The Mail Bag
April 2009 Archive
Want to have your say?
Don't shoot the messenger but something has just occured to me while I was reading all about the Swine Flu outbreak on 'tinternet. The WHO has now raised concern to level 5.... 'Pandemic imminent' status and all that as we know. If it goes to level 6, 'Panic stations.... Pandemic arrived' status, this comes along with a number of recommendations which include the banning (or postponement in a democracy!) of large public gatherings.
Now my experience of FA Cup finals is that they are probably the largest public gathering we have in this Country and I was just wondering whether, if this flu thing really kicks off, the Cup Final may be put off until the whole thing dies down. After which, if we are not all extinct, the game will be rearranged.
They have already done this in Mexico apparently and games are presently being played behind closed doors.
Just a thought
Dave Roberts Posted 30/04/2009 at 14:43:47 Comments (45)
I am really afraid that in the remaining league games, the 'cottonwool factor' is going affect our final league position.
Every Everton player wants to play in the Cup Final, and what ever Moyes tells them, they are going wrap themselves in cottonwool for the remaining league games.
They are going hold back on 50/50 challenges, avoid stretching and flat out sprinting, all subconciously to avoid a Cup Final threatening injury.
How many more points do we need to gaurantee finishing 6th or 7th?? Where are those points most likely to some from? Our form up to the Chelsea game, would have made all of our remaining league games very winnable.
But with the 'cottonwool factor' every point will be difficult IMHO.
Am I being paranoid after losing to Man City?
Brian Baker Posted 30/04/2009 at 13:39:14 Comments (12)
Just read on Sky Sports that Van der Meyde is 'unlikely' to be offered a new deal at Everton and his agent is looking for a new club in England.
What fucking cloud do these people live on?
We have been mugged to the tune of six million quid (more if we paid a fee for him) at least over the course of four years if we are to believe he has been picking up £30k a week, and for what?
The alarm bells should have been ringing when he only managed to complete 12 games in two years for Inter, prior to us signing him, and yet we still get mugs coming onto this website and saying 'he deserves another chance'.
It makes me so angry when gobshites like this can bleed the club dry, then the agent has the audacity to come out and say 'basically my client is looking for another mug to fleece'.
No doubt there were legal reasons we couldn't offload this useless excuse for a human being.
Only in the world of football could this situation be allowed to fester for four years.
Steve Hogan Posted 30/04/2009 at 12:36:33 Comments (33)
Anton Peterlin a 22-year-old American defensive midfielder is set to put pen to paper on July 1st (when the window re-opens) having impressed on a 10-day trial with the Toffees.
David Moyes is quoted as saying, "Anton really impressed myself and the coaching staff with his attitude and undoubted ability. We are therefore delighted to give him the chance to establish a professional career here at Everton.?
Interesting.... very interesting... it must mean the end of Castillo at Everton.
Graham Nolan Posted 30/04/2009 at 08:40:52 Comments (32)
Surely not? According to the BBC Sport site we are interested in signing Michael Owen who is prepared to take a drop in salary ? big deal! This guy is well past his best and he is seldom fit enough to play. He may have been a blue in his younger days but that is hardly a reason to be going in for him now.
Tony Waring Posted 30/04/2009 at 06:24:35 Comments (46)
or hard-working central midfielder?
I have been keeping tabs on our derby hero Dan Gosling when he's came on in games recently and it seems one match he comes on and frustrates teams by getting tackles in and harrying the opposition and than the other he will come on and cause teams plenty of problems with his pace on the right wing and likes to run at full-backs.
What will this lad end up as, a stifling Rory Delap type, or the answer to our lack of a quick right-winger?
Ian Tod Posted 29/04/2009 at 19:25:44 Comments (33)
I'm a Stoke fan but fans from a high profile club such as Everton, should start a campaign. Every fan from every Premier League club should boycott all FA cup games, when two Premier League clubs are drawn to play each other, until they guarantee 35000 tickets to both finalists.
If any tickets aren't sold, they could go back to the FA. This would still leave at least 20,000 tickets for the neutrals. All lower league clubs fans should still go to give their clubs the much needed revenue.
Can you imagine the impact a 'big' game in an empty stadium would have ?
Ian Collis Posted 29/04/2009 at 12:39:59 Comments (15)
I've just read the article about Everton returning to Utah for their pre-season tour. I think the club are missing a big trick if they don't go to Australia.
My sister is currently living out in Melbourne and informs me that Tim Cahill is massive over there. We also have a lot of contributors on here who are over in Australia. With Tim Cahill's popularity there is no reason, if Everton played the market over there properly, why every Aussie can't be supporting the blues and wearing Everton shirts with Cahill written across the back.
Surely Everton's marketing department must realise this? Considering other clubs are touring South Africa and the Far East to 'expand their fanbase' and make more money, why aren't Everton thinking along the same lines and exploiting the Australasian market? Or is there more potential in that well known hotbed of soccer Utah?
Alan Clarke Posted 29/04/2009 at 08:12:47 Comments (35)
With Jags out for the rest of the season, we're going to be seeing a bit more of Joseph Yobo. Can I just ask why there seems to be an air of negativity around having him in the centre-back berth?
I know he used to be prone to the odd clanger, just as Hibbert is prone to one bookable tackle per game, but I haven't seen any serious errors from him for quite a while. At least none that have directly cost us goals. I think he's quite a solid defender.
He has pace to burn, an attribute that's often helped him if he has made any mistakes, and, typical of an African, he throws his foot at anything that comes near him, much like Jags. I admit he has a tendancy to lump it forward but so does Jags and with no more luck than Yobo does when he punts it forward. Yobo was Moyes's first signing and I think it was money well spent.
Nick Harrison Posted 29/04/2009 at 22:15:10 Comments (37)
Seeing Osman, our first name on the teamsheet as a right winger when he is clearly a central midfielder, is depressing. Dead depressing. I know Osman has his fans and I am one of them, but I think he is over-used and needs a rest badly. He's not a first teamer for me but a very useful squad player.
This leads on to the summer... a right winger please! When was the last time we had a winger who wanted to dribble at players, see them perform stepovers and cross the ball?Kanchelskis was the last class one... and that was over 10 years ago!
It is just common sense and I'm still shocked that this hasn't been sorted out yet with Smith and then Moyes. To all of the Moyes lovers out there, I'm not slagging him off, I think he is a very good manager. But if you were the so called great manager, they would say our team has no width and our attacks only come from the brilliant partnership of Baines and Pienaar. Nothing comes from our other flank. No attack... absolutely nothing! It needs to be addressed sooner rather than later if we want a top 4 spot.
Our last good link was Trochowski from Hamburg... German international, very tricky, good crossing and can play at both flanks... he'll do!
Ben Jones Posted 28/04/2009 at 21:30:17 Comments (36)
The allocation for this years cup final is no different to any other year, and you hear the same complaints every year. Elstone is obviously not in tune with football at a grass-roots level.
Having been involved in grass roots football myself, running a small club in the Marathon League, I actually agree with the FA's distribution of tickets. Without the grass roots (amateur) side of the game, the bigger clubs would have to exist solely on foriegn players, with no talent coming through locally.
The FA Cup final is not just about the 2 clubs playing at the final, its about every affiliated club and player in the country, the so called 'football family'. But how do they dish the tickets out, you may ask?
Well, at the beginning of each season every single affiliated football club in the UK, numbering some 150,000 clubs, can complete a form in the FA handbook, entering their club onto a list for possible allocation of a Cup final ticket. This is before a ball has been kicked in any home based competition. The allocation is based on a first come first serve basis. So the sooner you get your form completed the sooner you go on the list. A large number of clubs never bother to do this.
Most years that I completed this form as club secretary I have recieved a single FA Cup final ticket on behalf of my club, just after the semis have been decided. Most years we would hold a club raffle, with the ticket as first prize, with half of the proceeds going to charity and the other half going into the club funds.
Most clubs that applied for tickets would recieve a single ticket, with bigger clubs getting a pair at the most. So you see, 40,000 tickets doesn't go far with over 150,000 affiliated clubs.
Some of these tickets do find their way into the hands of the touts, but most are used by real football 'fans'.
Brian Baker Posted 28/04/2009 at 15:12:25 Comments (53)
Anyone know how many season-ticket holders we have?
We've been (quite rightly) slagging the 'football family' and their 40,000 allocation but I'm curious about where ALL our allocation is going.
My guess (before the allocation announcement) would have been that we had between 21,000 and 23,000 season-ticket holders (nb: based on..well, nothing much really).
If that WAS the case, all season ticket holders would have been able to get a final ticket (as I say - I could be wrong!)
However the cup games criteria (and how many are blues eligible etc) means things re STH's are a little...um..blurred.
And (hypothetically), if things WERE blurred or a little misty, it would give an unscrupulous club the chance to cream off say...er..2000 tickets for themselves, without their supporters ever knowing.
Then all that (hypothetical) club would have to do then is point the finger at the FA and their grasping football family and (hypothetical) Bob would be your uncle.
By the way, this is NOT a 'I didn't get one' whine - I'm sorted.
Genuinely Just curious (and ok - by nature, suspicious).
EJ Ruane Posted 28/04/2009 at 13:25:30 Comments (21)
I have just had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a non-season ticket holder and who told me he would be prepared to pay up to £500 for a final ticket. This baffled me as I would not pay a penny over the odds for a ticket purely out of principle.
As a season ticket holder with comfortably enough match credits to qualify for the final this got me thinking just how much would I need to be offered to sell my ticket.
I?m not talking about hawking it to the highest bidder but if someone came up to me outside Wembley and offered me £500 would I sell ? Probably not. £750 still not going to happen. £1000+ I think I would have to seriously consider it.
I am nothing if not a pragmatist. I have seen at first hand Everton win the FA Cup, the league title and escape relegation. Strangely enough the Wimbledon game beats the trophy wins hands down for me as Everton were on a life support machine at that point until Anders Limpar did his Steven Gerrard impression in the box.
I digress ? what I am trying to say is that whatever happens on the 30th May I am in the fortunate position to have already seen it before. As such if someone offered me over a grand for my ticket would I take it ?
My heart tell?s me I would turn it down flat, my head tells me there is season ticket number 24 comfortably paid for.
As always with Everton though the heart always rules the head doesn't it?
Gareth Humphreys Posted 28/04/2009 at 13:57:03 Comments (31)
Having been away for the past few months I have only had the luxury of watching the games through highlights on the net. I have noticed that Everton have started shooting towards the Park End in the second half and wondered if anyone could give me an explanation??
Is this another part of our clubs tradition that is being removed by the powers that be? I noticed even Andy Gray mentioned it during one of the Sky games that I managed to catch. Any ideas?
Davie Carns Posted 28/04/2009 at 07:00:00 Comments (14)
I've read a number of articles or comments on TW dismissing the merits of the new Europa League, and indeed the Uefa Cup. Some people suggest that it should take bottom priority after the league and 2 domestic cups.
Having also read the negative ramblings of H Redknapp Esq on the same subject, questioning the very worth of a 2nd stream European competition against the FA & Carling Cups, and witnessed Martin O'Neill's (in my view) wasting of an opportunity in this season's Uefa Cup, I think it's worth putting things into proper perspective.
I have no doubt whatsoever that, if we can't make the Champions League, we should try to get in and then to win the Europa League. Here's why:
1. You have to win the FA Cup or the Carling Cup just to qualify for it. Thus to decide that it's more important to win a qualifying competition than the main event flies in the face of logic.
2. It gives the team increasing exposure to the continental game & different tactics. This can only be good for the club's development & preparation for the Champions League.
3. It provides opportunity for squad players and younger players to get more games, and often against challenging opposition. Again, this can only have a positive effect.
4. It brings increased revenue. Whilst it may not be in 8 figures like CL group stage onwards, it is still more revenue from TV & gates.
5. Progression in Europa brings increasing exposure and recognition for the club. This is fundamental if we are to grow. Whilst many will sneer at the Norwegians who come over to Anfield, there are only so many match-going Evertonians in the city.
6. European nights are brilliant. The club brilliantly managed our last campaign,with reduced prices to attract bigger crowds. Playing under the lights is special.
7. Fans, and players, love travelling to new & interesting destinations to follow the team. Last year's campaign was fabulous and everyone was deflated when it ended.
Personally I think the idea of a 2nd domestic cup, in the current packed fixture list, is a nonsense. Bollocks to the Carling Cup.
As far as I am concerned, our priorities next season should be 1 - Premier League; 2 - Europa League; 3 - FA Cup, 4 - Carling Cup. After finishing in the top 4, the next best thing I want to see a year from now is Phil Neville hoisting the Europa Cup at the Hamburg Arena in front of 20,000 Evertonians and then dancing the night away in the beer palaces.
Alan Kirwin Posted 27/04/2009 at 20:26:02 Comments (67)
The winner of the PFA Player of the Year award is voted for by his peers and 35-year-old Giggs topped the ballot despite only having started 12 games this season.
Does anyone else think that the so-called "peers" who voted on this have got it horribly wrong or its been rigged?
I do believe that Giggs should have won it some years ago when in his prime, but this "vote" smacks of correcting their own previously bad decisions ? and then again, who exactly are these "peers" (Sky 4 plus one or two others)?
It's not even difficult to think of quite a few Everton players (2 of whom had season ending injuries) that deserve this years award much, much, more than Giggs ever does!
Gerry Quinn Posted 27/04/2009 at 15:28:24 Comments (21)
Get your pen's out and your typing fingers at the ready, that is if you are a Season Ticket holder.
STH's can apply to the club for a Cup Final ticket, but you may miss out as there are not enough tickets to go round. You may have to wait until as late as the 18th May to get your mits on the precious article.
I suppose its probably the fairest way, but it also means a lot of nervous checking of your e-mails on an hourly basis.
Anthony Dyer Posted 27/04/2009 at 11:10:47 Comments (66)
Whilst a place in Europe is now definitely assured, we should be aware that if we lose the Cup Final and drop below 6th in the League, we'll have to play an extra qualifying round.
Initially, I had thought that we would just assume the place of the FA Cup winner and be in the final qualifying round but I have it on good authority that this is not so.
We will probably be motivated to maintain our league position by prize money anyway but it is also important to avoid an early start to what will hopefully be a very demanding season.
Philip Guyers Posted 26/04/2009 at 18:24:56 Comments (18)
I felt compelled today to submit my first ever cotribution to ToffeeWeb. Ever since Jags went down clutching that knee, my phone has been ringing off the hook, with messages like ?Well that's it, season over? and ?thats the final lost then?. In the face of such negativity, often seen on these pages, I just wanted to say, belief is still the key.
Moyes's team over the years has been built on a fantastic team spirit. No doubt, over the next few days, that will take quite a whack, and require some rebuilding. It's up to us as fans from now until the end of the season, over these next few games, to show unequivocal support for those players who do take the pitch.
Let me take you back to January ? Everton vs Liverpool, twice in a few days, and Arteta, our best player at the time, gets injured. The phone rings to a similar beat ?Game Over?, or ?We're Out?. I've never been one to say the old line 'this is our year', but something encouraged me this year ? our progress in cup competitions the season before. The thought of the team I love running out to 6,000 blue supporters at Anfield, all I needed was belief. That was all I could preach to the doubters, that if we believed, so would the players.
Its my opinion that we as fans played a big part at Anfield that day. Don't get me wrong, I'm hurting right now, the loss of Jags is massive, and I hate to think what the player is going through. But it's up to us right now to pick the rest of the team up, back whoever pulls on that Blue Shirt, show our support irrespective and head to Wembley at the end of May with all we need ? Belief. COYB.
Martin Graves Posted 26/04/2009 at 16:55:49 Comments (17)
I know there's a lot of doom regarding Jag's injury... but I thought maybe us guys on ToffeeWeb could write an unofficial song for our day in May... What do you lot think?
Brendan George Posted 26/04/2009 at 15:49:30 Comments (13)
Many posters on this site think our season is over and losing Jags will end any hopes of beating Chelsea in the final. This is just not true. We were in this same place after an uninventive performance against Newcastle and a season ending injury to Arteta and our season actually managed to get even better!
The truth is we will go on and beat Sunderland next week and all the teams we have to face (including Chelsea) for the rest of the season and Joe Yobo will re-establish himself as a rock at the back. This is not being over-optimistic ? this is acknowledging the talent we still have in our squad and the fact Tim Cahill is still fit for the final push!
We will finish fifth and win the cup and we will do it for Jags, Mikky and... (maybe not the Yak). Have faith, stay positive and there will be a silver lining at the end of May. Don't let one result get you down. COYB.
Ian Tod Posted 26/04/2009 at 08:53:37 Comments (17)
In an effort to lift the gloom amidst the despondency of Jags' injury, I thought I would like to pose a question.
Which was the last Everton team if any to qualify for Europe for 3 consecutive seasons?
Admittedly, the 80s team would have done so but for events at Heysel (don't get me started on that one).
But if this is the first Everton team to achieve this, I think this is a terrific achievement and one that shouldn't be overlooked, particularly by all those football luminaries whose raison d'etre is to pillory Hibbert and Osman whose only crime is giving 100%.
Let's concentrate on some positives for once.
Brendan O'Neill Posted 26/04/2009 at 05:50:09 Comments (24)
Following on from the scandalous coverage on MOTD2 following the Villa game tonight I witnessed yet more anti-Everton slant by the BBC.
Whilst acknowledging that Man City fully deserved their victory today, the highlights package was yet again an absolute disgrace, showing next to no Everton attacks and surprisingly omitting the penalty appeal for the handball against Dunne amongst other contentious decisions by our favourite referee, Wiley.
How they failed to show some of the tackles going on and Given's reaction to Gosling's challenge I do not know. Best of all, the BBC website was carrying an absolute classic interview with Moyes after the game with that horrible cretin Tony Gubba (yes, I still remember you jumping up behind the goal after Whiteside's goal in the 85 Cup Final) where Moyes, in a dark mood, slated the BBC's anti-Fellaini stance amongst other things. How they then chose to edit the interview to show none of this is beyond belief.
Finally, to all the doubters and moaners, get off certain players' backs and remember where we were and how we were playing around the end of October. The players have done us proud this season with a wafer-thin squad.
Keep the faith.
Steven Moorcroft Posted 25/04/2009 at 21:11:57 Comments (12)
Jags is now out for the rest of the season, I'm absolutely gutted, both for myself as a fan and for Jags. He's had a great season, a rock and a leader at the back. This of course adds to the long term injuries of Arteta and the Yak, meaning the spine of our team is now missing going into our biggest game in 15 years.
We were disappointed when the Yak was ruled out, gutted when Arteta was carried off at St James and likewise today. Now more than ever we need the spirit of the squad to come to the fore. When Arteta got injured many of us thought that was our season over (me included) and now without Jags (easily our best player this season) it's looking bleak, but we can still succeed.
I've no doubt that the rest of the players will want to win the cup more than ever, for Jags, for Arteta, for the Yak and most importantly for Moyes, the man who's given them their Premier League careers. Yes, Jags is a massive loss, but the likes of Cahill and Neville will raly the troops and we'll come back strong. The countdown's on, all that matters now is that the rest of the squad are ready for 30th May ? the day we add another trophy to our illustrious history. COYB!!!
Paul O'Hanlon Posted 25/04/2009 at 18:42:08 Comments (44)
Well, well, well... who would've believed it??? Hibbert and Osman costing us a match...
Last week, I was slaughtered for having a go at these two Championship players and yet all the chickens came home to roost today. Alex Ferguson saved them from a roasting at Wembley with his team selection; Mark Hughes wasn't so kind today.
I did warn that playing Tony and Leon in the same team on the right flank was a disaster waiting to happen. Well, now it's happened. It is devastating to see Everton players with so little talent getting a shirt week-in, week-out ? no matter how bad they play. Yobo was just as bad.
My aritcle last week Decision Time for Moyes had 97 comments ? most of which had personal attacks in them: Tosser, Gobshite, etc... "go and crawl under a stone"...
Well I hope the 97 will come out today and tell me I know nothing about football now I have been exonerated by today's dismal showings.
Osman was crap at Wembley, so was Hibbert. Osman was crap at Chelsea and was crap again today. In fact, he has been crap all season. Waste of a blue shirt every game. When will the manager and some fans wake to who the slackers are at this club???
Osman and Hibbert must go and never be played in the same side again. The right flank resembled Rourke's Drift today and you can't say I didn't see it coming. I hate seeing those two in an Everton kit and the way they folded up today proves me right all along.
Please come on, boys and girls, and give me both barrels again. I can't wait for the Osman and Hibbert excuses to come flooding in. Giving a 100% doesn't qualify you as a good player. I would give a 100% if I got picked but I would still be shite.
Tony Marsh Posted 25/04/2009 at 13:53:53 Comments (106)
Phil Neville (c)
So why no Jo??? Another fucking 'gentleman's agreement'?
Paul Hardcastle Posted 25/04/2009 at 11:49:24 Comments (90)
October 1988; Dad's well gone... I'm eight years old. Although the old dear is a red, she'd bought me the full Everton kit, either home or away, every year since I was was 4 ... apparently I wouldn't have it any other way.
Incidentally, one of my first ever memories is watching both the Everton and Liverpool Buses travelling past what I think was Camp Hill, although I may be wrong. I booed the reds and cheered the blues. Loved it!
Skip to 1989 and my mum meets a new beau. This chancer is a cockney and a Chelsea (who?) fan to boot. Didn't like him at first (obviously) but, after a few meets, this bloke seemed sound. What's more, he even took me to a few Everton games ... and despite not being an Evertonian he was as biased as David Prentice!
In the years since, this cockey geezer ... now more of a local legend ... took me to more and more games to the point where these included Chelsea games. Like a true Phil Neville, the old man never blinked an eyelid ... merely shaking my hand as an Everton goal went on in and tapping my shoulder as a Chelsea goal went in (I wasn't so gracious when we beat them 3-1).
Needless to say, over the past 20 years, my old man has gathered a bit of a soft spot for the toffees. And what's more, on 20 April 2009 he said the words, "You know what, I really hope Everton win the FA Cup." He then proceeded to the loft where he had been (unbeknownst to me) hoarding a blue afro since 1995.
He won't read this. But the man is legend. Thank you.
Mark Stone Posted 24/04/2009 at 17:43:16 Comments (6)
The Jag and Lescott have been absolutely immense for us this season, taming some of the finest forwards in the world... so when David Moyes decided to bring Joseph Yobo in for the Chelsea game, my first reaction was to just accept and welcome him giving the Jag a well earned rest.
But is that all there is to it?
Only two forwards have given Jagielka and Lescott any problems at all this year: John Carew and Peter Crouch. Could the aerial threat of a big centre-forward be their Achilles heel?
Did David Moyes rest the Jag in order to see if big Joey's more muscular approach to the game would be a better way of dealing with the Drogba threat? Drogba is a big Tart, his ridiculous reactions to the slightest contact are shameful... but he can be awesome, sometimes almost unplayable. Chelsea are a very different proposition when he's firing; shut him and Lampard out... and the cup will be ours.
Joey was more than a match for an in-form Drogba on Wednesday, but he still has the odd mistake in him. Jagielka and Lescott have been brilliant this season... except against Villa and Pompey, I wonder who you guys think will get the nod and would it be your choice?
Dave Wilson Posted 24/04/2009 at 16:36:09 Comments (13)
Oh my God the new kit... if it really is the new kit. I know it's reminiscent of great days but that was a quarter of a century ago!
Just Blue and the badge with a minimum of white on the shirt, white shorts and socks, that is Everton! That 'V' looks like an afterthought, like your mum decided she didn't want your neck to get cold and sewed a piece in!
This has got to be a wind-up surely?
Dave Roberts Posted 24/04/2009 at 13:45:12 Comments (34)
In preperation for the FA Cup final, can we come up with a song for Fellaini?
I have come up with this one (to the tune of Volaire)
"Fellaini, wooh oooh oooh, Fellaini, wooh oooh oooh, He comes from Belg-ium, He has hair like his Mum"
It surprisingly hasnt caught on yet! I reckon hearing the crowd sing his name will help the lad!
Amanda Huddleston Posted 24/04/2009 at 10:16:55 Comments (20)
From the Official Site!!!
Club officials received confirmation on Thursday that the Toffees will be able to wear their traditional kit, with white shorts and white socks, in the 30 May FA Cup final clash with Chelsea.
The decision was made after Everton won the toss of a coin.
Keeper Tim Howard, the hero of the semi-final penalties win over Manchester United, will wear a sky-blue jersey and black shorts. Chelsea will wear all-yellow.
Ben Howard Posted 23/04/2009 at 14:33:26 Comments (19)
If I thought 31,000 tickets for the semi was bad enough, both Chelsea and Everton have been allocated 25,000 tickets for the final, meaning 40,000 tickets will go to sponsors, ?friends of football? (read as friends of FA) and the like. Wasn?t I reading this morning how the FA are worried about ticket touts ? no wonder when 40,000 tickets just hit the market.
Joeynkoo Ludden Posted 23/04/2009 at 13:48:58 Comments (47)
At the beginning of this season, my son Alex (who will be 7 in June) decided ? all of his own accord and with no pressure from me ? to really get interested in Everton. Largely thanks to a combination of Wikipedia, You Tube, and my collection of EFC videos, he now has an obsessive and encyclopaedic knowledge of ALL things Everton ? including the ability to quote whole sections of commentary from 80s games ("He got behind Lawrenson there did Sharp", "Reid's cross GRAY !", "It's settled now !" etc.) and a passing knowledge of pretty much any player that has ever played for Everton!
The semi-final on Sunday was only Alex's 4th ever Everton match (having "made his debut" last Christmas at the Sunderland game) but his record up until then was exemplary ? 3 games, 3 wins, 10 goals for, 1 goal against ? a proper "lucky charm", however, he's pragmatic and grounded enough to be realistic, and we were going on Sunday to enjoy our day ? he knew full well that a victory was unlikely.
So, we set off from our Midlands home with the car fully decked out and headed down the M1 with Alex excitedly waving at all the other Everton cars and coaches (we saw ? literally ? ONE car with Man Utd banners) to my friend's house in North London where we were leaving the car, then got the Tube into Wembley Park. The look on his face when we saw the stadium hove into view from the train was a sight to behold :)
Arriving around 2pm, up Wembley Way (now Olympic Way) we headed, taking photographs galore. Alex got a combination of amazed stares and huge smiles when he shouted "Look dad ? that man's got Dixie Dean number 9 on his shirt! He played here at Wembley in 1933 when we won the FA Cup ? he was the first number 9 because they didn't wear numbers before that" ? but we're growing more and more used to "Rain Man" moments like that!!
We met up with my brother ? both of us nearly in tears as we hugged, both of us remembering the Everton moments we had shared in the past ? and yet more photographs were taken. Rumours of Rooney and Ronaldo not having even travelled were circulating but mainly dismissed as fanciful.
At 3:30pm, into the ground we went, with so many Blues patting Alex on the head "We're gonna win today eh son?" up the escalators up to our seats, in the gods, on level 5, both of us mightily impressed with the size of the stadium as well as the number of Blues already in their seats and the noise coming out of them! It was a proper carnival atmosphere ? one of the best I've ever experienced as an Evertonian.
All the lads around us were ruffling Alex's hair and smiling as we told them all about his "lucky charm" status and his previous match experiences, and he amazed them by throwing facts and figures at them that a 6-year-old has no right to know!
United's team selection was met with incredulity from all around the ground, and Z-Cars blaring out was greeted with a huge roar as the Everton party really started, with the United end still showing huge empty patches ? "just another semi-final" seemed to be the feeling from both their fans and their manager.
The match itself passed by in a blur ? but the one thing to note is that the Everton crowd were STUPENDOUS, it was an incredible atmosphere throughout. I thought the referee was awful for both of us in different patches, but BOY he really doesn't like us! (especially Cahill and Fellaini). I thought they should have had their penalty, but I also though we should have, and maybe would have, if not for Pienaar's unnecessarily theatrical fall which I think went against us.
Chances for both sides and excellent defensive displays left it scoreless as we went into extra time and then penalties, and my nerves were frayed. The lad in front of us turned to Alex and said "Well, you STILL haven't seen us lose ? it's 0-0 ? penalties don't count".
He was clearly a seasoned Evertonian and trying to prepare Alex for the grim fact that we just don't win penalty shootouts, and as Cahill blazed it over, I doubt there was a Blue in the ground who didn't think "Well that's that then". My nerves somehow settled as my heart sank, and I sat down, only for Alex ? our lucky golden charm (and named after another golden Evertonian) ? to say to me "I couldn't really see that very well dad !!".
We switched seats and I stood him on my seat, and put my arms around him as Berbatov strode forward. YES! Just a clenched fist and a short exclamation from us both, as the rest of the crowd around us lifted and Berbatov's disgracefully arrogant penalty was saved ? we're back in it! Baines strides up and BAM ? again, just a short "Yessssssss" and a clenched fist from the 2 of us ? still somehow feeling incredibly calm...
Even after Ferdinand's has been saved, and Neville, Vidic, Vaughan and Anderson have all scored theirs ? each of ours greeted again with the same relatively restrained "Yessss" from Alex and I, as the celebrations around us got increasingly wilder. Up steps Jagielka, the calmest person in the stadium, and BANG!
Everything erupts around us ! It's mayhem as I grab Alex and hug him as tight as I've ever done in his life "WE'RE IN THE FINAL DAD!!! WE'RE IN THE FINAL!!" he screams into my ear as I feel tears pricking my eyes for the first time as we both dance joyously ? the other lads around us grabbing him and kissing him ? the lucky charm who has STILL never seen us lose (and I'm convinced Cahill would have scored his pen if Alex had had a clear view!). Z-Cars blares out and the noise gets even louder, strangers hugging and kissing, dancing around as it really sinks in! We've only gone and bloody done it!!
After singing and dancing for a good while, we get out of the stadium (seeing a few friends on the way out and making a few new ones!) ? perma-grins still plastered on our faces (and they are still there now, 2 days later!). We meet up with my brother and more tearful and joyous hugs are exchanged, as we all make our way slowly back to the Tube, singing and dancing all the way, and photographs galore being taken. We went our separate ways at the Tube station and Alex and I headed back to the car, both exhausted after a thoroughly incredible day, where the following conversation ensued...
Me: "Now... we just have to try to get ourselves 2 tickets to the Final for our lucky charm! We'll really need you there if we're going to beat Chelsea!"
Alex: "We can beat Chelsea ? remember we beat them in 1998, 3-1? Gary Speed, Duncan Ferguson and an own goal?"
I didn't bother to point out that he didn't "remember" it at all ? he wouldn't be even born for another 4 years after that game - I just smiled at my beautiful, wonderful Evertonian son.
Born - not manufactured :)
Paul McMonnies Posted 23/04/2009 at 10:38:57 Comments (20)
The players and manager continue to make me proud to be an Everton fan. Since that last ditch goal scored by Ashley Young back in early December, we have lost just 2 of the last 23 games (winning 13 if anyone is interested).
In that time, we have played the top 5 in the league 10 times, losing just once, that to a solitary Man Utd penalty in the league. We have played the RS 3 times, Man Utd x 2, Chelsea x 2, Arsenal x 1 and Aston Villa x 2. This underlines that we are making the step up against the teams at the top.
In some matches we have played superbly, in others not so, but one thing that has remained consistent is our results and this prolonged period of good form is outstanding. And this is in the midst of losing some of our best players. When we lost Arteta, I doubted how we would cope, but we have learnt to play without him and build on the run ? a testament to the players and the manager.
I do not think that we can take the foot off the pedal. Let's hope we can keep this mentality going until the end of May, since this run breeds confidence and, if continued, can see us over the winning line in the FA Cup.
Ian Short Posted 23/04/2009 at 06:14:54 Comments (12)
Just a quick one ? only managed to watch a total of 48 minutes of the game last night ? due to both poor streaming on the PC and my 7 week old Evertonian daughter having colic!!
BUT - the parts of the game I did manage to see I thought we looked pretty good. There was a spell of 10 minutes or so where we passed and moved with ease, played some good football and created some VERY good chances!!
Cahill, Jags, Baines & Jo all quality games, but for me the most impressive thing was the shift Castillio put in. Having seen him before I was not hoping for much, but he seemed a different player, good tackles, sharp, simple but effective passing... he was a new player!!??!
Jacobsen showed us what he could be capable of, and I think 12 months would not be to much to ask to give him a fair chance to show us more.
This game has cemented my belief that progress has and still is being made ? that 5th place will be ours, and the FA Cup ? well... It's coming home!!
AND IF YOU KNOW YOUR HISTORY!!
Si Harwood Posted 23/04/2009 at 06:10:26 Comments (52)
Everton's 'Reserves' could easily have taken all points against a full-strength Chelsea at Stamford Bridge Yesterday.
Despite fielding a reserve team, with record signings Yakubu and Fellaini in the stands, sitting alongside them was their most creative player The Magical Mikel Arteta.
Everton also rested their solid right back Tony Hibbert to give match practice to injury prone and unused full back Jacobsen, While also resting Player of the Season and England International defender Phil Jagielka.
Everton also gave a rare start to loanee Segundo Castillo and even ventured to giving teenage prodegy Jack Rodwell a sub appearance, such was their confidence that Chelsea would not break them down.....
Fran Mitchell Posted 22/04/2009 at 22:39:43 Comments (40)
After another solid performance and clean sheet against Chelsea, Tim Howard and the rest of the Everton defence have managed to keep 14 clean sheets this term. Neville Southall is the current record holder of the highest number of Everton clean sheets in a season with 15, so hopefully Howard and the rest of the team can equal and then go on and break that club record this season with 5 games remaining.
Howard kept 14 clean sheets in each of the past two seasons, and was only denied the chance of equalling Southall?s record by a Michael Owen penalty on the final game of last season and by a dubious Didier Drogba goal in the campaign previous to that when Paulo Ferreira blatantly fouled Mikel Arteta in the build-up to the Chelsea equaliser.
So let?s hope Howard and the rest of the defence can keep up the great work and equal the record this Saturday against Man City. COYB
Adam Wightman Posted 22/04/2009 at 21:44:30 Comments (10)
Just watched the Chelsea game and thought if anything we should have won. Jo had at least two clear cut chances which he should have buried, we had a penalty shout, Baines was the best player on the pitch, and Chelsea just couldn't handle Pienaar.
I think we have nothing to fear for the final, as long as we put in a similar display, especially with the likes of Fellaini, Jags, Vaughan and Saha available.
PS Also though Jacobsen had a good game and deserves at least another 1 year contract.
Simon Theroux Posted 22/04/2009 at 18:59:32 Comments (54)
After achieving European qualification, I think that winning the cup should be our main priority now, because we have already achieved our realistic goal in the league this season, as I don't think Arsenal will slip up in the Champions League race.
What I'm proposing is I think Moyes should start playing more fringe players in these last games in the league. For example, I think we should start Rodwell and Gosling in all of our remaining games, I think Jacobsen should start in right back in all our games to try and prove his worth to stay at Everton.
Baxter and maybe even James Wallace should be given runouts to have valuable Premiership experience. We should rest players, notably Lescott, Jagielka, Osman, Fellaini, Pienaar and Cahill (obviously not all at once) as they have played so many games for us.
I just think back-up players like Yobo, Gosling, Rodwell, Jacobsen etc should all play to benefit them with gained fitness and experience, and to give key players a rest for the cup final. I just hope Moyes does this with the game against Chelsea tonight!
Ben Jones Posted 22/04/2009 at 12:33:15 Comments (9)
What a great day on Sunday... One small point (that in no way takes anything from it, just an observation).
I'm old enough to remember the shirt fiasco when One 2 One became sponsors and the furore over the red part of their logo appearing on the blue shirt. I was enjoying pointing out to my wife watching the game that the Everton end was a sea of blue, and you would not see a square inch of red anywhere if you looked. So I was a bit surprised when I saw the RED e-on FA Cup badges on the lads sleeves (see this picture for an example http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/gallery/2009/apr/19/fa-cup-everton?picture=346161998).
Did anyone else notice/care?!
Tim Taylor Posted 22/04/2009 at 09:00:07 Comments (22)
On Sunday, after hanging around outside for a LONG time celebrating like a mad man with anyone and everyone I could see, a little kid in an Everton shirt being carried by his dad excitedly talking about going to the FA Cup final, to see his team play, must've been happening a lot so didn't think much of it until I realised the dad was none other than Andy Johnson!
I had a quick chat with him and he couldn't of used the word WE when talking about Everton any more if he'd tried! And there was his son despite moving down to London and knowing his dad plays for Fulham, decked out in full Everton strip. As a great man once said, "Once Everton has touched you nothing will ever be the same again!" Once a Blue, Always A blue!
Liam Scott Posted 22/04/2009 at 07:02:22 Comments (23)
If Arsenal win tonight then it doesn't matter too much as they will be 12 points clear with 5 games left.
If Liverpool beat them then we have to have a go at Chelsea. We will be shattered, but they have important games coming up too (albeit with a superior squad). It's clutching at straws, but if we peg Arsenal back to 6 points and they have to play Utd & Chelsea, then who knows?
Anyway, some players will be more shagged than others. My best guess of the team, based on what I think Moyes will do and what I think he should do, is as follows:
Jacobsen Lescott Yobo Baines
Pienaar Neville Rodwell Fellaini
Subs: Nash, Jags, Nuno Valente, Cahill, Saha, Gosling, Agard.
Alan Kirwin Posted 21/04/2009 at 16:57:37 Comments (27)
Of all the penalty cheers that rang around my basement on Sunday, the biggest was undoubtedly for the one that James Vaughan confidently hit into the top right hand corner. I guess it does go to show that good things happen to those who are patient and never ever give up.
Just a few days over 4 years ago, he became the youngest Everton player against Crystal Palace until Jose Baxter took that honour from him last August. Continually blighted by career threatening injuries Vaughany has never ever given up and so to see him score a crucial penalty at Wembley made me smile even more. It was very clear what it meant to him. What is even more astounding is his self-belief and confidence.
Hasn't played for the 1st team since I don't know when, sat on the bench for the first time since ????, comes on, revitalises a tired Everton in extra time, almost causes Foster to bounce the ball off him into the net because he does not know what a lost cause is and then puts his hand up to say "Yeah I'll take a penalty in one of the biggest games for Everton since 1995. He strolls up to the penalty spot, gives a little fake stop in his run up and sticks the ball into the net 3-1 Blues!!!!
You can only hope that this is the catalyst for him to have a run of games free from injury. In my humble opinion, when fit he is the potentially the best of all the current fit and unfit forwards that we have. He takes the best parts of the Yak, Jo, Victor and Tiny Tim and rolls them all into one. Maybe a bit over the top... yea, OK!!!
But of all of them he is most naturally gifted athlete with speed and great jumping ability and an eye for goal.
So here's hoping that King James 1st may reign long at Goodison and that eventuaally we will see the best of him week-in and week-out.
David Cooper Posted 21/04/2009 at 14:49:47 Comments (18)
Firstly well done the boys but I am blaming you all for one of the worst hangovers of my life, I am still not feeling well. David Moyes and Bill Kenwright deserve a lot of credit for what we have done this season and we should all be prepared to give credit when it is due, hopefully the moaners and knockers will have the decency to do the same.
At the start of the season, I posted on this site that due to the lack of signings I would be watching women's vollyball this year and although it is very exciting it just doesn't last long (or I don't!). So I have been to as many games as work has allowed (Blues games that is) and was in tears on Sunday looking at the faces of my son and daughter when Jag's pen went in... and then got really pissed.
What a day for the Blue! I am sure we can do Chelsea in the final. Next season, we will have players back from injury and hopefully we can get the investment we need whether it be (and I hope it is) from BK or outside investors. I don't think we will need that much, we are not asking to spend as much, or need to spend as much, as the likes of Man City but we do need at least 2 players who can go straight in the first team and maybe a couple of squad players.
This is not a moan; I am praying we can move on this season and not just stand still. So please BK get DM a decent budget for next season and lets take the next step. That top 4 finish isn't that far away.
Peter Rogers Posted 21/04/2009 at 07:11:42 Comments (23)
With the dust starting to settle, and the hangovers wearing off from Sunday's match, I was thinking about Everton's Man of the Match. Despite it being a relatively poor game, there were some very good performances for different reasons.
Tim Howard is a very good candidate for his penalty saves. Phil Neville for his outstanding leadership and excellent penalty kick. Jagielka for his nerves of steel to take the winning penalty after his Fiorentina miss. Despite his miss, Cahill's all-round game and his determination and drive will make him a very good captain if Neville is ever unavailable. Baines's non-stop runs up the left-wing. Pienaar's tireless running or even Lescott's commanding defensive display. Even James Vaughan being five months out to come back on such a big stage and with his enthusiasm and quality penalty.
However, I say none of the above. Instead I'm going for someone who didn't even kick a ball. Someone who won Everton the game with his comments about the Referee earlier in the week. The person who decided that Everton are going back to Wembley is David Moyes.
Moyes admitted that this was probably the biggest game of his career, which was probably correct. Could Moyes stand up against the best manager of this generation and arguably ever? Could Moyes really do a real-life David vs Goliath and come out the winner? Could Moyes shake off his defensive team label and actually go out an attack the official best team in the world and beat them?
Not only did Moyes do all of the above, but he passed his test with distinction and flying colours. He beat the mind master at his own game and with it put Everton into the final. Moyes has learnt a lot this season, he's learnt not to dither on his own contract or in the transfer market. He's learnt to play Mikel Arteta in the centre of pitch and play quality football and not hoofball, even without our playmaker, Arteta. Most important of all, Moyes has learnt how to win.
Roll on Wembley and bring on next season when we can really challenge for even more honours.
Matthew Lovekin Posted 21/04/2009 at 07:15:53 Comments (38)
I watched the Semi on TV and lived every minute of it but I'm just reading the coverage of the great win against Utd and I've read a lot of input on this and other Everton Sites and I'm really starting to wonder if I have to justify myself to be an Everton Supporter.
I see comment after comment about the make up of Manchester Utd and Redshite fanbases being Norwegian and from Essex and how everyone supporting Everton comes from the confines of the L4 postcode. Well, tough shit they don't! I'm not from Liverpool but started supporting the Blues after watching the Cup Final in 1966 against Sheffield Wednesday as a 6-year-old and been a Blue ever since.
Growing up I had Everton shirts Everton Footie bags, even bought white boots when Bally started wearing them... I still remember my brother taking me to Goodison for the first time when I was 8 years old... it was like a scene from Field of Dreams and I've never forgotten it.
I've seen great games played there: 1977 6-0 against Coventry, Bob Latchford scoring... Coventry had Terry Yorath playing for them at the time and he took a load of stick, great fun. Even watched Rooney miss from a yard out against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.... So does it matter that I'm not Scouse??
Does it matter that I don't get to see them play as often as I'd like? I thought Everton wanted to be a Global Brand not a village football team... Should I be made to feel guilty because I dont exist in the confines of Liverpool?
Quite frankly get over your small-minded petty attitudes ...Everton is a Global name and attracts Global supporters, and to me that's the true meaning of 'The Peoples Club'.
Rog Walker Posted 21/04/2009 at 03:55:14 Comments (49)
Just wondering what everyone thought of the New Wembley stadium? I went there for the England v USA match before I emigrated to Oz.
Personally I thought it was incredible with the walk up Wembley Way impressive. The view inside the group is good, you are obviously a little way from the pitch, but as the ground holds around 90k this is normal.
I also liked all the pics on the walls with the history of matches played at the previous stadium in the catering area.
Sure people's views would be different if we had lost on Sunday, but would be good to hear what people thought?
Let's tear off the roof on 30 May 2009. COYBs.
John Maxwell Posted 21/04/2009 at 04:14:29 Comments (16)
Is Jo eligible to play for us aganist City next weekend? I remember last year that Howard had to sit out the Utd game when on loan and wondered if the same applies to Jo?
Kieran Kinsella Posted 20/04/2009 at 22:15:52 Comments (7)
Most of the dust has settled now from Sunday. One thing has remained prevalent though, be it in the newspapers, tv or radio, the fact that Mike Riley didn't give Man Utd a penalty. I didn't have the greatest view of it from my seat, when I got home and saw the highlights in all honesty it was touch and go. However, Riley didn't give it and I think it was the negative publicity that he received all week about his alleged 'team' that brought about his decision not to award it.
The fact that he never gave us a decision afterwards adds credence to this, but two wrongs don't make a right and booking Timmy for turning Vidic was laughable.
David as we know has the ear of Sir Alex and has his confidence, the studious and diligent way he prepares and micro manages the club from top to bottom is by and large modeled on what he has learned over the past 10 or so years.
It appears now that he has learned how to use the media as a tool to put doubt and perhaps fear not only into apponents but also officials.
We've seen the diplomatic and stand offish side of him over the past few seasons in front of the camera's but now there is a new string to his preverbial bow. Another classic trait of Ferguson.
Sunday was a truly wonderfull day, I hate to use the word occasion because I hope days like this once again become a regular sight for us all... again.
As for our Manager, I think he is starting to put all that he his learning in to play. Thanks Sir Alex!
Matthew Barry Posted 20/04/2009 at 17:55:39 Comments (18)
I'm absolutley made up today. I've absolutely no voice left and my throat feels like I've swallowed a bag of razor blades.
Watching the players celebrating after Jags hit that penalty in, I really felt a sense of it being our boys out there, our boys have done us proud. Whilst shouting the theme of Z-cars at the top of my lungs and hearing the other 32,000 delirious Evertonians, there was an overwhelming feeling that we're all part of the same thing. We are "The Peoples Club". Us, the fans. Us, the players, and Us, the manager.
I'm from Manchester and don't speak with a scouse accent but you don't meet many Evertonians who don't possess a scouse accent. The Everton crowd yesterday was made up of fans local to Everton and the city of Liverpool. Evertonians had come down to London on mass from pretty much one location. The M6 and M1 was a sea of blue carfs and banners. The service stations were full of people proudly wearing the royal blue (some pink). You looked round the Man U banners and they all read "Carlisle reds", "Essex reds", "Mansfield reds" - flags showing fans' allegiances but from nowhere near Salford or Trafford. Everton's banners were witty and full of jokes that we all understand. We all know what the banner "Commence operation Wembley exercise" means.
We've no superstars or overpaid mercenries in our team. Our team have a work ethic and a team spirit based around an understanding of what playing for Everton means (see Cahill's recent interviews). Everton finished the game with 8 Englishmen on the pitch, 4 of whom took the winning penalties whilst Man U had a team full of players could probably still not point to Manchester on a map.
That's why we outsung them. We feel part of our club, whereas Utd fans are just their spectators. I imagine they looked on in complete envy of what Everton have - complete pride in the blue shirt and complete understanding of what yesterday meant.
Alan Clarke Posted 20/04/2009 at 10:12:24 Comments (21)
Simple question ? who will be allowed to wear their home kit in the Final?
On FA website it lists the game as Chelsea vs Everton ? does this mean they are the 'home team'? I noted that United were allowed to wear their home kit with us having to change shorts/socks ? was this as a result of a toss or because of the home/away listing FA draw?
Another question: I wonder whether we will wear the new Le Coq Sportif kit for the final? There is probably not a hope in the world of us being able to buy said shirt within a month although current shirt supplies are at an all time low due to the imminent change... but if Everton want to make a few bob what an opportunity this represents to get the merchandise out there...
Steve Callaghan Posted 20/04/2009 at 08:52:00 Comments (35)
So it's back to Wembley in a few weeks time and back to that hoary old chestnut, ticket allocation!
With a smaller capacity than the old Wembley and with the seats allocated to the Wembley 'members' (or whatever they are called) as an added complication, nearly half the seats available will go to others aside from supporters of the clubs involved, many of which will appear for sale on e-bay or reach the hot little mits of touts.
I've long given up hope that the FA will ever address this issue appropriately so this post is not a plea for them to do so...because I know they won't.
No, what this post is about is how uplifting it was to see all those youngsters really enjoying the experience of a trip to Wembley, from playing in the fountain to just soaking up the atmosphere and being just as anxious about the game as us grown ups! Most of these young Blues have never experienced anything like that before, you'd have to be about 21 to have been there in 1995 and remember it.
But with 26,000 or so tickets coming our way, many fans (and this includes Chelsea's too) including a lot of those kids are going to be disappointed, perhaps even heartbroken, unless their mum's and dad's can afford the £200 that tickets were going for yesterday (they'll probably cost even more for the Final) many of them will miss the opportunity to go to Wembley on an even bigger occasion. Many of us grown-ups will be disappointed too, but we've all been disappointed before... the first disappointment is always the worst!
Dave Roberts Posted 20/04/2009 at 08:34:13 Comments (2)
Having listened to all of the blurb surrounding Riley and his alleged Utd allegiances in the press this week, I was very happy to hear DM come out and make a bit of a deal over it. For once, our manager stood up and said what he thought rather than skirting round the edges like he has done in the past.
Yesterday was the first game that I have ever seem Riley referee and appear to get most of the decisions right. I think the penalty claim was just that ? a claim... some you win; some you loose... and we have all seen them waved away and seen them given.
I don?t think looking at the replays that it was nailed on, certainly no more than when the big Fella was assaulted (ok nudged) in the chest by Foster, or for that matter when Cahill cleverly and ever so slightly illegally turned Vidic late on.
Credit where it is due... whether it was a bit of the Moyes mindgames played early in the week or not... I think that Mike Riley had a very good game yesterday. He didn?t get them all right, but he did get most of them right and, on reflection, he got ALL of the big decisions right in my opinion.
So well done, Mr Riley ? for once in your life, you did the right thing and proved that you can actually be a good referee.
We have secured Europe for the 3rd successive year. We have made amazing progress with a threadbare squad through the league. We have made it to our first cup final in 14 years. We have proved that we can play joined-up football without Arteta (ok not very often... but we can!!).
We still know that Pip (God Love him!) can?t shoot and we know that we have one of the best defences in the league if not Europe. Plenty to be proud of... COYB.
See you at Wembley....
Dom Bolger Posted 20/04/2009 at 07:49:09 Comments (13)
David Moyes seems to have cracked this management lark now. To out mind-game the purple-faced one before a major Cup-tie was genius.
Done in such a subtle way to have Ferguson not respond and strangely point all his bile at Benitez on the eve of the Semi ? whereas Mike Riley was having sleepless nights with the eyes of the nation doubting his integrity ? was one of the best tactics employed before a ball was kicked.
Like it or not, psychology plays a major part in today's game ? welcome to the table Everton. Welcome to the elite Mr Moyes.
I thought the pitch yesterday reminded me of Aintree ? after the National. There was no wonder Hibbert and Baines could not lift the ball over the first defender being so soft under foot. Considering the pitch, I think in retrospect, it was a good idea to have the Semi at Wembley ? as our players will benefit greatly from this experience of playing on this dreadful pitch. Our fans were incredible ? it was like rewinding back to the mid 80s once again ? the passion and colours were a joy to behold.
I thought Ferguson?s team selection threw us? our players were drilled to look after Rooney, Ronaldo and Carrick ? when they were faced with none of these they found it difficult to suss out their system ? and found it quite difficult to deal with Tevez and particularly Andersson.
We have over a month now to prepare for the final. It gives us time to try to get Saha up to speed and Vaughany some games under his belt. Just a word on Vaughn if I may ? five months out and with the balls to take a pen yesterday ? outstanding contribution from the young fella. Delighted for Tim Howard ? hopefully that will get his confidence flowing again ? going back to the psychology point not many players will want to face him now with a pen in the coming weeks?
Certainly we will have to raise our game for the final. We did not once show the superb passing that we witnessed at Villa and can, of course, play much better and will indeed benefit from yesterday?s experience.
With Europe now guaranteed, it gives Moyesy much needed room for allowing a few of his charges a much needed rest?Leon, Steven, Tim, Jags and Joleon would benefit most ? but not for too long I hope as the momentum we have now needs to stay intact. No marketeer could ever generate the interest and positive spin on Everton FC better than Moyes, the team and the fans are doing themselves at the moment. Long may it continue.
Steve Callaghan Posted 20/04/2009 at 07:15:36 Comments (4)
A lot has been made of United's line-up last night and, quite obviously, they could have put out 4 or 5 better players than they did.
No Rooney, Ronaldo, Carrick, Giggs or van der Sar.
But then Everton didn't play Yakubu, Jo, Arteta or Yobo.
I totally agree that things could have been much more difficult for us last night, if Fergie had put a different team out. To be able to leave out 5 first choice players and still have Foster, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Scholes, Tevez and Berbatov on the pitch is still not bad.
Those 6 alone are probably worth double the starting XI we put out, so bollocks to it, we beat the team that was put in front of us and that's all we had to do. It wasn't done with great panache, but we're in the final and that's all that matters. It's a proud day to be a blue.
Richard Parker Posted 20/04/2009 at 04:17:34 Comments (20)
I arrived in Los Angeles on business yesterday, woke up in the morning and found the game live, albeit in Spanish. The unintended bonus of that was not having to listen to the usual shite from commentators.
Anyway, the pens. While everyone has rightly shared their delight at the outcome, I've not seen anything about a comment from Moyes on the OS that he 'confessed he found few volunteers when the big moment arrived'.
This only emphasises the fantastic job done by the famous four. Let's face it, who didn't think 'here we go again' when Tim missed? Given that Baines is a free kick specialist, I expected him to score and he did. Excellent spot kick. But then Phil Neville ? arguably the worst shot in the team (ok, I know, there's Tony Hibbert). Cool, calm, collected ? back of the net. I was gobsmacked to see Vaughan step up next, particularly after missing easily our best chance in extra time. Needn't have worried ? superb. Jags didn't look confident ? he didn't even look up, just kept his head down, knew where it was going and the back of the net bulged.
To step up to the plate when there is a shortage of volunteers showed great courage and no little skill. Well done to all concerned.
Paul Thompson Posted 20/04/2009 at 01:13:49 Comments (7)
So we are fortunate enough to be going back to Wembley on May 30th to face Chelsea in the Cup Final. But what would we have felt like if it had not gone our way today?
Alex Ferguson did more in one game to make us look like a small club than Rafa Benitez could achieve in half a century. If David Moyes chooses at any time to join the corporate monster which is called United, he will be a bigger fool than anyone could imagine.
Even Rafa had the good grace to field his strongest team at Goodison in the 4th round. If I were a regular Man U follower and had paid the money to go to Wembley today, obviously I would have been upset at the final outcome, but I would have lost all respect for the Manager (so called working class mind!) for putting out a reserve team. No matter that they were a damned good reserve team but a reserve team nonetheless.
I cannot think of any major game where the opposition thought so little of Everton as to field such a weakened team. I have on numerous occasions defended SAF, but today he insulted Everton FC and the game itself.
Wayne, come home soon son, because we are the club you belong to and we are the club that tries to stick to the traditions of football. Man U will fall by the wayside within 18 months, they won't win this years PL and their victory over Spurs in the Leauge Cup final maybe the only meaningful trophy they win this season.
Meanwhile, If and its a big if, Everton beat Chelsea in the Final who knows what's around the corner? Remember it's not the number of trophies that you win it's the manner and style with which you win them! COYB David Moyes you are at a Very Big Club and don't you forget it! We Never Do!
Anthony Dyer Posted 20/04/2009 at 01:13:34 Comments (20)
Watching the faces of our boys proudly walking out of the tunnel hit me with 3 words. They deserve it!
For the 3rd successive year they have broken through. They have raised the standard of our expectations, removed the glass ceiling to our accomplishments and stayed true to our principles. Success is no longer a distant hope but a plausible destination.
Wayne Rooney must've paused realising that Everton would indeed make history without him. The team that couldn?t match his ambitions will be too busy to take his call on May the 30th. When his progeny asks ?what did you do? during Everton?s period of revival, will he truly be comfortable saying ?playing for another!?
In a majority there will always be a minority of dissenting voices. Criticism of David has accomplished one thing? measured his progress! Acquiring the ability to become as consistent in cup competitions as they are in the league is a symbol of improvement. For that there is only one man to thank. David Moyes.
Everton can offer David something that he will never be able to achieve at Manchester United? A genuine chance to build a legacy of his own! I for one hope he does. Thanks Dave, see you at Wembley!
Jason Broome Posted 20/04/2009 at 01:21:00 Comments (10)
It's bad enough that you missed (by a mile) the first of today's pens... but to follow it up by saying that Gus Hiddinck is a genuis and appears to have a hold on you in some way or other is not what a committed Blue wants to hear.
To many Evertonians, you represent all that is good about the club and its supporters... so to hear you talk about Hiddiink as if he was the best thing since sliced bread is a little disconcerting to say the least.
Up until tonight's interview, I always thought you were a committed Blue and cared not for anyone else other than Everton and Australia; now I have my doubts. If I was David Moyes I would be having a good talk with you before you pulled the blue shirt on again.
Anthony Dyer Posted 20/04/2009 at 00:44:32 Comments (29)
After yesterday, all those who tucked away their penalties, should have their names written, or maybe their faces carved in stone. And if we end up with our very own Mount Rushmore, which face will we look upon with the most reverence?
I know whose my own devotion will fall upon ? Pip's! The last pen he took, by his own omission, was when he was eleven. He missed it, and apparently his da told him to never take one again.
I don't know whether Phil's dad is still ailve (and I sincereley hope he is) but Christ, what pride he might or does feel today!
And what a man Phil Neville has been since he came to us! Never previously, I must admit, a player I had much time for, his most poignant moment, from my memory, being a catastrophic challenge that led to England being knocked out of the European Championship finals.
But ever since he left the 'Theatre of Wet Dreams' for the celibate 'Life of Moyes', he has steadily gained my admiration. A footballer with limitations, but in this awful age of greed, a player who plays, albeit for a decent wage, for pride and loyalty first.
Even before the shoot out, he stood alongside a 'probably should have been sent off' Fellaini with the ref, like a loving mother who knows her sprog is bang to rights, but is still rigidly aligned to his defence. And again, before the shoot out, stood by the ref telling him who was going to take our kicks.
And you just knew he was going to be one of them. Stepping up to the plate, taking responsibility, showing all his teammates that the 'Promised Land' he has consistently argued was just around the corner, was not just a piece of platitude.
Fuck, I love the guy!
I trust all Evertonians feel the same way about him. I know we haven't won anything shiny yet. It just feels like it!!!
And Pip was 'The Man.'
Martin Downey Posted 19/04/2009 at 23:35:05 Comments (13)
Thank's Dad for steering us away from the darkside. Growing up in Liverpool in the 70s was not a great time in our beloved club's history, but the best times I remember back then were of going to the match; once you step inside the Old Lady, your life is changed for the better.
I used to love looking at me Dad's scrapbooks & hearing the tales of when he was in the Boys' Pen watching the likes of Young, Labone, and Vernon ? and the tale of Chris Lawler who disrespected our family's name and played for Liverpool, spending a lifetime ostracized from the family (Blue Blood run's deep). And of the day I came home after playing football in the street and telling me Dad that my second favourite team was the Hotspurs (with the likes of Ardilles, Villa & Hoddle) ? only to be told that my second favourite team was Everton Reserves "...and don't you forget it!"
Even after emigrating to Rugby mad New Zealand, nothing could stop this love affair that seems to grow stronger by the year.
Which leaves me to comment on last night's match, to see them fellow blues singing their hearts out for this great club left a lump in my throat. We are a club with the most true and loyal supporters that you could ever wish to meet. And to hear Z-Cars blasting out of the PA system with 40,000 Blues singing along leaves the hair's on the back of your neck stand up on end.
Life as an Evertonian can be like being on a roller-coaster, but to ride these highs & lows only builds character. I for one bless the day that me Dad told me I was an Evertonian!
Cheers, Dad ? you are a legend!!!
Gary Lawler Posted 19/04/2009 at 21:37:39 Comments (5)
Firstly, fantastic win and really buzzing (and half drunk). Let's enjoy the moment but also the fact we are in the FA Cup Final for the first time in 14 years.
However, we have not won it yet, we are simply in the Final. The reason for my conservatism is similar I'm sure to Moyes. We did not beat Liverpool in the 118th minute in a replay to get to the Final. We also didn't beat Villa and Middlesboro to get to the Final. And although it seems like a win against Man Utd at our first appearance at the new Wembley, it's not. Let's not celebrate too much as we haven't won anything... yet.
We have come this far to WIN the FA Cup. We are not turning up on 30 May to make up the numbers. We are not going to let Chelsea secure the Cup so they don't end the season empty handed. We are in the Final to WIN it. As Cahill said before the semi-final, we don't want a trophy, we need a trophy. All the good work done by Moyes over the last seven years has been done to win a trophy. The next step is to win something. That step needs to be taken on 30 May 2009. Bring on Chelsea.
Matthew Lovekin Posted 19/04/2009 at 18:59:26 Comments (17)
BUT WHAT A RESULT!!!
Just got home, so sorry for any typos ? but BUZZIN MY BOOBS OFF!!
Shocking game ? after seeing the United's line-up I really thought we would have gone hell for leather to beat this, poor, and very under-strength United side, but no... .for some reason we backed off and let the Old Trafford kids have their own way.
120 minutes later and we were still shocking ? Neville had a great chance to score, but the outcome was obvious, Saha was close to taking Foster for a mug... but apart from that we were poor!!!
So to penalties... Cahill... oh my GOD!!!! The Evertonian on the pitch misses... does not bode well.
10 minutes later... who gives a flyer ? we are in the FA CUP FINAL ? and I am the buzz of a pub in Bolton!!! Bring on Chelsea... we need a Villa performance and we will be FA CUP WINNERS!!! AND IF YOU KNOW YOUR HISTORY!!!
Si Harwood Posted 19/04/2009 at 18:32:30 Comments (19)
If Gerrard or Young had been 'handed off' in the way Pienaar was in the first half it would have been talked about as a 'stone-walled' pen. As it was, we didn't even get a look at it again at half-time. Instantly pronounced as a good piece of defending. Dismissed.
I wonder, were there any other incidents to note regarding tackles in the box?
A tale of two penalties. The two saved by Howard!
Tony Horne Posted 19/04/2009 at 16:38:05 Comments (19)
Enjoyed reading Rhino on the official site, with his thoughts on the game and his support for us today as a fan. So my mind went back to 1995, the last time we beat the Mancs at Wembley - and I thought: what about a bit of history repeating?
Let Jags plays as well as Unsworth did that day, and Pienaar do a Limpar... 1-0 to the Blues and onto the final!
Here we go!
Neil Pearse Posted 19/04/2009 at 12:19:29 Comments (95)
I know a lot has been said in the past about the club's lack of commercial awareness but I still find it unbelievable that virtually nothing is for sale in the shop at the ground regarding the match tomorrow.
I got up early today all excited about the impending trip to Wembley. I hounded the missus and half-an-hour later I am outside the club shop with the three kids all in their kits. Eagerly wanting to buy flags and whatever else is waiting to tempt me to part with my cash.
Couple of Fellaini tee-shirts and a scarf was about it, oh and the semi-final programme. I spent the grand sum of 11 quid. Leaves the shop where a steady stream of others are making their way over to the two lads who stand near to the Dixie statue every week; selling it seems everything anyone could want to do with Everton.
Flags in various sizes, hats, more badges than Blue Peter, wigs, car flags, horns ? you name it, they had it. I left with three happy kids and 40 quid lighter. The club shop is proudly informing that it is open from 10am till 2pm on Sunday ? where are most of us going to be then?
Hopefully things will improve next season but I won't hold my breath. I hope everyone has a great day out tomorrow and let's all hope that the next time we go to Wembley in MAY the club have bucked its ideas up. COYB!!!
Colin Lloyd Posted 18/04/2009 at 17:14:07 Comments (5)
I?ve got a real buzz for this one, it feels like ?95 when it just seemed destined... our name was on it that year. I remember the string of 1-nil scraps in the league to drag us away from relegation and then that semi against spurs ? my god, that day will live with me forever!
1995 was also my first year at Liverpool Uni (that?s the real uni- not John Moores, haha!) I grew up in Kent and being the only Evertonian I knew- you can imagine my motivation for choosing Liverpool Uni and I fell in love with the city and the people along with my club.
People always ask why Everton? as there weren?t any other Evertonians in my family, friends, or 100 mile radius of where I grew up... but my reply is always simple:- Evertonians are born, not made.
I emigrated at 25 to Oz but every trip home I always have a weekend in Liverpool and a game at Goodison ? with my last being the 7-1 win over Sunderland, last season.
I know we can do it on Sunday ? United aren?t in the best form and hopefully tired from Porto. And the passing and movement I saw last week against Villa was among the best I have seen.
COYB!! Let?s all hope Tim Howard has learnt how to catch in the last week and the Fat Granny stabber misses a sitter!....and by the way, Wayne, it does run deep.
Oh, one more piece from Oz before I go, having read the linked Timmy Cahill article in the Independent- you will be pleased to know he also did one with The Age (the prominent paper in Melbourne) while he was over here the other week for the Socceroos- he again spoke about how David Moyes was the one who came in for him, payed the money and gave him his chance and how much he loves Everton.
And then was the response to a certain Question posed by the reporter- emblazoned across the page in bold text, it read:
Never. Never, never. No money in the world could convince me to play for Liverpool. It goes against everything I stand for.
Come on Boys! We can do it!
Mark Doyle Posted 18/04/2009 at 15:59:54 Comments (13)
Great video I think (same link as on Home Page)... great sing-along song.
Please help publicise and spread the word. I'll make an update for the Final!
Alan Smart Posted 18/04/2009 at 08:07:57 Comments (5)
Just read Alec Laurie`s comments on "Team for Sunday" , where he quoted Norwegian supporters in Liverpool shirts as this was a negative thing for the club. I know this man is a god at Everton and far be it that I should criticize his wisdom , but this really was below the belt, Tim.
I have lived in Norway the last 30 years and have supported the blues through thick and thin. Of course we don't get a chance to see games at Goodison that often, but I can assure you that every Everton supporter does not live in Liverpool. In fact there is coach load of Everton fans (yes... from Norway) on the way to the game against Spurs on 9th May, and I can assure you that they will be wearing Everton shirts and getting behind their team just as well as any scouser.
Unfortunately, most Norwegian kids won't believe you when you tell them that you support a team other than Liverpool or United and we do our best to open their eyes. Our greatest night this season was when we stuffed the Reds in the cup... four of us (in Everton shirts) and at least 70 Liverpool supporters. My god, what a night! You wouldn't believe how much noise we made... lovely.
I know that there is a lot of banter about Liverpool's foriegn supporters, but don't let us have "tunnel vision" and believe that every Everton fan lives there. I say give your foriegn fans a great welcome ...an Everton supporter is an Everton supporter... or what?
Tony Cheek Posted 18/04/2009 at 05:22:42 Comments (21)
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say that our semi-final is being played on Sunday rather than the obvious choice of Saturday to give Man United time to recover from a trip to Portugal and a tough quarter-final...
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would think that Mike Riley has been appointed match referee out of the blue because he is a red...
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would point out that David Moyes was set up by the media to make comments about the match referee...
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would think that the hatchet job done by the BBC on Marouane Fellaini was done to upset a very young and influential Everton player before the semi-final?
But I am not a conspiracy theorist ? and furthermore believe it's eleven players against eleven players on the day and we will win. I am picking 1-0 with the Fellaini scoring and we will have to hang on to a lead for a long and difficult last twenty minutes? anyone for a prediction?
Peter Pridgeon Posted 17/04/2009 at 23:57:12 Comments (14)
After reading Tim Cahill's latest interview by proud Evertonian Brian Viner I was filled with pride with what I read. Every time Cahill opens his mouth in public, he does himself proud in Evertonian eyes. It's almost as if he grew up on County Road, rather than Samoa then Oz. He seems to be the latest 'outsider' to be fully converted into 'one of us' ? like Ferguson before him and to some extent Mikel Arteta alongside him.
There seems to be an intense loyalty amongst the current squad, that in football's current climate I would go as far as calling unusual. Look at three key players such as Jagielka, Lescott and Arteta ? all highly rated and all on the cusp of international recognition. Normally this would mean seeking Champions League football elsewhere, but I can't imagine a single one of these lads putting in a transfer request.
There is something unique about Everton that seems to inspire if not a change of loyalty then at least a life-long affection. Big Dunc might not have looked a likely poet on the pitch, but his recent speech summed it up very nicely. We modern football fans have been forced into becoming very cynical... so, in this age, to me, Cahill and ilk are a true inspiration.
Ian Kearney Posted 17/04/2009 at 17:51:09 Comments (15)
Just a little distraction from the massive game on Sunday, it looks like pictures of Phil Neville and Tim Howard posing in our next season's Le Coq Sportif kit have been relesed and they look as flat and unimaginative as a witches bosoms. Can we stay with Umbro please...?
Louis Tod Posted 17/04/2009 at 15:05:12 Comments (31)
Ok, a predictable title, but I thought we could open a discussion on what the team will be for Sunday.
It seems maybe obvious what the team will be, but is there any changes anyone would like to see?
Myself, I wouldn't mind starting Vaughany. I know it's a MASSIVE gamble but he has that drive and motivation to give everything. I think he's the type of player who's adrenaline could carry him through to the 70-75 mins mark.
Sean McNally Posted 17/04/2009 at 11:12:19 Comments (37)
Not a paper I would normally choose to read, but was on the table when I was waiting for a haircut this morning, and look what I saw:
And it's not just a "plucky underdog" article either...
Tim Taylor Posted 17/04/2009 at 10:56:11 Comments (13)
After reading Paul Rideout's comments about the staging of the semi-finals at Wembley being "a disgrace" I felt I had to comment on it. Sure, it takes away some of the shine of the final, but as a 19-year-old Evertonian who has never been to Wembley, I'm absolutely buzzing! I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way so let's stop complaining, draw up our witty banners and enjoy our day out will we! I for one am looking forward to Wembley. COYB!!
Brian Maguire Posted 16/04/2009 at 01:38:44 Comments (24)
I've telephoned The FA today to ask why Steve Bennett was replaced by Mike Riley for the game on Sunday. The official response is that Steve Bennett is injured and therefore unable to take part.
I asked whether or not it would be customary under such circumstances for the 4th Official (Alan Wiley, I believe) to take over however I was informed that this is not always the case.
I went on to ask that if, as is widely believed by the football fan community, Mike Riley is a Manchester United supported and has, in the past been accused of showing bias toward United, how can he be deemed to be an impartial referee. The response was that this is merely conjecture and 'hearsay' and that there is no evidence to suggest any affinity between Riley and United.
Finally, I asked whether or not The FA planned to make any official announcement to explain why the referee was changed. They said that they had no plans to do so.
The telephone number for the FA Customer Relations line is 020 7745 4545 - just in case anyone was interested in asking any further questions.
Peter Wilson Posted 16/04/2009 at 12:25:24 Comments (28)
Nobody seems to be giving any mention of the remarkable and, to my knowledge, unique goal scored by Sten Pienaar against Villa.
All 10 Everton outfield players were involved in the build-up, a feat I have never witnessed before in any match anywhere. No mention of it was made by Setanta or MotD2 and as far as I know, no papers picked up on it either.
This was a dream goal and if any of the Sky 4 had scored it, we'd be subjected to nightly replays and an early end to Goal of the Season/decade.
Arthur Small Posted 16/04/2009 at 09:46:14 Comments (16)
I've just had a look at that Independent Dream Team.
Dream Team, nah, dream yes, team as in an Hypothetical 11 to play almost any one anywhen? no chance, a back 3 ffs.
Sorry Mr Fearon, more like a mish mash of fans favourites, all the usual suspects: Young, McKenzie and certs Dean, Nev. The standard format, picking the best player in a position, using 4-4-2 as the norm, has been done to death.
The big concern I refer to is one Tim Howard. I have never been totally convinced by our keeper but admit he has done a good job for us by and large. However, his form has dropped in recent weeks and against Villa he was very poor. His indecision helped Villa equalise and he was never in command of his area.
I fear that this could be our undoing against United. Having previously played under Ferguson, United will be all too aware of our keepers shortcomings and prey upon them.
Graham Nolan Posted 15/04/2009 at 09:51:16 Comments (27)
Just when you thought it might be a definate conspiracy your worst fears are realised. Not expecting too much help to beat the Mancs and if the BBC's version of Fellaini the hatchet couldnt have come at a worse time... what else could they throw at us? Mike Riley is to officiate on Sunday... COYBs
Rob Coles Posted 15/04/2009 at 08:15:38 Comments (12)
On Sunday, I sincerely hope those amongst us hell bent on singing vile anti-Rooney chants etc etc please keep your vile chants to yourself. We don't need that nonesense on Sunday.
This should be a celebration of our great Club ? don't let idiotic chants divert your attenton from supporting the boys on the pitch. Our club is in the shop window at the highest level on Sunday, get behind our team and don't leave people with the impression of us being sad, bitter and twisted (even if some of us are).
Put on a great show and you never know, our loyalty might be rewarded with our very own billionaire investors waking up to the potential that is Everton Football Club. Let's stamp out this bitter nonsense ? this is even more pertinent when we consider today's Anniversary.
Personally, I am sick of the vile chanting that has crept onto the terraces in recent times ? the humour displayed at villa ("handball" jibes for instance) was a hell of a lot more enjoyable and both sides had a great laugh. I do hope our return to Wembley coincides with a return to decent chants coming from our fans full of humour and no hint of vile abuse.
Steve Callaghan Posted 15/04/2009 at 08:09:25 Comments (63)
Forgive me for being ignorant of the rules and regulations governing Association Football, but can anyone definitively explain the thinking behind the cup-tied rule?
It baffles me that Alves Jo only played a cameo substitute appearance in Man City's 3rd round exit, and is subsequently prohibited from taking any further part in the competition having changed clubs ? yet he's allowed to play in the league... so why not the cup too?
I'm sure there is a simple answer, and it does not require Statto to answer it, but I think this rule sucks. If a player has transferred mid-season, what's the problem?
Aploogies if I sound like an idiot here (in my defence, I caught quite a bit of sun today!!) but could someone with more brain cells clear this up please? What is the principle behind such a ruling?
Despite this moot point, his absence I feel will not terribly damage our chances. We have enough in that dressing room to exploit the growing cracks in that team's smug facade...
As long as we don't shit out.
Kevin Hudson Posted 14/04/2009 at 15:13:43 Comments (11)
Now don't attack me for the comparison but just hear me out. Some of the passing play I saw in some stages of the weekends game shone of Liverpool of the Dalglish era. At training camps when I was younger we would be regularly shown footage of a game where Dalglish and his compatriots put together a string of about 50-odd passes in a row, finally being threaded wide and then being beautifully crossed in for a goal. I think it was against Forest?? Anyway, my point is I saw that same precision passing and movement being effected on Sunday and I can't think of many times I have seen it played so effectively and accurately.
We were always taught that possesion is the main focus of the game with the goal the icing on the cake. You can't be beaten by a team that can't get the ball.
Moyes is building a team capable of playing that style of passing play that can be so effective in finding gaps and driving the opposition crazy. I was excited and quite frankly stunned by the fluidity of some of the passing but then I was equally as stunned and gutted by the lack of consistency and the ease at which Villa appeared to be able to force and keep us on the backfoot.
Keep us moving in the right direction, Davey, and we'll be challenging for the top honours soon enough.
Kerry Frahm Posted 14/04/2009 at 10:43:05 Comments (15)
From an article in the Sun:
"MAN United Red Devil WAYNE ROONEY is planning a nursery for his first child ? in Everton?s BLUE colours.
Pals were stunned when Wayne, who was an Everton fan when he was a kid and played for them until 2004, told them of his plans if the baby is a boy.
For he wants to turn the nursery into a shrine to United?s Premier League rivals.
The insider added: ?Wayne had to make do with posters of his hero DUNCAN FERGUSON on the walls of his old home.
?He wants the little one to have the ultimate boy?s bedroom."
I don't know what to think!! :-)
Gavin Harris Posted 14/04/2009 at 05:46:35 Comments (37)
I think our boys are going to give United a pasting next week. I really think we will. And I hope we build on it for next season. But I don't like the sounds coming out of Goodison already about the lack of money around in the summer.
Last summer, I kept on reading that Moyes thought we weren't ready for the league to start, the team wasn't complete, the fitness levels weren't there and all the fuss and confusion about our new stadium was becoming a huge distraction.
I hope it's not starting already? Now, I know we aren't the richest team in the land, but why don't we have the money to buy Jo? He can't be more than £8 - 10 million. Yes we need to strengthen other areas of the team but he must be worth a shout. Is this going to be another summer like last year where we didn't get any business sorted out until late (panic buying) and the team was all over the place?
The reason I'm writing this is because Moyes was right, we weren't ready for the start of the league. We lost to Blackburn on the first day and were generally shit for the first 2 months of the season. If we had been ready to go on the first day of the season I think we would be firmly in 4th place and pushing the top 3.
Please don't let us throw away another chance to break into the champions league this summer! I have followed Everton for over 20 years and I'm well aware of the "Everton way" that has me pulling out my hair and biting my nails all summer, but please, will our board scrap together some money so we can get our business done early and really push hard all season long... please!
James Elliott Posted 13/04/2009 at 11:42:02 Comments (25)
How amazing after all the great wraps on Leon Osman this week he turns in a performance like he did against Villa. C'mon Leon please try and maintain a high level for us. He was missing for large chunks of the game, and here I was hoping for a great performance from the lad.
Wes Coles Posted 12/04/2009 at 22:51:35 Comments (40)
Having not seen any of the game today, I have just watched the highlights programme on MotD2 and I am fuming.
Instead of concentrating on the free kick and penalty that led to Villa's 2nd and 3rd goals the "panel" decided to feature the very irritating Ashley Young and then rip poor old Fellaini to pieces.
With regard to Young (who I think is a great player) since he has become more high profile in the past 12 months he seems to spend more and time looking for fouls rather than playing to his obvious ability. The "panel" concentrated on him ripping the back out of Hibbert rather than his dubious attempts to win penalties as he has done on each occasion we have met this season.
With so much action to show it seemed strange the highlights included one of Fellaini's aerial challenges rather than the numerous goal mouth incidents that took place. It was no surprise then that the "panel" then discussed his challenges rather than the dubious decisions that cost us 3 points. The best bit was that they then showed some of his challenges from games that took place over 3 months ago!!
Obviously he is the only player in the Premier League involved in any of this stuff then? Don't get me wrong, he's no angel but there are two sides to this particular story without doubt.
No doubt a certain Mr Bennett will have taken note in time for next week's Semi. What chance that Fellaini sees red next week?
Steven Moorcroft Posted 12/04/2009 at 20:28:55 Comments (36)
Well, the Champions League is out of the question and the new Europa League is almost guaranteed. Some Evertonians will not be pleased. A drain on resources, a meaningless competition, a diversion from the Premier League, look how it harmed Villa. In my view, not so. I feel it is important for the following reasons:
I would prefer that it were a straight knockout competition but even without that we had some great nights last season. Metalist, Zenit, and Fiorentina were decent sides and playing against them can only have been good for our squad.
We support our club to see them win and who would deny that our Cup Winners Cup win (a much ridiculed competition) provided memories for a generation.
Aston Villa's run of poor form was, in my opinion, caused not by them being over-stretched by the Uefa Cup but by the confidence-sapping defeat inflicted in it.
Wigan, Spurs and West Ham are striving to qualify. What Everonian would not like us to be playing Hamburg next week?
Let's look at it as a rehearsal for the Champions League. Give experience to younger players and raise the proflie of the club.It certainly did Zenit no harm. Let's win it next year as a stepping stone for bigger things.
Andy Crooks Posted 12/04/2009 at 20:17:11 Comments (4)
God knows what next week's game is going to do to me...
A couple of observations about today we need to tighten up on if we are to get anything out of the semi.
1. We need more guile in midfield. There seems to be a lot of possession gained last week and this week by the opposition. We just seem threadbare in the centre. For the first half next week, if I was Moyes, I would start with a five-man midfield. It needs to be tight and compact but played in such a way that is almost a 4-3-3 when in attack and revert to a 4-5-1 man when chasing the ball.
2. Most important, I feel is again (last week and this), we failed most of the time to get the second ball. Whenever as an example, the ball is hoofed and Jo or Fellaini go for it, we do not seem to be onto the loose ball and as a result give the ball away. This was happening in the last third of the pitch.
Curing this problem I think it will allow to cause many more goal attempts than we are currently harvesting.
All in all a lot of food for thought for next week (Christ, my nails)
COYB AND WIN.
Jon Cox Posted 12/04/2009 at 14:56:51 Comments (43)
Team for Today looks pretty strong:
Tim Howard; Phil Neville (c), Tony Hibbert, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines, Leon Osman, Tim Cahill, Steven Pienaar, Marouane Fellaini, Joao Alves Jo
And on the Bench:
Lars Jacobsen, Carlo Nash, Andy van der Meyde, Segundo Castillo, Jack Rodwell, Dan Gosling, Louis Saha.
Anyone have any links for todays game? Thanks
Dan Machin Posted 12/04/2009 at 10:51:00 Comments (60)
Next Sunday we get our first chance to visit the new Wembley and will be taking around 35,000 fans. I for one can't wait for this day and, although some say that Wembley should only be used for the Final, I really believe that our fans will make the occasion one to remember and the atmosphere we will provide will be amazing.
Let's hope that above all we are a credit to our club and represent them in the best way possible. A victory would of course be amazing; however, let's just enjoy the day as it a long time coming.
I have always been proud of our away support and the backing we give to the boys and can't wait to see this multiplied next Sunday
Good Luck Everton and for those attending let make everyone watch remember us
WHAT'S OUR NAME ...???
Ade Franco Posted 11/04/2009 at 17:37:09 Comments (0)
This time in the FA Cup we have a real chance of getting to the final. The team that stands in our way is probably close to the best team in the world; saying that, they are not playing very well at the moment. However, an underachieving Man Utd team is still more than a match for 98% of teams. What we have got going for us is the immense team spirit that we possess, the unwillingness to ever say a game is lost and a unique knack of raising our game when we are playing the country's finest.
I honestly think this could be our time, our season, our FA Cup. Watching Man Utd at the moment they certainly have weaknesses (never many). I would suggest that we definitely pile the pressure on Johnny Evans who I do see as a weak link in the team.
With Jo being cup-tied it is almost inevitable that Moyes will play the tried and trusued 4-5-1 and I suggest the line up (barring any injuries against the Villa) will be Howard, Hibbert, Lescott, Jags, Baines, Pienaar, Neville, Osman, Fellaini, Cahill, and Saha.
However, with Saha's fitness in mind, I would like to see him play Cahill up front, and bring Gosling into the midfield and bring Saha on if we are chasing the game. Whatever he plays, this could really be our time!!!
Ian Mullin Posted 11/04/2009 at 15:19:42 Comments (11)
In his daily press conference, Centurion Vorenus... erm, I mean our beloved leader, David Moyes, says this about Mo The Fro: "I'd been to see him play for Belgium the week before and they ended up getting well beaten in their first game by Bosnia." Really??? Why???? Don't you see him everyday in training. He's the big effer who looks like a giant toilet brush.
So over to you Football Manager types or people in the know whose cousin's girlfriend's brother drinks with a guy who works at Finch Farm...?? Who was Moyes really watching????
Paul Daly Posted 10/04/2009 at 19:40:48 Comments (8)
Now you would think that with all the euphoria of our season so far, Everton's official store would be chocked full of merchandise that fans like us, despite our economic woes, would be lining up to buy.
I went on there recently and would have gladly given up my hard-earned wages for shirts, shorts, jackets or whatever else was Everton-related but ? surprise, surprise ? everything was either sold out or available in boys' sizes.
Does the marketing department of Everton FC not recognize that this is the perfect time to take advantage of fan interest and generate some desperately needed revenue, especially by selling commemorative merchandise?
I know it is only an FA Cup semi-final but it has been a while since we were in one.
Only at Everton could something like this be allowed to occur. It is frightening to speculate what actually takes place when discussing much more important issues such as player transfers or Destination Kirkby.
Ajay Timothy Posted 10/04/2009 at 13:05:08 Comments (30)
Hamburg's ground tonight ? similar to Schalke 04's. Both tight 50,000 all-seater modern and new. Both tremendous atmosphere and both, I'm sure, used as a basis on which to design our new gaff. Very promising indeed ? although I would prefer our corners filled in.
Terry Meehan Posted 09/04/2009 at 19:57:39 Comments (50)
Just read on offical site - Mr J.Vaughan will start for the reserves tonight!
Oh how I hope that he can get some fittness and sharpness back and finally get the chance to deliver what he has promised!
To have, Jo, Saha, Cahill and Vaughan available up front will certainly give us good options going forward for the final furlong of the season.
I like Vaughan, if he can stay off the injury table for a full season we will (hopefully) reap the rewards of a young, fit and goal hungry striker!
Si Harwood Posted 08/04/2009 at 10:28:25 Comments (45)
I remember the summer when I was desperate for news of a signing for our club.
This chap Vogel was mooted at some point as the obvious replacement for Carsely as a defensive midfielder. He was available on a free and seemed like a dead cert.
Well he never turned up and ended up at Blackburn Rovers instead. I was disappointed, not because I thought he was going to be our new super star but because I always worry why a player would choose one our rivals when we seem the better option.
Anyhow, nothing to worry about because it turns out he was rubbish, he has just had his contract cancelled by mutual consent, just like his previous club.
This is not the first time an average player that looked like a dead cert as a squad player has gone elsewhere, but does yet again underline that we might be frustrated with the lack on transfer transactions at Everton, but we do not have deadwood and we are a lean mean fighting machine. The salary budget is spent wisely.
It?s not the size of your squad; it?s making the best of what you?ve got and at that we are the Champions.
Paul Fuller Posted 08/04/2009 at 07:06:30 Comments (29)
Anybody know why Yobo was not on the bench on Sunday? No news about an injury and it just seems strange. I have heard a rumour that he has done a Zaki and not returned from international duty.
Mark Jones Posted 07/04/2009 at 13:57:53 Comments (14)
After the Wigan game I reflected what might have been if we had faired better against Blackburn and Portsmouth recently. I think those two performances came on the back of injuries and heavy legs. The team looked jaded. Looking at not only the result on Sunday but how we played, it was clear that we finished the game with ease and really at a canter.
So could 4th actually happen?
When I first thought of this I immediately dismissed the thought as a pipe dream. After all, consider; could we be caught by West Ham? The thought doesn?t even come into my mind. But they are 7 points behind us. We are 7 points behind Arsenal. So how can we dream of 4th place when we are not out of sight from those behind us?
And then I looked a little bit further into it??..
West Ham are only 7 points behind us. But they have a very difficult run in, including us (at Goodison), Villa, Chelsea and RS. They will drop a lot of points before the season is out. So, in my opinion 4th, 5th and 6th is between Everton, Arsenal and Villa.
Man Utd (A)
Stoke City (H)
Aston Villa Fixtures:-
West Ham (H)
Hull City (H)
Newcastle Utd (H)
Aston Villa (A)
Man City (H)
West Ham (H)
Arsenal have very ?losable? games to play. Most notably against Liverpool, Chelsea and Man Utd. In fact we could say that they only have ONE banker win against Boro at home. We on the other hand have at least THREE banker wins. Villa, who looked good against Man Utd, have an easier run in. But we have to say that they are a very unpredictable team. Consistency is something they have found hard to come by in recent weeks.
It is interesting to see that Arsenal have the most difficult run in. They will also have the Champions League to occupy them as well. From our own point of view, if we beat Villa and Arsenal were to lose away to Wigan that would undoubtedly put us in pole position (given Arsenal?s trip?s to Anfield & Old Trafford).
It?s a long shot. So was the horse that won the Grand National.
Dare we dream?
Barry Sherlock Posted 06/04/2009 at 11:48:13 Comments (35)
After Sunday?s result, I thought I?d take a look at this new Europa League format and see what it?s all about. If you?re thinking of doing likewise, I?d advise you not to bother. Actually, I?d probably say the same to Moyes.
If I?m reading it right ? and that?s a big 'if', it?s an incredibly complicated format ? the team finishing 6th in a Uefa coefficient top-3 league (England is currently ranked Number One) enters the Europa League in the third of four qualifying rounds. In other words, if we finish 6th we?d have to play two qualifying rounds, both home and away, JUST to get into the Europa League itself.
If we win the FA Cup, or get 5th, we enter at the 4th and final qualifying stage, as last year v Std Leige. If West Ham pip us for 6th, I believe it?s the second qualifying round ? in other words, six games just to reach the League.
Once we get there, it?s then a question of playing three home-and-away legs in a four-team group ? six games, as opposed to four in previous years. Then the tournament becomes knock-out in the last 32.
You can see where I?m going with this. The merits or otherwise of Everton in the Uefa Cup have often been debated on ToffeeWeb, and I?ve come down on the side of wanting to see Everton in Europe; but with the extra games in this new format, and the inevitably titchy size of our squad, I can?t help thinking that this time it really will cost us in the league.
ps: Apologies for any factual errors with this ? it?s a genuine attempt to understand the Europa Cup from a bit of web trawling.
Duncan Lennard Posted 06/04/2009 at 08:08:18 Comments (65)
This post bag could give the impression that our win against Wigan was only created soley by Osman and Jo. Let us not forget the others. Our backline held firm with Lescott and Hibbert outstanding. In the defensive midfield Neville and Cahill hustled and harried their opponents off the park. Our attacking midfield of Osman and Fellaini and to a lesser extent Pienaar never stopped running and creating.
Up front, Jo continually presented for the ball and his first goal was a real gem. Having been one of Osman's regular critics I am more than happy to offer congratulations on his very good game. Until he reproduces that kind of stuff against the likes of Villa, United and Arsenal I will continue to hold reservations about him. If he proves me wrong I will be the first to admit the error of my ways... and the same goes for Pienaar.
Dick Fearon Posted 05/04/2009 at 22:17:46 Comments (21)
Just a thought on Jo, who started slowly but appears to be running into form just at the right moment (damn him being cup-tied).
He has a great first touch (which is always an indicator of someone with top class ability), finishes well, has pace, skill and appears to like playing here.
He's on loan yet you can already imagine the calls for us to sign him up. BUT, he's gonna be expensive, at least £10mil, and other clubs will be interested.
Could this be the start of another Manny saga?
Fran Mitchell Posted 05/04/2009 at 21:14:10 Comments (44)
An excellent result today. Particularly pleasing to see Jô standing up a little more and popping in a couple ? first goal was particularly good, with Osman for once passing the ball early and decisively ? not fannying around 'flattering to deceive', as the good old cliché goes ? as he has an unfortunate tendency to do.
Many will say Ozzie's performance today proves how wrong all those people were to be dissing him on here. Well bollocks to that, he's still as frustrating as hell to watch. He should have shot when he overplayed the ball; when he did shoot, it was still mostly hopeless. Thank god he actually scored a goal, simple as it was!
Still, we're not allowed to be critical, are we? (How else are we gonna improve, I wonder??). Good result, though... but Villa are now leading 2-1 at OT!!! For us, it was the kind of game where you really hope we would go on to give them a right thrashing. But what am I thinking? Not something Moyes's teams do that often, is it?
Paul Hardcastle Posted 05/04/2009 at 14:15:43 Comments (46)
Team for today v Wigan:
Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines; Osman Neville Cahill (yippee!) Pienaar Fellaini: Jo
Subs: Nash Jacobsen Rodwell Castillo Gosling Van der Meyde Saha
Prediction: Everton 2 - 0 Wigan.
Jamie Carroll Posted 05/04/2009 at 11:24:32 Comments (58)
The People say Arsene Wenger is plotting a £12m summer raid for the Everton starlet!
I was just wondering what other people's views on this were if it were not a rumour!? The kid obviously has talent so why wouldn't Arsenal want him?
In my opinion even thought it's £12m in the bank (or someone's pocket... ahem), we should be looking (for more money) to keep hold of this one.
Brett Bradshaw Posted 05/04/2009 at 09:50:21 Comments (17)
Setanta have an interview with Jô about his future where he clearly states why he wants to stay at EFC:
"If I had to choose, I will choose to stay at Everton, but if I have to go back to City I will go back...... The people here have given me so much more support, I felt it from the first moment I came to the club and every footballer needs that kind of care. Phil Neville is never too far away, always asking if I am okay, if I need anything. But it's all of the players, not just Phil. They have all looked out for me. It feels like Everton is my home now."
Apparently, he has had no contact from Mark Hughes[?].
Question One: Do we need him?
Question Two; What should we pay for him?
Question Three: Will he get better?
Trevor Powell Posted 05/04/2009 at 04:56:09 Comments (12)
After years of Alan "I Love Stevie G" Green, the of balance of national radio reporting swings towards the Blues.
Talksport Co-commentator on the home game with Wigan this Sunday will be true-blue red-scarf-stamping Culture Secretary Andy Burnham MP! - see http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/mediamonkeyblog/2009/apr/03/andy-burnham-football-pundit
"I am very much looking forward to being part of the TalkSport team on Sunday, and will be struggling to hold my composure as Everton thrash Wigan," says Burnham.
Alan Chadwick Posted 04/04/2009 at 11:14:58 Comments (6)
Is it only me who's racked off by the comments from little ol' wine drinker Ferguson? Apparently the "Great One" has named Moyes as his successor and Sky have duifully reported it. Well that's that then!
This annnoys me on a few levels. First, is the arrogance of the teacup thrower that he can make such pronouncements about another Club's manager. Of course he has previous with the Rooney saga and many other instances, but this doesn't make it right; surely there must be an appropriate FA charge for this kind of comment.
I know it shouldn't, but it also annoys me that Sky immediately stand square shouldered with Manure on this with any pretence at impartiality thrown out the window.
Finally, it seems like a bit of unsporting gamesmanship a fortnight before the semi-finals, to unsettle our manager and team with this kind of comment.
I am not stupid, I know Moyes will eventually move on and the link to Man U is not a new one, but for Ferguson to come out with it himself is, for me, not on.
Steve Guy Posted 04/04/2009 at 10:43:23 Comments (12)
David Unsworth has announced his retirement from the game at 35 and I just want to wish him the best in the future. In an interview he said "I love the club and its fans". Well, Unsy we loved you. You had a superb left foot and you always gave 100%. Thanks!
Tom Campbell Posted 03/04/2009 at 14:53:29 Comments (21)
Three months after he scored it, Mikel Arteta has a goal taken away from him by the 'Dubious Goals Panel'. Steven Pienaar has been afforded the same honour already this season. As we have a day or two before the lads get back to work, can anyone shed any light on what goes on here?
Do they make many such pronouncements ? against Sky4 teams for example? Were they called on to award the goal to referee Stuart Atwell when he awarded a goal to Reading when none had been scored against Watford? Do they review video evidence to determine whether cheating divers go on to score penalties which add to their goal tally?
And why did it take three months? Did a Sunderland player appeal to have an own-goal recorded against him?
Keith Glazzard Posted 02/04/2009 at 17:51:39 Comments (11)
As the mailbag has been pretty quiet lately, and I'm on an IT course in London (where I haven't got a clue what's going on), I've decided to pose this question to relieve my boredom.
Taking into account our usual financial situation, who, within reason would you like to see Moyes buy pre-season?
Personally, I think David Bentley would be a good signing. Pacey, skillfull and good on the ball, plus I think he'll be available too. I'll overlook the fact he seems a bit of a tit whenever he's on telly.
So who would you like to see sat in the main stand with an Everton scarf held aloft?
Franny Porter Posted 02/04/2009 at 10:46:45 Comments (53)
On a day when Spurs announced details of their ambitious revelopment plan at White Hart Lane, it has also become apparent that a Club who moved to nice new Stadium only 8 years ago is about to go into Administration. Southampton now face a 10-point deduction and almost certain relegation to the oblivion of League One, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Crewe and Cheltenham Town.
Of course this begs the question once again about the logic surrounding Everton's plans.
Whilst some will say that Spurs' fantastic new stadium is only possible because they are in London, it is undeniable that they have carefully planned this scheme out and are actively gaining support from the surrounding community, which is incidentally one of London's most deprived boroughs. This is in total contrast to EFC's attempt to jump ship in Walton.
Southampton are perfect proof that Robert Elstone's assertion that moving to a new Stadium is a panacea for all problems is basically misguided. Would we be better staying in our traditional neighbourhood, like Spurs, and redeveloping what we have ? even if we cannot match their ambitious plans?
I know this has been debated before, but every single thing I see on this subject at other clubs just gives me the feeling that Everton are playing Russian Roulette with our future and for a very small potential gain. In 20 years time, with modern building techniques being somewhat suspect when it comes to durability, will Kirkby be 'falling down around our ears'... and then what?
Karl Masters Posted 01/04/2009 at 20:04:07 Comments (115)
Just a quick one to tell fellow Blues that Tim Cahill never came on the pitch for the Ozzies last night in their World Cup qualifier... he was warming up but he never came on, thank Christ.
So let's hope he doesn't stub his toe on the flight home in the morning, chasing the dolley trolley for a tinny!! And comes back with guns blazing to lead us to victory on Sunday and helps us push on for the remainder of the season ? with a winner v United in the semi doing nicely!!!
Rob Beel Posted 01/04/2009 at 09:51:17 Comments (21)
Please Note: These are big files that may take a little time to download....
- May 2009
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