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The Mail Bag

August 2009 Archive
Want to have your say?

Is Bentley the answer?

Just wanted to comment on the area of the pitch a lot of Evertonians are looking to get sorted out — the right-hand side. It looks like we will get our hands on Heitinga if we can agree personal terms and we are in dire need of quality in this position. I am more intrigued, however, in the stories linking us with David Bentley.

It seems that Spurs are close to signing Kranjcar from Pompey & have also enquired about Petrov at City. This has to mean that Bentley needs to get out the door before the window closes surely? After all Modric is only looking at 6-8 weeks out so how many bloody wingers can Harry play?

Anyways I would be hopeful that an £8 million bid would do the trick and get Bentley to Goodison. The question is: Is he worth the punt? There is no doubting his ability but he seems to really like himself a lot. When he was up in the northwest at Blackburn he seemed to settle well away from the bright lights of London & I'd be hopeful Moysey would be able to get him settled into the team & playing at the level he is capable of, an international footballer. A midfield with Bily, Bentley, Arteta, Cahill & Rodwell really does make me salivate.

I say go get him, Davey & BK — get the bloody cheque book out.
Brian Murphy     Posted 31/08/2009 at 16:35:09   Comments (104)

Defensive Heit...

Sky Sports News are confirming the acceptance of a £5million bid for Dutchman Johnny Heitinga. For me, this is an exciting one given that whilst I'm not entirely a card-carrying member of the Hibbert Hater's Club, I feel, like most, that we do need an addition of quality in that area.

At 25 years old, the boy has extensive international experience for Holland, Ajax and Atletico Madrid. This could prove useful in the Europa League, to say nothing of sparing Hibbo the ordeal of going up against Sky 4 teams — Chelsea a notable example!!

My concern, however is why Los Colchoneros are willing to part with him: Is he injury-prone? Bad dressing room influence? (We've all heard about Dutch National team spirit!!) Or simply not up to much as a player? I would greatly welcome the thoughts of better-informed "ToffeeWebbers" on this kid...
Kevin Hudson     Posted 31/08/2009 at 15:22:38   Comments (57)

Watching Everton abroad

Dear Toffeeweb readers

I've been following Toffeeweb for a few years now, and log on pretty well every day. I very much appreciate the site, the news and all the comments. I've seen more than a few comments from fellow Evertonians overseas, and I wanted to ask them about how they get to see the Blues on TV.

Here in Brasil I'm reliant on ESPN (on the Sky Brasil satellite) which shows about 4 premiership games each weekend; but they almost always feature the Big 4 (and now Man City, after Robinho joined them). So I get to see Everton maybe once every 4-6 weeks. But I'd love to see more live games with Everton.

I've been to great lengths, technically, to find a way to do so but without much success. I use a Slingbox connected to a digital recorder in the UK to send signals to my PC, but the bandwidth here (1mb max) is good enough only to give me a low quality highly pixellated image.

I set up a VPN to my PC in the UK to see live TV but again the line speed is not good enough.

I tried Everton TV but the file transfer speed is way too slow to make it a realistic option.

I've checked out alternate satellite suppliers, but all the European satellites (which provide Sky UK broadcasts) are out of range.

So has anyone else come up with a wizard way to watch Everton live from far-away places and with just a 1mb broadband connection?

Many thanks for all suggestions. Joe
Joe Cavanagh     Posted 31/08/2009 at 14:27:26   Comments (10)

What game was Martinez watching?

I've seen some of the post-match comments from the new Wigan boss and I'm pretty suprised by a level of loyalty/bias that surpasses even my own! This is the man who came with a fanfare of bringing his "total (Swansea) football" to Wigan... and yet I just saw just another Bolton/Blackburn.

The fact that the Jo penalty came under scrutiny is not altogether suprising seeIng as it's us, and not say an innocuous second bookable offence on the half-way line, followed by protestations by a second-rate Brazillian (any guesses?!) But as for the six Wigan bookings yesterday being harsh, all I can say is that Martinez was lucky there weren't any red cards shown. Melchiot's tackle was a disgrace, that lad Diame spent the first 20 minutes looking intent on getting sent off, and Scharner had endless possibilities to go in the book earlier than he did.

I don't want to see players sent off or the like (that's why I don't support the red shite) but when the away team kicks six lumps of shit out of you and then says the ref was harsh... well that's too far for me. The ref wasn't perfect — if anything there were times where he could have let the game flow for us a bit more — but it all sounded like sour grapes to me.

One final note... that Bily lad looks class doesn't he? ;)
Adam McCulloch     Posted 31/08/2009 at 07:28:35   Comments (12)

Just a few points!

After watching today's game with a mixture of clenched "cheeks" and gritted teeth, a few points leapt out at me (and several thousand other Evertonians too I bet).

Firstly, Rodwell is/will be an absolutley outstanding player. There were times today when he was head and shoulders above a number of the "old pro's," demanding the ball and taking responsibility when "others" didn't see up to it to be honest.

Secondly, Distin had just about the best debut of almost anyone I can remember. Didn't put a foot wrong (I know it was only Wigan) and his distribution was first class, no big hoof up the field from THIS guy today, just quietly went about his business and found a blue shirt every time.

Thirdly, and I've tended to stay out of the Hibbert and Osman bashing up to now... and I'm not really gonna "bash" 'em here, but I have to say that as much as they give 100% (cough) it's now become obvious that if we are to mount a serious challenge at the effin Four/Five then those two should be no more than squad players. Cruel, but true.

Lastly, I can't remember the last time I saw such celebrating from the players at the end of a run of the mill Premier League game. Don't get me wrong I'm not knocking them for it, quite the opposite. I watched each and every one of them as they finished and came off the pitch and it was obvious just HOW much that win meant.

A little ps: Bily looked scared to death when he first came on. The atmosphere in those last five or ten minutes was electric and he must have thought (in Russian of course) "Fuckski sake... this is frightening."
Brian Williams     Posted 30/08/2009 at 18:32:18   Comments (35)

Éver Banega

We just dont get the luck as much as Liverpool, especially in transfers. For example, we were getting Banega from Valencia, he had not played for them all last season (loaned out to Atletico Madrid), we got him a work permit pending his loan move to us. Then the new coach of Valencia was short on players and used him as a sub in a Europa League game last week...

Today he started in the Valencia v Seville game, and guess what! You guessed it — he was brilliant. Just the player we need, linking the defence to attack. He was the focal point of the team, great control, fantastic passer with both feet who set up both goals in a 2-0 win. In fact, it was like watching Arteta, but this lad has better distribution... what a Bastard!
Paul Holmes     Posted 30/08/2009 at 17:03:29   Comments (19)

Does Marouane Fellaini Have An Everton Future?

That might sound weird considering he was Everton's Young Player of the Season last year but where exactly does Fellaini fit into the Everton team?

Fellaini has been used to some effect as a second striker. Its a role he can play thanks to his height but long term surely he can't stay there. Cahill is a better goalscorer from that position and it would be nice to think that eventually Everton will have two strikers worth playing up front.

So if that role is not long term for Fellaini then he'll have to be moved back down into midfield. The question is does he have the ability to play a conventional midfield role?

Fellaini is not a fast player and he's not got the best engine either so its difficult to see him being a box-to-box type player.

Fellaini is also not great at tackling so its unlikely he'll have a defensive midfield role (especially since it looks like Rodwell may take that role).

At times Fellaini can look comfitable on the ball and pick out a decent pass but he's a long way from Arteta's standard.

I personally think Fellaini will struggle to find a long term role in the Everton side. I was hoping he was going to be a craft-and-graft type player like Don Hutchinson but I really don't know if he's talented enough.

What do the rest of you feel about Fellaini? Does he have a long-term role to play?
Dick Anderson     Posted 30/08/2009 at 16:49:33   Comments (37)

Is Bilyaletdinov a Left Winger?

I have just been reading one of my old World Soccer Magazines from 2008 and I came across one from Euro 2008. It gives a profile from every squad member of each of the teams. Interestingly this is what they wrote about 'Bily':

"Attacking midfielder best in the centre but sometimes made to cover the left flank, which he does not like."

I wonder if DM has done his home work here and got this Billy mixed up with the Russian fellow at Chelski 'Zhirkov' who played left back, left wing for Russia and NOT 'Bily'?? £10 million well spent??? Only time will tell!!
Roger de Nobrega     Posted 30/08/2009 at 16:45:50   Comments (28)

So... where are we now?

So we're 3 points behind Liverpool and Villa with a game in hand but more worryingly 9 points behind City and Spurs.

I've always said it's a marathon not a sprint but we made a real struggle of today and for me were not attack-minded enough against a side we should have beaten 4-0.

Add that to the reports that Moyes is having to BEG for the release of more money for players and the Heitinga deal having gone quiet in the way of Banega, I am starting to worry again that we are in more of a mess than first thought.

We have spent only £14 million reputedly of the net £20 million for Lescott and none of the supposed £10 million for all the new "exciting " players we were due to sign earlier. Let's just hope the players can "punch above their weight " again...
Jay Harris     Posted 30/08/2009 at 15:06:04   Comments (17)

Team v Wigan

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Baines, Yobo, Saha, Distin, Cahill, Neville, Pienaar, Osman, Rodwell Subs: Nash, Bilyaletdinov, Jo, Gosling, Fellaini, Duffy, Agard

Wigan Athletic: Pollitt, Thomas, Scharner, N'Zogbia, Gomez, Boyce, Bramble, Rodallega, Melchiot, Diame, Figueroa. Subs: Edman, Cho, Scotland, Koumas, Sinclair, Kingson, King

Suprised that Fellaini has been dropped, but were in need of 3 points today! Does anyone have a decent link?
Tom Campbell     Posted 30/08/2009 at 11:42:08   Comments (121)

Where's the money?

Have just read that Everton have no more money to purchase new players... what is going on at Everton? They say they are in profit from last season, have record season ticket sales and have just sold Lescott for £24 million — so where is the money?

This looks, and I may be far of the mark, like a takeover is on the cards and the board are keeping quiet. If they have money, they need to strengthen now... only three days left.
John Wilkins     Posted 30/08/2009 at 10:01:10   Comments (14)

Where is Blue Bill today?

Here's a little ABC quiz to warm the cockles of your hearts: Where is Blue Bill today?

(a) At a secret European location, securing the signatures of one or two Dutch internationals?

(b) At Goodison Park, nervously awaiting the game against Wigan?

(c) Locked in negotiations with some big investors, bringing much needed cash in advance of the transfer window closure?

(d) Presenting the Paul O'Grady show on Radio 2.

Answers please. The first correct answer will be entered in a draw to win a ticket for a play with Jenny Seagrove in it.
Rob Paterson     Posted 30/08/2009 at 09:59:13   Comments (14)

James Vaughan

Just a quick one on Vaughan. In the People today, (via bbc gossip), it's saying Everton only want £3M for the lad.

I know he's terribly injury prone, and Moyes has other signings on his mind, but was wondering what the consensus was on Vaughan? Has he had his chance now?

I'm a great admirer of him, and it does just seem injuries that have him crocked. If that £3M would tilt the deal for someone say Bentley though, then, would that change your mind?
Stuart Downey     Posted 30/08/2009 at 08:07:23   Comments (15)

Time to give Ossie and Hiibo a pat on the back

Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert have come in for sometimes vitriolic attacks on here but for me both have EFC running through their veins and have never lacked determination.

As it looks like their number is up with Moyes too, I would ask all critics is it their fault they aren't good enough right now or is it the Board for not providing enough support to get better quality players in before now? Did we have to wait for the Lescott windfall before addressing the weaknesses in the squad?

But nonetheless I would like to thank both players for never giving less than 100% and for some outstanding moments in a blue shirt. Ossie's goal against Larissa has to be one of the finest goals we've seen (and I've been watching them for 50 years) and Hibbo in some games has had some highly rated wingers (including Ronaldo) in his pocket.

Alas consistency and quality are not there often enough but I hope all supporters will continue to encourage them as part of a "higher quality" squad.
Jay Harris     Posted 29/08/2009 at 18:12:53   Comments (38)

True Positions?

Looking back on the game on Thursday, I was wondering about the future positions of Danny Gosling & Jack Rodwell. Danny had a decent game at emergency fullback, just got me thinking this could be his best position to gain a regular starting place in the side.

Comfortable on the ball and he appears to have great energy up & down the right-hand side. I know he needs to work on his defensive skills and probably needs to toughen up a bit, but I feel he could be a very good & solid attacking defender, as opposed to decent right midfielder.

As for Jack Rodwell I feel he's playing in his true and future position now; I know there has been a lot of talk about him being a future centre-half, most notably from Moyes and other people on this site... I just feel Jack's all-round game would be wasted in defence. People have also compared him to Rio Ferdinand, but the impression I get at the moment is he's more in the mould of a Michael Carrick type player.

Can you think of any other Everton players from the past who started their career for us in one position but excelled in a completely different role in the side? Mick Lyons from centre-forward to centre-half springs to mind.
David Lawless     Posted 29/08/2009 at 13:48:10   Comments (19)

Bilyaletdinov granted permit

The OS is reporting Bilyaletdinov has been granted his work permit and is in the squad for the Wigan game, along with Distin — and both are likely to get their debut's.

Which is excellent news — both may well start I would wager, given that Neville was only filling in and Bilyaletdinov is match-fit from the Russian season.

The question is, if they do, who gets dropped?... for me, I would drop Cahill (who appears to be woefully out of form so far this season). I think Hibbert should also be dropped, and Neville should be filling in at right back to allow us a 4-4-2. Something like:

Howard
Neville Yobo Distin Baines
Bilyaletdinov Fellaini Rodwell Pienaar
Yakabu Saha


Although probably Moyes will be more conservative and Bilyaletdinov will make an appearance from the bench, replacing Osman at some point....
Jeremy Benson     Posted 29/08/2009 at 13:05:18   Comments (33)

Banega - It's all gone very quiet

Following, the Work Permit appeal a week ago now, have we any reason to wonder just what is going on with Banega?

I'd like to think he will be rolled out very soon, but I have a feeling this is another Valencia mugging for us after the Sissoko and Fernandes episodes of the past.

If he doesn't turn up by Tuesday we are going to look silly....and not for the first time! Surely not another 'phantom bid' although I don't see how you can apply for a work permit without the player's knowledge or consent, so that part must have happened... surely?
Karl Masters     Posted 28/08/2009 at 15:22:04   Comments (22)

Boring Boring Everton...

My god what a load of rubbish we are!! Anyone who watched the Sigma game will no doubt feel short-changed by the standard of football, to be blunt it was a DISGRACE.

Yes, we won 5-1 overall but to watch that shitty hoofball is driving me insane!!!!! During the whole 90 minutes we didn't string more than 5 passes together, the only players who looked comfortable on the ball were Rodwell and Pienaar... WTF is going on at the club? Are the players just not good enough? Is this the game plan of our manager just to simply hoof it up and hope to get something? Do they practice pass and move in training?

It really is depressing, we must be the worst team to watch in the Premier League!! What's the point in having a 5-man midfield if we are just going to bypass them at every opportunity?

And as for you people out there who say, "Yea, but Osman is a centre-midfielder," ... bollocks! He was even worse last night bar, setting up the goal — and Fellaini is he getting worse game by game!! €15 million but no pace, he turns like a double-decker bus, cant win a header even though he's 20 foot tall... shocking!

Without Arteta, we have no guile whatsoever. If we have any money left, it's time we got someone in who can control the midfield... Segesson, Moutinho, Defour? Sigma was a poor man's Dundee Utd and yet they look more comfortable on the ball.

Anyone watch the Villa game afterwards? I can honestly say that there was more passing and moving in the first 5 minutes from Villa then there was from Everton in whole 90!!

ps: We missed the boat with that lad Delph, looks a class act.
Sean Mckenna     Posted 28/08/2009 at 11:24:41   Comments (36)

Europa Draw

Benfica, AEK AThens and BATE Borisov.

Not the easiest and not the hardest. The games against Benfica will be a good judge of our European pedigree. If we hope to get to the Champions League in coming seasons then it's teams like Benfica (in and out of that competition) who we need to at least measure up to.

In reality I think we have a fair chance of progression. If we win our home games and draw/scrape wins in our early away games then some players can be rested towards the end of the group stages.
Gareth Cooper     Posted 28/08/2009 at 09:56:44   Comments (20)

Uefa Punish Eduardo

Uefa are going to give Eduardo a ban due to his dive against Celtic.This is surprising given the amount of diving that goes on, so is this a turning point against those players who see no wrong in conning the ref' and cheating the game?

This will be a Euro ban, but how much will the powers at be in the EPL take note? Given the top 4 have the majority of dirty cheating bastards and the blessing of referees too, would they want to let their advantage slip as the top 4 remaining so is critical to selling contracts abroad?

Surely if Eduardo is to be banned, it can't be a one-off and future divers will get the same... what's the word... I'll go with hindsight punishment by video.

I hope that soon enough this will become a preventative measure which stops the cheating with players dismissing it as an option open to them. Hopefully the going down easy in the middle of the park can also be looked at.

Steven Gerrard will now have to start shooting once he's in the box and half the Chelsea squad will need to rethink their tactics... about time too!

Once players start behaving themselves this will win back a respect to the game with ebbs away after every high profile dive, and will stop my Aussie mates saying you follow a 'poofter sport'.
Nick Entwistle     Posted 28/08/2009 at 08:52:19   Comments (32)

Platini — helping the little club?

The self styled man of the little club has already done some good, let’s face it. £16 or so million to a team like Apoel Nicosia must be like their dream come true (That’s the rough amount for entering the group stages of the Champions League BTW).

Unfortunately Platini’s new scheme is less well thought out. If you haven’t heard, Platini wants to introduce a very sensible sounding plan. All money spent on players must be generated using football revenue by 2012. Sounds great doesn’t it? No more Lescott sagas as teams buy their way to success. Look at this another way though. Who generates the most money? The top ten list from 2008-09 is as follows along with revenue generated (thanks Deloitte);

1 Real Madrid La Liga $470.2M
2 Manchester United English Premier League $417.6M
3 FC Barcelona La Liga $397.0M
4 Bayern Munich Bundesliga $379.7M
5 Chelsea English Premier League $345.7M
6 Arsenal English Premier League $340.0M
7 Liverpool English Premier League $271.1M
8 AC Milan Serie A $269.2M
9 AS Roma Serie A $225.4M
10 Inter Milan Serie A $222.1M
Everton’s revenue (and you will have to excuse me if it is a little wrong as I had to trawl the net) for 2008 was £51.M or approx $56.7M. With the new system in place, we would, once again, be at the bottom of the pile for money available to spend.

Admittedly a club could not be bought by a billionaire and force its way to the top like City. Remember though that City generates more revenue than us anyway, the new system would just save them a few quid as player prices would have to fall. The obvious answer is to generate more money, not Everton’s strong point as we all know, or to sell players like Lescott or Rooney to fund more purchases — in other words exactly like now.

In fact, with this new system, Everton are even less likely to succeed. No investor on a white charger will come in, buy the club and put in money. The new system doesn’t allow it. Platini will remove even that hope.

All this means an investor is vital NOW. By putting money in to buy players now, success and therefore revenue would increase just in time for the new system to come in, it’s our only hope.

(ps: For those of you who think the ‘top’ clubs will object — Abramovic has already backed the plans and why wouldn’t he? Chelsea are fifth on the list — they would be in pole position and he would save a fortune).
Robert Heaton     Posted 28/08/2009 at 07:10:04   Comments (0)

High Noon

So tomorrow is the draw for the Europa League group stage: 12 noon. The format (for those who don't know) is 8 groups of 4, with top 2 going through. Each team plays each other home and away so 6 group matches. Everton will be seeded 17 so go into pot 2.

Teams to go out were Zenit and Metalist but Rapid Vienna went through as did Villarreal and Dinamo Bucharest and we could end up in a group with all three of them! Now wouldn't that be scary and a time to settle some old debts...

What I do not fancy is Hertha Berlin, Atletico Bilbao from pot 3 or Toulouse, Genoa, Nacional (who beat Zenit) from pot 4.

So group of death or group of life? — Ajax, Slavia Prague and Ventspils of Latvia or Werder Bremen, Athletic Bilao and Genoa?
Phil Roberts     Posted 27/08/2009 at 19:20:03   Comments (47)

Team News v Sigma

Howard, Hibbert, Neville, Yobo, Baines Gosling, Rodwell, Fellaini, Osman, Pienaar, Jo.

Should be a formality. Shouldn't it?
Graham Nolan     Posted 27/08/2009 at 13:52:37   Comments (85)

Distin nearly done 'n' dusted

http://www.evertonfc.com/news/archive/distin-deal-agreed.html

Looks like we've got another! Had to laugh though when Elstone said the Chairman moved quickly!!

Should be a good signing, a player I've always liked. Just wish we'd done this months ago. Here's to an interesting few days.
David Denby     Posted 27/08/2009 at 13:24:07   Comments (37)

News of former players

Richard Dunne has been transferred from Manchester City to Aston Villa for £6 million pounds (six million????). At least that means that he won't be coming to us.

And Franny Jeffers has been transfer-listed by Sheffield Wednesday for head-buttting an opponent and being sent off in the Carling Cup against Port Vale.

Finally, to change the subject, after being tonked 5-0 and 4-1 by a Championship side, what are the odds that Wigan come good this weekend?
Michael Kidd     Posted 27/08/2009 at 04:54:31   Comments (15)

Academy stars

I went along to the England vs Italy U17 game tonight at the Pirelli stadium and was able to cast an eye over two of EFC's Academy prospects.

For the record the game ended in a 1:1 draw after England secured a well deserved late equaliser, the Italians having scored before half-time against the run of play.

England were captained by Luke Garbutt, our recent acquisition from Leeds. He had an indifferent first half but was much improved in the second, when he interacted well with his Everton colleague Jake Bidwell, on as a half-time sub for Arsenal's Chuks Aneke.

While Bidwell is primarily a left back (like Garbutt), he played left side of midfield in front of his captain and looked very comfortable in that role.

While England had looked assured on the ball in the first half, they lacked sufficient penetration in the final third. This was more than made up for by Bidwell in the second period, his runs to the byline and into the box causing the Italians all sorts of problems. His crossing too was consistently good - not a one going out behind for a goal-kick, and a number putting their defence under real pressure.

All in all a good performance from England, Bidwell in particular. He was certainly the star player of the second half.

My man of the match was the Italian keeper. He pulled-off a superb double reflex save on his goal line from headers in the first half and then in the second somehow managed to stop a what looked like a certain match-winner after England's No9 cracked a shot on goal from well inside the box.

England's next game is against Turkey on Friday night (at Notts County) and then they play Portugal at Spotlands on Sunday.
Chris Jones     Posted 26/08/2009 at 20:35:27   Comments (6)

Scott Brown: What do you think?

I see there is a rumoured bid from us for the talented Scot, who was Celtic's Player of the Season last time out.

What do others think? Personally, I think he's just the energetic, dynamic sort of player we need.
Karl Masters     Posted 26/08/2009 at 18:44:09   Comments (39)

Squad Rotation versus Sigma

Before you all burst out laughing i'm serious with this post! I'm just putting it out there without being sure myself on what I'd do!

With the tie being 4-0 in our favour what are fellow ToffeeWebers' thoughts on giving some reserves and kids a runout in Europe on thursday night and thus preserving the energy levels and fitness of our already thin injury-prone squad? This is by no means a slant on any of our players in our squad.

Personally would certainly drop/rest Saha and Pienaar for Vaughan and Baxter as we can win the game (or not lose by four) without Saha and Pienaar. These two are vital for the must-win game against Wigan on Sunday so I wouldn't want to see them risked. This would also give valuable game time to two young players with potential (plus a long season may require us to call on these two more often!)

These are the other swaps that have run through my mind: Part of me would like to see all or at least some of these changes. Hibbert - Coleman (RB) Neville - Mustafi (CB) Rodwell - Peterlin (DM) Osman - Gosling (RM) Cahill - Wallace (CM) and finally take Fellaini out and put Jo in and go 4-4-2.

Alternatively should we play the team that beat Sigma at home (with no signings and injuries, this is our best team) and try and raise morale and confidence for the must win game on Sunday???
Michael Jennings     Posted 26/08/2009 at 17:00:53   Comments (14)

Jutkiewicz on loan?

I've just read on Motherwell's official site that our very own Lucas Jutkiewicz has joined John Ruddy there on loan. Comes as no surprise as the vast majority of Moyes's "ones for the future" don't seem to even make the grade in the reserves, let alone the league. Gosling a fluke maybe?
Tony Hale     Posted 26/08/2009 at 17:13:48   Comments (11)

Window musings

So, August is nearly up, Lescott's gone, Bily'ov has signed, the water voles are being moved for DK, Distin and Hangeland are linked, Banega is sitting in front of his computer 'waiting' with his 'come and get me' plea, Moutinho is wondering what he's done wrong cos Mr Moyes hasn't rang this summer, and we are still in all the cup competitions...

It got me wondering about all the wonderful terminology which is unique to the football transfer window. From one day to the next I'm never sure if we are meant to be "swooping for Distin", "stalking Taylor", "monitoring Latchford", " keeping tabs on Banega", " tracking some norwegian bloke" or "manouvering for Carlos kickaball" - I'm sure you'll have some more to add!
Col Wills     Posted 26/08/2009 at 12:46:20   Comments (26)

Replacing rather than building

Is it just me or are Everton constantly having to replace players rather than build on what we have got? Losing Lescott now is an example of this:

Southall - Gerrard - Simonsen - Myhre - Wright - Martyn - replaced by Howard
Weir - Krøldrup - Lescott - replaced by ???? (Taylor/Distin/Hangeland?)
Stubbs - replaced by Jags - now need cover for him
Pistone - Naysmith - Valente - replaced by Baines
Carsley - Castillo - replaced by ???
Pembridge - Kilbane - Davies - Pienaar
Bent - Beattie - Johnson - Yakubu - covered by Jo & Saha

If we want to be progressing, shouldn't we be looking to bring players in to give competition to the ones ahead of them? Prime example is Hibbert: how many more years are we going to be exposed with him playing at right-back?

It's no good having a good atmosphere in the squad (currently ruined by someone greedy). We need to be building on 5th place. Surely coming 5th 2 years in a row and playing in Europe should be a good start to attract quality players instead of having to replace them year-in, year-out.
Peter Keating     Posted 26/08/2009 at 11:47:00   Comments (18)

Just when you think it's all over...

Not content with the disruption that the Lescott "saga" has already caused at Goodison, the BBC now insist on running an article titled "Lescott unhappy with Moyes claims". Haven't they had enough to write about in the build up to his move? He's now a City player, Everton can move on, so surely everyone else can.

I appreciate that during his first press conference as a new player, the question about his "poor attitude" was going to come up, but is it neccessary to write an article that focusses purely on that question??? Shit Stirrers.

In comparison with the journos over at SSN, the article is just pure shite. They can't even get the basics right... "Lescott missed much of Everton's pre-season campaign after revealing his desire to leave Goodison Park but was cheered every time he touched the ball in the 2-1 friendly victory over Malaga on 7 August." Didn't Lescott hand in his request after a full pre-season? We're not fucking mugs — how many people cheered once he had asked for a move?

It would appear to me that the media — specifically the BBC — have a new "darling" in Man City, and if they have their way will make sure that the fall-out makes as big a splash as possible. Lescott himself is quoted as saying about Moyes's comments on attitude, "I feel they were inaccurate. I'd like to address them at a later date" ... Something tells me you'll have more than one opportuniity to address them, Joleon.
Alec Laurie     Posted 26/08/2009 at 10:32:52   Comments (23)

Latest on Banega

There’s an article on Superdeporte.es, Valencia’s equivalent of Marca, on Banega:

In summary, Stuttgart had bid 7 million euros for him, roughly 6 million pounds and Valencia were happy to accept the bid, but the player didn’t want to go to Stuttgart.

Whether he’d want to come to us, it doesn’t say, but it does say that Valencia aren’t likely to loan him out even though they probably would have been willing to do so earlier in the summer. He’s had a good pre-season and the Valencia coach, Emery, is planning on using him. Which is not to say the club wouldn’t sell him if they could though.

Another thing is that both Baraja and Fernandes are out injured at the moment, so Banega’s the only senior midfield playmaker they have (there’s another player, Nacho González, but they don’t seem to think too much of him).

Valencia aren’t so desperate for money as they were as they’re now having a 100 million euro rights issue – they’ll still have plenty of debt, but they’ll have more breathing space.

Basically, if we want him we’re going to have to buy him by the looks of things – but then 7 million euros isn’t so much money when you’ve got 22 million pounds burning a hole in your pocket…
Greg Hunt     Posted 26/08/2009 at 05:45:11   Comments (65)

Selling club

Whether we like it or not, this summer has shown us that unless something drastically changes, we need to be a selling club if we are to compete. There is general agreement amongst fans that we do not have an awful lot of money to spend in the transfer window. Youth players, loans and cheap deals have gotten us so far. Moyes has wheeled and dealed his way to a number of top six finishes. This summer we got nowhere as clubs with more money and no salary caps seemed far more attractive to potential targets.

All of a sudden we have £20M+ plus and there's talk of getting four senior players in before the window slams shut. We talked a great fight about keeping Lescott but once money came into it, he was gone, we somehow kept to the moral high ground and grabbed the cash.

At the start of the summer, we were all flabbergasted at the idea of selling Lescott. You have to wonder what the reaction of fans would have been if the club had taken the £15m at the start of the summer when it was offered. The club may have gotten away with it easily enough.

Buy two or three decent senior pros with that money at the start of the window, push the idea of the younger players being brought through, buy a couple of more players with the money we would usually have towards the end of the window and put it about that we have a squad much higher on quality going into the new season.

Fans would have been divided and new players or not, we would all have been talking about selling one of our best players. However, it still would have had the benefits of the money and the players. Now, we have still sold the player, high ground or not, it may be too late to buy anyone and I just have a bitter taste in my mouth.
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 25/08/2009 at 18:19:54   Comments (22)

The Yak is Back!

I am sat here in The Stobart Stadium, which is 20 seconds walk from my front door and I am bloody glad that the Yak is definitely back!

I have just seen him score a quality goal after just 30 seconds and then follow that up by making one a few minutes later. For those of you who attended also tonight, I was the idiot who screamed "Feed the Yak and he will score" after he placed it in — ha ha!!!

He really looked a class act and although he tired greatly, he is surely worth a place on the bench against Wigan.

Also catching the eye with some deft touches so far was the Yaks replacemtn, Cody Arnoux, he looks very sharp!!!
Anthony Jaras     Posted 25/08/2009 at 17:30:07   Comments (12)

Banega the Defiler

Is this something to be worried about? Can anyone throw any light on this from The Guardian:

3) Most promising newcomer

New Everton signing Ever Banega, 21. Banega's last big public appearance: 2008 - old club Valencia admitting they felt "let down" after their pounds 12m wonderkid failed a drink-driving test, months after being censored for "defiling himself for strangers" on his webcam. Banega was punished after footage titled "Banega: always big" leaked online. Valencia directors said: "We want no more off-field shame."

Defiling himself for strangers?!?
Clive Lewis     Posted 25/08/2009 at 15:18:45   Comments (32)

A tale of 10 Centre halves

We have been linked with a number of centre halves mainly due to the Lescott situation and partly due to Jagielka's injury and Moyes's penchant for defensive players. However, in my opinion, only one comes close to Lescott and it's the one we have been least linked with, Gary Cahill of Bolton.

Senderos now seems to be a no go due to a failure to agree 50 pence down and the rest over 20 years. Taylor seems to be doing an anti-Lescott, wanting to stay loyal to his Geordie following. Shawcross seems to be too expensive? Michael Turner has fallen off the radar. Huth seems to be mentioned quite a bit as does Wheater but Southgate (who seems to have a healthy relationship with EFC).

Richard Dunne would if we were interested have been included in the Lescott deal. It is clear to all Evertonians, however, that we desperately need two defenders particularly due to Yobo's inconsistency and hesitancy and Hibbert's inability to head crosses away, let alone prevent them coming in.

Distin looks to be favourite although Villa are also in the running and we know what that usually means with EFC. I would prefer a back pairing of Cahill and Senderos personally but we never get what we want.
Jay Harris     Posted 25/08/2009 at 10:46:08   Comments (26)

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov

Thank heavens, we've finally signed someone, it's official. A left sided winger with a good international pedigree and only 24 years of age.

It's on the official site so I'm half expecting both the player and Locomotiv Moscow to deny all knowledge of this! Seriously though I'm delighted as I've been down in the dumps since the Burnley game.

COYB!!
David Nicholls     Posted 25/08/2009 at 05:09:30   Comments (96)

Waiting for the fallout

Now that the price has been agreed and the saga over Lescott has been settled, I am actually feeling quite smug about the money we got for him. Reports are from £22 million to £24 plus add ons.

Well let's be honest the lad isn't worth that much even in todays inflated markets. If you take off the blue tinted glasses we all have, and see that he is at present 4th choice center back for England (5th when Jags gets back), he is a confidence player, and he can get be bullied during games. So are we losing out?

People may say he offers us cover at left back. Well, yes, that's true in theory. But when asked to play there he always stated that he was a central defender, I believe this really showed his attitude was more for himself than the team. If the money is invested wisely (surely one thing we can all agree on, is that Moyes is good with the money he has) then we will come through this stronger. Cover at CD is needed, cover at LB is needed, but after getting £22-24million in the bank that will leave us enough to invest in a right back and right winger.

As for Lescott and City, well they seem like a good match. New found attitude problems, and no class. I wonder now with the price tag, and the uproar surounding this transfer whether it will afect him.

He's now a high profile player playing at the club everyone wants to see fail. Every mistake by the new £22 million pound signing will be highlighted on MOTD by Hansen and crew, and with there team set up being attack minded he won't get the cover he's used to. Plus we have shown other teams that when City come calling, make them pay top wack.
Dan Jones     Posted 24/08/2009 at 15:18:35   Comments (56)

Billy Backstabber and Elvis Presley

Ok this is not directly related to Everton's current affairs, but it shows the extent of Bill Kenwright's story-mongering/back-stabbing. I came across this story while looking up Tommy Steele:

"For many years it was thought that Elvis Presley had never set foot in England, and had only ever spent a few minutes on the tarmac at Prestwick Airport airport in Scotland where his military plane, en route to the United States after completing his military service in West Germany, stopped to re-fuel.

However, on 21 April 2008, in a (BBC Radio 2) interview with theatre impresario Bill Kenwright, it emerged that Presley, then 23, had in fact visited England for a day, after striking a phone conversation with Steele in London in 1958. According to Kenwright: "Elvis flew in for a day and Tommy showed him round London. He showed him the Houses of Parliament and spent the day with him".

Kenwright admitted on 22 April 2008 that he was not sure whether he should have told the story. Tommy Steele said: “It was two young men sharing the same love of their music. I swore never to divulge publicly what took place and I regret that it has found some way of getting into the light. I only hope he can forgive me." [from Wikipedia]
So we as fans have to entrust our club to a man that betrayed the King. If anyone has access to the Goodison Park PA system, please put on one of Elvis' finest songs before the next home game... "We can't go on together, with suspicious minds..."
Ant Gird     Posted 24/08/2009 at 13:21:52   Comments (18)

“And I quote, Your Honour”

It looks like we're now in panic mode in the transfer market after working 24/7 doing nothing for the past 3 months. Whatever happens it will be too little too late for a number of reasons:

  1. Most supporters have finally had enough and the goodwill generated by last seson's success has more than evaporated. It was evident at Burnley what faith and belief from the supportes can do and all we do is create cynicism right now.
  2. Moyes and the players look totally demotivated in fact Moyes looks as if he's punch drunk. He may well have been told "you don't control the sale of players the men in suits do."
  3. At best we will only be replacing what we lost in Lescott, Valente, Jacobsen and VdM never mind doing without Yak, Jags and Arteta.
  4. We've got the media against us again having almost won them over with a 5th place finsh and cup final appearance but I suppose this time they are calling it right.
  5. We've allowed the competition to become stronger than us.
What I would like to know from the club is why this statement was issued on June 20th this year:-
Work is well underway to strengthen Everton's squad.

Blues chairman Bill Kenwright, manager David Moyes and chief executive Robert Elstone are all focussed on adding to the players who finished fifth in the Barclays Premier League last season and contested the FA Cup final.

Mr Elstone explained that improving the squad was Everton's key objective this summer.

"There is an awful lot of work going on," he told evertonTV. "We are talking to a number of players and a number of Clubs. The chairman is in constant dialogue with the manager and where I need to get involved, I am doing that.

"We absolutely recognise the need to strengthen - we are fiercely ambitious and if that is the case then you need to go one step further than fifth place and one step further than appearing in an FA Cup final.

"To do that we know we need to bring talent in and we are not sitting on our hands in any way.

"We are determined to strengthen the squad and take to the field in 2009/10 with a better squad than 2008/09 and that is the core strategy of the football Club."

Operative words being CORE STRATEGY!! If they can't get a CORE STRATEGY correct in 3 months, what chance the future of our club in these hands.

I was told recently that Green thinks our club is a circus, much along the lines that Gregg claimed when he had the acrimonious fall out with Beloved Bill.

I have documented extensively that I can't stand Kenwright because he's a liar but as a longstanding Evertonian of 50 years I am finally thinking that, if he doesn't go, I will.

There must be another hobby that would not frustrate me the way that EFC under Kenwright does.
Jay Harris     Posted 24/08/2009 at 12:41:51   Comments (13)

Less talking, more action

The last few weeks, I've been like any other evertonian, searching every site available for the possible sniffet of information regarding transfers. However, two games down and we are rock bottom. It's been painfully obvious to me (and I'm sure everyone else) that nearly all Evertonians are unhappy with those in charge of or great club.

Now it's all fine and dandy moaning about it on ToffeeWeb but if everyone is so incensed by what is happening at Goodison then obviously action is needed. I'm of the opinion that 2 weeks from now the problems will be sorted, ie, a couple of new signings. This however is a short-term stop-gap and does not outweigh the obvious poor running of the football club.

I'm surprised that a mass protest against this board has not yet been mentioned yet. If we could get enough people to carry it out before the Wigan game, I for one would be part of that group calling for some order with our great football club.

Let's be honest — it's not the club thats a joke — it's those in the upper echelons who are, and more ACTION: Less Talking needs to be taken ASAP. Nothing but the best?!
Sean McNally     Posted 24/08/2009 at 11:29:37   Comments (6)

Beginning of the end?

Ok, so it looks like Lescott has finally moved on from Everton. That means Moyes has 8 days to replace him and everyone else that has left. If we had sold him weeks ago we would have had at least 6 weeks, but that is too easy for the club isnt it?

Anyway what I wanted to share to see if anybody agrees is whether Lescott wanting to go had ulterior motives, and whether this will have a knock-on effect to the rest of the team. Most Evertonians agree that Lescott left us for more money, significantly more. And most Evertonians would also agree that right now Everton ambitions (consistent European finishes) outweighs Man City's mid-table finishes.

Now to say that Lescott has moved for money is such an easy answer, and that's why everyone at Goodison next will be whispering it to each other. But I ask you this, what if Lescott left us cause he knew where we are going to end up? I mean, Man City have money, players and a future. Everton, for the second season running, have got to the last week of the transfer window without buying anyone.

So, when we look back at the end of the season, we can either say that was our problem or revel in how we have punched above our weight again with no money. Even two games in we are bottom, GD minus 6; Man City have 2 wins from 2. I'm not going to assess the whole season on these two games, i know better than that.

But look at some of our other players. Pienaar was seen as one of the best young players in Europe before he came to us, won't we want to play for a club who can play in the Champions League? Arteta has been rumored to be wanted by Athletico Madrid.

Maxi Rodriguez, Aguero, Forlan, Simao... OR Neville, Osman, Hibbert and Jô? Maybe Arteta will want to move to a club that can play Champions League football as well. Same goes for Yakubu, or Cahill, or Saha, or Fellaini, or Baines or any decent player we have.

Point is, do we have to keep having to finish 5th to keep these players? If we finish outside the European places will they want to leave? If a team comes knocking in the future, will they assess their future and do another Lescott? Everyone knows we have no way of breaking into the top 4 without luck nowdays.

So could Lescott really be leaving for the money or do we really have no future as a top 5 club? I say this not as a pessimistic blue but as one just like many who are sick of everything dragging the club to this point.
Christopher Ashton     Posted 24/08/2009 at 09:20:29   Comments (33)

Where's the team spirit?

There were a few things over the last few weeks that have gotten to me. I have a season ticket in the Park End, with my Dad. I didn’t get to go to the Arsenal game, but watched it in a bar in Nice, France. You could forgive that one result to first-day jitters, and an Arsenal team who simply outplayed and outperformed us. 6-1 was a flattering score, we seemed tired somehow. I think Lescott has been overshadowing everything for some time.

Midweek, a reversal, the scoreline somewhat flattered us in my view. It definitely isn’t our first eleven being put out and winning by such a scoreline is deceivingly flattering. Still I thought it meant the players had gotten past their first-day nerves quickly and it would help them with the Burnley game. How wrong could I be?! Ha, I thought we put a side out that was stronger than theirs, although obviously not our best eleven. On the back of a victory, we still had Lescott hanging over the head of the club and players. It was a terrible performance.

So we’re getting £22m-24m of which a chunk is going to Wolves, and a chunk is going into our vast black hole of an overdraft. That’s basically summarised the last few weeks. The most shocking thing for me, was the way Moyes’s head dropped when the goal went in at the weekend. He looked in total despair. He’s already said he’s demented. He’s just been basically forced to sell an England centre back. The thing for me wasn’t that Burnley beat us. It was that the staff, Moyes included and players, all looked completely withdrawn, and we’re two games in.

Another point, apart from the totally lacking team spirit, which was there last year, why was the ball in the air so much on that tiny Burnley pitch? Hoofball didn’t stand a chance and we gave away possession so much, we made them look like the cultured team. It was shocking!
Stuart Downey     Posted 24/08/2009 at 09:47:34   Comments (15)

Should we be debt free?

I'm not sure I totally support what I am about to write but it occurred to me as an "option" to attempt to improve the long-term future of our beloved club.

Estimates on our debt are around £30-40m as far as I hear from other people. In theory, having sold Lescott for £24m and if we were to sell other assets (Felli for a loss £8m, Anichebe £3m, Vaughan £3m, etc.), we wouldn't be far off being able to pay off the debt. That being said, I do realise that more often than not, one doesn't receive the full amount of a transfer fee in one go.

The point is this, if we did do this, I am quite confident that we have the basic groups of players (with a couple of cheap, more mature, additons) to survive in the Premier league. On the one hand it would be a backward staep, but on the other, wouldn't being debt free allow us to plan our progression a little better and retain our club as a profitable business?

I suppose the question is how much would clearing our debt save us each year? £2-4m. I know this is a thought that will be shot down in flames, but it just made me wonder if life without debt would give us a better foundation to progress, even if it meant sacrificing our current progress to do it.

Could we be a club turning a regular profit each year? Could we generate enough cash to start to climb back up the league again? Could we attract the buyer we always wanted?

I don't know really... But I do know that the fact our debt increases each year worries the hell out of me. And that thought is battling with my other thought that I am kinda enjoying the consistency Everton have been showing season on season.
Gareth Mercer     Posted 24/08/2009 at 08:30:23   Comments (19)

From Bad to Worse

The worse thing that could of happened to Everton Football Club was reaching the FA Cup Final last May. By doing so, it gave our fans a false sense of destiny and hope. The fact that we managed to get to Wembley made us feel and think we were on the verge of something special. A new era of glory was waiting for us just around the corner and this cup final was only the beginning. The truth is that reaching the cup final gave the club a thin coat of respectability which masked the real issues eaffecting the once mighty Everton. Behind the scenes, we were still a shambles and no amount of Wembley appearances could hide the fact. Fast forward to August 2009 and a culmination of all the mismanagment by the Board over the last 10 years has hit us like a sledgehammer in the gooolies. David Moyes looks a broken man and so lacking in vision or new ideas it is painful to watch. The way we play the game is a joke and when two-bob no-mark newly promoted outfits like Burnley outclass you then you know we have big problems. The sad truth is, for all the lack of funds available to the manager, Moyes hasn't got a clue how to change things around on the pitch. Whoever he selects to play just comes in and does exactly the same job as the man he replaces. Nothing new... just like for like. It's all one-dimensional and very hard to stomach. Its not worth slaughtering Moyes or the players any more. I think we can all see the bigger picture now. It may have taken a long time but even the most ardent and loyal fans amongst us have realised what a mess we are in. Those still dreaming of breaking into the top 4 this season... dream on. Those of you who think we will still finish above Man City and Spurs this season... think again. We are a rudderless ship at the moment. Moyes and his players have been around the same old shit for so long now that it's all gone stale and NFI has taken hold. David Moyes and his tactics belong in the in the dark ages with the Rubics Cube and the Betamax video player. Like I have said in the past, throw all the money in the world at Moyes, sign Kaka and Messi if you like... but it won't change or improve what Moyes has in his head. The Moyes ethos and playing style will always remain the same: Percentage Hoofball is the Moyes way and it's killing us on and off the field. I have never felt so ashamed of the way we play as I do right now. It's heart breaking and soul destroying. The fans are being drained of all their passion and energy. The life blood is being sucked from us with every passing game. Only yesterday, I was talking to a kid about 12 year old who has jumped ship and gone over the dark side. His dad is devastated but can't talk him around. You see, it's too hard being an Evertonian these days — much easier to be a Kopite. I thought I was going to come on here today and let rip. Tear into the players and the manager but do you know what, I can't be arsed any more. It would probably fall on deaf ears any how. There are still some out there who are quite content with all things Everton — we beat Sigma 4-0 you know. Where to from here is anybody's guess but, without a complete overhaul and change at the top, we are fucked. The club, despite the 5th place finish last year, is going in the wrong direction. The twats that run the club need hanging, they really do. Kenwright is a grade A Shithouse who must see what he is doing to us but carries on all the same. Fiddling while Rome burns if you like. As for Moyes, he isn't going anywhere soon (unless he walks) so it's as you where, boys. No chance of a footballing renaissance is there? It's going to be 'backs to the wall' mentality as we are already in a relegation battle... Oh no, wait a minute... sorry, that only happens under Walter Smith doesn't it??? I know I am on the verge

The worse thing that could of happened to Everton Football Club was reaching the FA Cup Final last May. By doing so, it gave our fans a false sense of destiny and hope.

The fact that we managed to get to Wembley made us feel and think we were on the verge of something special. A new era of glory was waiting for us just around the corner and this cup final was only the beginning.

The truth is that reaching the cup final gave the club a thin coat of respectability which masked the real issues eaffecting the once mighty Everton. Behind the scenes, we were still a shambles and no amount of Wembley appearances could hide the fact.

Fast forward to August 2009 and a culmination of all the mismanagment by the Board over the last 10 years has hit us like a sledgehammer in the gooolies. David Moyes looks a broken man and so lacking in vision or new ideas it is painful to watch.

The way we play the game is a joke and when two-bob no-mark newly promoted outfits like Burnley outclass you then you know we have big problems.

The sad truth is, for all the lack of funds available to the manager, Moyes hasn't got a clue how to change things around on the pitch. Whoever he selects to play just comes in and does exactly the same job as the man he replaces. Nothing new... just like for like. It's all one-dimensional and very hard to stomach.

Its not worth slaughtering Moyes or the players any more. I think we can all see the bigger picture now. It may have taken a long time but even the most ardent and loyal fans amongst us have realised what a mess we are in.

Those still dreaming of breaking into the top 4 this season... dream on. Those of you who think we will still finish above Man City and Spurs this season...  think again. We are a rudderless ship at the moment. Moyes and his players have been around the same old shit for so long now that it's all gone stale and NFI has taken hold.

David Moyes and his tactics belong in the in the dark ages with the Rubics Cube and the Betamax video player. Like I have said in the past, throw all the money in the world at Moyes, sign Kaka and Messi if you like... but it won't change or improve what Moyes has in his head. The Moyes ethos and playing style will always remain the same: Percentage Hoofball is the Moyes way and it's killing us on and off the field.

I have never felt so ashamed of the way we play as I do right now. It's heart breaking and soul destroying. The fans are being drained of all their passion and energy. The life blood is being sucked from us with every passing game. Only yesterday, I was talking to a kid about 12 year old who has jumped ship and gone over the dark side. His dad is devastated but can't talk him around. You see, it's too hard being an Evertonian these days — much easier to be a Kopite.

I thought I was going to come on here today and let rip. Tear into the players and the manager but do you know what, I can't be arsed any more. It would probably fall on deaf ears any how. There are still some out there who are quite content with all things Everton — we beat Sigma 4-0 you know.

Where to from here is anybody's guess but, without a complete overhaul and change at the top, we are fucked. The club, despite the 5th place finish last year, is going in the wrong direction. The twats that run the club need hanging, they really do. Kenwright is a grade A Shithouse who must see what he is doing to us but carries on all the same. Fiddling while Rome burns if you like.

As for Moyes, he isn't going anywhere soon (unless he walks) so it's as you where, boys. No chance of a footballing renaissance is there? It's going to be 'backs to the wall' mentality as we are already in a relegation battle... Oh
no, wait a minute... sorry, that only happens under Walter Smith doesn't it???

I know I am on the verge of losing my sanity with the carryings on at this club. I can't take much more of this crap and unless something gives many more youngsters will join that kid and go and follow the Red Shite... And do you know what — who could blame them??

of losing my sanity with the carryings on at this club. I can't take much more of this crap and unless something gives many more youngsters will join that kid and go and follow the Red Shite... And do you know what — who could blame them??
Tony Marsh     Posted 24/08/2009 at 07:06:01   Comments (4)

Bottom is what we deserve!

No puns intended with the title - but being at the bottom of the Premier League is exactly what we deserve. This is what happens when you fail to spend a penny and bring in any new faces.

Our injury ravaged squad, now one international defender down even on last season, is extremely fragile. For those who label us "Well run" and "living within our means" should be ashamed. A tramp lives within his means but that doesn't mean he/she is organised or "well run".

The bigger question is why a club of our size no longer operates in the same circles as the likes of Sunderland, Stoke or Bolton? Who actually made £10m+ bids for players during the summer. We're light years behind Spurs, Villa, Newcastle (pre-relegation), City and the Top 4 when it comes to player investment.

No one expects us to do a Leeds and gamble. But aren't the pro-Kenwright, Earl, and Woods people worried that for the 2nd year running our squad is weaker (and not just in numbers) than the end of the previous year?

When we were consistently crap (i.e. finishing bottom 8 regularly) we had an excuse for not spending much. The prize money for lower finishes is drastically less than the top 5 or 6 places. Now we finish top 6 almost every single year and have cup runs. But we still tread water. How does a club of our size and status consistently fail to perform financially against lesser clubs?

The only other team who haven't bought anyone during the summer is Portsmouth and they're second bottom —coincidence?

The bottom line is we've tread water for long enough and now we either sink or swim. Again, sorry for the obvious pun —- but IMO this fits perfectly to our situation. Forget NSNO .... "Well run" and "living within our means" should be on our crest.
Phil Martin     Posted 24/08/2009 at 07:09:18   Comments (19)

48 hours and counting

We're used to bullshit here at Planet Everton but our most recent history has taken it to a whole new level.

Bullshit bingo number 1: "Chairman Bill Kenwright has worked tirelessly to get the best deal for Everton, achieving a substantial increase on Manchester City's initial offer." — Why wasn't he working tirelessly to find 'investment', or sign new players?

Number 2: "I'm expecting two new players in the next 48 hours" — Although Moyes is a great organiser, motivator and talent spotter, his pre-season preparation and planning is weak. 48 hours = nine days and counting.

Add to the list of bullshit the mystery Banega deal, the Sendoros talks, the Naughton fiasco, Elm enjoying tours of Finch Farm without a deal on the table, and you unveil a shocking list of own goals.

I'll be forever blue but I'm seriously considering whether to go on Saturday if we are continually going to be fucked about with and served up the kind of crap we've witnessed since the cup final. Will we have to wait until the 'Deal of the Century' (double the cost of Kings Dock) is sorted before Blue Bill will fuck off? Will we have to wait until 2am on 1st September to reveal our 'big four' signings?

What a fuckin shambles. Not felt this low since the Dinamo Bucharest collapse.
Chris Jones     Posted 23/08/2009 at 20:11:53   Comments (52)

What may be the real issue?

This may be me just thinking out loud here but it is something I have thought for a while now. No matter how many players we are linked with, or have work permits for, or talk about with each other down the pub, it doesn't actually matter. We could have a list of players that are cheap, available and ready to sign but there is a stumbling block, no first team football.

If you think about it, Howard, Neville, Yobo, Baines, Hibbert, Cahill, Arteta, Pienaar, Fellaini, Yakubu are our first team when all fit. Moyes has many problems which everyone with half a brain knows, but who would he drop for any new blood in the team? He persevered with no strikers last season when we had three young strikers in the reserves.

Now if you look at the top 20 youngest players in the Premier League, you will find Everton's name mentioned more than a few times... strange? So when I pick up the paper or read on the internet who we are linked with, I ask myself where would they play?

No matter how ineffective half our team may be at times, they are Moyes's team and therefore he seems to keep faith until the dying minute. Works with Cahill admittedly but anyone else? I think instead of adding squad players, Moyes should address who is in form and pick the team that way.

Imagine the thought of Cahill as an impact sub because we have a CM that's playing well. Or Hibbert not making the team because we have a better right back. Sounds like a joke now, as for the past 3-4 years we have had basically the same team. And above other issues, maybe some players see this in Everton and decide to stay away. But that's just a thought...

Oh and as we are now 6 players down when we sell Lescott (LB+ CB), Jacobsen and Castillo would have cost us a grand total of fuck all this summer. There's a couple of half decent squad players right off we HAD three months ago. That would leave only 4 players to bring in now, but that would have been too easy.
Christopher Ashton     Posted 23/08/2009 at 19:13:02   Comments (20)

Sigma should have won too

I didn't want to say it on Thursday but as I sat there watching after the first 30 minutes I couldn't help but feel sorry for Sigma. They had penalties waved off like we were the big four and honestly we hardly deserved to win 4-0. But we did and now we will go through.

I hated it, I think I have fallen victim to this underdog status we have portrayed so much that when the underdog is treated unfairly even against us I can't enjoy the win.

Today another underdog won and deservedly so... anyone who watched the Man U game would have said the same for that. Fact is, Burnley and Sigma are playing like they want to win and we are playing like we don't want to lose. And we've been playing like this for the majority of the season's with some inspired performances every once in awhile to make it not entirely true.

But, it's time for a change. The fact is... I don't what's going to happen this season, we could some how finish in the top 4 even. But what I do know is we aren't fun to watch at all. And I want to get excited. They need to give us a reason to watch other than our undying faith to all that is blue or it may be time for a lot of us to take a break and watch golf.
Joey Brown     Posted 23/08/2009 at 15:56:05   Comments (14)

What Moyes should have said

This is what Moyes should have said after the game...

"We wanted to buy Elm and Senderos but Bill Kenwright couldn’t get any money from his mates and his plan of false advertising with promised 'Wow' signings didn’t produce enough revenue to spend £2 million apiece on those water carriers. Right now BK is stalling on the Lescott deal, hoping it will go through at the 11th hour so he can use the money to clear some of our debt as the window will be shut by then.

"With regard to the team, I have to admit in hindsight Jo’s early goals for us were scrapy and lucky like, Franny Jeffers's early ones, and we got duped into thinking luck was class... but at least we didn’t splash the cash like Wenger did for Franny and Hughes did for Jo.

"At this point, I hope to sign a couple of youngsters for little or nothing to replace Scott Spencer in Andy Holdens group since he was upset that the only players I gave him thus far were amateurs from the US and not even pros.

"I’m aware that Hibbert isn’t any good but he has added diving to his repertoire so we’re hoping he can build on that in the coming weeks... so, if we persuade Rhino to come out of retirement, we can win a few 1-0 games against other bankrupt sides.

"If you’re wondering why I haven’t quit yet, it’s because if I went to a rich club they’d give me money to spend and then fire me in 6 months if I had poor results, whereas I can stay here for another ten years and make a small fortune as a nearly man."
Kieran Kinsella     Posted 23/08/2009 at 15:22:19   Comments (34)

Getting worse and worse

Another depressingly woeful performance. Last season's start was poor and was excused by Moyes's dithering over his contact. This year it's the Lescott business. Whether or not these are valid excuses, the fact is I find it difficult to see where a win will come from. On the basis of our first two performances we are as poor a team as any in the Premier League.

We have played some truly grim football under Moyes but have ground out results. Shite football and bottom three is unacceptable. There is something seriously wrong at the club. Another embarrassing week ahead for us all.
Andy Crooks     Posted 23/08/2009 at 14:00:50   Comments (45)

Banega: Complete Lies?

I'm hearing that Ever Banega has not heard of any interest from Everton Football Club, and his club Valencia have roundly denied that they have had any contact with Everton - and also denied that they are willing to even entertain the idea that any player will leave the Mestalla on loan this year.

"No negotiations with Everton exist or any other club for the loan of Ever Banega. This news is not true." Say Valencia.

Furthermore, the players agent Marcelo Simonian added, "I do not have contact with the English club and I have not received an offer on this subject."

This actually won't surprise me, given that Banega played in Europe hours after the alleged work permit hearing happened — cup-tieing him.

But if this is the case, David Moyes has either outright lied over the deal to everyone on national media. Or the second, more plausible scenario — Kenwright has lied through his teeth, possibly even conned Moyes by orchestrating a phantom transfer for a player he knew full well we had no chance of acquiring.

This wouldn't be the first time Kenwright has done this. But even for him, this would be astonishing!

There's a third, "possible" reason - we've applied for a permit for another player, shouted Banega to the media to con Tottenham and Villa, and we're about to land a cracker.

But overall, who knows what the hell is going on at Everton. The only thing for sure is that this will be David Moyes's final season at Goodison — you can see it in his eyes that he is completely disillusioned at the utter joke that is Bill Kenwright. Don't be fooled by the possibility of a bumper transfer kitty from the sale of Lescott — there's a reason that move has been delayed until the end of August; the excuse will be we didn't have the time to spend the cash — the truth is, it'll be hoarded by "Blue Bill" as per usual.

Banega, if the reports ARE true, will prove to be a very decent player for Everton I'm sure — but he will be a smokescreen to hide the very real problems at Goodison... for too long disguised by the massive overachievement on the pitch thanks to David Moyes.
Lee Kidd     Posted 23/08/2009 at 12:50:45   Comments (25)

Reporting Man City to FA

Now the inevitable has happened with Lescott, we hear that we are going to report the shite to the FA. This is good; it will show the souless lot that they can't tap up and not expect consequences.

Chances are that Triad would probably offer the FA a nice juicy sponsership so that this doesn't happen. I know it's a conspiracy theory but we do seem to get the short end of the FA stick quite regularly.
Doug Walters     Posted 23/08/2009 at 11:22:34   Comments (5)

Burnley v Everton

Team is the same as Thursday night:

Howard;
Hibbert, Yobo, Neville, Baines
Cahill, Pienaar, Osman, Fellaini, Rodwell;
Saha

Subs: Nash, Wallace, Duffy, Gosling, Baxter, Jo,

Prediction: 2-1 for Everton; Cahill with the first goal!
Jamie Carroll     Posted 23/08/2009 at 11:28:18   Comments (168)

Left Back

Well it now seems to be inevitable that Joleon Lescott will complete his move to Man City in the next few days. What seems to have been overlooked is the fact that we will have to add another left back to the squad before the transfer window shuts.

If Baines gets injured we are really in trouble and with Europa qualification almost guaranteed, could we expect him to play every game for Everton this season? I suppose Phil Neville could cover in emergencies but this is not an option most Evertonians would be happy with.

So suggestions on a left back?
David O'Connor     Posted 22/08/2009 at 19:19:53   Comments (13)

A Dunne deal?

It is reported in one of the newspapers (Sunday Independent) that Richard Dunne will form part of a cash-plus-player deal for Lescott. What are people's thoughts on Richard Dunne coming back to Everton?

Personally, I am dreading the thought of Dunne playing for Everton again. He's far too error-prone and gets sent off far too much as well. Maybe Moyes sees Dunne as a squad player, but not a first choice centre back?
Jamie Carroll     Posted 22/08/2009 at 18:05:56   Comments (31)

Transfer Policy

Can anyone please explain to me what exactly is going on at EFC at the moment? The fans are informed that a loan deal has been agreed with Valencia for Ever Banega, EFC then apply for a work permit for the lad (which against all reason is granted). Meanwhile, Valencia play Banega in an Europa Cup match meaning he would be cup-tied if he wanted to play for EFC anyway (WTF?) and then apparently it is declared that the loan deal is yet to be agreed but that the club hope to tie it up in the next couple of days!!!

I mean really — what the fuck is going on? My cynical side suggests that this is all bollocks to keep the fans quiet... much like Obinna last year — you know, the club applies knowing that it will all go horribly wrong, but at least it keeps the fans quiet until September 1st.

But this is just pathetic — why doesn't the club just sell Lescott, buy Taylor (or whoever) and get on with things.
Rupert Sullivan     Posted 22/08/2009 at 15:37:24   Comments (18)

Kits, Pies and for pity's sake...

Having lived outside of the UK for the past few years, you can imagine my excitement at visiting Goodison Park on the opening day of the season.

Prior to getting on the ale down County Road and heading to the game, I decided to check out the new Everton Two store. I was impressed with the set-up of the store but I can't imagine what was going through the mind of the so-called designer when the two new kits were being drawn up.

The home kit is an attempt to bring back memories of the glory days with an homage to the kit of better days. The problem is that the style those days allowed a kit looking like that... but not today. It looks alright on kids but only serves to accentuate beer bellies on the majority of the faithful. The away kit is I presume an attempt at tapping in to the female market. A PINK EVERTON BADGE!!! I wonder if Chang were asked if they wanted their logo in pink. I can imagine the response if indeed that was the case.

The beer on County Road was unchanged and then it was off to Goodison. I took my seat in the Upper Bullens with me mates, all of whom hold season tickets. One of the lads returned from the cafe with a sausage roll, bemoaning the fact that he waited for 10 minutes to get served and was told that the coffee machine wasn't working and he'd have to go to the cafe further down the stand. How hard is it to test the machinery before the start of the opening day of the season? Disgraceful.

I set off to said cafe to get some coffee, and having been the boozer for a few hours, had a pocket full of change. It was just enough but I also wanted a programme but had no more cash. I naively asked the girl in the cafe if there was anywhere I could get cash out. No. I couldn't spend any more money if I tried. How many people find themselves in this position... unable to add to the revenue of the club on matchday? Joke!

Z-Cars and a poignant round of applause for the great Sir Bobby Robson signalled the start of the season proper. The injury list from last season hadn't changed and with no new arrivals it was always going to be difficult. Lescott was ridiculously half booed and then had his name sung by the Gwladys Street. In retrospect Moyes should have played him and substituted him after 5 minutes to make a point, given the fact that he said he wasn't in the right frame of mind to play. Lets all give it a try on Monday, call in to work and instead of saying you've got swine flu tell the boss your heart isn't really in it but you'd still like paying! FFS!

I left at 5-0 and fought throught the crowds outside to get back to the solace of the boozer. It was busier in there than it was before the game and there was still 15 minutes left!

Having lived abroad for a while it seems like Everton are standing still. Poor merchandising (Kits); poor catering (Pies) and 1-6 on the opening home game of the season... for pity's sake!!!
Colin Grierson     Posted 22/08/2009 at 12:01:44   Comments (7)

Sad day for football in America

There is an absolutely fantastic podcast / radio show on Sirius satellite radio here in the States that is gone now. World Soccer Daily decided to shut operations due to a concerted campaign by a group of Liverpool fans attempting to drive the show off the air.

The onus by the LFC fans was a reaction to comments made by the host and co-owner Steve Cohen. Cohen had asserted that the Hillsborough disaster was partially to blame on the Liverpool supporters themselves. You can read all about that on the internet and educate yourselves and make your own opinions.

It was a damn good show, and Cohen felt the threats to his family and their safety — which he felt was put in jeopordy due to threats from the Liverpool contingent's campaign — were too much to bear to continue on.

I listened to the show almost everyday, and it was a fantastic avenue for us in the States to get our football fix. That show, and for some of us our ability to connect very readily to football over the globe and especially the EPL, is now gone.

Hatred and threats of violence have won out over free speech. And most of you may not know or even care, but there are thousands in the States that will miss that show greatly.

LFC knew about this and did nothing to reign in the North American supporters club's pathetic threats, violence, fear mongering, et al. It's a very sad day in America for football.

I do not agree at all with many of the comments and opinions from the show, but I accept others have differing opinions. Instead of being grown-ups about some inflamatory comments, a small sophmoric group of Reds started a movement based on fear and threats to destroy a great show that covered football frankly fantastically.

I despise Liverpool Football Club.
Jamie Crowley     Posted 22/08/2009 at 03:17:21   Comments (28)

Work permits for everyone?

I see the Home Office has turned down the latest request for a work permit from the blues.

Now I have two thoughts about this. Is the research not being done as we have wasted time and effort on chasing two players in the last year. Victor Obinna last summer, and now Banega this year? More to the point, Banega has now played in the Europa League and will be cup-tied should a permit be granted on appeal.

What are the chances of the appeal being successful?At times, it does appear that the odds are stacked against us in the transfer market. Last year when we were unsuccessful in the loan of Obinna from Inter Milan, Liverpool managed to sign an unkown Brazilian goalkeeper on the same day. Despite the two players being of similar age and international experience, I found the situation highly confusing. So therefore, my second thought is that there is a case of preferential treatment and double standards, or are other clubs able to find loopholes in the cases that we are unable to exploit?

Anyone got any thoughts on the matter?
Andy Bone     Posted 21/08/2009 at 17:47:01   Comments (24)

Why we should all just give up

Football is a great game, but a shoddy business.

We all sit here waiting on these transfers, but what's really going on? It's a series of mind games and negotiations between various well dodgy characters you wouldn't dream of buying a used car off — that's what.

Everton will let Lescott go. Whether or not Moyes is in on it is anybody's guess, but Pinocchio Kenwright (tells porkies and has someone's — Green's — hand up his rear) is just doing exactly what he did with Rooney. I guarantee you Lescott will go in the the last 48 hoursof the window. City are hoping we'll get cold feet and accept a lower price now because they know Everton needs the cash to buy these 4 players Moyes is on about.

Just wait until the last day, like last year, while the agents and money men swill around in their troughs of greed trying to arrange as many deals as they can. Lescott will go, Senderos or perhaps Wheater will come in, so will Banega (laughably already cup tied for Europe after playing for Valencia last night... makes you wonder if this is another phantom Kenwright move?) Distin too on a massive signing on fee, and finally we'll get a loan deal for someone we have never heard of playing in Macedonia or somewhere. Just like last year, there will actually be a surplus and this will be squirelled back to the DK Fund while we are left to wonder what the hell happened.

Only consolation is that this tide of greed and shady dealings is going on at nearly every other club. Just log on on Sept 1 to find out what happened and enjoy what's left of Summer in the meantime!
Karl Masters     Posted 21/08/2009 at 13:29:04   Comments (32)

No Go for Lescott!

Mark Hughes has reportedly called time on the Lescott deal. What does that mean for one Joleon Lescott? The man has proved himself to be an absolute arse in the past week; however, I think our boys are a forgiving bunch and will support him no matter what.

Now maybe we can start our season without any more drama.
Jason Broome     Posted 21/08/2009 at 09:09:21   Comments (19)

European Travel Club

Now that there is a reasonable chance that we will be playing in the group stage, my thoughts have turned to actually getting a ticket from the club for one of the away games.

Apparently there is a points system in place to decide eligibility for tickets but I cannot find the rules anywhere on the Official Site. It does says that you need 4 points to get a ticket for the Sigma away game but the only mention of how to get points that I have found is that season ticket holders start with 1 point.

I have heard that extra points are based on away games attended last season but I cannot see where this is written. Also I have seen it mentioned that you get a point just for applying for a ticket so I applied for a Sigma ticket and hoped I didn't get one!

I think I may be carrying forward 3 points into the group stage but does anyone out there know how this is all working?
Phil Guyers     Posted 21/08/2009 at 07:43:27   Comments (5)

Why we shouldn't sell Lescott

It really gets my goat up when I hear the media and most other football pundits harp on about player power. They are all saying if a player wants to leave, his club has no option but to sell him, regardless of any contract that exists between the player and the club.

We see it happen all the time. We experienced it with Wayne Rooney and more recently with Andy Johnson. Now we have Joleon Lescott demanding a transfer. But are the players right to demand a transfer, regardless of the circumstances, when quite often they have a contract that states they have no legal power to quit at all? Also are the players acting professionally when they throw their toys out of the pram, and act like a 5-year-old being deprived of sweets when they don't get their own way?

Players are not hard done by! They are payed massive, massive wages, earning more money in a week than most of us would see in a year. They get other perks from the club, like obsenely expensive cars, huge houses, free medical treatment, free kit & clothes and I heard that Wayne Rooney even got Everton to buy a house for his mum.

For all the money that a club pays a player, what should they expect in return? IMO I would expect a player to honour the terms and conditions of his contract with the club, like any other professional who signs a contract.

So why should Everton sell Joleon Lescott when he is contracted to play for them for another 4 years? Well the answers to that question is easy. There is no point in keeping a player whose heart is no longer in the job. Also the transfer money would come in very handy. So there are two good reasons to sell him.

But, my argument is that Everton shouldn't sell him. Why? Not selling would set a precedent in football for the future for clubs to follow. It would put a dampener on the apparently unstoppable juggernaut of player power.

It would make future overpaid pre-madonas think twice before they try pushing their weight around and bullying their club into selling them. It would make players more respectful of the contracts they themselves have signed up for. It would shift the balance of power in the game back to the clubs. It would force rich clubs like Manchester City to follow the correct channels when they are interested in signing a player, instead of tapping him up via the media.

So, Moyes for the good of the future game, let Lescott rot in the reserves for year.
Brian Baker     Posted 21/08/2009 at 06:42:05   Comments (8)

The Tale of the Two Kaisers

Just a word about 2 people who really impressed me tonight.

Firsty, I've always known that Jack Rodwell was a special talent. As well as all the pundits going on about him you can see it in him.

But tonight I thought he bordered on imperious and he reminded me of a young up-and-coming Beckenbauer. His touch was almost always good and he looks to play a simple pass with always enough time on the ball. He should certainly be a regular to get him up to Premier League pace and intensity.

The other player who for me was outstanding tonight and he has taken a lot of stick on this site and quite often by me. But fair's fair and I have to give credit to none other than our captain Phil Neville who I thought marshalled the back 4 really well and even allowed Bainsey to play in a more forward role.

I thought once we settled the nerves the whole team played well but these two players ran the show.
Jay Harris     Posted 20/08/2009 at 23:05:10   Comments (20)

Everton v Sigma Olomouc

Anybody have any links or anything where I can either watch or listen to tonights game? Tv or radio coverage?
Nathan O'Hagan     Posted 20/08/2009 at 14:38:58   Comments (201)

Vladimir Bystrov

This rumour appears to have more to it than most, and with the work permit application for Banega it appears the telephones in the personel department have finally been fixed.

So this guy is a right winger? Good... One of the quickest players in Europe; very good. Can he cross? I have no idea, I just hope he aint the Russian Dennis Rommedahl (He made Hibbo look like Garrincha).

At £8million it sounds a decent bet, maybe he's the new Kanchelskis (OK, slighty optimistic). Anyone know more about him? I don't mean You Tube, it means nothing, it doesn't show clips of players needlessly giving the ball away, crossing into the stands, falling over, or running bown blind alleys. (Check out the YouTube video of Dennis Rommedahl and you get my point.)

Ideally he will be great (stating the obvious like) and will allow us to play counter-attacking football and not use the hoof-ball tactics so often. A midfield of Banega (if he gets a work permit), Fellaini and Arteta with wingers of Pienaar and Bystrov actually sounds promising. Especially with Rodwell, Gosling, Osman (a good squad player, especially when played in the middle), Cahill and Baxter (who I feel should get some oppotunities) as squad players.

Or it could be shit. COYB
Fran Mitchell     Posted 20/08/2009 at 14:11:26   Comments (18)

Jack Rodwell

Holding midfielders or centre halfs, unlike attacking players and strikers, don't usually grab the headlines. Rooney burst onto the scene and after scoring against Arsenal was all over the media. However, Jack Rodwell has quietly established himself as a key member of our first team squad, and the England U-21's.

He played for our U-18s aged 14, and made his reserves debut at 15. When he was just 16 he made history as our youngest ever player to play in Europe against AZ Alkmaar.

The talk is, in the years to come he will become a centre half in the ilk of Ferdinand, as he learns to be composed on the ball in his current midfield role. There have already been stories of Man Utd and Arsenal keeping a close eye over him.

I think we have a player here who could become world class. Big words I know, and I don't use them lightly, but after watching his performances I think a lot of our fans haven't yet realised just how good this kid is. He's big, strong, mobile, but the thing that impresses me most is that when he has the ball at his feet, he looks like he has time. Like Scholes or Fabregas the weekend, he doesn't panic and he always wants the ball. When he's got it, he plays the ball to feet, setting the tempo, and then keeps moving.

In the next few years, as he fills out, I think he will impose himself more on games through confidence and experience, and be the focal point of our side. He will take on the responsibility and drive us forward, just like Fabregas has done at Arsenal.

Some people will probably think he "won't be that good", but why not? Because he's English? Because he plays for Everton? I genuinely believe he has the ability to get to that level. He seems to have a good head on his shoulders which is vital, as is the support of his family. If he does revert to defence I'm sure he will be great, only time will tell.

There's a great feeling of satisfaction watching a home grown lad come into the team and perform at the highest level. I only hope that this time we can keep hold of it, to appreciate what we've produced.
Peter Griffin     Posted 20/08/2009 at 12:12:58   Comments (14)

Shakespeare, Duff, and the Everton mobile

I must admit, I'm not like most ToffeeWeb readers who are no doubt avid experts on the game and all the players, but I do know one thing insofar as our squad is tiny and, like a car with a tank half-full, it will eventually run out of gas...

While quality is obviously preferred over quantity, we are never going to compete with the big boys with a squad the size of ours, especially with a run in Europe. When I see household names like Greening and Duff being sold to the lower wasteland of the PL to the likes of Fulham, it makes me wonder why haven't we been building our squad to the same extent.

Saha is hardly of the Moyes build, but he has been taken on, largely I suspect as a desperation measure last summer. If Saha can fit in at Everton, surely any one of the transfers being flung around the PL would fit in?

Is Moyes perhaps too shrewd for himself, suffering from an inability to make a decision about anything, resulting in the dilemma we now regularly find ourselves in, or does something stink on a more sinister level resulting in the lack of transfer activity?

I suspect Kirby has something to do with it, as I recall a recent summer of Johnson, Lescott and Baines were all snapped up in good time before the start of the season... However, that appears to be an exception, rather than the rule.

Just like in all of Shakespeare's main characters, they all suffered from a fatal flaw. Perhaps Moyes's fatal flaw is starting to reveal itself...
Scott Robinson     Posted 20/08/2009 at 12:02:43   Comments (10)

The Big Fella

Since Fellaini joined Everton almost a year ago, I have noticed increased critisism over the course of last season and this season. I think it is rather strange to a boy who is still only 21 and who doesn't speak English. I know many people will question the €15 million price tag, and I can see why people would say it's too much. However, I do feel we will see the best out of him within a month or so.

My reasons for this is simple, Mikel Areta. Fellaini needs a playmaker alongside him in the middle to get the best out of him, when he was with Standard he had Defour to play off. Fellaini was playing his best football last season before Mikel got injured and I think we will see an increse in his performances once Mikel is fit. So please lay off him, we have only played one game. COYB!!
Tom Campbell     Posted 20/08/2009 at 10:37:27   Comments (16)

Local press = Chocolate tea cups

We all have our own feelings about the Lescott situation/no signings etc but one thing that has annoyed and mystified me in equal measure this summer is the absolute refusal of the local media, both radio and especially newspapers, to ask questions of the Everton hierarchy.

Cast your minds back 10 years or so to the dying embers of the Peter Johnson regime at Goodison Park. The two local papers, spearheaded by Phil McNulty (now an LFC brown nose at BBC Sport) and Len Capeling (whatever happened to him?) carried out a prolonged, even venomous campaign to remove Johnson whilst extolling the virtues of the little chirpy underdog Bill Kenwright.

Back then, it seemed that the local press were far less fearful of upsetting the applecart at Everton and felt far more obliged to represent the fears of the rank and file fans. Those sort of fears and downright anger is very much to the fore right now after another summer of transfer inactivity and questions as to just where all the revenue streams at the club disappear to.

But have you ever read ANY articles this summer from Dave Prentice, Dominic King, Ian Doyle etc asking questions about the lack of signings or drawing a link between no money being spent and the need to hold money back for the Kirkby project?

The reality is that on websites like this we are merely screaming in the dark where no-one of any consequence can hear us, let alone take any notice. Do you think that Kenwright ever sits there in his office reading our posts and shaking like a leaf? Nah, me neither!

It is only when the press turn their spotlight on a football club and start articulating the anger and frustration of fans, as well as maybe doing a little digging to find out where all the money really does go, that club Chairmen and directors start looking for the exit door. And even then it needs fans orchestrating a campaign of protests to shove them through the door. (Are we as fans too apathetic for that?)

So why don't the local press show any interest in asking the questions that we ask on here day-in, day-out? Well, if anyone has the e.mail work address of David Prentice/John Thompson etc, I'll ask them and let everybody know. What I can say is that if we want to see the back of Kenwright, and get proper answers for all our concerns, we need the press on our side.
Gareth Hughes     Posted 20/08/2009 at 09:03:45   Comments (8)

It's Difficult to Fault Moyes

I have just read the article in the Telegraph and must say that Moyes must be congratulated for how he is handling the Lescott affair.

People are saying sell him. Why keep someone who doesn't want to play for us? I agree, but where is City's third bid? They know the valuation (everyman and his dog knows what figure to suffice), so where are they?

City and Mark Hughes are a disgrace. If they were serious about the signing, or if they had any honour in how they do business, they would have made their bids over a relatively short space of time and if they felt Everton's valuation was over the top, they would have moved on. One month on and they are still "talking" — to whom, I don't know.

Moyes is right to stick to his valuation. Johnson went for £17 million and he can't defend. Moyes's points about Terry and Ferdinand is spot on.

I still think he will go. But I think City are dragging this affair out deliberately for sinister reasons. Dropping Lescott is a brave decision and only time will tell how costly this whole affair will be.
Paul Lenehan     Posted 20/08/2009 at 05:40:10   Comments (17)

The Exit Strategy

With Lescott's axing from tonight's side, his solitary training session, Moyes mentioning the 'disappointment' of his team-mates with his attitude, and - I think most importantly - Moyes alluding to His Gelness' departure from Manchester United, I think we're looking at what the Pentagon might refer to as an exit strategy.

The question now is what Everton, and David Moyes, will get out of this car crash.

The consensus among the press seems to be that Moyes has played a good, principled game, but that Saturday's debacle has forced him to take a more pragmatic view.

On Saturday, as soon as I heard about Lescott's alleged request not to play because his head was "messed up", I suspected the jig was up. We're not talking bereavement here. I may be slaughtered for bringing this up, but I don't remember any Liverpool players asking to be left out of the side at the back-end of the 1989 season because their heads were "messed up".

If, in these circumstances, Lescott's head can't cope with a game against Arsenal (and on Saturday's evidence, it manifestly couldn't) then it's time to take what you can get for a player who has evidently become damaged goods, or more damningly, is masquerading as damaged goods.

I watched Saturday's game on ESPN, and heard the crowd trying to communicate to Lescott. He wasn't listening.

I thought that playing for Everton in a World Cup season would make a difference. I was wrong. Sell him. Sell him expensively. Manchester City want him. He wants to go to Manchester City. Extract as much money from City as possible. But get the deal done as soon as possible. And make sure this squad remains a squad.


Marco Bonfiglio     Posted 19/08/2009 at 20:01:35   Comments (62)

Agent Kenwright

We need a new board at our "small club". During the custodianship of Billy Liar...oops, sorry... Blue Bill...o ops sorry Agent Kenwright, he has turned Everton into the small club that we now get refered to in the media. Ten years ago, no-one thought of us as that, sleeping giant maybe, but not small!

He has divided and conquered Evertonians on the Destination Kirkby issue. Unforgivable. He wants us to go to a retail park in Kirkby (The Green Shield Stamp Stadium). He calls himself the custodian of our beloved club, a bit like putting a fox in charge of the henhouse. His tenure will be remembered as the one that swapped Goodison for a cow shed in Kirkby, and for turning us into a second rate club. He has successfully lowered Evertonians' expectations of what constitutes success, i.e. FA Cup runners-up, 5th place, Europe, top-ten finish, 40 points etc.

We are Everton, fourth most successful club in English football, with a list of firsts longer than Agent Kenwright's pinochio nose! We wouldn’t have accepted this ten years ago, so why now?

Divide and conquer: Fans are supposedly split on the Kirkby Cowshed. Fans don’t know if it is Blue Bill or Billy Liar. Fans don’t know if Moyes is a lap dog or a great manager. By splitting the fans, by silencing the small shareholders, he has kept his vice-like grip on this club, and still we do nothing.

Has any chairman or manager, after this length of time without success, been able to stay in their respective jobs? Would that be the case at any of the so-called top four, or the next best club, Spurs, Villa or City? Doubt it! Remember this...Evil prospers while good men sit on their hands...

Blue Bill, Billy Liar, Don’t think so. Agent Kenwright... Mission Accomplished.
Robert Daniels     Posted 19/08/2009 at 17:33:24   Comments (26)

Not All Bad

Confession right away — I did write a fan article titled 'Reasons to be Cheerful Part 2' on the eve of the Premier season so it is only fair that I should try to explain myself.

I still insist that we have enough good players to send out a team that can compete with all but the top four in our division but I no longer believe they will try to compete.

Saturday really shocked me.

Good our players may be... but they did show one thing on Saturday — there is not a single player in this squad who is irreplaceable and that is a comfort of sorts. No matter which of our shabby tossers from Saturday's debacle asks for a transfer, we will not miss him. We can easily replace any good player from that side with another good player who costs about the same in transfer fee and wages.

The system that we play under David Moyes neither needs a star nor would David be able to cope with a star even if we found one in our midst. By sheer luck David inherited the young Rooney and look what a mess he made of that. It surely will make sense next Summer for our club and the player to take a large cheque from United and pass the emerging Rodwell on to Sir Alex.

In the meantime our group of good but far from outstanding players can certainly withstand the departure of the sulking Lescott — a decent left back but never secure enough in the centre — although we will miss his contributions up front. If City has offered the kind of money that the press is suggesting, surely common sense would be to bite their hand off and get a replacement in for a fraction of the cost.

But please not Huth nor the lumbering Senderos and should we really be looking at the sicknote Hutton and Bentley the drunk at Tottenham? Given our scouting network it must be possible for Moyes to get rid of Lescott and get better value than that quartet.

So on we go to Burnley, and while we might never know what went on in the dressing room ahead of the Arsenal game that caused our Blues to go on strike on the pitch, we should surely be able to take three points as we usually do from the promoted sides.

There still seems to be a torrent of criticism about Hibbert and Osman on this site but surprisingly little is said about their boss who gave them both pay rises and contract extensions that threatens Everton with three more years of weakness on the right side. DM did this around the time he gave Turner (just off his shambles against United) the contract that means he will also be here for another two years without even threatening the bench. DM and his chairman will be around our beloved club for ever as they both plan the downsizing to 'small town club' at Kirkby.

I had hoped we would have a few more years of the Everton we have come to know before that inevitable departure from the 'just off big time ' that we now see but Saturday showed the character flaws in this group of players that were less obvious before so who knows?
Glen Strachan     Posted 19/08/2009 at 15:01:19   Comments (4)

Whats the point in having them??

We all go on about how good Moyes is at blooding youngsters but tomorrow we have 1 recognised centre half so instead of playing Neville or Rodwell (who are both clearly not centre halves) then why not give a reserve a chance?

James Mccarten is a 19-year-old in our reserves and someone who must be available?? Or Shane Duffy, who I heard was in the N Ireland full squad recently!! Give one of them a crack.......

With the experience of Neville, Yobo, Howard, Cahill, Baines etc all around him communication shouldn't be an issue, I will guarantee they are chomping at the bit so the only question is are they good enough? Only 1 way to find out!! Otherwise what's the point in having them???
John Lloyd     Posted 19/08/2009 at 14:15:29   Comments (13)

Is DM ever gonna listen?

I honestly love all the posts and comments on this site and the guys should keep up the great work. Love the fact that you now have to log on before commenting.

Anyway, is David Moyes ever gonna gain knowledge that you need to start playing players in their natural position for example Cahill, Neville, Pienaar and a few others.

Neville a great leader, but sucks in a defensive midfielder role, play him at right back or don’t play him at all Cahill is a attacking player, always allow him freedom to move going forward. (Saturday deep role backfired big time.) Pienaar natural position is the centre of the park, the dude proved it over and over during the Confederations Cup in the summer (our winter). Saha is a brilliant opportunistic goal poacher, give the guys a run for heaven sake! Fellaini looks more defensive, in fact looked off his game on Saturday.

Osman is utterly crap, no vision going forward. Said this last season, this dude is the weakest link in the midfield Howard, at this stage I can’t comment, but I’m not impressed (I still believe he’ll make up for that crap performance).

Lescott needs to go, his heart is with Man City. We can do wonders with £22m (buy 3 quality players).

One of the players should be a natural left sided (meaning footed) player to replace Pienaar and create some completion within the squad for the central attacking role.
Ricardo Humphries     Posted 19/08/2009 at 10:05:42   Comments (19)

Is Lescott finally off?

I have just heard that Lescott has not trained with the first team sqaud today. Everton have not made a comment. It now looks like he is off to City.

If we get £20M plus a few of their players, but please not Richie Dunne....
Jon Smith     Posted 19/08/2009 at 10:19:40   Comments (63)

Sigma Olomouc

As we can all accept that were currently very weak down the right, new arrival's not seeming to be any closer and Lescott's pouting, I was wondering what people's thoughts are on this short-term tactical fix for tomorrow's game?

I would line the team up as thus (4-4-1-1): Howard; Hibbert, Yobo, Rodwell, Baines; Gosling, Osman, Neville Pienaar; Cahill/Fellaini, Saha/Jo. My reasoning being Lescott's negative influence, Gosling's energy to help out Hibbo, and Osman can get on the ball and be involved.
Barry Blackmore     Posted 19/08/2009 at 10:06:56   Comments (17)

The Owls

Whilst browsing through the BBC´s pages, I noted Sheffield Wednesday's plans to redevelop parts of Hillsborough - in particular the plan to remove pillars in the Kop End and the extension of the old Leppings Lane (West Stand).

More here http://www.swfc.co.uk/page/News/0,,10304~1759975,00.html

And all of this for £22 million....? Obviously not using the same builders that Elstone spoke to when the reveelopment of the Bullens was mooted!
John McGrath     Posted 19/08/2009 at 08:36:56   Comments (6)

Éver increasing rumours

So we've allegedly struck a loan deal with Éver Banega? Well aside form the inevitable work permit saga, I hope we get him simply to bolster the squad. I have doubts though that the Rocastle-turn-flop-to-the-floor (move of choice on the YouTube footage) will go down well in the Premier League. Perhaps he can play out on the right? But do we need another central midfielder who's played out of position?

Then we have the poor man's Beckham, Bentley. Lacks pace and matches the flair the flair he has on the pitch off the pitch — if he arrives, let's hope he isn't another Simon Davies.

Taylor... Moyes-style player, and could be a good signing, but there are other clubs sniffing about so need to get shit together, which of course could mean it's going nowhere — unless a certain Mr Lescott is.

Huth... well at least it rhymes with our style of play at times. No, that's harsh...

Really the point of this was mainly to hear what people think of Banega, as I've never heard of him before or seen him play other than pirouetting and still pictures to a samba beat.
Chad Schofield     Posted 19/08/2009 at 06:50:53   Comments (31)

The grass is greener

How many wins against the top 4 in the last 5 years? 1 or maybe 2? Isn't it about time a new strategy was unleashed aginst the likes of the Ssky 4 (or 5)?

My strategy is simple and straight forward. Tell the groundsman to leave the grass slightly longer than usual. This would stop teams from passing the ball smoothly and easily and would suit our non-footballing team to lump it up field and hope for the ball to hold up in the grass to give the oppositions defence (who like to pass it around) a choice. Either boot it back or play it around at your peril.

Well anythings better than the tactics that were employed against Arsenal. We don't like to play football so it would suit our "style". If we still lost we can make the team mow it after!
Antony Matthews     Posted 18/08/2009 at 18:59:39   Comments (6)

Recovery Times

Is it just me, or do our players seem to take 5 times longer than players at other clubs to get over injuries?

Yakubu has been out for almost 12 months, fair enough it's a bad injury as the achillies tendon is a strange thing.

Arteta has been out for 9 months and won't be back until November.. Jagielka is looking similar and Victor is 'recovering slowly'.

Now forgive me but Gerrard gets a bad injury and is back in 6-8 weeks, you see it all the time with other clubs. Are we just unlucky and our injuries are bad or Is there a slow malaise running through every aspect of our club from the boardroom through the the treatment table?

Hey let's hope it doesnt spread to the groundsman, 2 weeks to cut the grass will just give Moyes another excuse to play hoofball!!!
Ste Boileau     Posted 18/08/2009 at 16:17:12   Comments (7)

A Proper Evertonian?

I keep learning something new every time I log on to ToffeeWeb. In fact I am being educated by other Everton supporters on how to be a Good Evertonian.
Those of you out there who have yet to understand what it takes, here are some tips:

  1. Never ever be critical of the manager the one and only David Moyes. This guy is untouchable and to even dare
    question his ability is a hanging offence. Leave well alone and you will be alright. Sing "He's got Red Hair and We Don't Care" and you are defo in with the boys.
  2. The Chairman Bill Kenwright is another untouchable. No matter what Billy Boy does or says or no matter how many times he fucks you over, don't say a word. Suck it up and be thankfull
    Peter Joihnson is no longer around. Forget all about the Kings Dock arena and embrace the Tescodome.
    More Good Evertonian points earned here.
  3. Style of football being played for 8 years? Another touchy subject and one left best alone as you could be seen as "negative". Just accept that for professional footballers to be able to trap or pass a ball, it takes money. Yes, that's right — only players who cost a fortune know how to play there chosen profession properly. Clubs like Everton cannot expect to play decent footy any more and it's no fault of the manager. Passing and crossing to team mates is only for the rich and famous. Go along with this and you are starting to get it...
  4. Put all massive tonkings to the back of your mind and put them down as blips. 7-0 or 6-1 maulings — they are no cause for concern as David Moyes is the brightest young manager in the game and will get it right eventually. I mean Arsenal put 6 past all the minnows dont they? Yes, it's only the likes of big clubs like Hull City who dare take Arsenal on at their own game and beat them.
  5. Always, always live of the past and say things like, "We finished 5th twice and made it to a Cup Final" when trying to justify your arguements for meekly accepting the status quo. All though winning a final would be nice, it's the taking part that counts nowadays... Just like a school Sports Day for kiddies.
  6. Keep convincing yourself that all is well and as long as we have Moyes we will never struggle to compete. Moyes is a genius, you see, and I have only just started to realise it. Beating the big 4 once in a while doesn't matter anymore. We are Best of the Rest... so give it a rest.
  7. Sing "If You Know Your History" everywhere you go and even sing it in the direction of Man Utd and Liverpool fans. This won't make them laugh out loud but will make them realise what a fantastic history we have compared to their crappy ones.
  8. When put under pressure to come up with good reasons why Kenwright and Moyes are doing good jobs, refer back to
    Walter Smith and say it's better than his regime by miles. Say stuff like "We are no longer relegation fodder and have moved on," — even though Osman and Hibbert where part of Smith's set-up and are still playing for Moyes every week.
  9. Forget Smith just won another title in Scotland in his first full season back, to add to his other thousand trophies, and just keep faith in "Moyes the Winner".

  10. Sing "Shit ground, no fans whereever you go to watch the Blues.
    Its really funny, almost as funny as "Get your Tits out for the lads." Even though Goodison Park is a dump we can still slaughter little clubs for having plastic Cowsheds because our board would never consider such a thing for us would they?
  11. Make up rumours about Liverpool players and thier wives and sing about it at Derby games. It's dead funny honest. Say stuff like "Torres is gay and was caught in bed with Sol Campbell by his cleaner." It's a real hoot.
  12. Blame the Refs for all our problems and still go on about Collina robbing us at Villarreal. I know I still do and it does me no harm. You see, Refs are the antichrist and it was Clattenburg's fault we lost that match a Goodison a few seasons ago. Nothing to do with poor game plans. No, Clattenburg bevies with Carragher and Gerrard you see
    and must be bent.

Now, once you get the hang of the requirements, you will be able to say you're a proper Evertonian — unlike me, who is seen as a Kopite. I wish I could learn this Evertonian thingy and get accepted... I really do.

I have though got some tips of my own that might stand you in good stead for the future. They might seem a little silly but they can't be any more silly than those above.

  • Never cop off with a bird who drinks pints of Lager and has an Indian ink tatoo on her arm that says Wrexham Skins. You will regret it in the morning... Don't ask???
  • Never marry or date a bird who thinks she likes footy. It must be a real ball-breaker sitting through a game with your chick and she says things like "Arteta's fit, isn't he?", "OOH look at the arse on Victor".
  • Even worse is going the Wilmslow after the match and she is with you. All you want to do is fart, sing, drink, burp and be one of the lads but you have got the missus saying, "Make that your last one, me Lado, X-Factor is on at 7 and we're going home."
  • Never model your hairstyle on your favourite players. The Perm / Mullet combo was a real killer back in the 1980s and I tried it I looked a right twat. Evern after adding those tight shorts I still didn't look like Graeme Sharp.

I know its hard being an Evertonian but being a proper one is even harder. No matter how much time and money you put in there are so many things you need to learn.... Just like David Moyes, it appears I am still learning how to get it right.

Please someone tell me when will I earn my stripes? I can't take not being on of the lads any more... I just want to be loved, that's all.


Tony Marsh     Posted 18/08/2009 at 12:20:50   Comments (52)

When will we ever learn?

When I was lad growing up many moons ago, there was a song doing the rounds by Peter, Paul and Mary containing the words "When will they ever learn?" Over the past 20 years or so, these words could have become the motto of our beloved Everton FC.

It seems to me that from the late eighties onwards, the club has gone backwards at a rate of knots. Some of the issues were outside the control of the club, like the European ban etc, but the most of the blame can be laid at the door of the various boards and management. All of these issues have been discussed at length on ToffeeWeb and elsewhere over the years.

One of the particular issues that annoy me most is our transfer policy. Our present manager said at the weekend that he was in charge of all the comings and goings. If so, and if at present he is trying to screw City for every penny they pay for Lescott, then well done Moysey. However, when the shoe is on the other foot and he wants to buy a player, it appears that he does not value other clubs' players at realistic prices.

If rumours are to be believed then Liverpool have now taken an interest in Steven Taylor. Is Taylor one of “the couple of players coming to the club in the next 48 hours”? Well now, Davey, it is now over 72 hours since you made this statement and still nada. If the rumours are true it will take a miracle if Taylor is to sign for us instead of them. The same thing happened earlier with Naughton and Delph. Leeds must have got the hump with our offer seeing that they would only allow the player talk to Villa.

Please, Davey, if you have got the funds, stop pissing about. We badly need new players. Last season we were all blaming the Chairman over the lack of transfer funds, you dithered (again) and then on deadline day in a blind panic you squandered €15 million on what at best can be described as an average player.

Get the finger out, Davey, sell Lescott and get new players in before we all have to suffer another winter of discontent looking over our shoulders at the Championship. We are too good? That’s what the barcodes thought!!!
Declan Burke     Posted 18/08/2009 at 10:56:53   Comments (15)

Transfer Marathon

I've always said that the league is a marathon not a sprint but recently EFC have turned the art of transfer dealings into a marathon and most certainly not a sprint. Many theories have been put forward...

  • Dithering Davy wants to examine the players navel before committing
  • The money is being "ringfenced" for Kirkby
  • Earl and Green want their money back before allowing any further spending
  • We're just plain skint and the banks will not allow any further credit

Well any or all of those could be the situation but it is plain to a blind man that we need reinforcements urgently. I have never known Moyes to be caught in a lie but he has come close with his "I expect a couple of players in within the next 48 hours" which has obviously come and gone without even one potential signing being mentioned.

I was a bit concerned to read his statement in the Echo today particularly this extract: "There were reasons why those deals didn’t happen but there was no direct fault attached to Everton. In the end, those players have ended up at our rivals AS THEY HAVE MONEY TO SPEND. With the amount of money I have got to spend, it’s difficult to improve on a side that has finished fifth in the Premier League. I targeted a couple of younger players I thought I could get in, hopefully with good potential. But that’s gone now. We need to add to the squad and I’m confident we can get a couple in.”

Does this confirm that the reason we didnt sign Naughton and Delph was that we have no money? No rocket science there then as many of us knew already that we had no money but what about the extra money from finshing 5th and a Cup Final appearance?  Has that been earmarked for Kirkby which was supposed to be the opportunity to put more in the transfer Kitty not less and which must be clocking up millions in "experts" fees so far.

The thing we would all like to know is why Moyes is so desperate to cling on to Lescott. Is it because he knows he won't get the money to buy sufficient reinforcements or is it because he's sick to the back teeth of being stuffed by the board and is now saying sack me or back me with his statement, "I make the decisions here".

Whatever the situation, it is destroying our club and has already split Evertonians with so many divided opinions on Kenwright, the Board, Moyes and the players. It could have been so different with the camaraderie that was so evident on our cup final appearance, the goodwill of which has now been all but destroyed.

We need action now!! We need to make a statement on Lescott that he is for sale at £25 million take it or leave it and we need an injection of new blood immediately. Other clubs can manage it in 24 hours why cant we? If we really want these players it should be after all a sprint not a marathon!!


Jay Harris     Posted 18/08/2009 at 10:35:00   Comments (20)

Electronic Hoarding Misuse

This may seem like a stupid and petty point, but why are our electronic advertising hoardings never showing anything other than our own brand?

On Saturday they constantly showed the away kit, season ticket sales, Chang & a welcome for ESPN.

Surely they should be put to a more profitable use like what's seen at the Emirates and partner ourselves closely with 5 or 6 companies who offer a real return on that valuable advertising space.
Andy Macrae     Posted 18/08/2009 at 10:57:20   Comments (16)

Every Cloud

Still reeling from the effects of the north London Arsenal that blitzed into town last week. Quite naturally, abject pessimism is prevalent — to say nothing of the cynicism directed towards Kenwright, and even Moyes, following such a hurtful, timorous surrender. I have to confess that a masochistic part of me felt that this was exactly what was needed, echoing Tony Marsh's predictive schadenfreude.

Getting pasted at home on the opening day should never of course be the catalystic force that sets the keystone for a season superior to the last; motivation should naturally be innate. Yet I'm hoping that it will. Such ought to be the shame felt by our guys when they next step out, realising as they should, that forgiveness won't come quick, and I am hoping this will forcibly induce remedial action, on and off the pitch.

The Sky-blue kick-in-the-teeth over Lescott, the near apoplexy over the club's apparent refusal to evolve the playing staff, the same old tried (and evidently trusted) Hibbert/Osman axis so bemoaned by many of us, and the desperate need for the return of Jags, Art & the beloved Yak, mean we were always kicking off the season with little hope and characteristic Evertonian pessimism.

This needs to change, and I think it will, so I plead with the club to react. Invest in new players rather than watch us turn into Lot's wife. The players must be desperate to get us back onside, rather than comfortably acknowledging support will always be there, come what may. We need a statement from Kenwright or Moyes outlining what plans, if any, they have.

Oh, and of course, a taxi for Joleon. It wounds me to the core when a player ACTUALLY REQUESTS a move away from my club, on whose pitch my Grandad's ashes were scattered. Thank you... now fuck off!!

I want to be optimistic, I really do... and I hope something positive emerges from Saturday's shame. We want to advance from fifth, not scrap with the largely unscrutinised also-rans. We crave silverware too. So, surely they see the need for evolution? If I can, and they're eminently more qualified than this nescient observer, they must do too...

So I am trying to anticipate a favourable response, attempting to believe something good will transpire; that they will rectify and clarify all these issues, and ultimately satisfy our shared aspiration.

Without irony, I say "Watch this space...." Possibly from behind a "Kenwright Out!!" banner...
Kevin Hudson     Posted 18/08/2009 at 08:47:37   Comments (11)

Another 48 hours

No, not the classic Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte buddy movie.... the time that has now elapsed since David's ill-advised sound-bite about the immediacy of our necessary new signings.

Bill Kenwright has yet to commit one of his classic utterances this summer but it seems that David may actually be doing his job for him. Do these people not realise the emotive consequences of their misfortunate PR? Do they even care? Or maybe it's just the ramblings of the demented.

Now, I know it was unlikely to ever happen — and I'm not that naive — but the way the top level of this club constantly stamp all over the expectations of our fans is disgusting. It's even more annoying because this time it's our man of integrity Mr Moyes peddling the bullshit.
Ciarán McGlone     Posted 18/08/2009 at 08:29:09   Comments (51)

Pre Season Prep (or lack of)

Let's not get too ahead of ourselves on the first result of the season, but one thing is quite clear. The club has again not prepared itself correctly for the start of the season.

Last season it was the uncertainty of Moyes contract and inactivity in the transfer market that unsettled the team. This season it's the Lescott debacle and further inactivity in the transfer market.

We hear noises of how difficult it is to get the right players in, and it is, but almost every other Premier League club doesn't seem to find it that difficult. Mark Hughes appears to have been successful in winding Moyes up over Lescott, a situation the manager should never have allowed to happen.

When will we learn that we will never make any successful challenge to the top four starting our season in September.
Alan Wainwright     Posted 18/08/2009 at 08:14:25   Comments (0)

Wolves Payoff?

Just a thought. Wolves are entitled to some "sell on" money if and when Lescott takes the petro-dollars, how is this affected by any player exchange deals?

Just suppose we settle for £20 million plus Jo, Dunne, Petrov or any combinations thereof. Do Wolves get there share based only on the cash element or also on the player exchanges based on some agreed valuation of the players? And if this is the case what's to stop EFC insisting City place a low valuation on any exchange players to minimise what we have to pass onto Wolves.

Seems like a minefield to me.
Howard Don     Posted 18/08/2009 at 08:13:02   Comments (8)

Changing our style of play?

I posted most of this on a thread the other day, but never really got any opinions.

I know 4th, 5th and 6th are massive improvements from when Moyes took over. We were fighting relegation battles and he came in and made us difficult to beat. It wasn’t pretty but it was effective. He has gradually overhauled the squad and I feel it’s our best for a long time. However, the football hasn’t improved in line with the better players brought in.

Why do we still adopt such a negative approach and play long balls? The rigid 4-5-1 where every player is drilled on shape without the ball and closing space did a job, but now what? We’re no longer battling relegation. Against the top 4 we're awful, yet we're supposed to be trying to overhaul one of them. Is Moyes not capable of adapting? When we haven't got the ball these tactics are all well and good, but when we're in posession is where the problem lies.

When the ball gets played out to our right hand side it’s like being in a nightclub and the music goes off and the lights come on. Shocking. We all know it. The lesson should have been learned in the FA Cup Final. DM needs to be less cautious, not only with the style of play but with his type of signings. A pacey winger for example, who can beat a man and whip a cross in. Instead of a workhorse who closes people down and plays hit and hopes high into the box.

Baines and Pienaar linked up really well last season down the left and were great to watch. Arteta, from the middle, was excellent getting on the ball and keeping it moving, and Rodwell looks assured in possession. These players aside we lack people who want to get on the ball, who won't panic and just lump it. It seems to be ingrained in their mentality. In short spells we can play decent stuff but why is it so few and far between? How are they coaching the academy kids to play the game?

Wigan on Saturday battered Villa away but played football, passed it created chances, and were good to watch. I know it was only one game but that’s the way Martinez set his team up and he got a result. Zola at West Ham come in last season and did the same. These teams won’t win every week, neither will we, but at least they will play good football. I’m not saying I want us to do a West Brom and play well and lose every week, but I think you can play football in our division and still do well.

We’re not regarded as a footballing side, can we change that? I don’t know about everybody else, but that’s what I want to pay to see. Exciting football that gets you on your feet, cheering and urging your team on. It’s like a morgue half the time at GP and I’m sick of listening to away fans saying SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHH.

Playing better football would help improve the atmosphere, sell more merchandise, get bums on seats and help fill a new stadium when we eventually get one!

I don’t expect this to happen, but it’s not a bad idea. Footballs all about opinions and people will disagree with me, but am I wrong for wanting to watch good football for my money?
Peter Griffin     Posted 18/08/2009 at 06:04:00   Comments (11)

Retail Therapy

I, like everyone else, did not have a good Saturday night. Whether it was anticipation or expectation I'm not sure, but I was angry to the n-th degree. Angry that we looked a million miles away from what we were 3 months ago; angry that Joleon's head is so far up the East Lancs Road he didn't really want to know; and probably more angry that the rest of the squad didn't have the professionalism to put it aside and perform for the shirt and supporters.

I was hoping for a positive result, and I'm not going to elaborate on it, it's been done to death since Saturday night. I was still so pissed off Sunday morning that I packed my lad up into the car and went out to buy a new laptop. Luckily I had some PC World vouchers which softened the financial blow to my bank account, but I had a deal and came away happy and bette in myself. Ah... Retail Therapy!

I'd like to think that, by the end of the week, this is how our manager will be feeling! Please god he'll have a few quid to spend now with the overdraft reportedly secured — I too like many think Joleon will go, it's just on what terms Moyes allows it. It surely has to include an element of a cash plus player deal. We are so bereft of numbers.

One of considerations when buying the laptop was it's capabilities — does it have a dual core processor? Is the grapics card suitable for FM 2009? Silly I know, but maybe Moyes is thinking the same way about signing players: Are they good enough to break into the first team? Are they good enough to play Europa League football? (I'm very worried about Thursday btw!) Is it worth spending precious little he has on 'squad players' or hanging on a getting what HE wants rather than what he'd settle for?

I do think there will be a few through the door this week, not sure who though... and looking at how many players we've been linked with in the past week, I wouldn't mind any of them.

Spending does make you feel better and gives you a bit of a lift — it's something we could all do with at the moment. Chins up all — It'll get better. We are Everton FC, would you expect it to be any different?
Matthew Barry     Posted 18/08/2009 at 05:10:34   Comments (2)

Forcing Moyes's Hand

I believe that David Moyes is going to have his mettle tested even further over the Lescott saga. His handling of the affair so far has pushed him down a road that may indeed bring about his resignation. vIf City come back with another increased offer, then I can see the board at EFC telling Moyes to accept the offer in order to provide some much needed funds.

His dogged statement that he is in charge of the buying and selling of players, and he alone, will surely be tested, as will be his pride and reputation. He will then be backed into an alley way with a dead end. I think this will be too much and he may resign over the board's decision to sell Lescott.

Just a thought, but things are very fragile at Goodison right now and need to be handled very carefully...
Andrew Ingram     Posted 17/08/2009 at 21:57:29   Comments (21)

White flag raised already!

Please can someone cheer Moyes up, why after just one game is he contemplating relegation?

I live in East Anglia and the people round here rate Moyes, but they also say he is always talking us down, expecting defeat or a draw, and never talking us up, or being positive.

Here are his comments:

Moyes: Survival is key David Moyes has admitted that survival is now key to Everton's season after their 6-1 drubbing by Arsenal.

The Toffees finished fifth in the Premier League last season but looked a shadow of that side on Saturday.

The Toffees boss told the Liverpool Echo: "They have got to make sure that they achieve enough to do what they are good at — that's to make sure we are in the division

Depressing stuff, pass me a valium.
Andrew McGreavy     Posted 17/08/2009 at 19:45:52   Comments (31)

Name the Guilty Men

There would be some consolation to watching our abject humiliation on Saturday if it was even remotely likely that we as a team would learn anything from the football lesson handed out by a less experienced but much more talented Arsenal.

The sad fact is that nothing — nothing — is likely to change as a result of this complete demolition. The same players are likely to play the same tactics in the same positions next time out and all season and with the same lame excuses and platitudes if things go wrong.

If it were up to me, Baines, Neville, Hibbert and Osman would be dropped in favor of younger players, like Rodwell Gosling, Baxter and Vaughan, likely to show greater effort and commitment. They could hardly demonstrate less aptitude.

Moreover, Cahill plays too deep. He needs to come forward where he is more effective. It is time to drop the well worn 4-5-1 approach, which others teams no by now how to handle, in favor of two up front. It is unfair to Jo to use him as a lone striker, pumping up long aimless balls in the forlorn hope one will fall just right for him off Fellaini's head. But David Moyes changing tactics is about as likely as Everton packing up and moving to... wait a minute...
Peter Fearon     Posted 17/08/2009 at 18:42:25   Comments (14)

Captain's role

What are people's true opinion of Neville as our captain? For me, he was one of the main culprits for bad defending on Saturday. He left Fabregas well alone for the 4th goal when any other decent defensive midfielder would have at least risked a booking by chopping him down to prevent him scoring. Our captain looked more jaded than anybody else out there.

I didn't notice him rallying the troops, in fact his head was the first to drop. He obviously isn't capable of galvanising the troops when it's needed most, especially when he's so limited in his own play. If you were Pienaar or Cahill (or anyone else on the team for that matter), would you take any shit from Neville? Would you take Neville telling you you weren't playing well enough when he's utter shite himself?

Neville's very good at coming out with sound-bites, especially after defeats, talking up the team spirit and togetherness within the camp. He seems a good spokesman for the club and he is supposedly the 'ultimate profesisonal'. Not many in the media have a bad word to say about him. He helps new players settle when they arrive at the club. So he has his good points but to me a captain's real worth is on the pitch.

Neville's so much at fault for the limitations of Everton's play I just don't think he's up to being the captain. Cahill obviously loves the club and, if played in his correct position, is our most effective player. Jagielka is an awesome defender who I feel we're blessed to have. There's no way we'd have conceded 6 with him on the pitch on Saturday.
Alan Clarke     Posted 17/08/2009 at 14:56:35   Comments (22)

Do we need Rasmus Elm?

Obviously YouTube aint the best place to do your scouting, but after watching some clips of Elm — I don't think we need him.

What was apparent from the Arsenal 'game' was that there was nobody in centre midfield who was able to take the ball, turn, then play a forward pass. All to often the ball was played sideways or backwards for someone else to hoof the ball upfield — straight back to the opposition.

Previously, I thought that we needed wingers, but this seemed our most pressing problem. Yes, we will have Arteta back at some point, but Neville and Cahill have their strong points and passing is nowhere near for either.

So, after watching Elm, the majority of the clips are either of him scoring or of him doing surging runs. This to me seems to suggest we'll be playing more hoofball — with the odd glimpse of football thrown in.

Please, please, please could we have a centre mid who is composed, able to turn and can pass the ball forward.
Andy Macrae     Posted 17/08/2009 at 09:45:10   Comments (42)

Club Shop Refit - Everton Minus 1!

Not only was the football depressing on Saturday, I had the joy of going to Everton 1 for the first time and being throughly unimpressed.

Fair enough, it was matchday and it's going to be busy, but the way its been set up is useless. All the kit in the first section so that was bound to get overcrowded, and it did get very busy, with one changing room in the whole place!

Add to that the fact that they didn't have Medium or Large in any of the Polo's or retro jackets! Come on Everton and Kitbag, this is the first game of the season and it's a near sell-out. If ever stuff is going to move, it was going to be Saturday.

I spoke to one of the girls in there asking for sizes and she said "yeah loads have been asking for them". This deal with Kitbag was supposed to be great for the club, but please Wake Up, whoever is running this place! How can you be out of medium and larges (along with XL, the most popular for the fans) for these popular items on the first day of the season?!?

It's another example of how we don't make the most out of what we have. On the good side it was good to see some of the Everton collection in there, but I just thought it wasn't great and also lots of wasted space by the tills and exit etc.
Andy Lee     Posted 17/08/2009 at 08:51:22   Comments (8)

Contracts and Confusion

It is difficult to know where to start with the debacle that was the defeat to Arsenal. So many issues have been raised here on ToffeeWeb, from the Hibbert/Osman debate, through the Kenwright/Moyes issues, the relative merits of this player and that etc.

Obviously uppermost in the current debate is the on-going saga of the Lescott situation. Its impact on Everton on a number of fronts is undeniable for a whole variety of reasons. But I do feel that a wider issue is often overlooked which I think points the finger at the corrupt underbelly of modern football and which has impacted so badly upon Everton. Namely the so-called authorities and administrators of the game.

What has been overlooked in the Lescott saga seems to be the fact that he is an employee of Everton Fooball Club because both parties entered into a CONTRACT of employment. These documents seem to be important in organising, in a civilised manner, the arrangements freely entered into by willing partners, especially in the work place.

Into this scenario comes another club who wish to buy Lescott. Everton apparently do not want to sell him. End of story? Not in football it seems. Man City then continue to actively pursue Lescott, thus destabilising Everton on a number of fronts; treating contractual arrangements with utter contempt and causing a great deal of personal and collective unrest in the club. And what do the authorities do about it? Nothing, and it would appear that at least publically Everton are as culpable as the FA in not demanding that the strongest possible action be taken against Man City for their flagrant contempt for legally binding documents and due process. Even by the corrupt standards that infect football at every level, this is surely some kind of watershed? However, few people seem to be taking this with any degree of seriousness simply dealing with it at the level of the EFFECT it has had on Everton. The compromising situation is being felt by Lescott, Moyes, Kenwright, the "board", and the players themselves, with reactions such as "Oh well if we can get £20 million for him let him go." etc.

I can appreciate the feeling of "he has asked for the transfer now so let him go" but this is a very thick end of a very very thick wedge. The craven abdication of those with responsibility for ensuring the "rule of law" in these matters simply confirms the fact that there is no ethical base whatsoever in soccer. The economics of the mad house are being allowed free reign and it is clear for all to see how Everton have been compromised almost into oblivion.

I admired Moyes for originally standing his ground but alas the cretins in the corridors of incompetence seem now to make of him a fool in many people's eyes. When the law's rules and regulations are allowed to be flaunted with impunity and the culprits allowed their way what precisely does this "beautiful game" have left?
Anthony Lamb     Posted 16/08/2009 at 20:16:07   Comments (10)

Get Back To Basics

What a horrific first game of the new season. Clearly we are all fuming about what was served up yesterday. I think the Lescott saga has been done to death so I'll try to avoid focusing on that. Sadly, there are plenty of other areas which can be explored with equal incredulity and exasperation!

Yet again we have been outplayed by a better footballing team in Arsenal. Perhaps no shame considering their pedigree. Yet there have been plenty of examples of "lesser" teams doing similar to us over the past few years. Why are we in general, such a poor passing team?

This, on reflection, is one of the main reasons i feel we are standing still when playing the better sides in the league. Too often we give the ball away through loose passing. You may get away with it against the likes of Stoke or Hull, but the quality teams will punish you.

I'm tired of the relentless hoofball we play. Sure, we don't have too many players of Arteta's class, but surely the basics of pass and move apply to ANY top flight professional? Take Arsenal yesterday. They never kept still, always looking to pass and move and create space by dragging defenders out of position with clever runs. Compare that to us and how we "play". Just what are we doing on the training ground? Seven season in and we are still one of the worst teams to watch in the league.

If we can't compete with the better teams in terms of on-the-ball control, let's at least be aggressive and close down space. If WE can't play, let's at least stop them. Yesterday, we did neither. I don't think the result was a true reflection on either club, but the fact it happened needs addressing.

If we do end up not signing anyone of quality (God forbid, anyone at all...) then for fuck's sake let's do the basics right. Be aggressive, track runners, win headers. Nobody expects miracles, but everyone should expect the bare minimum.

The next few days will be interesting. I hope we do make some signings. I hope everyday at Finch Farm is spent reflecting upon that shameful display on Saturday.

I even hope one day we will be a team that does pass and move and is easy on the eye. Until then, let's get back to basics, eh lads?
Lionel Luthor     Posted 16/08/2009 at 15:15:24   Comments (22)

Same old same old

Saturdays disgraceful result has set us up nicely for the coming season,

In the face of adversity, David Moyes will once again rise from the ashes and, with no money, a threadbare squad, and all the disruption surrounding one of our best players, we will rise to the unbelievable heights of what? Maybe, if we are lucky, a Europa League place and a bit of a cup run and, once again, Moyes can become manager of the season.

I don't blame Davey; without him, god knows where we would be... but, for once, it would be nice to go into a season without the worries of "will he, wont he", to have money to spend, and to NOT feel like an over-achieving fat child who has done well to finish a race at Sports Day, being cheered by all the sporty kids who finished well ahead.

Never mind all the shite about being the best of the rest — I want to be THE BEST, to have the best players, the best ground... we already know we have the best supporters and possibly the best manager.

What we need is THE BEST OWNERS with money to spend and the ability to take the club forward — at least then, we may be able to compete and not have our hair ruffled like a good little boy by teams with more money or who have a chance of winning trophies every season.

So please, Mr Kenwright, just sell our club and give us a chance; the best of the rest is shite and just not good enough.
Peter Rogers     Posted 16/08/2009 at 14:42:18   Comments (14)

Europa League on TV?

he game against Sigma Olomouc is being not being shown on TV. Fulham managed to get a deal with ITV4 I'm told Spurs have a deal with FIVE.

Everton... Nothing.

Is this due to the club? What are the club going to do? Will it be shown on Everton TV?


Chris Kennedy     Posted 16/08/2009 at 11:07:25   Comments (17)

Used to be a Grande Old Team

As Evertonians, we have our fair share of anthems. My favourite is 'If you know your history...'. However, like most anthems, they are susceptible to hijack, by people who wish to use it for their own ends.

There is now a sad poignancy whenever I hear this song. Kenwright's reign has seen to that. This man, a passionate Blue agreed, but totally visionless nonetheless, has usurped everything that's remotely aspirational within our club and 'hoodwinked' (I use that word advisedly and not pejoratively) a sizeable (yet dwindling) proportion of our fans to solely look backwards. And mind, be grateful for that!

Reflecting on yesterday, I just wonder what is going through Kenwright's mind today. He will hurt just like us, no doubting that. But will he, like SOME, but amazingly, still not all of us, be hurting by the total inevitability of yesterday's events. That's what hits me. Yesterday was like a train crash in slow motion (Sam Peckinpah-esque... if you know your movies).

It was a culmination, a nadir, a seminal moment, an outcome... call it what you will, created by years of the strategy being: "Davey... look to the stars and give me a miracle."

Well, part of me so wishes the fans take back this anthem, and, with creative licence, amend the lyrics:

We used to be a Grand Old Team to play for
We used to be a Grand Old Team to support
And if all you have is your history
It's enough to make you all go AAAAARGH!!

We do care what the media say
That's because we care
For we k all now
If there's ever going to be a show
Then Billy Boy won't be there!
Yes, as a grown man, this is a touch pathetic, melodramatic and indeed smalltime... But hey — kind of reminds of you someone... doesn't it?

Who knows... it may strike a chord. But then again... Better to make history... rather than peddle it
James Macpherson     Posted 16/08/2009 at 09:02:13   Comments (4)

Hughes's Arrogance...

I used to admire Mark Hughes when he played for Man Utd. He was without doubt a very good footballer... but as a football manager... he stinks!

"We feel we are doing things the right way and through the proper channels," explained Hughes.

"I'm not surprised David feels a bit aggrieved with the situation, you always are when a big club is trying to sign one of your best players."

Proper channels? BIG club???

Man City are not a BIG club. They are a club with money, THAT IS ALL THEY ARE, a club with money. Money does not equate to big. Money does not equal success and does not make a team "BIG".

NUFC had/have money ergo LUFC and where are they now? Not in the PL and how many seasons have EFC been outside the PL as compared to MCFC? NEVER! In this day a BIG club is one that can say they any of the following:

We are an ever-present in the PL. We won a trophy since the inception of the PL. We have NEVER played in a lesser league than the PL since the PL inception.

So tell me MH, what makes MCFC a "bigger" team than our beloved Everton? Money? That may come true this season but I doubt it. Your team of assembled "I can earn this amount of cash per season" players will NOT break the so-called elite.

I write this following the opener for the season. I viewed an Arsenal team highly rated to drop out of the elite group create havoc with a team I expected to compete with the usual suspects. Your team will IMHO fare lbetter than we did. I do not expect your team to lose as heavily as we did but I do not think your team will win ANY match played against them.

"I could pick up the phone and ring David very easily. I would ask him whether I could have his player, he would say no and I would have to put the telephone down. What would be the point of that?

"The thing is we haven't put this into the public domain. Everton did that on their website."

No you did that with your insistence of manipulating all forms of the press. I watch it on FSC and Sky Sports updates. All Sky does is postulate.

Why have you NOT picked up the phone and called Davey? PLEASE pick up the phone and call him! Put an end to our concerns... Oh, I know why. He will tell you to go away and in far more bitter language than I will write on here.

What the hell...

MH... Fuck Off. JL is NOT for sale.
Gary Sedgwick     Posted 15/08/2009 at 23:03:22   Comments (30)

How to Move On...

To be honest, I am one of the always positive and optimistic people on this site. However, today was an absolute disgrace. Everything that Everton and Moyes stand for and are associated with, went right out the window today. No fight, no spirit, no will to win. Heads collapsed and hardly anyone seemed interested.

Now we can either sulk about the performance and result, or we can work out how to change it. Drastic times means drastic measures and wholesale changes are needed.

1. The formation is so defensive and getting out dated. We were at home on the first game of the season, and we do have decent enough players to give any team a go on our day. Change from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2 and let's have a go at teams.

2. Jo is awful as a lone striker. He does have some attributes, but not as a lone striker. Saha looks promising so far if we can keep him fit. Jo and Saha upfront together.

3. Cahill is being under-used in the centre of midfield. Play him in the middle but with a licence to attack. This means dropping Fellaini.

4. Rodwell looks good enough to start. Let him back Cahill up. Rodwell is a better passer than Neville and therefore Neville can be used at right-back.

5. Osman is way out of his depth against a top 4 side. Clearly lacks pace as showed on Saturday. Gosling has pace and wants to attack and get forward and has enthusiasm and ambition. Gosling in instead of Osman.

6. Lescott needs to go. If that is the effect Lescott has on the team, sell him now. I was in agreement with Moyes... until Saturday. Lescott didn't do anything individually wrong but the whole team looked disinterested, and I can only put this down to the Lescott saga. Sell him now and buy a quality replacement. Richards, Turner, Cahill, anyone else please.

Therefore:
Howard;
Neville, Yobo, AN Other, Baines;
Gosling, Rodwell, Cahill, Pienaar;
Jo, Saha.
Matthew Lovekin     Posted 15/08/2009 at 19:50:26   Comments (19)

Let's All Cheer The Judas?

Ok, so the result was mind-boggling enough today, but what baffled me even further was why on earth were people cheering Lescott every time he touched the ball. I can understand why people wouldn't boo him, that wouldn't do us any favours, but to cheer and give the best of our support to the one man in the team that deserves it least is beyond me.

Sure, the other 10 players didn't do much to deserve a cheer today, but surely they are the ones we should get behind. I think Lescott has severely unsettled the team dynamics and, as much as I loved him as a player, I now think he has to move on. Our team, more than any other in the Prem, is based around a very strong team spirit and I think Lescott is currently our chink in that armour.

I say ship him out asap, let's draw a line under it and start moving forward. On a lighter note, its only Day One after all and as much as it hurts tonight, we'll be fine in the long run. COYB
Ian Ankers     Posted 15/08/2009 at 18:52:26   Comments (25)

Deja vous vu 1958-59

I wasn't there today, but I was there early on in 1958-59, when we lost 1-6 at home to Arsenal. On the previous Saturday, I'd seen us lose 1-4 at home to Tom Finney and ten other Preston players. I thought it couldn't get any worse. I was wrong, the next home fixture was against Arsenal, then a very mediocre outfit. We lost 1-6.

Three positives emerged from that game. Derek Temple scored the Everton goal and it was his first in the league for the club. A week later, Bobby Collins was signed and no player in my 50+ years of watching Everton has ever had a bigger impact on the club than that wee man. He was an absolute genius, who almost single handedly transformed an awful ageing team into a credible top outfit. Then, thirdly, the incompetent Buchan was sacked and Carey was brought in to begin a great period in Everton's history.

Do I think that today's result will have similar positive outcome? No!

Every recent season sees Everton dreadfully under-prepared for the start of the season. Every recent season sees us refusing to sign players until the last week in August. And every recent season sees us making a great run between October and March.

Without Arteta, there is not a creative player on the books. Since Carsley went, we have struggled to hold the midfield defensively... and last season we used a 4-6-0 formation which was pragmatic, but lacking in ambition or fluency.

Some may trust in Moyes; I think he's a good manager with little resources and a man who distrusts talent.

We could well struggle. I hope this result was an aberration, but it may not be.
Rick Tarleton     Posted 15/08/2009 at 17:09:06   Comments (13)

Enough!

Stuffed by another big four team again. I think it's time to be honest. Champions League? Well, the optimists on this site have been out of order for some time. There has been some crap put forward on this site lately. Apparently negativity is unacceptable and we actually have a decent squad and are the envy of the bottom half of the premier league. Tony Marsh talks shite and his wish that we got thumped by Arsenal was "a betrayal". Tony — you were right, and here's why:

We are paying £3.5million a year to a man who has won nothing and who never will. Last year I made this point and argued that, for that obscene salary, we might actually attract a coach who didn't enter every game with the object of avoiding defeat.

Champions League? Well, we really are having a laugh. David Moyes will keep us in the Premier League and if that is the extent of our ambition then his salary is justified. Unfortunately, his salary is paid, not on his ability as a coach, but on his loyalty to Bill Kenwright. His handling of the Lescott fiasco has been totally inept and I believe that Evertonians have been conned into thinking that there is no alternative to Moyes and Kenwright. We are expected to be grateful for the years of truly appalling football that he has overseen.

I have no doubt that in the next few weeks we will gather some points against weak opposition, and it will be said that Davey has turned it round again. I just ask Evertonians to think back to the FA Cup Final and the abject surrender that Moyes was responsible for. We will never win a trophy while he and Kenwright continue their nauseating double-act with the connivance of many supporters.
Andy Crooks     Posted 15/08/2009 at 16:08:39   Comments (87)

Everton v Arsenal

TEAM NEWS: Everton team to face Arsenal: Howard, Hibbert, Baines, Yobo, Lescott, Jo, Cahill, Neville, Pienaar, Osman, Fellaini.

Dunno what the bench is, but assume Saha on there.
Matt Traynor     Posted 15/08/2009 at 13:47:29   Comments (151)

Rumor Mistake

Guys,

I see you posted an 'Arteta' story on your rumour coloum.

On further investigation, It's a hoax news page that Benfica have for their fans. (You may remember the video evertonfc.co.uk placed on there website allowing you to show your friends 'enter name' had signed for Everton.)

click this link for proof...

It says they've just signed our very own Tony Hibbert.
Thomas Surgenor     Posted 15/08/2009 at 10:23:50   Comments (3)

Ever Banega

The Times is claiming that Moyes is on the verge of closing a 12 month loan agreement with Valencia for 21-year-old Argentinian defensive midfielder Ever Banega.

This guy cost Valencia €13 Million a couple of years ago, has had some off the field problems in Spain and not excelled as well as his early years at Boca suggested he would. Sounds like he needs a fresh start and some good coaching; the archetypal Moyes signing.

He can certainly play, has tremendous skill, knows how to pick out a pass and can turn on a sixpence, but physique is a little slight for a defensive mid. His playing style in fact is reminiscent of the oft-mentioned Moutinho. Check out some clips on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNqr-cnU27k

Ever's not the right-back or right-winger that we need but from my point of view he has all the credentials to slot into centre midfield as the box-to-box defensive mid that we need, leaving Neville to move to right back. I for one certainly hope this rumour is true.

Times story is at the bottom of this article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/everton/article6797071.ece
Glen Anderson     Posted 14/08/2009 at 20:45:04   Comments (27)

48 hrs ... Guessing Time

Quoted from David Moyes:

"We have got 13 or 14 players which I am happy with and we have some up-and-coming youngsters as well which gives us great hope," he said. "I hope maybe within the next 48 hours or so we will have a couple of new players added to the squad. If we do that then we will start to rebuild from the players we lost last season."

Any guesses at the couple of players? I wouldn't mind Tuncay to be honest. Gives us a few options with £6 million being the possible fee.
Sean McNally     Posted 14/08/2009 at 13:18:53   Comments (37)

Moyes on SSN

David Moyes came on Sky Sports News at lunchtime today. When asked about Mark Hughes's comment about speaking to those who can make decisions over Lescotts transfer.

Moyes said "...that no one from Manchester City, including Mark Hughes, has spoken to me, and I am the one who decides who comes and goes at Everton".

He said he is quite prepared to talk to Hughes, he just needs to pick up the phone. He also re-stated that Lescott is not for sale.

He went on to say that "Lescott is a valued player at Everton, and obviously valued more than he is at Manchester City."

"Lescott has the respect of all the players and staff and has behaved like a professional throughout. All Manchester City have done is twisted his head and distracted him, maybe that's what they inetended to do."

Brilliant stuff!
Brian Baker     Posted 14/08/2009 at 12:06:34   Comments (37)

Are we a good bet?

Just like last summer ToffeeWeb opinions as to our chances in the coming season cover a pretty wide spectrum. Fair enough but I wondered about the more 'independent' opinions of the bookies. I have an account with Skybet so the odds quoted are from them.

The market that interests me most is ' Without The Big 4' as we have won this the last 2 years and obviously have a reasonable chance of doing it again. The odds are:-

 Man City 10/11 Spurs 7/2 Everton 5/1 A Villa 13/2 Sunderland ! 25/1 33/1 bar 
As usual, Spurs are (in my opinion) totally overestimated and I can only think that they must have taken a lot of money on City to justify those odds. We were 11/2 last year and I'm going to have another go.

Another interesting market is the Handicap List. This year Everton are 16/1 with a start of 26 points. This is the same as last year when we came 5th behind Stoke, Liverpool, Fulham and Man Utd. I'll be going each way on this again.

For the more optimistic amongst us, we are 8/1 to finish in the top 4. Whilst I am cautiously optimistic about the coming season, I think I would need longer odds than that before parting with my hard-earned.

Finally, I noticed that The Yak is 66/1 to be top goalscorer. There are many ifs and buts in this equation but with 1/5 odds down to 4th place (14 goals last season), it seems worth £1 each way to me.

Is anybody else investing in our chances this season?
Phil Guyers     Posted 14/08/2009 at 09:44:11   Comments (6)

What if Moyes walks?

With the Lescott saga turning nasty and the press suggesting that Hughes has gone over Moyes's head to get his man, I reckon we need to brace ourselves for Davey Boy walking. And the posts I have read suggest that a lot of us would recognise his reasons for doing so.

IF that comes to pass, I was wondering who would be willing to take on the manager's role bearing in mind a lot of the current team (and more significantly the younger ones who will have known no other manager and/or youth team coaching staff who will likely follow DM out the door) would be very unhappy and look for the exit too. Steve McClaren anyone?
Richard Roberts     Posted 14/08/2009 at 05:27:36   Comments (61)

Anthony Vanden Borre

As an FM addict, this piece of news caught my attention today about Portsmouth signing Anthony Vanden Borre: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/p/portsmouth/8199966.stm

Back in FM07 and I believe FM06, this guy was an absolute legend, but also he was classed as a wonderkid in real life as well. He was really highly regarded in Belgian after making his international debut at 16. After making a number of appearances for Anderlecht, he made a big move to Serie A with Fiorentina, which never really worked out. He moved Genoa last year and played regularly for them.

After hearing the news today, I thought that we missed out on a typical textbook Moyes signing. He is young, had huge potential and has slightly lost his way in terms of his career presently. We have seen Moyes turn Arteta & Pienaar, both coming from similar circumstances into some of the top players in England. Also another similarity is Vanden Borre is on the classic Everton loan-to-buy option with Pompey. The main reason that I think we are missing something here is the position he plays, RB & RM. Now tell me if I'm wrong, Isn't this our problem area, with a lack of quality and numbers there?

Moyes may have looked at him, and not fancied him coming to us, but......... doesn't the season start tomorrow, and we haven't signed anyone and we are desperate for players.
Kristian Boyce     Posted 14/08/2009 at 01:45:37   Comments (5)

Money Money Money

The current Lescott situation has made me think what madness football has become. It's a business and big money will out in the end. Why have contracts because in effect they are worthless.

David Moyes has created the best team in the Premier League. Not the most expensive players with the biggest egos but a team with skill and enthusiasm. A team that play for each other and give their all for the supporters.

To me there is more joy in seeing young players come through the youth system than buying big name foreign imports.

May be I am out of order but I would rather support the Everton we have even if it means mid-table than have them turn in to the plaything of some multi millionaire.

Full support to Mr Moyes.
Steven Simpson     Posted 13/08/2009 at 18:20:26   Comments (14)

What does Hughes mean???

Can only one explain this quote from Hughes on Lescott?

"We are still trying to speak to the people who will ultimately make the decision over whether or not the deal continues... Those conversations are still to take place "

I'll tell you what I think it means, they haven't got to speak to Billy Bullshit and once they do, they know he'l cream himself when he hears £20M and Lescott will be gone.

I think this could be the end of Moyes....He will walk.. And rightly so...

Sad.
Simon Dunne     Posted 13/08/2009 at 10:31:38   Comments (47)

Elm again

More on Elm; he's evidently seeing AZ Alkmaar and Bayern Leverkusen before deciding on which of the clubs that have put in bids for him he wants to join. Heerenveen, Valenciennes, Everton and Fulham are all said to have lodged bids for Elm.

Good news (?): his brother Victor Elm is said to have told Rasmus not to pick the Dutch league as he thinks he "is too good" to play there...

Decision time next week but the player may not join a new club before the season's ended in Sweden?

http://fotboll.expressen.se/Allsvenskan/1.1670062/de-klubbarna-valjer-elm-mellan
Bernt Hellman     Posted 13/08/2009 at 08:42:24   Comments (14)

Thank God for the Football Season !!

It seems like an eternity since the final whistle blew at the Cup Final on 30 May... (77 days ago). Like many other Evertonians, we've been waiting for news of transfer speculation and potential investment about my beloved club... and we've waited and waited while tearing shreds off each other on why nothing has happened.

The internet is a new form of media where access to information is available 24/7, I'm sure many fans on here have had a constant stream to websites like Newsnow as well as logging on to their favourite sites instead of enjoying the summer for what it is. I'm just about worn out of it all and the season hasn't even started yet!

Whatever your opinion on who should be managing or running our club, whether you want us to lose or not... once that whistle blows at 5.30pm on Saturday we can all concentrate on what matters and that's on the pitch. Once more the fans can unite for around 90 minutes.

Let's appreciate what we do have and that's a top 5 side with a great manager and promising talent coming through the youth system. Of course the transfer window is open until 31 August so plenty of time for debate till then.

COYBs !!
John Maxwell     Posted 13/08/2009 at 02:25:36   Comments (4)

Can you believe the cheek!!!!

http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/news/Manchester-City-demand-to-see-Joleon-Lescott-s-medical-records-before-making-new-bid-article112149.html

Click on the link to see if you can believe the cheek of those 'get rich quick' merchants down the road! I know this is only paper speculation but the way City have conducted themselves in this whole situation makes you think there would be some truth in it.

If it is true then what part of 'not for sale' do they not understand? Surely it's time to take stand. How can the FA not act (oh I forgot, we'd have to be playing in red if they were to do anything).

Personally, I say if he (JL) doesn't want to pull on that blue shirt then go, but after what Moyes has continually said, this is just taking the piss!
David Denby     Posted 12/08/2009 at 21:38:30   Comments (20)

Conspicuous by their absence

I posted this earlier in an answer to another thread but I think it's worthy of debate in its own right. We have a record 26,000 plus season ticket holders, sold out the Burnley away game in 24 hours, had a huge number of people seeking Cup Final tickets, but we're struggling to sell out for the opening home game against Arsenal.

What the hell is going on? Don't give me the holiday's excuse or the obstructed views argument. There's something more fundamental than that. Are we developing into a small club after all, albeit with a genuinely passionate but dwindling fan base?
Ray Robinson     Posted 12/08/2009 at 19:25:11   Comments (12)

The view from outside

Toffeeweb has been saturated with portents of doom & gloom this summer. Some fans predict melt-down, not sure why. Some predict that we've hit the ceiling and will now decline (slightly more measured). Some fans are so pissed off with the club and chairman that they want us to actually lose games (witness Tony Marsh's crass desire for a 5-0 whopping against Arsenal). Poor show, Tony.

Frustrations at the lack of new faces is understandable. But it can also shroud the view of what you already have. I think there's little true debate about the problems on Everton's right side. And special thanks to Guus Hiddink for revealing it to the world. But the idea that a team that has finished 5th, 5th, 6th and 4th in the last 5 years will simply implode and drift towards the Championship is unnecessarily juvenile and petulant.

I'm unsure about how we'll do this season. But then I approach every season with a sense of trepidation because I never EXPECT to do really well, but then find myself getting more confident as each season unfolds. We haven't had that good a pre-season, but frankly I don't care. Spurs went unbeaten last pre-season and even hammered Roma 5-0. They then took 2 pts from 8 games.

I can think of a number of reasons to be confident for this season, and certainly NOT to be despondent. Here are some of them:

Howard, Yobo, Jagielka, Baines, Pienaar, Rodwell, Neville, Arteta, Fellaini, Saha, Yakubu, Jo, (Lescott...), Moyes.

I think we have a good number of good players who would command places in any one of 15 teams in the EPL. And some would be more than comfortable in 4 other teams.

This is not to decry anyone the right to be frustrated at the lack of new faces. I would love Sessegnon here, he looks the total bollocks and a good RB. But the fact that they're not does not drive my thoughts towards despair, blame and anger. We all want better. But unless and until it arrives, don't underestimate or talk down what we have now. It's taken 5 years to assemble and it's not bad at all.

This article was inspired by Paddy Barclay, chief football writer of The Times and one of the most respected commentators on top level footy. Now as sure as night follows day there will be Evertonians coming on here thinking they know far more than a football journalist. That's sometimes true, depending on the journalist. But not, I think, in this case.

Here's what he thinks of Everton this coming season: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/everton/article6792401.ece

Frankly, the idea that any Evertonian would find themselves rooting for Arsenal on Saturday is sick. This is our team & our club. We're here on ToffeeWeb wasting countless hours and days because we care. I hope, starting Saturday, we get back in line and shout the fucking roof off.
Alan Kirwin     Posted 12/08/2009 at 10:28:05   Comments (30)

Gary O'Neil

I know it's only speculation, but WTF another slow one dimension miget midfielder? Is this how we are going to progress? I want answers — it's pure bollocks again this summer. Record turnover, record kit deals, record season ticket sales... Where's the money? Where's the progress?

From a truley unhappy blue:(
Sean McKenna     Posted 12/08/2009 at 10:20:30   Comments (24)

Is the glass half full?

I can't beleive the number of negative posts that appear on this forum day after day. If you took half of them at face value you would believe that we got relegated last season and are starting the season with minus 10 points! We may just as well get the gun out and end it now!

People who always see the negative side of any given situation, always seeing the glass as half-empty, I call triple 'D'ers. For those of you who have never heard this term before, the three 'D's stands for Death, Doom and Despondency.

You can hear these triple 'D'ers now: "We haven't bought anybody"; "We will struggle to finish in the top 10"; "With no investment we are doomed"; "After Lescott leaves, more players will be leaving"....; "Sack Moyes"; "Sack BK".

What is wrong with these people?? I know it's frustrating that we haven't won a trophy for over 12 years, but let's try and be a bit more positive. Have Bill Kenwright and his administration done that bad a job?

I don't need to remind you that we DID finish 5th in the Premier League, we got to the FA Cup Final and we got to the quarter finals of the Carling Cup. It would have been nicer to get a better run in the Uefa Cup, but you could lump that setback in with our poor start to the season.

On the financial side of things the club IS just about living within its means. It is starting to get better at creating revenue, at the same time keeping control of players' wages and not negotiating transfers the club can't afford.

Given all of these restraints and the lack of real investment, Moyes has built up a squad of players that is starting to get talked about in a postive sense in most corridors of the media. It is arguably the strongest squad we have had since 1987. If we are stronger than last season, then why shouldn't we do better than last season?

So is it really down hill from here on, or are we going to see things get better with the glass being definitely half-full?
Brian Baker     Posted 12/08/2009 at 06:45:19   Comments (18)

U21

Jack Rodwell played 60 mins and James Vaughan played 90 mins. Did anyone see the game? Where our boys any good? Do they look sharp? They're going to be needed in the coming weeks I think...
Michael Jennings     Posted 11/08/2009 at 19:13:07   Comments (4)

Lescott hands in transfer request

So it's official now, Lescott has had a official transfer request rejected by Moyes. In my opinion, you should never keep a player who doesn't want to play for the club as it could have a bad effect on team morale.
Yusuf Bobat     Posted 11/08/2009 at 08:06:14   Comments (139)

Budgets

As my bank manager will confirm, I know nothing about organising money. This then is a plea for sensible information: at some stage each year, Financial Geniuses at Everton must sit down and work out the figures.

Do they assume we'll get fifth place and a cup final appearance in assessing income? I doubt it somehow. Surely it would be insane to do so.

If they work on the basis that we'll finish 17th and go out in the 3rd round, they won't get caught out.

So, where is the surplus? Are they salting it away for Kirkby? Are they paying off debt ahead of ourselves?

Would we have gone bust had we not have achieved such positions? What's the real story?
Mike McLean     Posted 10/08/2009 at 18:47:44   Comments (49)

Elm

I just watched a special about Rasmus Elm in the leading Swedish football show, Fotbollskvall (the Swedish equivalent to MOTD). Apart from showing an in-depth analysis of Elm's season to date, with some stunning goals (he's scored 9, tied second in the league... not bad for a midfielder!) and after having named him the without any doubt most influential player in the league, they also discussed his future.

Having been linked with amongst others Bayern Munich, Man City and Everton, Sweden's leading football writer, Simon Bank (Aftonbladet) was asked which club he felt was the right one for Elm. After saying that he felt Elm was good enough for most clubs in Europe he stated: "without a doubt Everton. They are the best club for Rasmus; stable, togetherness and with a great manager in Moyes, who has got a great ability to develop his players."

So what are you waiting for, David... sign Elm! As I am sure you've seen, Elm is very down to earth, equally comfortable in the middle or at the flanks; two-way with an eye for the goal. And the icing on the cake is that he is only 21 and comes with a price tag that we can afford!
Bernt Hellman     Posted 10/08/2009 at 17:59:04   Comments (16)

Moyes's Attitude

I was just wondering what people's thoughts were about Moyes's attitude going into this season?

Today I've read quotes from him talking about the lack of numbers: "But we don't have that money. So trying to find players who are cheap, don't want much wages and will come here to improve us, well, it is not easy."

This is the first thing he's said all summer that shows any hint of frustration at our squad size but unlike previous years he's not directing it at the board. Is he just shrugging his shoulders? Is Moyes resigned to the fact he's not going to sign anyone so is not going to bother getting too annoyed about it?

Moyes has also spoken recently about wanting to challenge in Europe this year but I really don't see how we can with a squad of 20 players of which three are long-term injured and one other is called Louis Saha.

My thoughts are that Moyes, now, may not plan too far ahead and just think, "Fuck it, I'll play my strongest team in every game until they're all absolutely worn out. That'll then demonstrate to Billy how important it is to find me some investment." So perhaps this is the season he stops papering over the cracks and by January, our players will be just too tired to compete. Moyes has already shown he's a good manager and he's picking up a huge wage. Will a dip in form after Christmas bother him too much with the possibility of the Man Utd job on the horizon? Especially as he can now just blame it on the small squad.

What annoys me most about Everton is that no-one inside the club seems to share the fans' frustration about our utterly shambolic transfer policy and the complete lack of numbers in the squad. I'm almost at the point of thinking we should not bother putting a team out against the Czechs just so we can maintain some sort of a challenge in the league. If we're involved in Europe with the squad we have we can kiss goodbye to any hope of finishing top 4. I will not hold Moyes completely blameless if this happens.
Alan Clarke     Posted 10/08/2009 at 16:20:03   Comments (19)

Sessegnon gathers steam

So by the looks of things this morning the rumour mill seems to be gathering speed on Moyes' €17m interest in Sessegnon.... Don't really know to much about him but he can apparently play in any attacking midfield role (hopefully right wing) and it sounds like he has pace according to the following article on goal.com:

http://www.goal.com/en/news/90/france/2009/08/10/1432283/everton-preparing-17m-bid-for-psgs-stephane-sessegnon-report

They call him the pocket rocket... Anybody any views on him?
Allan Williamson     Posted 10/08/2009 at 09:41:43   Comments (44)

Missing: One Centre-Half... (Last spotted

... Last spotted "having talks" with Everton... a week ago!

I'll keep it simple... where the fuck is Senderos??? Anyone?

I'm not exaclty his number one fan, but we were "having talks" with him a week ago, in amongst the noise and confusion of Joleon "coming or going", have I missed something here?

Apparently he wasn't a replacement for Lescott, so whether that particular "saga" continues or not surely we should have signed him by now. (I'm basing my timescales on the fact that Villa signed Delph 24hrs after talks were confirmed.)
Alec Laurie     Posted 10/08/2009 at 09:30:45   Comments (25)

Thank the Lord that I support Everton

Last night I turned on the highlights of the Charity/ Community Shield. Before the half-time whistle blew, I was thinking, "I’m not enjoying this. I’m not enjoying watching football". Unfortunately, nout much else was on, so back to the football, and I stuck with it.

It then dawned on me that I had forgotten something from last season. That is I don’t care for football other than Everton.

I sat and watched the two best teams in the country battling away with their egos. The chasing of the referee by Ferdinand and others, the asking for cards to be shown, and then not shown through intimidation. And the face of Rooney, losing long ago his goal-scoring smile, which had now been replaced with ugly aggression at Wembley.

The mind games of managers in the post-match interviews, and the biased player evaluations on the ref too were just ugly to watch. Oh and throw Andy Townsend in there too. He makes Lee Dixon full of gravitas.

The Premier League must be doing something right in marketing the top 4 abroad but, to me and many people I know, they are no advert for football. They’re unpleasant and undignified and turn me away.

Thank the lord that I support Everton, if they were not the best team of honest professionals in the land and instead had the likes of Ferdinand and Lampard shouting in the ref’s face, I’d give up on football all together. And to think some people want Joey Barton… Pah!
Nick Entwistle     Posted 10/08/2009 at 07:50:01   Comments (15)

Season Tickets

I have still not received my season ticket or the tickets for my 2 boys. The club informed me today that they have been doing an audit on all junior tickets and these will not be sent out until Wednesday. With the Europa tickets being on sale from today until Friday this does not give much time to organise tickets. Why have the club not audited Junior applications during the summer as I actaully paid in March for the three tickets?

We pride ourselves as The People's Club yet everything is left until the last minute, including transfers. If the tickets have not arrived, I will have to pick them up on Saturday. This will be my 33rd season ticket and sometimes I just wonder why — as the club seem to put obstacles before me at every opportunity. I still love the Blues and always will.
Mark Jones     Posted 10/08/2009 at 07:25:31   Comments (4)

£8 million bid for Saha

According to the News of the World Everton recieved an £8million bid for Saha. Why didn't they accept it? He is a 31-year-old asthmatic, guaranteed to play about 10 games all season. Cahill, Vaughan, Yak, Anichibe and Jo are adequate. They could have put that together with the Sky money and bought Elm or Defour. Or do you guys think it's just spurious journalism?
Chris McCullough     Posted 09/08/2009 at 13:07:39   Comments (32)

Hassan Yebda

I tend not to take transfer rumours too seriously, though one name that cropped up a little while ago was that of Hassan Yebda only to disappear off the radar fairly quickly. However, I notice the link has resurfaced though it does seem somewhat tenuous.

I have to say, on the face of it, he does appear to be very much a Moyes type player, from what I've read. He appears to have shown early promise but failed to deliver and moved on but has seemingly found some good form of late. He is described as a box-to-box midfielder who covers acres of ground and likes to put his foot in.

I did watch a recent World Cup qualifier involving Algeria, these African Nations encounters can be feisty and I was very impressed by the skill and grit shown by their midfield though their names escape me. The point of my post is not to suggest we might be about to sign the player but to ask those fans who follow the European leagues what their opinion is of this guy.
Gerry Western     Posted 09/08/2009 at 09:48:04   Comments (1)

Club Everton — they do listen

The day after the FA Cup final I submitted an article called Club Everton here on Toffeeweb.

And yesterday, Club Everton was launched at www.evertonfc.com/clubeverton

In my mind, it means the Club does listen but we have to ensure we provide them with correct and intelligent suggestions. I did speak to Simon Webster in June and maybe this is just one of the results.
Tony I'Anson     Posted 08/08/2009 at 12:19:59   Comments (3)

Proud to be a Blue

I always knew that the Toffees were a special team to support. Just how special, hit home when I read this article in today's BBC and later confirmed by other articles. "Unsettled Lescott cheered by fans" http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/e/everton/8190966.stm.

Just reading the article made my chest fill up with pride. Now, I don't know if Lescott will still be with us come end-August, but if he does, a large part of the credit should go to the fans.

If he does leave, good luck to him, but surely he will look back fondly at his time here, and know that there are no better fans in the world of football.

To all the ToffeeWebbers who were at the match yesterday, well done and take a bow !
Ajay Gopal     Posted 08/08/2009 at 10:49:41   Comments (6)

The Everton Haka

What is the Everton marketing department up to now? How culturally insensitive can they get? About 10 years ago whilst I was working with the marketing team at the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), they had the same idea to do their own Haka.

Being married to a New Zealander and having been fortunate enough to have lived there for some time, I was aware of the cultural importance of the Haka and how sacred it is to Maori and New Zealanders generally. An international incident was avoided once a couple NZ rugby scribes where informed of the ARU's plan and their intentions made headlines in NZ, the Aussie Haka was quickly abandoned.

As far as I am aware Everton have some strong links with New Zealand and have a stake in a Football Academy in Christchurch. So, rather than building these links and taking the Everton brand to the far side of the world, our marketing team chooses to shoot itself in the foot with this offensive and insensitive act.

Everton has now made front page headlines in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch for all the wrong reasons. You can say that any publicity is good publicity but I can assure the Marketing Team this is not! I would be worried about wearing Everton shirt in any of these cities now.

We struggle in these markets to compete with the Sky 4 but do have fan clubs and loyal supporters there. We can kiss goodbye to anymore after this.
Adrian Porter     Posted 07/08/2009 at 23:20:07   Comments (36)

Now you can pick the team

So there you have it... the pre-season done, but not the transfer window of course, and what do we have? In my mind, there's not much doubt about the players in the frame for the opening game. Here they are:-

Howard;
Hibbert Yobo; Lescott*, Baines;
from - Osman; Neville; Rodwell; Cahill; Pienaar; Fellaini;
Jo;
Saha.

Subs:- Nash, Gosling, Baxter, Wallace, Vaughan + 2 from above.

*Lescott; who knows? And we might put Senderos in for him, in which case I would guess that Neville will be moved back into CB, new boy on the bench.

So, what do you think Davey's line up will be? I know what I would say, and I think there is a very strong team in there. Plus, I think we are far ahead of where we were at this time last year.

ps:- I think DM is seeing Jo more as a creative mediocampista, and certainly not a lone striker. Well, that's what I think he ought to think. He hasn't asked for my opinion yet.
Keith Glazzard     Posted 07/08/2009 at 19:52:16   Comments (20)

The Pre-Season Finale

Let's make this the Matchday Thread for those who can't get to Goodison Park this evening for tonight's massive game against mighty Malaga.

Please posts teams, scores, links, comments and owt else relevant to the game, for the benefit and edification of your less fortunate Evertonian family members worldwide.
Michael Kenrick     Posted 07/08/2009 at 16:46:39   Comments (90)

Don't Blame...

Forget about blaming the club, or blaming the chairman, I've worked out what the problem is... the internet... No, think about it; all that time browsing through countless pages of football rumour and innuendo — all of which is primarily based upon some crap made up by a tabloid journo.

How much calmer would I be if I was ignorant of the fact that EFC are waiting for a Swedish player to decide upon coming to the club when they haven't even made a bid yet?

How much happier if I didn't know that the club hadn't bought a first team player yet?

How much more peaceful if I was unaware that Spurs can sign Bassong in a day, Liverpool can sign Aquilani in a day... and EFC takes a week and still haven't signed a defender that nobody apparently wants a week after we start chatting (FFS)!

I reckon if we did away with all of this 'news' I could spend my summers calmly waiting to see what happens and not work myself up into a lather over a club that launches a black and pink football kit by using the Maori Haka — I mean come on, what complete tosser thought that one up? The kit isn't even 'all' black! - and even were it...

(pause for apoplectic rant)... (and relax)

After all, it is only because of all of this 'space to fill' that I know David Moyes wants to 'get players in early this year to let them settle before the season starts... and that the money has been put aside... and that Kirkby can't be built because of voles...
Rupert Sullivan     Posted 07/08/2009 at 05:53:18   Comments (16)

Europa Cup: 15th Seeds

Well, we finally ended up as 15th seeds for the Europa Cup draw on Friday

4 of the 5 seeded teams in Wednesday's CL qualifiers got through — Shakhtar Donetsk being "relegated" to the Europa League, but Sporting Braga lost to Elfsborg of Sweden so are totally out of Europe. We therefore move up one place to 15th.

The draw is at 12:30 and should have some feed from Radio 5.

So who do we expect to get? Obvious - Genoa who came 5th in Serie A! That would be our luck. But there are some other toughies: Gent, Belgium Cup winners;3 teams from Czech Republic; Brondby from Denmark; PAOK from Greece; Lech Poznan; Nacional, who were 4th in Portugal last season; Trabzonspor who were 3rd in Turkey, Dynamo Moscow who were 3rd in Russia... The list goes on.

You just know the teams we won't get - Sturm Graz who were 4th in Austria or St Patricks who were 2nd in Ireland. (Yes, I remember University College Dublin in 84-85...)

Anyway, at least it will stop us from talking about Lescott, BK and DK for a day. Never know, get an easy draw and maybe JL will stay for the promise of Europe!
Phil Roberts     Posted 06/08/2009 at 19:32:13   Comments (35)

The sooner the better

I've tried not to read too much into all the bullshit that's being written in the papers and on the internet this pre-season. I've even contemplated trying out for Big Brother 11 next year so I can escape all the talk of who we are going to sign, or not as the case may be.

Anyway, if what's been reported in The Sun this morning about Lescott is true, something needs to be done. The buck stops at Bill plain and simple. There's no way on earth Moyes wants Lescott to leave and has told him so. Especially after watching the shower of shit pre-season against mighty Blackpool, Bury and Rochdale. Kenwright has said time and time again that he will only sell for £30 million. Moyes says he would only sell if Lescott hands in a transfer request.

So, come Thursday afternoon, what have we got. Lescott going to Man City for £22 million without putting in a transfer request. It's all fucking lies at this club and the sooner WE make it known that Kenwright needs to fuck off the better, cos he won't go on his own and come next year when someone bids for Jags or Arteta and Bill says "no-one is going anywhere", we know what will happen. Nil satis nisi optimum my arse.
Jamie Barlow     Posted 06/08/2009 at 06:36:26   Comments (62)

So... Today's the Day for Lescott?

Just been reading the BBC's Gossip Column, and according to the Sun (hack....spit) Everton have 'reluctantly' agreed a £22m deal plus add-ons for Joleon, under possibly the Worlds Worst Punned Headline Ever, "We've Finally Cott Our Man".

They claim he could even possibly be unveiled today at the Eastlands Open Day.

If this is true I personally think this is a good deal, but ONLY if Moyes is allowed to pump back all of the money into team rebuilding, but I fear that won't be the case.
Lee Smith     Posted 06/08/2009 at 05:54:06   Comments (31)

Football Manager

I think I did a thread like this before, but has anyone noticed how much this Football Manager deal is affecting our transfers? We've already signed Mustafi and Peterlin, we've offered a contract to a Cody Arnoux, who is again playing in fourth tier in America, and we are trialing a Slovenian by the name of Peter Stojanovic. These guys are really obscure players.

I think it's a terrific deal, because we're not risking much. Though they could turn out to be pointless squad players like Eddy Bosnar was, it's not if we're losing much if that happens. They could even turn out to be good players. Only time will tell I guess, but one of the few positives for Everton this summer so far.
Ben Jones     Posted 05/08/2009 at 14:39:43   Comments (14)

Joey Barton, again

So, less than two weeks to the start of the season and as expected no really new signings. Someone (I think it was Dave Wilson, apologies if I'm wrong Dave) said that there were rumours that Joey Barton was on his way. How would most Evertonians feel about that?

My own view is based on entirely football reasons. Joey Barton has been a thug in the past, maybe he will never change. He might, though, and David Moyes is the man to help him if he wants to, Phil Neville would help too.

However, I actually don't rate him as a player and I think he would actually turn some Evertonians away. I'd like to raise the question, who would forgive him his past if we got him for free?
Andy Crooks     Posted 04/08/2009 at 22:16:52   Comments (42)

Be careful what you wish for?

All those of you who are desperate for BK to sell out should have read an article in the Mail last week about Man. City. A lifelong City man felt that the club was now just a whore for rich foreigners like the bent Thai and now the over wealthy Abu Dhabi's.

I have just come back from teaching in Kuwait and it works very much the same way as the Emirates. These are institutionally racist countries who exploit ex-pats mercilessly. Do you want our great club owned and controlled by these people who see all their employees as their possessions and property (this was said to me by the school's owner). These are countries without any real culture outside the restricting and suffocating influence of Islam.

Yes, they have oil money to burn and it seems that for the time being treasured aspects of British sport are there to be purchased on a whim, used as marketing tools for their own commerce. I could tell you more if you go to http://q8undressed.wordpress.com/
Trevor Powell     Posted 04/08/2009 at 20:25:18   Comments (35)

Worrying Pre Season Form

I don't know about most of you lot but the fact that our only win of pre-season so far is the win against Rochdale (I do not count the penalty shoot out against MLS All-Stars) does not fill me with any confidence in the team whatsoever.

I know some of you may say playing the kids and injuries are the reason behind the results and to this I say there are no excuses. The fact that there has been no clean sheet in itself is highly worrying, I mean no disrespect to the teams we have played but River Plate are the only team with any pedigree or class, yet we lose to Bury and Blackpool.

I know pre-season is primarily about player fitness but surely the results no matter who is in the side are also very important for confidence and morale. No more fucking about BK — you'd best start signing some class or get the fuck out because everyone is tiring of the excuses and protracted negotiations with no end result! It is starting to look as though the start of the season may be a long and painful one!

COYB!
Brendan Fox     Posted 04/08/2009 at 19:01:44   Comments (18)

Champions League here we come!

I know the editors are not interested but some Toffeewebbers may like to know that today our ladies qualified for the Champions League with a goal in the 92nd minute.

I know it's not exactly the real thing but somehow it feels good that an Everton team has done something like that for a change.
Phil Guyers     Posted 04/08/2009 at 17:58:29   Comments (5)

Blackpool Chit Chat?

So we're playing Blackpool, currently on.

I've woken up here in Aus at half time (late)..

Who can give me a run down of what's been seen in the first half so far?

Are we playing well? Considering we're behind..
Mike Coates     Posted 04/08/2009 at 17:48:34   Comments (3)

Lescott - let him go ??

I see that 'Roger' has informed us that he wants to leave to go to City. You can't really blame the lad, a rumour I have heard tells he will receive the same salary as Gareth Barry — £84k per week, as opposed to the probable £30 plus grand he gets from us. I am pretty sure there is not one of us who wouldn't jump to another job paying almost 3 times the money for doing exactly the same job, and eventually with better people working around us.

Providing that David Moyes gets his hands on all the money, less the add on to Wolves, I think I would rather see, say, Micah Richards coming here as a make-weight, and Defour from Belgium, with Senderos if needs be (not too convinced by him admittedly).

Personally I believe this would leave us as a better all-round squad, as I am firmly convinced that Joleon is a bit over-rated, as Phil Jagielka is the man who makes him look good in much the same way that Lee Carsley did with Tommy Gravesen.

I am sure that Phil would not have gone to sleep like Joleon in the Cup Final and let Drogba score a header unopposed, and he marshalls the line superbly, keeping Joleon or Joe in line, as both tend to go to sleep at times during the game.

Jonny Evans of Man Utd would also do a good job for us if Richards's wages meant he wouldn't come to us, but I don't believe it will be the end of the world if Lescott goes to Man City... I would let him go.
Keith Harrison     Posted 04/08/2009 at 13:41:50   Comments (5)

Constructive comments only please!

I can understand every fan's growing frustation this summer. The looming decision of DK; the lack of activity in the transfer market of players coming in; the impending activity in the transfer market of players leaving; the assumption of the Club being penniless; etc, etc, etc.

However, some of the recent articles on this site are unbelievably negative and downright suicidal! It's easy to criticise, such as Kenwright doesn't spend any money, we should expand Goodison, we should sign Dani Alves and Messi for our right flank! If everyday life was this simple, there would never be any problems, let alone trying to run a Premier League football club.

For all those negative comments from now on, how about a practical and realistic solution to go with them. There are certain situations at the Club at the moment that you know aren't going to change, such as Kenwright is going to stay as Chairman, Moyes won't resign & we only have about £10m available to spend on players this season. Therefore we know what the problems are, so rather than complaining and moaning about what a bad situation we are in, let's try and be positive and work out how to get out of this situation.

For example, if we do want money to buy a 'star' player such as Defour, the only solution might be to sell a player like Lescott. Then we could buy Defour and another defender.

If we want to move stadium but stay in Liverpool, write where and how much and where we get the money from.

Hopefully, you get the idea. Let's try and be positive and not so negative please and find some answers.
Matthew Lovekin     Posted 04/08/2009 at 12:47:30   Comments (20)

Vaughan £6m to Stoke??

Having been out on the road today in the car, I heard on a local radio station whilst in Stoke that we have agreed a fee of around £6m for Vaughan??? This can't be true can it.... are we really this skint???

ps: Don't shoot the messenger, and I hope this ain't true.
Stevie Kay     Posted 04/08/2009 at 11:20:41   Comments (11)

Senderos

There are claims from various papers and also the swiss football federation that we have signed Philipe Senderos from Arsenal. I personally think he is a good acquisition (regardless of whether Lescott is going or staying). A proven player in the Premier League and a full international. Coming in with a point to prove! As far as I can recall, he had more good games than bad ones for Arsenal. Prone to injury, though, which is always a concern.

Perhaps another shrewd signing for Moyes?
Mel Leo     Posted 04/08/2009 at 06:17:24   Comments (54)

Gary Speed — deja vu

Anyone remember when that "traitor" Gary Speed didn't show up to play and thus forced the club into selling him? Remeber what he said about it all? The club sold him because they needed the money and then publicly stitched him up to be the villain? Ring any bells?

Moyes claims he isn't going to sell Lescott and yet he said the same thing about Johnson last summer and Rooney a few years back before selling but ostensibly to fund team re-building. Moyes complains that City aren't showing Everton respect with their pursuit of Lescott but stops short of saying "Don't call us — we'll call you," and actually suggests Hughes should call him for a chat. What would they chat about?

"Hey Moyes, I want to buy Lescott."
"He's not for sale"

Wouldn't be much point in that call unless Moyes is actually hiding something — like for example the terms he would agree to.

It's also interesting that the Kenwright mouthpiece has been saying for the last 2 weeks that Everton won't sell Lescott "Unless he demands a move." The last time I checked, he was under contract, so is in no position to demand a move unless Kenwright is using the Echo to drop a hint to Lescott in the same way Moyes is using the tabloids to incite a phone call from Hughes, with the end result that Everton get cash to buy 3 or 4 medicore talents whilst City and Lescott look like the villains of the piece.

If we had any money, we'd have spent it buy now but, other than the Naughton deal, which we milked for all its worth, we haven't spent a dime. The Echo crucified Sheff Utd for doing what every club should do — looking out for their own best interests — but to me it smacked of a publicity stunt to make it seem like we had money ahead of the Lescott sale, just as last year good old Bill pulled some money out of thin air to buy Fellaini that supposedly had nothing to do with the money we received for McFadden, Beattie and Johnson.
Kieran Kinsella     Posted 03/08/2009 at 23:24:09   Comments (24)

Rasmus Elm

Seems as though Mr Elm is hinting to David Moyes that he would like to play for Everton:

"I want to join a club where the coach gives me big confidence. I got a good impression of David Moyes. I don't close the door to any league, but the Premier League is more tempting than the Eredivisie. The overall picture is important, but the biggest club is not necessarily the right one for me."

This translates pretty easy: I like David Moyes. I prefer the Premier League. I don't want Man City's money. I like Everton.

Now... Does Moyes want him? — is the question.
Joey Brown     Posted 03/08/2009 at 15:08:09   Comments (24)

Big Week — Good or Bad?

Things are going to happen this week, i can feel it in my water. I think the Lescott "will he, wont he?" saga will come to an end this week. I believe the silence that has come from Joey is deafening...

So when he (as I believe he will) goes, Everton and more importantly Blue Bill will hit us hard with a few signings as to lessen the impact and to please to fans. Whether it does or not is a different matter. If the Arsenal message boards are to be believed, they are claiming we have Senderos signed and waiting....

If, and I know it's big 'if' (but hey ho I'm bored) we sell Lescott, we need quality players in, we can't be seen to be selling our best players without a plan.

I'm aware I'm rambling, Everton this close season (as last) just has my head spinning. I ain't even said SHIT yet — it's spinning that much. Peace.
Sean Elliott     Posted 03/08/2009 at 11:44:07   Comments (24)

Marouane not well

A piece in today's Grauniad (sic) sets out that Marouane Fellaini picked up a virus over the summer and this has led to significant (for him) weight loss. Enough anyway to be a concern to Moysie. Consequently, the Belgian is far from his best at the 'mo and it will be some weeks before he might be so again.
Chris Jones     Posted 03/08/2009 at 08:04:56   Comments (15)

Money, money, money

Seems City are doing what they can to ensure players like Elms and that Leeds lad don't go anywhere to improve rivals like us. I expect us and Villa are their real rivals next season and they know it. They will not be up there with Utd yet..

But no point in moaning (though I like Moyes's tactics in making them seem the devil's children). They are just the latest club with dosh. What fascinates me is my Man City friend at work. She has no great sense of excitement and feels she is losing her club...

A lesson?
Ged Simpson     Posted 02/08/2009 at 14:58:25   Comments (22)

Here we go

The news that Lescott was out of the side to play at Coventry today due to a hip injury came as no surprise.

I don't see it as a coincidence or a real injury and would suggest that he has either handed in his transfer request or Everton have accepted an improved bid (or both) and Lescott has left to go and sort his personal terms out.

I totally agree with Moyes on this one and he is right to speak out in today's papers about the lack of professionalism and respect both he and our Club have been afforded by Sitteh. Never any class that shower and never will have.

At least the saga can now reach the end game and we can use the money to buy a few decent additions to the squad. For one, I like the looks of Senderos, who would be a great squad player and not a bad stand in for Jags in the short term.

Au Revoir Joleon, you are a top class centre half and the number of poor games you had in a Blue shirt I could count on one hand.

Personally I believe you will regret the move both short and long term. City are bound for seasons of upheaval and change with players and managers leaving on a regular basis as the owners become frustrated that their millions haven't bought the success they assumed would follow. Still, you can at least glance at your latest bank statement for comfort.
Steve Guy     Posted 02/08/2009 at 11:57:57   Comments (31)

Coventry Game

Let's make this the Matchday Thread...
Michael Kenrick     Posted 02/08/2009 at 04:36:45   Comments (57)

Hope Springs Eternal

Last night Everton retained their Milk Cup junior title.

Now, I'd be the first one to have a go at people for overhyping youngsters... but the stand-out player from last night's game was the same stand-out player from last year's tournament as well. A young striker called Hallam Hope. Last year he scored a hat-trick in the final and this year he got two... he also seems to have bulked up quite a bit from last year as well.

Certainly one to keep an eye on for the future...
Ciarán McGlone     Posted 01/08/2009 at 10:57:05   Comments (6)

Senderos???

Another rumour... Must admit i am horrified if its true!!

Everton have made a bid believed to be around £6m for Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos, according to the Daily Star newspaper.

The newspaper claims the 24-year-old Swiss international is a replacement for Joleon Lescott, who they assert is close to completing a £20m move to Manchester City
Alex Garnett     Posted 01/08/2009 at 08:08:57   Comments (12)

Ladies do the Blues Proud

How did the powers that be at ToffeeWeb Towers miss this?

The Toffee Ladies are apparently 1 step away from qualifying for the group stages of the Uefa Ladies Champions League?

Well done, girls!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/women/8178573.stm
Ajay Gopal     Posted 01/08/2009 at 05:07:03   Comments (9)

The Man's Club

Everton are dropping their People's Club tag line and have already reverted to 'Nil Satis Nisi Optimum' after, I quote, Robert Elstone: “We did market research with fans and this was something that came up'.

Where? Anfield?? Kirkby??? Or perhaps it really is just sour grapes after losing a court case to 'lifelong fan' Brian Gould, over who used the slogan first. Brian states that he doesn't wish for EFC not to be able to use the term, but is simply implementing his right... I wonder though if the club in turn will start making life harder for those who wish to sell anything that has any bearing to Everton?

Personally I hope they do sort it out and keep the strap line. What think you, People?
Chad Schofield     Posted 01/08/2009 at 01:53:54   Comments (16)

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