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FAN ARTICLES

Nothing But The Best

By Tony Marsh :  07/06/2009 :  Comments (42) :
There has been a couple of cracking threads on here in the past few days and some raw nerves have been touched yet again. It's thanks to the ToffeeWb guys that such feelings, emotions and points of view can be debated, argued and thrashed out in such a manner and I for one am grateful.

We as Evertonians have now reached a point were some us think we are now such good a side with such a brilliant manager that improvement is not important any more. "This is as good as we can expect" they say, "neither the players, manager or chairman should come under fire as we are doing so much better than we ever have done. To be critical is a crime" ... Well, I'm calling Bullshit on that, and here's why.

My view is that, in football as in life, there is always room for improvement and striving for perfection is what drives us on.

My passion for Everton is often questioned on this site and thge jibes like being a negative moaner etc are aimed at me virtually every time I post. Well it's all good and every one is entitled to their opinions, no matter how wrong they may or may not be.

My problem is that, no matter how well Everton are doing, I always want and expect them to do better. I demand more and I am never satisfied. If we finish 5th in the League I want us to finish 4th. If we are runners-up in a Cup Final, I want us to win it. If we win playing HOOFBALL, I want us to win playing FOOTBALL. If we are winning a game 3-0, I want it to be 4-0... and so on. Nothing wrong there, I think.

While some of us are just happy to take part and be thankfull for where we are now, I want us to push on further ? even if it is an impossible ask. Is this a crime? Is this being negative? Why don't you all demand more instead of accepting your lot?

As for our manger David Moyes, I now accept that he has taken us further than I ever thought possible and this season he has given us a little bit of belief and pride back.... but, as always, things could've been a whole lot better.

The terrible start to the season was avoidable for starters. Certain players could've been used less and others more. The same poor tactical decisions where often employed, and winnable games were lost or drawn. Hoofball went missing and then returned. The squad wasn't strengthened enough in the summer and the Fellani money, if it was £15 million, could've been better spent.

Just in this one paragraph above, there is enough to think about how improvement was possible... but some of us just won't have it: "Moyes is a genius, Kenwright loves Everton, Ozzie tries his best, so shut the fuck up Marsh, you don't Love Everton like us." I have to say It really makes me smile to read such rubbish.

I accept injuries played a big part in how our season panned out... but then why did Moyes sign Saha, who is the most injury-prone player in the League, knowing full well he would be lucky to get 10 games out of him?

This notion some of you have that getting Bill Kenwright out and an outside investor in will be the death of us also makes me laugh. Man Utd were a million miles behind Chelsea until the Glaziers refiananced thier club, and Aston Villa were a joke untill Randy Learner rode in to town and put some cash in to it ? so why not us?

In a nutshell, I want Everton to be better than they are now ? even if it is a pipe dream. I want us to play football in a manner of which we can be proud, even though it may well be impossible. I want to see proper footballers pulling on the Royal Blue Jersey and Sunday League types bannished forever. I also want a chairman who can provide his manger with enough funds so he can to try to compete properly with our rivals.

Is this to much to ask? Don't we all want the same thing? Can these notions ever become a reality with Kenwright at the helm?.... I for one doubt it but now understand that many of you fear change and are happy to just plod along safe in the notion that things have improved since Moyes came along.

Is it just me or is that a negative way to look at things?? COYBS

Reader Comments

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Ben Jones
1   Posted 07/06/2009 at 18:18:59

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I for one am privilged to be the first one to comment on this long argued thread, and I love it.

With the article though, I do agree, but it seems a bit too simple for me. There are a few people on here who are afraid to criticise Moyes, and I for one could criticise him quite often, like he is not a brilliant tactician etc.

But Moyes has done a brilliant job, and he is like you Tony, it’s obvious, he wants to do better

But what I think people don’t like Tony is comments from you or other people that creates a negative feel to the article, and it just seems negative, when it probably isn’t. I mean, how many times I’ve felt really happy after a 4-0 win or something, and someone comments on one thing bad about the game and everyone follows suit and everyone debates... it’s just depressing!

I do agree with ya about Kenwright... he has sometimes lied, and will never take Everton to the next level. Foreign investors, like Lerner, would be perfect for us, and would test Moyes with money and resources, his ability of how he would do. Though you do sympathise with him because he’s a passionate Everton, he needs to move on.

Let’s end with something controversial... we need to sell Anichebe!
Jon Beck
2   Posted 07/06/2009 at 18:31:01

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I think we all share your ambitions Tony, for more, for better etc. I guess it’s a question of how we balance that against the reality of the modern game and our resources, along with the way we express it on here or elsewhere, that is the true difference between those who criticise at all costs and those who attempt to show balance. I respect your opinion, share your ambition but will never resort to your "style" of critique. We’re all different I guess?
Aiden Doyle
3   Posted 07/06/2009 at 18:47:26

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Tony, the problem isn?t that ?some Evertonians have now reached a point were some us think we are now such good a side with such a brilliant manager that improvement is not important any more?. Nobody thinks that.

The problem is that some Evertonians recognise that further progress will be a slow, incremental process whilst others have an unrealistic, almost pathological, sense of entitlement.
Stewart Littler
4   Posted 07/06/2009 at 18:52:32

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Tony, as some have commented, we all want Everton to be better. It?s how we get there that presents the problem.

None of these clubs that have had ?investors? come in are in a brilliant financial state... and it could be argued Villa are still a joke! The top 4 between them have combined debts of 2 billion quid. Villa have just lost 2 of their best players (Laursen & Barry), and a third (Young) will be on his way soon. Like Spurs after the 06-07 season, expect them to drop off big time next season.

I personally would rather ?plod along? with slow progress than expect big things quick - getting overly ambitious and reaching for too much too soon can cost big time ? Leeds and Newcastle are the best reminders of this. At the same time, am I happy for being best of the rest every season? No, but I encourage caution. Do I see this as negative? No, just prudent.

Nice article Tony, which I?m sure will encourage plenty of debate.
Kurt Knight
5   Posted 07/06/2009 at 18:57:25

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Tony, thank you for the article. Thank you for taking the time and thought to put it out on paper for scrutiny and rebuttal. I have been one of those that have felt you were too negative but I see now that we simply approach the same issue in a different way. With the nice-ities out of the way, here we go:

The end game should be to bring into the top 4 on a long-term basis. I see the path as follows ? bring in or finance cash to make bold and impact purchases of players, sell or shed the players that can not operate at the top ? 4 level or do not fit our style of play. Do I want to sell Lescott? No. Would I do it to better the overall team? Yes. These are the types of things we must deal with to get better.
Tony, again ? thanks for the article.
simon templeman
6   Posted 07/06/2009 at 19:06:44

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We all want the best for Everton, but the three teams you mention have a combined debt of 1.75 billion. Did you not see the article in the guardian this week detailing as such? Even if we could borrow that amount would you really want us to? The shit will hit the PL Fan soon enough, and I for one would rather be sitting upwind of it and am pleased Everton are doing the same.
Fran Mitchell
7   Posted 07/06/2009 at 18:50:36

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It isn’t accepting that we are were we are and thats that.

I think 95% of people on here agree that BK is more of a bad influence than a good one. Do many missed opportunities like Kings Dock and not bringing in investment have seriously hampered the clubs progress, this is true.

However on that note, Man City (1st owners), Liverpool, Newcastle have all shown the serious risks involved with Billionaires. Man U also have a bleak future, even with recent success (a slight drop in revenue, and they will be in BIG trouble). And Chelsea are dependant on Oil prices, and what happens in 10 years time to them?

So everyone always cites Villa and Learner as who we want. True, he stays in background but is hardly pumping money into Villa that makes us worry. Learner is truely running it like a business, and expect a large amount of sales with profits for the likes of Young. But Villa have a smaller squad than Everton, and we have a better overall team...Heskey or Yakubu? Petrov or Arteta? Baines or Shorey? Friedel or Howard? The only players they have are Young, Agbonlahor, Milner (would have to battle with Pienaar) and Davies (and he would struggle to get in team ahead of Jags and Joleon). Now Barry has gone. So I am more content with our position than theirs.

I too want to see Everton at the top of the league, with a rich owner who wont act like a raging dictator.

I also want Moyes to be perfect every game, with a midfield like Barcelonas. But also accept that it is not possible.

I will criticise individual Moyes errors after a game, such as poor substitutions persistance with Osman etc.

However at end of season, I like to take a general outlook. Where do we need to improve, Right side of midfield and defence and general squad depth essentially. However, all in all things look good.

We can continue to moan about the contract situation at the start of season, and how it affected us. But why? That situation will not occure again (at least for another 3 season anyway), so forget about it. Like we do with Joleons unfortunate form at the start of the season, becasue all in all, he made us finish 5th again, as did Moyes.

However Tony, I sympahise with some of your points, and I dont doubt for 1 second your not an Evertonian with Evertons progess in your mind, however the problem occurs that you only ever talk about them, and nothing else.

You will talk alot if we lose 1-0, or draw 0-0.
Yet remain quiet when we win, unless it was an unconvinceing win. If Ossie puts in a terrible performance you’ll be on here in a shot. If he puts in a great one you stay quiet.

I agree that Ossie aint a Champions League player, he’s good on his day and would stand out in team that finished 10th/11th. We need better, and 95% of people agree hence most posts regarding transfers say we need a new right midfielder. However to criuticse Moyes for this, you know we cant afford many players, so its slowly slowing in the market. We need a world class player in that position, (pennant cost 7mil for the Redshite, and hes worse than Ossie, so there arent many about). An improvement on Ossie in last few years would have been Phillips (10-15mil) Milner (12mil) Young (10mil) and maybe Valencia (hes a one off, 2mil gem, we’ve had a few ourselves)

Early in the season you were calling Pienaar all sorts. Yes his form wasnt great, but he had came back from injury into a team playing poorly. However you havnt said well done about his form in the last 10 games, which kept us in the running for 5th.

So wilst I agree, when your negative all the time, consistantly, you force some people on here into the super-defensive mode, just to try and balence things out.

COYB
Mike McLean
8   Posted 07/06/2009 at 19:11:53

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I think that the day Evertonians are satisfied with what we have is also the day we should take down the flag, send the shirts to Oxfam, and start watching badminton.

The greatest player I saw at Goodison was largely great because he would never accept second best.
I try to imagine Bally saying something like "Fifth was good," or "We tried our best but Chelsea were better," and I fail.

O.K., our current players may not be improved in the short term, but does anyone think that without constant pressure on him, Kenwright is ever likely to sell his train set so that we can improve?

And if Tony Marsh’s articles help goad us all into thinking more carefully abut what we should be striving towards, good on him!
Karl Masters
9   Posted 07/06/2009 at 19:32:34

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Tony is right that we cannot sit in a comfort zone. The only way to improve is a combination of better olayers, better coaching and better tactical decisions by the Manager.

Therefore, we must continue to be realistic in our assssments. Whilst this may at times mean that Moyes has delayed a substitution too long, that Osman is not good enough against the very best teams, etc, it must be pointed out that these decisions are by and large being made correctly and as a result Everton’s position has improved.

I agree with you Tony, but we should applaud Davey Moyes for the job done so far, continue to back him while he keeps doing a good job, give the occasional rollicking like some fans did to the players in the car park after the shocking Wigan away game last November and not resort to childish abuse of players and manager on Toffeeweb if we have a bad day at the Office occasionally.

As for Kenwright; No, he’s not my cup of tea and some of the lies have disappointed me, whilst Kirkby is a disaster in the offing. However, he’s who we have for now and we have to hope he will support Davey in the Transfer market this Summer before re-judging him.

As ever, the close season will be very interesting.....
Clyde McPhat
10   Posted 07/06/2009 at 20:17:07

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Tony makes some great points. We got played off the ground Saturday last and we shouldn?t have. Every big match (Europe and the cups... except Man U) we have played in a scared manner. But, Moyes is our guy, and if he finds us one more diamond in the rough for £5 million or less, we will be very pleased.
Anthony O'Sullivan
11   Posted 07/06/2009 at 20:08:32

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Tony, you come across as negative because of the words you choose rather than your sentiment.

For exampe with your "when we are 3-nil up, I want 4" statement. A possitive way of expressing this might go like this: "This is great, the team is playing really well, we are already up 3-nil, now let.s go get the 4th".

But you will make a comment like, "This is rubbish, Moyes got his tactics all wrong, Hibert and Osman are shit, we should be beating this crowd by 4..."

It is possible to be both happy about what the team has achieved and still have that drive for success ? the two are not mutually exclusive.
Kieran Fitzgerald
12   Posted 07/06/2009 at 20:40:24

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The problem with me is that because football is so tied to my emotions sometimes I don?t think in a more clinical fashion before I post on here. If I?m elated over a good result sometimes my post reflects this. If I?m really pissed off or frustrated over something, unfortunately my post will sometimes reflect this too.

In general, you have to wonder if this is indicative of all fans. As several comments have already pointed out, sometimes a more balanced view is not given often enough by individuals when posting on the big issues like BK, Ossie, Moyes?s tactics etc.
Keith Glazzard
13   Posted 07/06/2009 at 20:23:12

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So - "some us think we are now such good a side with such a brilliant manager that improvement is not important any more."

I can’t recall anyone saying anything like that on this site, nor in the flesh. Perhaps some quotes would be useful to make the case.

"This is as good as we can expect" they say, "neither the players, manager or chairman should come under fire as we are doing so much better than we ever have done. To be critical is a crime" .

Similarly, this quite simply misrepresents the case. Ardent supporters of, for example, David Moyes are often critical of him in a reasoned way. They tend not to put him "under fire", whatever that means. Some people, on the other hand, don’t seem to be able to swallow hard enough to give praise where it’s due.



Calling "Bullshit" is everyone’s prerogative because "every one is entitled to their opinions, no matter how wrong they may or may not be". But wrapping yourself in the Royal Blue Jersey and shouting ’4-0 is not good enough’ seems to stray beyond the bounds of bullshit to me.

We all have our faults, and "striving for perfection" is fraught with difficulties. I would guess that Moyes is more committed to that in his line of work than most of us.

As for me, I have to decide whether or not I am actually going to paint that skirting board.
Tony I'Anson
14   Posted 07/06/2009 at 20:57:43

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Tony, I only ever have a punt on the Grand National, but I?m putting at least £200 on us getting into the Champions League next season and that?s before we improve on what we?ve got on the right hand side and the core of our team are fit again.

Next season we will brush mid-table sides away and give some surprises to the supposed big 4.

Tony, when I win this bet, all the winnings are going on us finishing 3rd the season after until I have to put the rollover winnings on us winning the league in let?s say 4 years.

I?m putting all my faith in the kids coming through on this and a bit of luck with long term injuries.

If this does happen and I?ve got to put £2000 on us winning the league, it will be a season not to forget. (And don?t even mention it to the missus.)

Who saw us coming when we won the league in 85 after 25 years.
Tony Marsh
15   Posted 07/06/2009 at 21:25:50

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Tony, best odds for us to win the Premier League next season are with Bet 365 ? 250/1; lowest is 100/1 which is widely available. My tip to you is to back Everton at 9/2 to be best of the rest.

Even at a £100 each way we would have to finish lower than 7th for you to lose your dosh so if what you think is true you are getting a freebet anyway. 7th place for the Blues will see you come away with your dough back and a small profit.
Tony Williams
16   Posted 07/06/2009 at 21:28:08

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Tony, Anthony has you down to a tee.

It is not the sentiment that is the issue but how you relate them to others on this site. Your arrogant, "I told you so" comments after the infrequent losses and your vanishing act when we are in a good spell detract from your credence as a poster, in my eyes anyway.

If you were balanced in your views, praising something when it is done well, as well as your usual scathing attacks when we are piss poor, a lot more people would be less crirical of your negative posts.

You must be able to see why people call you a "negative moaner" ? if you can?t then there is no hope for you.

Also as someone else has already stated, the supposed statements/feeling have never been discussed/entered on here. I visit this site everyday and I have never read any statement that says a person is happy with what we have done this season and improvement is not important anymore. I am satisfied with this season and do agree it could/should have been better but was knackered due to the start of the season.

As stated, some balancing posts and others (me included) would not have to take your posts with a pinch of salt. Far be it for me to suggest what you should post but you must see that nearly every one of your posts has a negative slant and in a not too bad season; that is worrying.
Michael Kenrick
17   Posted 07/06/2009 at 21:55:21

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Tony Williams, as Editor of this site, what I don?t understand is why Tony Marsh has to fit your prescribed recipe for so-called "balance" ? rather than posting what he feels?

I?ll say it until I?m blue in the face, there is no requirement for each contributor to demonstrate this "balance" you want to see. Where on earth did such a ridiculous idea come from? We recognize that football is about opinions ? that means the opinions of the individuals posting.

Why do they need to conform to your restrictions? I?m sorry but I just do not get it. If people want to praise, they can praise; and if people want to critique, they can critique. If they want to do a mixture of both, they can do. No matter what you think, they are the rules of this website.
Tony Marsh
18   Posted 07/06/2009 at 22:08:18

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Tony Williams, Like I said in the article, too many are happy with plodding on and you yourself admit to this in your comment. You say you are happy with the season just gone and admit it was knackered due to a poor start.

Now the difference between you and me is that I question said bad start and don't understand why it's okay to just shrug it off. Why did happen? And will it happen again? ? is what concerns me and not back-slapping each other on another season that has slipped us by.

If you run a business, you want to see improvement year after year ? just standing still is not good enough.

As for going missing when we win, I don't I just dont fall in to the "We are going to finish 4th and win a trophy this season" trap.
Keith Glazzard
19   Posted 07/06/2009 at 22:21:37

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Tony - " I question said bad start and dont understand why its okay to just shrug it off."

Tell us who ever said it was OK to lose home games?
Jamie Crowley
20   Posted 08/06/2009 at 03:10:52

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I for one come to this sight frequently ? often lurking ? to get the wide variety of views on offer. Tony Marsh ? keep posting quickly and go ahead and rant. It often brings up analysis that I readily admit I?da never considered. If it?s brazen, fine. We?re all big people, FFS. And I might add most seem fairly, if not outright intelligent. We?re more than capable of sifting through your comments and, if we choose, using the large grain of salt when considering the source. Not that it?s needed most times mind you.

I?d not have you change a thing, were it up to me. Just as I wouldn?t have Tony Williams change the way he approaches posting with his insightful and mediated way, or Fran Mitchell?s intelligent and excellent overviews and knowledge of the club. Jason Broome, Keith Glazzard, Michael Kenrick (da boss), Alan Kirwin, etc, etc, etc... (if I got some names wrong, apologies).

There?s just so many different opinions and that is exactly why this site offers so much. Keep it up. So ya piss some folks off with a direct approach ? they?re adults and they?ll get over it I?m quite sure. In a world full of Dale Carnegie School of Business jack-offs, you?re a refreshing change. Even if you do need a ray of sunshine up your rear end every once in a while.

As for the Club - we can improve. I for one felt the season was a great success with injuries, limited budgets, managerial contract fiascos, transfer market bubmlings, et al, and still reaching a Cup Final and 5th. Doesn?t mean it should be accepted as "best we can do". That?s total crap and a cop-out. But it was a good season, and I expect more good things to come. We?re definately trending upwards.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum: right? Keep on it Tony! We?re far from the best currently ? and only that is good enough.

Matt Traynor
21   Posted 08/06/2009 at 03:38:57

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Simon Templeman points out that three of the clubs have combined debts of 1.75 billion.

It needs to be borne in mind that a lot of this debt was related to the acquisition of the shares when the clubs were taken over. The purchase cost was effectively put onto the clubs as debt.

In Chelsea’s case the owner has loaned the club it’s money for players, interest-free. The operating loss of the holding companies for Man U and Liverpool relate to servicing the interest on the debt.

Everton would not cost anything like as much as those clubs to acquire, therefore using that scenario as a "be careful what you wish for" warning is misleading.
Michael Kenrick
22   Posted 08/06/2009 at 05:38:07

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Jamie Crowley, great post. Well done. What you describe is EXACTLY what our intention is for this forum.
Adam Cunliffe
23   Posted 08/06/2009 at 07:50:21

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I worte an article on here a few months ago and as far as I can remember it was widely praised exept for by none other than Tony Marsh who was rather pissed off because I said Nick Barmby used ot be my hero before the scum bag hopped across the park.

Tony, I have to say, I respect your opinions greatly. You, like many other people who post on this site, have seen a great deal more football and have a far greater knowledge about the game than I do.

However like most, I don?t always agree with it. Sometimes I do; sometimes I don?t. On this occasion I?m all for it. We need improvement because with the need to better ourselves what will we become.

I have a French exam this morning. If I got an A, I would be over the moon, but there would be a part of me that would still be gutted about not gettin an A*. This season has been a very good season for Everton Football Club, hopefully next season, without injuries and contract worries, will be a great one.
Tony Williams
24   Posted 08/06/2009 at 09:30:22

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Michael, I am not saying Marshy has to conform to anything, I have suggested why people think he is a "negative moaner" and why most take his articles/posts with a pinch of salt.

Michael, you say that Marshy should just post what he feels, I don?t disagree but where are his "feeling" posts when we are going through a purple patch? He is nowhere to be seen.

Tony, "You say you are happy with the season just gone", No, I didn?t ? I said I was satisfied, not happy. I would have been happy if we would have won the Cup.

Michael, the "balance" I have suggested would simply make the more aggressive posts against Tony disappear.

In your work, if you are a customer facing and you have a client that is constantly complaining about a product, even though you know the product is of satisfactory quality, yet he still complains week-in, week-out, do you think, "He must be right and this product is crap" or do you just think "wanker" and go on with your work?

As stated many times, Marshy only posts to moan or to character assassinate his boo boy of the week, that is why many people think his threads are laughable and predictable, which is a pity as he is obviously a devout Blue with lots to say but unfortunately keeps the positive posts at bay.

That is just my opinion on this footballing matter, which by your "rules" I am entitled to have.
Tony I'Anson
25   Posted 08/06/2009 at 10:05:48

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Tony, thanks for the betting tips. I am placing the bet not purely to win the cash. It?s to remind myself that I too am not happy with a Cup Final place and 4th either. And if we get into the CL next year, I want to break into the top 3, then the top 2 and then win the league.

When I compare a fully fit Everton squad with the top 4, I think we can come close to causing real ongoing upsets in the next 3 years but we?ll need a couple more good signings, a bit of luck and even more team spirit (if that?s possible). And I think we will have the whole nation behind us. So I?m off to the Bookies.
Alan Kirwin
26   Posted 08/06/2009 at 09:54:01

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Tony ? the short answer to your question is that it is you, and your similarly inclined brethren.

I also think Michael K has become a little deluded with his stewardship of this site. Michael you do not usually see fit to intervene & reprimand some, whilst you do others. You should either let it all go, or you call time on both sides of an argument. How else can it be an open forum?

Let?s start with opinions. So everyone is entitled to one. We?re all agreed, I assume, on that. Then how we express them. Well, as in life, some choose to discuss & debate the issue whilst some immediately drop into the gutter and spite personal abuse, usually at the poster or (almost every time) at Bill Kenwright, and occasionally at Moyes.

Tony, to his credit, does not usually resort to personal attack. And that in my book is fine and makes his posts acceptable on almost every occasion (as distinct from agreeable). But Tony is one of the Evertonians who dresses themselves in the "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum" flag every morning and (IMHO) has a tenuous grasp on reality.

In fact many of Tony?s postings are reminiscent of many Spurs fans who (Christ knows why) feel their club should always be "up there & challenging", presumably based on their record of two league titles in over a century, their apparent penchant for dainty football and spending silly money year in year out. Their beliefs are baseless, sad and rather amusing. That?s how I see the Nil Satis Nisi Optimum supporters.

David Moyes

There are also many myths & accusations peddled by Tony and many others that, in defending someone at a particular juncture, one is somehow thinking the person in question is god. Hmm. This rather confused philosophy comes from the same school of thought that gave us "...you?ll be voting for Hitler next...".

I know that many others, like myself, find ourselves reading Toffeeweb on a particular subject (usually the slagging off of Moyes & Kenwright following a 2-0 away win) and thinking that we?ve just encountered the biggest dickhead in the pub. The guy that doesn?t listen to a word you say, usually because he?s too pre-occupied vomiting forth the limited words at his disposal already. The guy that, when you say that you acknowledge the faults of so & so, but that you also happen to believe they are still your preferred choice for us, he slams his pint down and spouts abuse, probably containing the line "...you just think Moyes/Kenwright/whoever is (fucking) god...". Get the picture?

Like many, I was hugely critical of Moyes from July 2008 to October 2008. The reason was quite simple. He lost focus and appeared to have gone off the boil and off message. His public persona was unacceptable. My posts (which I?m sure are online somewhere for the record) called for him to go. Whatever his record was up to then (and I was in the very good, can do even better camp) he was undermining the club and the team. The fact that we started so badly was no surprise, it was very hard to take and I hold him primarily responsible.

However ? and it?s a very big however ? given all the parameters, he has done an excellent job at my club. Almost as importantly, he has pulled well back from where he was mentally last summer and is unarguably an Evertonian again. His public pronouncements have become exactly what I want to see & hear from an Everton manager.

He is not perfect (PLEASE NOTE THIS PHRASE BEFORE ACCUSING ME OF THINKING HE IS GOD). He has shown (to my mind) tactical failings on occasions. He has also leaned too much towards safety than expansive football on occasions (but nowhere near the levels he?s accused of).

In summary, whilst not god, or a prophet, or the pope, or buddha, he is a very very good manager. He has got better & better as a manager, as a man and as a custodian of my football team. Short of Guus Hiddink I can?t think of another manager I?d consider for Everton. It?s not just about playing dainty football. It?s about making the most of what you have (i.e. management), it's about commitment to the cause... and yes, it?s also about entertaining. Whatever has gone before, I live in the moment. At this moment in time we have the best manager we could wish for.

Bill Kenwright

I don?t intend to open another big Kenwright thread. My point is a simple one. You can get much of the gist from my defence of Moyes above.

Even if you don?t approve of Kenwright, to contribute in the personal, lazy, naive and unpleasant way that Jay Harris (& many others do) would be a joke if it wasn?t so obnoxious.

His post is not worthy of response. Firstly I have done it before in fairly measured & balanced tones. And secondly I view his take on things to be so myopic, selective memory, failed memory, ill-informed and just plain obnoxious that I don?t see the point.

This has become one of those arguments with no end. There are two sides to this debate. But only one side resorts on almost every occasion to distasteful personal abuse of Kenwright, rather than trying to make their argument with real facts instead of unfounded accusations, and naively & literally taking words like "24/7" and somewhow thinking that he means EXACTLY that. A bit like "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum" if you will.

Toffeeweb is undoubtedly the haven for the malcontents. Sure, there are a good few contributors who try to argue real issues in a measured way. Some non-slaggers even get wound up on occasions to mirror their negative counterparts. But it seems only the non-slaggers attract interventions from the editor, and the balance of abuse (some of it utterly distasteful) is undoubtedly with the malcontents.

So I think I shall take a back seat now with this site and leave it by & large to those with chips on shoulders and questionable memories. There is no value in stumbling across this level of negativity on a daily basis. I?m still pinching myself to remind me that we finished 5th and got to the cup final without our 3 best players & with a battered & bruised squad and we have some great kids coming through. I can only imagine how it might be if we were actually in trouble.

So, just for the record, I?m satisfied with Moyes, I?m satisfied with Kenwright, I?m satisfied with Elstone, I?m satisfied with last season, I don?t want a billionaire, I believe clubs should by & large be self-financing, I?d prefer us to have a bit more money, but I won?t lose sleep over it, I prefer Rodwell over Osman but don?t wish Osman any harm, I?ve always seen the good in Phil Neville and pleased that many now share that view, I don?t want Kirkby but understand how & why the club pursues it, I want a shared stadium, I?m looking forward to next season regardless and I think the new kit looks daft.

Here?s looking forward to an open Everton forum that sheds more light than heat.

Richard Parker
27   Posted 08/06/2009 at 08:24:13

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Marshy, I?d be amazed if there were many, if any, Evertonians who are content to be finishing 5th. I think there are plenty who are happy to enjoy the fact that we had a good 2/3 of a season and a couple of trips to Wembley. But I?m not sure where you get the opinion that any of us don?t feel that improvement is necessary.

I have mixed feelings about this season, we had a great run in the middle, after an abysmal start and we slightly petered out following the semi win. On the back of the summer, plus Moyes?s contract, plus the terrible form, plus the injuries, it can only been seen as a pretty good season.

Now, to question those things which I just mentioned is absolutely the best practice and any successful business will learn from its mistakes. There should be questions asked and measures put in place to ensure that these things don?t happen again. There are constraints, but I?m pretty confident that, within the constraints, Moyes and Elstone are doing their utmost.

Moyes is not perfect, but I can only see him becoming a successful manager, as he improves. I hope that will be with Everton and if it?s not, then I?ll wish him good luck when he starts winning trophies elsewhere.

I will disagree with you completely when you say that Osman and Hibbert are shite and don?t deserve to wear the blue, it?s simply not true. Osman and Hibbert are an integral part of the squad which finished 5th. Was Pip not good enough to be part of the 1999 United treble-winning squad?

I will agree with you wholeheartedly if you say that right mid should be one of the areas strengthened as a priority this summer. I agree wholeheartedly that Hibbert needs to work on his distribution and that there are better right-backs available.

The pessimism that you throw at these pages is what earns you the retorts and slanging matches. The way that you come on here after a poor performance and whip everyone involved, the players, especially Ossie and Hibbert, Moyes and his tactics which just earned him Manager of the Year, etc, etc, is what riles people.

Your absurd assertions that "we?ll be bottom 3 by Christmas" and suchlike piss people off and they have every right to be pissed off. You have every right to say them, but I?m sure you expect and perhaps enjoy the backlash.

Keep posting as you see fit and I think the extreme nature of your views can only possibly be borne out of a passion for Everton. But there are blue-tinted glasses who see Moyes as the second coming and Bill as the bluest of the blue and they have every right to express that too.
Neil Humphrey
28   Posted 08/06/2009 at 11:53:36

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Tony - I tend to disagree with most of the things you post but your contribution is as valid as any other on this site. If we all agreed on every issue it would be a pretty boring world.

Anyway, in relation to this article/thread, I really have to take issue with your perception that most of us are quite happy treading water. As others have pointed out, this is not the case ? we all want the same as you ? Everton playing great football, winning silverware etc. Some of us are a bit more happy to enjoy the steps we are taking in the right direction though.

Let?s take this season. Granted, we finished fifth again, so no official ?progress? on that front ? unless of course you consider that our closest rivals (Villa) outspent us by about 3:1 and we still came out on top. But importantly we also reached a cup final this year ? having taken out Liverpool, Villa and Man U on the way. And got (I think - someone might correct me though) our best points total against the top four in recent years. Although the hoofball returned in patches, we also played some of the best football I can remember. For Pienaar?s goal against Villa, pretty much every player in a blue shirt got a touch in the build-up ? sublime.

You also argue in your article that the £15M for Fellaini could have been better spent elsewhere. I?m not going to argue back by saying that he finished (joint?) top scorer or that he is widely considered in the media to be one of the buys of the season. What I would like to know though is who Moyes should have bought? I?m not trying to be argumentative, it would just be interesting to know.

Some of the things we do agree on ? improvement down the right hand side (Osman more so than Hibbert, who looks a different player when he has some protection), and additions to the squad made sooner rather than later.
Tony Marsh
29   Posted 08/06/2009 at 14:27:38

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Niel, I am not knocking Fellaini, I like him ? but £15 million could get you 2 or 3 decent midfielders with Premier League experience. What we needed last season and this coming one for that is numbers.

Last season, Sunderland took Malbranque and Kieron Richardson up there for less than £10 million, both decent players. Those two plus David Nuggent would of cost less than the money paid for Mo Fellaini.

I am not saying they would be my choice but pointing out that there are players out there who are available. If things are so tight as they say then the money we have should be used properly.
James Marshall
30   Posted 08/06/2009 at 14:52:16

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Can someone please tell me what the point of this thread is?

From what I can see, its just Tony going over the same old ground.

Everyone wants us to be better.

We all want to win something.

Kenwright admits he can do no more, and wants to sell.

There aren’t many investors around at the moment - I work in the financial sector and I can tell you, everyone is tightening their belts in every respect.

Reality bites.

End of story.

Next.
Tony Marsh
31   Posted 08/06/2009 at 15:15:40

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James Marshall... PORTSMOUTH???
Tony Williams
32   Posted 08/06/2009 at 15:12:35

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"Last season, Sunderland took Malbranque and Kieron Richardson up there for less than £10 million, both decent players. Those two plus David Nuggent would of cost less than the money paid for Mo Fellaini"

Tony, I see what you are getting at but not one of the three mentioned there would improve our team. Fellaini has.

Yes you can buy 3 £5m players for what we may eventually end up paying for Fellaini but what?s the odds that the players we already have would consign the £5m players to the bench.

I would hope our team is better than the £5m range journeymen we could get. Prices are daft these days and the Arteta, Cahill and Pienaar deals are few and far between.

We paid over £6m for a left back a few season ago so what do you now expect for £5m? I won?t even go into the fact that we did not pay all the money upfront.
Tony Marsh
33   Posted 08/06/2009 at 17:07:33

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Tony Williams, you cant seriously think Osman is better than Malbranque or Richardson, can you? As for bargains, how about Valancia and Zahki who both ended up at mighty Wigan Athletic. Peanuts for both and now Valencia is subject of £16 million bids.

There are players out there but you need good scouting networks and contacts to bring them in. I think this is an area in which we could improve...
Simon Dixon
34   Posted 08/06/2009 at 17:51:03

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Seriously, Malbranque, Nugent! Fellaini has scored more goals this season than both of them put together! Thinking about it... so has Osman.
John Brennan
35   Posted 08/06/2009 at 18:58:10

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If we are thinking of new players for Everton, (I haven't read most of the previous posts), I would go for Milner from Villa, and Pavlyuchenko from Spurs. That adds up to a fair few quid, I agree, but I have no idea how much cash we have to spend.

How would I raise it? Sell Anichebe, let VDM go; if possible, sell Hibbert (retain Jacobsen on an improved and extended deal and fast forward Coleman), and also bring in M?Bia. I must admit, I know nothing much about his style of play, but there seems to be plenty of interest in him, so he cant be that bad!!!

I don't want Owen, even on lower wages, we are taking enough risks already on forwards. Keep what we have by all means, with the movement as expressed above (with our finances the way thay are, it is ridiculous to contemplate "something for nothing", and if we have anything left, my wild card would be Bentley from Spurs. Yes, I know, he has had his detractors (including me), but he is now older and wiser after suffering at Tottenham and if anyone can bring out the best in him, Moyes can.

Andy Crooks
36   Posted 08/06/2009 at 21:34:24

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In this time of recession, I think any Evertonian who likes a bet should look carefully at Tony Marsh?s advice to back Everton eachway to be best of the rest. I actually think that 5/1 or even 11/2 might become available when the likes of City spend some money. It looks like a free bet and I know a bit about betting. Take Tony?s advice and fill your boots!
Jamie Crowley
37   Posted 09/06/2009 at 04:14:58

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Marsh - Fellaini was an excellent signing, and it?s part of the building process. The boy is pure class, and will only develop. I?d MUCH prefer him over 2-3 other signings for cover for the right side. Pray they employ the same strategy to assist the right side this summer. The money to sign Fellaini was money wisely spent, and I think spending it for 2-3 other players without the upside as Fel has would actually create what you despise: lacking the guts and vision to reach for more. Settling for "ok" to "above average" players ? adding numbers ? and not someone who can truly create a difference as I think Fellaini can and is showing he has the talent to do.
It?s a process, and Big Fel was a cog in the wheel. A really good cog. No way would I take your alternative and be minus Big Fel in this Club right now.
This is where I?m hugely pro-Moyes. You add Fellaini?s talent, and a year later add another, lock in the long term contracts... this is a growth model... I?d suggest you recognize what?s occuring - it?s clearly obvious. Now if there?s no signings for the glaring need then you?ve got a beef. But we?re at a crossroads, there really is an atmosphere occuring that should spawn silly optimism. And that is the view some of the "others" espouse.

We?ll see. I?m siding with the others for now. My view and opinion might change in a few weeks. Time will tell.

Patience is indeed a virtue. And I truly believe this summer is massively important to us pushing on, or settlling for "best of the rest."

We can break that glass ceiling, and this is the best opportunity we have IMO to do it. And for what it?s worth, I think Moyes is the man for the job.
Steven Templeton
38   Posted 09/06/2009 at 12:47:55

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Richardson, Malbranque & Nugent? Seriously?

Aside from the argument over whether they would improve the squad (which is a subjective matter) you also have to take into account the fact that we would increase the wage bill x3 instead of just 1.

"There are players out there but you need good scouting networks and contacts to bring them in. I think this is an area in which we could improve..."

Do the names Cahill, Arteta, Jagielka, Lescott, Pienaar and Gosling not mean anything to you?

I?m all for healthy criticism Tony but really? The one thing that stands out from Moyes?s reign is the number of bargain basement players that he has bought and turned into top class players, I can?t believe that you are criticising him on this point!
Fran Mitchell
39   Posted 09/06/2009 at 12:40:05

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Tony. Fellaini was signed to do exactly what you want us to - take us to the next level.

Moyes has gone down this route of having a small squad of quality rather than a large on of average.

Fellaini could become a top-class midfielder, one who can make difference in Europe, be difeerence between finishing 4th/3rd or 5th/6th etc....look at liverpool, once gerrad was 25/26 he was the reason they finished 4th, while attack and rest of midfield was average. Fellaini is only 21, and could reach that level. For the NSNO theory, Fellaini is the type you want, not Richardson, Malbranque et al

But if we wasted money of 3 squad bulkers, that didnt improve us do you think we could finish 4th?

On that logic we could sell cahill and sign 2 average players, sell Arteta and sign3 saverage players. Basically become Portsmouth or Sunderland, a club with a large squad, but not a very good team.

Yes their are always good players that slip your grasp. Valencia is one, however that is not something you can moan at club for...I imagine Arsenal look and say why didnt we sign Jagielka for 4.5mil? Liverpool will look and go Baines for 6mil, how didnt we get him? Countless clubs will look at Arteta, Cahill and Pienaar for 2, 1.5, and 2.5 mil respectivly and say WTF, how didnt we get them? Tottenham pay 10mil for goalie, we have Howard for 3mil.Thats life, and Wigan did very well with the 3 south american players they signed...Whether they can do it again...

Zaki was good for 3 months, but after that was crap.

And maybe we will have a few more bargains comin through...Gosling for 500k looks as steal, this new American lad, that Coleman from Ireland, new German lad...you never know. We nearly got Obina, what might have been...

All in all, I think we will make 2-4 signings this summer, and they will improve the team. I think at least 1 will be a big improvement, a top class player. That is how Moyes has done it over the last 7 seasons, every season buying someone who seriously improves the team
1st.Yobo
2ndMartyn
3rd Cahill
4thArteta
5thLescott/Johnson/Howard6thYakubu/Jagielka/ Baines
7thFellaini...every season 1 or more player that improve the team, and the quality of those signed improves season on season.

So the improvement is getting there every season, aruond these signings have been squad bulkers, players who didnt perform as expected, injured players.

How it was done last season was frustrating, how it did get there in the end, and there is no reason to believe it wont happen again.
Ciarán MacGiolla Eoin
40   Posted 09/06/2009 at 13:33:23

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You positive types get right on my mammaries....comin’ on here with your obsequious sanctimony. If only you criticised in the equal measure you placate...Then you’d have balance.

We’ve had two long threads trying to hammer home the virtue of differing opinion...and still the message doesn’t sink in. Everybody still wants it their way!

At least Mr Marsh’s conducting of the brady bunch - retains a certain amusement.
James Marshall
41   Posted 09/06/2009 at 13:47:27

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Tony - PORTSMOUTH???

You rarely make any points worth debating, Tony - I admire your tenacity and have never doubted your love of the club, but I stand by my comments that there are not enough investors to go round.

Picking out one or two clubs (West Ham inc) does not change the situation.

We’re not an attractive investment, and thats fact.
Dave Johnson
42   Posted 10/06/2009 at 01:02:29

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Tony - PORTSMOUTH???

You rarely make any points worth debating, Tony - I admire your tenacity and have never doubted your love of the club, but I stand by my comments that there are not enough investors to go round.

Picking out one or two clubs (West Ham inc) does not change the situation.

We?re not an attractive investment, and that's a fact
----------------------------------------
Utter Bollocks ? WE ARE EVERTON. Tony knows that and so do I. You sound like you?ve digested a little too much of Bill?s bullshit. Kenwright is Championship standard at best and would have you believe you should be happy with your lot. Fellas like Tony demanded success like the rest of us did. You lot let the likes of Kenwright rest on their laurels, resulting in lies/shit ground/no cups for 14 years etc etc etc.


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