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It's a marathon not a sprint

By James Boden :  09/07/2009 :  Comments (32) :

So it’s been almost 6 weeks since the Fa Cup Final and has given me time to calm down over the events of that day. I have thought long and hard about it and yet I still am annoyed that Moyes did what we all knew he would and played both Hibbert and Osman and yet for some reason Jack Rodwell didn’t even get a kick. So Moyes obviously hadn’t learnt a thing from 4 years earlier when showing sentiment to several players cost us Champions League qualification. People argued that we were beaten by the better team but I cannot accept this. If Moyes had of played Jacobsen and Neville down the right and Rodwell in the middle and yet we had got beat I’d have said fair enough but I believe he left us totally exposed. Why Moyes cannot see that these 2 (particularly Osman) are liabilities is totally baffling to say the least. And if that wasn’t enough he topped it all off by taking off Saha. GLORIOUS MOVE THAT WAS! This is the Fa Cup Final for Pete’s sake and we are chasing the game. If ever there was a suicidal substation this was it. That Moyes thought Osman would be a better bet against a powerful Chelsea side then Rodwell is something I still cannot fathom. It was obvious it was going to be back to the walls stuff but he failed to see this. If the final wasn’t the final straw with Osman then I am afraid nothing ever will be.

There was no question about it that the Final was painful. I for 1 normally feel more relaxed when attending a game. The feeling is that I can intervene even though I really cannot but at the Final I have no felt so powerless or so sick. I feared the worst and sadly the worst occurred. Once the corner flag marathon started that was enough for me to say goodbye.

But will lessons be learnt from this? Something tells me no. Kenwright will fail to provide funds for the club and Moyes will continue to convince himself that Hibbert and Osman are worth persisting with. The way some of our fans defend these 2 you would think they are a modern day version of Stevens and Steven or Neville and Beckham. For heaven’s sake I don’t think I can take much more of seeing Osman overrun constantly. The problem is how do we solve this? It is blatantly obvious that we need a winger but apparently do not have the money. Osman should be either confined to the bench or sold. I wonder if Moyes has considered playing a triangle formation at all — Pienaar, Fellaini, Rodwell and Arteta sounds a treat to me. And what about Cahill playing off Yakubu maybe. Yakubu can do the business provided the dirty work is done for him and Cahill excelled when he played in a forward role. Ironically we played much better without Yakubu so maybe this is a sign that if he doesn’t do the business this season then it’s time to flog him off. Trouble with Moyes is that Yak, Cahill, Arteta, Fellaini, Osman and Neville so long as they are fit will be in the side regardless of form. That can cost us at times when he is too loyal to certain players. I also believe he was very reluctant to keep Yobo out of the side even when Jagielka and Lescott were working a treat. Ideally a keeper would be nice also as Howard is too mistake prone for my liking. But where do we find this money?

Well isn’t it Kenwright’s duty to find investment somehow or someway? He claims to have been working incredibly hard for years to find us investment but really how hard has that search been? Is it possible that Kenwright will only hand over the reigns so long as he still has a key role in what goes on at the top? I for 1 think that could possibly be the case. It very much strikes to me of “Could you do us a favour please”, “And what would that be”? “Please invest a few hundred million into my club but ensure me that I will still have the main role”. Something that Kenwright perhaps puts potential investors off because he expects the world of them so long as he gets a vital say in matters concerning the club. I am sure that these foreigners do not have the feelings for Everton that Bill Kenwright has but they would provide us with the one thing he has failed us — FINANCES.

However, I suppose credit is where it’s due on 1 thing and that is stability. He has stuck by his manager during times when others would have lost patience and I can understand why he sees good things about Moyes. However Kenwright sometimes gets way ahead of himself with regards to his opinion on Moyes. The guy maybe a good manager but I don’t think he has justified the praise Bill has given him. Speaking Of Moyes I was 1 of a few who was hoping he would be gone in the autumn but I must admit he has gone up in my estimation. I still question him on a few things but overall my opinion is higher of him than 6 months ago. I will also credit whoever made the appointment of Robert Elstone who at least appears to be a cut above Keith Wyness.

I suppose it is typical of Everton that even when something good happens it is usually followed by something that puts a real downer on things. Every summer is the same and it has got the point where I am almost not worrying at all because I don’t expect anything different from Everton. I have accepted that signings will not be flooding in before the start of the season. It still frustrates me but not as much as it used to and I for 1 believe we are in a healthier position than 1 year ago. Another positive from the season just preceding this is that unlike previous years we did not end our league campaign with a power struggle; rather it was a flourish before that terrible day at the end of May. Next season we really need to win a trophy even it is the Europa or League Cup. And once again Arsenal will be there for the taking in my opinion but that all depends whether we will cash in on this opportunity and knowing Everton I won’t hold my breath. We will see what our prospects are in 5 weeks time and I genuinely hope and pray that I am wrong. Or will it be oh so typical of Everton yet again? As my dad once said to me supporting Everton is a marathon not a sprint.

Reader Comments

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Adam Cunliffe
1   Posted 10/07/2009 at 07:31:11

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Spot on with everything there, James. Osman is shite, Hibbert is passable when playing at his very best but neither are reliable when the shit hits the fan.

We won’t sign anyone this season until we sell. I don’t want to sell but if City offer silly money for Joey Lescott, I think we have good enough cover to accept a £20 mil + Richards offer.

Expect loans and lower division signings till the last night when Moyes pays £10 million plus for someone we’ve never bloody heard off. Not his fault but still... pisses me off.
Ciarán McGlone
2   Posted 10/07/2009 at 09:56:00

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An article with a degree of balance... your ’nutting’ of Kenwright, Osman and Hibbert is countered by your acceptance of things that have improved.

I certainly agree about Elstone... if anything he has more fan empathy than Wyness... but then again Hitler probably had more empathy than that man. But how long before he’s doing Kenwright's dirty work and fending off angry fans after a summer of discontent?
Kevin Gillen
3   Posted 10/07/2009 at 11:18:27

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With respect James, I don’t agree entirely. That we lost the FA Cup final to the most expensively assembled team of all time was no surprise. Turning on our own players and management won’t make any difference. Osman and Hibbert only look awful when we play the top four and that we have come fifth in the past two years is a bloody miracle given the resources at our disposal.

Take a look at Leeds United, that could easily have been us. We should face this season with optimism. I don’t think it’s in our power to get into the top four, one of them has to give it away, this could be the year. At Everton I see stability and progress. Take a look at Newcastle or Middlesbrough. The manager has been proven right time and again.

Michael Evans
4   Posted 10/07/2009 at 11:54:10

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Some good points James but like Kevin I’m not in complete agreement.

Shouldn’t that be "Snicker" ... ??
Steve Carter
5   Posted 10/07/2009 at 11:53:52

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Agree entirely with you, Kevin. I would only add that I’d give Tony Hibbert the benefit of the doubt for his shocker against Malouda. In recent memory I have seen him when fit tuck away Ronaldo. I think he lost confidence when he came back not fit and Ronaldiho got over him a few weeks before the FA Cup.

On a different note, I won’t be too fussed if Joleon Lescott is sold at a good price and we get Richards as part of the deal. Joeloen is a good player, but not a superstar — he has his occasional phase-out moments which have cost us games.

Dave Wilson
6   Posted 10/07/2009 at 12:08:54

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Here’s me thinking we lost the cup final because on the few occasions we got the ball, our two "superstars" Cahill and Neville gave it straight back... or maybe it was just a trick of the Wembley light
Matthew Mackey
7   Posted 10/07/2009 at 12:45:31

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Jesus...after reading this I feel suicidal. Anyone got a blade?...just goin to slash my wrists!

Lets just remind ourselves of a few points here.

2006-07 6th
2007-08 5th
2008-09 5th (+cup final)

The trend is upwards boys, be patient. The facts of life are;- we simply cannot compete in the big money market so we can’t just go out and buy a right back for £20m or a right sided midfielder for £20M + I agree – Hibbert has reached as high as he’s going to get so he has to be replaced asap. The cup final said it all. The young defender from Sheff Utd (Naughton?) has to be a priority signing this summer and surely he’s within our budget. Osman – he can still do a job as long as he has a decent right back behind him which means he doesn’t have to keep coming back to cover. Saying that, the 2nd priority this summer has to be to buy a right sided midfielder of a better quality than Osman. (Leons a squad player, not an automatic first choice)

So how do we counteract our financial deficiencies? Simple. Get a good manager, give him time to settle, allow him to do things his way within the confinements of the budget, allow him to bring the training facilities into the 21st century and then sit back and watch things slowly get better whilst others look on enviously.

Would you rather be a Tottenham – spending (waisting) copious amounts of money on shite players and achieving very little if not fuk all, or a Villa – spending millions like they did last season and STILL finishing behind us, repeat for Portsmouth, Newcastle, Sunderland, West ham etc etc. Would you rather have a club with a continuously rotating door on the managers office, spending huge amounts and achieving nothing, or a club that knows its financial limitations, but deals with it and counteracts the handicap by creating stability through the manager?

Ask yourself this question;- in these hard economic times would you rather be led by a “Gordon Brown” – spend, spend, spend and achieving fuk all, or would you rather be led by a David Moyes who spends less, keeps within budget and gets more out of a player than probably any other manager in the PL? I know which one I would prefer and it’s not the twat that lives at no 10.

The glass is half full and not half empty so be careful not to spill it.

The manager may have limitations, but he’s the best person to do the job so support him, not kick him.

Jay Harris
8   Posted 10/07/2009 at 14:47:48

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Anyone would think the wheel has fallen off. You want to get rid of half the squad, the manager's doing diddly squat and doomsday approaches... Get a grip James.

Last season was a remarkable achievement by the whole club, particularly considering the injuries to key players. We got to a cup final beating the RS, Villa and Manure along the way. Chelsea was just a bridge too far (pardon the pun). We finished 5th above Villa (every pundit's darlings to get into the top 4).

We got rid of Wyness... All we need to do now is Kill Bill, Drop Kirkby and get a couple of quality additions and we’re cooking with gas.
John McMullan
9   Posted 10/07/2009 at 15:40:46

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It’s the start of a new season and yet we are subject to the same old, same old, bashing Hibbert, Osman and would you believe the best pound-for-pound manager in the league David Moyes. Sit on your lap tops lads and give it a rest, it stopped being a case of giving your opinions a long time ago.

With regards to Kyle Naughton, read that Shef. Unt International Chairman has come out with a statement saying they have agreed terms with Everton. No fee given but the transfer would be subject to Kyle reaching agreement with Everton over personal terms.

Also read that the Jo loan deal looks likely to be resolved today. Would be at Bury tonight if that is the case.

I know.... don’t believe anything until you see them wearing the shirt and holding a scarf over their head but would be a great start to the weekend, better than all the negative stuff.
Dennis Stevens
10   Posted 10/07/2009 at 20:43:11

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I agree that Moyes made an error of judgement in playing Hibbert in the Cup Final ahead of Jacobsen, not because Jacobsen is any better but because Hibbert had shown in the handful of matches prior to the Final that he hadn’t fully recovered from his injury. With Jacobsen moving on, we need cover for this position, unless Neville is to revert to that role, so if this Naughton lad can be brought in to challenge for a first team place that’s all well & good.

Clearly we need a right-sided midfielder as we haven’t got one at the moment. Osman isn’t a right-winger, but as Moyes's latest failure in the wide right midfield role spent the season on the treatment table, Osman performed the role despite carrying an injury himself that prevented him from training. It’s ludicrous to say he’s shite.

The Cup Final was not lost due to this pair. Even the equaliser that came from a cross from that side, which on another day may well have been blocked, could have been prevented. Watch Drogba’s run on goal & consider how easy it was for him to stroll past players who seemed to be ball-watching.

Football is a team game & Moyes selects & prepares the team — to see the players he clearly has confidence in singled out for unreasonable abuse is quite nauseating.

Mark Scarratt
11   Posted 10/07/2009 at 22:00:56

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Matthew Mackey. Well said. You summed up everything very well.

We are gradually getting better, season by season, thanks to patience at boadroom level, and trust in the manager, who has built good solid foundations.

James Boden
12   Posted 10/07/2009 at 22:23:25

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With regards to the goals in the Final, I think if 2 players can be laid the blame, that would be Lescott and Osman. Osman not a suprise at all but Lescott more so. Why do some of you keep convincing yourself Osman is worth persisting with?

On the upside we, may hopefully get this kid Naughton which would hopefully spell the end for Hibbert. I admire him for his effort and endevour but certainly not for his qualities. Osman... I just fail to see what there is worth keeping hold of. He looked decent enough about 4 years ago but has not moved on at all and is 28 now so we should be looking to the future even if that means giving Gosling a go for a while. If he fails then bin him... simple!

I believe Moyes is too loyal to certain players and would Gosling and Rodwell have had the impact they had if it weren’t for injuries? Take Yakubu he couldn’t hit a cows arse at one point and is as bone idle as they come yet Moyes refused to drop him once. It’s a shame really because I think he has improved a good deal, has Moyes.

I don’t believe my article was anywhere near as negative as some have made out. And Jay Harris you swipe at me but I am sure just a few days ago you were moaning and groaning yourself, so what has changed?

I believe I wrote a balanced article in which I gave my honest opinion while also crediting Moyes and Kenwright on what I thought they deserved praise. That some believed this to be all doom and gloom I find a bit baffling but perhaps that is my interpretation.

Robert Treacy
13   Posted 10/07/2009 at 22:45:21

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Mostly drivel. It has been a consistant improvement since he took over.

I could imagine the slating he would have got if he started with Pip on the right of midfield. Hibbo deserved his chance. Start supporting not slating, look forward not back. COYB
James Boden
14   Posted 10/07/2009 at 23:01:35

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Robert Treacy, you lad are typical of half the people who write on here. Telling me what my feelings towards Everton ought to be. If I feel someone is deserving of criticism then I will hand that out. How about instead of you telling me how my views ought to be on the club, you think of why I put them. Would that be fairer?

I appreciate what you are saying about looking forward but your garden is obviously rosier than mine.

Robert Treacy
15   Posted 10/07/2009 at 23:06:24

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You're telling me bitching about what happened is your way of pointing out how to improve the club?

James Boden
16   Posted 10/07/2009 at 23:30:12

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Robert, I am merely stating my opinion on what could be done to improve things at the club. Simply giving your opinion whether you agree or not is not a problem but telling me that I should not slate players and support them all fully is what I object to. If you believe that is the right way of supporting the team then that is up to you but please do not tell me how I should support Everton because I dared to say anything negative against them, which obviously infuriates the likes of yourself.
Robert Treacy
17   Posted 11/07/2009 at 00:29:19

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If you cant say anything good dont say anything at all.

I'm far from infuriated, just wondering why you bother supporting them when obvious stupid decisions are constantly being made in your opinion.

Please pass a comment on Pip being a right sided midfielder.
Robert Treacy
18   Posted 11/07/2009 at 00:38:42

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By the way, I thought it was a decent article... just hate too see a couple of players bashed for a team performance.
Dennis Stevens
19   Posted 11/07/2009 at 01:11:57

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James Boden : "Why do some of you keep convincing yourself Osman is worth persisting with?"

Not too sure what you mean by this, tbh. I don’t think anybody would suggest we should be building a team around the lad. Just that he’s an honest professional with some ability & no little heart, who seems quite willing as a squad member to put the needs of the team ahead of his own preferences. Quite why this results in abuse from Everton supporters, rather than appreciation of the role he performs within the squad perplexes me.
Doug Morrison
20   Posted 10/07/2009 at 22:27:30

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Anyone bored with the summer? Me too... so I've been on YouTube looking at Everton-related stuff — particularly the Wembley games and god does it make you feel you're about to enter Goodison for the first time in ages!! I don't care who we sign/sell, bloody bring on Arsenal!
Ray Roche
21   Posted 11/07/2009 at 09:31:38

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Dennis Stevens; Unfortunately Everton fans have something built into them which requires them to slag off home-grown, local players. Harvey, Reid, Temple, Sheedy and, of course, Hibbert and Osman have all been the subject of the fans' hate at some point or other.

Neither of them had good games at Wembley but there may have been a different performance from Hibbert had he not been given a soft yellow after 8 or 9 minutes. The lad was terrified of making a tackle from that moment on. The fact that he wasn’t fully fit and also left exposed didn’t help.

Even last season, when he started to perform much better, he was still subjected to a barrage of vitriol from the terraces for the slightest mistake. How many who contribute to these forums could produce their best work with 35,000 people looking over their shoulder just waiting for the first mistake?

Tony Williams
22   Posted 11/07/2009 at 09:47:00

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It just shows you how fickle we fans are, this season is the first season I have ever heard the lower Gwladys singing HIbbert songs, yet now he is the worst of the worst because he had a terrile 45 minutes against a player that had emerged again under Hiddink.

I think someone mentioned a while back that he was actually only beaten twice in the first half and, as James admits, the first goal was more to do with Osman and Lescott, so why is Hibbert taking all the stick for the defeat when it is widely accepted that he wasn’t at fault for their equaliser and that he wasn’t even on the pitch for their winner?
James Boden
23   Posted 11/07/2009 at 10:44:43

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Robert, supporters are allowed to express their opinion about their club even if it is negative. That you have got to understand.

As for Neville on the right of midfield, that was something I believe should have been done in the Cup Final because I do not believe Cole would have run rings around him and this combats Chelsea’s attacking threat up the left. As for a couple of players being bashed for a team performance, weak links can make all the difference from a side being good and great. It is called having an adverse effect.

As for local lads being slated, Rooney and Rodwell have shown the flip side to that in that, if you are an exceptional talent, fans will sing your praises and rightfully so.

And Dennis Stevens this honest professional with some talent scored 1 goal in 6 months at 1 point during the season in which he played week-in, week-out and hardly did a damn thing. Must be worth his £30k a week. Honesty isn’t enough; we need more. We would be better off giving Gosling a run on the wing or perhaps playing a triangle formation. But I can gurantee Osman will still be a regular in 1 years time.

Ray Roche
24   Posted 11/07/2009 at 12:49:48

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It’s true what you say regarding Rooney and a very young Rodwell, but Harvey, Reid, Temple, Sheedy were truly great Everton players who all showed exceptional talent, yet they all suffered a dogs abuse at the hands of the "Everton faithful". I despair at some of the comments both on here and at Goodison. No-one would say that Hibbert and Osman will ever reach the heights that Harvey, Reid,Temple, Sheedy etc. have reached but they don’t hide during games and always give their best. It may not be good enough for some people but slating them from the stands or on here isn’t going to help. This isn’t levelled at you James.
Ismael Bondarenko
25   Posted 11/07/2009 at 15:15:16

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Ray Roche,

Spot on.
Tony Marsh
26   Posted 11/07/2009 at 16:37:02

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I hear you loud and clear James. Osman is not a Premier League player and should be in the Championship where he belongs.

I think David Moyes is the only fella in the country who doesn't realise what a talent Jack Rodwell really is. For me, Rodwell came of age in the Gosling Derby and should've played every game from then on in. It's only now that other clubs ie Man Utd are sniffing about that Dopey Dave is thinking about playing the lad on a regular basis.

If Rodwell carries on improving at the rate he is and keeps getting over looked by the manager, who obviously favours Osman over him, then he will be off, who wouldn't be?

I know some of our lot won't have a bad word said about our manager but no one can deny Moyes keeps faith in shite far to long. Until he learns to get rid sooner, we will never improve out on the field...

Good post mate.

Tony Williams
27   Posted 11/07/2009 at 17:06:16

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Come on Tony, even for your Moyes bashing that post is a bit of a stretch.

Moyes doesn’t know how good Rodwell is hey? Priceless.

Keeps faith in shite? Who? I will give you Weir but I am struggling with who else he has kept too long when there was another player waiting to come in and play his socks off and wow us all.

I won’t give you Baines, as Lescott earned a call up for England playing left back and he still is one of our better defenders.

Tell me who he has bought that he hasn’t given a chance to and would have improved our squad? Don’t even try and say Castillo or Jacobsen, one couldn’t pass 10 yards and the other was injury prone.

I’ll leave you now to your love in with James.
Robert Treacy
28   Posted 11/07/2009 at 20:03:17

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Spot on... I was wondering when Tony Marsh would add his twopence worth.
Dennis Stevens
29   Posted 11/07/2009 at 23:28:51

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James Boden, you should bear in mind Osman was only playing at all for most of last season because the man Moyes bought to play wide right proved to be an unsuccessful purchase & his cross for the winner against RS in the Cup was about all we saw of him. Osman was also performing this role whilst carrying an injury which apparently restricted him to minimal training between matches. If you remember, Moyes also tried Anichebe in the wide right berth, until injured, & on occasion Gosling also.

Whether Osman should have been utilised less & another player asked to do that job instead is a question regarding Moyes's judgement. Osman was playing out of position & I would have thought Moyes will have the signing of a player to play wide right midfield as a high priority for this summer. If so, I fail to see how Osman will hold down a regular slot in the team as he must be 5th choice, at best, for the central midfield berth he naturally prefers. Under Moyes he has had to become a utility midfielder in order to get a game & I can’t see that changing.

Dave Wilson
30   Posted 12/07/2009 at 07:48:24

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James, You can add the names of: Ablett, Ebrell, Watson, Royle and Harper to Ray’s list, all of whom won several trophies with Everton, even people like Mick Lyons were slaughtered, they didn't even wait for Anichebe to get out of his teens.

If there was two things I could change about our club The first would be to fuck Kirkby off The second would be the way we treat our own. You're right, JR and Rooney never got it, but Rooney was out of here before he got going — and let's face it, he certainly gets it now.

JR? Well trust me, they will turn on him at the first sign of a dip in form. Cant you see? Osman's game has been sacrificed, do you really think JR would fair any better if Moyes asked him to play out wide?

Be critical lad by all means, but why not criticise people like Neville, Cahill and Howard who are found wanting every time we play a top team, that’s the real reason we never beat any of them.

Jay Harris
31   Posted 12/07/2009 at 14:10:51

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James,the only aspect of the club I’m critical about is the Board of Directors, and specifically Kenwright. I think the manager and players did a great job last season but we still need to improve the squad.

I was just pointing out that you seemed to want to change everything.... the tactics, half the squad etc. My point was, and I may have made it badly, we need to build on the foundation that this squad has achieved — not destroy it and reconstruct.
James Boden
32   Posted 13/07/2009 at 22:20:11

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Tony Williams, if Moyes knew how good Rodwell was then he would have played him in the final other than Osman.

Dennis Stevens, that bloke in mind, Van der Meyde, was hardly given a game throughout his time at Everton, so I think it is unfair to imply he was a failure when he was never allowed to show us his talent. As for Osman why should he be played in his favoured role when all the other Midfielders are better than him?

Dave Wilson, as for slating Howard; I agree that he has played plenty of mistakes and I for one am not a fan of him. However, nobody can deny that Neville had a good season and he was our best player against United — the game many Evertonians consider to be our turning point.

As for Cahill, how could you possibly say that? You only have to look at his goal record against the Sky 4 to prove how valuable he is. If there is one Everton player who is above criticism... if there is any... then it is Cahill.

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