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Optimistic but lets be Realistic

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It's been a great five weeks to be an Evertonian, we have easily beaten four teams on the trot and won seven of our last nine games. If you choose to ignore the derby travesty there is only one blot on our copy book during this period and that's the defeat to Newcastle.

However, in saying this we have to temper our enthusiasm with the reality. We have beaten struggling Premier League sides Birmingham, Derby and Middlesboro; struggling Championship side Sheffield Wednesday; average League One side Luton; a Ukrainian side that was tenacious (but the Ukraine national league hardly matches the Premier League); and Larrissa, a very average side playing in the very average Greek League.

We now face the Nurnberg a team that competes in Europe on a regular basis and plays in the competitive Bundesleague and then Chelsea away. A decent result at these places (and I mean a draw as a decent result) and we can surely say we have arrived. However, anything else and its time to sit back and take a reality pill fellow Evertonians. COYB!!!
Peter  Pridgeon, New Zealand     Posted 05/11/2007 at 19:53:05

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Michael Kenrick
That's great. In fact, let's go one step further: let's ignore the Newcastle result as well, and then we have won seven out of seven!

The idea that we will have "arrived" (where exactly?) if we manage a couple of draws after this fantastic winning streak just strikes me as a little odd. Achieving greatness in football is about making a sustained impact. If we even beat these teams but then lose to Sunderland, will we still have "arrived"?

It's more about building momentum (which Moyes has got Everton to do in spurts) and maintaining momentum (which he has palpably failed to do after each good season).

You "arrive" at the end of a journey... but for us in football there is no end to this journey. There is always a new season. And another, and another. Methinks you're the one in need of the reality pill, Peter!

Peter Pridgeon
1   Posted 05/11/2007 at 21:40:25

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What I was saying Micheal and I may have to make it simple for you, we will have arrived as a competitive team that can match it with some of the top teams not just Derby , Luton, Larissa and Birmingham. Is that simple enough. Keep up the good work
Mark Pendleton
2   Posted 05/11/2007 at 23:50:35

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Er, hasn’t the problem in the past been our inability to see off the above types of teams after raising our game and getting some good results against the "better" sides?
Peter Pridgeon
3   Posted 06/11/2007 at 03:13:32

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Mark
Have you got this list of Everton raising their game against better sides.
By these better sides I presume you mean Arsenal Chelsea and Man United, correct me if I am wrong but our record against these sides especially the latter two is abysmal. In fact it even took us twenty years to win at Spurs (last Season) let alone the others.
Liam Reilly
4   Posted 06/11/2007 at 08:18:42

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The mark of a good side is in its achievements and with the Domestic dominance of the top sides in England in the League and Cups at present; it is presently an achievement to consistently qualify for Europe.
To regularly achieve this, we need to be consistently beating the teams at the lower end of the Premier League, and winning more than we lose against our peers, (i.e. the group of sides just below the so called big 4).
What we have shown over the past few seasons however, is that we can also challenge the top sides on our day, but realistically we are still a few players short of challenging these sides regularly, for a place in the Champions League.
Until then, it?s paramount that we consistently defeat the lesser sides to maintain the clubs momentum and breed a winning mentality. This will only endorse the club as an attractive proposition for new talent, which could take us to the next level. Failure to do so, as we have seen in the recent dark years, will result in the club back in a relegation battle and consistently fighting relegation, where it will only attract substandard players, and the cycle begins again.
Anto Doran
5   Posted 06/11/2007 at 09:55:53

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Arrived?? Is that like ’have Everton finally turned the corner’ ?? Everton are in a league within a league and I think if we can regulary top this league within a league by finishing regulary in the top 6 and do well in the Uefa Cup and domestic cups, well then we are on the right track, if we ever break into the top 4 and regulary claim a Champions League spot then we will have arrived! Lets hope are fans wont be arriving at kirby when all the above comes to fruition!
Peter Venkman
6   Posted 06/11/2007 at 09:59:43

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If I can be serious for a moment.

Everybodys getting a bit carried away because the side has won four games in a row for the first time since george bush senior was in office. Yes, there has been some victories, some which incidentally could have gone either way have lifted morale after a disappointing period following another bright start.

I cannot see us getting a result in the next fixture, and so that in turn will leave us with a 6-1-6 statistical report thus far in our season. The league cup, has become a double edged sword. It is within our capabilities to reach the final but i dont want a competition to hinder progress on other fronts when the sum total is we get beaten in the final by a local rival.

Theres no prizes for second best.
Michael Rodgers
7   Posted 06/11/2007 at 10:18:03

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Lads I thinnk we are getting ahead of ourselves. I know the buzz word is progress and everyone wants to see that we have moved on a bit. But is it wrong to take the view that we are playing decent stuff at the minute, focus on nurnberg and try to get a decent result, then look at chelsea and try to get a result, then look at sunderland and try to get a result and so on and son on. If at the end of the season we achieve more than we did last season then we can say we have progressed. PS we won’t have arrived until we win the league again! whenever that will be!
Ian Trickett
8   Posted 06/11/2007 at 10:29:44

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In response to Peter i think that you are being over sceptical. I think that better teams than us will get a hiding at stanford bridge, but fancy us to get a least a point in Germany. Have you got to GP much since your ghostbusting days?
Mick Mc
9   Posted 06/11/2007 at 11:00:51

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AJ Signs 5 year deal
Richard Flaherty
10   Posted 06/11/2007 at 11:52:55

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God help us.

Understand i have nothing against Andrew Johnson but the news that he has commited his future to everton until 2012 does not exactly have me shouting from the rooftops.

There was a wave of euphoria when he bagged two against the red shite near his debut, with a great assist by reina the clown but other than that he has not justified all the hype that surrounded his arrival. Yes I’m aware he has had time out with injury but even when fit he has been disappointing.

Of course there will be people who will berate this and think johnson is the best thing since electricity but the thought of another five years with him does not provide me with an inner glow.

I hope i’m proved wrong but in my eyes johnson so far has been a poor acquisition.
Allan Hobbs
11   Posted 06/11/2007 at 12:27:05

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AJ Has been a cracking signing - he gives alot more than goals. End.

As for us ’arriving’ well that remains to be seen, as Micheal says, you’ve got to actually achieve something to really arrive. that said, we’re definately a club thats on the up - look at similar teams of our (current) stature (forget history, it means little in the cold light of day) and we’re certainly one of those with alot going for us; despite what the doom-mongers on here will have you believe.

We have a good young manager whose putting together a solid, competitive squad, a passionate chairman who has nothing but the club in mind, and a pretty good fanbase which helps. I’m looking forward to the future as a blue; I’m also looking forward to tonight as a Besiktas fan.
Tommy
12   Posted 06/11/2007 at 12:23:53

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Richard I think your wrong on AJ I only missed a few games last season and to be honest Arteta and Johnson were the only players with that bit of class. Ok he has had a nightmare start to the season but most strikers do have bad dips in form, and some of that was the team playing shite. His movement off the ball and his hardwork alone is worth his selection. He will score more goals this season, the problem with strikers if they are not getting the service they look worse, they start dropping deep to get the ball and this gives the defence the advantage to get Johnson in their pockets. Give him decentservice and you will eat your words
Jimmy Hoffa
13   Posted 06/11/2007 at 12:44:07

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I am just dissapointed with McFadden?s inconsistency.

I was hoping the man would be the next Greame Sharpe.

I still remember the Anfield goal 1984-85 season. All true Evertonians will never forget that goal.

I am hoping McFadden can repeat that feat.
Anto Doran
14   Posted 06/11/2007 at 12:50:20

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I wouldnt go so far as to say AJ is the best thing since electricty lol he is the best thing since James beattie and I think his sheer 100% for the Everton cause and the amount of money spent on him is well worth contracting him to the club for the next 5 years. His lack of goals I would belive is down to lack of supply and class to him and I also believe he is more of supporting striker who works hard to create room and chances for his striking partner. He still has to prove his worth and giving him the chance and confidence to do so is great!


Up the Besiktas!
jimmy hoffa
15   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:00:07

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What happened to us????

in our heydays, 1980’s, we never play hoofball. We play great passing and we control midfield despite having two strikers- Andy Gray and G. Sharpe.

We pass the ball well and we have Kevin Sheedy, who doesn’t play that much but create the best chances each time he touched the ball.

Why did we disintegrate to a hoofball team? Why did it took us more than 20 years to play the same football we played in the 80’s?

I am perplexed?
Allan Hobbs
16   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:02:32

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Lets try & be a bit more foward thinking shall we? 1984 was a great year, but it was 23 years ago, surely this season and the ones to come are more important.

’If y’know yer history’, & all that in some ways holds Everton back.
Anto Doran
17   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:02:54

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I hate Hoofball even tho I am Irish and crew up watching Ireland under Jack Charlton, now there was Hoofball you could be proud off lol!
jimmy hoffa
18   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:04:34

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TQ for your input Allan, but i am just sad and depressed.

We were a great team. We played well and correctly.

Then we disintegrated without any reason and took damn near 25 yrs to play the same football we use to play.

Doesn?t that make you really mad???

All the talk about Jagileka, Neville etc losing the ball, not passing, not feeding Yakubu and Andy are all issues that were never faced by Sharpe, Heath, Gray even Trevor Stevens.

Hell, we had Derek Mountfield scoring a hell of a lot of goals and he was a godamn defender.

Something is really unright about how the club is being managed. No long terms plans, no vision.

We were great last time because we played football the way we just did this season.



I am just depressed that?s all.
jimmy hoffa
19   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:10:57

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From the 80’s, Coventry had some dancer trained them in coreography back in the 83-84 season.

The same season they beat Red Shitte 4-0 at Anfield (i think).

After that they won the FA cup too. And they didn’t have anyone worth remembering except maybe Steve ogrizovich.

People were calling them queers until they walloped Red Shiite.

Everton needs to think outside the box to bring back our glory years.
rob jones
20   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:04:37

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is it me or do people get slaughtered for being positive, 10 years ago would you have been criticizing a manager for getting europe twice in 5 years, as opposed to years of relegation battles
jimmy hoffa
21   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:14:52

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Rob,

Am not blaming David Moyes at all. Without him, we’d probably the same shiite we’ve been in fer the last 20 yrs.

Am just worried about our long term development. What happens after DM? What happens after this?
How do we continue our good run, which we should have done after our 80’s glory years.
jimmy hoffa
22   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:19:02

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Whether we like it or not, we have to accept the fact that the current team we have is playing the same level of skills and teamship as the 80’s glory days team.

Nothing more. Our current team is just as elementary as our glory team in the 80’s.

And we had 20+ years to improve and we didn’t.

We were primed to have been one of the top 4 and we blew the chance.
James Thorley
23   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:20:00

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’the Nurnberg a team that competes in Europe on a regular basis ’

First time they’ve been in Europe for 19 years.
Dick Flaherty
24   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:13:42

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Maybe I was a tad hard on johnson, but i stand by what i said. Of course the delivery to him has been anything but top class and the hoof-ball, or long ball or aerial ball or whatever you deem it, does not suit his game.

maybe i will give him the benefit of the doubt for now but if by the end of the season he is not into double figures dont be to surprised. We have the likes of anichebe, mcfadden, yakubu and now vaughan for attacking puropses so others will get their own share.

One more thing, as much as i detest the other half of the city, getting excited about a rival game especially that lot, is somewhat unsavoury.

They are not us. They are not our concern. The shite got themselves into the hole they are because of themselves. I dont suppose there will be too many red shite fans cheering for germans on thursday. Let them sort out their own problems and lets concentrate on what really matters.

Everton Football Club. First and Foremost.

Anto Doran
25   Posted 06/11/2007 at 13:37:47

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comparing football from the 80’s to todays premiership is like comparing 80’s footy to when there was no offside rule, wasnt that why Dixie Dean scored all them goals 60+? we dont seem to be able to pass the ball either because of the philosophy of Moyes or simply because we are incapale of doing so! either way the problem needs addessing.

Im hoping the RS get knocked into the Uefa cup and we get drawn against them and us obiviously knocking the RS out of them!!


Love Everton HATE Liverfool!!
Peter Venkman
26   Posted 06/11/2007 at 14:17:23

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With regard to the dancer at Coventry, (Stella May, dont ask me how i know), I was aware of that game at Highfield road in 1983 when Terry Gibson scored three as four were put past a bearded grobelaar and the liverpool defence.

She was brought in as part of a dance theatre as the then manager saw sky blues morale was a bit low and wanted to revitalise their players. These were the days before Red Bull.

Queers or not, that was the highlight of their season, or for another three and a half years even, and as for the opposition they went back to anfield with their tails between their legs and went on to do nothing.

Apart from the league title, the milk (league) cup and being champions of europe.
Allan Hobbs
27   Posted 06/11/2007 at 14:38:36

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Jimmy - I appreciate what you’re saying, but seriously, we’re in a much better shape now than we have been for years so why so down? Surely now is a time for optimism?

The game is very different now - you’re never going to see a team of British players play the best football. The EPL is the biggest money spinning league in the world so everyone from Scunthorpe to Rio de Janeiro wnats to play here. Look at the teams who only have British players; they’re all in the lower leagues. If you put our team of the 80’s up against todays teams, they’d be mid table at best - the standard is way higher, the players are fitter, the game is faster. It like saying Dixie would be a top pro now - he probably wouldn’t (hush my mouth)

We DO have a vision, we DO have a forward thinking manager with a long-term goal, long-term plan; to get Everton to be competing at the top of the league, and he’s working well towards that in my opinion. We’re moving stadium so we can compete (lets not get into that though eh!) as Goodison simply doesn’t pay the bills in the modern day. To say we’re not foward thinking, I simply dont agree with. I just hope we can all put aside our differences and get behind the team & the club as a whole - thats the only way we’ll get back to the being great again.
Phill Everton
28   Posted 06/11/2007 at 14:38:39

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Anto, there was offside when Dixie bagged his 60 odd. There has, basically, always been offside under various names and guises. I think the last major change was in 1925/26 and Dixie got his record in 1927/28. Thats my understanding of it anyway.
All this talk of how good we were in the mid 80’s is only half right in my opinion. We were VERY good compared to the other teams in div1 but beautiful football it was not. I’m sometimes reminded just how bad the footy was back then when I watch the old games on ESPN. Thank the lord FIFA done away with the back pass, now theres one time the idiots who run our game got it spot on.
Allan Hobbs
29   Posted 06/11/2007 at 15:12:55

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Exactly Phil - you could also bundle the keeper into the net when he was holding the ball and be awarded a goal! Halcyon days no doubt!

Basically the point is, the game of yesteryear vs todays game simply doesnt compare.
Anto Doran
30   Posted 06/11/2007 at 15:10:38

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I thought there was a time when there was no such thing as offside? back in the 1800’s perhaps lol good call on the back pass rule Phil, ive supported since the late 80’s, the and only English team i have supported, and even tho the footy may not have being of International class it always has being entertaining to watch and be a supporter thats why the EPA has become what it is today but all in all there is NO excuse for a club like everton to be playing Hoofball its quite shocking really
Allan Hobbs
31   Posted 06/11/2007 at 15:20:20

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We dont play anymore long-ball than anyone else in the division - I cant help thinking its a myth created by people on here.

We’ve played some great stuff recently.
Anto Doran
32   Posted 06/11/2007 at 15:29:42

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’recently’ we have being playing lets face it pretty poor teams who probs play more Hoof ball than Everton. the Hoof ball is not a team thing at Everton its engrained in certain players and the manager seems to be either unable or unwilling to undue the hoof!
Allan Hobbs
33   Posted 06/11/2007 at 15:35:47

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As is always the way on here, some people will never be happy. When we play badly you complain - when we play well, you complain that the opposition was poor.

I give up, you win, we’re shit and always will be. I’m going to start following tiddly winks.
jimmy hoffa
34   Posted 06/11/2007 at 15:32:19

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Allan,

We were not the only team that was great in the 80’s. There was Liverpool, Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal.

Yet, the other teams can maintain their greatness and we can’t.

It took us 23 years to produce the same great team we had in the 80’s


Athough the game today is different from th e 80’s the basic principle is the same.

To win we need to control the midfield and we need to have sharp finishers i.e. Sharpe.

DM is the first to acheive the 80’s team system this season.

And it took us 23 yrs
Anto Doran
35   Posted 06/11/2007 at 15:39:54

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lol Hob-Knob just making the point that although we are on a good run fact is we have being playing poor opposition, its great to be winning and to be beating the poorer sides is 50% of the job but in no way is it an excuse to start doing cartwheels! There is always room for improvement, Im not one of these Evertonians thats happy when we beat luton and lose to Chelsea and think we are actually improving
Anto Doran
36   Posted 06/11/2007 at 15:39:54

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lol Hob-Knob just making the point that although we are on a good run fact is we have being playing poor opposition, its great to be winning and to be beating the poorer sides is 50% of the job but in no way is it an excuse to start doing cartwheels! There is always room for improvement, Im not one of these Evertonians thats happy when we beat luton and lose to Chelsea and think we are actually improving
Allan Hobbs
37   Posted 06/11/2007 at 16:25:49

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Jimmy - since when were Man Utd & Chelsea succesful from the 80’s to the present day? Chelsea have never been a top team until recent years and Utd went 23 years without winning anything.

Liverpool haven’t won the league since the year after we last did (I think) either, though they have of course won alot more than everyone else - not just more than us.

Anto - are you 13? I havent been called that since I was in school 20 years ago mate - grow up.

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