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Forgive the Yak and He Will Score

By Rob Paterson :  09/02/2008 :  Comments (43) :

The great essayist Lord Macauley once wrote ?We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality?. Had he but lived another 150 years, and read the recent threads about the ?Yak Crisis? he might have felt yet again vindicated in his observation. The response has at times bordered on the hysterical. Let us please try and put it into some perspective.

Yakubu broke club rules and no doubt the terms of his contract of employment. He has, if the reports are correct, been duly punished. I am yet to read, in any report, what, if any explanation has been offered by him for these failures. But one report had him ?full of remorse?. It is, perhaps, a reasonable assumption that his absence owed something to Nigeria?s defeat. Whatever it was, it was wrong.

Other managers have had to deal with much worse this season. Big Sam in his temporary occupation of the barcodes hot seat, woke up one morning to the news that one of his big signings was in jail. Even Wenger has had to cope with players having a public barney on the pitch. And these are the ones we hear about. Any professional will tell you that ?injury picked up in training? is often no more than a coded description of a discreet exercise of managerial discipline together with a fine which does not hit the back pages of the Daily Mail.

But from this infringement, speedily ,effectively and fairly dealt with by David Moyes, some have tried to make great capital, and others have stood on high to make sweeping moral judgments. Thus those who balked at his signing, perhaps those who also wrote in to compare him unfavourably with ?Back of the Echo? in his early days, have leapt up with finger ?wagging ?I told you so pronouncements? One thread was even entitled ?Is this the end of Yak? suggesting ,when the bare bones of the story were out, that the Yak was another Lineker who ? already has another club to go to.? It is even questioned whether we Evertonians will ever be able to get behind him again.

Well perhaps we ought to remember Neville Southall?s famous half time protest against Leeds all those years ago. Some fans, no doubt doing what they thought best for the club, produced a banner which read ( if memory serves) ?Judas Southall- once a binman always a binman)?. Well, whatever drove Neville to do as he did was sorted and he came back to us .

Now of course Yakubu?s brief spell so far does not really entitle him to find his name in the same article as the greatest goalkeeper this club has ever known, but the Southall incident affords a lesson from history against jumping to hasty conclusions. Yakubu responded perfectly to being dropped early into his Everton career and, in the view of most fair-minded neutrals, adopted a much more team- orientated focus to his game.

If nothing else, having received his punishment, he deserves to be given the fullest possible chance to make amends and not be subject to the hysterical and far-reaching judgments which have characterised some of the contributions on these pages over the last couple of days.

Reader Comments

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Mike Dolan
1   Posted 09/02/2008 at 03:19:13

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I think this whole incident is a bit of a storm in a teacup. Discipline is a must in any successful enterprise and the clubs restrained reaction in dealing with Yak strikes me as just about right. I think the bigger issue that needs to be addressed is the management of the worldwide International schedule. As football evolves more and more into clubs being brand names and players being commodities, such gormless situations like Tim Cahill leaving the club to play in an irrelevant friendly against Qatar become particularly galling. At some not to distant point the clubs that pay the not inconsiderate wages are going to say fuck FIFA. In the end the beautiful game is a club sport. It always has been and it always will be. The clubs can prosper without any international football (many do). International football could not exist without the club infrastructure.
Steve Ryan
2   Posted 09/02/2008 at 05:06:59

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Excellent, common sense article Rob to counter the ridiculous comments made in the mail bag by the likes of Kieran Donnelly and Greg Murphy.
By the way Mike, Australias "meaningless friendly" against Qatar was actually a World Cup qualifier.
peter bourke
3   Posted 09/02/2008 at 05:13:10

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I agrre Rob.

"Let he who hasn’t sinned cast the first stone".

We all make mistakes and we don’t know all of ther circumstances. Let the management deal with it and when the Yak is back on the pitch lets get behind him 100%.
And Mike you have embarrasedyourself son. Get your facts right before you waste your time and ours posting drival based on wrong information. International call ups will aleays be required and unless the season runs for 12 months of the year it is innevitable that players will be required to play for their countries and as a result be unavailable for club duties. Tim Cahill is in the squad to face reading so he won’t miss a thing. Last time he flew back from Aus and played he was man of the match.
Lue Glover
4   Posted 09/02/2008 at 07:56:16

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Thank you Rob, some common sense at last. I was tempted to respond to some previous doom, shit stirring, finger wagging posts but decided against it ,lest I should add fuel to the bonfire. He did wrong, has been punished, should be the end of the story? Oh course, some people no doubt, still stick pins in Manny shaped dolls after his treasonable act. Let’s just hope we can actually score a goal or two today though. Come on you Blues!
Jordan Smith
5   Posted 09/02/2008 at 08:12:25

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Lets just hope "The Yak" doesn’t turn into another VDM. Knowing Moyes’s recent record though i can’t see it happening. i believe Moyes is more experienced and mature than say 3/4 years ago. I would like to know the full story from "The Yak’s" point of view and then make my judgement rather than listen to any of the rubbish stories made up in today’s news world.
Lets get a good result tonight, C"MON YOU TOFFEES lets show these Reading boys a lesson and make amends for last time
Kevin Sparke
6   Posted 09/02/2008 at 08:47:08

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This is nothing to do with morality; it is to do with contempt. Contempt for you, for me, for the rest of the supporters ? contempt for Everton Football club?s aspirations to become a Champions League side.

In case you hadn?t noticed we are currently engaged in a no holds barred battle with Liverpool for fourth place. Yakubu, with his antics has deprived us of a potent goal scoring threat, jeopardised team cohesion just at the time when it is most needed most and made Moyes? job just that little bit harder.

The guy is a professional footballer? professional ? does that word mean as little to you as it obviously does Yakubu?

Remember another point, the guy has got a history of these sorts of troubling acts? usually before his agent requests a move blaming personality clashes. (Portsmouth, Boro). The people who have picked on this are not being hysterical, they are reading the signs and probably reaching a realistic conclusion.

I?ll not boo him, I don’t feel angry at him, just a little let down, I hope he scores a shed-full when he is allowed back into the fold with the guys who relish the thought of playing for Everton ? but do me a favour, don?t try to dress legitimate criticism of a thoughtless act, potentially destructive to our ambitions as a hysterical reaction - it isn’t. It is the supporters who pay this clown’s wages and they have a right to voice criticism, especially when their ambitions for Everton seem at odds with a player who by has actions has demonstrated he doesn’t give a flying fuck for Everton
7   Posted 09/02/2008 at 09:18:48

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What I can’t believe is that EFC bought him 3 bloody plane tickets so he could ’come back’.

Surely someone on £40k a week can afford his own travel costs to a tournament that is nothing to do with us!

The bloke is taking the pi$$. He has a lot of work to do to convince me that he is worthy of wearing royal blue. But I suspect he is not arsed eitherway as long as he gets fat pay checks and huge signing on fees.

Eric Myles
8   Posted 09/02/2008 at 09:09:15

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I haven’t read all the hystrionics surrounding the Yak’s absence except an initial report that said that he’d nipped off home to visit his family after Nigeria were knocked out of the African Cup of Nations.

If that’s what happened then I can’t say I blame him, he’s on their doorstep, probably hasn’t seen them for a while and is not likely to get to see them again in the near future.

It’s what I’d do, wouldn’t you?
Gavin Ramejkis
9   Posted 09/02/2008 at 10:05:44

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Great piece Rob, one example of this "injured in training" example I can give was several years ago Duncan Ferguson was due to play against Man Utd at the theatre of wet dreams, it was reported that he was injured in training and the truth was he was dropped and I saw him sporting a cracker of a black eye which I doubt was gained at Bellfield. At the end of the day the players are human and not perfect or angels we could be worse and have a thug like Barton between court dates or an alleged rapist from North London who suddenly managed to not only leave jail but return from Holland. He certainly doesnt seem to be disruptive to the team so lets just move on.
Stephen Burton
10   Posted 09/02/2008 at 10:55:12

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I can’t see what the big deal is. So he went home to Nigeria for a few days after the tournament. So what? Yes he should have rang to let the club know what he was up to but you know he would have been ordered back. Give the guy a break Moyesey.
ron leith
11   Posted 09/02/2008 at 11:03:10

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Did anybody hear Moyes interviewed in the Times by Gabrielle Marcotty. He said he had changed his once draconian management style to a more hands off approach. With players on £2million a year it is dificult to know what sort of sanction is going to work. I would have put Yakubu on the bench and made him run up and down the touchline for 45minutes. It appears to me that 20 something millionaires are going to be completely impossible to deal with. The ego’s of these characters must be immense. When Sheedy and Keown had a fight Kendall made them buy everybody a Chinese meal. When Beagrie drove a motorbike through a hotel window he got cuts and bruises to make him think twice. What we need is 11 Tim Cahill’s. Unfortunately there will always be the odd prima dona around.
Paul OHanlon
12   Posted 09/02/2008 at 11:07:51

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I agree we shouldn’t blow this out of proportion and once the Yak gets back in a blue shirt I’ll be right behind him.

But, at the moment I’m fuming with what he’s done this week. We’ve been struggling desperately in the past few weeks for goals. Whilst he been away we’ve lost one of the biggest games we’ve had in the last 10yrs and dropped 4 valuable Premiership points, missing our chance to open a gap between ourselves and the chasing pack. None of this is the Yaks fault of course because he’s been respresenting his country in a major tournament, which is fair enough. But what is his fault is that he’s not in the squad for todays MUST win game against Reading. We’re already without a number of key players and having our record signing on the pitch might just of helped a tad. I would’ve thought after watching our recent results from afar he’d feel a sense of duty to his club to get back ASAP and help his teammates get back on track.

I just hope the lads pickup the 3pts today and that the Yak convinces Moyes enough he’s sorry enough and worthy enough of a place in the squad travelling to Brann, cos we need him back and firing!
Ajamu Mutumwa
13   Posted 09/02/2008 at 11:28:38

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In all honestly I agree with Moyes approach.

I would though have tried another approach. I would have said to Yak, OK, you’re late so I’ll make a deal with you.

You go out today and score 3 goals. If you don’t, and even if you only score 2 goals, I’ll still fine you two weeks wages.

OK not the best idea in the world, but if he wants to make amend, there is no better place than on the field. He can’t make amend from the bench.
David OBrien
14   Posted 09/02/2008 at 11:37:33

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Who gives a Monkey’s either way - chalk it up and move the fuck on.
Kunal Desai
15   Posted 09/02/2008 at 11:54:38

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The Yak knew full when before he departed when he was due to report back to club training. If yobo could do so then why couldn’t he???? Like in any other job you would call in to say you will be absent and there should be no reason whatsoever why he shouldn’t have, this matter is infuriating as it comes less than 24 hrs before a crucial league fixture. I only hope this doesn’t have an effect on team morale and Moyes nips this in the bud quickly.
The least Yak can do is now come out and apologise to the fans, his team mates and give everyone a reasonable explanation of his late arrival. He’s not paid 40k a week to bugger off without a word to his employers!!!
Steve Hogan
16   Posted 09/02/2008 at 12:30:07

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Amazing, the number of people jumping to this guys defence.

He shits on the club from a great height at a crucial part of the season and everyone is preaching ’forgivness’.

Why don’t these overpaid lumps realise their first priority is to their team and fans.

If the circumstances were right, I would dump him, but then this is football isn’t it.
Pete Scofield
17   Posted 09/02/2008 at 12:14:33

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Great piece, Rob my arse. I’m not going to reiterate all of the reasons already stated which point to Yakubu’s total lack of respect for the club, his team mates & fans. Only to saythat if the same thing had been done by a player of less worth to the team than Yakubu appears to be right nowthen postings of the ilk of yours Rob would have instead been baying for blood. Yours is the argument that is sententious. Those of us who feel the outrage & slam the man for his actions are not the ones who have grabbed the moral high ground. To do anything other than Moyes has done would smack of hypocrisy & then some
Anthony Lamb
18   Posted 09/02/2008 at 13:03:04

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Just got back from a few days away and so have missed "the yak" details until today. Although we are not party to all the details of his failure to return on time all as I can say is that David Moyes deserves our total support in taking action against Yakubu and our sympathy in his task of trying to manage some of these guys whose grasp on reality is totally distorted by the obscene monies they "earn". But for the life of me I do not know what is worse - the contempt Yakubu has shown regarding his professional responsibilities not least towards the people who often fork out limited cash to support the club he is supposed to represent or the "give the guy a break Moysey" mentality expressed in some of the the mails. I back David Moyse all the way in whatever he does with Yakubu and yes I would back him in "giving the guy a break" long as it started with his neck.
Anthony Lamb
19   Posted 09/02/2008 at 13:26:20

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Sorry about the Moyes/Moyse spelling - its the anger mixing with the jet-lag!jet lag!
Ron Haslam
20   Posted 09/02/2008 at 14:55:37

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I totally agree with Kevin Spacke, Amanda etc and cannot believe that people are jumping to the defence of this moron! He has shown that he does not give a monkeys about his team or his team mates, let alone the supporters who pay his highly inflated wages! He is a totally unprofessional disgrace and does not deserve to wear the Everton colours!
john sreet
21   Posted 09/02/2008 at 17:35:07

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OK so he went walk about. Not good, but I think his punishment is sufficient. As for all you finger waggers and the ’nail him to the cross’ brigade, who amongst you has never cheated his employer, a day off here, a day off there, taking this taking that.
We all take liberties, some big some small, but if it’s wrong it’s wrong, so everybody chill out!
Ian Ankers
22   Posted 09/02/2008 at 18:07:47

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These people saying "How can we get on the Yak’s back about this, we’ve all wagged work at sometime" are taliking nonsense. Its completely different to take a sicky when you stack shelves or dig holes for a living. What people tend to forget is that these people are sportsmen! Sportsmen that should take pride in competition and strive to be the best they can be for themselves and there team. It shouldn’t be a chore to play for everton, these players should be racing back to merseyside to put on the blue shirt!

I like to think that Everton players are 100% committed to the cause, realize how blessed they are to be in this proffession and look forward to every day as an Everton player. Obviously in this age of football that isn’t always the case, but its still is a kick in the teeth when such disregard for the club is displayed so obviously. Playing for Everton should be an honour, a priveledge and a joy first and foremost and a way of earning a living only after that and it should never be regarded as a work dodge and easy money for doing nothing!
Also to be totaly honest, if you do want to compare being a premiership footballer with the job of us ’average joes’ then lets do so...I can tell you for a fact that if I didn’t turn up for work without any reason or warning I’d pretty much expect to be sacked and I bet alot of jobs would do the same. I don’t think the Yak should be ditched, far from it, but only because that would punish the club more than it would hurt the player himself, but how anyone can say he doesn’t deserve the criticism and punishment he’s received is beyond me.
Willy Russell
23   Posted 09/02/2008 at 20:23:30

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Without going over a lot of the stuff that’s already been written, I must say that I firmly come down on the side of the folk who have heavily criticised the Yak for his blatant contempt of our club. I do agree however that we probably need his input for the remainder of the season to try and retain our top four spot.

More to the point though, you somehow knew after just a month or so (and despite the goals), that Yakubu is not the kind of player who is going to last at Everton (the same kind of feeling that you had after watching James Beattie for a few weeks).

That being the case, let him pay his fine, get him back in the side after his rebuke from Moysey, and play him for the rest of the season. Hopefully his stock will still be high and we can move him on to his next paymaster for at least what we paid for him. We can then spend the (not inconsiderable) sum on someone who can hopefully score goals and who actually gives a toss for the club and the fans who pay his wages.
Alan J A
24   Posted 09/02/2008 at 21:05:42

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With Rob Paterson’s self opinionated ’Forigive and Forget’ comments, which underestimates the intelligence of fellow Evertonians, is there little wonder such namby-pamby attitudes are endemic in our National Sport? After all, you only have to focus on the fact that we have employed the service of an Italian who is attempting to install the discipline and respect the English National Team is badly lacking and which the likes of Yakubu and his Premier League colleagues, feel free to pursue.
Barry Cass
25   Posted 10/02/2008 at 00:57:26

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Can’t really believe the comments i’m reading on here ! Have Liverpool supporters invaded this site ??

Leave the Yak alone , he was wrong he’s been fined and was axed from today’s win. Get over it !! All this talk of chasing champions league places is only a possibility because of HIS goals !! Anyone who was at the match today, and sometimes I do wonder, will have seen for themselves that he is the player we miss the most.

I’m not saying he wasn’t a wanker but all this disrespectful shit is a joke. Is it any worse than the disrespect shown to all us supporters who went to the Oldham FA Cup tie by our manager ? Not a chance. All his detractors will be singing his name again when he’s banging the goals in again !!

Lighten up we are 4th , the manager took a disciplined stance it paid off now lets forget about it and stuff Brann on wednesday.
John Sreet
26   Posted 10/02/2008 at 19:05:43

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Still can?t believe the drivel I?m reading, we should get Moyes build a set of stocks, then we can chain him up and pelt him.
He was disrespectful yes, he let us down yes, he?s got a reputation yes. He also comes from a Africa where 6000 die of aids every day, who knows what issues he has, ............with friends and family. Seems that because he?s highly paid he should know better, be better, act better......can?t figure that one out!........He?s been punished, don?t judge him be the mistakes n
he?s made, judge by how he fixes them......
Julian van Lingen
27   Posted 11/02/2008 at 05:29:51

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I agree with Rob. The posts calling for Yakubu to be sacked, saying he is unfit to wear Everton’s colours, and questioning his integrity without any idea of the circumstances behind his lateness are hysterical.

Yes he didn’t return from Africa on time. Yes he did not abide by team rules. Yes he has let the fans, his team, and his manager down.

Should Yakubu be punished? Of course he should. Those calling for no punishment are as bad as those calling for him to be sacked. In addition, it should not matter whether we are challenging for the title itself, or plodding along in mid-table mediocrity. Team rules were broken, and assuming it was made clear there was punishment for doing so, punishment ought to follow.

David Moyes is the Manager and he is dealing with the situation as he sees fit. It has been reported that Yakubu expressed remorse, and that Moyes has imposed punishment. Yakubu has been fined two weeks wages, has already been omitted from the squad to play Reading, and may also be absent from the Brann game. If there are any further punishments Moyes intends to impose, then so be it.

I have heard nothing from Moyes to suggest his future at Everton is at risk, or that his lateness is due to something sinister which calls into question his integrity. If there has been something sinister, then I will stand with those who condemn.

Let Yakubu’s punishment take its course, and when Moyes decides to let him back into the team, let’s all celebrate the goals he brings us. As he demonstrated for Nigeria, and as he has done so for us in his brief time, he certainly knows how to put them away.
Tim Marchant
28   Posted 11/02/2008 at 09:38:21

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Every club needs a misfit or two. VDM looks (at the moment) to be forcing his way back into the squad. Lesson learned?
We’ll see on that one.

As for the Yak, is it that much of a suprise that he went to see his family? Maybe he should have arranged it with the club before he left, or at least pad for them to come and see him here, he earns enough to pay for a family full of flights over here.
Chris Briddon
29   Posted 11/02/2008 at 10:02:03

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Just to clarify - Yak was supposed to be back on Wednesday - he came back Thursday evening.
If he had not turned up for 3 or 4 days and missed games as a result then I could understand all the fuss. As it was he was a day late. Punished - move on - end of story.

Oh and Mike Dolan - Tim Cahill was playing in a world cup qualifier against Qatar not a meaningless friendly!
Greg Murphy
30   Posted 11/02/2008 at 12:06:55

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Steve Ryan, bit harsh saying my comments on Friday were "ridiculous". All credit to you, though, and those like you, such as Chris Briddon above, for being so sanguine about the whole situation.

Actually, it has to be said, if you read my post again from Friday at 10.16, I didn’t actually advocate any punishment for Yakubu. In fact, ironically, I had a huge creosote stain down the back of my kecks on this one.

All’s I was saying was that the lad - in comparison to Yobo - has a bit of a sus-attitude. He has. But we knew we were getting "baggage" when we signed him.
Yer takes yer choice and pays yer money, in effect.

And, it has to be said, we missed the lad badly on Saturday and I believe that he would have slotted the chance that AJ put into the side-netting (not to mention sliding that one underneath the keeper in the Spurs game).

That’s the difference between the two players. AJ can huff-n-puff all he wants and we love him for it.

Meanwhile, the Yak just struts...but we know the end result.
Peter Roberts
31   Posted 11/02/2008 at 12:18:29

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It?s quite a shame that people are so naive as to think footballers give one about the clubs they play for in this day and age, particularly mercenaries like Yakubu. So please cut the hysteria, for crying out loud. We all knew that the Yak is a mercenary, only interested in the size of his wallet, but there?s no denying that he?s a fantastic footballer who knows how to put the ball in the back of the net.

Yes, he broke club rules, yes he should be punished. But please stop this hysterical crap about "he only cares about himself and not the club, get rid" because that, I?m afraid to say, is the way football is. I don?t think I even saw this bad a treatment of Judas when he left for United, and what he did was a lot worse than what Yakubu?s done.
Steve Syder
32   Posted 11/02/2008 at 12:35:50

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The Yak received the maximum permissible fine - so he suffered (peanuts, I know, but only he lost out).

Leaving him out of the team potentially makes the team and us suffer.

Moyes was wrong to drop him, and still doesn’t seem to have grasped that AJ needs to grow about a foot if he’s to play up front on his own.
Tony Waverleas
33   Posted 11/02/2008 at 13:30:33

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You can’t help feeling Yakubu’s non-show has allowed certain fans to vent understandable spleen - understandable in the sense that in the light of Scudamore’s disgustingly crass proposals last week even the most saintly amongst us will admit to being near the end of our tethers.
The ordinary match-going fan has never felt so disenfranchised from the game so it’s hardly any wonder the Yak’s been getting in the neck.

But let’s maintain some perspective. Leave it to the manager to manage and when you next get the opportunity either boo the Yak or applaud him. You pays your money after all. And then let’s finally put the thing to bed.

And for what it’s worth I’d have to say Yakubu’s biggest mistake was not being white not being called "Big Dunc" and not having an Everton Light tattoo.
Tommy Curtis
34   Posted 11/02/2008 at 16:39:55

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This sort of behaviour is not acceptable in this day and age. Moyes really needs to make an example of this to the rest of the squad. If he doesn’t then what is to stop VDM going AWOL.

If this continues then there is only one solution...MOYES OUT!
Tony Williams
35   Posted 11/02/2008 at 17:31:40

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Are you back on the ale Tommy or haven’t stopped from Saturday
Ian Curtis
36   Posted 11/02/2008 at 17:52:12

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Finally Tommy, someone who speaks sense. If moyes continues down this stupid, negligent path there is no way we can keep him at the club. See how he deals with this and then, out.
Nate Griffin
37   Posted 11/02/2008 at 18:55:01

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Curtis has hit the nail on the head. Moyes lets Yak swan around like he owns the place, everyone will start acting the big time charlie. If Moyes isn’t big enough to deal with this like a man, let’s get someone in who can really take us places. We need someone with experience of the top level of the game, like Bryan Robson or Steve McClaren
Cahills Corner Flag
38   Posted 11/02/2008 at 20:08:47

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Just to let you know, I’m more fruity than a bagful of mangos. Phwoar
Gavin Lawrence
39   Posted 11/02/2008 at 19:40:15

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Nate i hope to God you are joking when you mention Maclaren & Robson in the same sentence as Everton?! if not i think you better take yourself off down to ’D’block or Anfield you choose.I am leaving at 7am on tuesday morning for Brann and i dearly hope the Yak is going too i think he has had his punishment now lets move on,i for one dont want him left out anymore,if we dont beat Brann and he doesn’t play Moysie will have done far more harm than good! im taking my wife and six year old daughter too and its cost me £800 so far thats without spends,so i dont want to be punished after that sort of investment and thats how ill feel if he doesn’t play and i dont earn £40,000 a week ! my £800 will hurt me far more than the yaks fine hurt him if he is left out. In Moyes we trust !
Nate Griffin
40   Posted 12/02/2008 at 09:09:08

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Gavin, why not? They know what it means to deal with big egos. If everton are to progress we need better, bigger players at the club. Moyes has proved he cannot handle top class talent, e.g. Radzinksi.
Paul Mycock
41   Posted 12/02/2008 at 13:18:47

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Nate, Radz was one of many examples of Moyes’ inept managing style, did you even consider Kilbane, and even Jeffers in his second stint. Such a waste of talent.
Bucky O'Hare
42   Posted 12/02/2008 at 16:52:28

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It?s easy to dismiss what McClaren did, but remember he took Boro to the UEFA final, which I?m sure all Blues would be happy with if he could replicate that for us.

Dowie has also become free over the last couple of days and I?m sure he would love the chance to work at a big club, and also with AJ again. He could sort out this stadium nonsense too, which Moyes just seems to be going along with.
Kieran Fitzgerald
43   Posted 12/02/2008 at 21:07:29

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I?m just surprised this got aired in public. If Yak broke an agreement or club rule then fine, punish him appropriately. Don?t go telling everyone afterwards though. This seems like a double punishment.

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