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The Mail Bag

February 2010 Archive
Want to have your say?

Earthquake in Chile

With the terrible news of over 700 dead in the aftermath of the earthquake in Chile, I note that Viña del Mar was badly hit too. With the relationships and friends made with our fans and readers in the past regarding CD Everton, can Toffeeweb readers try to suggest some way to ask if there is anything we as fellow Everton fans can do to help?

I'm sure you'll all join me in wishing that the damage and loss of life is minimal, and that their lives get back to normal as soon as possible.
Gerry Quinn     Posted 28/02/2010 at 21:01:41   Comments (4)

What now?

Phil Rodgers has commented on Joey's Brown's post that overall it has been a poor season with a smattering of good results thrown in. With eleven games left I'm just wondering what people think about what way we should do things for those eleven games.

For myself, I'm torn between pushing things to see how high up the league we finish and playing a number of the younger players as much as we can.

Right now I'm leaning towards giving the likes of Coleman, Duffy Rodwell and Gosling every minute of playing time that we can and then a full pre season in the summer. I appreciate the possible implications in terms of prize money and how some of the senior players may see it but I just think that we have a lot to gain by giving these players valuable experience and also trying different things on the pitch. Get ourselves set up for a proper run at things next season and have some proper preparation done for once.

I know people are probably as deflated as I am with how the week has turned out after last Saturday but I'm just interested to see what people think.


Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 28/02/2010 at 17:58:21   Comments (38)

4th Place? Hahaha

Not a negative article here despite the title. I thought it too about 4th place. If we can beat Chelsea and United... why not every other team for the rest of the season? Lisbon was terrible. I refuse to put more thought into it. However, today Everton were not so bad.

Tottenham's first goal was preventable... Johnny probably made the wrong decision and Neville — which seems to happen a lot — was just behind the runner. Fair enough though, because they were bossing the game at that point. Their second goal was against the run of play and fucking brilliant. Not too many footballers could pull off that shot. All you can say is well done Modric.

The second half we dominated. Got the goal... probably should have had another (Donovan) but after the first half definitely did not deserve more than a draw. A point would have been nice but... really wouldn't have helped too much? We can still have Europe. But it's going to take a lot of wins.

Finally I want to point out Moyes was tactically pretty good today. He fixed all the problem areas with subs. Aside from Vaughan who I think did not play as much as Rodders was. Hull next... PLEASE 3 Points.
Joey Brown     Posted 28/02/2010 at 15:02:32   Comments (63)

Spurs vs Everton

And this is how its shaping up for the blues....

Everton: Howard, Neville, Baines, Heitinga, Distin, Osman, Arteta, Rodwell, Pienaar, Yakubu, Anichebe.

Subs: Nash, Gosling, Yobo, Jagielka, Donovan, Vaughan, Bilyaletdinov

Interesting to see Yak and Anichebe up front! COYB's!!
Josh Holmes     Posted 28/02/2010 at 12:47:19   Comments (144)

Modern Football

As Everton have released the information on season tickets next year only thought came to my head that I won’t be renewing mine next year. I’ve always been against Sky Sports and any other organisation that think they are the custodians of modern football.

I’ve had a season ticket since the 2003/2004 season which was one of our worst in recent years but I’ve also seen the joys of the 2004/2005 season and 2008/2009 season. But this year I feel will be my last season as a season ticket holder.

Over the last 2 seasons I’ve realised a few things about football. Gordon Strachan, despite only losing the title to Rangers, once was hated by Celtic fans for his attitude. His belief is that football fans shouldn’t expect to be entertained when they go to the match. First of all when people are paying up to £50 for a ticket or £500 for a season ticket they have every right to be entertained. The fans are the most important part of the club not the players and managers and players come and go but the fans are there forever. Even that bitter Scottish sod from across the park realised what football was about that football is a great way for people from all walks of life to enjoy something together and the clubs can make a massive difference to people’s lives.

Over the last 10 years the FA and the premier league have been determined to wipe the working class out of Premiership stadiums forever. They’ve sold their soul to people who don’t give a damn about football or fans in Sky Sports. Allowing Sky to change fixtures to ridiculous times for absolutely no reason is just ridiculous. I’m sure all you financial experts will tell me that Sky has revolutionized the game into a highly competitive league where only 2 teams have any chance of winning the league.

If anyone can recommend a decent website where you can watch football for free next season I’d be grateful. The reality is that in 20 years there’s no chance that these clubs will be still making the millions that they are now. As nowadays people can watch live games on their PC for free no matter what time the kick off which I’m happy the FA and Sky sports aren’t happy about why would you bother to pay £30 to watch a game in the freezing cold on a uncomfortable plastic seat?

The Premier League is ruining everything for people nowadays as their too interested in themselves rather than the clubs that play in their league. Clubs like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Portsmouth, and Liverpool are like the Coronation Street studios with just one scandal coming out after another. The players and managers seem to live on another planet to the average man on the street where they can get anything they want.

The recent controversies at Chelsea brought in home to many people that these players are just bored multi millionaire morons who have nothing better to do that get drunk or cheat on their wife. The players don’t seem to care whether they lose or win as long as they get paid.


Chris Butler     Posted 26/02/2010 at 11:53:01   Comments (14)

Something wicked this way comes

When are we going to win a game when it really matters? We were all ecstatic when we beat the two teams who are going to share all the trophies between them again and again but late on Saturday night I started to get the feeling that something horrible was going to happen on Thursday.

You see, Everton never seem to deliver when it really matters. Sure, those two victories were great but had we lost or drawn nothing would have changed. We were never going down, never going to finish in the top four or, most likely top six. Cup final. First in donkey’s years, possibly the last involving us in my lifetime, outplayed, with the result a foregone conclusion after the dramatic opening minutes.

First game of the season, needing to set a marker, one of the most humiliating defeats in the history of the club.

First game against the shite and that really matters, the least talented, least tolerable shower since they came up from the old Second Division and captained and managed by two characters who make John Terry look like a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, home defeat. You don’t need me to tell you what happened across the Park. I would have given anything to have stuffed them. Utter misery. Now this.

Don’t give me “it doesn’t matter”. We could have won it, we could have...lost in the final. By the pricking of my thumbs something wicked this way comes.
Tony Burke     Posted 26/02/2010 at 10:05:52   Comments (9)

Moyes and Big Games

After watching Everton’s woeful performance last night it reminded me why we’ll never win anything under Moyes. Moyes is very good at winning meaningless games but he struggles when he has to make big decisions in big games.

Under him we have shown far too much respect for the opposition in big games most recently in Portugal. After our win last Saturday I was quietly confident on Everton getting through to the next round. Sporting Lisbon has an illustrious history but this year they have been a shambles and it was rumoured that if the Portuguese side lost that their manager would be sacked. Fortunately for him, he played a team that clearly has no other intention to sit back and invite their pressure.

Under Moyes previously to this season we have had an awful record against the top four. I think the reason why we are so poor in these games is because Moyes doesn’t instill any confidence in the players and it shows on the pitch. For me one of the most painful defeats under Moyes was our recent defeat against Liverpool as it was clear that Everton were just going to try and hold on for a draw rather than make it difficult for Liverpool.

Under Moyes we have only won 3 derbies which frankly is awful as Liverpool have been awful for years. It seems to me that Moyes is only to happy to just sit on the periphery on the top 4 and hope that he gets a call from Sir Alex announcing that he’s going to retire. He’ll never even become a top manager as he can’t make match-changing decisions like other managers can.

The FA Cup final annoyed me as nearly every Everton fan watching the game realised that as soon as Hibbert got a yellow card he should of took him off. Instead we Cole and Malouda take the piss out of us down the left side which eventually led to Chelsea’s first goal. We need a Manager that can make substitutions at vital points of the game rather than putting a sub on with 10 minutes to go or less and a manager that can make tactically successful changes.

Realistically we have the chance to finish in the top 4 but we have no chance as long as Moyes in there he wasted to many opportunities top build on our position over the years by buying too many defenders rather than spending in areas where we are vulnerable.


Chris Butler     Posted 26/02/2010 at 07:50:00   Comments (12)

A game too far?

Let me start by saying I was there last night. I was furious at Moyes's tactics and the players' inability to do the simple thing. I am also shattered after a nightmare journey home, made more difficult by the circumstances and the Portuguese authorities. Got in about 4.50am!

But was that a game too far for our small squad? Players still coming back from injuries, still not fully fit? An untried centre back pairing who have both been injured?

4 really tough games in the last 2-3 weeks and another toughie coming up on Sunday?

I am not making excuses for them — I am still too angry for that — just maybe the reason for capitulation.
Lynn Thorne     Posted 26/02/2010 at 07:19:52   Comments (12)

Sublime to Ridiculous

How can a team go from playing the Premier League champions elect off the park on a Saturday, to not being able or interested enough to string two passes together on the following Thursday?

I could understand if Sporting were as good as Benfica but they're NOT! They're a poor side and we, tonight, were even poorer.

Talk about ups and downs with Everton! We only started playing after we went two-nil down; before that there was no interest, no idea, no nothing!

So was it down to tactics? Were they told to do a job? Either way, I'm totally pissed off!
Brian Williams     Posted 25/02/2010 at 22:28:28   Comments (65)

There to win it!

I'm a big fan of David Moyes, but tonight he has to take the blame for an atrocious performance. The first half settling to see what's what I can understand, but before Lisbon scored they had had 12 shots on goal and Everton 1!!

Then suddenly after the goal, Everton start attacking and making chances - why didn't they play attacking football from the start?

Against Man United: attacking attitude = win, and even Moyes said it himself after the match; tonight: defensive rubbish = defeat.

Poor approach, poor play. Over to you DM...
Rupert Sullivan     Posted 25/02/2010 at 19:00:34   Comments (114)

Baines going to South Africa?

It looks like Wayne Bridge is pulling out of the England squad for the World Cup.

Does this mean Leighton Baines has a real shot of not only going to South Africa but gaining a starting place (depending on Cashley Cole's fitness)?

Not sure if it would be a good thing for the club; don't want him eyeing a move to a 'bigger' club, but good luck to the lad, what a dream it would be for him to play at a World Cup FInals.
Louis Huglin     Posted 25/02/2010 at 10:53:56   Comments (23)

Tim's Celebrations

Thought people might find this Weetabix advert amusing. This is what Tim gets up to when in Oz.


Gavin Roberts     Posted 25/02/2010 at 09:10:01   Comments (6)

Distin or Dunne?

Whilst thinking about tomorrows match and the unfortunate late goal at goodison I couldn't help but muse on Distin's effectiveness since coming here.

In the early part of the season he added at times a bit of solidarity to a defense that was conceding by the bucket load but i think its fair to say he's no Jonny Heitinga.

Quick, decent in the air, strong and a real profesional yes.... but £5m for someone who next season is going to be a 34yr old 3rd or 4th choice CB?

Perhaps not Moyes' wisest investment when you consider the younger more able Dunne went to Villa for around the same amount.

Would think that a club with our limited resources would be loathe to spend more than a couple of mill for a player over 30 but i guess after Lescotts late desertment we needed a quick fix. Pity we couldn't get Senderos on loan then... we might have had £5m extra to spend on keeping Donovan this summer!
Sam Hoare     Posted 24/02/2010 at 17:15:18   Comments (45)

Landon's song

To the tune of:-

"Michael Finegan — he grew whiskers on his chin again..."

There was a young man called Landon Donovan,
Came on loan but then was gone again,
We thank god for Landon Donovan,
Please come back
And play again
for Everton

Any improvements please feel free to add.

Thank you, Landon; you were brilliant.
Charles King     Posted 24/02/2010 at 15:12:58   Comments (14)

The Skint Earl

I just got this from the Las Vegas Review Journal. Looks like our in-house Billionaire may have hit some serious hard times... although he has acquired a small italian resturant chain in the US I read another report that said that the Planet Hollywood Vegas hotel was sold as they defaulted on their $800m mortgage.
Jim Starling     Posted 24/02/2010 at 11:24:30   Comments (2)

Welcome back Jags (in squad for Lisbon)

Jags has been included in the 22 to travel to Lisbon.

Senderos also travels which gives me great relief as we were looking a touch sort a centre half for this one.

Anyway welcome back Jags just in time for our unlikely assault on 4th place!

COYB
Christian Yandell     Posted 24/02/2010 at 10:58:59   Comments (17)

Duffy Declares for Republic

It was on the local news yesterday that Shane Duffy - despite having been through the underage ranks for N.I - is declaring for the Republic of Ireland.

Personally as a fan I think it's great that there'll be two emerging Evertonians in the Republic's squad in the future. It also means that Duffy will be playing with better players on the international scene and therefore will have more capacity to improve.
Ciarán McGlone     Posted 24/02/2010 at 07:51:13   Comments (43)

Responsibility

As a club and support we pride ourselves on our togetherness, our community, us against the world. The club itself sponsors players to go out to schools and has many local and international initiatives.

That being said, now one of our own puts himself in the spotlight with drink driving, I would ask what if there is anything should the club do to ensure the right message is given out to those we are supposed to be trying to influence, i.e the kids.

In my opinion its not acceptable in this day and age we can just shrug our shoulders and say it's got nowt to do with footy so keep it separate. If that's the case, the club and support should not get involved in local initiatives.

We all make mistakes and do things we regret. Probably many have had a good bevvy and got behind the wheel — doesn't make it right.

But there has to be consequences...

I seem to remember Cadamarteri being shown the door.

Should Piennar be too?
John Keating     Posted 23/02/2010 at 18:30:02   Comments (37)

Changes to 2010-11 season

Just read a article on the BBC website, refering to the following changes being inforced next season

Clubs must include eight home-grown players out of a squad of 25.

- A home-grown player is a player who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season which he turns 21)

- Changes to the squad list of 25 may be made during the period of a transfer window.

- Clubs will be able to supplement their squads with unlimited additional players under the age of 21.

- An under-21 player refers to a player under the age of 21 as at 1 January in the year in which the season concerned commences

On the face of it, we must be in a great position at the moment with our current squad of players. Don't think it'll require much tweaking during the summer.

It'll be good to hear other members views.
Dave Williams     Posted 23/02/2010 at 17:58:30   Comments (9)

Pienaar Charged with drink driving

Anybody know anything more about it?

Can he be locked up for this or will be just get a fine and be banned from driving?
David McKitt     Posted 23/02/2010 at 09:52:29   Comments (57)

Post Landon

Assuming that lack of money is a reason why Landon returns to the MLS, the question is... What then?

If lack of money stops us from keeping Landon, the same reason would stop us from signing someone of the same calibre. Unless of course DM already has another low cost star under wraps.

My guess is that we would replace Landon with one of our own youngsters, but which one? If it came down to like for like, who could match or even go close to Donovan for speed, determination, strength in the tackle, crossing ability and positional play?

I know he has more than those attributes in his locker but they are the least a genuine replacement would need. My location limits my knowledge of who on our books could fill Landons shoes. Of those I have seen on the telly only Coleman goes close.

Home based fans may be better informed and could say who if anyone yet to be seen is worthy of a try out?
Dick Fearon     Posted 22/02/2010 at 20:28:48   Comments (9)

I want a Superstar

Most believe we have best squad for years but talk of us being back among the big boys is premature. We are nowhere near consistent: the next step, as it has been for years, is top 4 and winning trophies.

I love our team ethic. I truly believe Cahill, Arteta, Jagielka and the team makes me proud... battling adversity and being best of the rest. However, this is not good enough for me and I want a world beater. I want a player I truly love; Rooney was the last one, I got so excited and never stopped talking about him till he left! We have good players but not one top of the tree, i.e. Fabregas, Drogba, Torres.

How do we get a world beater? Homegrown?? Rodwell has potential but suspect it will be 3 or 4 years before we know. I like our players and Moyes has worked wonders in the transfer market but can he pull a rabbit out of the hat and get that world beater we need who can win games single-handedly and propel us among the big boys?

It can be done with little money... although only Wenger appears successful — Fabregas, Van Persie, Henry... Unknown players do exist and are out there waiting to be plucked from obscuriy.

I want a player to adore. If Moyes pulls it off, I will start to believe he is the Messiah; but until then, like doubting Thomas, I will not believe it — no matter how many Manager of the Year awards he picks up.
Peter Warren     Posted 22/02/2010 at 19:31:39   Comments (59)

Not a bad Reserves line-up

The line-up for tomorrow night's home reserve game looks promising:-

Turner, Coleman, Bidwell, Wallace, Jagielka, Duffy, Craig, Forshaw, Vaughan, Anichebe, Baxter.

Yes - The Jag is back (almost)! Can things really be going that well? And is he in the Europa squad for the next round?
Keith Glazzard     Posted 22/02/2010 at 13:12:09   Comments (16)

If I were Landon Donovan...

...I'd be having a word with my agent.

It's all very well being a big fish in the MLS pond, but in footballing terms at the moment that's little more than a puddle. I'd want to be taken seriously as a footballer and realistically I can't achieve that in LA, I'd have to make it stick in one of Europe's bigger leagues.

I've had a crack or two at Germany and not really done it, and at my age I won't get many more chances so were I to have a successful loan spell with a decent side in, say, England, and earn the opportunity of a full contract then I'd be an idiot not to take it, surely?
Richard Pike     Posted 22/02/2010 at 12:48:15   Comments (33)

Hmmm... I wonder?

It started when I read that Wayne Rooney had done a series of interviews for Everton TV, it continued when I read in several different papers how the Goodison crowd should move on and no longer give Rooney the stick they had done previously... it made me think.

Even more so to read that Rooney had actually phoned David Moyes to apologise for the things he'd said in his book... AND Moyes going on to mention the notion of Rooney coming back...

So my very first thought (and it didn't last long) was "Hmmm... could this be in some way paving the way for a Rooney return"? Noooo, maybe in four or five years when he's won everything he ever could, and amassed a fortune he'd never have time to spend, but soon? No...

So why would Rooney in particular, and David Moyes as well, want to smooth things over if they're not likely to be working together anytime soon at Everton.... and that's when the next thought occurred to me (and this one won't seem to go away). Will Moyes and Rooney be working together in the not too distant future... at United?
Brian Williams     Posted 22/02/2010 at 10:46:59   Comments (38)

Top 4 Mentality

I’m sure, at least I hope, David Moyes has now put thought to the next phase in Everton’s rise as to how we change our persona.

With a world class training facility, respect and even envy from our peers, we now need to change our club mentality. Too long in the shadow of the dark side of Merseyside and the last game on Match of The Day, how can we mastermind our reputation in the world of football to the likes of the Arsenal’s, Manchester United’s and dare I say Liverpool’s of this world?

It used to be a never-spoken-about feeling that we would probably not beat the Top 4 in a season; Liverpool would more than likely turn us over at Goodison with a dodgy decision here and there and we would be dealt some bad news such as a refusal of planning permission at Bellefield.

I feel the time has come to start stamping some authority and “make your own luck” as they say. The tide is turning and we have to capitalise now.

The question is.. How do we do it?
Andrew Fletcher     Posted 22/02/2010 at 09:08:56   Comments (14)

Sky & MOTM

God, I hate so many things about Sky! Jack Rodwell, despite his super-classy goal to wrap things up, was quite right to feel embarrassed by their decision to give him the MOTM award, as he was only on the field for a few minutes! In my view, it amounts to an insult to the rest of the team, who sweated blood for the cause throughout the 94 minutes, none more so than the much-derided Ossie, who I've also had a go at on many other occasions but who was excellent against United and for me, the true MOTM.

But then Ossie has never been and never will be a media darling, whereas Jack Rodwell is being hyped up largely because Sky want to see him at Old Trafford as soon as possible. Let's hope they don't get their way...

Brilliant performance and result, now let's really go for it in Lisbon.
Mike O'Neill     Posted 21/02/2010 at 19:39:02   Comments (33)

Here's Johnny!

I don't know as much about football as some posters to this site so this is about character. My favourite moment yesterday? When Phil Neville disposesssed Rooney in the box and the look on his face immediately afterwards.

There is something about Phil, Tim Cahill, Fella and now Johnny Heitinga that shows on their faces that they are truly committed even though three are from abroad and two arrived only recently.

Is there now something about our club and its football leadership that somehow brings out this side of people or is it that DM deliberately looks for that in 'recruitment'?

Either way it gets my vote because that's what I like to see in an Everton team to compliment the skills of the Artetas and Pienaars.
Christopher Winslet     Posted 21/02/2010 at 16:58:57   Comments (16)

Looking beyond... Europe and N'Zogbia

After reading the goings on this site over the last couple of days, I started contemplating what these last weeks' superb results could signify for the future.

In short, in outclassing Man U and Chelsea, i think we have shown that we could be entering into a very exciting period for Everton Football Club. In particular it has got me very excited about the possibilities for next season. To which end i would like to ask a relatively controversial question.

Given the potential excitement for next season might it be advantageous for the club to not make it into the Europa?

I am admittedly assuming that the CL is out of reach for us. Sad but true to my eyes. Playing in the Europa, whilst very exciting and occasionally glamourous, puts a big strain on a club that has a relatively small squad and rewards any success very meagerly. I personally love watching European games but might it be a blessing in disguise if whilst City, Villa, Spurs and the shite are distracted by Europe we have a free run on the league and the cups?

Perhaps the biggest problem might be that the players are less inclined to stay/come if we are not in Europe. As far as i know Stevie P is the only player close to his contract end and his recent comments suggest he wants to stay irrelevant. I'm sure the players would sacrifice one season in the europa for a real shot at the champions league.

I'm not saying of course that we shouldnt try and win every game. I don't think Moyes could ever duck out of a game even if he wanted to (dead rubbers aside). I simply think that should we finish 7th (and not in Europe) it might be a blessing in disguise.

My other totally seperate point is that if we dont' manage to keep Landon then i think we could do a lot worse than Nzogbia. He has pace and skill and seems to have acquired a fair modicum of graft. At 23 he has his best years ahead of him whilst being pretty experienced in the PL.

Either way, think Landon has demonstrated how much we have been missing an industrious pacey winger. This is a hole that should not be allowed to re-open.
Sam Hoare     Posted 21/02/2010 at 14:48:46   Comments (13)

This year it will be different

After yesterday's fine performance, one is left thinking: "If only..."

In my view, and without going into the detail I calculate that we are a minimum of eight points short of what we deserve. In other words, short of competing for a Champions League place. I think it is now time to prepare for next season and why not do it now?

Our players have demonstrated that with a positive attitude we can beat the best. So what do we need? Well, I don't think that this summer will see massive spending by anyone, therefore I hope our "crown jewels" are safe.

So, assuming we have little money to spend, what can we do? I would suggest cover at left back (Baines has had, in my view, a fine season but I thought he looked very uncomfortable defensively yesterday). Also, if Donovan doesn't come back, we need wide pace. Another creative midfielder would be a bonus but apart from that we seem ok. Let's get it right this time. I will be very happy to be wrong about David Moyes.
Andy Crooks     Posted 21/02/2010 at 11:51:34   Comments (27)

Ball Harvey Kendall are back!

What a pleasure it was to watch a proper midfield yesterday.

A half-fit Arteta had a great game. One early miss-placed pass and from them on he ran the midfield. Always in the right place, always linking up with Pienaar and Osman, always probing.

Ozzie was at last free to play his proper game and as in the second half against Chelsea he was excellent throughout.

Pienaar, although not at his tantalising best was still excellent. The balance was there yesterday and with the engine room ticking (against a good team) we had Donovan causing problems on one flank and Bily giving us balance on the other.

All the talk of us missing Fellaini proved to be so wide of the mark. In fact, I think Pienaar, Arteta and Rodwell could become the new Ball, Harvey and Kendall (with Ozzie being the ideal cover).

If Moyes keeps the balance right and we keep clear of injuries to the key players, who knows for the rest of the season!
Ged Dwyer     Posted 21/02/2010 at 08:58:39   Comments (16)

Strength in Depth

What does everybody think is our best team when everyone is fit? My team would be:

Howard
Neville Jagielka Heitinga Baines
Fellaini Arteta Piennar Donavan
Cahill Saha

Subs: Nash ,Osman, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov, Gosling, Vaughan, Yak

Just look at that squad; it's a long time since we had a strong bench... it's usually full of kids. Moyes never had that selection headache for years.

But that matchday squad is missing Yobo, Distin, Hibbert, Senderos, Coleman, Anichebe, and Baxter — we haven't even had that strong a bench!
Kevin Thompson     Posted 21/02/2010 at 06:22:36   Comments (15)

We Improve When Osman Improves

I know there are so many Osman detractors who contribute to ToffeeWeb. But, in the last couple of games, we seem to have improved on the back of Osman improving. The game we lost against Liverpool is when Osman registered an obscure presence. In the FA Cup match against Birmingham, we improved when Osman joined the fight and scored with a curler (what a goal that was).

Yesterday’s game was no exception. Osman, to me, was MotM. He treated the Man U defence like they have no pride at all. He stopped just about anything he could. He set up plays more times that we can remember. He fought for every inch and gave none.

Everyone on the field was switching roles: Landon, Bily, Pienaar etc, yet Osman stayed in his starting position: midfield in front of Arterta.

We were all worried with Fellaini being gone, but it seems Osman is the unsung hero. Which brings me to my next worry. Our future opposition may have caught wind of this secret and therefore will do a “Liverpool” on us. That is, clip Osman each time they play us.

How do we overcome this?
Rahman Talib     Posted 21/02/2010 at 03:40:11   Comments (12)

Bily, Pienaar, Donovan; The Future?

I have criticised one Tim Cahill many a time over the past couple of seasons, and been attacked for this stance on many occasion. Today... or yesterday should I say, vindicated my stance.

What I saw was a midfield three passing along the ground, spreading the play, and opening the field, supported by the excellent Osman and the composed Arteta.

With Cahill, he makes a lot of smart runs, but his lack of finesse means teams can close other players down thus lacking our options... Basically, stop the crosses and you stop Cahill's threat.

Today, we spread the play; Pienaar, Bily and Donovan swapped position and Utd didn't know how to defend against it. It gave us space and, more than anything, skill.

This should be our starting 11, only replacing one of Ossie or Arteta for fellaini, when everyone is fit and available.

We MUST keep Donovan — his pace is indispensable.

I also expect Bily to become a great goalscoring midfielder, his touch is fantastic and he has the technique, as proven today, to score from 20+ yards — something we have lacked. He can get 10 -15 goals a season.

I like Cahill but, if we want to continue as we are today, he must be dropped... (I fear, however he will walk back into the starting 11.)
Fran Mitchell     Posted 20/02/2010 at 23:03:47   Comments (36)

Landon's best memory?

His best memory, he said, was the Chelsea win. After today, against the current Champions, he might be able to update that rating. And he played a very good part in the victory.

So will he really relish going from all this to the game back home? I doubt it very much, but I don't know how the legal/financial conditions might require him to do this or that.

ToffeeWebbers will, I'm sure, have the knowledge and will share it with us.

And our American cousins will, I hope, want to say whether he should stay or he should go. Or the other way round.
Keith Glazzard     Posted 20/02/2010 at 20:51:20   Comments (13)

4th spot?

Ok, this may seem like a complete shot in the dark, and I know it is probably the cause of me being overly thrilled about today's match (get in, btw!), but I just pose the question: Is there still a possibility of coming 4th THIS SEASON?

I know next season does at this present time seem like it will be promising, but I wonder if we put a good run together whether we could overtake Spurs, Liverpool, City and Villa. I believe we are 8 points behind 4th spot having played one more game than Man City, this surely is not insurmountable?

I think it CAN be done, but unfortunately WON'T happen; any optimists?
Paddy Gillen     Posted 20/02/2010 at 19:07:34   Comments (23)

A man and his tackle

As I start to come down off the walls following today's great performance and atmosphere, I thought about what is lacking in our squad to enable us to compete regularly amongst the top sides.

I dont want to be negative, in fact, I treat with contempt all those ridiculous "Moyes Out" type posts but I am concerned about our inability to keep a clean sheet.

Even today, though, we were great going forward and particularly getting around the back of Utd's defence but we still lacked that vital tackle in midfield to prevent the defence from coming under pressure.

I looked at all of our MF players and with the exception of Rodwell and Fellaini neither of whom is a great tackler we are totally lacking a "ballwinner" in MF.

A lot of supporters have gone on about not having replaced Carsley and I think if we are to progress amongst the elite it is something we have to look at.

Fellaini and Rodwell are not bad at breaking the play up and are both good passers of the ball (usually!!) but I still think we need the bite of a Carsley or Neville moment to enable us to compete at the highest levels.
Jay Harris     Posted 20/02/2010 at 14:59:57   Comments (21)

Blue Nets

I've wanted to say this for quite some time: What's the score with the Goodison nets? They have to be white — we need to see, for all us Evertonians who can't get to the game, the bulge when we score, that only a white net can provide. I know it might sound silly but white nets are the best.

Second bottle of red opened soon and I think the girlfriend's going to leave me soon.
Jon Cox     Posted 20/02/2010 at 14:57:52   Comments (4)

Hehehehehehe....

Can't stop grinning like an idiot.

So many great things from today's match:

  • The constant pressure on the ball.
  • The passing game from a diminutive, ball playing line-up (Distin aside - but he gets a pass because of his defensive abilities)
  • Bilyaletdinov finally looking up for the battle — for 60 minutes at least.
  • Two young guys scoring vital goals. And Bily is only 24, as well.
  • Prima Donovan looking like a world class midfeilder.
  • Moyes's subs turning golden.
  • A 'character' performance without Cahill.
  • The chance to stick it up my brother in law.
  • And every other front runner who still thinks Van Nistelrooy plays in red.
  • My wife finally having an interst in football. Thankyou Shirtless Jack Rodwell.
What a glorious day!
COYB!
Jarrod Prosser     Posted 20/02/2010 at 11:53:42   Comments (61)

You Are David Moyes... v Man U

With Felli and now Cahill out, who do we think should start for tomorrow's game?

The backline I think will remain the same and Donovan, Pienaar, Saha, and it seems Arteta and Osman make up the rest. So should it be Yakubu, Bily, or Rodwell?
Joey Brown     Posted 19/02/2010 at 16:42:12   Comments (56)

Respect

I dont understand some posters who criticise David Moyes unequivocally. This is the best squad I have known since 1984-85. 25 years have passed and we have some dignity again (although the 86-87 League winning season shouldn't pass without mention... but remember the Spring of '87 and how results panned out leading up to our Canon League triumph — bizarre and not unfavourable to us).

A '95 Cup win apart, this is the best I have felt as a Blue for a long, long time. Remember the late 80s, most of the 90s... I remember a home game against Crystal Palace c 1993 0-0, 23,000 crowd —quite good compared to the 13,000 I was with as a 13-year-old in the Paddock against Coventry on 31 December 1983...

Then there where the early 2000's under Walter Smith. Remember (in no particular order of preference of ineptitude):

Gerrard (vs Howard);
Barrett/Holmes (Neville);
Tiler/Keeley (Jagielka);
Clarke/Bilic (Heitinga);
Michael Ball [never rated him, but good Blue — so am I, but not good enough]/Hottiger (Baines);
Adams/Blomqvist/Alexandersson (Donovan);
Williamson/Linderoth/Thomsen/Nyarko (Fellaini; Arteta);
Preki/Wilson (Pienaar);
Madar/Bakayoko/Barlow/Angell/Branch (Saha/Yakubu)

You all can add a lot more inadequate names from the past; but my point — none of the present cause you embarassment (even if you can name better footballers)? And you have your dignity now; dont you?
Mike Jones     Posted 18/02/2010 at 21:58:28   Comments (118)

Liver Bird voting

I'd just like to say that you haven't made enough different choices in the newest voting pool relating Everton's reclaiming Liver Bird symbol.

For example, it is not clear whether people who wote would like Everton to replace Rupert's Tower with the Liver Bird or is the Liver Bird just to be added alongside Rupert's Tower?

Furthermore, some don't agree that the Liver Bird is only a symbol of reds but wouldn't like it back on Everton crests as it looks nicer as it is right now!

I would have posted my vote for putting the Liver Bird on crests alongside Rupert's tower but there isn't that option!!

I believe this lack of voting options would give people wrong idea about the whole campaign, so if you could please make it right. Thanks!
Aleksandar Jovanovic     Posted 18/02/2010 at 18:17:35   Comments (42)

Everton and the curse of the ten men

I always hate it when Everton are playing and someone gets sent off – from either side. The reason? It always seems to disrupt us. Recent examples would be Newcastle away last season, and the Dark Side this season.

The only game I can recall when a dismissal worked in our favour was QPR away years ago. I remember Martin Dobson slotted in at left back and we went on to score four goals.

Whenever someone is sent off why do other teams seem to get a surge of energy, whereas we always end up nervous and unsure how to take advantage of our numerical superiority?
Tony McNulty     Posted 18/02/2010 at 18:16:31   Comments (6)

Were Wolves Wrong?

Wolves have been handed a £25,000 fine for fielding a weakened side against Man Utd. Their manager claimed that he needed to save his best players for the following game (which they then won).

My question is: Were they wrong to do this?

Imagine if Moyes had done the same for the recent derby game. Everton haven't won at Anfield for over 12 years. What if Moyes had decided that chances were Everton probably wouldn't win, no matter what side he fielded? Let's say he rested the better players and used some fringe players. What would have happened?

It's likely that the result would have been the same. The strongest team lost and you would expect a weakened team to lose as well. So the result would have been the same. But...

Marouane Fellaini would have been rested and wouldn't have picked up that injury. So we would have had him for the rest of the season. And Pienaar wouldn't have been sent off and he'd be available for all the difficult games this month.

I know its hindsight but if Moyes had fielded a weak side against Liverpool, we would probably have gotten the same result and still have Fellaini and Pienaar available.

Were Wolves right to field a weakened team? What would have been the fans' reaction if Moyes had done the same against Liverpool?
Dick Anderson     Posted 18/02/2010 at 09:22:02   Comments (33)

Wayne Rooney returns...

I don't know if anyone has recently touched on this topic but what are fans' opinions of Shrek and his return to Goodison on Saturday?

Given the recent loved-up interviews with the OS and articles in the Echo, are you going to clap when his name's read out or boo him?

I suppose there are reasons for doing either of the above mentioned, but to me the facts remain that:

- he put in a transfer request to the club he "loves" and has "supported all his life" (and apparantly cried he was that desperate to leave);

- he has celebrated wildly in front of the fans whenever he has scored;

- has kissed the Man Utd badge in front of the fans, both at Old Trafford and Goodison;

- he has also showboated like a prick (when we got beat 4-2 at home 3 seasons ago).

People may point the finger at Kenwright for cashing in and not getting that much, but what else was he to do when a player who is desperate to leave puts in a transfer request only a few days before the transfer window closes?

Also people may point to the trophies he has won since he left, saying his move was "justified" — BOLLOCKS. He gave us two years of service... two fucking measly years. I totally understand that he wants and deserves to be playing on the big stage in all the big games, but the least he could have done to appease the fans and give some back was to stay with us for at least 5 years, in which he still would have only been 22-23 and would have went for well more money.

It may look like that he's "grown up" and is past all the nonsense now, but to me he's still the shithouse who let down everyone and everything related to Everton, and I for one will NEVER forgive him and will definitely be giving the fucker loads when he comes to Goodison on Saturday.

COYB
John Nelson     Posted 17/02/2010 at 10:07:22   Comments (109)

Red Cards vs Tackle & Injuries

I was sat there last night after the game (great win!!) thinking about Fellaini, and the fact he is now injured and unavailable for a reported 6 months. It got me thinking about punishments fitting crimes, Fellaini and the greek player from liverpool, Sotirios Kyrgiakos.

When the tackle happened, the Greek was sent off, rightly so in my opinion. I think Fellaini was perhaps lucky not to go also, but... looking at the way he plays my genuine belief is he went for the ball like he does, with his foot high and to drag it back before the Greek got to it, a risky strategy because his foot was high, if carried out incorrectly, likelyhood is contact with the opposing player and booking at least...

Anyway, as it turns out, the Greek made two-footed contact with Fellaini and injured him, he is now out for 6 months, whilst the Greek, is missing for three games.

The problem here is the Greek isn't what you would call a first teamer, more like a squad player, whereas Fellaini is a first teamer for us; if available he is selected to play.

The problem is now we have lost a player for 6 months and not 3 games like Liverpool have... I think it grossly unfair that we have this situation, I know we are not the first to suffer it, and we won't be the last, another similar incident involved Nolan & Anichebe, we lose Anichebe for the best part of 12 months, and Newcastle lose a player for 3 games.

It's a ridiculous state of affairs, in which the punishments given just do not fit the crime. What I want to know is how this can be resolved?
Mark Hill     Posted 17/02/2010 at 09:43:31   Comments (53)

We never played yesterday!

Last night at 6pm Houston time (midnight back home in UK) I sat down to watch Sky Sports News:

1. Headline news: Man Utd v Milan - Fair enough
2. EPL, Man City draw at Stoke - Eh, what about Everton in Europe?
3. Championship round up - You are kidding me?
4. League One and 2 round-up - what the fuck???
5. Scottish Cup - Have I missed a day in my life or gone back in time?

I sat through the whole of that Sky Sports News — and the freakin idiotic and irritatingly long Proactive and Bosley "hair-do" adverts until 6:27 when, lo and behold, Fellaini has a serious injury - then, oh yes, by the way, Everton just about beat Sporting Lisbon 2-1!!!! Now we're off for a break — Twattin Proactive and piggin Bosley again... aaaaaaaggh!

Yes, I am paranoid about wanting news about Everton! Yes, we are not the greatest of news for the footballing world! But, hang on a minute......

Everton playing in Europe - shouldn't that be considered bigger news ahead of the EPL, Championship, League's One and Two - and the Scottish Cup???

Can anyone explain this type of reporting??? Was there a media block by Everton, or what? Have Sky News hired the BBC MotD planner full time?
Gerry Quinn     Posted 17/02/2010 at 08:56:40   Comments (22)

Give youth a chance

For a club in Everton's financial situation, the development of young players must be a priority. One of the attractions of joining Everton should be the fair chance of someday playing first-team football. Frankly, they would seem to have more of a chance at Old Trafford.

In Seamus Coleman and Shane Duffy, we have two good young players who have the potential to become very fine players. What they lack at the moment is Premier League experience. Well, it seems that they won't be getting it under David Moyes. His preference seems to be to pay high wages to rejects from other clubs.

One can only imagine the effect on the morale of Turner and Ruddy that the signing of Carlo Nash had. Much as I admire Phil Neville, I cannot believe that he is playing well enough to keep Coleman out of the side. I would suggest that, had Duffy and Coleman played last night, the result would have been better.

The treatment of young players at Everton is a symbol of the tenure of David Moyes: safety first... second, and third.
Andy Crooks     Posted 17/02/2010 at 05:22:32   Comments (21)

Build it and they will come

I`ve just been reading about the latest Keioc proposals, redeveloping GP, building the 1887 hotel etc etc... all good interesting stuff, but what really caught my eye was the proposal for a "Footy quarter" to celebrate England's most successful football city.

I think it's a terrific idea. Some of us may not want to share a ground, but would anyone object to sharing the profits?

Like these guys or loathe them, they have come up with more ideas in a year than our board have in a decade.
Dave Wilson     Posted 17/02/2010 at 03:09:35   Comments (13)

Everton vs Sporting Lisbon

Line-up is : Howard, Neville, Distin, Yobo, Baines, Arteta, Cahill, Osman, Donovan, Saha.

Subs: Nash, Bilyaletdinov, Vaughan, Gosling, Yakubu, Rodwell, Coleman.

Predictable really, I think Ciaran actually called it exactly right a few days ago. A shame no Rodwell or Coleman.
James Stewart     Posted 16/02/2010 at 14:18:22   Comments (72)

Worried About The Yak

I've had mixed feelings about the Yak ever since I first heard we were buying him...

~ Outstanding goal scorer. One of the few players that scared me when I knew we were going to play against them... but....

~ That nagging worry in the back of my mind... how many years did he actually have left in him and was it long enough to justify the £11m transfer fee?

Well, I am now worrying more than ever. Nearly 3 years on from his purchase, :

~ He has started about 60 games for Everton, scored about 30 goals (forgive the "about," ToffeeWeb stats don't add up and are different from the numbers elsewhere)

~ To date, his transfer fee alone has cost us £180k per game or £360k per goal. He needs a lot more starts and goals before he will have been a good price.

~ He is still not looking fit after last year's injury. My Nigerian friend laughs at the idea that Yakubu might be only 27... How many games does he really have left in him?

"Injury Prone" Saha has already made it to 35 starts and 21 goals in under 2 years, which is at least as good as Yak's record, and Saha was free(-ish); Fellaini is already on 63 starts and 12 goals.

I'm not criticising Moyes's transfer record generally. There are too many good pieces of business (buying Lescott, Jags, Baines, Neville, Howard, Piennar, Arteta, Saha; selling Lescott, Bent etc etc) for that. I'm just worried about the Yak. Great player but are we ever going to get our money's worth out of him?

Someone comfort me!

Hope the Yak starts tonight, looks fit and scores a hat full... but I can't believe it is going to happen.
Tom Brown     Posted 16/02/2010 at 10:48:14   Comments (30)

Champions League Play-Off!

Just read an article stating that a Champions League play-off is being considered for the Premier League.

The plan is that only the top three teams automatically enter the competition and then teams finishing in positions fourth to seventh play a mini-knockout competition.

I for one see this as a very exciting proposition. Not only does it increase the potential of someone breaking the "Sky 4" domination of CL qualification, but I can just picture us playing Liverpool in the play-off final. It would be more valuable than any FA Cup final in history, and they would have so much more to lose than we would. How sweet would it be to win that one?

I'm backing this idea 100%!
Jamie Sweet     Posted 15/02/2010 at 20:30:59   Comments (47)

You are David Moyes

Okay... after a trying weekend without an Everton game to focus on and dissect, let's terminate all this PC/Rodwell crap and focus on what's going down in just over 24 hours from now.

You are David Moyes: please name your 11 starting players and 7 subs to play against Sporting Lisbon... with explanation / justification as you see fit.
Michael Kenrick     Posted 15/02/2010 at 13:42:38   Comments (61)

Ask them why they did it

After copious quantities of alcohol in the pub while debating all topics of the derbies, Everton, Liverpool and football in general, one topic caused heated debate and general laughter: If you could confront one player/official over his actions on the pitch — who would it be, why, and what would you say to him?

For me it was Paul Gerrard over Gary McAllister's that goal he let in against Liverpool. I sit in the Park End and can say, hand on heart, we all knew where the ball was going... the whole ground knew where the ball was going — Paul Gerrard didn’t know where the ball was going. As my mate said at the time, “its nailed on where this is going.”

My one question to Gerrard would be “How did you not know, you useless prick?”

As the little blue boy said to his Dad as Gerrard lay motionless after the goal was scored, “Is he dead, Dad?” and his Dad's response was “I fuckin' hope so, son”

So my question to my fellow blues: who would it be, ref or player? Why, and what would you say to them given the chance to front them up? There are so many candidates, this should be great reading.
John Kelly     Posted 14/02/2010 at 07:33:11   Comments (64)

Selling the Crown Jewels

In today's Sunday Express, an article states we are possibly going to sell Jack Rodwell to Man Utd. Does anyone think this is a good move to fund our transfer spending in the summer or another example of selling off of one of our prize assets?

The article goes on to say : MANCHESTER United have been quoted a staggering £30million if they want to lure Everton starlet Jack Rodwell to Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson is a long-term admirer of the versatile Everton star and is putting plans in place to establish an English core to his United defence for years to come. He has already completed part one of his plan – signing Fulham’s Chris Smalling – and now the United manager wants to finish his rebuilding by signing Rodwell, 18. Everton are reluctant to sell but the club have a good relationship with United, despite the acrimonious departure of Wayne Rooney to Old Trafford in 2004.

A Goodison Park insider said: “Jack is one of the brightest talents here and although we want to keep him, everyone has a price.”

Moyes hopes bumping up the price will force United into increasing their bid.
James Elworthy     Posted 14/02/2010 at 06:59:52   Comments (47)

Solve a mystery for me

During the sixties, I used to stand about half way back and slightly left of centre on the Gwladys Street. At every game, there was the constant chanting of "Simmo the 'Omo"!

Q1. Who was Simmo?
Q2. Was he an 'omo'?
Q3. Where is he now?
Trevor Powell     Posted 13/02/2010 at 08:35:48   Comments (42)

Everton and Me

Firstly, fellow Blues, i would like to apologise for my previous post and the use of the word "Yiddo" — if it caused offence to anyone it was totally not intended to as I look upon Evertionians as my family!

Now onto my point, being an Everton fan since I was 4 years old, 1989, I am not lucky enough to remember the Glory Days of the 80s and yesteryear; however, I am now walking around with a huge grin on my face. Look at out progress the last few years: two semi-finals, a final, three top 6 finishes, class squad, great manager, the most loyal fans in the world (and the greatest). Everyone always seems to be doom and gloom.

Let me just remind all of you who wish to be pessimistic at this time, I have been bought up on relegation fodder and shite! However, the burning love I have for this club has never ever died... if anything, it's got stronger with age.

Everyone just take a step back and remember why we love Everton: the banter at the match, the memories, the fact — once our special club has touched you — nothing will be the same.

Let's get behind the boys and push for another top 6 finish. King Louis... The best little Spainard we know... Timmy, the Blue Kangaroo!!! We are blessed with real class! I know there are many many more quality players in our squad!

COYB
Mikey Cummins     Posted 12/02/2010 at 11:40:45   Comments (55)

Leighton Baines for England

Why is it this morning that, when I listen to the radio, the only name being mentioned as a left back replacement for Ashley Cole in the England team for South Africa is Wayne Bridge?

I think Leighton Baines has a huge shout here. In my opinion he's been our unsung hero this season and has been consistent(ly good) most of the year. I thought he was great against Chelsea and his game has come on since he won his first call up.

With Cole unlikely to be fit (on showing of his past injury recoveries), Ferdinand and John Terry's current (alleged) problems, surely Capello needs to find something extra in defence.

If only Jagielka had been fit as well!
Lewis Barclay     Posted 12/02/2010 at 05:04:24   Comments (72)

Debt and who's in danger

Okay, im writing this because I'm confused. If you could point out where I'm wrong and answer a couple questions, I would greatly appreciate it.

  1. Manchester United, Liverpool, and a host of other teams are up to their necks in debt.
  2. Portsmouth was recently put on a lockdown of sorts because they were in debt.
  3. Man U and the shite have had no penalties enforced and as far as I know they haven't even had to meet with the FA to sort anything out.

So here are my questions:

  1. Is there an actual difference between the debts of the big clubs and that of Portsmouth? If so, what?
  2. Here's the big one: Is Everton in a lot of debt and if so, are we in danger of of having sanctions imposed due to our debt?

Pat Finegan     Posted 12/02/2010 at 01:14:46   Comments (50)

Penny dropping?

I listened to the BBC radio commentary on the Chelski game last night, and something occurred to me. There was a similarity to the Arsenal away game. In both matches, the team seem to have forgotten about the opponents' reputation, and gone out and just *played*. Both times we've deserved to win.

It's long been a criticism of Moyes that against the Sky Four we're set up to not lose rather than go for the win, and it seldom works. Has he realised that we're now good enough to give these sides serious trouble if the shackles are loosened?
Richard Pike     Posted 11/02/2010 at 20:04:22   Comments (21)

Oh How Sweet It Is....

ALL HAIL KING LOUIS! :-).

As A Southern Blue I try to get to as many games as I can (including the FA Cup Final). Now as you can imagine, I am surround, by Gooners, Yiddos & Chelski fans, also the southern Red Shite but they're not worth it.

This morning, I walked into my office with such a big smile on my face as those glory hunting gobshites had nothing to say for a change. After trying to watch the game on one of the crappy links on the internet, I gave up and listened to it on Five Live. My Dad & I were jumping round the house, what a feeling! It put to bed the shocker on Saturday for me.

I love David Moyes, I Love Louis Saha & I Love Everton. So, fellow Blues, walk around today and bask in the glory of a fantastic performance, and victory!

All Hail King Louis.....HOW SWEET IT IS!!!!

COYB FTRS!
Mikey Cummins     Posted 11/02/2010 at 10:49:31   Comments (15)

Penalty miss a blessing?

Does anybody else think that the penalty miss by Saha last night was a blessing in disguise? I said to my old man on the game that if we had've scored that penalty, the team talk at half time for Chelsea would have been very straight forward: ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK.

As it was they probably thought our heads would be down and they would pick us off. As we all know, that's not how it happened, but I personally believe that if we had of scored the penalty then it would have been much more like the FA Cup final, where we definitely scored too early. We would have probably (as seems to be our way) tried to defend for the whole 2nd half.
Tony Bell     Posted 11/02/2010 at 09:28:36   Comments (9)

Twelfth Man

If ever there was an argument aginst Kirkby, last night proved it for me. The man in the title, namely the Goodison crowd, showed how important our ground is and what an incredibly intimidating atmosphere can be conjured up inside.

I know it ain't perfect but surely the board now realises that redevelopment is the answer. If we want more seats, why not extend the Park End?

I saw only the highlights on TV but the support was fantastic and the team responded in great style. We played proper footy for the most part and dug our heels in when the inevitable Chelsea onslaught was launched in the last 10 minutes or so.

If we see two better goals than Saha's the rest of the season I'll be very surprised. Every man on the pitch played his part — we played some really good football at times — and I have to admit that Osman surprised me even though a few passes were misplaced.

We are not yet in Nirvana but the team demonstrated its capabilities in fine style. Let's hope we can do the same against United. Incidentally why can't we play all our home games under the floodlights? It certainly seems to work wonders for the team.
Tony Waring     Posted 11/02/2010 at 06:04:56   Comments (22)

Southern Press?

Still smiling from ear to ear after the brilliant display last night! The antithesis of Saturday, but that's Everton for you is it not?

A couple of things:

First off, the hoofball issue. I was watching carefully when Chelsea played Arsenal on Sunday, and the only time - particularly in the first half - that Arsenal were hurting Chelsea was when they were playing balls over the Chelsea centre backs...

OK, maybe not 50 or 60 yard balls, but Chelsea's centre backs were all at sea when Arsenal were doing that. So maybe, just maybe, our coaching staff had noticed and deliberately used that tactic? Food for thought, as Moyes is always battered on here for lack of tactical awareness....

Secondly, these are the player ratings from today's Mail:

EVERTON (4-4-1-1): Howard 6; Neville 7, Heitinga 6, Distin 6, Baines 7; Donovan 8, Arteta 6 (Rodwell 74min), Osman 6, Bilyaletdinov 5 (Gosling 86); Cahill 6; Saha 7 (Senderos 90). Booked: Donovan.

Heitinga 6? Osman 6? Saha 7?

Doubt this guy even watched the match, and is typical of the Sky 4 press bollocks.

Well done Blues!!!!! As brilliant last night as we were shite on Saturday!!
Dave Richman     Posted 11/02/2010 at 04:34:55   Comments (10)

Well played, Leon Osman

Just got in from the game, well done to all.

Some players get a lot of stick on here, some maybe should but don't, and some more than others...

Some players are too lightweight, can not cut it against the big teams, can't pass or shoot, and get knocked off the ball too easy.

Tonight, step forward Leon Osman and up against the likes of Frank Lampard, his work, tackling, and passing were excellent.
Ian Smitham     Posted 10/02/2010 at 20:41:50   Comments (39)

Carried Away?

First off, an excellent win against Chelsea with heroes all over the pitch - especially Landon Donovan and Louis Saha who were sensational. However, it's easy to get carried away and suddenly think Moyes is the messiah, Kenwright should stay and the players are all good enough to wear the shirt.

The problem is that the Liverpool game and this game show exactly what the problems are with Everton — too many players who go missing one week and turn up the other. The case in point is Saha, who was non-existent against Liverpool.

What's annoying is how divided Evertonians have been ever since the Kirkby debacle. It's now transcended over to debates over Moyes and certain players. People automatically think others have an agenda when they criticise, and whenever we get a win like this we have the ol' "fuck you doubters" etc. comments rolling in. Conversely, when we lose, "Moyes out" etc. comments come creeping onto ToffeeWeb.

Personally, my opinions don't radically change regardless of one win, draw or loss.

Perhaps some have to learn not to get carried away with any one single result. Tonight, a good win, many positives to be taken, but there are cracks that are merely papered over — both short- and long-term.
Lee Kidd     Posted 10/02/2010 at 19:05:40   Comments (81)

Bily & Mikey Start!!!

Well done, Mr Moyes — he has gone for two attack-minded replacements for Peanuts and Fellai!!!!

Bring on Chelsea!!!
Christian Yandell     Posted 10/02/2010 at 16:11:43   Comments (23)

Predictions

The dust having settled since the weekend leads us into a very difficult game tonight.

Let's have some fun and play predict the score. Don't hold back lads and say what you think.

I'll start. Chelsea 2-0. With Osman going missing for most if not all of the game.
Dave Lynch     Posted 10/02/2010 at 10:29:53   Comments (33)

Fellaini

Heard on the grapevine that Fellaini will be out for 4 to 6 weeks. This is a big month for the blues and the way Fella has been playing we can't afford for him to be out. If it's right we need Arteta to step up to the plate or, if fit, include Rodwell in the line-up.
Ken Williams     Posted 10/02/2010 at 09:06:57   Comments (4)

Ever Banega - No longer an option

I read Sid Lowe's Spanish football Blog on the Guardian site with interest this week as he was raving about how much of a reformed character Ever Banega is this season. The guy now seems to be Valencia's best performer and may break into the Argentina World Cup squad... so it looks like he will no longer be an option for Everton in the Summer.

Here's some recent footage of him against Real Madrid last month:

While no DM apologist, I do see this as a positive sign that our scouts and Moyes have a good eye for up-and-coming talent in the market... if only we paid in cash rather than "try before you buy" and could entice them to come to Goodison more often.
Glen Anderson     Posted 09/02/2010 at 21:17:42   Comments (8)

Enough navel-gazing

OK, so we were crap. Howard flapped when he should have flattened Kuyt. We were brainless when we had the extra man and generally stuffed up a big chance. And if you watched MotD, we looked like the biggest criminals ever to take to a football pitch. (How do they always come up smelling of roses when they have been flinging turds?)

But enough navel-gazing. We simply got done by a cynical team and manager. They had a plan and we fell right into it. The plan — reduce the match to a scrap and win it with the help of some the Premier League's most expert divers, ref-baiters and con-men.

They obviously took a leaf out of the All Blacks book when they targeted Brian O'Driscoll in 2005, picking him up after about 30 seconds and spearing him into the ground, breaking his collar-bone and putting him out of the series. No, they didn't go for anything quite as drastic but Carragher's first-minute assault on Pienaar was from the same book — smash the most dangerous player in the opposition, the only creative player in the first game, put him out or at least put him off his game. Sadly, the ref gave them the green light for such tactics and we were too stupid to avoid getting drawn in.

Yes, Fellaini should have gone at the same time as the Greek, Pienaar could have gone later too, although just look at Mascherano, coming in like a train and taking a wild hack. Pienaar, foot up, looks away in an act of self-protection. Then just enjoy the spectacle of Mascherano, flat on his back squirming, lifting his leg up in the air in a ridiculous attempt to show the ref what a bad boy Pienaar is. This, remember from the team whose players regularly run after the ref, sometimes the length of the pitch, waving imaginary red cards to get opponents sent off. (If we had players who did that, I wouldn't bother going.)

While we are on the subject of red cards, Gerrard, the new England vice-captain, should have got one for two dives and a lunge at the unfortunate Pienaar. The first dive, after a minor touch from Cahill and down he goes, legs wide apart, well that looks natural doesn't it? Then clutching his head after a shoulder barge from Pienaar.

Their Argentinian players must have thought they were the masters of the dark arts of football till they met him. They seemed more scared of defeat than we are, fans and players, maybe because they know they are on a financial knife-edge and have no idea how deep it might be if they do fall off. So they set about reducing this to a scrap, judging that as their best chance to win it and they've won both matches playing hardly any football.

Let's hope we are older and wiser after this. We have actually got better ball players than they have in Arteta, Pienaar, Fellaini, Rodwell and Donovan so leave them to the scrapping and start playing football on the ground again. They are the heirs of Don Revie's Leeds in the dirty tricks department and soon, if they keep it up, surely the rose-tinted spectacles will fall off and they will be exposed.

So come on DM, they don't matter, get the ball down, play two strikers (by the way - where is Vaughan?) and get playing passing football again. There's plenty still to play for this season and next with everyone fully fit again.
Peter Carpenter     Posted 09/02/2010 at 16:47:01   Comments (8)

Feed the Yak (lettuce leaves only)

Following the completion of the African Nations Cup, I was expecting Yakubu to return to Goodison looking a hell of a lot sharper & more slimline than when he left. However, judging by his cameo appearance at Anfield where he proceeded to plod round the pich looking like a shaven headed Oprah Winfrey, it appears he is still nowhere near full match fitness.

I know he was out for a long time and returned ahead of schedule but he should surely have shed some of that excess beef by now. The guy is a professional footballer and should know how to keep his body in optimum condition. At the moment he looks anything but an athlete and more like Sherman Klump from the Nutty Professor. Eddie Murphy wore a monster fat suit & still had smaller moobs than the Yak.

The coaching staff need to hurry up & knock him back into shape again because he is the team's best finisher by a mile & we need him in the starting line-up, not sitting on the bench wondering how many family sized buckets of fried chicken he should order from KFC for his tea.
John Daley     Posted 09/02/2010 at 11:35:18   Comments (24)

Fellaini Injury

On Saturday, when Fellaini got hurt, he went for a scan at Anfield. That scan came back negative. It said on the OS that he would be going for another scan at some point, presumably sometime in the past 2 days which followed the game. But I still haven't heard anything of the supposed follow-up scan. Has anyone heard anything? Am I missing something? And, most importantly, will he be in the line-up for Chelsea?

I feel like Fellaini's most valuable asset in the past few weeks has been his ability to calmly play the ball on the ground. This is exactly what we didn't do when The Big Fella was hurt. If Fellaini isn't in the squad, I'll be worried against Chelsea. I think his presence, or lack thereof, on the field could decide the game.
Pat Finegan     Posted 09/02/2010 at 03:15:34   Comments (26)

Bilyaletdinov

Is anyone else wondering why Diniyar Bilyaletdinov has not featured at all recently?

I felt he would have been a much better option coming from the bench than Anichebe, who looked out of his depth and well short of match fitness.We needed someone that could create or grab us a goal against a Liverpool side sitting back.

I'm wondering if Moyes felt the studs-up battle would have been too much for him, or if there is another problem. He would have certainly provided more in the 2nd half than Osman or Anichebe.
Stuart Mitchell     Posted 08/02/2010 at 15:09:58   Comments (20)

Fed up

Hi, just a few things that make me groan:

Fed up of not taking chances to beat Liverpool at Anfield.

Fed up of Phil Neville saying this is the year to end Anfield misery.

Fed up of substitutions coming too late.

Fed up of substitutions being like for like, ineffective player for ineffective player.

Fed up of Moyes not saying what needs to be said (we were shite).

Fed up of the ease at which teams seem to be able to score against us in the first ten minutes of each half.

And most of all, fed up of reds being able to give me a hard time when people who I pay good money to go and see give piss poor performances.

ps: Jamie Redknapp can fuck off as well.
Gerard May     Posted 08/02/2010 at 13:46:00   Comments (10)

Moyes is the best man for the job

Not only the best man but the only man in my opinion. I'm not a 'Moyes Apologist', but I just think he's the only manager around who can lead us to a top 8 finish in the league this season. Realistically that is all we could've hoped for at the beginning of the season with injuries ripping the spine out of our team, precious few quality signings, the loss of our best defender late on, uncertainty surrounding the doomed move to Kirby with no investment on the horizon.

What do people realistically expect from Everton? Given the events of pre-season, coupled with the fact that without serious investment or good fortune, no team other than Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool or Arsenal are likely to win any silverware. Portsmouth won the FA Cup and Leeds came close to breaking their monopoly but look at them now.

I was as frustrated and angry as the next fan watching that performance on Saturday, screaming for someone to break Gerrard's leg, but that result wasn't ever going to change the course of our season — win, lose or draw. The best we could have hoped for at the start of the season, taking everything into account, was to finish below Aston Villa, Man City and Spurs in 8th.

We were terrible at the weekend and Moyes waited too long to make his changes. The loyalty he shows Neville, Osman and Cahill is painful. His insistence to adopt his favoured 4-5-1 formation is frustrating. However, show me another top-flight manager capable and patient enough to turn a debt-ridden, ageing, poor team into a club fighting for European qualification annually?

I don't know the precise figures but I'd imagine only Wenger has a better transfer record than Moyes. I suppose it all depends on what your expectations are for Everton. I'd love them to challenge for the title but it's not going to happen for many years. If I expected us to win the title or finish in the top 4 then I'm bound to be disappointed and angry because it's not realistically going to happen. What I do expect is for the players to give 100% every game. That wasn't the case against Liverpool but I'm not going to start demanding Moyes's resignation, like some.

The vast majority of posts on the forums want Moyes out. So tell me, who would you like to succeed Moyes? Don't say Hiddink or any other top European manager as they wouldn't come.

Bring on the abuse.....
Tom Winek     Posted 08/02/2010 at 13:53:05   Comments (29)

Had enough

Know something? I never in my wildest dreams thought i'd ever say this. But I am sick of football... sick of the way the game has gone.

There was a time in the 70s when every fan in the country could make a case for their team winning a trophy or at least making a fist of trying to win a trophy. Wether that was the title, FA Cup or League Cup. What we have now is a league that is won before a ball is even kicked.

There are 3 teams that can and will win the title for the foreseeable future and I don't need to name them. The game has become predictable and does not look to be any different in the near future. As long as Sky kiss the arses of the big 3 and keep lining their pockets with TV rights money, the rest of us have no chance. This is without the mega rich owners who throw skip fulls of cash at mediocre teams, aka Chelsea, pre-Abramovich and Man City, pre-arab zillions.

I just can't bring myself to get excited about being a loser season after season, because that's what we and the rest of the league have become. Serial losers, only there to make up the numbers. Meanwhile, the spineless bastards at the FA sit back and watch our national game go down the pan, all for the sake of profit.

Rugby league had the same problem, but since the wage cap it has been an increasingly level playing field. Surely something must give in football, because it can't go on like this forever... Can It?
Dave Lynch     Posted 08/02/2010 at 12:33:54   Comments (26)

Neville is To Be Blamed for the Hoofball

I was watching the game last Saturday and my heart was wrenched. Also, I couldn’t help but noticed that Phil Neville was the main culprit behind the hoofball rally, followed by Hettinga. It seems that Neville is unable to take on Liverpool midfielders and defenders and would rather try to pass a long one to Landon Donovan every time.

I think Hibbert had improved on that deparment because he was willing to take on defenders and play join up football with the likes of Fellaini and Osman and even Pienaar (before he got injured). But, last Saturday, Neville just could not wait to let go of the ball. He kept bombing our centre forwards with his hoofballs, hoping that by some luck, we would create an opportunity.

I mean, if the captain had started that crap, then, the rest of the team would follow. I simply cannot understand why Neville could not join up with Arteta and just to allow Landon Donovan to work out his magic. When possible, Landon did threathen the Liverpool goal with his lethal crosses. The problem is, he was not given enough opportunity to put in his lethal crosses. Enough crosses by Landon would’ve resulted in a goal or two, for sure. But how can that be if Neville kept wanting to lob the ball far giving Liverpool’s right back every opportunity to intercept?

I think it’s time the captain is to be benched and let Coleman work his magic. I think we need Coleman’s adventerous nature to work up our right flank. I think it’s high time Neville calls it quits. I do not think Neville has enough quality to take on defenders.

We had a good 40 minutes after the goal to work out some magic down the right. We wasted it by lobbing hoofballs into the box each time we had possession. What kind of crap play is that, may I ask? I say, let's bring back Hibbert and let Neville watch from the bench. It was a winnable game, and we blew it, big time.
Rahman Talib     Posted 08/02/2010 at 00:18:51   Comments (20)

Moyes's Record - The Case For the Prosecution

Apologies for the salt going into the wounds after that (yet again) all too often soul-destroying surrender in the Derby.

First off, I like David Moyes, I think he stands for dignity and integrity, he's the type of man you could have a pint with and genuinely like the bloke.

But I hate our gameplan everytime the Sky 4 are in town, it just sickens me, I grew up on the Harvey, Kendall, Royle, Kendall teams where every Derby / Man Utd match was a battle royale contest where the opposition had to fight us to win, our lads were always up for it regardless of league position; yes the opposition always had the quality but I always took heart from the effort our boys put in regardless of that.

Here’s a sobering set of figures of Moyes's record against the Sky 4 and Tottenham. It's not very impressive... personally I think it's something to be ashamed of.

Man Utd
Moyes's Team - P15 W1 D3 L11
We've beaten Man Utd only twice since the 1995 Cup Final.

Chelsea
Moyes's Team - P22 W0 D9 L13
We haven’t beaten Chelsea at all in the last 24 games.

Liverpool
Moyes's Team - P18 W3 D5 L10
We have beaten Liverpool only 4 times in the last 26 games.

Arsenal
Moyes's Team - P19 W3 D4 L12

Tottenham
Moyes's Team - P16 W4 D4 L8

TOTAL FOR ALL THOSE GAMES
Moyes Team - P90 W11 D25 L54


Those stats as a proud Evertonian of over 25 years absolutely break my heart. Personally I think it would be best for all if Davey went to Celtic in the summer. I like the man but in football terms the above figures speaks for itself
Declan Brown     Posted 07/02/2010 at 18:39:53   Comments (24)

Changes for Chelsea

With the up-comming game against Chelsea in midweek, I think Davey Moyes has now got to think about certain changes in the line up of our team.

The first concerns Fellaini. If he is injured and cannot play then I would suggest that Neville be moved to defensive midfield. However much he will not control the midfield, he will still have authority in his organisation of the troops. This then will leave open the rb position for Coleman to work with Donovan down the right flank.

Andy Crooks wrote somewhere that Coleman should get the right attacking midfield role and I also agree with this. If he were to assume the attacking right midfield role then I think that Donovan should take the central attacking midfield and drop Leon Osman. This would I think work out well against Chelsea in as much I can't see Donovan going missing like Leon does in big games and it would provide an attacking width on our right flank.

Second, I would give Saha a rest. I would give the Yak a full game and give him James Vaughan as a partner in a 4-4-2. James does the running or spadework and makes a niussance of himself in and around the box also works the channels (that cliche makes me sick as a parrot) so as to make space for the Yak to do his stuff.

I know many people may not agree with this, and it's only my humble but we have to do something and quick, if we are to save our season and qualify for next year's Europa. Lastly some heading practise for our Tim (humour...)

Moyes needs to act and act decisivley, freshen things up so to speak. But there lies the question...
Jonathan Cox     Posted 07/02/2010 at 15:54:46   Comments (17)

Cahill Header

It was a woeful performance yesterday. Every player seemed without the confidence to create chances.

Pienaar wasted many passes and final balls at times were awful. Saha went missing, Neville was woeful. Baines did little to expose Carragher's lack of pace, Arteta is clearly a good while away from his usual self.

However, one Tim Cahill had a chance that could have changed everything. His chance in stoppage time in the first half should have won us the game.

No defenders closing him down and the entire goal to aim at, he blazed his header over. Considering his game is at scoring headers it was a woeful miss. For all the praise he recieved for his goals vs Sunderland and Wigan he returned to his inconsitency.

For Cahill, that chance would be like Yakubu missing a one on one, or Saha missing a penalty. If he scored I am sure we would have won, Liverpool would have been forced to attack and we could have contained them as they clearly lack any creative spark.

As it was he missed, and Liverpool won, and they deserved to. I now fear the month of death will be just that.
Fran Mitchell     Posted 07/02/2010 at 09:55:42   Comments (33)

A Slightly Different Take!

I posted on here yesterday within a minute of the match finishing, angry, hurt and disappointed. Today I feel only slightly less angry but no less hurt and disappointed, that's for sure.

With the anger having subsided, though, it's allowed me to recall things about the game (was it a game?) that only really sunk in over an evening of pretending to be happy while out having a meal with the muisses (sorry love).

Firstly, it seems quite obvious that "the shite" (no capitals for them) had a game plan. Whether it was one cooked up by the paella server, or whether the two most hypocritical, scumbag scallys Gerrard and Carragher got together to decide it, it was obvious that they saw Fellaini and Pienaar as the main threats. Fellaini had shown in his half hour or so on the pitch that it was business as usual just calming down the play, breaking things up, and distributing the ball (on the deck) to players wearing a blue shirt.

So shithouse number two decides he'll take Pienaar out in the first couple of minutes by trying to break the lad's shoulder, put his back out, just basically hurt him... which he did, and it worked in my opinion. Having said that, Pienaar's form has dipped recently, though I'm not going to call his character into question bearing in mind the World Cup blah blah...

Shithouse number one, a despicable excuse for a man in my opinion, thought he'd have a go at the smallest player on the pitch later too. So he dived in two footed (nothing new to him) one foot in Pienaar's chest and one in his mid section. To Anichebe's credit the lad was incensed and showed the sort of reaction and obvious feeling that was sadly lacking elsewhere throughout most of the game.

To finish, I noticed shithouse number one do his famous "splay the legs while running and you'll go down like you've been scythed down". He did it against Hibbert that time when they were both shoulder to shoulder in the box in a previous derby. It annoys me because it's SO obvious as it's a totally unnatural physical movement... and one which referees fall for all the time. The sad fact is though that he must have actually practiced the move he's become so adept at it... a complete arsehole of a man, and not just on the pitch either.

Does all this excuse Everton's guiless, gutless, tactically inept performance? No it doesn't... but it makes me feel a tiny bit better for getting it off my chest.
Brian Williams     Posted 07/02/2010 at 09:04:57   Comments (25)

Moyes's Post-Match Interview

I've listened to David Moyes's post match interview a couple of times now.

I would like guidance, please. Is he delusional, lying or ignorant?

Support the players in public by all means if there is a shred of evidence to support your view. But kindly don't take the paying public for complete fools.

Or have I missed something?
Mike McLean     Posted 07/02/2010 at 04:26:08   Comments (17)

New dimension...

I'm as angry as other fellow evertonians following that performance of utter rubbish, however we can all mouth off about tactics, or sack moyes sack the players etc etc, but that's not going to get us anywhere is it.

After watching that performance a couple of times (I know it dosnt get any better no matter how many times watch it) we are lacking movement off the ball, fast one touch passing and a serious lack of pace, I would like to suggest Everton FC and David Moyes invest this summer on a top notch attacking coach, his job will be nothing but working with the players on the offensive side of our game which never seems to improve year-in, year-out when we meet the big boys hence our terrible record.

A number of top teams have a specialized coach at there club, we however have a great orgainizer and a great defensive coach in moyes and round, now if we manage to add some much needed craft to the graft we really could compete with the bigboys, as for the pace issue only money can get us out of the one. COYB
Sean McKenna     Posted 07/02/2010 at 00:02:08   Comments (11)

Howard's Way

The time has come for our resident "goal-tender" to face some tough love. It's something I've thought about for a while now, the guy needs a kick up the ass.

I do rate him,and acknowledge the contribution he's made to the club. His various comments over the years have shone light on his pride at representing us, and he has undoubtedly been an astute signing, who's profited from being a first choice keeper.

Yet why he apportioned blame to his defenders yesterday is beyond me. The howler rests firmly at his door, and it is this absent ability to command the box that has concerned me for a while. Oh, and the tendency to hopefully twat the ball 70 yards every goal kick grates too.

Where's the competition for him? It exists for every other position. What's the point of hiring some biff to sit on your bench for 9 months, knowing it'd be a miracle if he got a game? I bet Howard works his socks off in training, but I think the lack of a hungry, capable rival unavoidably makes life easier for him, but not for us.

With a Slovakian keeper on the way in the summer, predictably to replace the geriatric Nash, Howard's position at the top seems assured for many years. That's not healthy. I really don't want to watch an ageing, complacent and deteriorating Howard creep towards retirement, unchallenged.
Kevin Hudson     Posted 06/02/2010 at 23:13:41   Comments (11)

Coleman's Source anyone?

In all probability now, Fellaini will be missing against Chelsea. I thought today what we needed most of all was a more forceful attacking option down our right hand side — we just did not get that from the Neville — Donovan pairing. We just did not test their fullbacks.

This is a problem for me. Neville is a bit of a jack of all trades master of none. I am not Neville bashing here but I do feel — from what little I have seen of the Irishman — that Coleman gives us a whole lot more as an attacking force — he aint that bad either at defending.

Neville will not and, let's face it, cannot beat a fullback and get to the byline -— or better still to the penalty area. He is better sitting in front of the back four breaking things up but, then again, not as good as Fellaini at that — but he is the Captain (and will not be dropped) — so a bit of a headache for Moyes there. Perhaps now though this headache might ease for one or two games.

From what I have seen from Coleman he can offer us an attacking force, overlaps and can beat players. I fear that now that Phil has made the Right-back berth his own and there is no room in midfield now that Felli has found his comfort zone that Coleman will remain an enigma - despite demonstrating that he is ready at this level. For me this is a great shame.

However, it looks like now he will get his chance against Chelsea. I hope he pushes Neville back into midfield to replace the injured Fellaini in the defensive midfield role and gives Seamus a run out — like he did against Spurs. I personally think it will reap dividends and I also feel it would have today. I believe we had all of the tools in the toolbox today to dismantle Liverpool's game-plan but we just did not use them correctly I am afraid — for me this is the most disappointing thing of the day. I think Coleman would have given us that spark more so than Anichebe coming off the bench....
Steve Callaghan     Posted 06/02/2010 at 16:24:05   Comments (4)

Clueless Everton

Well, another tactically magnificent performance from Everton. Hoofball against ten men and, even more disgracefully, a complete lack of fight.

I have been disappointed many, many times in the past but today Everton FC have surpassed themselves. No invention, no guile and no penetration against one of the worst Liverpool teams in the past 30 years. (And if they are the worst where does that leave us?)

I don't want hear that it is "hard" against ten men or Liverpool defended well — I am sick to death of the crap style of football that Moyes employs against the big boys.

We beat Man City, so fucking what! Moyes's record against any of the top 4 is garbage, the players are frightened and Moyes is completely unable to set a team up to win against them.

They can all fuck off... another weekend of gloating reds whilst those bastards on the pitch and in the dug out draw their £40k a week.
Alan Flynn     Posted 06/02/2010 at 11:51:09   Comments (93)

I'd rather lose 4-3 than draw 0-0

It's almost time for the derby and I think the feelings of the ToffeeWeb readers are together in this one. It's time to win. It's so time to win. So I figured I'd say it and put it out there. Sometimes a draw is a great result. But if we are to get anything out of this season, draws can not be part of the next few months.

And beating Liverpool would be a great start to this very difficult month. So let's pray David Moyes sends the lads out with Win on their mind. Because it's all that matters right now.
Joey Brown     Posted 05/02/2010 at 20:37:02   Comments (35)

Proper fighting talk

“We are confident with our league form, and the players coming back from injury have improved the competition and the quality of the squad. This is the right time to face them.”

No fear, no doubt. Little wonder he admits he thrived on the blood and thunder of those trips in his derby match. “I enjoy games like that,” he says.

“They mean something different. It does not matter how you win. If I have to kick someone because he is going through on goal, I will kick him. We can shake hands and have a drink after the game, but during it there is only one winner, and for me that has to be Everton.”

This guy impresses me more than the usual talk we get from the players pre-derby. Make him captain, Moysie, and let him loose for the team talk!

Who is he? None other than Johnny Heitinga talking about his experiences in the Ajax-Feyenoord matches.

Boy, I'm out of touch, never realised how venomous those matches could be with helicopter monitoring, etc.

What's some of the other derby matches like in other foreign countries - any Turkish Evertonians?
Gerry Quinn     Posted 05/02/2010 at 20:34:08   Comments (5)

Everton Players Saints? ...or nobody cares?

John 'I cheat on my wife' Terry is sacked as England Captain.

Rio 'I was banned for 8 months after missing a drugs test' Ferdinand replaces him.

Steven 'I fight in pubs if you don't play my music' Gerard is moved up to Vice Captain.

Ashley 'I got drunk, cheated on my wife and threw up on her while doing it' Cole is disappointed not to have been considered.

This news got me thinking. How come you never hear about an Everton player misbehaving?

You very rarely hear about an Everton player causing trouble. In fact Rooney shagging an OAP prostitute and Jose Baxter getting arrested for counterfeiting money are the only times I can remember under Moyes. And they were both young players at the time not senior pros.

Why do you never hear about the likes of Cahill, Neville, Baines, Osman, Hibbert, Jagielka, Arteta, Yobo, Fellaini or Pienaar etc.. getting into trouble?

I can think of 3 reasons for this.

1. They are decent guys hand picked by Moyes because of their character.

2. The manager is very controlling and doesn't allow his players to get out of hand.

2. They actually are drinking, fighting and cheating on their wives but the press just cant be bothered to report on Everton players.

Are Everton players a higher standard of character? Is Moyes keeping them on the straight and narrow? Or are they just like all the rest but getting away with it because the press ignore most things Everton?


Dick Anderson     Posted 05/02/2010 at 16:42:24   Comments (9)

The Poisoned Chalice

On the eve of the derby, it was with a heavy heart that I read of the news that David Moyes has just won the Manager of the Month for January. I know it might be purely anecdotal, but the award seems to bring bad luck to all who win it. Does anyone have any real evidence of what this award brings to the next match in charge for a recipient? Lets hope for a change of luck....
Tony McDonald     Posted 05/02/2010 at 16:12:09   Comments (2)

What Became of Billy Kenny?

Does anyone know what became of Billy Kenny?

Back in the early 90s Billy Kenny was a highly regarded youngster. Peter Beardsley famously called him Everton's Paul Gascoigne.

I remember the December 1992 derby. Everton won 2-1 with Johnston and Beardsley scoring. Kenny started the game and played well.

Kenny went on to make 17 appearances for Everton that season and even scored a goal against Chelsea. He also represented England at U21 level.

Sadly by 1994 the fame had got the better of him and he developed a cocaine habit. Everton, then under the management of Mike Walker, took a hard line and sacked him.

Later that year, Oldham offered him a lifeline but he only made 4 appearances for them before once again being sacked for drug abuse.

Since then nobody seems to have heard anything about Billy Kenny.

Billy Kenny would be 37 now. Does anyone know what became of him? Is he still in Liverpool? Did he finally beat his addictions? Does he have a family and normal life?

I hope his story doesn't have a sad ending? I hope other youngsters (Jose Baxter) can learn from Kenny's mistakes.
Dick Anderson     Posted 05/02/2010 at 08:12:44   Comments (20)

Another two years?

How reliable is the Daily Star? I saw this at 8:00 this evening over here. First story I saw about it. If it's true, you like?

http://www.dailystar.co.uk/football/view/120746/Louis-Saha-signs-new-two-year-contract-with-Everton/
Chris Wilson     Posted 04/02/2010 at 23:53:54   Comments (7)

Is it only me?

Has anyone else been having problems reaching ToffeeWeb? Admittedly, my old computer is in need of replacing. It used to be as reliable as Tim Howard but lately it is has been acting more like Ossie.

Just when I think it will deliver the goods it gets bounced all over the place. Perhaps the fault is not an Ossie one at all. Are other more mysterious things at play? It would ease my mind if others have been having problems.
Dick Fearon     Posted 04/02/2010 at 18:02:51   Comments (15)

There but for the grace of Kenwright go we?

Much maligned is Bill Kenwright — yep, I can understand some of the criticism — but thank God we are not like Portsmouth with four different 'owners' in a year and on the brink of financial meltdown...

When you look at what has happened in the past 18 months of recession, I for one thank my lucky stars that he has often steered clear of the temptation to push the boat out just that little bit too far, which could have disastrous consequences.

Yes, perhaps he has walked away from investors also in the past (who knows?)... but maybe Bill's personal 'fit and proper' standards are much higher than the Football Association's and Premier League's when it comes to his most treasured possession.

All of a sudden, we have the best squad in years, a potential great in Moyes, and are keeping the creditors at bay. Yep, granted, Kirkby was a huge mistake (Kings Dock was an equally unfortunate episode and lost opportunity).

But to not have £500m debt and to have someone in charge who would not let the likes of a 'Ali al-Faraj' or a 'Shinawatra' or even, dare I say, a 'Gillete and Hicks combo' anywhere near the Club is pretty good in my book, so credit where credit is due. I for one am quite happy about that.
Steve callaghan     Posted 04/02/2010 at 16:40:27   Comments (34)

“We can end Anfield wait”

So once again the annual cry goes up. Who is it this time? As if we didn't know, if would be Captain Phil and his big mouth. How many more times do we have to listen to this cringeful crap.

Since watching Everton in 1973, we have won a mere 5 times on enemy soil. We must have played there over 40 times including cup games during that period.

You see, Phil, we don't do winning at Anfield very often. For a change, why don't the players keep their mouths shut and for once in their lives go there and perform and win in style. Instead of the usual let down and let's be honest we excel at that, give us all something to be proud of.

I'm sick of hard luck stories, I'm sick of false dawns, I'm sick of being let down in the most important game of the season.... Go on shock us and give us something to revel in for once in our suffering lives.
Steven Moorcroft     Posted 04/02/2010 at 14:34:11   Comments (11)

Back Four Hokey Cokey?

Confirmation came on the OS today that, because Atletico Madrid are now in the Europa Cup, Heitinga will not be available to play in that competition for us. Donovan and Senderos are eligible. For some of our number, this will decisively answer the question about Moyes bringing in another CB.

But another item on the OS today makes interesting reading. Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld expresses his delight at Senderos joining us and waxes lyrical about the player. While Hitzfeld might not be a household name, just a glance at his record as a coach - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ottmar_Hitzfeld - should make us think he must know what he's talking about.

I hope he's right, and if we do progress in Europe we might be grateful that Moyes decided to strengthen the squad as he did.
Keith Glazzard     Posted 03/02/2010 at 15:29:48   Comments (23)

Terry — a left back's best friend

Whilst you've got to laugh at the mess John Terry seems to have caused it suddenly dawned on me that, all things being equal, Bainesy must now be a nailed on certainty for understudy to Ashley Cole at the World Cup.

Capello won't drop Terry and Bridge won't go cos of the unrest it would cause to the rest of the squad. So... after a slow start, Leighton just needs to keep his current consistency levels and he can look forward to a South African summer.

Back to Terry - are there any comical songs being formulated for his impending visit to Toffee Towers?
Col Wills     Posted 03/02/2010 at 07:59:30   Comments (16)

Moyes for Celtic?

Celtic have just lost to Kilmarnock for the first time in 32 meetings and are now 10 points behind Rangers. I predict that Tony Mowbray will be sacked at the end of this season. A few friends of mine say a lot of the Celtic support would love Moyes as their manager.

Our Davey has built a young first team squad, along with an excellent youth set up in his time here, and I believe he can finish the job and take us to the Champions League. The question is... Will he wait?

He is fiercely ambitious, and is almost guaranteed League success, and Champions League football at Celtic. He must be sick of loan signings and having to sell to buy... I fear he may take the easy option north of the border.
Kevin Tully     Posted 02/02/2010 at 20:12:08   Comments (15)

Who has what it takes?

I am thinking about the derby and wondering who has the much-needed fighting qualities.

Barring injury, I expect Howard, Neville, Heitinga, Senderos and Baines to be first on the team list. Fellaini, Pienaar and Cahill would also be certs but I am not too sure who should get the other four places. Donovan has probably done just enough to earn a place but who will get the other two positions?

Will it be Saha or Yakubu or both? Others that come into the frame are Anichebe, Vaughan, Bily and Osman. Of that last four I would not like to see Osman get the nod. He is a proven bottler against top four sides and we can't afford another of his vanishing tricks in this one.
Dick Fearon     Posted 02/02/2010 at 20:04:12   Comments (32)

Sporting Thrashed

I sit here watching FC Porto trounce Sporting Lisbon, currently 5-1, and find myself seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

Not for one moment do I believe that we can win the Europa League as we are not yet strong enough to compete with some of the teams still in the competion. I do however see enough within the club to know that we can progress to at least the next round.

With a fit and complete squad at the start of next season (I dream), a tad of consistancy and a will to attack, we shall pose a considerable threat. But I digress.

To beat Sporting, we need to continue with the joined-up stuff at a reasonably good tempo. Overlapping by the full backs decisive (please give Coleman a chance), as they tended to sit quite deep and I feel are vulnerable in the air. The Yak would be a wrong choice for this match. They have a long corner tactic whereby they play it to an unmarked man beyond the far post to shoot. They fall over, dying-fly fashion, at the slightest touch.

David Moyes must go for the jugular in the home game to acquire a big lead because in their home arena they will be very tough to beat.
Brian Garside     Posted 02/02/2010 at 19:24:17   Comments (14)

Moyes not Keane anymore?

For as many recent years as I care to remember, we have been linked with the un-goal shy Irishman, that was until he went to that lot across the park.

I am just curious about why we let this obvious talent leave the Premier League for an inferior standard of football, when proving the scum wrong at their arch rivals would be in both parties' interest. A class replacement for 'Brazilian' Jo for around the same wages!
Rob Wilkinson     Posted 02/02/2010 at 11:12:28   Comments (22)

The future's bright

So the January transfer window politely dribbles to a close... Judging by the way that even Sky Sports News presenters, over-excitable bunch that they can be, can't hide the boredom in their voices over the loan merry-go-round that is more akin to kids swapping Panini stickers in the playground than the desperation-fuelled cash splashing of windows gone by...

Are we really seeing a return to reality in the transfer market? If so, this can only be a good thing for Everton under David Moyes. But should this give us optimism for the medium term future of the club?

I'd like to think so, and can see the sense of some of the arguments in the article below which, in a rose-tinted (or should that be royal blue tinted?) bit of crystal ball gazing puts in the 'Big 4', 2020 version...

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/336623-2020-vision-who-will-be-the-premier-league-big-four-in-ten-years#page/4

Visionary or madness? It's the finest of lines...
Ben Patchesa     Posted 01/02/2010 at 17:53:33   Comments (25)

Rooney, Five Years On - £26.75M?

I know this is old, and also complicated by the signings of Howard, Neville & Saha...

However, I wanted to see if someone had an accurate take on what the total amount of the sale of Rooney to Utd was worth, based on the deal that was signed — not what was revised through negotiation of any of the above purchases further down the line.

My take is, EFC would have been in line to get the following:

  • £10M cash - paid summer '04
  • £10M cash - paid summer '05
  • £3M - paid over 3 years for the fact he stayed there: (summer 05, 06, '07).
Then it's my best understanding (but I am obviously not certain of the precise language) that there was the chance for bonus payments up to, but not exceeding a total of £7M, every time a performance target was achieved during the next five years (ie up to 2009). Again, I don't know if one achievement negated any further achievements in the same category!

So I was thinking it looked like this:

  • £1.5M Total for Champions League: (Winners '08; Runners-Up '09).
  • £1.75M Total for Premier League: (Runners-Up '06; Winners '07, '08, '09).
  • £0.5m - 20 England Caps, while playing for United (Cap numbers 18 up to 37).
I believe (although again not certain because of the language) that the club missed out on the extra £0.5M that would have come from a further 20 caps within the five years after his sale (I believe he was at 53 caps by the time five years rolled around, and it would have need to have been 57?).

So, based on this, it would seem the value of the deal 5 years on (without taking into account the purchase of Howard, Neville & Saha) would have been roughly £26.75m in payments.

There is supposedly also a 25% sell-on fee for any amounts received over and above the value already received, although I don't know if that sell-on fee expires at any point, now the 5 years of bonus payments are over. It also obviously gets more sticky if the values of Howard, Neville or Saha were held against Rooney in any way.

I stand to be corrected on all of this — was just curious as to what the lad was really sold for — as well as a bag of KP.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/m/man_utd/3616874.stm

http://www.englandfootballonline.com/TeamPlyrsBios/PlayersR/BioRooneyW.html
Ross Dyer     Posted 01/02/2010 at 13:43:43   Comments (26)

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