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The Kids are Alright

By Dan Walshe :  15/08/2008 :  Comments (28) :

There is no need for me to waste any time on the disastrous summer that all Evertonians have gone through. We are where we are.

The season starts tomorrow against a Blackburn side with their own problems. I expect them to be a pale imitation of Sparky?s Blackburn. Paul Ince reminds me of Graeme Souness in his approach to management. He is too caught up in his own ego and in proving to the players that he is the boss. Santa Cruz will move on and others might follow. Robbie Fowler is clearly past it and if talk of spending 2m on Keith Andrews from MK Dons is to be believed then Ince is allowing personal loyalty to get in the way of his responsibilities to Blackburn.

We are likely to have 5 players under the age of 18 on the bench. We are likely to have one or two youngsters starting. Let?s remember one thing?it is not their fault that we haven?t signed anybody. Tomorrow (and probably for the next few weeks at least) they will get the chance that all of us would kill for. Some will grasp the opportunity, others will be so nervous they will mess it up and some might simply not be good enough. Our responsibility as Evertonians is to get right behind them, encourage them and drive them on. We must give the team the benefit of the doubt for the next few weeks. None of the young players will thrive if thrown into a bear pit of discontented fans.

For some of these players this might be their only chance. Signings will come (presumably) and when Cahill and Vaughan return from injuries many of the younger lads will fall right down the pecking order. Some will never get a chance again. I know we are not a charity. I know what the club crest says. But the difference between this club and some of our near neighbours is that kids growing up on Merseyside and the surrounding area actually have a real chance of making it here. That still counts for something. With some notable exceptions players who come through the academy are more likely to stay at the club if they do make it. We all have a greater emotional investment in those players and any of them that make it save us millions in transfer fees.

This squad may be threadbare, it may be young but it has a higher percentage of true blue Evertonians than any squad I can remember. Let?s give them our support. Be patient. They deserve the chance the rest of us never got.

Reader Comments

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steve beck
1   Posted 15/08/2008 at 14:02:54

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This piece sounds like something the corrie actor would spout when asked why so far he has made a cock up of pre season.I appreciate we should give the youngsters a chance but if we dont strengthen we are going to struggle as the season unfolds due to injuries and suspensions.Even though I have not enjoyed the news or lack of it over the last month I will still continue to follow the blues whoever pulls on the jersey.
Mike Allison
2   Posted 15/08/2008 at 14:14:21

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Good article. We’re all unhappy at the failure to improve the squad, and it still needs doing before August 31st. Personally I think four midfielders and a striker are a minimum. We won’t get that and we’ll struggle because of it. Dan is absolutely right however, about the fact that the players on the pitch are not to blame for this, the youngsters deserve and more importantly need the support of the fans. We’ve always been good at backing youngsters who’ve got into the team and I expect this to continue in the opening three games. Some of them may even exceed expectations and we’ll have found positives in what is currently a very negative situation.
Michael Dawson
3   Posted 15/08/2008 at 14:11:32

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Great article. If you asked some of these young lads a few weeks ago, I bet none of them would have been expecting to be making their Premier League debut this early, or even this season.

It’s our job to get right behind them tomorrow. It’s obvious that, as fans, we would prefer to have some experienced signings, but we have to show that we’re proud to see these kids out there. I’m sure they will respond by giving their all for the shirt. I bet there’s a few of them won’t get a wink of sleep tonight.
Shaun Nesbitt
4   Posted 15/08/2008 at 14:23:39

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Tomorrow’s performance is most likely to be with backs to the wall. Hoof ball and try grind out a resault. We’ll have nothing going forward. Enjoy the game, for those who are going. I’m staying away. I refuse to give them knob heads in the boardroom anymore money. We should have boycotted this game. That would have sent a clear message, to the pricks who run the club.

The amount of spin that’s been coming out on the OS, is UNBELIEVABLE!!
Brian Waring
5   Posted 15/08/2008 at 14:34:07

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Enjoy the game lads, I’ m of to the south of France for a well earned 2 weeks hoiliday, not from work, but from the balloons who run our club. Au revoir!
Mike Allison
6   Posted 15/08/2008 at 14:35:10

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Shaun I understand your frustration, but a boycott hurts the team and none of us want that. There are plenty of ways of making your point but still backing the lads on the park, who aren’t to blame. I like the bring your boots idea, I hope thousands do it.
Richard Harris
7   Posted 15/08/2008 at 14:29:27

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I would expect the kids to get their chance against a lower league side in one of the early rounds of the cup. Or against one of the bottom sides in the Premiership when we have an important midweek European match. Or when injuries, suspensions or loss of form of experienced players happens. But not at the start of a new season when we should be building on last season’s near misses. Other than Manchester United and Chelsea, other teams should be looking at us and thinking that we were good last season and have strengthened to make it more difficult for them. Any team that finished below us should have been gutted that they couldn’t catch us last year and now we have made it more difficult by getting stronger. Not weaker !! Even Arsenal and Liverpool should be worried. But no, we muddle along in the Everton way of doing things and concede ground that we had fought so hard to win......
Graham Steven
8   Posted 15/08/2008 at 14:33:45

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Wrong attitude Shaun.

The board are a disgrace and are running the club into the ground, I think we can all agree on that.

But ’staying away’ will not help our great club. It won’t hurt the board and it won’t help turn things around.

Boards, managers and players’ passion should be the one constant. I will be there singing my heart out for the lads. We all should be.
Shaun Nesbitt
9   Posted 15/08/2008 at 14:38:33

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@mike Allison, the players will no the boycott wast directed at the board and not them. We should do what it takes to get the message across. If it means a riot or boycotting the game. Then, that’s what it takes. For those that are going. I hope you protest before, half time and at the end of the game.
Shaun Nesbitt
10   Posted 15/08/2008 at 14:44:30

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Here’s the squad for tomorrow. Taken from the OS.

Everton from: Howard, Ruddy, Turner, Neville, Jagielka, Lescott, Yobo, Valente, Baines, Osman, Arteta, Rodwell, Gosling, Baxter, Yakubu, Vaughan, Jutkiewicz.

Jesus. We don’t even have 18 players. Teams are allowed to have seven subs now. Only 17 players to choose from. Three of them are goal keepers. We really are fucked for the season, if they don’t buy any players. Now i hope you understand why i’m PISSED OFF, to put it mildly.
Trevor Lynes
11   Posted 15/08/2008 at 15:18:05

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Ive just read that EFC are favs to sign Tiago...he has just been voted number 3 in the worst transfers of the season in Italy..he cannot get in a pretty average Juventus side (mid table) this the QUALITY we are waiting for ?? We must be circulating all the clubs in Europe asking for dead wood...we’ve become the Steptoe and son of our league...WHAT THE F...K IS GOING ON ???? A better demo on saturday would be to bring your old clothes and bric a brac and have a boot sale to raise money for the club..BK must be a real tightwad..he’s still got the money in his pocket for the sales of McFadden and all the salaries saved on the players the finishing 5th Sky gate receipts from the Idiots like us who continue to support the team despite being treated like morons..DM is not much better, he’s toed the party line for years...with quotes like we just want quality....what about the cash thats been offered (supposedly)for Moutinho, Milito, M’bia and Love..if EFC bring Tiago and Smith to the club then its tantamount to thumbing their noses at us..
Chris Marks
12   Posted 15/08/2008 at 15:48:54

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Erm, is this the same Tiago (yes it is) who played 34 games for Chelsea in their 2004/5 title-winning campaign, then won two league titles in consecutive seasons in France with Lyon, before joining Juventus, where, admittedly he didn’t do to well, but qualifying for the Champions League isn’t "mid-table".

Oh, and he has 37 caps for Portugal. That’s 20 more than Moutinho and 34 more than Manuel Fernandes. Yes he’s older but a similar type of player, with more experience than the other two Portuguese midfielders mentioned. A potentially great loan signing (and 6ft tall too).
Ian Hawkins
13   Posted 15/08/2008 at 15:54:54

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Best post read on here in months. Clearly no one is happy with lack of signings but by giving these ’kids’ every support we can, it gives us the best chance getting through this with the least amount of damage possible. A not unkind start to the season in terms of fixtures also means that with a bit of luck we could be 3 games in, 7 points on the board and looking forward to new signings making full debuts, by then having hopefully been bedded in.
Billy Dean
14   Posted 15/08/2008 at 16:27:46

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Call me an optimist but maybe this is all a plan from Moyes.

Maybe he’s giving the youngsters 2 or 3 games to prove themselves ready for the premiership before he finally brings in the rumoured targets (Moutinho, Love, M’Bia, Smith, Ledley) that are waiting in the wings.

Or maybe not.
Wayne Smyth
15   Posted 15/08/2008 at 16:19:15

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Dont forget that Pienaar wasn’t exactly setting the bundesliga alight when he came here on loan. I think most of us agree he’s a good player and well worth what we paid for him.

I dont think we can complain about Moyes’ record in the transfer market. We haven’t lost out big on any players he’s brought in. Sure, some signings haven’t worked out(Kroldrup/Beattie), but we’ve recouped decent fees for them.

Personally if Moyes thinks tiago can do a job for us then we should be happy to go along with that.

As for the original post, I think its spot on. None of us really know who is to blame for whats gone on this summer, I’m sure it will all become clear in time.

Taking out that frustration on the team is going to do no-one any good. Fans need to support their team(even more) during the bad spells, not just when things are going great.
kevy quinn
16   Posted 15/08/2008 at 17:09:03

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i agree 2 back the kids, please play rodwell and gosling from the start!! anybody but neville in centre mid!!! i cant bear the thought of that!! disaster!!! right back or no where!!!!
Richard Harris
17   Posted 15/08/2008 at 17:07:28

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Wayne Smyth wrote "Taking out that frustration on the team is going to do no-one any good. Fans need to support their team(even more) during the bad spells, not just when things are going great".

That’s what our board rely on - that unlike other supporters we will follow EFC through the good (and mostly the bad) times. There must be fundamental change at the top if we want to move forward. For this season it may even be about not falling backward. Players are high paid and should be highly skilled. If they can’t take the heat when the going gets tough then they should try living in the real world like the rest of us. Many people have hassle in their work and get far less in a year than a very average Premiership player gets in a week. If I don’t shout my head off in support when the team are playing badly then that doesn’t make me less of supporter.
Brian Hill
18   Posted 15/08/2008 at 17:07:37

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Great post. I wish I could be there to scream my lungs out for these kids. The game is live on TV here in South Africa and my rugby loving neighbours will find out what sporting passion is really all about as I drown them out while they watch the Boks play the All Blacks. Blues fans, please put your frustration on ice tomorrow afternoon and remind our players why Everton means so much to them and, far more importantly, to us.
Lee Jamieson
19   Posted 15/08/2008 at 18:22:46

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At last the green shoots of optimism have begun to spring up. I must be a masacist as I support Everton and I read the near suicidal articles on this site every moment I get.
This summer has been hell ! We have been linked with nearly every player sold from the kid who went to Arsenal right up to this joker Tiago and still we have nothing.
However my faith in Moyes is strong I am confident that he would not start the season if he thought the kids Gosling, Rodwell and Baxter were not at least worth a run out. If one of these kids holds his place and turns out to be either a blue version of Walcott, Bale, Bentley or indeed our Osman then we have saved a few quid. Couple this with a few key signings towards the end of August before the window shuts and the optimists might out number the suicidal lemmings. Lets remember a side about 25 miles away that started a season with a number of kids you might remember their names Scholes, Beckham and Giggs. Some old RS said they wouldn’t win a thing with kids!
Keith Glazzard
20   Posted 15/08/2008 at 19:02:30

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The club - including Moyes - have been talking the "kids" up for weeks now. Whether by bad management or stealth we know they are going to play a part in the opening of this season. Moyes says he will bring more players in by the end of the month and I’m sure he will.

But he must be confident that - I guess - Rodwell can do the job. And if I was a gambler, I’d bet that we’ll see Baxter sooner rather than later.
David Jones
21   Posted 15/08/2008 at 19:30:21

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I will wish the kids all the best luck in the world. And cheer them on. And back them all the way. I would love to see them all be mainstays of the team in years to come and for us all to look back as this year as one were all for the wrong reasons everything came right.

Now back to the real world. They’re young and inexperienced. They will have lessons to learn, and that will be at Everton’s expense. Normally those expenses are minimized by older players in the team so that they don’t have drastic consequences. You get a few younger players and they can get a pasting now and again. Pragmatically, the current performance of a football team is the measure of success, not potential future success, which you might point at with having a younger team. If you look to the future too much, all of a sudden you can end up in trouble all to easily.

If this was 2 or 3 seasons down the line and the likes of Rodwell et al. were proven players, I’d be rubbing my hands and saying bring it on even though we would still have a small squad.

I don’t know what the situation at the club is, but I think it is an outstanding sign of mismanagement from the Chairman, right through to the manager that this has not been rectified. I though Moyes has had a bad hand dealt to him until now. But if he cannot be blameless after this period of time. His refusal to sign a new contract will soon have, if it doesn’t already, a destabilizing effect on the club and ability to bring players in, and keep those already here, here.

I am at a point were I am losing hope with the blues. I was so confident at the end of last season with on field performances and promises of team strenghening... and now... I just feel very let down.

Anyway. C’mon Everton. I’m sure the kids’ll do their best. Let’s get behind them. Maybe in a week or two I’ll be writing about how great things are. I hope so.
Blair Johnson
22   Posted 15/08/2008 at 21:43:46

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Watch for the bench to have players who are injured and definitely won’t (can’t) play - ie. Hibbert and Cahill. Moyes/Kenwright will slyly think that this will encourage the crowd as the team list is read out... but they are weeks away. Anything to quieten the rage of the disgruntled crowd.

This club is an absolute disgrace. The ’bring your boots’ idea is great. I’ll be watching in New Zealand - (even though the big All Blacks game is on) and I WANT TO SEE THOSE BOOTS waved.... let these pricks know that this is NOT ACCEPTABLE.

How can Moyes state that he needs "5 or 6" new faces - and conspire with his boss to get NONE - after losing Wessels, Carsley, Johnson, Fernandes, Carsley and Gardner... as well as having Hibbert, Van der Meyde, Cahill and Pienaar injured and Anichebe unavailable.

John Andrews
23   Posted 15/08/2008 at 21:57:10

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Who on earth wants Joe Ledley ? Or have I missed something and he is a world beater !
Jim Lloyd
24   Posted 15/08/2008 at 22:35:55

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Of course we’ll back the kids and no Blue should be going to the match with any intention of booing a player in Blue, at any time, not never not nohow, as one wise sage once said.
However, this can only be for tomorrow and that’s it. We cannot put such pressure on kids, no matter how promising. If things start going wrong, each one of those kids will slog their guts out for the club but the pressure on them would become unbearable. It’s happened before at Everton, usually when we’ve been trying to avoid relegation.
No, no-one will get on the kids backs tomorrow but its not right to expect them to take the place of seasoned premiership players.
Bring them in when the time is right, not when we’ve no bugger else to play.
Steve Alpine
25   Posted 16/08/2008 at 02:36:35

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The best thing about our current predicament is that we’re a throwback.
Last season we had a squad good enough to win the league in 1993.
Imagine if our current group of kids turned out to be world beaters.
I think that there’s a chance we might have the licking of Blackburn Rovers FC
I’ve been described as a ’danger to myself and others’ but I really believe we have a chance.
Jutkiewicz to start.
Fingers crossed
Vincent Koh
26   Posted 16/08/2008 at 03:23:29

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Hey all, don't be pissed off because of no signings... you won't know, a loss can be a gain. We may have our Beckham, Giggs etc. Now the most important signing is David Moyes. In fact I would like to see him staying in this club for minimum 10 seasons.
neil scott
27   Posted 16/08/2008 at 05:21:34

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I’m sorry but..."a loss can be a gain"??!

Well i hope not against blackburn. For those out there that think we are playing the kids because they are ready....well we’re not. We have no plan B.

For those that think that a loss will inspire a sudden difference to the way we handle transfers (wait till all the others have done their business then spend against this years tv money that arrives MID AUGUST)....then we can’t. We have no Plan B.

But for all those that think Moyes should sign up for ten more years of being lied to by his paymasters and pull ’rabbits out of hats’ just because it may make things a bit better for the club’s PR....then think again. Because i reckon that David Moyes does have a Plan B.

And who could blame him if he uses it?
Jason Broome
28   Posted 16/08/2008 at 12:30:53

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You couldn’t ask for an easier start to the season and I fully expected us to take 13 points from our first 15. However looking at our team we could have difficulties.

Hopefully the team will stand together and fight for the points.

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