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Reasons to be cheerful.....Part 3...

By James Marshall :  15/04/2008 :  Comments (56) :
So another season draws to a close and we're all pissed off with the state of our team, the management, the chairman, the board, Liverpool, the ground move and just about everything that involves the colour blue.... hell I even saw a man this morning shouting at the sky (though he was wearing threadbare clothes and carrying an enormous crucifix ? you may have seen him if you frequent West London).

But you know what? It ain't so bad; we're 5th, 4 points clear of the FA Cup finalists, and 3 of the 4 teams above us are in the Champions League semi-finals. Now to my mind that makes us a pretty good team in the grand scheme of things; a team that in recent years has been an absolute nightmare to support - every game used to come around and we'd all be hoping we don't get a hiding, when winning about 7 games a season was all we could hope for. Look at us now, every game I feel like we can win it and if David Moyes and the current regime has given us nothing to cheer ultimately (ie silverware/4th place) then at the very leats we've been given a winning mentality and a huge amount of expectation. Expectation is a wonderful thing and its importance should never be underestimated.

Of course we all want to win something; David Moyes, Bill Kenwright and the players more than any of us - after all, its them that's puts in the hard work, all we do is watch and complain!

Now that the end is in sight we should all be thankful for what we've got, the glass really is half full ? OK we may not play like Arsenal or Man Utd every week, but then who does? We may have lost both derbies this season but our time will come ? it always does. Stability is now a key word at Goodison, something we haven't had in years, if ever so again something to be happy about. Progress, yes definately we've made progress ? we've gone from being a bottom 6/mid table yo-yo team to a top half/top 6 every year team ? if you think the next step is easy then go ask Liverpool how easy its been for them to win the title and break into the top 4 properly - they still haven't managed it in truth.

In the words of the late great Ian Dury....."A bit of grin and bear it" is what's called for 'til May - we're a team on the up regardless of what the doom-mongers want to preach; it's human nature to focus on the negative, just read today's paper or watch the news ? all negative, positivity is frowned upon, especially in this country and it doesn't have to be that way.

Someone mentioned in another thread about sitting with the Brum fans at the weekend and the way they supported their team was exactly the same as ours ? negative which I'm sure is extremely beneficial to the players!

I look forward to every game now, something I haven't done for years and I know you all do as well ? that alone should be enough to make you enjoy supporting your team..... next season WILL be a good one for Evertonians, much like this one has been....

Reader Comments

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Martin Cutler
1   Posted 15/04/2008 at 18:06:36

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Good post, agree on all points.

I will be a little bit happier when 5th is guaranteed.....I’d be shocked if we got 4th now but, hey, I’d take it gladly!

There have been all sorts of comments, explanations, feedback etc on our current plight and regardless of the final outcome, regardless of why we’re in the current mess we’re in.........it has been a fantastic season.............now, if Wigan can tie with Chelsea at their ground.....what does that say for our chances (I can hear Michael now: "Nothing, ffs!), lol, well in looking at the remaining fixtures it’s almost bum-tightening looking at the various combinations and who plays who.....Portsmouth do clearly have an easier run (I think) so it’s going to be almighty effing close!!!

COYB!!!!!
Sean McKenna
2   Posted 15/04/2008 at 19:56:16

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Yes, we have done a decent job this season but how can you say that you look forward to watching Everton games? The type of football we play is absolute crap at the minute ? it's like watching a Sunday pub team without the excitement of a Sunday league game! I know we have a lot of injuries and some tired legs but please don't say you enjoy that type of football. At the minute I would prefer to watch teletext and hope we win one-nil, saves the agony.
Neil Scott
3   Posted 15/04/2008 at 20:41:32

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Nice try james. We definitely need your positive mental attitude right now but sadly I see it like this.

1. Fiorentina was bigger than we thought. The players saw this as a real chance to take something from this season?s massive efforts and once gone everything became an anti climax.

2. The core of this season?s ?feelgood? team is missing and our style has gone completely as a result.

3. The remainder of the team seems to have nothing left to give and cannot be remotivated for the final push - no matter how many times PN calls for it on the internet.

4. It's hard to be thankful for what you?ve got when it could - and should - have been a lot more...

5. Next season will be MUCH harder than this one. We finished last year at a canter and all the signs were there that we would be a force this year. We became so, and we had a real chance to bury Liverpool and a few others whilst we they were weaker. The players and EFC knew that. Few would argue that chance has gone, and with it much better future finances and the pick of the summer signings.

So, much as I appreciate the great steps that we have taken, and I truly hope I?m wrong and the boys pull 3 huge games out of the bag, I can?t agree with quite a bit of what you say as my glass doesn?t feel half-full right now.

The ?S? in NSNO didn't stand for ?stability? my friend.
Robert Carney
4   Posted 15/04/2008 at 21:33:14

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I look forward to some real positive attitudes Thursday night.

I am sorry but the future is not looking bright for many of us at the moment. We are looking another debacle with Steve P in the face. Blame the agents we all hear, getting a bit thin now is it not?

If these so-called fans running this club get away with the Kirkby move, where does that leave us?

When you say West London, I hope you are not a PR guru for you know who!
Anthony Newell
5   Posted 15/04/2008 at 22:45:02

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"I look forward to every game now, something I haven’t done for years and I know you all do as well "

Can I have some of what your taking?
Mike Grundy
6   Posted 15/04/2008 at 23:07:36

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Anthony Newell ? It's called a small dose of positive thinking. Jesus Christ, would you have taken the position we are in now at the start of the season?

I think this is a good article and i think we all need to keep our chins up. There's no disaster going on, we are just a small squad that has ran out of steam and is low on confidence, that's it! Some of us are talking as if we are about to get relagated...
Paul Hardcastle
7   Posted 16/04/2008 at 01:33:19

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Great comment, Neil. Sums up the current level of disappointment and frustration some of us are feeling. No matter how many of these morale-boosting positive-spin "Reasons to be Cheerful" pieces I have to read on here, they make not one jot of difference to the fucking awful football my club is playing at the moment. I?ll repeat that last bit coz these guys with the full season perspective don?t seem to get it... AT THE MOMENT we are playing like SHITE. It is absolutely not good enough, and everyone who wants to is fully entittled to have a go in my book. It?s not about chosing to be cheerful or miserable, it?s about watching the umpteenth hoofball and saying to yourself "Jaysus H fucking Christ... this is the team I support... and that?s really the best they can do??"
Matthew Lim
8   Posted 16/04/2008 at 04:06:46

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I have to agree with James..... given the amount of $$$ DM has, what he has acheived over the years is incredible. DM has slowly but surely built a team that has the ability to go far in both domestic and UEFA/Champions league. Qualification for UEFA/Champions league has to be a bonus, a reward of a good season, rather than a ?finiancial need?. No names here, but I believe some clubs simply cannot afford to miss out on European qualification solely because of finiancial burdens, otherwise these clubs will ?never walk again?.... I believe DM and BK are building Everton up in a way that a football club should be managed..... NSNO (do your best and reap the rewards). Chelsea next.... and I believe DM and co. can do it.... like what Mike said, there?s no doomsday. Criticisms are inevitable, but these have to be constructive (rather than damming) for things to improve.
Great job DM, and keep it going! The race ain?t over till it is over! COYB!
Martin Cutler
9   Posted 16/04/2008 at 04:25:36

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In support of all those who see the glass as half-full, I’d like to say that I’m a bit tired of hearing negative crap more often than not.
I have made it clear most recently that we’re playing absolutely shite of late.........but for me it’s been an incredible season...and nothing or nobody, or the current performances, can take that away.
As Paul said above.....being cheerful doesn’t make a jot of difference to the standard of play...well, equally moaning and groaning and tearing the team apart (on paper) will not make any effin difference either.
I have made previous comments on here (different threads) and been tore into by a couple of ignorant shites (one apologised so fair enough) but what is it with this site?
Yes, we are playing awful.......and yes we are entitled to comment as we see fit but don’t slam your fellow posters, your fellow Evertonians FFS.
Make YOUR point and effin well move on!
Matthew Lim
10   Posted 16/04/2008 at 05:01:34

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Point taken Martin. My apologies for my out-of-point comments. Main point is, while every game counts, the perspective of the whole season should not be out aside. At the moment the games played could indeed have been better, but it is difficult with so many players out and having a small squad of players......I can only hope that the fit players do their part to finish the race and keep their chins up......and that?s DM?s job to keep the men running....when the going get?s tough, I can only hope that the tough gets going.
Martin Cutler
11   Posted 16/04/2008 at 05:59:43

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My apologies Matthew...I wasn’t aiming my comment directly at you, it was more of a general statement applying to many current threads on this site.
I only made direct reference to one of your lines because it was very relevant to the point I was trying to make.
I should add that we all feel the pain right now and I can’t tell you how much it depresses me to watch my team (our team!) live on the tele stuck here in the States and then they go and put in a piss-poor performance.....I felt sorry for Howard in the latest game...he was outstanding and he was obstructed for the free-kick!
I’ll be watching the live text on Thursday when we play Chelsea..........tough, tough game.......it’s an absolute must win for both teams.........a win would be F-Fantastic but I’ll take a draw........a good result is what we need to carry into the next games......Villa will be tough......I think we can beat Arsenal.........hopefully it doesn’t require a win in the last game although I reckon we could beat Keegans-lot. (And, no, I’m not predicting anything.....more of a gut-feel as to how I think we’ll do. Or would that still be considered a prediction! Oh, well!)

COYB!!!!!!!!!!
Derek Thomas
12   Posted 16/04/2008 at 07:04:07

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You (Moyes and the Rooney money) coulda been the catalyst that sparked the revolution, but you settled for the Razzle in you pocket as the 2nd prize.... NEARLYOCRITY
Matthew Lim
13   Posted 16/04/2008 at 09:04:08

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Hi Martin, no worries! I have a bad habit of going off the point.....perhaps it is less painful for me as I do not have the luxury of live football here (only the occasional youtube videos that gets removed almost immediately), hence I am a lot less critical and am in no position to comment on their overall performance of late (but I do note the correlation of the end of the UEFA cup run and Everton’s EPL performance). Well, I have to agree that Everton really have to try to beat Chelsea (though with the current fit palyers I won’t be complaining much if it was a draw). But hey, in the past years I won’t even be talking about a draw, but now at least we are all harboring hopes and optimism that it is a job that can be done. Won’t be able to watch, but I will be looking forward to a big smile on DM’s face and all our faces after this match! COYB! It’s time to show what you guys are made of!
Neil London
14   Posted 16/04/2008 at 09:40:29

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If we manage to finish ?Best of the Rest? is all we can ever hope for. With our board and crappy ground that?s as good as it can ever get. Those who expect more live in a wonderland and will spend their lives being miserable buggers. So wake up and enjoy the Moyes ? whilst you still have him!
Ciarán McGlone
15   Posted 16/04/2008 at 09:46:30

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You see, it’s this kind of attitude that probably allows BK to sit in his ivory tower and survey all he owns with the usual smug grin....and be content in the notion that most of them are ’happy with what they’ve got’....

Why exactly should we be ’happy with what we’ve got’...Why should we be happy with atrocious football against permiership whipping boys? Why should we be happy with absolutely no investment from day 1 from our chairman? Why should we be happy with the state of this stadium move and the nonsense ’facts’ and ’figures’ that have been trotted out by the so-called ’peoples club’? Why should we be happy with a CEO who threatens to take fans to court? Why should we be happy that Moyes seems to be the only person in the world who thinks Phil Neville is good enough to play in midfield? Why should we be happy that all our club assets are being sold off? Why should we be happy that Robert Earls input to everton amounts to giving a right wing wrinkly actor free tickets to goodison? Why should we be happy that we threw away a chance of CL football against Fulham?

Why oh why oh why oh why?

There are a hell of a lot of things NOT to be happy about at the minute, and excuse me if i don’t feel like letting the people responsible off the hook.

@Martin Butler,
Quite frankly Martin, i’m more than tired of sycophantic and positive drivel that capitulates to the problems at this club...so, ditto!
Darren Gough
16   Posted 16/04/2008 at 10:26:54

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How about, for once, we take a longer view approach to this? Unless we get a sudden £100million injection of cash, we need to build slowly and sensibly.

It’s no coincidence that the best clubs are the ones who give their managers time. We have gone from being a bottom 6 club to a top 6 one and that, for me, is one hell of an achievement. DM has had his hands tied with cash and has given us stability and an expectation of being toward the top half of the league.

You can say all you want about "disappointment" "unacceptable" and "crap" performances of late, but every club that isn’t Man United this season is saying exactly the same about their club. Wenger was 5 mins away from a CL semi final place...now Arsenal have got nothing to play for and there is actually speculation about whether he is good enough..unbelievable. Look at Sven - a recent run of poor results and he’s now crap again, having spent a TON of cash. Grant is 50/50 to stay in a job and they are semi final of the CL and 2nd in the Premier League. They drew at Wigan on Monday - EVERY SIDE HAS THIS.

And here we sit 5th in the league, having slowly and deliberately built season on season and people just come on here and moan. How about we look to the next 5 years. Im sure DM knows he needs to improve the squad, but he spent money carefully to get players to bring his this far..ok so perhaps they arent good enough to take us the next step, but give the man time to develop that next stage. These things take time and money - one of which some fans seem unable to give, and the other we don’t have a huge amount of.

We are now looking like being a regular Uefa cup team; this attracts a better quality of player and money and thus the next stage of building begins. BE PATIENT.
Ciarán McGlone
17   Posted 16/04/2008 at 10:49:01

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The inherent problem with your approach Darren, is that most fans understand that building a team takes time...what they see as the rubicon to this is the investment issue...we can give DM all the time in the world...but that?s not going to change the fact that proper investment in the team isn?t forthcoming.

Breaking a wage structure and buying high quality players will not come no matter how long we wait under Kenwright. That?s the problem.

...and technically we?ve went from a bottom half team to a top half team...not bottom 6 to top 6. Realistically it?s hardly a massive change in 6 years, is it?
Darren Gough
18   Posted 16/04/2008 at 11:06:29

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@ Ciarán

OK, if you want to labour a point, bottom half to top half. However that top half includes a CL and a UEFA cup finishing place. Yes, to me that’s a massive change from lower half of the table obscurity. If it’s not "massive" to you, fair enough, but most clubs below us would take that "insignificant" swop in a second :)

As far as i can see our signings in the last few years have signified a significant step up from where we were. Let’s take personal view on players aside for a minute (otherwise we’ll be here all day), but are you telling me Yakubu (who in my view has had a pretty decent season based on goal return) would have come to us were we a bottom of the table side? Unlikely? AJ was hot property when we signed him and had his choice of a number of decent clubs (again, let’s leave aside what we think of him since, the fact was people other than Moyes rated him at the time) but he choose a club seemingly progressing.

We are no longer looking just as players who are either untested, or nearing the end of their careers any more. I don’t have the stats on this, but i’d take a guess that the average age of the squad is down significantly.



However investment isn’t the b all end all is it? I mentioned the Sven situation - that’s no all roses is it? We’re ahead of a club in Pompey who have spent too (and before anyone points out FA Cup final, ill simply say that they have had the luckiest and most uninspiring route to the final ever..so let’s not get that confused with stunning performances). Our lauded players are Cahill, Arteta, Lescott - combined spend of, what, £10mil or so? What are these worth on the market today? Baines is going to be class too, no doubt in my mind about that- again a potential bargain.

I’m just saying that no club, apart from the PL winners is ever that happy with their team, but from where we’ve come from we are doing pretty well in my view.
Ciarán McGlone
19   Posted 16/04/2008 at 11:38:01

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I don’t consider being correct as ’labouring a point’..and the difference between where we were in the table (i.e bottom half) and where we are at the moment is not that much...all the teams around us have improved as well...so to say that it’s a massive shift is a littleerroneous ...3 seasons ago we finished 17th...so to suggest that we couldn’t be down in that half again is a little naive. It’s hard to name a team who hasn’t improved over the last 5 years...and the one or two your could name, will probably disappear this season.

Whenever we bought Beattie, apparently it was a choice between him and Yakubu...and the fact that he went to middlesboro hardly suggests a high level of competition for his signature.
AJ was hardly hot property, we were the best of a mid-table teams looking his signature...so again, not true.

Yes, the average age of the squad is down significantly, and i’ll be the first one to state that we’ve improved under moyes...However the point i’m making is that Moyes can only do so much with the calibre of player he is financially armed to buy....and in my opinion he’s reached that pinnacle!

To suggest that giving him more time will result in us improving is not a belief i concur with. the lowest common denominator is not time afforded to Moyes, it is investment provided by the person who holds the major shareholding.

At this stage of the game, i’m convinced that investment IS the only decisive factor in progression.
Darren Gough
20   Posted 16/04/2008 at 11:51:02

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Well, firstly your opening paragraph seems bizarre to me...we’ve moved from 17th to 4th/5th in 3 years AND the teams around us have improved?! I’m lost on that one i must say! Surely that makes it a BETTER achievement?

Were Boro not Uefa cup challengers at the time? I’m actually not sure on that - i can’t quite remember the timings but for a while i recall them being toward the higher end of the table, Carling Cup finalists and Uefa cup finalists.. so not a bad old side? However if the Yak wasn’t there at that time im happy to concede.

"we were the best of a mid-table team looking his signature" - well i think that’s subjective both on where we were at the time and who else was after him, but from what i’d read and seen i differ from your point here. Fair enough though, differing opinions.

I don’t disagree about investment, but im also saying it’s not the magic pill that will solve all our problems. It hasn’t worked at Man City (Sven has gone from being reborn as a great coach before Xmas to having his job in doubt post), in terms of league position vs us it hasn’t worked at Pompey at this exact moment in time either. Hell, let’s be honest in terms of the league it hasn’t worked at Liverpool and they’ve spent a shed load. Look at Newcastle - they’ve spent more than almost any other club in the last 6 years, gone through a host of managers and players and are still average at best.

The fact is though that we don’t currently have it so we have to deal with the facts as we have them, which is why i find it so disheartening that the team and DM seems to get it in the neck so often on here. i’m sure DM would LOVE a ton more cash, but until it happens he has to do with what he has.

Now in terms of big Bill, i don’t know the exact ins and outs of what is and isnt available to Everton via him, so ill have to take a lot of what people say on here at face value (insofar as the view is he doesn’t invest enough). What i will say though is that i refuse to believe Bill sits there twiddling his beard and fashioning ways to keep progression of Everton stifled. Surely?

I think partly we are arguing slightly different points in the grand scheme of things - we both agree that we’d like more money, im just saying that in the last 6 years under DM we’ve made one hell of a progression. If people don’t see it as that, fair enough, but for a club with our options and limited resources i am more than happy with the journey under DM so far...now we’re looking like being a more consistent European face, i guarantee it opens doors to a different class of player. Believe it or not not all players are solely money focused - a lot of them would rather come to a club like us on a bit less, but be playing football regularly in Europe and at the right end of the table than sat in the reserves at the big guns.
Rob Hollis
21   Posted 16/04/2008 at 12:10:07

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For all of our (and I include myself) moaning about things, we have seen some good stuff this season. Pity the squad was not completed for the opening of it.

Why do you think there is no move to buy Everton from a fans grouping like we hear from Liverpool? I suspect because we have not got a big enough fan base to raise the money. Then would fans run it better? The current Chairman is of course a fan.

Unless a wealthy investor comes along then we will just hav to grin and bear it until we get into the Champions League and have a decent run. Everything we might attract from sponsors and investors is all about profile.

I personally would like to see a few million spent on an advertising campaign which will put the achievements of Everton down the years into some real perspective instead of our current profile of a mediocre club punching above its weight. Then we might grab some attention. Some focus upon the relegation of other clubs when we have stayed in the top flight might be a good idea. I think our promotion and PR needs beefing up. The teams above us get it free from Sky and the press.
Mike Coates
22   Posted 16/04/2008 at 12:49:16

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Positives and Optimism cont.

Vs Chelsea (2-1 WIN! Yak & Fernandes finally)

Vs A.Villa (4-3 WIN! Villa kicking a few lately)

Vs Arsenal (1-0 WIN! Johnson does it again)

Vs Newcastle (3-2 WIN! Reverse of prev game.. Viduka scores)

:)
Bob Turner
23   Posted 16/04/2008 at 12:49:51

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Ciaran, nice to see you have conviction in "being right", but I personally think that what you have there is "an opinion", worth no more or less than anyone else’s.

As regards your individual points, I think Darren has addressed them perfectly adequately, but if you think going from a bottom 6 side to a bottom 6 side is "hardly a massive change", it is my opinion that you are mistaken.

I could name quite a few teams who have not improved over the last 5 seasons, but let’s look at the league table in the season we finished 17th. Of the 12 teams directly above us, 8 are currently in worse positions, whereas 4 (Portsmouth, Tottenham, Blackburn and Man City) have improved - incidentally, these 4 finished 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th, and I am sure their fans think their current positions are a massive change, too (excluding Tottenham).

Of the other 8, 2 are currently in the Championship (Charlton and Southampton - aren’t they doing well??), 2 are heading that way this season (Fulham and Bolton) and Birmingham have been down and come back up. That leaves Villa (who haven’t really improved), Newcastle and Middlesbrough (and the less said about these, the better!)

Our positions since then have been 4th, 11th, 6th (should have been 5th but for a cheating linesman at Chelsea!!) and currently 5th.

Our 4 final positions before Moyes came on board were 17th, 14th, 13th, and 16th - in my opinion, a massive change from where we are now.
Darren Gough
24   Posted 16/04/2008 at 13:24:06

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Bob,

Great post - you have the hard facts to back up my rambling!
Tony Williams
25   Posted 16/04/2008 at 13:44:43

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Ha ha Derek, Let is go man, no matter how many times you say it, it will not catch on.

It is interesting when the doom mongerers amongst us constantly refer to how shite we are playing of late and hate it when posters mention how well we have played, saying that was in the past yet a lot of these posters then go on to compare how bad we are compared to the team of the 80s, which If I am not very much mistaken, is in the past.

Ciarán McGlone
26   Posted 16/04/2008 at 13:35:25

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Bob,

My post in it’s entirety is an opinion...my assertion that we have went from a bottom half side to a top half side is an abstraction of fact. To suggest our advancement in anymore concrete terms would be fallacy and hardly in keeping with our precarious fluctuation in league position under Moyes.

I don’t agree that it’s a MASSIVE achievement because i don’t agree with your continued assumption that we’ve changed from a bottom 6 club to a top 6 club. In fact i don’t think there is any such thing as a top 6 club. The middle of the league has probably been the closest competition in the premiership over the last few years...and i’m glad to say we are solidly among that bunch, but to suggest that means we’re a top 6 club...well it doesnt stack up. What is a top 6 club doing finishing 17th?

Now lets look at the facts. During Moyes tenure we’ve had an average placed finish of 9th...in the five years before that we had an average finish of 15th...given the fluctuations in between and the amount of teams we are in competition with for fourth spot it would be naive to suggest that the movement is anything more than from bottom half to top half.

It’s great that we’re moving in the right direction but is it not natural to expect a team like ours to continue to improve. I think thats the impasse we are at...and that is the point I was making.
James Marshall
27   Posted 16/04/2008 at 13:52:10

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These often deteriorate into threads about ’being right’ but thats not really the point (and never is).

The fact is that we HAVE improved greatly and have a team to be proud of - yes you can say we’re ’the best of the rest’ but i don’t see whats so wrong with that?! We simply don’t have the financial clout to break into the top 4 on a regular basis (thus making it a top 5 ?!?) and even if we did, would the money guarantee it? i think not.

Bob’s post contains the facts that the rest of us were unable to come up with and clearly it proves that after all that.......I’M RIGHT!!! ; ))
James Marshall
28   Posted 16/04/2008 at 14:12:52

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Oh and by the way I forgot to mention - Tim Howard is one clean sheet away from Big Nevs record of clean sheets for a season, and 1 more point will give us our highest ever points total since the Premiership began; now that surely shows significant progress!
Ciarán McGlone
29   Posted 16/04/2008 at 14:14:46

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James,
We’ve always had a team to be proud of, surely thats the remit of all Evertonians....being proud to support them....if indeed you mean we have players to be proud off then you’re also correct, but we’ve also got players to be ashamed off!

Interesting to see that you’ve ignored my facts....however, considering that Bob’s facts do not back up his own assertion that we are a top 6 team, or that there is even any such thing as a top 6 team....then i’ll take that as pretty irrelevant.
Bob Turner
30   Posted 16/04/2008 at 14:20:44

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Ciaran, if a week is a long time in politics, 4 seasons is an eternity in football.

Look at the players who played in this "we finished 17th" season - Watson, Pistone, Stubbs, Unsworth, Radzinski, Kilbane, Naysmith, Gravesen, Rooney, Yobo, Linderoth, Martyn and Hibbert. All of these players played 20+ league games. Which of these would get into our team now (if everyone was fit)?

Instead, we have Baines, Lescott, Jagielka, Yakubu, Pienaar, Fernandes (if we keep him), Cahill, Arteta, Johnson, Howard, and some promising youngsters. I don’t know what you’re classifying as a "massive change", but I wager most people would classify this as such.

Stats can prove anything, but I prefer 4th, 11th, 6th and 5th - that’s a top 6 side, surely?
James Marshall
31   Posted 16/04/2008 at 14:36:15

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Ciaran - I posted before yours had appeared, hence why I didn’t mention your ’facts’. You concede that we’ve made progress, you state that we have a team to be proud of, yet still you’re trying to make out as though we haven’t made significant strides towards the top of the league - you strike me as a pedant spoiling for a fight is all. No offence.
Ciarán McGlone
32   Posted 16/04/2008 at 14:40:22

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Bob,

I agree with you on the changes that you rightly ring..however, if we consider our performances they haven’t changed ’massively’...we’ve sorted our back line ( howard, yobo, lescott and baines (we’re only missing a right back)}...and i feel this is the reason for our improved positioning...the problem is that once we get past that back line we are severely limited...the good players that we do have are ruined by the continued presence of the weak links...

Having watched every match this season, i’m finding it hard to understand the optimism. Fair enough if we finish 6th then that will be a consolidation of our improvement..on points..but have we really improved our performances?

The quality of football on the pitch this season has been overwhelmingly poor..we have won a lot of matches we should have lost or drawn...I don’t find that very comforting or positive. That’s merely the point I was trying to address.
Ciarán McGlone
33   Posted 16/04/2008 at 14:54:22

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James,

What was in debate was the extent of the progress we?d made... and whether the mere availability of time for David Moyes was enough to secure further progression...

I disagreed with the previous posters and therefore offerred my opinion. It?s called debate.

p.s I think think you missed my point on your assertion that we?ve ?a team to be proud of?.
Darren Gough
34   Posted 16/04/2008 at 14:56:09

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@ Ciarán

Tell me which club, other than Man U, who has considered their season a total success? EVERY club has shite performances, that?s football.


You are, of course, right that we have had some bad games...but I feel that the latter part of the season which, yes, has been more bad than good shouldn?t cloud an entire season. That night against Fiorentina at home we played them off the park, and anyone who thinks otherwise will frankly never be happy. I simply couldn?t have seen the Everton team 6 years ago doing that.

We took Pompey apart at Goodison, another side who have spent big. Absolutely took them apart. Our away performances have generally got the job done when we?ve won, but I don?t really know too many sides who go away from home and play dazzling football. The result is all important.

We were extremely unlucky at Old Trafford, and a period of defensive madness (the only area you feel we have improved) cost us at home against Arsenal when we had controlled the game. This is progress. If we go down 5-0 and look awful that?s one thing, but we have competed with these sides and I?ve been proud of my team on many occasions this season.

I think we now have the foundation of a good young side. It?s not where we want to be, sure, but I think we have players other teams want, and that?s progress again. We are now in a stronger position to attract players. That?s how it works!
Martin Cutler
35   Posted 16/04/2008 at 14:38:35

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To Ciarán McGlone (notice I spelt your name right)......if you wish to wallow in negativity feel free to do so, I didn?t say that was a bad thing (although the sheer volume of it gets a bit much at times) but make your point and move on.
If I?m being positive about EFC and you don?t like it, you?re entitled to that opinion but that?s MY opinion too so I don?t need anybody slamming me for it.
As I said, make YOUR point and move on.


I will comment on one of the things you said (hey, it?s your opinion.....it?s what you said not who said it!):
You said: "There are a hell of a lot of things NOT to be happy about at the minute, and excuse me if i don?t feel like letting the people responsible off the hook."

This is what I have to say to the above: There are many, many things to be happy about at the moment.......the reserve team has done well, finished in the TOP TWO, the ladies are doing fantastic...............we have one of the best young managers in the country, we have one of the youngest, best squads in the league.....we are clearly TOP FIVE material (at least), we have an extremely passionate chairman (he has his faults I know), we have several internationals in the squad and the standard of play at it?s best is fantastic.............the only real, niggling problem right now is that we have lots of injuries and the stuffing was obviously knocked out of the lads when we lost on those PK?s..........I will add that they are highly-paid professionals and should have got it over it quickly, however, human nature being what it is who could really blame them for feeling like crap after that game (the 90 minutes being the best game I?ve ever seen the team play!!).
That said, are things perfect? No.
Is 5th guaranteed, no...........is soccer predictable, no.......would we want it to be..........er, no!
Adam Wightman
36   Posted 16/04/2008 at 15:21:30

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Martin I 100% agree. Just to add this year we will have had our first two consecutive top 6 finishes in the Prem. It's also our best points total in the league since it began, a striker who scored 20 in a season, extended runs in europe and the carling cup. Our small squad and injuries have just taken its toll.

Also I found this interesting website about where everton should be if the refs in the league got every decision right: http://www.rightresult.net/

I know Everton have high standards and rightly so, plus I?m so proud to be associated with fans who care so much about their team, but Rome wasn?t built in a day and well look how far Moyes has taken us since the days of Mitch Ward, John Spencer and Alex Nyarko... Let's just hope Torres and Stevie Dive can get injured then we will still get 4th. COYB
Bob Turner
37   Posted 16/04/2008 at 15:39:29

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Ciaran, just noticed your response that my facts (not mine, they’re just facts, you can have them as well if you want!) do not bear out my assertion that we are a top 6 team. I would say finishing in the top 6 3 times (count ’em!!) in the last 4 seasons makes us a top 6 side - care to disagree? Your choice if you do, but again, I’d suggest more people would agree with me.

You say that the quality of the performances on the pitch have been overwhelmingly poor, yet you state you’ve watched every match this season. Have you really forgotten our performances before the last 4/5 games?? If so, no amount of facts are going to persuade you otherwise.

But before I go, here are some more "facts" for you. We need 3 goals in the last 4 games to score the most league goals in the last 9 seasons. Our goal difference is 20+, the first time this will have been done in 12 years. The last 2 seasons of positive goal differences are the only times in the last 9 years it has been positive. These seem indicative of "massive changes" to me.

In light of these "facts" I will stick to my own opinion, and treat yours as "pretty irrelevant" too.
Martin Cutler
38   Posted 16/04/2008 at 16:08:52

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Adam.........re: Torres/Gerrard...........$26 million splashed out on a single player and Gerrard is probably priceless (even though I can?t stand the two-faced little shite)........ABSOLUTELY if it wasn?t for those two we would be 4th.........if some of our recent games hadn?t been the crappy performances they were we would be 4th!

As I said in another post....we have given the RS 4th as opposed to the other way round.

Progress, progress!!

Of course...the other point is that it just makes you tingle all over (well, kind of) as to what next season will bring......especially if Moyes strikes well AGAIN in the transfer market .....excitement, progress, COYB!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ciarán McGlone
39   Posted 16/04/2008 at 16:02:45

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Darren,

If you think we took Portsmouth apart at Goodison then I?d suggest you never watched that game...yes, we won the game, but it was playing counter-attacking football with 37% possession!

If this is your idea of good football, as well as a beating a United..... then I can certainly see why we differ in opinion..


Martin Cutler,

You did say say negativity was a bad thing, in fact you refered to it as ?negative crap?. I could have just been reactionary and called your rant ?positive crap?...but i tried hard to refrain.

As for your suggestions of the many, many good things at everton at the moment, excuse me if i don?t get excited about the womens and reserve teams (no offence ladies and also rans)...and considering the financial statement thats been posted on another thread i?ll not even bother talking about bill. In fact lets just say that I consider the negatives I highlighted to outweight the somewhat straw grasping exercise you posted.



Bob, your (as you provided them) facts conveniently leave out two seasons. middlesboro, spurs portsmouth..all games we won yet been badly. I?ll assume we just have differing opinions on what constitutes good football and to be honest i think you?ve been blinded by the melodrama of beating several second rate teams in europe! As for your goal difference point. Thats what happens if you buy a striker who knows where the net is...a point i?m more than happy to concede

P.s Why does everyone keep saying we?ve finished 5th this season?
Ben Kenmore
40   Posted 16/04/2008 at 15:59:03

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What a ludicrous arguement on this thread.If we finish fifth-and we will-we have already reached the heigth of our achievement.No manager on the planet could achieve any more than Moyes has done whilst Kenwright is in charge.So any debate about should be how we are going to stay ’The Best of the Rest’,a title 90% of Evertonians are proud of.As for the others they just live in cloud-cuckoo land!
Darren Gough
41   Posted 16/04/2008 at 16:34:31

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@ Ciarán

A fair point. While you were examining the stats i must have been enjoying the 3-1 entertaining win. My mistake.

I think we’ve taken it somewhat away from the main points now into a tit for tat debate which isn’t really what i want to get into. However why have you omitted to comment on the Fiorentina game? The defensive frailties against Arsenal that cost us in a game we controlled? You’ve likewise not addressed the money spent at the other clubs i’ve mentioned and where they stand in the league (below us), and frankly none of them play any better football than we do.

We have had some good games this season and at times i think we’ve played some very good football (esp mid season when we really were in full flow). Sure there are improvements to be made, no one is arguing that, but i’m now expecting (thats EXPECTING) to go into next season thinking we will be challenging the top 4, and that not getting Europe will be a disappointment. I don’t recall the last time i honestly had that opinion; as opposed to the fans dream that every year we should win the league which we all, of course, fancifully have!

How is this not progress? And why can it not be built upon to start the next level of building?
martin cutler
42   Posted 16/04/2008 at 16:42:30

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Ciaran...........’a straw grasping exercise" was it?

Wow, and there’s me thinking we were all talking about our beloved team, not slamming our fellow posters.

I have high regard for the reserves finishing second! That’s an achievement!
I think what the Everton Ladies is doing is absolutely fantastic. Both the reserves and the ladies are part and parcel of Everton Football Club!

As to Kenwright....well I did say he has problems didn’t I ? Or did you choose to ignore that bit?
Also, he has no money....not for EFC anyway, we all know that! Although he has coughed up some money for Moyes in the past, yes, we need more for sure but it don’t grow on tree’s!
But for his 100% passion towards the club we all support I’d rather have him any day compared to what some clubs have got....a lot of clubs have the money and they are just a mess.........Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool, West Ham, Newcastle......would you swap for any of that lot? I doubt it!
Ciarán McGlone
43   Posted 16/04/2008 at 17:12:17

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"No manager on the planet could achieve any more than Moyes has done whilst Kenwright is in charge"

I don’t actually recall producing a contrary opinion to this....I think you’ve rather missed the point Ben.
Ciarán McGlone
44   Posted 16/04/2008 at 17:16:48

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Darren,

I have ommitted the display fiorentina game because it was our finest display this season...and when discussing the problems with the team it’s a little pointless to be dwelling on the positives as they are not the things that need to be addressed..

As for arsenal game that we threw away...I must have been watching a different game that day too. As i remember they were all over us, and the defensive frailties you mention were a result of them battering us for about an hour in that game.

I’m also not discussing other teams spending as it’s not my concern...qualifying our success or lack of success in terms of other teams is a bit brainless if you ask me. NSNO doesn’t mean ’nothing but what everybody else is doing’...

but to state that t’hey don’t play better football then we do’ is highly debatable for teams such as villa, spurs, porstmouth and man city..even fulham are playing better football than us at the minute!

Your last paragraph suggests that I am of the opinion that we have not progressed...tconsidering i’ve clearly stated the contrary...that’s taking my points a bit far is it not?

Your original point was that all was needed was time....and thats what is in debate here...there is much more needed than time for us to progress from this level...


Martin,
Everton ladies and the reserves may get you all frothy, but lets be honest it’s hardly something you or I am gonna bring up in a braggin match!

P.s I didn’t ignore your kenwright point...you contradicted yourself. H hasn’t brought one penny of investment into Everton since he arrived..he has given Moyes club revenue.
Perhaps you’d like to take a lott at the tesco statement that alludes to the fact that the directors are impeding investment by refusing to sell up.

P.P.S chelsea a mess? behave yourself.
Ciarán McGlone
45   Posted 16/04/2008 at 17:12:17

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"No manager on the planet could achieve any more than Moyes has done whilst Kenwright is in charge"

I don’t actually recall producing a contrary opinion to this....I think you’ve rather missed the point Ben.
Bob Turner
46   Posted 16/04/2008 at 18:47:24

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Ciaran, you omitted the Fiorentina game because it, and many other games this season, blow your argument apart. You’re obviously not going to dwell on these games because they would detract from your point (which seems to be changing with each post, to be honest).



As for the Arsenal game, I think you MUST have been watching a different game. My recollection of that game was that, aside from a blitz of defensive frailties (which you earlier stated was the least of our concerns - which it is, but only because Moyes has a decent back four!), we were matching Arsenal, if not in skill, then in endeavour, and I felt we could have won the game (surely the main objective??).

I left out 2 seasons because we’re talking about the here and now, and how we’ve progressed since then - no point in discussing how all these teams did last season or the season before, it’s history now!

If you think we performed badly in the wins over Portsmouth and Spurs, then, as the ad says, you should have gone to Specsavers!

I have been watching Everton since the early 80s, so I’ve seen the rough and the smooth, and I am not about to get carried away with our European adventures this year (incidentally, don’t you have to have done well in the league, by, say, finishing 6th or so, to get into Europe - not something we’d have done 6 years ago. Another "massive change" methinks!).

Having said that, we did beat AZ Alkmaar at their place (the first team to do that in Europe apparently) and beat Zenit St Petersburg (did you see how they did last week??), so I agree with you, we’ve been crap all season.

Listen, mate, your glass is obviously more than half empty, so there’s no point continuing to dazzle you with "facts" (the only reason I did this was your somewhat arrogant statement earlier in this post that you "don’t consider being correct as labouring a point" - if you want to be "correct", you need to state facts, not opinion).

I suggest you buy the end of season DVD to refresh your memory of how we did before the last 5 games addled your brain. Maybe then you’ll realise just how far we’ve come in the last 6 years.
Darren Gough
47   Posted 16/04/2008 at 19:57:59

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@ Ciarán



"I?m also not discussing other teams spending as it?s not my concern...qualifying our success or lack of success in terms of other teams is a bit brainless if you ask me." is quite a convenient way to avoid the issue, and i resent being called brainless. That’s pretty base and low when we’re trying to debate. Frankly that point proves money doesn’t equal success, which i believe was the crux of your argument. Strange then that you don’t consider it worth debating. Surely football is all about comparisons to other clubs, otherwise why do we ever look at the league table?

Your opinions on Pompey and Arsenal are different to mine, fine, but your views that these other sides play a better brand of football is an odd one. My wife is a pompey season ticket holder and i’ve been down off and on for years. Trust me, they don’t - and im watching it regularly. Their cup run this year was a combination of lucky escapes and fluke. Played off the park by Preston, an unbelievable lucky streak for 90 mins at old trafford and a dire semi final. In the league their supporters moan as much as you...where is this brand of fine football? Which games did you see in it? I’m genuinely curious to know. As for Man City, Sven is under the cosh to keep his job because they’ve fallen apart - thats FACT. So where are these great City performances?

A good friend of mine is a Villa fan and he berates the style of play week in week out. I must admit not recalling too many superb villa performances this season in footballing terms..again, where are you watching this...or are you simply generalising because it’s easier?

Are you therefore saying the only piece of decent football you’ve seen all season is the game against Fiorentina? All season? To be honest mate if you feel you’re being let down that badly by the club, maybe it’s time to consider another sport? It sounds like Everton are doing you a massive disservice.....
Martin Cutler
48   Posted 17/04/2008 at 01:20:31

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Ciaran, what is there to admire about Chelsea?
So they have money? And some success...undeniably the truth but for all there money and "star power" they play like shit in terms of excitement.....I?d rather take a nap than watch them play! Seriously!
Avram Grant has no clue if he has a job next season....there players are grossly, sadly overpaid, they got rid of THE ONE WHO DOES SMILE, And they have Ben-Haim, what more can I say?

You did ignore part of what I said about Kenwright, no contradiction at all. I said he does have his faults.....okay I didn?t elaborate but his faults are the lack of investment #1.

As to being all "frothy" over the ladies (odd choice of word), well, neither you or I may turn up at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon to watch them play (although given a choice between the ladies and, say, Gravesen, I probably would but I digress) but I think you?re doing them a disservice.....I merely said they have done fantastic in the womens league. FACT. They are, whether you like it or not, part of EFC, FACT.
Ciarán McGlone
49   Posted 17/04/2008 at 10:06:39

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Bob,

To suggest that I ommitted the fiorentina game because ’it blows my argument apart’, is disingenuous at least and stupid at most.

Firstly I didn’t realise I was expected to revise every game this season, and secondly I clearly admitted previously that apart from a handful of games that we’ve been poor after christmas...(if you’d actually read this thread properly instead of insulting people maybe your ’addled brain’ would have realised this’).
Those handful of games would be the ones you are talking about. Therefore how exactly have I not mentioned them, and how do they blow my argument apart when they’re quite clearly part of my argument?

Your analysis of the Arsenal game is all over the place...’We matched them with skill’? ’or endeavour’? Apart from the fact you can’t make your mind up it’s an analysis that belongs in playschool. They played us off the park. But hey, you obviously don’t do realism.

If you think we played well against arsenal, spurs and pompey then we clearly have a fundamental difference of opinion on what constitutes playing well. It’s my opinion that holding on to the ball and passing to our own players and not being camped in our own half is a sign (although hardly scientific) of a decent performance. As we didn’t do this to any extent in any of the matches you’ve mention then I have to assume that your idea of good football is being camped in ones own half, not being able to string decent possession play together and playing on the counter.

P.S you left two seasons out because it suited your argument, which clearly doesn’t have legs without this. As for your laguable ’i’ve been watching everton since the early eighties’...is this supposed to qualify your argument as somehow superior? Frankly it just made me laugh!

P.P.S Need I remind you that those facts you ’dazzled’ me with actually disproved your point that we have become a top six team under Moyes?
Ciarán McGlone
50   Posted 17/04/2008 at 10:32:07

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Darren,

I didn’ call you brainless and if you think I did, then I apologise.

ALL fans complain about their football teams. ARSENAL fans complain about their team...and even their manager at the moment. Does this mean that we are as good as arsenal, liverpool or chelsea on the pitch because they moan? Another argument that doesnt stack up i’m afraid. As for portsmouth, they played us off the park in terms of possession and passing at goodison. Thats pretty conclusive for me! So did Man city, and AGAIN, only for our back line did we win that one. So that’s also pretty conclusive for me. We were also second best against villa in the possession and passing stakes. Again conclusive.

I never said that the ONLY good football i’d seen all season was against fiorentina. Please read what i post.


@Martin
You asked what is there to admire against chelsea, then you answered the question for me. Your initial suggestion was that chelsea are a mess....some mess they’re in! champions league semi final and second in the premiership....what a fine mess!
Ciarán McGlone
51   Posted 17/04/2008 at 10:32:07

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Darren,

I didn? call you brainless and if you think I did, then I apologise.

ALL fans complain about their football teams. ARSENAL fans complain about their team... and even their manager at the moment. Does this mean that we are as good as Arsenal, Liverpool or Chelsea on the pitch because they moan? Another argument that doesnt stack up i?m afraid. As for Portsmouth, they played us off the park in terms of possession and passing at Goodison. Thats pretty conclusive for me! So did Man City, and AGAIN, only for our back line did we win that one. So that?s also pretty conclusive for me. We were also second best against Villa in the possession and passing stakes. Again conclusive.

I never said that the ONLY good football I?d seen all season was against Fiorentina. Please read what I post.


@Martin
You asked what is there to admire against Chelsea, then you answered the question for me. Your initial suggestion was that Chelsea are a mess.... some mess they?re in! Champions League semi final and second in the Premier League.... what a fine mess!
Bob Turner
52   Posted 17/04/2008 at 23:11:28

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Ciaran, mate, I didn’t realise you were so precious and sensitive, bless!

If you think that I’ve been insulting you with what I’ve said, please indicate which phrases you consider as insulting, as I will endeavour to remove them from my vocabulary. Or you could report my comments, and see if the TW agree with
you.



My statement that I have been watching since the early 80s was to counter your assertion that I had got carried away with the melodrama of beating second rate teams in Europe. Please don’t patronise me, or anyone else who thinks we’ve had a great season, and played some great football, which is what you were doing. The reason why I consider my argument is superior is because it is based on fact, ignore them all you like, it just reinforces my view of you. And that, mate, will be the last effort I waste on responding to you, because you’re not worth it.
John Hill
53   Posted 18/04/2008 at 01:21:47

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Thank god for James Marshal and Martin Cutler. I for one am excited about next year. I am not in the privileged postion to see every game and the games that I do see I get just as frustrated at times with our lack of consistency.
I do, however get to watch a lot of other games as we have six to eight games a weekend televised and I would rather watch.
Outside of Man U and Arsenal I wouldn’t pay to watch any team other that the Blues, I certainly could watch the crap served up every week over the other side of the park and only Torres, gerard and referees have kept them in the top half of the table.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but in my view not recognising that DM has made progress and that he will continue to move the team forward is sad.

We have short memories long live David Moyes

Ciarán McGlone
54   Posted 18/04/2008 at 09:19:20

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@Bob, ’your addled brain’ was the phrase you used. Hardly serves any purpose, does it? And neither does your churlish attitude towards being insulting. In fact I’d say it’s more a reflection on your substantive argument than anything! And again, need i remind you that the facts you used didn’t actually back up your argument...no matter how many times you repeat it.

@john,

spurs v chelsea 3 weeks ago, didn’t involve Man utd or arsenal. And last seaon the most entertaining match i seen throughout the season was a villa-reading match. No-one has said we haven’t made progress. Why do people insist on erroneously paraphrasing the content of these posts.
John Hill
55   Posted 21/04/2008 at 06:27:19

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Ciaran

just an option
John Hill
56   Posted 21/04/2008 at 06:27:19

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Ciaran

just an option

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