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The Mail Bag

January 2009 Archive
Want to have your say?

Why Oh Why?

I managed to get a seat at Old Trafford just behind the Everton dugout.

In truth, United controlled most of the game without threatening to completely over-run the Blues, as it became patently obvious that messrs Cahill and Fellaini were clearly not fully fit. My gripe is with David Moyes, after 60 mins, Cahill was dead on his feet and Osman's contribution to the game was well, zero! Gosling warmed up for a total of thirty minutes but the manager never saw fit to use him?

Why is it tha,t when supporters can clearly see certain individual players contributing absolutely nothing to the team, that a manager will continue to select them week in week out? I just don't get it. Why not give the kid a run for the last 30 minutes and try and salvage something from the game without relying on a set-piece?

Gosling has shown great promise when he has been introduced and we needed to do something to break the stranglehold United had on the game. I just think the manager is far too stubborn sometimes and he continues to select players who are stinking the place out!

Victor came on and did what Victor does, continue to believe he's 'Johnny Bigtime' but his game has gone backwards in the last 12 months. Shouldn't he be busting a gut to prove to everyone concerned that he's now ready to stake a regular place in our first team?

So frustrating...
Steve Hogan     Posted 31/01/2009 at 19:52:35   Comments (21)

Some thoughts on the game...

Just some thoughts on the Man Utd game:

  1. Vic Anichebe is not up to the standard necessary to play for an Everton team trying to break into the top four.
  2. Tony Hibbert has become quite possibly our outstanding player. He must be due an England call up. Some of his tackles today were first class.
  3. Howard is now playing at the top of his game. He is a fantastic shot-stopper.
  4. Fellaini has great energy, but has a long way to go before he is the finished article.
  5. Moyes needs to give Gosling a chance, he is a better player than Big Vic.
  6. Our defence is the reason for our good form of late, today they were strong again. United could only score with a dodgy penalty.
  7. Cahill and Arteta and Osman need a rest; however, this is not going to happen ? there is no-one to repace them.
  8. I can't help but think that Moyes should have rested some players for Wednesday. A defeat to United is less important than a win against Liverpool.
Outside this, I think that if at the beginning of the season at the height of the bleakness, we were offered sixth place with a team playing with confidence, I would have taken it for sure!
Paul Andrew Davey     Posted 31/01/2009 at 16:28:26   Comments (57)

Cahill and Felli Start...

So the two boys start.. I was worried about yellows for Lecsott and Cahill. Aren't they one game away from suspension.. Can someone clarify that if they do get booked, they won't miss the cup game as it takes 7 days for the ban to come into effect.. COYB.....
Simon Dunne     Posted 31/01/2009 at 13:53:30   Comments (73)

Poor planning?

I wonder if David Moyes should be taking more criticism for our lack of striking options this season. I know most of us were fairly happy to see McFadden and Johnson leave (as I write this AJ slots home for Fulham) and nobody could have predicted the terrible injury to befall the Yak. However we did enter the season with only three strikers and arguably just one proven Premier League striker. The addition of Saha has proven redundant as expected, it didn't take a genius to work out Vaughan wouldn't last long and most of us agree Anichebe is a Championship player at best.

So, despite some good performances of late and the unbelievable adaptability of Tim Cahill (an American analyst compared him to Totti at Roma last night), surely Moyesy should be taking a bit more criticism for the move to a 4-6-0 instead of being revered as some sort of tactical genius for playing a formation forced upon him, which I think we agree will not see us play the football and create the chances to ultimately trouble the top 4/5 this season.

So is it poor planning and a failure to do his job or am I just being too harsh on our esteemed leader?

ps: Did you see Beattie scored the winner today? No real reference to the above comment but personally I will be happy to see him score some goals and keep Stoke up, he did work his socks off for us!
Rich Williams     Posted 31/01/2009 at 12:21:42   Comments (11)

Hibbo's form...

I think Hibbo has proven his worth to the team again. Players may well be paid a lot of money but maybe we should give them more time to find form when coming back from injury. Especially players like Hibbo ? he's a blue and one that could easily play his whole carear with us ? that's fantastic in today's climate.

Neville in midfield, now we have lost Carsley, gives us that steel and leadership we didn't have at the beginning of the season. Had Hibbo been fit and playing at right back at the start of the season, I think we'd be a bit higher in the table.

Hibbo's one of us ? when he comes back from injury or comes off the bench, his distribution can be frustrating but when hes in the team from the off ? he's a necessity I reckon. Undervalued.
Daniel O'Toole     Posted 31/01/2009 at 06:32:41   Comments (7)

Villa or Wigan today?

I switched on the telly this morning to FreeSat Channel 83 to the red, white and blue that my wife hates. The League table is looking a bit worrying to me for a place in Europe nect season and much depends on today's events. We play ManU at 5.30pm, so before we kick off, Villa could be on 50 points (13 ahead), joint top of the table barr goal difference. Arsenal could be on 45 with an ominous gap developed there and we still have to go and get a result. I would say a draw away at ManU is decent progress, but we really do need a win. However, a Villa win today would keep the gap between us and Wigan to an invaluable 5 points that we are going to need.

So the point of my posting is should we be shouting for Villa this afternoon to keep Wigan off our tails. Lets assume we get a draw and Wigan win, that would put us 9 points behind Villa and only 3 points ahead of Wigan (2 if we lose). And let's assume ManU win the Carling Cup, then 6th Spot would at least get us into Europe. With this in mind I will be putting on a strong Brummy accent and talking through my nose this afternoon. I think I am kind of being resigned to scraping into Europe at best.

I don't want to be a pessimist, and I will take every positive result as they come, but I'm sure Moyes will be thinking the same as our squad depletes and the competition is strengthing for a frantic run in to the end of the season. A place and a good run in Europe is imperative not only for the needed financial gains, but to give us any hope of retaining all of our loyal star players who could be lured away more easily next season with the excuse of European football being the reason.

So on that note I look forward to Marin O'Neills silly jump and air punch on more than one occasion this afternoon.
Tony I'Anson     Posted 31/01/2009 at 06:13:00   Comments (3)

'Why are we still with JJB'

After just watching the news and seeing the state JJB are in, why is our marketing department still using JJB to sell our shirts etc? Why can't we open our own stores instead of shutting them? Moyes states we have no money... surely at this level the club should realise there is a lot of money to be made from supporters' loyalties.
Stuart Hague     Posted 30/01/2009 at 19:29:51   Comments (8)


I posted a question a while ago asking who committed the appalling challenge that ended Geoff Nulty's career. The answer was Jimmy Case. I wasn't surprised ? he really was a total piece of scum.

It set me thinking though... everyone loves their own hard men. Look at the respect we accorded to Duncan Ferguson. So who was the hardest, nastiest piece of work ever to wear an Everton shirt?

Duncan and Pat van den Hauwe were tough hard players but they weren't exactly subtle... Brian Labone was tough but played in an era when everyone was (George Best could leave a foot in). Brian Kidd could be a dirty bastard as could Mark Hughes.

However, in the time I have watched Everton (42 years) one man stands out. Step forward... Bruce Rioch. He had it all. Fine player, subtle, mouthy and hard as nails. In fact I would put him second only to the mighty John Giles.

I'd like either of them to have 45 minutes against Ronaldo...
Andy Crooks     Posted 30/01/2009 at 15:23:39   Comments (53)

What work permit?

Just as I thought this thoroughly depressing January transfer window couldn't get any worse for us Everton fans along comes this article:

Now I don't want to berate Moyes or Kenwright, more than enough of you do that on here already; however, I would have hoped that Moyes was on the phone to Inter 2 MONTHS ago to try and sort this deal out (maybe he was and it didn't come off ? will give him a little bit of benefit of doubt) surely if he is fine to play in Spain then he is elegible to play for us, last time I looked Spain, Italy and England were all members of the EC?

Now I don't want the moon on a stick, however a player of Obinna's quality who was prepared to join us in the Summer, who can play up front or out wide, is available to loan with an option to buy in the summer for 6 mil euros! and is not being sniffed around by the fat cats surely ticks all boxes!! It's the final kick in the gut for me personally, fingers crossed, Moyes can pull out a big white rabbit on Monday night.

On another note, I thank the boys and Moyes for putting in performance after hard working, gritty in your face performance, If only we could add a little bit of quality here and there to add to that work ethic and team spirit, I truly believe we could be a force to reckon with.
Wes Bray     Posted 30/01/2009 at 07:04:21   Comments (24)

Man U getting over-confident?

IMHO there are two things in our favour for Saturdays match with the Red Mancs:

1) Our work ethic
2) Man Utd's over-confidence.

Reading the Manc boards, they are all talking about how worthy they would be as league champions, nothing about any kind of a threat from Everton on Saturday.

In fact it's hard to find any thread of substance on the Man U boards that talk about Saturday's game at all! There doesn't seem to be much talk, mind games, etc, coming from SAF either.

There is no doubting if they play at their best, they will beat any team, including us, but we hopefully won't make it easy for them. With or without Cahill, I am sure we will give them a tough game, hopefully get a good result and raise a few more eyebrows. As long as the ref doesn't play too big a part and give them a player advantage or a gift penalty we should do ok.

Screech didn't pick up a booking on Wednesday, so he is bound to get one on Saturday, if we go by his past form. If he gets a yellow, he has to tread very carefully, so he doesn't get himself a red.

Being confident is definitely a good thing, but being over-confident to the point of being dismissive of your opposition is a real danger. Certainly SAF is no fool, but he doesn't have to go on the pitch and play. Are the Man Utd players getting to the position of over-confidence and complacency?
Brian Baker     Posted 30/01/2009 at 06:29:52   Comments (30)

John Paul Kissock (out on loan)

I just read our 19-year-old midfielder has been loaned out to Accrington for a month.

I guess he was never going to get a game this season, even with the injuries we have, so good luck to the lad and I hope he comes back having made a good impression!
Brett Bradshaw     Posted 29/01/2009 at 13:28:01   Comments (17)

What about beyond January?

Just thought I'd join the debate about January transfers, Destination Kirkby, and the sale of Everton Football club.

First of all, I would like to say that I am huge fan of Bill Kenwright and Davey Moyes but I am now getting concerned with both of them. Moyes said when he arrived at Everton he would not buy anyone who he may class as 'not being good enough to improve the squad', which is quite simply defined as common sense.

Which brings me on to Louis Saha; every Evertonian and United fan will tell you Saha is world class on his day, which quite frankly never happens, due to fitness and injury. David Moyes knows of these injuries to Louis, so why did he bring Louis here? Again I'm a huge fan of Louis and Moyes but this move never seemed a wise one, and this has most certainly backfired now as we barely have a striker available. (Van der Meyde can also be counted in this bracket.)

The answer: buy another striker and sell Saha. As ever with Everton, things aren't that easy, unrest at boardroom level and lack of money has dominated the headlines over the years at Goodison, whilst 19 other Premier League clubs break their transfer records.

The January catastrophe brings me to finances/funds. There is no doubt that Kenwright loves the club but I do question where the money from gate receipts and cup runs from last season has gone? We have spent big over the summer e.g., Fellaini but, compared to the finances of other clubs, it's only a few pennies, especially when you consider we are looking at breaking the 'monopoly' of Chelsea, United, Arsenal and some other team.

Again the answer is, buy new quality players, which again leads to the same old story ? How, with what money, and who?

Destination Kirkby is one alternative. I know every Evertonian including myself would love to see Everton stay in Liverpool; however, I voted FOR the move to Kirkby as it seems the only alternative, as Liverpool City Council will quite simply only accomadate for LFC - even though it seems raising the funds for their ground and even unrest at ownership level is well documented as putting a strain on their ground ideas, but still the LCC will only help them.

Destination Kirkby now seems the best option as it will provide us with more money through gate receipts as the stadium increases in capacity (rumoured 55,000). Every Evertonian must also realise that Destination Kirkby may also give us the option of further expanding the ground, which in my opinion is the reason we're moving from Goodison in the first place ? lack of space to manouver.

My final point is a short one, which the answer lies with the Board, and is also open to debate between Evertonians. Bill wants what's best for Everton, e.g., financial stability and Champions League football. The media is generally full of rubbish; however, we have been linked with a few 'takeover bids' which the media have strongly suggested are true but then Bill and the board say they're not. The answer... who knows?
Paul Bernard     Posted 29/01/2009 at 11:33:09   Comments (28)


The Moyes era has had its fair share of ups and downs and I certainly will never say that it has been perfect, far from it at times. However, what does please me increasingly, as a supporter since the FA Cup Final of 1966, is the fact that respect for our club, among the media, other clubs and their fans, seems to be on its way back.

Not so long ago, we widely held to be a laughing stock. Tipped for relegation every year, scorned by the media as being a once great club on an inevitable and unstoppable decline into obscurity, Everton FC is now becoming a byword for good old-fashioned values of hardwork, team spirit and resilience against the odds.

The Reds on Match of the Day now praise us; the serious press now give us credit when we play well and the tipsters now give us more than a semblance of a chance of success before every match.

Of course I want us to win silverware and I hope that the club's financial situation improves, with or without a ground move, to allow us to move up another notch and be serious competition for honours. But for now, I will accept looking forward to every match, against whoever we play, with the belief that we will compete and moreover that the broader footballing public is equally expectant of our success.

Living in London, I am surrounded by fans of all clubs. A few years ago, I was a proud but slightly sheepish Evertonian. Now, I can look my mates in the eye knowing that they respect our great Club. Long may it continue!
Chris Goldie     Posted 29/01/2009 at 10:35:08   Comments (19)

Coleman Agrees Switch

Seamus Coleman has agreed a move to everton for £150,000. The right fullback has only played League of Ireland but has been nothing short of a revelation. His bombing overlaps and propensity to take on a player have seen him rewarded with a call up and regular starting berth in the Under 21 set up.

The leap to the Premiership for a lot of Irish players in the past few years has been pretty exceptional and this guy has all the traits to make it. the big stumbling block for a lot of Irish players in the past has been the difference in pace but Coleman's main asset is his turn of foot so this holds no worries.

Defensively he may be suspect but I'm elated at this signing overall. He should be pressing hard come August.
Paul Bassett     Posted 29/01/2009 at 09:09:43   Comments (39)


Until the 92nd minute of last night's game against Arsenal we had plenty of this, it was going to be a good time to play the Red Devils and Liverpool again, despite having an injury crisis.

And I'm not saying this because we conceded a late goal to drop 2 points. If it had been the other way round we would have kept our momentum I feel. But reading Moyes's comments on the official site this morning, it seems the wind has been taken from his sales.

Last night we threw everything at the game. Moyes's defenders played superbly, except I think Hibbert was caught wrong side of Van Persie instead of getting a block in.

But I cant help thinking this morning that last night was our last battle stand, like the last battallion of soldiers in a gunfight, surrounded by the enemy, knowing that you are down to your last magazine of ammunition.

These battle-weary troops are waiting for the promised reinforcments but for many reasons they haven't arrived. The platoon leader, Moyes, in my opinion will show his true colours this weekend in how he motivates the troops in a final battlecry.

Let's hope that Moyes sits and watches Braveheart or Zulu before the game Saturday.
Andrew Fletcher     Posted 29/01/2009 at 07:38:21   Comments (27)

How good is Tim Cahill

How is it that a man so small in stature from a country not known for creating football greats, can rise above and embarrass expensive defences on a regular basis. It stuns me every time I see him do it, he seems to have an uncanny skill for positioning, and jumping around the box. Nearly always out-heading men far taller than him. Is there a better player in the world at this. I don't know?

For a man who is essentially a midfielder to score so many goals is, to say the least, priceless. Also amazing is how little he cost.

His influence on the team's results cannot be underestimated. When injured, like at the start of the season, we struggle; when fit, his presence makes us the equal of any team. When you think that he cost a fraction of some of the worthless strikers we come across, week by week, it really drives home how prodigious he is. His hard work and never-say-die attitude is what we want and need at Everton.

We will never have the spending power of Chelsea, Man Utd Arsenal or Liverpool but, if David Moyes can unearth gems like Tim every now and then, we will be continue to have a team deserving our support.

We were unlucky last night. A moment of brilliance cost us the win, but we can be proud of our great team. Unlike Liverpool, who feel they have the god-given right to win every game, Everton supporters know only too well that it's the rise and falls, misery and ecstasy that make watching their football team so tantilizing.

I for one am proud to be an Evertonian today.
Paul Davey     Posted 29/01/2009 at 04:36:32   Comments (8)


I've just read that Mark Clattenberg has been sacked as a Premier League referee — great news.

The article mentions how Everton supporters' reactions to the infamous derby game he refereed contributed to his downfall, though it doesn't go as far as suggesting that he took bribes or was influenced by certain teams it is suggested quite obviously that this is the case.

The case is ongoing, and it will be interesting to see how it develops: if he is found guilty of match-fixing, then surely those who are benefitting from his actions need to be investigated as well.

It would be good to hear your views on this case.

Matt Kassell     Posted 29/01/2009 at 04:09:00   Comments (19)

Single Target

So David Moyes has given up on bringing any players in the window, no real surprise there! However, with the midweek results it seems our dream of European football rests with the FA Cup or Man U winning the League Cup.

The whole team once again ran their socks off tonight (except VA) and we cannot expect them to continue to do so for the rest of the season, especially when suspensions and injuries really start to bite. If the weekend results end up with United and Chelsea wins, the game next week at Goodison will become even harder than it may have been. I hope I'm wrong but it would not be at all suprised if this season petered out into a non-event and all the effort since November is wasted.

Of course I could be wrong and we may be getting a tan under the Wembley arch come the end of May. But that is a gigantic ask for us in normal circumstances, to do it with a depleted strike force and with players performing at full stretch in every game would be remarkable. I also question the value of investing so much money in one midfielder when it is apparent the one thing we do lack is pace.

Thank god that Tim Cahill is a loyal and prodigous talent cos without him, I dread to think were our team would be.
Anthony Dyer     Posted 28/01/2009 at 21:26:08   Comments (81)

The Rocky Balboa syndrome

I have been delighted and frustrated in equal measure by our performances and results recently. Games that we were winning are now turning into draws (albeit against expensive quality sides)... I am beginning to worry that our mentality has become "Rockylike" in that we seem to be encouraging teams to come at us incessantly and I'm now concerned that we will/have become punch drunk.

We seem to be saying to other teams, "Try and break us down if you can." I write this after the frustratiion of watching Arsenal "steal" a point in the last minute of a game we should have won by a couple of goals. Sure we played well in patches and were always the measure of Arsenal but I felt we should have brought fresh "attacking" legs such as Gosling and Anichebe (too late for me) on earlier to push for a second goal which would have killed them off.

They were there for the taking but we insisted on taking more pressure by defending deep again as we did against Liverpool (Cup game). If we don't change this I fear we are going to be punched out very soon and the usual second half of the season collapse will haunt us again.
Jay Harris     Posted 28/01/2009 at 20:53:14   Comments (12)

Howard is not good enough

He's probably the best of what we can afford but he costs us in the big games.

It was his mistake against Liverpool in the Cup that let them back in (yes, I know he made a great save later from Gerrard but it was the confidence they gained from the equaliser that encouraged the ensuing attacks) and tonight he SHOULD have saved Van Persie's goal.

IF he'd have stood up it would have hit him in the face and he'd have saved it.

I can't help but remember the fact he didn't come out in the 1st leg in the Carling Cup semi-final last season to collect the cross that led to the Wright-Phillips headed goals (yes, I know it was last season but it was a BIG game and it cost us for the 2nd leg because we went from having an away goal to being on the backfoot and 2-1 down).

Why did Man U sell him? Because he made too many mistakes.

Yes, he makes some decent saves but he's costing us too much now. He's cost us 2 points today with a save he SHOULD have made and I'm tired of it.

He's let the defence down again.
Kase Chow     Posted 28/01/2009 at 19:13:46   Comments (49)

I think I just broke my phone in anger

As mad and upset as I am about that draw I can't help but think we deserved it in the end. We always seem to do this in the last 10 minutes when 1-0 up. We can't decide whether to go for another or waste time.

And because of that we play some shit-tastic version of both and end up giving the ball away 30 times. You can't play like that when you're up 1 against one of the best sides of Europe. As much as Moyes game plan seems to be defending 1-0 wins it seems strange that he doesn't have them better instructed to choose what to do.

Final note, Pienaar's ball to Anichebe was idiotic. He had acres of space and could have waited for a patient build up. A deserved draw... though I'm gutted and if we lose Cahill... aspirations over for the season.
Joey Brown     Posted 28/01/2009 at 18:59:54   Comments (50)

Lescott to City?

Just had a look at to see that a fee of £12million has been agreed with City. Ok, I know it's only a rumour but the person who posted the rumour is always spot on with team news before it's announced and other rumours. If it is true I will be fuming as we could get at least £20million for him.

I hope he stays because he's been outstanding, Let's just hope hes playing tonight as then we will know if its bullshit.
Tom Campbell     Posted 28/01/2009 at 13:24:25   Comments (9)

Links for the Arsenal game?

Same problem as on the weekend for me here in not being televised as there are more important ones lined up... links to the game would be welcome... thanks... COYB. [
Santosh Benjamin     Posted 28/01/2009 at 09:41:30   Comments (107)

I never thought I'd get tired of Z Cars......

......but today I did. My kingdom for a derby ticket.

Dial 0871 663 1878... Option 1. 5 seconds of Z-Cars.... then an advert...... 5 seconds of Z-Cars... then a message.... 5 seconds of Z-Cars.... apology.... and repeat....

I hold the receiver a little away from my ear so that the shrill tones of the theme tune that usually sends a shiver down my spine do not pierce my ear drum.... and wait.... is it the lady on the other end there to grant me my entrance to the derby for £36 English pounds? No it's not... it's that guy again trying to make me buy something else or apologise for not picking up.... oh how I wish he would.

A little under 1.5 hours I spent on an 0871 number today trying to get through to a person so that they would enable my season card before someone else takes my place after tomorrow. Do the maths at 10p a minute.... or probably more on my mobile. I hoping I'm not getting one of those mentally scarring images of Z-Cars in a similar way that the guy out of Clockwork Orange gets violent reactions to classical music after they force him to watch violent movies in order to cure him of his evil ways.

So a different tack I take. I'll try the on-line ticketing system. Customer number? What the hell is that? Oh I need to call up to get it. What's the number.........0871 663 1878!!! ARRRGGGHHH.

Hang on, have I been through this before in my life? Yes, I must have, it brings back bad memories. I may have registered in the past, I'll use the forgotten password feature.... surely that will allow me to enter my e.mail and get a lovely e.mail detailing how I can reset my password and get into the online shop and enable my season ticket for a week Wednesday.

Forgotten password page please..... what do you require for me to reset my password? A fucking customer number. I work for a web company. Please, Everton marketing / web gurus, if you need pointers on how to alienate users don't come to me... you've already ticked all the right boxes. I'm out of here. Browser closed.

Tell you what, I'll just get them tomorrow before the Arsenal game. I'm working till 5:30 ? that should leave me plenty of time. Box office closing time... 6pm.

Looks like I won't be getting my seat for the Derby next week. Everton, sort it out, you are a supposed global brand and a season ticket holder can't event get through to the club to pay them good money to see a game. Don't get me wrong, I've had a bad day but I love being a Blue, I love going to every game and all the cup games and Uefa Cup games, but the amount of times this club makes life so difficult in getting tickets for these games is beyond belief! Next season that Auto Cup tick-box is getting a tick by it.

Oh and one last thing: Everton, if you feel like charging me the same price for a pint tomorrow that my fellow blues pay in the Park End, then that will make my day; otherwise, I'll be bringing a hip flask and that's just not cool.
Kevin Walker     Posted 27/01/2009 at 18:15:37   Comments (30)

Light the Blue touch Paper and Watch Him Go!

I think David Moyes ought to take Rafa's criticisms on board and put out a positive attacking team on Saturday Against Man Utd ? with at least five or six Youth Team players with Carlo in goal and do a bit of squad rotation?

Could you imagine what Benitez would then say about our squad rotation policy? Dare he? That would be so funny to see... ok - we might get a bit of a hiding at Old Trafford but I would rather knock them out of the Cup than win the game at Man U given the choice between the two. I personally believe that the majority of our fans would feel the same way.

Seriously though, resting a few of our players would serve two purposes. It would give our key players much needed rest and would wind Mr Benitez up so much that after a subsequent Wednesday week Goodison defeat this may well be the straw that breaks the Waiter's back and he goes and does a Dalglish?. How funny would that be?

So, I am looking forward to a 4-3-3 formation at Old Trafford with an average age of 20 for the entire team and then a post match quote from Moyes that states: ?We came here with a positive line-up but we were out-classed by the best team we have played this season and, in my view, the favourites for the League having played all of the other suitors?? Oh, now that would be funny?.
Steve Callaghan     Posted 27/01/2009 at 14:12:25   Comments (45)

A joy to watch

The phrase 'a joy to watch' is usually reserved for gifted attacking players or for a team that plays plays expansive flowing football. However, in recent weeks, it has been an absolute pleasure to witness Phil Jagielka's performances at the back and I don't think he gets the recognition he deserves for these performances.

Jags makes defending look so easy, which of course it is anything but. In terms of timing of a tackle, reading of the game, and sheer determination, Jags has no equal anywhere at the moment. He has an uncanny ability to get a foot in, make an interception before attacks become dangerous. In this respect, he reminds me of Sol Campbell at his peak. Put simply, he was head and shoulders above anyone on the pitch in the two derbies and must be the first name on the teamsheet at the moment.

Some will point out that his distribution is limited; however, if you look elsewhere in the Premier League ? John Terry, Jamie Carragher, Vidic he is comparable. Only the likes of Ferdinand and Carvalho stand out as being cultured passers of the ball, a different type of defender who are often criticised for taking risks in possession.

For those that like tricks and show ponies, there is Ronaldo, Joe Cole et al. For me the stand out player in the Premier League is our own Phil Jagielka, for whom England recognition must surely not be far away.
Carl Rutherford     Posted 27/01/2009 at 12:39:40   Comments (24)

Cash in on Joey?

With the great understanding that Jags and Joleon have developed recently and the fact that with a settled defence that is playing really well, we have only conceded 2 in 8 we should not disturb things to accommodate a fit again Joey.

Our defensive options seem almost endless at present with Baines being a revelation at LB now he is getting a run, Gosling and Rodwell both look promising, Jacobsen (albeit an unknown quantity) is returning to fitness and Pip is still available to move into the RB position should he be needed. Still prefer him to Hibbo who for all his defensive qualities is incapable of finding a blue shirt once he has the ball.

Anyway I digress.

So with JoYo?s current deal running out in June 2010 should we cash in now? I think that the £6m - £8m we would get for him could be put to much better use elsewhere in the squad.
Steve Ashton     Posted 27/01/2009 at 09:06:39   Comments (49)

Mad Dog Blues

Tommy Gravesen's hanging up his boots for good then. I'd just like to wish the big fella well for the future, as he was one of the most talented players I've seen at Goodison. Despite the 1 (at least) awful pass every game he was breathtaking at his best.

Favourite Mad Dog Memory ? when he scored a great goal (not sure who against) at Goodison, then ran around the entire pitch going mental for the next 5 mins with eyeballs like Maradona on coke! Quality.
Duncan  McDine     Posted 27/01/2009 at 08:19:49   Comments (18)

Play Up Pompey!

Please join me in prayer this evening that magnificent Pompey, most soulful and deserving of our love, beat the jammiest bastards on the block, Aston of Villa.

Long overdue (8 weeks & counting). If this shower get ANOTHER spawny own goal, or ANOTHER penalty then it's all over for 4th.

Alltogether now, Play Up Pompey, Pompey Play Up!
Alan Kirwin     Posted 27/01/2009 at 07:17:12   Comments (12)

Good Times

Despite our obvious problems with strikers this season, we have only been held scoreless on 2 occasions since the Goodison Derby (that?s 18 matches ? Wigan & Chelsea).

Now regardless of the result, I am often the most disappointed when 90 minutes of football doesn?t produce at least one moment of celebration. I had feared that our misfortunes up front would result in a barren spell we?ve all seen before, but it?s looking like this team is getting it done regardless. Going into each game, home or away, I expect Everton to score.

After the Wigan result I gave up on 4th place and was determined to watch each game with no expectations. We?ve got no money and our manager's at his best when things have changed and now, I?m confident Everton will play in the Uefa Cup next season and I?m desperately hoping we get a result against Liverpool so we progress and hand Aston Villa the beating they thoroughly deserve.
Jerome Esterhazy     Posted 27/01/2009 at 02:57:00   Comments (1)

How long will Arteta be out for?

Do any of my fellow Evertonians know for how long Arteta is believed to be unable to play for us??? I have been to pretty much every site I could think of to get some more info on his bruised rib, but very little information seems to be available. Also, I read 12 different things on Saha's injury and the duration thereof; will either be back to face the shite at Goodison?

Cheers, COYB
Matthew Salem     Posted 26/01/2009 at 21:29:35   Comments (36)

Man-mark Gerrard

Surely it's time to man-mark Gerrard? Without him they're just an average team. I remember a few years back when United played Arsenal in a top-of-the-league clash and Phil Neville had to man-mark Veira. I don't think he touched the ball all game with Neville being outstanding.

So tell Phil, "wherever he goes, you go." I honestly think if we keep Gerrard out of the game we'll win comfortably.
Tom McGrath     Posted 26/01/2009 at 15:42:04   Comments (20)

The Derby and the Press

As with most of us, I enjoyed Sunday?s FA cup match. On top of that, I really enjoyed Benitez?s rant about everything and everyone else to blame but him.

Anyway, I?ve had Monday off work and had to go to the library. Whilst there, I thought it would be a worthwhile use of my time to trawl through all of Monday?s papers and read the match reports. I?ve never done this on quite this scale before (must have gone through five papers) but one thing of note leapt off the various pages.

All the headlines were typical of the usual RS bias. Nothing at all unusual in that; we?ve all come to expect wonderfully inspiring pictures of Steven Gerrard celebrating a goal. However, if you actually read (most of) the actual reports under the headlines, they are much less subjective. Certainly not fair and plenty of toadying to Torres and Gerrard, but it?s almost as if the written media?s love affair of the RS may be beginning to wane. The difference between the headline and article underneath was quite staggering and much magnified by having gone through some many papers.

So what lesson had I learned at the end of the day? Probably that I have too much time on my hands if I?m going to waste a good two hours in a library...
Vince Hindson     Posted 26/01/2009 at 14:45:20   Comments (25)

The Bitter Merseyside Derby

There's nothing particularly new here that hasn't been stated in other posts but I just wanted to look at things from a slightly different angle.

Regarding relationships between the two sets of fans, things have deteriorated over the years and I for one can't stand the majority of kopite bullshit. It's not friendly banter anymore, it's snidey, bitter and nasty at the best of times.

After Sunday's game, I just feel strongly that this is inflamed by comments such as those made by the Liverpool manager. In the past he's aimed a back-handed swipe at EFC as a small club.

The comments coming out of the mouths of some LFC supporters and their very limited manager regarding Everton's tactics on Sunday were nothing short of hypocrisy (as usual) ? especially as these same tactics have been employed by LFC in Europe. He's recently had a go at Ferguson, the United manager, which again struck me as hypocritical.

There's a complete lack of class with Benitez (even worse than Houllier) and I think he adds to the deteriorating relations between the two sets of fans. He's clearly riled by EFC as he wasn't as clever as David Moyes in turning strategy to successful tactics ? despite the gulf in investment between the two clubs.

He clearly thinks the reds have a God-given right to silverware, possibly because they've paid for it ? but someone needs to tell him that it's tough luck if the opposition doesn't just roll over and die. (For the record, I also felt the same way about Wenger when he made a similarly arrogant statement regarding the Spurs defence a few years ago).

If we employ the same tactics e against Man Utd on Sunday and get a result, does anyone think the FSW will be complaining then? He's a classless, arrogant moron of a man. A true kopite, you could say.
Mike Hughes     Posted 26/01/2009 at 10:16:23   Comments (37)

Rantings of a desperate man

Another fantastic team performace from a committed squad of players, depleted further by the loss of Arteta. Any team in the land that has no recognised main strikers fit, and two of the main midfield players missing would have struggled to offer any more of a threat going forward, yet we still managed to draw first blood ? even with home advantage and a strike force costing more than most of our team unable to break us down ? this was a master class in how to defend.

Now after reading Mr Benitez's rant in the morning papers, I for one hear and see a man under pressure, a man who has quite obviously been out-classed technically by his counterpart. A man who has had riches to lavish on players and yet are still no where near capable of beating us. Everyone saw what happend to Keegan when the pressure got to him, and this has all the hallmarks of a man in decline ? bereft of ideas, he can only lash out at a team that shows more spirit and courage than he could dream of ? he has nothing else left but to blame us for his lack of progress at a mediocre club.

I for one welcome his outburst ? it shows just how much damage we have caused them and highlighted just what is needed to make a successful football team, a united squad, commited to the cause and each other ? money can never buy that. Bring on the replay ? Mr Benitez must have the same feeling as me ? Liverpool are getting beaten!!

Si Harwood     Posted 26/01/2009 at 09:44:17   Comments (19)

Arteta Injury??

Just wondering if anyone out there knows the extent of Arteta's injury, and how long it might keep him out for?

He's clearly CRUCIAL to our setup, as we had no-one in the middle to take the ball from the back and take control.

If he IS out for a while, are we likely to see Ossie fill that void? I know in the few games before he moved Arteta back to the middle, Moyes moved Ossie to the holding role and I actually thought he looked pretty good there.
Dennis Karanikolopoulos     Posted 26/01/2009 at 07:50:47   Comments (12)

Building for next year

Another fine backs to the wall performance. An honest view would have to be that Michael Kenrick is, to a large extent, correct in his view. Today, partly because of injuries, we went to Anfield with an inferiority complex. Yet we are not too far away. Why not use the rest of the season to prepare for a top four challenge next season?

This is what I suggest: Our defence is solid. Let's keep Baines at left back with Jags and Lescott in the centre. Give Gosling a sustained run at right back. A while ago on this site, I was mocked for suggesting that he was a future international defender. I still believe I was right. Give Vic a run as striker. (We have no other option at the moment and today, from TV at least I thought he did ok.)

Injuries permitting, give James Vaughan, Jack Rodwell and Jose Baxter as many games as possible; if any money is available in the summer, spend it all on a wide player with pace.

We could start next season with quality throughout the team. Howard, Jagielka, Lescott, Arteta, Fellaini, Cahill and Yakubu. Yes, the Yak. Every class team works hard enough to have a luxury and the Yak is our luxury. With some decent young players coming through, workers like Neville Osman and Pienaar we are not far away from being a top side.

Finally and most importantly, David Moyes must be bold.I wanted him to go in the summer, I hated his contract wrangling, but... he's got the dressing room, he's turned things round, he's ours and he's here for a while.

Let's never go to Anfield again looking for a draw. We are better than them in every way.
Andy  Crooks     Posted 25/01/2009 at 20:59:01   Comments (20)

Setanta Bias

Right first thing first, i thought that was a great performance by a severely under-strength Blues and a draw is a great result all things taken into account. However, my rant is nothing to do with our performance BUT by the most biased commentating I think I have ever heard.

For example.... when Gerrard missed a header..."EVEN SUPERMAN could not reach that one"

Next, when Torres played the ball through to Gerrard for the goal "El NINO... with some great skill" might not be word for word perfect but you get the idea...

Then finally when LIverpool were attacking after their goal: "Gerrard THE LEADER OF MAN" !!!!!!!

Fuck me, I have heard some one-sided commentating but by golly this was something else. Nothing mentioned about Lescott and Jagielka having apparently the best striker in the world in their pocket for pretty much the whole game, or Cahill once again leading a depleted blues to a great result. Forgive my ignorance for not knowing the name of the commentator by I for one will never have any respect for such a biased channel/commentator.

Chris Webb     Posted 25/01/2009 at 17:53:39   Comments (43)

They Just Don't Get It...

Listening to their fans streaming away from the ground and on the radio phone-ins when I was stuck in the car park, their consensus was that they battered us, only one team played football and they have nothing to be scared of coming to Goodison.

Well, let?s get some perspective here ? our one forward was out on his feet, our main play-maker was ruled out by injury, another play-making goalscoring midfielder was robbed of his opportunity to participate following a booking at Hull and we could not call on the likes of Yakubu, Saha and Vaughan to boot.

Take Gerrard and Torres out of that side of theirs and likewise it would nullify their threat massively. They just don?t get how lucky they have been in the these two games not to face a full strength Everton. It would be lovely if, just once, we could go into a game with them with a full compliment of first teamers to choose from ? as we do have such a small squad inevitably that isn?t going to happen.

Because of the resources available to both clubs ? there will never be a level playing field between the two teams. Could you imagine the devastating effect of Gerrard getting ruled of the game due to a freak training ground incident would have on them? If they were honest, they would concede that this would be a great leveller.

So, with all this in mind ? it is absolutely incredible ? yes, incredible ? that we have managed to get two draws in quick succession on their own patch. At times, it was breathtaking listening to their fans? silence and seeing their frustration at not being able to breakdown what is probably the best Everton defence in years.

To have an opportunity to take them to Goodison and perhaps have one or two of our first choice players back after two hard-fought performances is fantastic. There is no better way to raise the Club?s profile than to perform like this against the so-called big boys (perhaps undeniable if you judge a ?big club? by the amount of money spent on players).

We should all hold our heads up high and be so proud once again of our players, great Club, fans and, of course, manager. Moyes has proved over the last two games alone that he has learnt so much and would he be given a quarter of the funds Benitez has had at his disposal then only God knows what kind of a team we could have?

To see a little boy no older than 6 standing on a chair not far away from me waving his Everton flag singing his head off brought a tear to my eye at the end of the game. This current Everton batch of players perhaps do not realise they are about to create another legacy for another generation with commitment like we have seen again today.

Here?s to the next Derby at our place ? to knock them out at this stage may actually make one or two Dubai Capitalists take note of a Club on the up with limited resource, fantastic history with a fan-base who will not expect £20 million to be spent on a forward who does not even make the bench. Well done lads ? I am so proud.
Steve Callaghan     Posted 25/01/2009 at 16:26:59   Comments (36)

Pluses and Minuses

A draw is a tremendous, unbelievable result considering the extent to which we were comprehensively outplayed. A classic Moyes game of total and uncompromising defense (except for one "mistake") and yet the players have totally no fucking idea when in possession and (supposedly) going forward. And it?s that which continues to drive me apoplectic.

At throw-ins we continue to have no idea what to do with the ball, and end up conceding possession. Going forward, most of the players are hanging back, ready to defend, leaving the poor sod who is forward with the ball at his feet no options but to fumble and bumble, be tackled and lose possession.

Obviously it works... to an extent. But it is so fucking frustrating to watch. Surely with just a little attention to some details on the training field, a team with this spirit and belief could structure something by way of attacking football in open play? Is that really too much to ask?
Michael Kenrick     Posted 25/01/2009 at 16:12:58   Comments (105)

Manchester United away

Just seen that the replay will be played on Feb 4th. Does this mean the United game is postponed as it's scheduled to be played two days earlier on the Monday.
Kunal Desai     Posted 25/01/2009 at 15:31:44   Comments (16)

Links for the game...

None of the sports channels in India are telecasting the FA Cup game today. Can someone please suggests some links for me to try.

On another note, im hoping against hope that Arteta is actually playing... COYB

[Editor's Note: Let's make this the Matchday Thread for your comments during the game... and Let's be having those red bastards! COYB!!!]
Santosh Benjamin     Posted 25/01/2009 at 07:04:42   Comments (100)

Arteta Missing?

When was the last time we went into a derby with anything resembling a full strength side? I am hearing now Arteta is doubtful for tomorrow.
Matt Bone     Posted 24/01/2009 at 15:09:46   Comments (60)

Precious Irony

My first article here so please go easy on me if I?ve got my facts wrong. While I?m always focused on what we do as a team, I couldn't help thinking the other day about how things may turn out this season. We all remember Liverpool being able to get the Champions League rules changed the other year when they didn?t qualify. Quel surprise! Anyway, it got me thinking as to what the rules are now.

My understanding is that the top 4 in the Premier League qualify for the CL. If a team outside the top 4 win that year?s CL, then they qualify for next year?s CL, and the poor unfortunate team who have finished 4th drop into the Uefa Cup. If that is correct, how about this for a possible outcome?

Man Utd win the league
Chelsea come 2nd
Aston Villa finish 3rd
Liverpool finish 4th
Arsenal 5th
Everton 6th

Oh, and Arsenal win the CL. Oh, how I would laugh. Unless, of course, they manage to get the rules changed again...
Vince  Hindson     Posted 24/01/2009 at 14:38:47   Comments (9)

Watson, Hunt, Heskey, Bullard, etc

I know Moyes has stated there is no money available but I can't help feeling disappointed that we continue to miss out on some good players who would improve our squad.

I really think that at £2 Million Ben Watson could be the next player who could have made the grade following on from Lescott, Cahill and Jags. I know Heskey is not prolific but can definitely do a job up there. Jimmy Bullard has got a great engine and would be a good addition. The same goes for Hunt at £5 million it is not exactly massive fee's for these players.

How exactly can Moyes continue to improve the squad on loan players alone? At least in the summer we was linked with players so there was always a chance of a signing but this month has been the quietest I have seen for a long time.

Will we sign anyone this month?
Scott  Jenner     Posted 23/01/2009 at 12:29:12   Comments (62)

It was only one result

Despite the quality of the performance on Monday night, I found it hard to get any real satisfaction from it. We all went on afterwards about how we had no strikers, how our team cost as much as one Liverpool player, how it was a magnificent defensive display, how we have great team spirit. To me, this just makes us come across as better version of Bolton.

Reading the match reports in all the papers the next day just reinforced this. They were all highly patronising and the common theme was plucky little Everton, well done, you really put it up to the might of Liverpool. I guarantee you that every pundit on Sky Sports and Match of The Day over the weekend will sound the same.

Jesus, with the expectations we had at the end of last season, is it really what we have been reduced to that we are happy with not noticing or complaining about this? Have people really been so happy with the result that it has managed to hide what the result should have meant?

It's now Friday lunchtime, the game finished at 10pm Monday night yet all I have seen is chest thumping and talk about sticking it to Liverpool and their title ambitions.

In my mind, we had everything lined up at the end of last season to do this season what Villa are currently doing. Yes, the big four have been unusually inconsistent this year. Yes, Villa have had some luck, but they have put themselves in the position to make the most of this chance when it's come their way. If we had done things properly over the summer, and at the start of the season, we could be doing the same.

We could now be looking at the result as being a point gained in terms of CL qualification. Instead, we've reverted back to the bad old days when a draw at Anfield restored a bit of pride and gave us a couple of days worth of bragging rights.

Whatever happens on Sunday, I get the feeling that Liverpool fans will go back to worrying about how they can pip their real rivals Utd to the Premier League title and how the can win the CL. Us, we'll still be eight points behind Villa with Utd and Arsenal to come...

We'll still have no strikers and the smallest squad in the division. We will still be worrying about making sure we fend off Wigan and Hull for sixth place and hoping that it may provide us a Uefa Cup spot this year.

Yes, Monday night's game did restore a bit of pride to a season that should have been better than it has been. But please folks, let's not go back to the bad old days of being that small-minded and parochial that a result against Liverpool blinds us to everything else.
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 23/01/2009 at 09:22:48   Comments (18)

The trainset is/isn't for sale?

Arrghhhh??I see they (the American lot... NOT us) are being sluted around the Arabs for a takeover. Surely this cannot be, another football club steeped in history is actually For Sale at the other end of Stanley Park. As the American lot also needs to fund a new stadium, it looks like Bill?s much cheaper train set is to remain Bill's for bloody ever. Watch This Space!

Even I can?t even think how to blame Leon Osman for this one.
Joe  McMahon     Posted 23/01/2009 at 07:03:27   Comments (39)

Season Ticket Flexibility

On Wednesday evening I attended a fans focus group at Goodison Park along with another 10 or so Season Ticket Holders. During the session, I found out something that might be of particular interest to season ticket holders who have children that they would like to take to the game sometimes.

It is possible to change your seat for individual games to get two seats together. So for instance if I want to take one of the kids to the Arsenal game, the ticket office will find two seats together for me and sell my seat for that game.

As a parent, I think this is a great idea and nobody in the room seemed to be aware of it. I said on Wednesday night that as a fan and a season ticket holder it's the little things that count and recognition where it's due, the Big Screen for the Macc game and things like this begin to restore faith that on the whole the club tries!

Gareth Prytherch     Posted 23/01/2009 at 06:31:09   Comments (8)

Title Chance!

I just received a particularly heavy knock on the head.

In my unconscious state I dreamt that we were 11 points off the leaders in the hunt for the Premier League title at the end of January. The fictional season had been an up-and-down affair, but we were really beginning to put some real form together and there was a buzz amongst the fans.

A draw in the recent derby game at Anfield had given renewed expectation and belief to the players and supporters as we marched on in lion-hearted fashion. The chance to steal points from Arsenal and United was in the back of our minds and suddenly the gulf didn't seem so large.

With Fellaini, Saha, Valente and Yobo to join the team, Moyes had options for the first time in a while. James Vaughan was chomping at the bit and with his injury problems seemingly behind him would he be available for the final push?.......

I'm not a Doddy and try to be realistic with my praise and criticism of Moyes, tactics, players etc... as anybody who's read anything from me on here will testify to, but... maybe, just maybe, we could stage the biggest upset in Premier League history!

If nothing else, it's nice to dream!
Ben Howard     Posted 22/01/2009 at 11:15:38   Comments (32)

Uefa Cup 2009-10

Would I be right in thinking that a Manchester United victory (assuming that they finish top 4) in the Carling Cup final in March would mean that the Uefa Cup place would go to the 6th placed team in the Premier League (as opposed to the Carling Cup runners-up)?

Knowing that European qualification provides clubs with a greater level of appeal to its existing and prospective players, staff and fans, it could prove massively important. Especially with the level of competition for places in the Top 6 this year ? and the current reality of us sitting fairly pretty in sixth position.

I know that some will cite that there is still more than a third of the season left ? and the FA Cup route still more than open ? so aiming for sixth is not a strong option. And I agree. But the safety net of knowing that sixth place might mean a Uefa Cup berth then that is surely a bonus. No?
Andrew Keatley     Posted 22/01/2009 at 11:08:41   Comments (22)

Captain FAN-tastic

Looking forward to being amongst the 6,500 Blues fans on Sunday... It was fantastic being amongst the 2,500 on Monday ? just to see the look on their faces walking home and hearing all their excuses. However, on Sunday, their Norwegian glory hunters will have never seen the likes of it before at home ? such noise coming from the Anfield Rd End; it will be frightening ? for them.

Anyway, I digress, the reason for this post is to acknowledge someone whom I have critisised in the past for lacking the skill, vision etc to be an ever present in our midfield let alone captain our great club. However, the demeanour, integrity, performances and bravery I have seen from Phil Neville of late has made me extremely proud to see we have such a great present day leader on the pitch ? long overdue credit where credit is due.

A 100% about turn for me. A captain does not necessarily have to be our best player ? there is more to it than that. What he has demonstrated to me is what I would want our captain to show ? true guts and drive to succeed and encourage, constructively critisize his team-mates.

Phil is probably well aware of the criticism he has received from our supporters; he is a football man and I am sure ? to a certain extent ? understands what the fans were babbling on about. He has risen to the challenge beyond what I thought he had in him and is on his way to being a true great Everton leader. A family man of massive integrity, let?s make him aware of how important he now is to us on the pitch and show our appreciation to an often-berated unsung hero. COYB.
Steve Callaghan     Posted 22/01/2009 at 09:21:54   Comments (28)

Sunday's referee

I've just seen that the ref for Sunday is Steve Bennett, so I did a litlle digging to have a look at his performance this season. He hasn't officiated the pinkies at all and us only once ? away at Spurs. He hasn't given a red card at all, but averages nearly 4 yellows per game. Against Spurs he booked Peanut, Screech and Tim. They had Assou-Ekotto booked. What price on his first red card of the season on Sunday?
Mike Southworth     Posted 22/01/2009 at 08:59:12   Comments (18)

Penalty in a derby

Can anyone tell me when was the last time we had a penalty in a derby (at Goodison and Anfield) in either a Cup or league game?

In my lifetime I cannot think of one and I am 45!
Mark McDonald     Posted 21/01/2009 at 23:10:06   Comments (28)

Who Is He Watching?

Just watching the Spurs v Burnley game on Sky and noticed David Moyes sat in the stands. Was wondering who he is watching as we don't play either cub fairly soon. Also noticed Spurs' first XI and subs is nearly full strength apart from Darren Bent. I'd take him on loan but with Moyes being there and Bent ain't playing, he is obviously looking at someone else. So, who is he watching?
Andy  Ferguson     Posted 21/01/2009 at 18:09:38   Comments (24)

Derby Goals and Scorers

This post is just a Just a bit of fun sandwiched between the two derbies this week. I was thinking of some really great derby goals (blue ones of course) in my lifetime and the greatest I remember was Graeme Sharp's stunning volley at Anfield. I can't remeber the year... 84? I was 12.

SInce then I can't remember any really outstanding strikes. So I pose that question to readers; would you agree with me that the aforementioned goal is the best in recent derby history? If not, what other contenders are there? Stuart Mcalls at wembley was pretty decent if I remember.

Also... a little trivial question. Without checking on Wikipedia!! Of the top ten Everton goalscorers in Derby matches, how many can you name?? Of Course Big nose Rushie tops the chart for the RS.. ...enjoy on Sunday!
Rob Prince     Posted 21/01/2009 at 15:00:51   Comments (29)

Bellefield BS and Council Tricks

And they call us bitter...

Perhaps we should calculate loss of earnings from our disqualification from European competition during the 80s to make up for this latest kick in the gonads.

After the initial shock at the prospect of moving from Goodison; for the future of the club and our ability to stay competitive somewhere close to the current market, I started to believe the move to Kirkby was for the good of the club. The fact it didn't happen swiftly would put us back years I thought... well I may still be correct in that assumption?

However... here's the deal. I say fuck 'em. We kicked off our first competitive game on Stanley Park. I say we kick our last one there too!!

We get refused the right to build a new stadium on Stanley Park ? Liverpool get the go-ahead years later. Even if it has to be a ground share (just to piss the other half off), I just don't care anymore. We have been pushed about too many times.

So I say to Blue Bill.. get bitter, get even and get us on to Stanley Park ? or even find a way to make Goodison viable again. Whatever, I have had enough of the city's first and true team being treated like this...

First things first though hey... let's knock Liverpool out the cup!!!
Ped Pearl     Posted 21/01/2009 at 10:41:16   Comments (47)

Change please

As I have said before, Osman never has a good game against Liverpool. He was my main concern before Monday?s game and sadly my fears were justified.

Except for a piss weak shot at goal, he played almost no part in an otherwise brilliant team effort. Now and again I saw him doing bugger all on our right midfield and I assume that was his designated position. This made Hibbert?s fine performance all the more commendable as he had to do Osman?s job as well as his own.

One of our youngsters or Castillo, if fit, could not do worse in that role. Leon could be saved for the second half when the tempo of the game has slowed to nearer his pace.
Dick Fearon     Posted 21/01/2009 at 10:22:52   Comments (39)

Dead parrott by any other name

Given all the parameters, it just is not going to happen. The whole idea is unravelling in a Knowsley council building, with a once proud club being made to look, frankly, a bit ridiculous.

To do all of this for just £6m a year? I can't get my head around that. Even if we fill it with 50,000 every game we get just £6m a year extra?

I don't blame Kenwright for this. OK, the Kings Dock pissed us all off in excelsis, as that would have been the jewel. But we didn't have the money then and we don't now. And worse, there is little or no chance of anyone injecting that money into Everton in the foreseeable future.

It's deeply depressing. My own great wish, for a Merseyside stadium of stunning architecture & proportions, won't get off the ground mainly, it has to be said, because of THEIR arrogance. Seems that grants & goodwill are much more available for that idea than for 2 individual so-so stadiums. And rightly so.

Ths is all deeply depressing. I mean, it goes way back to the Agent Johnson days and still nothing. It's now a decade since we starting talking & planning this. I just can;t believe there isn't a) a good brownfield site in/near the docks, or elsewhere,to build a joint stadium, and b) a coming together of minds to comprehend the incredible benefits that a Merseyside stadium would bring.

It's tragic. Meanwhile, in an ugly building in Knowsley, Wyness' plans appear to be dissolving into thin air and EFC is looking desperate.

What now?
Alan Kirwin     Posted 21/01/2009 at 07:16:56   Comments (14)

Everton - Port of Spain

Recently, I discovered that there was another team called 'Everton' who were based in the Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago.

The only successful spell they had was in the late 1920s to 1930s, they won the domestic Port of Spain Football League three times in a row (1930, 1931, 1932) and managed to retaining the domestic cup for four years (1929*,1930, 1931, 1932).

*The opposition walked off after two players had been sent off. Everton were in the lead at the time so the trophy was awarded to Everton.

It seems that soon after their domestic dominance the club ceased to exist. Does anybody know what happened? All I can find is that in 1933 the club were prohibited to play in the domestic league and many of the leading players moved to other teams.

What is the likelihood that the Tobagonian club was, like our Chilean friends, also named after the Liverpool based team?
Louis Platt     Posted 20/01/2009 at 20:23:03   Comments (13)

A change in the wind?

Has anyone else noticed the change in fellow Evertonians' attitude to the next installment of the Merseyside Derby? When we drew that horrible lot, I'll admit I cursed our luck, dreading being turned over by that shower three times in one season.

However, after last night's match, the only feeling I have towards Sunday is feelings of excitment, I'm genuinely looking forward to a Derby match at Anfield. Now, we've taken points off Liverpool in the past, but there was a big difference between the draw last night and the 0-0 a few seasons ago. Look at the stats for last night's match and it only confirms what we all saw, that a weakened Everton side matched them all over the pitch. I include Anichebe in that, and am a little angry at what I would deem to be a premeditated attack on his performance.

So we go to Anfield again on Sunday, and I for one will have an extra spring in my step. No longer hoping we can get something out of the game but believing we will. Talking to other blues and looking at the players coming off the pitch last night, I believe the feeling is universal. Come Sunday, there will be nothing to fear but fear itself.
Ian Kearney     Posted 20/01/2009 at 20:05:53   Comments (16)

Unfit and under prepared

I'm just wondering what the general opinion is concerning Moyes's latest comment. "We were certainly not ready at the beginning of the season. Some of our players were not back to fitness and we were not in the right condition."

Surely if this is this case then the poor form at the beginning of the season rests squarely at the feet of the manager/coaching staff. To me this seems unprofessional and negligent. Yes, Moyes has worked wonders over the last few months but this assessment of our early season is so frustrating. It seems that he is admitting that quite a few points were lost due to the players not being ready or prepared. If they had been, it's quite realistic to say we could have been 3rd in the league by now.
David O'Connor     Posted 20/01/2009 at 17:36:44   Comments (14)

Seconds out Round 4

Congratulations to the blues for getting a well earned point last night, but I am a little dissapointed that we didn't take all three. Not because our performance deserved it, but due to the fact that we have lost ground on those we are chasing. This makes the Arsenal game even more important and if we lose that game then our chances of finishing higher than sixth are slim.

Which brings me to David Moyes, what will he do on Sunday? Seeing as he got the lads to work their socks off for 90+ minutes without substituting any player, it is my guess that a couple of players may well sit out the FA Cup tie on Sunday. I'm not sure if I agree with this possible strategy as the Cup is our only chance of silverware and it does offer the prospect of Europe to the winners.

Also as it seems likely that no new faces will be joining the squad, would it not be appropriate to go all out for the Cup as our league position is unlikely to be very different come May. Ideally we should play our strongest team every week in every competition. But would it not be better to go for something that is attainable rather than hope results between now and the end of the season start to go in our direction?
Anthony Dyer     Posted 20/01/2009 at 16:55:56   Comments (6)

It looks like 6th. place is ours

Now The Derby Dust has settled, we seem to have found ourselves in a very convenient Island of nailed on 6th place. Drifting 5 points above and below all the rest. Our Goal Indifference is below all those above and above all those below... and that's including all the games in hand... how strange....!!!!!!
David J Walsh     Posted 20/01/2009 at 15:17:21   Comments (15)

Going too far

First of all I want to say that I feel privileged to have attended last night's game. The lads played their hearts out almost to a man and did us proud. With Fellaini in the team I reckon we would have won.

Now for the crux of the letter. Our supporters were superb, singing throughout the whole night ? we put the RS to shame. Anfield was a library. However, do we really need to sing about Gerrard's private life? I don't like the way he plays sometimes and his dives and attempts to get fellow professionals sent off is reprehensible but he (his wife and his kid) doesn't deserve some of the vile chants we now seem to propagate at every Derby game.

Whilst I am at it, I thought racism at EFC games had disappeared but no, some goon decided to shout about 'Niggers'. I told him to behave, as did one or two other decent blues (and you know who you are) but he looked at me although I had asked to borrow fifty quid off him. He genuinely looked hurt and didn't seem to understand why he was berated.

There is no place for this anymore. FFS we have several players who are of African decent and not one of them deserves to hear this crap.
Russ Kavanagh     Posted 20/01/2009 at 12:10:43   Comments (23)

The missing link!?

The game last night was the perfect example of the 'Everton' attitude: spirit, heart ? call it what you want but not once did we give in against a team who could in all honesty, with the right tactics, have played us off the park. We were as close a nit team as I have EVER seen (none of the 80s, but the '95 FA Cup final).

The players were all playing for each other, and not themselves. They were prepared to put themselves on the line for the cause. Regardless of style of play, this is what makes Everton who we are. Long balls or keeping it on the deck, the effort is never compromised.

The formation 4-6-0 whether it be through luck or genius, it compliments our 'never say die' attitude. When in possession, any two of our six midfielders bust a gut to get up front and make things happen. When we don't, we have six midfielders behind the ball closing up the shop. This is only possible with the level of fitness we have at Everton. Defending from the front.

As much as I like him, and I think he still has a job to do at Everton, I think Anichebe is the weak link. Through both ability and commitment but both of these may come with time and experience.

This brings me on to the question, who could bridge that gap?

It would have to be someone with a big heart, someone who plays for the cause and not himself, someone who defends from the front and someone with the ability to turn things around if we are not on form. It hate to say it but I believe one Wayne Rooney would complete our team and have us challenging on ALL fronts.

I am not from Liverpool myself but it is still so obvious to me that this lad is a scouser, and a blue one at that! His natural game is to play deep when he doesn't have the ball, defending from the front, trying to win the ball back for the team, and should the team pick it up, his first thought is GOAL. Whether it be a shot, picking out a pass, or even off the ball running, it doesn't matter to him. To have the team to score in any way possible. This is the Everton way in my eyes.

Would he come? Why not? He left not for love of money, but to win trophies, and we all would if we were honest with ourselves wouldn't we? The thing is, he has now won the league and the Champions League (everything except the FA cup). I guarantee he looked at last night's result absolutely gutted not to be involved, though still beaming inside!

He is still young and he puts on a brave face in front of us but I think it's an act. He would be made up if we opened up to him as I think deep down there is love, and that love is a two way street. Once a blue always a blue? Absolutely.

We now have the resources (not talking about money) to match his ambition and just like Shearer returned to Newcastle (after winning the Prem), I believe Rooney would love to come home to Goodison Park, to have us singing his name again, to be involved in the biggest game in world football (a derby) would mean the world to him.

Start some rumours, get the press talking about it. We need to sew the seeds in the minds of both manager and player. Get them both thinking about it for a while. The good ol days. ? I have no idea who would call who what with David and Wayne being who they are (both as stubborn as each other). I do however believe that the manager would after some weeks/months of thinking about it, being the mature one of the two, bite the bullet and make contact.

Possible (obvious) stumbling blocks: Alex Ferguson's desire to keep the lad, and plain old hard cash!

Yet there is hope: The Yak cost ~£12M, Fellaini cost ~£15M. So, finding £20M is not beyond inconceivable this coming summer. Selling the Yak for £15m and you are close to having a leg to stand on, and if the player wants to go...

*Sigh* I just had the craziest dream!
Brett Bradshaw     Posted 20/01/2009 at 10:38:38   Comments (67)

Timmy Cahill

I'm fortunate enough to be a supporter of both of Timmy Cahill's teams... Everton and Australia (independently, as my great, great uncle played a game or two for Everton, and it's been in the family ever since). And I have to say, the guy is an absolute legend.

The number of times my team has seemed gone for all money, and the little man has popped up and snuck in a is seriously freakish. Apart from today, my two favourites are:

1. The World Cup, 2006: Australia is playing its first world cup for 30 odd years. Its first game is against Japan. Japan score early, and despite dominating play, we trail one-nil deep into the second half. Timmy is brought on around the 70th minute, as he's got an injury cloud hanging over him, and little match fitness.

By the 80th minute, the Australian supporters at the ground (my brother and I were there) were flat as a tack. It seemed we were destined to lose. But then who steps up in the 83rd minute, but Timmy Cahill to smash the ball home between about 3 sets of legs!! Unbelievable!! A draw!!

Or so we thought... a couple of minutes later, Timmy gets the ball on the edge of the area, takes a touch, and proceeds to curl the ball into the goal, off BOTH posts!! In my mind, Timmy is responsible for around 40,000 travelling Australians having the best month of their lives. :-) An Australian sporting legend!!

2. Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, 2007-08. One-nil down at the Bridge after 89 minutes... it didn't look good: yet another defeat against the Sky Four. And then Timmy slams home one of the most acrobatic bicycle kicks I've ever seen. Check it out!

Besides the amazing goals he's scored, I have to say I admire the man a great deal. From all reports, he's one of the most grounded, approachable guys around, and I personally think he is a huge factor in the team spirit that seems to regularly permeate the Everton team.

I could go on, but you get the point ? he's a legend!
Tim Veitch     Posted 20/01/2009 at 07:27:53   Comments (19)

Everton Pride

I was feeling nervous and sick in the days leading up to the derby game. 5 minutes before kick-off and the telecast showed the Shite fans singing "You'll Never Win Again"... or is it "Walk Alone"? and in the background I could here the 3,000 or so Everton fans singing their hearts out trying to drown out the evil ones. All through the game, they never let up and you would have thought at times it was our home ground.

In those last anxious seconds before kick-off I had this feeling that their efforts would not go unrewarded. To hear the Evertonians in full song brought a tear to my eye. I have never been so proud to be an Evertonian as I was this morning. My only regret was that I couldn't be there and be a part of it all.

On behalf of us who couldn't be there I thank you for the positive representation you demonstrated of Everton to the world. COYB
Peter Bourke     Posted 20/01/2009 at 03:20:26   Comments (99)

Villa, when will it end?

Used to be that our neighbours, the neo Spaniards, were used to the luck of Lucifer. I think we can safely say that Villa have taken over that mantle.

Clearly not a bad team. But not what one would call a footballing team (as Tony Mowbray said): boring to watch and just fucking lucky beyond any comprehension. Such things don't usually cause too much lost sleep in my house. But this has now started to really piss me off.

Since we battered them at Goodison with an excellent performance and got our pockets picked, they have gone on to win 5 away games on the bounce. In every game they have been played off the park. In every game they have got a penalty, or an own goal, or both (4 own goals & 3 penalties in this short run alone). They have also benefitted from gifts (e.g. Jags, Carson) and weird referee decisions.

Last Saturday at Sunderland they did it again. Sunderland had an incredible 71% possession to Villa's 29%! Sunderland had 17 shots on target to Villa's 1 and 27 other shots to Villa's 4. I know Arsenal are still in this challenge for 4th (or even higher) and it may end up all totally academic, but the quite unprecedented levels of spawn & fortune are driving me mad.

Had we beat the fuckers at Goodison, as we rightly deserved to do so, we'd be more or less level now and it would be a cracking race. As it is, chances of us making up 8 points in 16 games is too much of an ask. We have to win at Villa Park and just hope this cosmic spawn runs out.

I thought the boys did great tonight. The level of commitment was just fabulous. The defence was imperious (surely Jags & Lescott in the next England squad, if not Bainesy too). Victor put in a great shift, with little help on many occasions, but the boy tonight was Pienaar. Sweet Jesus! that boy must have ran 50 miles tonight and made 100 runs and 50 tackles. He was brilliant. I thought Arteta played too deep for too long, given his creativity. Great performance by the lads and a win would not have flattered.

But as long as Aston fucking Villa keep getting battered and then a penalty and a deflection, we've got no chance.
Alan Kirwin     Posted 19/01/2009 at 21:46:18   Comments (25)

Big Vic

Great result tonight, obviously. We played tight and patient and competed physically without seeing any red mist.

But I am worried about Big Vic. Where is the player who 2 years ago was coming off the bench and muscling his way to important goals left, right an centre ? especially in Europe? Power, passion, commitment and impossible to knock off a ball??? Now ? and maybe he spent too much time with AJ ? he goes down like a sack of spuds as soon as anyone breathes on him in the box.

I know this kind of stuff is just part of the game today ? but Vic is doing it when he has good goalscoring opportunities, and doing it pretty unconvincingly. Two years ago, I thought there were signs he could develop into a mini-Yak. At the moment, that looks impossible.
Gregg Ainsworth     Posted 19/01/2009 at 21:04:49   Comments (45)


Has anybody got any good links to watch the derby online tonight? Or know which radio stations are broadcasting commmentary? I'm down in Northants now so the usual Cityfm is no good to me now.
Nathan O'Hagan     Posted 19/01/2009 at 10:32:10   Comments (124)

I like Everton...

I like Everton...

I like knowing what makes it special to be an Evertonian, and that our badge is cool.
The integrity of our fans and of our players, and our stadium; it's traditional.
I like our players, there?s not a toss-pot between them, and no tabloid headliners either.
I like blue, it?s my favourite colour, and I like our rise under Moyes. I like David Moyes.
The Z-Cars theme and the church in the corner... and even a Hinchcliffe corner.
Timmy, Mikel, Pienaar. NEC, Danka and even Hafnia.
The main stand under lights, the main stand in the day.
Big Nev and the end that sounds like a cleaning lady.
I like the holy trinity, Dixie Dean, and Stuart McCall?s cup final double.
The school of science? and Phil Neville.
I like that we?re not a franchise and I?d like to know what Chang is like. What is Chang like?
Amokachi, Joe Royle, Limpar and Rideout?s nod.
Three-nil against Liverpool and Radzinski in the last minute.
The club nickname, the club motto, and just being the finest club in the world.
We follow the righteous path and know that we are chosen.
All these things I like about Everton.
But let me tell you this! I will love it, just love it if we beat the Shite tonight.

We Shall Not Be Moved!
Nick Entwistle     Posted 19/01/2009 at 09:23:14   Comments (7)

An Open Letter to Howard Webb

Dear Mr Webb,

On behalf of all Evertonians, I would like to wish you the very best of luck, in officiating the 209th Merseyside Derby. You are considered by your peers to be one of the best refs in the business: Tomorrow, I hope you live up to that reputation.

If I may be so bold, could I offer a few suggestions to help you run the game effectively, and according to footballing laws?

  • Should Dirk Kuyt attempt to re-enact any Bruce Lee moves ? this should be considered a red card.
  • Should their Number 8 player attempt to run towards Tony Hibbert, into the penalty area, and then deliberately entangle his left leg with Hibbert's right, and then writhe about as though Grossburger has just buggered him ? this is NOT a penalty ? in fact it warrants a yellow card to the little shit.
  • Should any of their supporters punch or spit at our captain ? can your linesmen consult the nearest policeman? The police should be situated somewhere in the Anfield Road end, goading the Everton fans into saying something inappropriate.
  • Should a decision awarded by yourself not go the way of the team in red, please note that when six of them are surrounding you, and screaming abuse, you are not obliged to accept this without recrimination. Again, bookings are permitted.
  • Equally, it is not ? contrary to popular opinion ? illegal to award a penalty to the visiting team at Anfield. Nor should any of your decisions be swayed by the baying mob of Scandinavian, Irish and West Country yokels situated in The Kop.
  • Should vertically-challenged prancing imp Sammy Lee stand screaming, practically on the pitch for the entire 90 minutes, influencing your nervy 4th official ? kindly re-acquaint him with the parameters of his technical area.
  • Should Fernando Torres score a goal, please ensure that he does not tell Everton fans to "fuck off" shortly after. Naturally, a red card should be waved in the direction of the aforementioned metrosexual ladyboy in the event of such unpleasant conduct occurring.
Mr Webb, the eyes of the entire world will be fixed onto this contest tomorrow evening... and you, sir, have an important and objective role to fulfill.

Satan himself will be present. Do not be beguiled by His Redness....

Nothing but the best, will suffice.
Kevin Hudson     Posted 18/01/2009 at 20:35:07   Comments (27)

Value for the Money

Pretty amazing that we will take the field tomorrow with a team that cost around $25 million when the shite paid more than that for Torres.

Goes to show you what a shrewd operator Moyes in in the transfer market and why he is worth his contract in todays environment.

Can't think of any other manager aside from Wenger who can boast such a record.
Ajay Timothy     Posted 18/01/2009 at 19:58:05   Comments (17)

Nothing To Do With Us

If I was manager or owner of Portsmouth or West Ham I would be giving short shrift to David Moyes and Everton FC for daring to comment on how they do business.

Similarly, I wouldn't want Tony Adams or Zola commenting on how Everton FC carry out their affairs. Moyes' point may well have validation but it is not his remit to justify how Everton operate in an open market place at the expense of those who do things differently.

Players — and for that matter managers — are professional people who get the best deal available to them. If their employers pay them above market value then that is the employers fault and eventually the employers will pay the price for over-stretching themselves.

David Moyes is hardly going to attract new faces to the club now or in the summer by cryiing poverty and moaning about market forces.

Also, I don't remember David saying to Bill, "Oh, it's alright Bill, I'm happy with the salary I'm on now; wouldn't like to be cast as a mercenary or take money that the club can ill afford!"
Anthony Dyer     Posted 18/01/2009 at 16:29:24   Comments (11)

Stevie G ? Protected species?

Has anyone else seen today's Sunday Mirror?

It is absurd that the police have been give orders to crack down on any Everton supporter targeting Steven Gerrard for abuse! What about the abuse Phil Neville will get for being from Manchester? What about the abuse Joleon will get for his boyish good looks? What about the abuse Tim Howard will get for his Tourettes?

It's this type of favouritism that helps the Sky 4! Come on blues. Let's fight with dignity and not our mouths!
Chris Marston     Posted 18/01/2009 at 09:37:34   Comments (32)

Hope is a terrible thing

Looking forward to the two derbies? Well I am for one and I sense a mood amongst fellow Blues that something special could be about to happen in the next two games.

This is quite a contrast to the way I felt walking up to the last Goodison Derby. I expected us to be crap that day and by God we were... although by the end even I was shocked by what must rank as one of the most shameful displays in the club's history ? not for the scoreline but for the fact that we didn't even compete.

So why are we all so excited about the upcoming derbies? There is of course no rational basis for this feeling ? even now, I am getting that sick feeling i used to get whan I was a teenager before these games. Yes, we are on a good run but we have not really beaten anyone special; we have been on good runs before and I have still feared the worst before a derby.

I really hope that the players and Moyes live up to these hopes as, if we suffer two comprehensive defeats, then the landing will be very hard indeed and the season will just drift away.

So far, Moyes has avoided his usual tactics before these games ? you know the sort of thing: mention how much money they have (as if we were unaware) and that we will try to give them a game (which is transparent code for 'we will keep the score down'). I pray to God he does not weaken in the couple of days before the first game as in sport confidence and belief are everything.

Moyes sometimes clearly resents Everton fans for not appreciating what he has done and, to be fair, he has a valid point but he is also missing the bigger picture. We want glory. The next two games give him the chance to move from being just respected to being loved.

There are no guarantees in football but if we play anything like we did against them in the first derby then I for one will not forgive Moyes. It's all in place to send out 11 disciplined utterly determined players who totally believe we will win.

As for the lucky bastards who have tickets ? don't sit down for a second and don't stop singing for a second.

Hope really is a terrible thing...
John Doolan     Posted 17/01/2009 at 16:34:05   Comments (34)

Anfield Trouble...

Should we draw comfort from the goings on at Anfield at the moment?

Rafa has refused a contract, amazingly declared open warfare in the media with someone who knows how to play it like no other, Stevie G has prison to consider and with Monday fast approaching, Man Utd should have toppled their topping of the table.

To any other club, this could be a tricky time... but jeez they are such a self-righteous bunch, it probably won't affect them one bit. We'll just have to rely 100% our game then.

Two wins to the blues. Just imagine who we could get on loan once that reverberates around Europe... Maybe someone we've heared of!
Nick Entwistle     Posted 17/01/2009 at 07:08:56   Comments (16)

FA Cup Ties

Can anyone verify that Everton have been matched up against Satan's Spawn in the FA Cup more than any other two teams in its history?
Dominic Pitt     Posted 16/01/2009 at 14:51:10   Comments (7)

Man-Mark Gerrard

Having witnessed many an encounter against Liverpool with Gerrard in their side, there is only one gameplan for me which we must implement: ? man-to-man on Gerrard.

Whether that be young Jack or Castillo (I would not start with Victor up front, leave Tim there), we must restrict this one player from dictating their midfield and hence the game.

If we can restrict him, we restrict Torres et al from getting the ball. I do hope sincerely this time we have learned our lessons... I fancy us to nick it if we can do a job on this one player.
Steve  Callaghan     Posted 16/01/2009 at 14:20:57   Comments (31)

Lescott To City?

I have just been reading the Echo article about how Everton are going to block City's move for our much loved Joleon. Made me seriously question whether or not I would keep him, if I was Moyes and City waved a massive cheque under my nose. Let's face it, while the lad is a superb defender and scores you goals, we are covered in the department and we could cope without him.

Jagielka is our best defender by a mile, and I mean at actually defending, and Yobo has better physical attributes than Lescott but is prone to the odd mistake. Lescott's distribution is not as good as it should be but he is solid enough and tries to get forward, and as I have already mentioned, he will get you at least 6 goals a season.

They have just paid £12M for a left back that never gets a game and is 29 years old. Lescott plays week-in, week-out, is 26 and not yet in his prime and scores you goals. I'm sorry but if City offered £25M for him, I'd sell him in a heartbeat. As much as I love the lad and think he is class, can you imagine what Moyes would do with £25M?

It would secure Moutinho, and a replacement defender, maybe even Upson. I would even chance my arm and ask for £20M and the young lad Sturridge. The stupid twats would probably do it as well, they have no grasp of the value of money as they may as well print it.

Another thing, separate to the above, Palacios is about to go for £14m. If he does, then Arteta is clearly worth £30m, having said that though, I wouldn't sell him full stop!

Now back to the original subject, only one thing would make me turn down such an offer for Lescott and that is the effect it may have on the spirit of the squad and all the money in the word cannot buy you a team spirit and a togetherness like ours. Time will tell as to what is gonna happen but In Moyes I Trust!
Benn Chambers     Posted 16/01/2009 at 10:59:28   Comments (36)

Kirkby item on Radio 4

Radio 4's "You and Yours" has just done a segment today on the Blues proposed move to Kirkby. There was no mention of Bill Kenwright or Warren Bradley and since most of us have to rely on coverage from the OS or the Echo, it made a nice little listen. You should be able to catch it later on the iPlayer or from the "You and Yours" website:
Mark Wynne     Posted 16/01/2009 at 09:32:16   Comments (14)

La Visión de Oro

Mikel Arteta's profile in the club seems to have been cranked up to its highest level over the last couple of weeks. Fortunately, our favourite Spaniard's performances in his new role in midfield, capped by goals to remember, have provided the main impetus for this.

During transfer window January, perhaps more is going on. Sports journalists, thinking of this top-six club of ours as a selling club, picked out some of our best as obvious targets for anyone with money to spend, and Manchester City headed that list. The Kaka saga is still ongoing, and may yet turn out to echo the Bob Dylan lyric that "money doesn't talk it screams". But one aspect of that story could be that if they still have massive millions still to spend in a few days time, Mikel Arteta could be the subject of, in its own way, a record-breaking bid. And there's also the possibility of Joleon Lescott, lined up tonight in the Manchester Evening News in Hughes' so-called dream team, being an object of desire.

So when Bill Kenwright goes on record to speak of Mikel Arteta as the modern day Golden Vision, we might suspect that the barricades are being raised. Perhaps Bill knows that the Eastlanders are coming. His estimation of Arteta as "an honourable and loyal man" could be interpreted as an expression of anxiety about getting through severe tests to come.

For me, however, Bill's remarks are welcome at face value. I can't compare The Golden Vision and La Visión de Oro as players, and I have never met either, but I have been impressed with Arteta's integrity as a player and person since he joined us. If we get through to February intact despite silly money offers, I will be happy to call him San Mikel.
Keith Glazzard     Posted 15/01/2009 at 18:02:09   Comments (38)

Bad Taste Police

It's about time the authorities clamped down on those dimwits who sing abuse at football matches. I mean those guys on loadsa money must be pretty hurt by those brickbats and find themselves spending thousands on councellors and the like as they seek help to overcome the trauma. So, Mr Policeman, ensure that you arrest them all and our streets will be far safer.

I am of course being flipant and I do not condone any chants songs that demean a person because of their race or lifestyle; however, where do you draw the line? If the majority in an arena are offended by the very sight of 'others' what chance free speech and choice?

Will it be deemed illegal to wear different colours to the majority in a stadium? What offends one may not be deemed offensive by someone else, how do you police something which is so subjective? The Merseyside Police say they are concerned about one chant in particular but if it is not racist and it is not homophobic then what chant is it and what law does it break? If it is only one chant does it not imply that one group rather than the other are responsible for the chant?

Too many questions for my liking and far too subjective. All I would ask for from any right-minded Evertonians is to police themselves and avoid any unnecessary embarrassment for the club and its followers.
Anthony Dyer     Posted 15/01/2009 at 13:10:04   Comments (64)

The New Order

My jaw hit the deck when Man City were reported to have offered £100M for Kaka today. We are now a genuine top 6 side and this obscene amount is more than our first 11 are worth at today's prices. I believed the media were doing all they could to hype up the ambition of the new owners at City, but it seems they are deadly serious after all.

We can safely assume City are guaranteed a top four place by the 2010-11 season. So were does this leave us, and the rest of the Premier League? You would say Man U and Chelsea are not going to be knocked off their perch, unless Roman calls in his loans. Arsenal are maximising their potential income with a new 60,000 seat stadium and gate receipts in the region of £3M per match. That leaves Liverpool who, like the rest of the "Big Four", budget for Champions League football and the riches it brings.

The Yanks are having problems servicing their current debt, and their new ground now looks dead in the water. Ourselves and Villa are the closest challengers, but we still won't consistently break the monopoly, that is until now. I can see Liverpool having to sell their best players to keep afloat when CL football is no longer guaranteed. The Man City billions will actually give the rest of us a chance of breaking the Sky generated top four. Interesting times ahead.
Kevin Tully     Posted 14/01/2009 at 17:43:46   Comments (32)


Is it just me or was anyone else really interested in the possibility of us signing Jenas. I read via the link on the rumour mill that we had in fact held talks over a loan move with a view to a permenant deal.

I think it would've been a fantastic deal for us given the price of £3.5 million being touted. Harry Redknapp is quoted as saying that they weren't looking to do the deal because we weren't making any players available to swap. Who would he possibly be talking about or interested in?

I'm only writing this as I know a lot of people read this site who know a lot more about the facts of these stories and was hoping for any more information. I would love to see a quality young (@28) english international join us and I think it would be a great boost for the club given that Capello clearly rates him. It is the only runour of the hundreds in this transfer window that I have actually been interested in and was wondering if it is, like most, a non-starter?
Niall Clinton     Posted 14/01/2009 at 12:12:16   Comments (35)

Steve Round

Can anyone spot the pattern?

Tottenham 0 ?1 Everton
Everton 0 ? 0 Chelsea
Everton 2 - 3 Aston Villa*
Man City 0 ? 1 Everton
Everton 2 ? 0 Sunderland
Middlesbrough 0 ? 1 Everton
Macclesfield 0 ? 1 Everton
Everton 2 ? 0 Hull
There are of course no prizes here for the very obvious correct answer. I purposefully went back as far as the Tottenham game, thus including the three goals conceded against Villa, as it worth noting that a clean sheet at the Lane is something only a handful of teams will achieve this year, or any year. It is also worth noting that the three goals leaked against Villa included a strong candidate for goal of the month and two very uncharacteristic errors, the likes of which have not been seen again during any of the aforementioned games.

Now earlier in the season there was a lot of talk about how bad a coach Steve Round is? this after he?d been at the club for a grand total of three months.

Steve Round came to the club having worked with Middlesbrough, Newcastle and England, widely considered as a top-class coach and a defensive expert (see top). Beyond the fact that we have not conceded a goal since the beginning of December, anyone who actually watches Everton closely enough will have noticed the style of play in recent weeks and the way in which we break teams down has improved greatly as well.

How many times last season did you see either full back reach the byline? Leighton Baines, Joleon Lescott and Tony Hibbert (he?s a trier) have in the past six or seven games been our most advanced players on several occasions. Granted, the possession and territory in these areas has not been converted into as many chances or goals as they should have but the blueprint for future success is most certainly in place.

Between Moyes and Round there seems to have been a system developed that allows us to commit eight men deep into opposition territory, yet remains solid enough to reel off seven clean sheets in eight games.

I for one am delighted with the progress that the manager, the coach and the players have made in the relatively short time that they have worked together. I?m hoping now that in the second half of the season that Dan Gosling is given a chance in the right back berth. If Leighton Baines can continue his recovery from the obvious confidence knock that the last 18 months have dealt him, and if Gosling can develop his game to the point where he can compete for 90 minutes week-in, week-out against top opposition, I firmly believe a top 6 finish is the least we can hope for.

Keep up the good work blues.
Peter Laverty     Posted 14/01/2009 at 06:54:23   Comments (34)

Granddad Burgess at The People's Club

A lot of you recently took an interest in my granddad's 90th birthday celebration, so I thought you may be interested to know what we and 'The Peoples Club' did...

As he is a fanatical Evertonian and has been going to the games (season ticket holder) for 81 years, we thought it suitable to celebrate the occasion 'all things Everton' as it were.

On his birthday on New Year's Day, I was able (with a little help) to get a card signed from all the Everton players at Finch Farm. Also (because of my friend's persistence and familiarity with a few staff there) we were able to present him with a signed football and a signed hanging banner.

We had been ringing the club since early December to try and get the club to mark the occasion in some way. We were told all was in hand but nothing could be finalised 'til after the Sunderland match. Fair enough. A few more phone calls to the club to ensure a seat would be supplied because he isn't the most mobile any more (his season ticket is Lower Bullens, so we thought somewhere by the main stand would be more suitable).

We were told that he was to be presented on the pitch at half-time or before the game to mark the occasion. A few photos and a signed football or something similar would all be done to send a true follower of the club home with some of the happiest memories he would've experienced in 81 years of all things Blue.

On Sunday 4th January, we had a small party in the Vic pub in Waterloo, again with a little help. Gordon West made an appearance and stayed for an hour chatting with my grandad and giving him two framed photos, one of him ('66 FA Cup) and one of Dixie Dean. A day throughly enjoyed by all.

Even Alan Jackson from Radio Merseyside rang him up on the Tuesday on his show for a small chat and to wish him all the best.

On the day of the Hull game my Grandad accompanied by his son and daughter arrived at the ground at the arranged time of 13.30. He was ushered in through reception, straight onto the pitch where a few photos were taken with Sharpy and they gave him a signed ball. Back into the foyer where he did see some past players (only by chance), he asked if there was anywhere he could have a drink only to be told to go over the road to the Winslow!!

The seats they gave him where in the main stand on HH row, high up with no hand rail, how my mum and uncle got him up there i don't know. To top off a quite disappointing day not even an annoucement at half time or anything on the big screen.

I wrote a artical in the mailbag section of ToffeeWeb explaining about my grandads pitch appearance and the response was quite moving, people wanting to get to the game early to pay respects to a true blue, fans in america explaining to his daughters what a true fan and dedicated blue this was, everyone who knew wanted to show their respects.

Finally to top it all off, the laison officer rang my mum to say they will send one pic and to check the DOB is Jan 7th!!! When my mum said she was a little disapointed at his treatment and mentioned the trouble getting him to the seat. this was met with a curt response of, well the seats totalled up to £100 and gave the impression we should of been gratefull. When my mum mentioned she thought more could of been done, again this was met with a delightful 'if you put the ball on e-bay it could fetch upto £100' ...not really what my mum was after. The "People's Club" ended this birthday celebration conversation with this gem, 'he may be important to you cause he's your dad, but it's all ten a penny for us.... we get this stuff all the time"!!!!

This has deeply bothered us all as he has championed Everton Football Club through 4 generations of the family ever since any of us can remember, and is responsible for us all being devote Evertonians. Perhaps if he was member of the Everton Shareholders Association like Lena Roberts he may of got a shirt and flowers presented in the boardroom, then taken to lunch in the exclusive Dixie Dean Lounge.

The People's Club would do well to remember the 'people' they are supposed to represent.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.............hummmmmmm.
Mike Burgess     Posted 13/01/2009 at 21:08:42   Comments (40)

Quo Vadis, Caeruli?

My first Merseyside derby was in 1964 when Vernon and Gabriel scored in a thoroughly enjoyable 3-1 thrashing. You might think that the terror, trepidation, anticipation and exhilaration of derbies would wear off a bit, but I can tell you I am just as psyched today about the back to back derbies as that little boy was 44 seasons ago.

One thought is preying on my mind this week. Liverpool fans, most of whom as we know, don?t come from Liverpool, will be traveling to Liverpool to watch their team, while very soon now, Everton fans, most of whom who do, by and large, come from Liverpool, will have to travel out of Liverpool to see our team. Can there be any better indication of a world turned upside down?

We may be able to defeat Liverpool in these upcoming derbies, but I doubt if we will ever be able to defeat the backward march of progress as it applies to our beloved club.

That first derby game of my career as an Everton fan brought 66,000 supporters in heaving waves of humanity to a tightly-packed stadium then thought to be among the best in the land. I shudder to imagine the atmosphere of future derbies once Disaster Kirkby has run its insipid course.
Peter Fearon     Posted 13/01/2009 at 18:58:08   Comments (15)

First Transfer!?

I am sitting at work with a Bristol City fan who tells me he has just read an article on their official site saying Everton have signed defender James Wilson for £500,000.

It goes on to say he is highly rated and faced stiff competition from Tottenham and Arsenal who have already made enquiries for the Wales Under-19 skipper. This is just what the Bristol site states.

I am surprised myself, I didn't think we had a pot to piss in let alone £500,000 to throw at a player who has only been seen play on loan at Brentford for two months!
Brett Bradshaw     Posted 13/01/2009 at 12:25:55   Comments (16)

Opportunity knocks?

Now this may seem a little bit too optimistic for some of you, but here goes...

For the first time in years, I'm actually approaching the derby matches and subsequent two games against 2 of the 'Sky 4' (or should that be 5 now?) with a positive outlook. Usually the big games fill me with fear, wondering will we be able to hold out for a draw or nick a late winner. Both have happened, but equally we have been taught a lesson by all of them in recent seasons!

This time though for me it's different; even coming into these games all in a row (which earlier in the season I thought could be worse than having them spread out). At the moment we are on a cracking run. Devoid of strikers, we have somehow consolidated what we have and have come out fighting. That was definitely missing for the first 2 months of this season!

Not only our form being good, but Liverpool and Arsenal's is not particularly good. Too many draws from both recently. These draws have led to another thing stacking in our favour. Now Manchester Utd can be ahead of Liverpool by the time the derby kicks off. From my point of view this puts the onus and pressure firmly on them to get a win. They have been top for a while now and the prospect of losing that and having to fight back for it is a new feeling entirely. Certainly after all that Rafa-babble the other day. Is the pressure at the top beginning to make the fat waiter sweat? well at least more than usual?!

If we can use our momentum to get something at Anfield, we will go into the Arsenal game with our tails up. They are no great shakes and who knows ? we could be facing Utd in a few weeks time just a place (or 2) behind them. All this after a shocker of a start and one of the worst home records!

I've got to admit, I am less confident about the FA cup match. For some reason the psychology of it is a bit different for me. If we do get the win (and i've got a funny feeling we might) in the first derby match though, I would be over the moon with a draw in the second and get a replay at goodison. That would give Mo the Fro a chance to have a go at them!

I hope I don't regret this post, but the chance really is there for the taking. If Moyes can drill that into the players and send them out for a scrap, we could drag ourselves into that top of the table group. It isn't out of our reach. We have only been truly outplayed once this season (Liverpool @ home), and have given a good account of ourselves against the rest of those above us. Let's go that one step further. It's got to happen soon if Moyes's 2nd 5 year plan is to come to fruition.... hasn't it??!!

For too long the media have brainwashed everyone into thinking the Sky 4 are invincible, but it just isn't true. We are in touching distance of that pack after a bad start to the season. The league table doesn't lie. We are good enough, it's time we believed it and grabbed it with both hands!

Come on you blues. Make us proud!
Gareth  Cooper     Posted 13/01/2009 at 06:16:01   Comments (12)

Big Games Needed!

Two massive games ahead of us that will ultimately shape the rest of our season.

Two defeats against the RS and Villa's lead in the Premiership will I believe, be beyond us, not because they are playing much better than us, simply because they seem to enjoy unlimited good fortune against their opponents of late, and that doesn't look as if it's going to change any time soon.

So, who are the Everton 'form' guys we can rely on to have good games?

Certainly, Howard, Lescott, Jagielka, Neville, Arteta, Cahill, are all playing at the top of their game as opposed to earlier in the season when Everton capitulated to the RS at Goodison.

Just as well, because I feel defensively, we will have to perform consistently as a unit over both games to come away with anything.

Liverpool know that anything but a win next week will allow United the opportunity of making Benitez look an even bigger tit than he has done recently.

My fears surround individual members of our team such as Hibbert who is still a liability in our own penalty area and is more than likely to give a penalty away when put under pressure.

As much as I love the silky skills of both Osman and Piennar, both tend to disappear when they are faced with a more physical presence in our opponents midfield.

I don't believe Moyes will start with Anichibe as he is starting to believe his own publicity and never looks up for a fight, and believe me Everton will have to fight all right.

Overall, the RS have a much stronger squad, but whether they have the bottle as well?

We need big games from our big players.

Steve Hogan     Posted 12/01/2009 at 14:54:50   Comments (26)

Benitez Babes Start Work Early

Everton thug Tim Cahill should be role model, says Hull boss Phil Brown ? This is the headline that Mr Nixon uses in today's Daily Mirror.

Now Tim Cahill is a lot of things... Tenacious... Gritty... Skilful... Artful... But a thug? NO!

Perhaps Mr Nixon should look at what a real thug does, like beating up people outside a McDonalds or attempting to re-arrange a DJ's good looks (allegedly).

The Daily Mirror owns and runs the Liverpool Echo.... so stand by for some more Evertonian Assasinations in the coming week. If I was Moyes I would refuse all press conferences and interviews with our players until Monday 26th Jan and leave the gutter press to make up their own stories and headlines. They can then join MOTD in their ritual of LFC worship and leave us to our own devices.
Anthony Dyer     Posted 12/01/2009 at 08:12:34   Comments (30)


What is going on with this big lump of a lad?

A few years ago, the people in the know were raving about him, but from what I've seen, the lad's got nothing going for him on the pitch, totally one-footed, no pace, about as good in the air as Tony Cottee was, consistently being knocked off the ball and always throwing himself to the ground.

I find it an embarrassment every time he goes prancing around the pitch. Do us all a favour, Mr Moyes, and give one of the other kid's a chance, someone who will show a bit of pride in the jersey, not someone who can't be arsed!
Gary Lawler     Posted 12/01/2009 at 03:54:52   Comments (45)

Moyes ? Everton's Lightning Rod

It strikes me reading the mailbag threads that the Fellaini booking/Moyes?s non-substitution throws up a whole set of points with regard to David Moyes. His non-decision today to keep Fellaini on the field is for some more evidence of Dithering Dave, a man reluctant or even unable to make a decision, a decision that for some was evident the minute Everton scored the second goal.

For others, seizing on this is making a mountain out of a molehill and is evidence of ToffeeWeb?s ability to attract the most nitpicking and contentious Everton supporters, who would still have quibbles if a Moyes-led Everton delivered the Premier league title, the FA cup and placed 1-2-3 on Strictly Come Dancing.

Neither point of view is without merit, but both extremes highlight some really important issues. Fellaini?s booking may cost us in the future and given our next opponents if it does, we as Evertonians, won?t quickly forget. But more importantly six years in, David Moyes has failed to master the intricacies and complexities of substitutions and team adjustments.

A Moyes-led team stands or fails as they are introduced at the start of the match. Not since the waning days of Duncan Ferguson or the days of Rooney has Moyes had a sub to introduce off the bench and change a game. Or maybe he has one in Gosling, Rodwell, Baxter or Jutkiewicz but we?ll never know as Moyes?s timidity or his conservatism ? take your pick ? means that these kids are introduced in the 90th minute or some such. It is frustrating and perplexing. Maybe someone in the covering press corps could ask him about it (yeah, I know ? that?ll be the day).

Another wider point thrown up in what strikes me as a pretty minor discussion about the Fellaini booking is the position of David Moyes as a lightning rod for Everton supporters. I have to say that I think that is a part of the job description when you manage a club of Everton?s history and outstanding pedigree. Everton?s manager will always occupy a hot seat.

As Everton fans we have expectations and traditions we would like to see reflected in our manager and team. Sometimes we are sorely disappointed (yes, Walter Smith, I?m looking at you); sometimes we are rewarded with a true reflection of our imperfect selves (stand up Howard, thank you Joe Royle). I?m an Everton supporter first and of course I want to support the manager. David Moyes does not always make that easy.

I try not to criticise his team selections, reasoning that he has seen players train, exercise, apply themselves or not, all week, and I have not and the team is a reflection of what has happened in the days leading up to a game. He knows who is working hard, who is injured, who is in tip-top condition and who has been coasting or not looking sharp, so I let that be.

Nor do I criticize when Moyes speaks of transfers or when he alludes to the byzantine inner workings of the Everton money men, figuring it would take a Solomon to figure out what the creatures who shuffle papers and finance deals from the bowels of Fortress Evertonia are up to.

What I do think is fair game for criticism is what happens on the pitch ? application, style of play, ambition ? and importantly, how Moyes reacts during a game. I think he preps his teams pretty well. When it all kicks off, I think he is lost. He seems unable or unwilling to adjust to changing circumstances on the field. His substitutions when they come ? always too late to my mind ? are typically non-factors. It remains his biggest failing.
Paul Daly     Posted 11/01/2009 at 12:14:01   Comments (73)

Golden Goalscorers

The build-up continues to the Derby games and as the excitement mounts we dare to dream of victorious days of years gone by. Some of the younger generation will not have tasted the sweetness of victory on our old stomping ground. All of us let our hearts and imaginations rule our heads but, the closer it gets to kick-off, the more the nerves become unbearable.

Just seven times in my lifetime have we beaten the old enemy on their turf and I have witnessed just 2. But someone, sometime has to join that small band of players who have scored for the blues in winning sides at Anfield. Who will be the lucky player(s) to join this elite list:

  • Kevin Campbell
  • Colin Harvey
  • Andrei Kanchelskis
  • Gary Lineker
  • Johnny Morrissey
  • Fred Pickering
  • Kevin Ratcliffe
  • Joe Royle
  • Graeme Sharp
  • Derek Temple
  • Alan Whittle
I bet for those who witnessed their exploits, the memories will come flooding back. So let's hope a new generation can have a new player added to those illustrious names. COYB
Anthony Dyer     Posted 11/01/2009 at 10:53:06   Comments (15)

The worst deals ever

A while ago I posted a suggestion for the best deals we have ever made. It brought some great responses and memories. With the transfer window open, I've been reflecting on some of the awful business we've done over the years. The following list is far from comprehensive:

Wright, Gardner, Krøldrup, Van der Meyde, Gasgcoine, Ginola, Linderoth, Maurice Johnstone, Babayoko, Angell

Some were well past their best. Some unlucky and some not much good to began with. All, though, pretty much a waste of wages. I'm sure there are many more a bit further back who I can't remember off-hand. Still, I think our overall record on transfers isn't too bad.
Andy  Crooks     Posted 10/01/2009 at 17:48:44   Comments (62)

Why did he not sub Fellaini???

We all know Moyes doesn't like using subs and can be frustrating. But my question is, you're 2-0 up, Hull aren't in it, and if Screech gets a card he'll miss both Liverpool games. So why oh why not take him off at half time???
Craig Munden     Posted 10/01/2009 at 13:56:46   Comments (182)

Fellaini Starts

Tim Howard Tony Hibbert Joleon Lescott Phil Jagielka Leighton Baines Phil Neville (c) Marouane Fellaini Steven Pienaar Mikel Arteta Leon Osman Tim Cahill

Subs: Carlo Nash Jack Rodwell Andy Van der Meyde Dan Gosling Segundo Castillo Lucas Jutkiewicz Victor Anichebe

Anyone got a link for the match?
Nick Edwards     Posted 10/01/2009 at 11:32:19   Comments (96)

Home of the Blues

(for the Anfield Derby)

(To the tune of The Star Spangled Banner)

Oh say can you see
Shank-ley?s gates open wide
And from to-wer and wreaths
All the kop-ites are flee-ing

For our city?s first team
Has returned ?cross the green
To repay ol? saint John
With a ro-yal blue beat-ing

Sharpy scored them with flair
And Big Dunc in the air
More years in top flight
To which none can compare

Oh say can you hear
From the Street and Park end-ers
That the Mersey will always run
Through the home of EVER-TON
Paul Columb     Posted 09/01/2009 at 18:05:51   Comments (13)

Biffa to Stoke

It appears that James Beattie has been sold to Stoke for 2.5 million pounds. We sold him for 4 - 4.5 million, and since then he has scored 34 in 62 games for Sheffield United (albeit against lower competition).

Looks like a solid piece of business by Moyes when you consider that even such a strike rate at Sheff Utd. was not sufficient to raise his value beyond what we sold him for (or even keep it the same!), and Moyes sold him on the heels of a season in which he did not score from open play AT ALL. Basicially, DM turned Biffa & Naysmith into Jagielka. Would we sell Jags now for 2.5 million + Naysmith?

The point is that I believe Moyes to be a very astute player in the transfer market. I struggle to think of anyone jettisoned by Moyes in his tenure who has been sold since/could be sold now for more than the sum we got for him. One may say 'Rooney', but that transfer was forced upon Moyes and I believe Shrek hasn't progressed to become the international superstar that many predicted coming off the heels of Euro 2004. One can only wonder what Moyes could achieve at Everton were he not hamstrung by such crippling budgetary constraints...
Dave Reiner     Posted 09/01/2009 at 13:41:12   Comments (14)

Christophe Berra

By all accounts this guy is special & very highly regarded by many astute people in the game. Good stuff.

Now, I wondered why we were being associated with (apparently) one of the finest young central defenders in Europe. I also wondered if it was connected with the public musings of Man City towards Lescott.

If we got Berra then we'd have him, Jobo, Lescott & Jags. All excellent, but only two can really play (assuming LB gets the chance he deserves as our best left back).

So yes, he could be one for the future. Bit he's playing regularly and about to break into the full Scottish team at a young age. Sitting on the bench wouldn't seem a good move.

From what I've read & seen of the guy, I say come on down young man & welcome. But I wonder if it means offloading one of the other guys. If we make £10m on the transaction then I guess we should look at it. After all, that's what Arsenal do.

Anyone else put 2 & 2 together to get 3?
Alan Kirwin     Posted 09/01/2009 at 13:29:05   Comments (9)

Sent to me by a fellow Blue

Someone's spent ages writing this..... Stevie G's Cell Mate Liverpudlian Rhapsody (to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody)

Is this our Stevie?
Captain of LFC?
Arrested in Southport
All caught on CCTV.
Open "The Sun"
It's there on Page One, you'll see.
I'm just a Scouser
I need some help
Because I'm Huyton-born, Huyton-bred
Once a Blue, now a Red.
Whatever the truth is, it doesn't really matter to me.
[Piano: Dumm di dum dum, dumm di dum dum]

Rafa! It's Stevie here.
I've just twatted a DJ
And they've taken him away.
Rafa, we were four points clear
But now I fear we'll throw it all away!
Rafa! Ooooooooooh.
Didn't mean to make you sigh
If I'm not back in time to play at Preston Tinker on, tinker on, my career is all in tatters....
[Piano: Dum di dum di dum, dum di dum di dum]

Too late! It's Walton Jail.
I don't think that I can cope
I can't bend down for the soap.
Goodbye everybody - I've got to go
Gotta leave the Kop behind and face the Bench.
Rafa! Ooooooooooo! (Anyway the shit blows) I don't want to go to jail I sometimes wish I'd never joined Liverpoo-ool!
[Piano, guitar and stuff]

I see a little silhouetto of Hamman
There's ,more dosh, there's more dosh if I sign for Man City
But joining such a shite team is very very frightening to me

Calling Barry
(It's Rick Parry)
Calling Barry
(It's Rick Parry)
Calling Barry! He's Magnific-o-o-o-o
I'm just a poor boy from a Scouse family He's just a poor boy from a Scouse family
Spare him his job says Co-Coach
Sammy Lee
[Piano: Tinkle, tinkle tinkle ]

Easy come easy go! Will you let me go?
It's me, La!
No! We will not let you go! Let him go!
It's me, La!
No! We will not let you go! Let him go!
No no no no no no!
Rafa! Sammy! Rafa! Sammy! Rafa! Sammy! Get me out!
A Big House con has a shower set aside for me! For meee!
For meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
[Big Guitar Riff]

So you think you can say my career's in decline!
So you think you can suggest my kids are not mine!
Oh DJ! Can't do this to me DJ!
Just gotta get out! Just gotta get right outta here!
[More guitar and then the slow bit]

My career is now in tatters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters! Nothing really matters to me!
Anyway the shit blows!
Lachlan Ross     Posted 09/01/2009 at 09:08:49   Comments (24)

At last, the time has come!

First and foremost, when at the game to-morrow, I?ll be using my voice to get behind the eleven men in Royal Blue shirts. However, I?ll also be using it for another reason. After eight and a half long years it looks as though the time has finally arrived when we can inform Mr Nicolas Barmby Esq. exactly what we thought of his defection to the club half a mile away.

In my humble opinion, telling Walter Smith that he wants to sign a new contract after Euro2000, and then making public his love of all things red, when still a blue, was not a very nice thing to do.

Every year since, while playing for Liverpool and Leeds, he has always found himself ?injured? whenever a return to Goodison was due. This time however no such sounds have come out from Hull City, so it looks as though he has finally plucked up the courage to return ? at last, the time has come!
Adam Bennett     Posted 09/01/2009 at 08:54:11   Comments (20)

Tony Kay

I have just been reading the piece on the Echo's website regarding Everton's hall of fame. About half way through it David France gives the following comment:

"The addition of Tony Kay is the biggest upset, although it will be no surprise to those who saw him play. His poor judgement before he moved to Goodison hurt all Evertonians, but his punishment was harsh. And, unlike the football authorities, we are a forgiving lot.''

Can anyone shed some light as to what that means?
Matt Geraghty     Posted 09/01/2009 at 08:28:16   Comments (21)

Trond Olsen

I was really pleased to see Norwegian winger Trond Olsen linked to Everton on the sports news in Norway last night.

Olsen has had a great season, scoring 10 goals in a team who surprisingly finished 4th in the league. His critics would say he is prone to a lack of form, going in and out of it - but the last half of the season was great. Most notably, a remarkable hat-trick against former giants Rosenborg.

IF we DO sign him it would be a great acquisition for us, and according to the Rumour Mill, only for about £ 1 mill.

One of the best prospects in the Norwegian league. If that counts for anything these days :)
Kjetil Moen     Posted 09/01/2009 at 06:05:24   Comments (6)

Welded to my car

It has long been a dictat of mine that, if I can`t get there by car, I don`t go. Any football match, shopping trip, day out or holiday that requires me to take other transport or requires a walk of more than 400 metres is totally off my radar ? and I suspect I am not alone.

Reading the report of Day 18 of the DK Inquiry filled me with horror. The day was taken up by some Tesco flunky extolling the virtues of Merseyside Transport and Northern Rail. Apparently, with a little patience and consideration for the local populace, I shall need to add only about an hour to my normal 30 mins travel time from Southport... No thanks.

I may be illogical with no concern for mankind but I am welded to my car and know I am one of many. Anybody telling me to change my habits of a lifetime can get stuffed ? particularly as I can spend the £600 I will save on my season ticket on another trip down the M6/M5 to Cornwall!

Everton RIP, I fear.
Monty  Cavanagh     Posted 08/01/2009 at 06:58:50   Comments (142)

Away End

In our upcoming away trip to Anfield in the league we have been given 2,948 seats from 45,362 (6.5% of the capacity of Anfield) and in the cup we have 6,100 seats (13.4% of capacity). So are the percentage rules different from the cup and league? (I assume so).

But then our trip to Old Trafford we are given 2,460 seats from 76,212 (3.2%). So are Liverpool being extra-generous, which I doubt, or are we only getting 50% of the proper away capacity for the Manchester United game? I can only think that we?re not confident we?ll sell more seats at Old Trafford, but in this case why are the criteria to get tickets for people with all kinds of away credits? I must be missing something crucial!?

We are giving Arsenal fans 2,800 tickets in Goodison which is 7%.

Ticket info taken from
Alex Kociuba     Posted 07/01/2009 at 23:23:04   Comments (11)


Setanta are reporting that we've "swooped" for Giancarlo Maldonado in a loan deal. Apparently he's Venezuelan.

I personally have never even heard of him, can anybody out there possibly enlighten me?
James Dawson     Posted 07/01/2009 at 15:07:37   Comments (28)

Frustrated at not being included as contender for top 4

Every week I get frustrated that Everton are never mentioned in the same breath as any of the big four. Even now, Aston Villa are being included alongside them as for the first time in years Villa's competiting against. Yet for the last few years Everton have been up in and around the big four, even being the only side outside them to qualify for Champions League. Even our history of winning the league is better than Chelsea and Villa, also I believe we have the 4th best trophy collection.

I know we don't have the money to compete with the boys but when will we get the respect of possibly being one of the big five!

Even today on Sky Sports,19528,11661_4760023,00.html M'Bia has said "There are many big clubs after me now, so I am glad that I did not sign for Everton " How are we supposed to attract the big names (if could afford them) if we are supposedly a small club?

I have gone so far as to cancel my subscription with Sky Sports this season due to the constant biased commentary against Everton whenever they were on there live. Even hearing it from an old boy in Andy Gray!

What does our club have to do to get the respect of everyone? It seems that everyone has something against us but I don't know what it is

Would love to hear from people who share my view as I am going mad thinking it is just me.
Peter Keating     Posted 07/01/2009 at 12:36:40   Comments (42)

True Dedication

As a regular and avid reader of toffeeweb, I know of all the varying opinions (Marsh to Dodd) which make this site such a compelling read. What I have written in for is to tell you, well, to ask you to show your appreciation for one hell of a true blue.

It was my Grandad's 90th birthday on New Year's Day, which makes it 81 years of dedicated match going (every home, and most away matches till he was about 50). He attended when Dixie Dean was banging them in, Young was mesmorising, Westy was stopping everything in it's get the pic. But mostly he's still going, every game rain or shine, usually with myself in tow.

Anyway before the match with Hull starts, my grandad will be walking onto Goodison pitch to be presented with something by Sharpy off the club to thank him for all his continued support. All I am asking is that if you are in your seats at this time please, please please show him what he already knows... one Evertonian is worth 20 kopites, and clap the best little Evertonian I know.
Mike Burgess     Posted 07/01/2009 at 07:10:53   Comments (16)

A Kevin Brock moment?

Kevin Brock?s dodgy back-pass is considered one of the pivotal moments in Everton?s history. Rightly or wrongly, the greatest period in the club?s history is commonly believed to have started with this one moment... Will Phil Neville?s tackle on Cristiano Ronaldo at home against Man Utd this season be remembered similarly?

Before that moment, we had two wins in 11 games, dumping us out of Europe and the Carling Cup and leaving us 15th. Since Pip almost skinned Ronaldo?s leg, we?ve only lost twice in 13 games, winning eight along the way.

Don?t get me wrong ? I?m not suggesting we?re about to go on to win two Championships and two Cups, but footballers are a funny lot and it seems moments like this, and the confidence they inject into players, really matter.

Equally, it could just be divine intervention to reward us for kicking that cheating sod.
Richard Watts     Posted 06/01/2009 at 18:54:19   Comments (20)

John-Paul Kissock

Has anyone out there seen much of this kid? Moyesy puts him on the bench quite a bit, but I think he's 19 now, so I'd say it's now or never. I heard the club had really high hopes for him???
Paul Jones     Posted 06/01/2009 at 13:26:05   Comments (13)

Nearly 8 hours since conceding a goal

It's a strange thing that only 6 months ago a desperate and embarrassing summer of negativity put every Evertonian on a serious downer. No signings, selling key players (Carsley), trouble off the field, and a manager and chairman under fire.

The team that so may predicted would fail miserably, has not conceded a single goal in 5 games, has the second-best away record in the Premier League and has done this with a team full of midfielders and defenders. Moyes should Be knighted for what he has achieved!

Sir Moysey. we salute you...
Paul Davey     Posted 06/01/2009 at 10:58:35   Comments (45)

Saleable Assets?

In my opinion, last Summer thought us all that we have to sell a big player if we are to buy. Now I have drawn up a list of our most "saleable assets". Before I receive a rant I want to say that I love all these players and I don't want to sell anyone. Until we get a new ground or investment I think we have to sell.

  • Yobo ? £8-10 Million
  • Jagielka ? £8-10 Million
  • Baines ? £5-6 Million
  • Cahill ? £10 Million
  • Arteta ? £15-20 Million
  • Peinaar ? £7 Million
  • Osman ? £5-6 Million
  • Yakubu ? £15-20 Million
Now I don't want to repeat myself, I really want to keep these players but, if we had to sell one of these players, I think Yobo is the best option. He's nearly 29 and he could still get us good money. We already have Lescott and Jags to play, Rodwell is also coming through. I love Yobo, he's one of my favourite players and I'd love to see him get a testimonial but does anyone want to go through last year's window again? I certainly don't!
Peter Smith     Posted 06/01/2009 at 10:11:29   Comments (26)

Derby memories long gone by

This week's draw and upcoming league fixture took me back many years ago to 1970-71 when we were reigning league champions and drew Liverpool in the FA Cup semi final at Old Trafford.

We had finished with a total of 66 points the season before, I think 9 points clear of second placed Leeds and we all wondered if it was the start of a new era with us competing in the European Cup for the first time in awhile with the "holy trinity" leading us to further honors.

Our league form was indifferent and we finished 14th that year but we were going well in the cup. We crushed Colchester 5-0 who had dumped Leeds out of the cup and were feeling good about silverware that season. So onto Anfield for the league game. We went up 2-0 with Alan Whittle scoring a beauty. Alan Ball was doing his party tricks as the Goodison faithful started celebrating. Well Liverpool had luck on their side even then and wound up winning 3-2.

A few days later we played them in the cup semi-final and Alan Ball had us up 1-0 at half time. Unfortunately Brian Labone went off injured and the whole complexion of the game changed and we lost 2-1. Justice was served when Arsenal won the double by beating them.

I just know that things will turn out differently this time with Cahill getting the winner in both games.
Ajay Timothy     Posted 05/01/2009 at 17:43:56   Comments (18)

Striker Option?

I hope the rumours of Everton's interest in Leroy Lita are true. Especially at the price that has been mentioned ? under £500 k. Leroy has a lot of ability, he's quick, knows were the goal is and is a quality striker.

So why so cheap? ? after all, he's only just turned 24, had a good record at Under-21 level for England (9 apps, 6 goals) and 50 goals in 180-odd games at club level, a lot of which were as sub. About three years back, he was mentioned as making a step up to the full England squad and was very impressive when he first come on the scene when Reading came into the Premier League.

A number of injuries held him back, most notably a broken ankle at the start of the 2005-06 season, he found it difficult to get his place back, and his career seemed to stall. He has been loaned out to Charlton and most recently Norwich City; I believe this loan has come to its end, with 7 goals in 16 app for them. I think the low asking price is mostly reflected by not his contract being up with Reading at the end of this season, but with the player's attitude re a quite public fall-out with Steve Coppell.

Leroy now seems over his injury problems and what I've heard is he's getting back to his early promise, Norwich would like to keep him on a full-time basis, but Leroy would like to get another chance in the Premier League.

At the price I feel it would be a low risk and great value for money move for Everton. Leroy could be such a talented player and, if Moyes could get his head right, well we could have a quality striker addition to our squad.
David Lawless     Posted 05/01/2009 at 10:28:42   Comments (39)

Jose Baxter

Anybody have any idea where Baxter is of late?

With our striking crisis, I would have thought the hottest young property at the club would be in and around the first team squad ? especially as earlier in the season and during pre-season he was the first choice 'youngster' ? featuring for the first team a few times..

Is he injured, or has he just dropped behind Lukas in the pecking order? He's not even figured in the last couple of reserve games...
Mark Stone     Posted 05/01/2009 at 08:28:41   Comments (19)

The Big Four

Chelsea? Yeah right. When you have won as many titles as us, you can call yourselves a big club. 3 titles, 2 of which were purchased, against our 9 earned.

No, the big four means this:

  • Liverpool away
  • Liverpool away (FA cup)
  • Arsenal home
  • Man Utd away
Four massive games for us over the next few weeks. Big Fella is up for a 2-game ban ? thanks to vigilant refs for that, shame about the 9 cert pens Keith Hackett admitted we were robbed of last year? but hey, who?s counting?. So what are our predictions for this big 4 game sequence? I?m no doomsday merchant, but I fear old Moysie will end up with played 4 lost 4. However, this is an ideal opportunity for all the apologists and all the Moyes slaters to get it on the record (not again, but in reference to the next 4 games).

This is the big acid test: 4 games. Moyes is now nearly 7 years into his job ? is it not fair to gauge some opinion on his ?current? ability, by using these next 4 games? If not these 4 games, when can we judge the school of 2008-09, delivered and managed by Moyes?

I?m putting green where hot air normally ejects from, and backing us to draw with Liverpool on both occasions (and knock 'em out in the replay at GP), beat Arsenal at home, and to heck with the trip to Old Trafford. At that point I?d be happy. I just fear a reality check. COYB!
Joeynkoo  Ludden     Posted 04/01/2009 at 16:48:35   Comments (26)

Yellow fever

Given the dark shadow of a two-game ban hanging over Fellaini, does Moyes keep the 'big Fella' on the bench against Hull or risk him missing both games against the Dark Side, should we be lumbered with some card-happy ref on Saturday?

Whatever happens, he's bound to pick up a yellow sooner rather than later over the next five games. We're far from a one-man team but I'd like him in for the League game at least so my reluctant choice is let him sit it out against the Tigers.
Guy Hastings     Posted 04/01/2009 at 15:25:03   Comments (14)

Unbelievable FA Cup Draw

I knew our number was 28... but first out away to that shower.

Well Moyes yesterday won only his 5th FA Cup tie in his tenure at Everton.

If he can get a 6th this season to go further, he will be hailed a hero...
Matt Traynor     Posted 04/01/2009 at 12:34:15   Comments (86)

Please offload Tony Hibbert

Just currently watching this tedious FA Cup tie and I have lost all patience with our local lad at right back.

He is possilby one of the worst full backs in the Premier League. Being a good tackler in a 50-50 ball or putting your neck on the line can't salvage the fact that he just isn't good enough.

His first touch is awful, always. And this doesn't matter whether he is playing at Macclesfield or on a red fucking carpet. His attempts at crossing are truly woeful ? approximately one in every 50 makes it into the box. And it's no surprise that he's never scored.... and never will for that matter.

Please mend Jacobsen or give a young lad a break and remove this travesty from his position and duties....
Conor Waters     Posted 03/01/2009 at 13:17:33   Comments (90)

Macclesfield Town On Setanta?

Maybe I'm losing it a bit but I could have sworn Setanta Sports were showing the Macclesfield Town game live? In fact I even had a reminder set up on my Sky for the match so I wouldn't forget it was on. I also saw advert for the game while I was watching the channel earlier this week. Am I going mad or have Setanta suddenly cancelled their coverage?

Does anyone know anything about this?
John Cottee     Posted 03/01/2009 at 11:06:13   Comments (51)

Trip to Macclesfield

To avoid any further any FA Cup banana skins, I think it's best to play a full strength and as mostly home-based players we have available on Saturday. I would go for Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Lescott, Baines, Gosling (he deserves a start), Arteta, Neville, Osman, Cahill, and Anichebe. Fellaini should be a sub as he is so prone to yellows and in a physical game like this is in danger of a red.

Hopefully Yobo, Saha, Fellaini & Pienaar can add some strength to what has been a very weakened bench recently. The blues for the FA Cup ? Come on!
John Crook     Posted 01/01/2009 at 18:28:42   Comments (25)

BK Bull

Has anyone else noticed, every time we approach the transfer window, Mr Kenwright gives his little sound bites on how good DM is, how marvelous he is, and how we can't do without him. Call me cynical but is it for David's benefit or ours? Or is it a way of saying we haven't got any funds available but with DM at the helm we should be ok anyway?

I would prefer the truth, get a couple of loan players but only if it improves the squad, and give Moyes a budget for the end of the season, which would allow him to strengthen Everton before pre-season training. If we do sign someone, is it too much to ask for the player/s to be 100% free from injury, more than 5ft 6in and quick?

God, this is starting to sound like a letter to Santa... apologies!
Eddy Grundy     Posted 01/01/2009 at 15:42:22   Comments (35)

Big Dunc: The DVD

I have just watched the Big dunc DVD that I had for Christmas and it got me thinking about our current crop of strikers.

I had almost forgotten what a legend he was for us and how we have never really replaced him. I love the Yak for his goals but he hasn't even got half the amount of passion that big Dunc had for the club. Is there anyone out there who the club could buy to replace such a legend?

I'm not sure if everyone knows all the details behind his move to Newcastle so before you slate him for this move you should know that he was sold without Walter Smith being told and never wanted to move but was given no option.

Finally, does anyone know what has happened to the big man?
Scott Jenner     Posted 01/01/2009 at 12:58:30   Comments (33)

Happy New Mikky

I had to call for a translator: "Yull nae sea the best outa yer man, until ya play him in centra midfeeld!?"

This was a Rangers supporting Scotsman. He was trying to tell me that we wouldn?t see the best out of Mikel Arteta until we played him in centre midfield. Apparently when Mik was a Rangers player. He was either a defensive or offensive central midfield player, and to quote my friend, he just didn?t run matches, he ran whole seasons for the ?Gers.

Indeed, he went on to bemoan the fact that St Walter didn?t have him on board for last years Uefa Cup run.

So... have we found a replacement for Lee Carsley? Not really, because I think that Phil Neville is beginning to do that job. And my my, is there an Evertonian, who Nev hasn?t grown on? Note the almost ?cult? shouts of ?SHOOT? whenever he gets any where in range of the opposition's goal.

But back to Mikel Arteta, I don?t known about the rest of you. But this season in particular I thought to some extent, he was marginalized by his role as winger. Indeed, I think he was under-used in that position. He lacks the speed to get to the bye-line and too often he found himself meandering in field. Too often producing crosses from the inside right channel, when by the bye-line gives a better angle.

Was his perceived staleness because he was browned off? Last season, his poorish form was blamed on a recurrent injury. Whatever the cause, the answer was staring Moyes in the face. For, throughout his time at the club, whenever he found himself in a central position, things began to happen. Witness his goals against Bolton and Fiorentina.

Now in this new role at Everton. He is able to take games by the scruff of the neck and dictate what happens. As Manchester City and Sunderland found to their cause.
Mike Berry     Posted 01/01/2009 at 11:15:32   Comments (29)

Raising cash

I've been thinking all week about this transfer window and thought about what players the squad could afford to offload in order to raise some cash for the transfer kitty. I had a look at the squad list with this in mind and noted that it has thirty players listed.

Eight of the outfield players are kids. By this I mean the likes of Gosling and Rodwell. These players don't have enough experience or reputation to raise any decent amount of cash. They were only added to the squad in such a number to begin with because we were short on senior players at the start of the season. Any cash that would be raised would be more than negated by the fact that we would be shorter on numbers than we already are.

Two of the players, Vaughan and the Yak, are out for the season injured. We obviously aren't going to be able to put them on the market either. Another, Saha, is too injury prone to even try to sell.

Three players, Jacobsen, Valente and VdM are out of contract in June.

I think Valente and VdM are our best bet of doing anything in this transfer window. Put them up for sale and try to get something for them before they become free agents in the summer. Between the money we get, and the wages we save, we can look to get one player in and/or a couple of loan signings. (I'm presuming that we pay the loan signing's wages while he's with the club so this is why I'm eyeing up the wages we're saving on Valente and VdM.)

We have four goalkeepers but only Howard in my view would be worth any real money and I can't see us selling him. By my reckoning that leaves us with thirteen senior players in our current squad who we could hope to get any real/big money for in this transfer window. Lescott, Arteta, Neville etc. But then if you sell you're just buying automatic replacements as these thirteen players are our only regular first team players at the moment.

To me, this means that this window, whatever about Moyes's previous record in January, will definitely be a very quiet one.
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 01/01/2009 at 09:43:06   Comments (15)

Big Brother Bother

Happy New Year to one and all!

Apparently, Phil Brown is asking questions about the U-turn relating to the last-gasp penalty incident in Hull's encounter with Aston Villa.

It seems he believes that someone or something outside of the sanctioned officials was responsible for the ref's change of mind.

Having witnessed the big decisions at Goodison versus Chelsea it does beg the question has the third eye been employed for Live Sky games.

Now, I'm all for anything which helps ascertain the correct outcome including the use of modern technology. However, if it is only being used selectively and without the knowledge of the particpants and viewers I would question its use.

Given that the major decisons in both games turned out to be the correct ones then perhaps, it proves that the NEW system works.
Anthony Dyer     Posted 01/01/2009 at 09:35:37   Comments (2)

Benni perhaps?

Yesterday I read in one of our local newspapers that McCarthy is unhappy at Blackburn and might want to force the club to sell him in the next few weeks.

My questions are the following seeing that we're in need of a good finisher.

  • Will he be able to fit in with our style of play?
  • If so, do we have funds to buy him?
  • If not, can we make up the funds to buy him?
  • If so, who do we sell?

One bonus about buying him is that South Africa is not playing in the 2010 AFCON in Angola.
Ricardo Humphries     Posted 01/01/2009 at 05:41:31   Comments (6)

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