis of EFC Joe Beardwood provides it was clear( and he predicted it) that we need to sell players in order to balance the books ? hence we sold McFadden and released Stubbs, Da Silva and Vidarsson to ease of the pressure and signed another kid ?for the future? + two loan signings with already Echo boasting the news that if we are to sign Manny, Valencia will have to take around 8m and not 12m.

Even Moyes admitted not knowing how much of the McFadden cash he could spend ? as it turned out ? nada, nothing, zero. If we cant qualify for CL it will have massive impact on our club, as I firmly believe that we gambled in the summer budgeting for CL and taking another high interest loan.
Keith Glazzard
15   Posted 01/02/2008 at 21:39:33

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The idea that one magic signing - even if this meant "going into debt" - would bring us goals enough to make the jump into hyperspace sounds like something straight out of Roy of the Rovers. It could be argued that Kevin Campbell did this for us a few years back, but to get away from the bottom, not to approach the top.

The remarkable feature of Everton’s goals this season has been the number of players - from all over the field - who have scored them. As the team gets back to what it should be over the next couple of weeks, this will be the pattern again.

And who knows, perhaps a packed Goodison might enjoy a bit more grim, gruelling UEFA Cup football.

And give me a mobile, skillful compact player anyday rather than some lumbering man mountain yard dog. And they work their fucking socks off for us. We’ll be up there -the hard way perhaps, but not by magic.
Steve Templeton
16   Posted 01/02/2008 at 22:23:38

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You almost did well there Tony, you nearly managed to write an article without criticising Davey Moyes but you couldn’t help yourself could you?

"I only wish we had more ruthless and determinded people running our club and team"

You can level a number of criticisms against David Moyes but not being determined? Are you having a laugh? Being determined is probably his best quality. He is a driven man who has single-handedly taken this club by the scruff of its neck and has turned it from relegation candidates into top four contenders whilst nearly breaking even on his transfer spending.

Your right (almost) about one thing in that we do have a small team at present but if you bothered to open your eyes to the magnificent job that Moyes is doing you would appreciate that he has admitted that this is a problem which he is trying to solve, hence the interest in the likes of 6’1 Michael Bradley. As ever DM does not have the luxury of buying two, three or four top class players at once and has to build his team piecemeal. Only a fool would think that the current team is a finished article and I bet you that come this time next season we will have more height in the side .



The other side of the coin is that these ’midgets’ as you call them are the players who have turned us into a real football team which is what you have been calling out for, for god knows how long!

DM is dammed if he does and dammed if he doesn’t where you are concerned Tony, why don’t you give the guy a break for once and give him some credit for the job he has done to date?

You probably slagged Kendal off for being a shit manager in 1985!
Paul ONeill
17   Posted 01/02/2008 at 22:53:53

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Christ!!! Tony, what do wou WANT??? I’m all for constructive opposition, but I swear you are NEVER happy. EVER! Ahem...rant over. Sorry folks.
Rich Jones
18   Posted 01/02/2008 at 23:05:24

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As ever Tony telling it how it is, I do disagree on one thing though Tony I believe Moyes would spend money if it was available he said we needed to spend to get to the next level, never mind getting real quality we need numbers for a start, just as we did last time we had a chance when we played Villareal weve blown it by not speculating to accumulate. For me the blame for this will lie firmly with my old friend Billy (walter mitty) Kenwright.
Nick Toye
19   Posted 01/02/2008 at 23:25:03

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Can we not censor this crap. I mean, its nice to have a balanced argument, but jesus. This is ridiculous. I still believe we are punching above our weight, and we are still on the right roads.

But lets spend money in the Jan window, especially when its a sellers market. Yeah good idea.

Anyone getting bored yet?
robert carney
20   Posted 01/02/2008 at 23:17:24

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Life is strange is it not. Being an old arse in my fifties, I never thought I would be reading threads on the internet, never mind on a subject were most football fans think money is the answer to eveything.
When most profeessional pundits are extolling the virtues of our manager for patiently building a strong and lasting team (with potential) Mr Marsh comes up with the typical cry of Thatchers generation and says spend the money.
With the exception of Man U and Chelsea how many teams have spent loads of money and got what the fans want? Just look at the shite, I have said for two years now we will win the prem before they do.

Tony, where do we aim the cash at and what amount? You always fail in this part of the debate. Anyone can say spend spend spend.

I once accused you of being like a Leeds fans. I now know you are not , but it will take a bit more substance before I can agree with your views
Richard Osborne
21   Posted 01/02/2008 at 23:31:44

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Steve Kitson? Get a fucking grip will you lad.

Some of you lot need your fucking heads reading, you really do.

What on God’s green Earth has Kenwyne Jones done to get a mention?

Christ on a fucking bicycle.
robert carney
22   Posted 01/02/2008 at 23:36:17

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p.s. look at the prem stats and our goals look like good value for money to me.There are not many better. Plus our goal difference is better than the last time we were in this position.
Tony Williams
23   Posted 01/02/2008 at 23:38:46

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"Since the end of December we have managed to score one goal at Man Utd and one at Chelsea in the cup. Two at Wigan"

That one had me giggling Tony, well done lad. It was like the Monty Python, "What have the Romans ever done for us?" sketch.

We can’t score but we did score at Stamford Bridge......what about Old Trafford Tony........ Oh yeah but apart from Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford, when have we scored 2 goals.....what about Wigan Tony?...Yeah but etc etc

Just once I would like it if you actually added something else to the debate, it is the usual MO of a wind up to post a contraversial post and then stand back and wait for all the squabbling.

You very rarely engage in any of the aftermath of your rants, which is not surprising.

Darren Bent??? Now I know you are taking the piss...ha ha ha.

I look around at the teams near us and apart from the Chavs, who else has actually bought someone that looks to be a match winner? No-one because they all know the January window is for mugs.

Keep it up Tony, I genuinely look forward to your articles and I can see why the editors give you free reign as the internet traffic must triple when people get wind of another post by you.
Chris James
24   Posted 01/02/2008 at 23:47:49

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Yawn

Oh my rants!
Wayne Smyth
25   Posted 02/02/2008 at 00:12:36

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Tony, if we’d have gone along the road you suggest, I reckon we’d have been the next leeds.by now.

Do you need more examples of teams that spend big, buy in "big money" players and then fail to deliver? The shite across the park are prime examples.

Yes, we’re short of numbers and it may well mean that we dont finish in 4th because of it, but throwing money we dont have at the situation will not necesarily improve things.

We’ve got to where we are today by being patient, assembling the squad slowly and carefully to ensure that we retain the team spirit that has driven us to 4th. Why switch from this proven strategy to something which invites financial ruin?

You make a valid point regarding the height of the squad and I’d imagine Moyes will be looking to improve this. You could critisize Johnson for his hold up play, but I think his finishing is actually very good(e.g wigan/west ham). I still maintain he’s not had enough games with good service and support from the other players. He was unlucky against spurs, watching the replay I thought he made the correct choice of shot. Dont forget that neither keane or berbatov managed to score either and they’re not exactly duds are they?
Andrew Brophy
26   Posted 02/02/2008 at 00:43:33

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Richard Osborne - who the hell do you think you are? I don’t necessarily agree with what Tony Marsh wrote, but he has got as much right as anyone else on here to express his opinion, within the rules.

In fact, if everyone came on here and agreed with everyone else, there wouldn’t really be much point in having a site like this, would there?

Given the choice, I suspect that most people "with a brain" would sooner have a debate, however much they disagreed with some of what’s written, than read pathetic, juvenile comments like "fuck off and support someone else". Question Tony’s judgement by all means, but don’t question his loyalty to this football club.

And yes, this club does need supporters like Tony and Rob, and everyone else who comes on here and writes with passion about something we all care deeply about. You included.

So knock it off.
Andrew Brophy
27   Posted 02/02/2008 at 01:08:16

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I meant Rich Jones, not Rob.

Sorry Rob.
Andrew James
28   Posted 02/02/2008 at 02:46:06

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Will people stop moaning??? EFC are blessed at the moment (I’m loving it, I don’t know why you lot aren’t) we have the best man in charge, less funds than teams like Newcastle and Spurs (so it feels like we are genuinely superior when we are above them heh!) and once we have the team together we will destroy other Prem sides. Moyesy is brilliant - to suggest him not being our boss is sickening, The Moyesy critics just need to watch the tape of the 2000-2001.

Everyone stop whinging. Carling Cup was a disappointment but it’s not as good as Uefa which I reckon we’ve shown a real improvement in. FA Cup was bad but who cares? Moyesy knows where the money is - it’s in the Prem finish, not getting to the sixth round of the FA Cup. We are on course and our more negative fans are giving us a bad name as moaners. I am sick of that perception about this great club that our fans always whinge. I am also tired of the targeting of Liverpool. By moaning about them we play into their hands and are cliched. We’re the fourth most honoured club yet our main song is about them for crying out loud???

We are Everton and a great club. We are not the counterpoint to LFC. We are a great club in our own right. I love Everton FC and I think Moyesy is tremendous. Everyone has their right to an opinion, but please retain your perspective.
Dave Wilson
29   Posted 02/02/2008 at 05:41:10

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TM would cause murder in s fucken monastry, I have this image of him posting, getting off for a few bevs and coming home and pissing himself when he see’s all the usual suspects acting like a bunch of arl women.
Yes he has unerring accuracy when choosing which buttons to press to wind people up, but he always has something interesting to say.
I find myself agreeing to nearly everything he says here, he does however over simplify the transfer market. Mark hughes gave a really good interview yesterday, he said he had "several irons in the fire "he had worked "24/7 to improve his squad" but any player he felt could do that, was out of reach in a "incredibly over heated market"
was Defoe the answer ? would he have come ? did we have the readies ?
Roy keen got the deal of the window, 4 mill for an Andy Reid who has improved his fitness beyond belief ? H e has always had class - we’ve been on the recieving end ourselves - but with his new found fitness and our desperation for midfield cover, he could have been right up our street
Neil Scott
30   Posted 02/02/2008 at 06:11:14

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Couldn’t agree more.

I mean, if this guy Moyes was ’determined’ he’d immediately offload all of these 5-ft-nothing players like Piennar, Osman and Arteta and ’gamble’ on Darren Bent ’on the cheap’ because that was a real possibility i reckon and could have easily been achieved by anyone with as keen and ’ruthless’ a brain as our tony.

And how astutely observed that ’pace and power is everything in football these days’ and that ’we lack both in abundance’ leaving us stuck for now with AJ and Yak. Or heaven forbid Vaughny and Vic.

Give me strength...
Dominic Duerden
31   Posted 02/02/2008 at 07:38:04

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I think it was a good transfer window .
Moyes off loaded two players who were not good enough for the team and brought in one who most definently is , in Manny. All we need now is a dominant defensive midfielder to back up Carsley and we have a really good side.
Steve Pugh
32   Posted 02/02/2008 at 08:18:11

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I would like to make a couple of points.

1) Hard though it may be to believe, Tony is not always negative, there are several articles he has written in the past that actually praise DM and the team. So lay off on that one please.

2) I would rather build slowly and stay solvent than throw money at trying to win and go bust.

3) What is it with EFC that take supposedly good strikers and turn them into rubbish. Will be trying to offload the Yak this time next year? Before he got injured last season AJ was the top scorer in the premiership - what has changed between then and now?
Terence Leong
33   Posted 02/02/2008 at 08:02:03

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It never fails to amaze me that when people criticize the manager for not bringing in names to the squad, they hardly come up with concrete solutions.
Sell AJ and bring in Bent? If AJ was floundering, who would offer 12 million? They might even offer half of what we paid him!
For what Bent cost Spurs, what would they sell him for? Less than what they bought him, but not much less.
And go into the red for a player who is probably as low if not lower on confidence than AJ, lower in match practice and fitness. Bent can finish, but not much better than AJ. He’s got pace to burn, but he is a confidence player, much like most strikers.
What’s my point?
Are there really so many more players out there who can do the job much more than who we have?
Please, come up with better names than those above, and you can be in a position to criticise the manager for not looking hard enough.
And I would like to add that it’s not the strikers, it’s the service provided. Vaughnan, Victor and AJ probably can finish decently like most premiership strikers. How many strikers can create on their own? Names please. Henry, but he’s no longer around and he won’t come by. Rooney, perhaps. But how many is he really scoring? Who’s leading the charts? How many Berbatov can you find? Torres is a gem, but he’s struggling to create on his own. Ronaldo’s in a class of his own. Adebayor is but a shadow of Henry. To me, it’s about motivating our midfield to have a pop @ goal. Each of them all can score, Carsley, Cahill, Osman, Pienaar, Fernandez. And they can shoot from the distance (maybe except Cahill). Get them to keep popping it from the distance, and I’m sure we’ll get a few more goals.
Jay Campbell
34   Posted 02/02/2008 at 08:58:14

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Fair shout Tony and some good points.

If we had a chairman with bollock’s, money and business savvy we’d really take off.

We have all the right ingredients in place now all it need’s is that little bit extra sadly Kenwright fails us time after time.

I wish he would just do the honourable thing and fuck off he’s well an truly outstayed his welcome now.



Tony Waverleas
35   Posted 02/02/2008 at 09:06:28

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"...Go in to debt if neccesary as a 4th place finish would be payback time anyway..."

Oh dear. And to think BK & KW are slated on here almost non-stop for how they are perceived to be running the club and yet fans like Tony Marsh make statements like this.
Tony, I’d respectfully suggest the last time such attitudes to running a football club were followed through was by a certain Peter Ridsale at Leeds United and you’d have to say the consequences there were and still are spectacularly disastrous.
Oh, and one other thing, for someone who deals in facts and hard-truths about our club perhaps you might like to know the name is actually Stuart Barlow. Not sure who Stewart Barlow is...
Art Greeth
36   Posted 02/02/2008 at 10:25:53

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Some cold hard stats, as at Saturday morning 2 February:

Even with our African contingent missing, we are still unbeaten in the Premier League in 2008 - won three and drawn one of four. That puts us fourth behind the obvious candidates in current league form ? a true reflection of our overall status this term.

Only United, the Arse and Chelski have won more league games than us all season.

Opened the scoring in 15 Premier League matches and won 13 of the 15 games in which we’ve scored first. Only Manchester United (20) and Arsenal (16) have taken the lead more often.

Only United, Arsenal, Spurs and Villa have scored more goals than the Blues.

Only United, Arsenal, Chelsea, the poo and WHU have conceded less.

Only United, Arsenal, Chelsea, the poo and Portsmouth have kept more clean sheets.

Based on first half results only, we are third just four points behind both United and Arsenal.

We are fifth based on home form, behind United, Arsenal, City and Chelsea.

We are sixth based on away form, behind United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Portsmouth and the ?poo.

We are the best behaved club with 28 cards (25 yellow and three red).

We have scored six goals in stoppage time - more than any other club.

Everton and Spurs have had more different goal scorers than any other team ? 12 each.

We have used just 22 players in the League this season - only Blackburn has fielded fewer (21).

Fucking midgets! Don?t do anything for yer, do they?? Oh! But just a minute? United have four ?midgets? in the top 40 shortest players, Chelsea three and Everton just two ? Baines and AJ? wee Leon only appears in 44th position, towering as he does above such dwarves of the game as Scholes, Tevez, Evra, SWP, Makelele and Ashley Cole.

Statistics ? don?t yer just love ?em??!!

In just over a week ? maybe sooner ? all our African contingent will be back. Well done again for not panic buying, Mr Moyes.

Onward and upward?
Ian Ankers
37   Posted 02/02/2008 at 10:38:42

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It was always pretty obvious that Moyes was never going to spend in January and to be honest, while I’d have liked us to buy big, I think he’s probably done the right thing. There is no doubt that player values are way over inflated in the January window and to be honest a club like Everton who have to watch the purse strings would have been reckless to spend big at this time. We may not finish fourth, in fact I don’t think we will, but I would rather be patient and hopefully get the right players at the right price in the summer. Ok buying now may have helped us in the short term, but I’d rather see us do it properly (as Moyes has so far) and build for the future rather than the next 4 months.
On the AJ point, I am kind of in agreeance. He’s certainly lost something, weather that’s his own fault or those around him is open to debate, but the fact remains the same that in our position at the moment, we cannot be confident of him putting the ball in the net. That may change in time, but at the moment I have to agree with Tony on AJ. I’m not sure we should sell though, I’m still 50/50 on AJ.
Your UEFA Cup comments I find a little odd? I think we are getting way ahead of ourselves if at the present moment that is not a good place for Everton to be. It’s experience, its the chance of a trophy and I for one am glad we are there and would see getting there again for next season as a decent acheivement! I think us in the champions league is still a little premature and the ’Rabbit In the headlights’ effect may happen again if we were to qualify.

Again really all this comes down to where you think we should be and how fast we should be getting there...some of us have more patient and in my view realistic targets thatn others and that’s not lack of ambition, that’s just realism.

So on we go........
Kieran Fitzgerald
38   Posted 02/02/2008 at 10:48:36

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Tony, if you read that Guardian article, Moyes?s atitude reflects what alot of fans are feeling right now, yourself included.You are right to say that it is the ideal time to make the extra effort required to move up to the next grade.

Right now the most important aspect of the effort is the financial one. We have to be prepared to splash the cash. Moyes has done his share over the transfer window by getting rid of the likes of McFadden and Stubbs, which raises cash and frees up wages. In our current financial state it makes sense to try and balance the books. It is now up to the Board to do their share and produce the money he needs to buy the next level of player.

The common sense that Moyes has been applying to the money he has had will not be thrown away if we make the CL and get the extra money next season. I do think the man is too sensible for that. However, it will not be good enough on it?s own next season if the other clubs around us continue to have more money than we do to spend on transfers.

With the January window closed, It is too late now to do anything more than what we have been doing. With other clubs breathing down our necks, all we can do is hope that it is enough. I really it is, because this really is a brilliant opportunity that we have earned from our own hard work so far this season and I would hate to see it go to waste.
Terry Maddock
39   Posted 02/02/2008 at 10:57:55

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Brilliant assessment Tony:

1) we have no chance of holding on to 4th spot..why.. because we now (with Manny , Grdener in + Stubbs, Faddy out) have a stronger squad than the one that got us there..brilliant Tony.!

2) Take out the two tallest players in our team and the average height of the squad would be a lot less,,,GENIUS..!


3) Get rid of AJ and bring in a 4th choice striker from a club 15 points below us in the league..who cant currently get aplace on the bench..REVOLUTIONARY..!

4) UEFA cup football..a bit grim?..everybody in Nurenburg must have been taking ecstacy..( 8000 fans pretending to enjoy themselves)

5) Its not the same as the Champions League..( we,ve never been in it bar a qualifying round) WISDOM

6) Kenwright and Wyness..conspiracy theory..ITS X FILES ( are you Mulder or Scully)?

7) Lack of goals..YAKUBU..has scored 9 out of our 40..yes thats right ..40 league ..yes just League..GOALs this season...Another 12 players have weighed in this season... Mathematical .Enterprise...!

But ..Overall..practically a positive post here Tony..keep it up
Tony Anetts
40   Posted 02/02/2008 at 11:29:20

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Tony,we are in the midst of one of our best seasons in 20 years, commentators are complimentary about our team and ability, we the previously sorry sad fans are actually excited - and you are talking it down?

AJ may not be the best forward in the EPL but he gives DM an option that no-one else in our team does. In a team that largely plays a lone striker (with Tim in behind) our priority for immediate improvement is probably not another striker. We all wanted a ball player before the transfer window - we got one in Manny. Many of us lacked faith in Faddy and wondered at his future - he has gone. Everyone wonders why De Silva and Vidarsson were here if they never played - they?ve gone. We needed cover at the back - and we have some (and tall it is!!). Not bad really.

Things are pretty good. Sure, they can always be better, but not overnight and not without magic.

Enjoy it mate - I certainly am.
Dave Lynch
41   Posted 02/02/2008 at 12:16:03

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Stated last time.
He should have offered AJ as a straight swap for Ashton.
Bent to my mind is living off the back of one good season.
AKA. Vassel.
Ajamu Mutumwa
42   Posted 02/02/2008 at 12:20:18

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Crikey, a sensible, almost decent article.

Much of its premise I disagree with, but I doff my hat off that it’s a sort of analysis rather than his usual diatribe.

Two points to make though.

First, in January, prices are marked up for players about 20 - 30% more because no one wants to lose their best players in January. As far as I am concerned, its not the best time to buy a player anyway.

Second, we actually need more midfielders than strikers. Strikers need feeding, and that comes from midfield. I’d have gone for another midfielder rather than a striker.

Your comments on the uefa cup betray your myopic view on football. It’s not a cash cow, but it helps to attract potential players to our club who are young and ambitious, as well as putting us in the spotlight, and changing peoples views about us.

That said, your last two paragraphs about Kenwright, Wyness, Moyes and maybe missing 4th spot are pitiful and disingenuous. When we buy Fernandes, and Pienaar, will that have come from Moyes back pocket or the continued support from the Board?

One day, you’ll put pen to paper and actually say who you feel would manage the club better than Moyes. No doubt you have a long list of people who can do it better.
Simon Taylor
43   Posted 02/02/2008 at 13:50:44

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"More grim UEFA cup football"

What planet do you live on? Our 1st European campaign of note for 20 years & according to the Guru Marsh - it’s grim!

Yeah Tony I think we should have gone out & spent £20M we didn’t have on overpriced January window donkeys - Not.

In the window we lost a 36 yr old CB, the infuriating McFadden & Da Silva.

Replaced by Manny, Gosling & Gardner - you seriously trying to tell me that we haven’t improved the squad?

Who should we have bought then Tony? what inspiring gung ho tactics should Moyes be using?

You’re rapidly becoming a parody of yourself - you’re undoubtedly an avid Blue - but your kneejerk spoutings have gone beyond a joke.

Tony Marsh
44   Posted 02/02/2008 at 15:18:09

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Yet more whinging from Everton supporters because a fan like me wants more.If we are in 5th place in the league then I want us to be in 4th.If we get to 4th I want us to be in 3rd.Why not?To many of our supporters seem happy to be also rans and think of it as success.Its the British mentality and I hate it.Tim Henman,Frank Bruno,Eddie The Eagle were all serial losers yet treated like heros in this country just because they tried.Its bollocks.I like the American attitude were coming second counts for nothing.Your either a winner or a loser
and noone wants to know losers.The sooner we wake up and start expecting more the better.Whats wrong with wanting improvement and to see a winning mentality.Oh thats right we finished 4th once and things are a lot better than when Wally Smith was here.
THAT SURE IS SUCCESS.
Keith Glazzard
45   Posted 02/02/2008 at 15:27:25

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If we want to do it the American way perhaps we need American owners. The various reds are now paying the interest on the bank loans their owners took out to buy them in the first place. Very wise.

Personally, I think if we are 5th, we should be 4th .... and so on. Perhaps we just need those magic bullets to fire and the multi-millions to buy them (interest free). Perhaps we should be offering our soul to Russian gangsters or Arab governments.
Desmond Prosper
46   Posted 02/02/2008 at 16:23:11

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The New England Patriots are the toast of the NFL in America. They did not get there by buying flashy players or even the most skilled players. They bought players who had character and who could buy into the singular vision of the coach. Is that the American attitude you are referring to? I am no fan of the Patriots but I have much respect for them. It pleases me to see Mr. Moyes also following a program of buying players for the long term and not looking to pick up the latest "fashionable" player.
Look at Liverpool--what 50 million quid spent and what do they have to show for it? Newcastle, Spurs, Man City--all big spenders last summer and where are they now? Mr Moyes is not only interested in winning today--he is looking to secure the long term prosperity and fortune of the club.
Oh by the way, some of our best players are away at a "little" tournament you may have heard of called the African Cup of Nations. Our only defeat since they left has been to Chelsea--one of the best teams in Europe--by a single goal.

Joseph Daly
47   Posted 02/02/2008 at 18:32:53

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Just a quick note: ?and Yakubu could be gone for weeks?. The ACON finishes on 10th February so he will only miss one more game, against Reading and maybe an extra one against SK Brann and then he has 11 days to recover. And that?s if they get to the final. So, two games at most.
Dutch Schaffaer
48   Posted 02/02/2008 at 19:18:02

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Tony really is the last man you want to stand beside in a war. He gives up so easily.

I just hope the people around him don’t think all Everton fans are gloomy defeatists.
Art Greeth
49   Posted 02/02/2008 at 21:34:41

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Tony, I have consistently defended your right to post whatever you wish on here. I have consistently responded to you, point by point, in counter arguments. You simply fail to engage with such debate and your follow up post here is charateristic of how you react to responses to any post of yours.

1) I don’t see "whinging" from felloW Evertonians... I see reasoned responses, some of them in agreement with you Tony.

2) I don’t see supporters wanting less than you, because (as YOU claim) "a fan like me wants more".Your ambition for the club is, IMHO, much less than the majority of Evertonians BEYOND the forum of Toffeweb. You believe we will never achieve anything under the stewardship of Moyes and Kenwright - I believe many more think contrary to you.

3) I don’t subscribe to your opinion that: "Too many of our supporters seem happy to be also rans..." I want us to win trophies NOW!! THIS season, but I accept it takes more than wishful thinking to achieve that.

4) Everton is NOT a team of "serial losers". We are very much a team of serial winners this season.

5) I and many others do not meekly accept the attitude that "coming second counts for nothing.You’re either a winner or a loser". I very much want Everton to be winners, which they are being in the majority of their games this season. I recognize that under Moyes we are closer to being GENUINE winners (of trophies) than before his tenure when we believed it was victorious to finish in 17th place and avoiding relegation.

6) I quote: "no-one wants to know losers... what’s wrong with wanting improvement and to see a winning mentality?" This coming from a man who conceded the semi-final to Chelsea before a ball was kicked in anger in the second leg... this coming from a man who after the last minute defeat against Chelsea at SB declared "our season is over"... this from a man who in this thread describes our UEFA cup campaign as "grim".

Tony... you’re an idiot. But keep on posting. It doth tickle my ribs...


PS - still undefeated in the league in 2008, in spite of the absence of our African contingent... bastard midgets!!
Peter Corcoran
50   Posted 03/02/2008 at 12:18:35

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Tony

You must be losing your touch or are an imposter because I thought your comments were for a change reasonably tame and I agree with you on some points ? absoluyely nothing wrong with wanting to be better ? but Darren Bent? Come on!!

Your comment about BK & KW! Wouldn?t that make you happy if they did sail off into the sunset and leave us with an owner with some more money?

For Terry Maddock to suggest that we have no chance of finishing fourth must mean he is either a clairvoyant, stupid or thinks that the other teams around us a re better than us ? I am not sure they are. Having said that, you don?t need to be good, you just need a bit of luck, which is somethig we don?t have this season. We all know how jammy LFC are over the years so they are due some more super luck as they haven?t had any for a while.

I think that Villa are a real threat as they have sneaked up on us without setting the world alight but when we beat them at Goodison later in the season that will finish them off.

Look at next week?s fixtures, which could see us soaring above our rivals.
Ed Fitzgerald
51   Posted 03/02/2008 at 13:27:34

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The comments Mr Marsh makes in this post are are fairly reasonable. I dont agree with all of it but the response is way over the top. I suspect his most accurate and telling comment is that attributed to BK and Wyness, for they sure to run off with the loot once the Tescodrome is delivered and Terry Leahy takes over as chairman? Keith Glazzard highlights the plight of clubs of selling their soul to arab, russian and US investors without considering what true blue bill has presided over. Selling the soul of the club? at least Liverpool will be playing in Stanley Park, whilst we are playing in a fucking retail park! What a legacy to leave behind, somewhow I think his bank balance will be healthier and he wont be standing in the fucking rain for an hour trying to get a train home
Peter Eastoe
52   Posted 03/02/2008 at 14:35:59

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Never one to miss an opportunity to demonise the satanic trinity of Moyes, Kenwright and Wyness. Mr Marsh?s latest posterior emanating bilge doesn?t disappoint!
I love the idea of Messers Kenwright and Wyness as a pair of Gillette and Hicks venture capitalists whose long term ambition is to retire to Bahamas on their ill gotten gains from Tesco and some as yet unspecified collaborative investors?
Meanwhile agent Moyes goes about his business not to bring success on the field but to buck up the price of the club . Presumably Agent Moyes will then get a big fat pay-off and then disappear as Fergie?s sidekick?

Planet Marsh.... a lonely cold planet on the dark side of the moon!
Brian Waring
53   Posted 03/02/2008 at 15:27:06

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I can’t believe some of you! Tony, writes his opinion, doesn’t slate any fans, no bad language, tells it how he see’s it (his opinion ) and then get’s slagged off for it. Some of you lot want to fucking grow up.
Peter Corcoran
54   Posted 03/02/2008 at 15:54:55

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One other thing bout Tony’s disappointment in Moyes/performances/results.

It must mean that he believes we are better than our retsults and performances have shown so far, so maybe Tony does have some positive thoughts?

I agree with Brian Waring’s comments, athough there is no need for his bad language of for him to have a go at other fans as they are entitled to their opinion too.
Terry Maddock
55   Posted 03/02/2008 at 16:14:02

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Peter Corcoran
May I suggest you read my reply again...it is simply highlighting the points Tony Marsh made..and then giving the reasons to refute them.....I apologise if this was too difficult to understand
Peter Eastoe
56   Posted 03/02/2008 at 16:49:11

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I suspect that Tony Marsh attracts more criticism these days is due to the collapse of the When Skies are Grey site which was wrecked by an ill conceived re-launch by the rivals group. Owned by Sky I understand ?
WSAG was pretty much an Everton loyalist site where Mr Marsh wouldn?t have lasted five minutes.
He should be grateful that Toffeeweb are tolerant enough to humour him.
vinbleu
57   Posted 03/02/2008 at 19:58:20

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As usual, Mr Marsh has no sense of perspective, spouts comments based on ignorance and leave a very sour taste in the mouth. I went to Blackburn yesterday, enjoyed Everton’s performance and think we deserve to be fourth in perhaps the best and most lucrative football league in the world. I am a happy blue. This is the last time I shall respond to one Tony’s articles as I don’t think the quality of his comments deserve debate. He like one of those fools that phone in hosts love to encourage outraged response. Don’t do it chaps - he’s not worth it.
Mark Stone
58   Posted 03/02/2008 at 20:31:33

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"Go in to debt if neccesary as a 4th place finish would be payback time anyway"

The wisdom of Peter Ridsdale/Tony Marsh
Stan Sheppard
59   Posted 04/02/2008 at 12:54:40

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Midget players and Grim UEFA cup campaigns. My god, how terrible! I?d have to say that I thin Art Greeth is spot on in his opinions and his replies to this article.

Perhaps Tony should consider the same reasoned and rational approach in the future before he gives himself a hernia.
Steve Flanagan
60   Posted 04/02/2008 at 16:40:05

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Hmmm, so Mr Marsh wanted us to buy a forward during the January transfer window. Who was the last forward we bought in January - yes, step forward, Mr. James Beattie!!!!
Keith Glazzard
61   Posted 04/02/2008 at 21:09:55

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Ed Fitzgerald predicts that "Liverpool will be playing in Stanley Park". Best place for them. Stadiums are getting dearer by the day, and their finances are getting dodgier, so a kick about on the park will keep them out of trouble. What Ed calls "US investors" own the club with money they borrowed. The RS, not them, now pays the interest on their borrowing.

But never mind eh. If that all goes arse up a friendly Arab government will step in and save the day. No more Israeli players on their books of course - a small price to pay. Hardly like selling your soul, is it.

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