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The Mail Bag

January 2010 Archive
Want to have your say?

Deadline Day Non-Anticipation

Dunno if TW think this is a good idea, but how about a thread for rumours / anticipated signings on deadline day?

January is typically quiet, probably more so this year with belt-tightening amongst all the clubs.

I suspect we've done our business — Jo, Neill out, Donovan, Senderos in.

Mercifully there doesn't seem to be any strong links with players leaving, but given the squad is effectively the same with our dealings, who could come in?

Huntelaar is a non-starter. AC has said as much, and I suspect other teams would've gone for him if he was available.

Beckford — don't think we have the money to get him now, same as Knut the left-back who will only come in during the summer, if at all.

I'll be surprised if we do any business — but knowing Moyes, and counting the pennies as he must, if we do, it'll have to be someone who improves what we have.

It will be interesting to see what our rivals do as well, although with the topsy turvy season we've had, I'm still not sure who our rivals are!
Matt Traynor     Posted 31/01/2010 at 21:31:07   Comments (41)

Back to where we were...

And in more ways than one.

While everyone will point to the players now back in the squad and the great news about Jagielka starting training in the next week, how many of you have spotted that, on a "equivalent fixture" basis, we are now only 1 point down on last season? Yes, this crappy season is now only one point worse than we got last year for the same fixtures we have played.

Problem we have is others have improved. City are 8 points up, Villa 5 and Spurs 6 so we are in real danger of still not being in the top 7.

But as for last season, then we matching those results we would be picking up 30 points from the last 15 games — and the equivalent fixtures last year saw just one defeat.

We still have to arrange the City (a) where we won, but our remaining fixtures — and the corresponding results last season — are:

Liverpool (a) Draw
Chelsea (h) Draw
Man Utd (h) Draw
Spurs (a) Win
Hull (h) Win
Birmingham (a) Win
Bolton (h) Win
Wolves (a) Draw
West Ham (h) Win
Villa (a) Draw
Blackburn (a) Draw
Fulham (h) Win
Stoke (a) Win
Portsmouth (h) Lose - last game of the season!!

Can we do a 23 game unbeaten run? Can we go 5 months unbeaten in this league? Do you all want some of the stuff I have been taking/drinking/smoking? Seriously, that is the position we are in.

So that would leave us at 62 points, the real question is can City pick up 22 not 17 from the remainng games and push us down to 7th and Spurs 21 not 15 from their last 14 games and push us to 8th? And with United and Villa in the Carling Cup, then Europa League is almost certain to be down to 6th, and if City, Villa or Chelsea make up the 2 clubs in the Cup final then Europa League is down to 7th.

I think it will be a tough ask so my suggestion is get your holidays booked for June, Intertoto starts in July and we could be in it and that having finished on over 60 points. Now that is depressing.
Phil Roberts     Posted 31/01/2010 at 15:23:40   Comments (10)

Dixie would've been proud

Dixie himself would've been proud to score a goal like Cahill’s. The precise timing, zig-zag run at top speed to lose his markers, the prodigious leap and perfectly executed powerful header made for just one more of Tim's great goals. He was the only player on the pitch or possibly the entire league capable of scoring a goal like that.

There are a handful of modern day players I would rate as being truly great. Each of them has a particular talent that sets them out from the ordinary. Some with lightening speed, others are great dribblers, passers or shooters. By the same token, Cahill's extraordinary heading ability and eye for goal sets him apart from the ordinary.

Cahill’s contribution to the team effort lies not only in the heading department. Tim is also a genuine non-stop box-to-box fearless tackler. Despite all that I expect it will not be long before some on this site are calling for him to be dropped.

Dick Fearon     Posted 31/01/2010 at 15:31:35   Comments (30)

Senderos Starts!!

So Phillipe starts instead of Distin. Hopefully he'll prove us all wrong over the next few months!!

Everton: Howard, Neville, Heitinga, Senderos, Baines, Donovan, Fellaini, Osman, Pienaar, Cahill, Saha. Subs: Nash, Bilyaletdinov, Vaughan, Rodwell, Anichebe, Coleman, Duffy.
Rob Murphy     Posted 30/01/2010 at 11:44:36   Comments (22)

Month of Death

February's fixtures look like the FA & Uefa have deliberately conjured up a fixture list to test any team. If we come out of February still in the Europa League and with at least 4 points in the bag, we would have done well.

Any predictions?

Saturday, 6 February 2010
Barclays Premier League
Liverpool v Everton, 12:45


Wednesday, 10 February 2010
Barclays Premier League
Everton v Chelsea, 20:00


Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Uefa Europa League
Everton v Sporting, 32R, L1, 17:45


Saturday, 20 February 2010
Barclays Premier League
Everton v Manchester United, 12:45


Thursday, 25 February 2010
Uefa Europa League
Sporting v Everton, 32R, L2, 20:05


Sunday, 28 February 2010
Barclays Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Everton, 13:00.

Brian Baker     Posted 30/01/2010 at 07:59:10   Comments (12)

America The Beautiful

Lots of chat on various forums regarding Landon, his ability and the possibility of him signing to us on a real contract.

For what it's worth (yeah, not much I know) he reminds me of jimmy Husband... he of the fast disappearing arse and allergy to heading the ball. But that's not what this letter is about.

I'm interested to know if any Americans out there reckon that Landon would be a catalyst for increased commercial activity in the States... shirt sales etc. Might the activity actually pay the potential transfer fee?

It seems to me that Landon could be the gift that keeps on giving, but I'd like horse-sense from those actually on the scene. Comments welcome from Sea to Shining Sea!
Mike McLean     Posted 29/01/2010 at 02:37:27   Comments (38)

55+ Points?

Trying to be realistic about our points prospects for the season and where it will leave us. There are plenty of winnable games left... but most of these are against teams who will be fighting to avoid relegation and so the game will become more difficult. There are games where, going into the game, we will probably be satisfied with a point — these are against teams looking for the title or an European place. And I see only one game where we are unlikely to get any points.

3 Points: Hull (H); West Ham (H); Portsmouth (H); Bolton (H); Fulham (H); Wigan (A); Wolves (A); Stoke (A); Blackburn (A). I think we'll be disappointed if we don't win these.

1 Point: Chelsea (H); Man U. (H); Liverpool (A); Villa (A); Birmingham (A); Man. City (A). Can't expect much more but we live in hope.

0 Points: Spurs (A)

If my crystal ball comes to fruition we will have 62 points. That should be good enough for 6th or 5th. Do I think it will happen this way? It would be nice but....
Terry White     Posted 28/01/2010 at 19:18:10   Comments (14)

Another winger??

It is reported that Blackburn Rovers are in a battle with Everton FC for Barcelona midfielder Jeffren Suarez. The Daily Mail claims Sam Allardyce and David Moyes are both keen on the Spanish winger.

22-year-old Jeffren is a Spain youth international, despite his Venezuelan background, and is out of contract at the Catalan club this summer. In 2006, at the age of 18, he made his first-team debut for the La Liga side in the Copa del Rey.

Anybody know any more about him or this story?
Jay Harris     Posted 28/01/2010 at 18:47:15   Comments (10)

“USA? USA? USA?”

Landon scored, thumped the club badge twice. But what do we think of him? First couple of games he played it smart. Tried to do the little things right, but you could tell he was shocked by the lack of space on the pitch. Also seemed winded early in the second half. Against Birmingham he seemed to lose all positional sense and drifted inside plenty yesterday.

Would love to hear what people at the match think of him, and also hear how people evaluate the possibility of keeping him once the loan deal is up... will the MLS ever see him again?
Kev Bracey     Posted 28/01/2010 at 13:05:35   Comments (19)

Stroll in the park

I didn't really see much of the game but they were two nice goals from open play. Good football in the first half, apparently, followed by dreadful stuff in the second half. ANyone got any pearls of wisdom to share, because I certainly haven't!

How did the live forum work? looked like it might have crapped out at the end there... Post your comments, critique, praise and damnation here below...
Michael Kenrick     Posted 27/01/2010 at 19:03:46   Comments (36)

Versus the Black Cats

The team is down as:
Howard, Neville, Heitinga, Distin, Baines, Donovan, Fellaini, Osman, Pienaar, Cahill, Saha
Subs: Nash, Bilyaletdinov, Arteta, Vaughan, Senderos, Anichebe, Duffy.

Good to see Victor joining the bench too with Arteta and Vaughan. Certainly the strongest in terms of experience and value, if not fittest, bench we've had for a while with Bily and Senderos on it.

I think the first 15 minutes will make it clear if the boys are up for this one - they're another 'tough' team like Birmingham but with less confidence at the moment.
Leigh Hardie     Posted 27/01/2010 at 16:28:57   Comments (75)

Fernandes back on Moyes's radar?

Having read DM's remark about having "one or two people I may yet bring in" and then Manny's comments: "I'm not playing as regularly as I intended at Valencia and I have a dream of being called to play at the World Cup with the national team. We will have to see what happens this week and if it is good for me and the club"...

My reaction was "I hope Moyes is aware of the situation" and "Come home, Manny, to where you are wanted and where you can hopefully fulfil your potential". However, I am sure fellow ToffeeWeb readers will have mixed views on the talented Portuguese. I await them with bated breath!
Philip Bell     Posted 27/01/2010 at 11:06:40   Comments (16)

Pienaar for Bayern Munich?

I just read this online. Please, please tell me this could not be? I doubt Stevie would go back to the league that almost destroyed his career.

David Moyes needs to answer some questions. Why has Pienaar signed a new contact yet? According to what I've read Pienaar will need to take a pay cut if he extends his Toffee contract, why?

Come on guys, what's your take on this one?
Ricardo Humphries     Posted 27/01/2010 at 01:53:05   Comments (33)

Champions League Via Europa League

I've just read the David Maddock column in the Mirror and he suggests that the winner of this seasons Europa League may be afforded a place in next seasons Champions League. He states it as "growing speculation".

Has anyone else heard about this?
Michael Lynch     Posted 26/01/2010 at 09:14:55   Comments (39)

Route 1 Strategy?

Just looking for some feedback on why Donovan wound up in the box for 75% of the Birmingham Match.

It seems as if Moyes wanted Donovan in the box with Saha and Cahill since he spent 60 of his 75 minutes in the box. Was he just boxed off the edges by Ridgewell? Was it that Neville refused to acknowledge him? Was it intentional?

I simply can't fathom why the team went without a right winger for the majority of the game... in fact, at one point it seemed as if Saha had briefly switched out wide and Donovan covered for him inside, as if it were a deliberate part of the match plan trying to exploit some unkown weakness in Birmingham's back 4.

With all the long balls and what must've been 15 attempts to get a pass into the box with Saha, Cahill & Donovan relatively close to each other, and the utter lack of effort to get anything going down the right side, I just can't imagine that Donovan would have spent that much time on the interior without Moyes wanting him there. I mean if it weren't what Moyes had wanted, Donovan would have been pulled at the half.

Any insight on this from people who were at the Match?
Pete Case     Posted 26/01/2010 at 01:19:28   Comments (6)

Pre-contract agreements?

There's been a lot of talk recently of pre-contract agreements (Mucha, Beckford) which sounds really positive. Then Beckford's manager comes out with his comments about such agreements not being binding. Can someone please have a go at explaining what the point of such agreements is — are we signing these guys or not??
Chris Jones     Posted 25/01/2010 at 21:23:55   Comments (25)

Is Moyes our glass ceiling?

The first half against Birmingham is as bad as I've seen an Everton side play. It's yet another early round exit from a cup we should have progressed in and I had realistic hopes of us winning. Our players looked shocked at how Birmingham played us and how quickly they closed us down. I thought confidence was high? How could the team who completely outplayed City the week before limp out like that? Why were we not prepared?

This should have been our year for the cup yet I feel completely let down again. This exit can now be added to Shrewsbury, Oldham and Blackburn in terms of disappointments. Add to that the awful Fiorentina away leg, a poor home leg against Chelsea in the League Cup and a poor home leg against Villarreal in the Champions League qualifier.

As much credit as Moyes may deserve for 'achieving' consecutive 5th place finishes, I really can't see us ever winning anything with him. He lacks that ruthless killer instinct. I know some may quote last year's cup run but that looks more like a one-off now. He has got it wrong on nearly every occasion when the team has needed to step up. Moyes's record against the usual top 4 shows this also. He rarely manages to outwit the opposing managers in those big games.

I know there's no chance of Moyes ever leaving and I am grateful for the relative stability he's brought us... but after 8 years of bottling it on the big stages, I am resigned to us never lifting a trophy with Moyes at the helm. This is supposedly the best team we've had in a long time so a lack of investment cannot always be used as the excuse.
Alan Clarke     Posted 25/01/2010 at 15:46:20   Comments (44)

Matt Kilgallon

My second team is Hull City and, as such, I follow closely the regular meetings that the fans have with Chairman Adam Pearson. When asked about the potential signing of Matt Kilgallon, Pearson chose his words very carefully, as MK lives near him.

He said MK would fit in well at Hull City next season, but thinks he has already signed pre-contract agreement at the same club as Jermaine Beckford. As there are some rumours that this is Everton, it could mean a deal for MK is already in place as well?
Philip Howden     Posted 25/01/2010 at 06:46:40   Comments (17)

What is Dixie Dean's first Name?

I was texted by a friend of mine last night (he was at a quiz!):

"What is Dixie Dean's first name?"

I replied with "William".

Then later when he said "Are you sure?"

I replied with "yes, full name is William Ralph Dean!"

So my friend put down the answer "William" — which was marked incorrect.

As the quiz host said, his FIRST name was actually "William Ralph" ... NOT just "William".

Is this correct?
Peter Griffin     Posted 25/01/2010 at 06:15:49   Comments (19)

McFadden or Bily?

I have to tip my hat to Birmingham and Alex McLeish, credit where it´s due, they fully deserve to be in the next round.

Straight to the point though — McFadden: the guy is class. It beggars belief as to how we let him go.

Let´s compare him with our recent Russian import... like for like, who would you rather have in the side?

As I see it, McFadden is streets ahead. So why sell a great player cheaply only to purchase a similar yet poorer player for double the price a year later?
Robert Prince     Posted 25/01/2010 at 03:14:07   Comments (32)

Scott Dann

After watching both games against Birmingham, I was impressed by their central defenders, Johnson and Dann, they looked solid.

Scott Dann, an Evertonian from Kirkdale, age 22. I hear from someone who knows the family, that he would love to play for his beloved Everton. Maybe a good replacement for Lescott. Food for thought....
Colin Malone     Posted 24/01/2010 at 19:20:05   Comments (10)

Points Scam

This season, Everton changed their ticketing system: instead of giving supporters stubs, they rewarded supporters with an amount of points depending on the fixture. But recently it occurred to me that it doesn’t benefit many people at all.

For example, at the start of the season — along with the 200 points I already had from my season ticket, I decided to go to the Sigma game, where the reward was 25 points. That meant that I would have the same amount of points as someone who’d attended 5 away games.

I have never ever attended huge amounts of away games but I get to about 3 a season usually. It meant that I could go down to get away tickets on the same day as a supporter who had been to far more away fixtures than me.

Supporters only get 5 points for away games wherever and whenever they may be. The club didn’t take into consideration where or when the fixture was. You were just given the standard 5 points.

Everton naturally wanted more people to attend less popular fixtures such as the European games. The problem is unless you have 200 points from being a STH you would have to go to numerous fixtures to have any chance of being level on points with them.

I think another reason the club implemented this scheme was so you didn’t have to collect stubs from a specific competition. Another problem is that, despite the fact that all the other away fixtures points and away stubs are mentioned for the Anfield fixture only stubs are mentioned.

Another ridiculous issue is, despite the fact we only sell out once in a blue moon, the points system doesn’t apply to home league games. It seems to me that this is a ridiculous scam misleading many supporters and is totally unfair on many supporters.
Chris Butler     Posted 24/01/2010 at 08:29:25   Comments (7)

Striker light

Today's game brought home to me one of the key deficiencies under David Moyes's reign. I watched as attack after attack faded due to poor final balls and/or poor finishing. The same was true in the City and Arsenal games who should have both been beaten out of sight.

When the side did so well last year, it was on the back of a consistent team that knew exactly where to play the ball for each other.

In my opinion, the constant changing of the front men Saha, Vaughan, Cahill , Yakubu, Jo and previously Anichebe, Andy Johnson, James Beattie, McFadden, Marcus Bent etc etc means the team cannot settle into a pattern of play where they know where to expect to hit the frontman.

I believe it also causes confusion on whether to play it short or long or to give balls to chase or play it to feet to be held up. This is especially apparent when teams like Birmingham put the player in possession under so much pressure forcing unnecessary errors.

It looks to me like Saha may be the latest to follow Jo out of the door looking at his body language today, which may explain our rumoured interest in Huntelaar and Beckford. However, until we get a settled forward line (OK I know it's usually one) I can't see us scoring the goals some of our build-up play deserves.
Jay Harris     Posted 23/01/2010 at 22:25:18   Comments (16)

Ah well... there's always the Europa

The final ball wasn't there today but we are still in the Europa League which i feel we can go on and do damage... not saying we can win it but with Arteta back, anything can happen. I suppose what I'm saying is we can still win a trophy this season thank god for the Europa League!
Steven Twine     Posted 23/01/2010 at 14:23:35   Comments (79)

Brum Game: Mikel is back!!!

Mikel Arteta has been named as a substitute for the FA Cup clash with Birmingham.

Everton starting 11: Howard, Heitinga, Bilyaletdinov, Saha, Donovan, Distin, Cahill, Neville, Pienaar, Baines, Fellaini.

Subs: Nash, Arteta, Vaughan, Osman, Coleman, Duffy, Baxter

Ok ladies and gents lets hope he can get 20 mins with a 3 - 0 scoreline!!!!

Anyone got any links??
John Audsley     Posted 23/01/2010 at 11:18:25   Comments (271)

Welcome Senderos

News just in that we have "agreed" to sign Senderos on loan until seasons end. I am happy, may not be the best player, but has 33 caps to his name for his country, and he has played for the Gunners and Milan, good enough for me. I don't care if he doesn't live up to expectations, he's only on loan. Welcome to Goodison Philippe, good luck!
Ryan Rosenberg     Posted 23/01/2010 at 10:22:29   Comments (20)

Huntelaar?

Apparently we're in discussions with Huntelaar. He wants to go out on loan from AC Milan to try get into the Netherlands squad for the World Cup.

http://football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_5879820,00.html

Would be a deadly acquisition if it went through.
Jack Farrell     Posted 23/01/2010 at 09:41:38   Comments (23)

Loans R Us

In debt, and it feels like there's no way out?... simply consolidate your transfer wish-list into one easily affordable loan.

It does sum up a lot of our transfer windows! What I was wondering, is if anyone knows the kind of deals we make when loaning a player? I can only guess, but I assume we pay the lions share of the player's wages while he's with us, and in most cases, have agreed a fee at the very start (if we wish to sign him on a perminent contract). I also assume there is some kind of initial 'good will' fee on most loans, and of course a few squid thrown at the odd agent.

Can anyone clarify what goes on financially with regard to loaning players?
Duncan McDine     Posted 22/01/2010 at 07:33:22   Comments (22)

It's a squad game

A number of posts recently have touched on the size, quality and versatility of our squad. A number have also questioned whether DM has taken us backwards in his 8 years in charge. It got me thinking - how good is our squad? Some have said the best in 20 years.

Well, DM's undoubted high point was the 4th place finish in 2005. So here are the 2 squads (22 players in each - I have had to omit a few here and there to make the best 22 in each case).

2004-05 - Martyn, Wright, Watson, Pistone, Naysmith, Hibbert, Stubbs, Weir, Yobo, Bosnar, Arteta, Kilbane, McFadden, Osman, Carsley, Gravesen, Cahill, Li Tie, Ferguson, Beattie, Bent, Vaughan.

2009-10 - Howard, Nash, Neville, Baines, Hibbert, Coleman, Heitinga, Jagielka, Distin, Yobo, Pienaar, Bilyaletdinov, Gosling, Anichebe, Fellaini, Arteta, Rodwell, Osman, Saha, Cahill, Yakubu, Vaughan.

So, which would you rather have? Who would you swap?
Stewart Littler     Posted 21/01/2010 at 23:38:21   Comments (11)

Is Mikey's return the end of Jack Rodwell?

So we are all excited with the prospect of our returning Spaniard, and hopefully he will back into the middle. Playing a 4-5-1 to incorporate him into the team is the best option for me, purely based on the fact that we do not have two strikers who are playing well. So for me it is:

Pienaar Mikey Felli Bily
Cahill

Even if we have the luxury of two decent strikers, the only difference will be is that Cahill gets dropped. So back to the title, where does this leave Jack Rodwell for the next few crucial years of his development? Or will Mikey go on the right, with Bily getting dropped and Pienaar reverting to the left?

With Osman also coming back to fitness, it is an interesting dilemma, but unfortunate for the one who will be left out in the cold...
Dan Brierley     Posted 21/01/2010 at 14:53:45   Comments (26)

Beckford v Vaughan

Apparently we are supposed to be cashing in on young James and he will eventually be replaced by Jermaine Beckford in the summer. Vaughan is as yet unproved, but free. (A bit of an ask I know).

As for Beckford, I have watched him play for Carlisle, and he missed bagfulls of chances, and I can't remember him scoring for them, which is why he ended up at Wealdstone.

Leeds signed him from them for all of a grand, and he is villified by the Leeds fans also - I know loads of Cumbrian whites and they hate him.

Simon Grayson has quoted "A bigger club then Everton" may come in for him. He's just playing the sell him now game for as much as he can get, as it doesn't matter to him who would come in in the summer, as he would be free.

Stay well away from this lad, his level is barely the championship, and Moyesie won't be pulling a rabbit out of the hat with him.

To sell Vaughan AND to sign this lad are both acts of madness. Together it is complete insanity.

Unless it is the old skint factor.
Keith Harrison     Posted 21/01/2010 at 14:44:29   Comments (27)

Jô has Gone!

6 month loan deal with Galatasaray!

I assume we sent him back to Many City after his problems with us. No great loss as I am sure everyone will agree, he was useless!

You have to think Moyes has another striker lined up, otherwise we are going to very short of options. Maybe Beckford will come in early.
Stuart Mitchell     Posted 21/01/2010 at 15:06:23   Comments (34)

Hatem Ben Arfa

Sky Sports.com say that Everton are trying to seal a deal for Hatem Ben Arfa from Marseille. It doesn't say whether it's a loan or a permanent deal.

I had a look at Wikipedia to see what I could find out and he sounds like the French Craig Bellamy. He has had training ground bust ups with Abou Diaby, Sebastian Squillaci, Modeste Mbami, Djibril Cisse and several others. He also refused to come on as a sub in one game when the coach told him to warm up.

All that aside, if he is affordable he could be another gem who has lost his way (a la Pienaar when we signed him). I just hope he isn't a replacement fo Pienaar. Anyone know anything about him?
Dan Walshe     Posted 21/01/2010 at 11:01:28   Comments (29)

New Keeper

Apparently the 1st choice Slovakian keeper, Jan Mucha, who plays in Poland has signed a "pre-contract agreement" with us.

If so, great news — only 6 months too late? After our luck with injuries this season I would be almightly concerned if Howard took a knock, got injured etc. The names Nash and Turner dont really inspire confidence...
John Crook     Posted 21/01/2010 at 10:54:27   Comments (9)

Yes We Can

With today being the anniversary of Obama's inauguration, do you think our American contingent can help instil a 'Yes We Can' attitude to our squad and performance?
Mickey Dee     Posted 20/01/2010 at 11:52:55   Comments (23)

Limited Edition Items

My wife purchased the double 25th Anniversary Limited Edition Box Shirt, as a Christmas present for me. She paid the full price of £99.98. She was, therefore, staggered to see that Everton recently reduced the price to £49.99.

She wrote to Robert Elstone before Christmas but, as she had not received a reply, I e.mailed a copy of the letter to Ian Ross, with a request that he pass the letter on to Mr Elstone, as we did not have his e.mail address. I also mentioned that, if a reply was not forthcoming by 8th February 2010, we would refer the matter to the Trading Standards Office. Mr Ross replied:

‘Hello

Of course I will pass on the letter to Robert Elstone - but I have to say there really is no requirement for such latent aggression.’

I know that Mr Ross has a reputation as a poor communicator, but I was rather taken aback by his lack of customer care skills. Even if he thought I was being aggressive, he didn’t need to say so.

My wife then received a dismissive letter from Mr Elstone the following day, as well as an equally dismissive letter from Kitbag.

Apart from wanting to highlight to other fans the disgraceful treatment by Everton of its supporters, I am seeking the views of others, about what I consider to be sharp practice of the Club, in that I fail to see how they suddenly decided (a couple of weeks before Christmas) that a limited edition gift can suddenly be worth 50% less. This does not inspire loyalty, and I shall not purchase another item from the club shop. For the sake of clarity, this issue is not about the money, but the principle.

The views of other fans as to whether the Trading Standards Office would consider my complaint, would also be appreciated.
Jimmy Walker     Posted 20/01/2010 at 10:29:11   Comments (36)

Jermaine Beckford

Everton have, according to various sources (such as the BBC), agreed a pre-contract agreement with a player who is out of contract in the summmer. He joined Leeds for £1,000.00 from Wealdstone and has been knocking in the goals on a regular basis for a couple or so seasons now.

Is he good enough, do we need him, at 26 is he young enough to make the grade in the top flight? Is he quick enough both physically and mentally....?

Anybody else think this is a punt worth taking?

My personal opinion, which counts for little, is that his level is probably the Championship....
Mark Hill     Posted 20/01/2010 at 07:23:01   Comments (36)

Isn’t Anyone Worried About Bily?

I am worried sick. I saw the Man City game and I think he’s the only one not stable in midfield. I do not think he has great vision or even the speed to become a left midfielder nor a left winger. I saw Baines doing a lot better job at running the flanks than him.

Let us not forget the two or three sitters he had in the game that went wasted (granted one was saved by Given). I mean, he headed a perfectly good cross straight at Given without ever testing him. The rebound from Fellaini header was also not handled properly. One other thing I noticed is that the usual flair that we see on the left with the Pienaar-Baines axis is missing with Bily. I mean, how hard is it for Bily to pass the ball to an advancing Baines?

Why does he always want to dribble the ball on his own to the center everytime? I don’t know. I mean, shouldn’t Bily jumble it up a bit? Try to get Baines to deliver more of his lethal crosses from the left?

Each time I see Bily with the ball on the left, my mind will tells me that the dude will move to the center and run the risk of losing the ball. And most of the time I am right.

Since it was also a first home debut for Donovan, his ball control sometime eludes him. But I think his partnership with Neville is showing signs of improvement. The same cannot be said with Bily-Baines.

I think, Bily may be slowly turning into a dude. I hope I am wrong. Here’s another idea, why don’t we try the likes of Baxter or Agard to play on Left Midfield. It couldn’t hurt, could it?
Rahman Talib     Posted 20/01/2010 at 05:04:02   Comments (36)

Good News Continues

I am properly overjoyed to hear that Mikel is back in full training. I hope his knee is as strong as ever and he can quickly overcome the psychological hurdles as those first tackles come flying in. Remember he was the Premier League's most fouled player prior to his injury.

I cannot tell you the number of times during a match thinking "this is exactly when we need Arteta." Well, now his return is nigh.

Anyway, I know this has been bandied about on other threads, but perhaps a few thoughts on where to ease him back onto the pitch.

He flourished in the middle of the park after spending many seasons on the right of midfield. I have to admit to reservations at first of moving him to the middle as I thought he would get battered, especially against the likes of Blackburn and, at the time, Newcastle and similar ilk. We did not, and still do not, receive the protection referees afford the Top 3/4/5 (whatever it is now). Anyway, those fears were groundless and he really was knocking on the World Cup squad for Spain and its majestic midfield.

The waters are clouded by a couple of factors. Donovan may be here beyond his initial 10 weeks. His speed is very welcome, and as his touch improves he may prove invaluable on the right. I am sure inquiries are being made as to the possibility of a permanent move. I have also heard unsubstantiated rumours/hearsay that he has an opt out clause in his MLS contract.

Also, there is the issue of Pienaar. He is doing well in the middle, and I would be hesitant to play him out of his preferred position as his contract is quickly expiring and would not want that issue to prod him toward the exit door.

For my money, I would like to see Arteta eventually take up residence in the middle next to Pienaar with Donovan and Bily out wide. Fellaini would "anchor" the midfield. (I'll leave the niceties of the defensive midfield moniker to the active thread being discussed and currently descending into hand-to-hand combat). That central midfield triangle actually makes me salivate.

It does pain me, but in a fully fit squad (I know, never going to happen) I would put Cahill on the bench, perhaps as a super-sub role.

Luckily, we have the luxury of being in form at the moment, and Arteta in no way needs to be rushed back into action. These selection headaches will be quite welcome to Moyes as the good news continues to flow and we start our assault on the second half of the season.
Will Leaf     Posted 19/01/2010 at 21:44:17   Comments (18)

Transparency

Now this is not strictly Everton related but I would be intrigued to hear Bill Kenwright be this brutally honest with regard to Everton's finances. It is also an insightful look at the current state of economic madness at a struggling Premier League club.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/w/west_ham_utd/8468159.stm
James Stewart     Posted 19/01/2010 at 14:08:49   Comments (18)

Shoot me down at your Peril

This rant is about an on-going 'problem' at Goodison Park. It is something that really gets up my tits and I'm sure many others — why oh why when Phil Neville has the ball anywhere within 40 yards of the opposing team's goal do people in unison decide to shout 'Shooooooooot!'???

It really winds me up... what do you think he is gonna do? Shoot and bury one in the top corner from the half-way line? We are Everton Football Club for god's sake! Leave that for dickheads who follow Newcastle Utd etc to make idiots of themselves.

Jesus, we'll be chanting 'Easy Easy' next... Soccer AM you have a lot to answer for.
Brian Winterburn     Posted 19/01/2010 at 10:12:32   Comments (36)

What if Fellani Left?

The big clubs in the Premier Leagues just love to steal our excellent products: Wayne Rooney to Man United, Francis Jeffers to Arsenal, Joleon Lescott to Man City. Abel Xavier and Nick Barmby to Liverpool can be considered as good examples as well.

Now, there is talk of big clubs trying to steal Marouane Fellaini. I say this is not an impossibility. If anything, David Moyes should make preparations from now as to this credible possibility.

But, I believe in my heart that, should Fellaini go, we will still be alright. I believe Fellaini has upped the standard for our midfielders to emulate and anyone wanting the Defensive Midfield position for Everton must either match or exceeds Fellaini’s work rate and ability.

And Fellaini will not have the same support structure that he has at Everton to perform the way he does right now. He definitely will not have the same working spirit he is enjoying at Everton. I believe he will wither into oblivion should he leave Everton now.

I think Jack Rodwell, after witnessing how Fellaini has succeeded in the DM position, will rise up to the occasion when it calls for. Jack already shone in the first part of the season and he is the closest replacement we have to Fellaini.

Also, with the multi-million bucks that we will be forcing the likes of Real Madrid, Chelski, Man U, Barcelona etc to cough up (if it’s anything below £50M then it’s a crime) we can replace and get more good talents to fill up holes in other deparment while keeping Rodwell.

As of now, let's enjoy the rest of the season and hope some rich Arabs will come and pump money into Everton, the only Premier League club worth pumping money into at the moment.
Rahman Talib     Posted 19/01/2010 at 08:08:13   Comments (76)

Media dickheads

First off, it has to be said that Everton's performance on Saturday against them smug bastards was nothing short of awesome. It has to have been one of our best performances for years, never mind this season. We had everything — brilliant defensively; superb passing, flowing football, with the long ball utilized at correct times; and a hatful of chances in which the score should of read 4-0, not 2-0. All-in-all every single player was superb, with a special mention going to Fellaini (whose performance was nothing short of world class).

Anyhow, the reason for this article is that, despite all of the above, in which to summarise we OUTPLAYED, OUTCLASSED, OUTFOUGHT and downright BATTERED an on-form Man City side who of late has been mean defensively and scoring at will, the general media put it down more to Man City being "out of sorts", as opposed to our superiority.

Now this has fucking wound me up big time. Do these people not have a knowledge of the game? Do they not realise that we actually have a very good squad who on their day is more than a match for ANY team, never mind that bunch of stuck up bell ends? It was the same last week when we played Arsenal — rather than Everton being good, Arsenal were "awful", apparently!

Again I reiterate, Everton were absolutely superb on Saturday, but rather than emphasise this fact, the media try and twist things around and say City were below par.

I find this disgusting and yet again very demeaning of our great club. Give us some fucking credit for once, hey.
John Nelson     Posted 19/01/2010 at 06:20:26   Comments (39)

Rumour Mill

There's a report in the Oslo Aftenposten that the leftback at Molde Fc is in negotiations. Reports in the paper are that Knut Olav Rinderøy is to fly over tomorrow to have talks. Rinderøy has been in the national team on and off for the past year. He has only 6 months left on his contract. The club has confirmed that he will travel to the UK tomorrow. They want 1 - 1.5 million and have apparently already got a replacement.
Nick Cherrie     Posted 18/01/2010 at 17:12:13   Comments (23)

We would run through brick walls for him...

We've heard what the fans think about David Moyes and, as we all know from a quick perusal of the TW pages, what a difference of opinion there is! But I don't recall such a completely forthright statement from a player about his manager until this one from Tim Cahill in this article from the Daily Post.

Not only a ringing endorsement of his manager, but a huge compliment to the much maligned chairman. If this is what one of our best players and erstwhile captain thinks, who are we to argue?
Tony McDonald     Posted 18/01/2010 at 10:25:26   Comments (21)

Donovan to stay for longer?

2 games and I have to say I have been suprised by Donovan. He has certainly given us some much needed creativity from the right. He has looked very assured and shown a lot of passion to boot.

I just wonder what we do in a couple of weeks. I am not saying that we should necessarily try and buy the lad, but I feel we have nothing to lose in getting the loan extended.

Ok so Pienaar can play right or Bily and we have Arteta hopefully back soon. I just do not think we can rely on Arteta this season as we have done in the past. I do not think it would be fair given the length of time he has been out.

So should we try to keep him?
Craig Taylor     Posted 18/01/2010 at 09:09:54   Comments (29)

Can anyone explain?

In the late autumn I made what is becoming an annual post on this site. I said that that there were not three poorer teams in the Premier League than Everton, and that, this time, the relegation battle was on. Injuries were not an acceptable excuse... It was down to a summer of mismanagement and the negativity and lack of motivation from David Moyes.

I said roughly the same in 2008. Once more it seems that humble pie is waiting. What has gone right? Are we not still without key players? Maybe someone who knows more can explain it? It's hard to get Everton right... Maybe blind faith is what's required.

Let's hope, however, that the pattern of previous years is broken when we finish strongly, spend the summer expecting to move on and then take a step back again. I fear that Pienaar could be this summer's Lescott.

I was going to suggest that if he goes, it should be early and we start planning soon for next season, but what do I know?DM proves his critics wrong. I just can't explain how.
Andy Crooks     Posted 17/01/2010 at 19:05:40   Comments (29)

A magnificent midfield

By now we've all had time to reflect and gloat over yesterday's game. But what really stood out for me was not just Fellaini's towering performance, but the midfield as a whole.

I felt transported back in time to a sunny autumn day in 1985 when, led by the truly magnificent quartet of Steven, Bracewell, Reid and Sheedy, we demolished media darlings Man Utd to the tune of five-nil. A performance that was as near to perfection as a team can get.

And yesterday, 25 years later, 25 long years of appreciating that, more than anywhere else on the pitch, a team's midfield dictates whether they succeed of fail, and acknowledging why Everton have failed for 25 years, a midfield quartet transported me back to that sunny afternoon and made me feel almost young again.

"Balance" is what you need, balance is what we had. For pace read Donovan, for sweet left foot and goal threat read Bily; for vision and flair read Pienaar, for power and "thou shalt not pass" read Fellaini. Balance is what counts. After 25 years of waiting for a midfield quartet to make me happy, I got my wish yesterday evening.

What mysterious force actually made this happen? Simple really: quality players playing in their best positions. Flair, pace and a passion for the shirt.

To Everton FC — thankyou for making this 47 year old happy for one afternoon. I know it was only one game, just 3 points. I know it could and probably will all be different next week. But to see an Everton midfield as good as the class of 1985 is not something I was expecting as I walked to the ground yesterday.

Nil satis Nisi Optimum.
Max Levy     Posted 17/01/2010 at 18:17:45   Comments (14)

A Song for the Big Fella

After Saturday's fabulous performance, it struck me that we don't have a chant for Mo the Fro.

Suggestions on lyrics, tune and how we get it to catch on!
Amanda Hudson     Posted 17/01/2010 at 17:29:36   Comments (23)

Live TV football Price War?

In previous articles posted here about the Sky stranglehold on the Premier League ("The Sky Deal"), I was pointed towards this article in The Telegraph, as it was mentioned on that great form of Sunday morning entertainment after MotD, the Andrew Marr show.

This is just one of the many stages towards a TV season ticket that will finally allow us to watch Everton live every week without having to rely on the lesser quality Internet channels.

OK, this will be the same for all Clubs, but I think this will give everyone more of a level playing field attempting to win the league. All we need now is a few big loans to be called in for the Big 4 and the Premier League could get interesting again...
Tony I'Anson     Posted 17/01/2010 at 11:57:12   Comments (16)

Fellaini... Jesus Christ Himself!

Wow, I'm starstruck shocked and in utter delight at the performance of one man yesterday, his name is Fellaini!!

Here is a man who came to our great club a season and a half ago (I can remember seeing him on Sky Sports News, with scarf above his big afro head and me thinking to myself what have we bought for 15 million big ones?) big tall slow and awkward, but to be fair his first season produced 10 goals but his overall displays were shocking therefore splitting our fanbase right slap bang down the middle. I have to say I was in the "I don't rate Felliani" camp, slating him everytime he made a mistake.

Moyes first tried the big fella in the holding role, he was rubbish, giving away silly fouls in dangerous places, getting out jumped in the air not tracking midfield runners and getting booked left right and center. He just couldn't cope there so was moved up the park. My feelings at the time were that Moyes felt he had made a mistake in siging this kid, but had to play him somewhere to justify that he had paid 15 million big ones!!

Fast forward the new Felliani, he was simply outstanding yesterday, in fact he has been outstanding the last 7 to 8 games now. The thing that got me with his performance agaist City was his running power composure on the ball and his attitude and dare I say his silky skills!! For me, he looks twice as fast these days, no longer does he jump into silly tackles, his reading of the game was excellent he was one or two steps ahead of everyone else on the pitch, like he had some kind of crystal ball.

I hold my hands up to you, Fella — you've proved me and I guess a hell of a lot Evertonians wrong and long may it continue. His display was worthy of Jesus Christ himself... Only problem is if he continues in this form surely the big cats will come calling? COYB
Sean McKenna     Posted 17/01/2010 at 09:05:24   Comments (24)

Can this finally be the team and formation?

One thing was evident, we played brilliant football against a very very good side... Here in South Africa the clash was dubbed ”Tradition vs Ambition” and I'm loving the fact that all my Toffee brother and sisters are happy!

I think DM was very smart playing Bily wide next to Pienaar, followed by the Big Fella. Saha and Cahill I personally think had an excellent game, they were giving the City defence endless problems.

Saha’s coming back to the form that earned him a move to OT a few seasons ago. If Saha can start finishing the great movements he is always involved with, then I’m sure he’ll be among the top three strikers in the EPL season. He really looks class when on the ball!

I can’t see DM splitting Pienaar and the Big Fella in the middle, not even for Arteta. These 2 have been brilliant in the last 3 games. It’s about time DM gave Pienaar the central role that made him a hit at Ajax — Pienaar’s preferred role.

One thing is evident; you can’t compare Pienaar and Arteta. When Pienaar arrived in England 2 years ago, he couldn’t tackle, always got endless yellow cards... now he’s developed into a really tough player with balls of steel. Always involved in defending, breaking down the opposition, and playing fantastic attractive football...

Not the same that can be said about Mikel... the guy still can’t defend of tackle and track back when needed, this after being in the EPL for how long — 4-5 years?

I personally can only see injury preventing the Big Fella and Little Peanuts not playing in the positions they played in yesterday. It would be great to have all our injured players back and finally have some competition for places within the squad.

Lastly, Bily was fantastic to watch, I have a feeling this dude’s gonna develop into one of the EPL’s best left-footed wide players!
Ricardo Humphries     Posted 17/01/2010 at 02:50:16   Comments (14)

A surefire penalty, but...

Don't get me wrong. Beggars can't be choosers, and we Everton fans receive so few penalty kick awards that I don't want to seem greedy, but can someone explain to me why the lad Micah Richards could pull on the shirt of King Louis who was marauding in on goal, and did not receive so much as a yellow card?

I am not one to wish a lad to be sent off, and am over the moon at the result. But am interested in the technicality from the referees point of view. Richards was the last man. King Louis was in on goal. A penalty was given.... but.... Kev Bracey     Posted 17/01/2010 at 00:48:18   Comments (35)

Justice at last

Having played so well recently and not got a win it was finally justice that we got the three points today... But it was also more the sweeter because it came against "moneybags" city with their "bling bling" players and superior attitude summing up all that is bad for the game.

It was also justice for David Moyes,Fellaini and all the others who have taken so much flack from certain fans. After that showing against a collection of very expensive players and a "media" darling manager nobody should ever come on here questioning Moyes tactical ability nor powers of motivation.

And my final bit of justice is reserved for it being justice for football that despite all the money and power a "small" club like Everton can play the "media" darlings off the park. As you can gather, I am really enjoying the moment and hope that the "rub of the green" continues for the future. COYB
Jay Harris     Posted 16/01/2010 at 17:29:36   Comments (43)

Simply Magnificent

What a game! Everton were simply magnificent tonight, and deserved to win by a bigger margin. This game was the perfect follow-up from the performance at the Emirates. We played with energy, desire and lots of willing legs all over the pitch. Arsenal were undone by our pressing game last week and 'moneybags City' couldn't live with us today either.

Yet again, Pienaar continues to improve week-in, week-out and proves that he is a player for the big occasion. I am proud as punch to call him my countryman. He embodies everything that is good about this Everton team, and is beginning to dictate our play and tempo more and more. What he has added to his games is goals and now he is one of the most dangerous players in the Premier League. Quite simply, a joy to watch, both for his industry and his skill.

Fellaini, what can you say about the big fella? Bossed the midfield and popped up everwhere, breaking up play one minute, playing the simple pass and setting up moves the next. Still room for improvement though (at the risk of sounding churlish), but he has begun stamping his authority on games and that is something we've lacked a long time.

With Donovan's pace and industry a constant outlet on the right-hand side, we gave City problems all over the pitch. Some things he tried today didn't come off, but the Goodison gave him a tremendous ovation at the end, and all in all I think this his loan will turn out an inspirational bit of business from David Moyes come the end of his ten weeks.

Heitinga was magnificent once again — he has now kept Arshavin and Tevez quiet in successive weeks and that takes some doing. Today was positive in that Distin and Heitinga looked the biz as a partnership and the fact we kept our first clean sheet in awhile is another thing that bodes well for the future.

So, a convincing win against a form side and one of the contenders to shake up the so-called Big Four, a clean sheet and a slow, yet pleasant climb up the table.

All things considered, I'm proud of the performance tonight. Our best of the season to date and a joy to behold.

COYB!!!
David Gallant     Posted 16/01/2010 at 16:50:18   Comments (33)

My Everton

Can't say much, haven't got time, going out with the Mrs, and what a night it'll be....... because THAT was My Everton!... end of!
Brian Williams     Posted 16/01/2010 at 16:36:38   Comments (53)

Big Big Game...

This is a massive game. Not because it's against moneybags City, who are finally producing the kind of consistency their owners paid for ages ago, but because Everton's improving form really needs to deliver a positive result (and by that I mean a WIN — not another well fought draw!).

Please post the team news below and any internet links for those of you who can't get to the match or can't watch it live.
Michael Kenrick     Posted 16/01/2010 at 13:33:29   Comments (156)

Envy

The money that clubs like Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City have to throw around doesn't really bother me anymore. With the City game coming up on Saturday, though, I have to say that I am very envious of the fact that they can afford a player like Tevez.

A lot of big money gets spent on big name players who never really meet expectations, but this guy has obviously been the real deal for several seasons now. He kept West Ham up on his own, made a huge difference at Utd and has literally carried City on his own this season.

City fans must have been wetting themselves in anticipation over the summer transfer window when they were signing him and for once, just for once, I would love to be able to have that with a player we are signing. Don't get me wrong, some of Moyes's signings have been inspired, but to know that you are getting a world class player in his prime must be amazing.

Still, a fan can dream!
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 15/01/2010 at 05:58:25   Comments (22)

Nobody loves us...

I don't really want to bring up this subject of investment again as there have been a number of articles posts etc on the matter; however... what's going on? I'm starting to lose the plot!

Firstly there four to five potential buyers interested in West Ham Utd... West fecking Ham!!! Explain to me why? They have a small fanbase, large debts, struggling in the league, poor players with no real value... oh and don't say because they are based in London because that's a load of rubbish.

So why does nobody show an interest in us? Don't say it's because we are not for sale because hostile takeovers of companies happen every year, so what is the problem?
Sean McKenna     Posted 15/01/2010 at 02:42:47   Comments (32)

The much maligned Everton PR machine

I understand the sentiments of everyone who feels the club does handle a lot of their press releases/information badly (currently being documented in the Lucas Neill post lower down) but I have to stick up for the club a little on this point.

My ill son was filmed for a BBC documentary that was shown in Wales this evening. I e-mailed Everton on Tuesday to let them know about it as they had donated a kit to my little boy during his stay at hospital. I received prompt replies back and they have even run a story on the OS about it, would link it here but don't appear to be able to (maybe Michael or Lyndon could help me out).

Anyway, on top of the Press Office reply, I had asked for the e.mail to be forwarded to Messrs Kenwright, Moyes and Elstone just to pass on our best wishes etc. So far I've already had each of their PAs write back assuring me they will be reading the e.mail and to expect replies, along with best wishes and numerous other nice comments from Everton staff I have never met who have seen the e.mail and the information as it has worked through the chain.

So, while I agree they can balls it up, they can also get things very right. Many of my non-Everton supporting friends have got a massive and new-found respect for our club and acknowledge that they doubt some of their beloved clubs would do the same. So yeah, we're right to have a pop at them but maybe, just maybe, they deserve acknowledgement for getting it very right sometimes as well.
Darren Watts     Posted 14/01/2010 at 21:01:47   Comments (11)

Is Saha worth £60,000 a week?

There's been a lot in the press recently about Saha not signing a new contract as he is holding out for £60,000 a week. Should we break our wage structure for him?

On the "for" side he has been our ONLY consistent goal threat so far this season with the Yak who was obviously rushed back into the team through necessity before he was rready, Jo looking totally off the pace and uninterested and Vaughan only just coming back.

Saha is obviously a class act and would easily get the amount bandied about in the press at other clubs. IF he stays fit he guarentees goals and skillful link up play.

On the "Against" he is 31 and will probably start to decline in a year or so. His appalling injury record speaks for itself (although Vaughan's is worse!) and with our limited financial structure it would be a big risk.

However if I was David Moyes I'd be doing all I could to squeeze the extra pennies out for him to stay. on a 2 year contract fro the following reasons:

  1. We don't know if the Yak will ever get "it" back.
  2. As mentioned Vaughan is too injury prone to be relied on (such a shame).
  3. More importantly who could we get to replace him? We are unlikely to finish better than mid-table and therefore not an attraction for any top notch strikers.

Saha's talent is worth every penny in our current situation.
Miles Wilson     Posted 14/01/2010 at 19:48:25   Comments (30)

Neill, and The Madness of Moyes

Lucas Neill and Johnny Heitinga are one of the main reasons why Everton have made a mini revival of late and to sell Neill now when we are still close to the relegation zone (points wise) is another piece of reckless management.

The pairing of Neill and Heitinga has been so effective in recent weeks (during very difficult times) I wouldn't have broken it up just now even if Jags was fit. But Moyes doesn't even realise what he has.

We have also played more football from the back in recent weeks than we have seen for a very long time and Neil is one of the main reasons for this. Why break up such an effective partnership now when we should be thanking our lucky stars that it has worked so well, especially when we don't have much cover?

It's another piece of Moyes madness and I only hope we don't regret this by the end of this season.
Ged Dwyer     Posted 14/01/2010 at 16:21:08   Comments (52)

Another Own Goal?

Can anyone explain to me what is with the Official Site?

I can understand them not wanting to announce the sale of Neill too quickly, even with it all over the official news channels like the BBC etc, but what is this 'Neill Shock at Switch' crap..?

FFS! Either Neill wanted to go — in which case it is not a shock — or the club wanted him to go — in which case it is hardly a positive comment to state on the site that Nuill was shocked. Any number of excuses for selling the player against his wishes could have been used "EFC thought that an 18 month contract was something they couldn't offer him at this stage," etc etc.

Now the club appear to be a bunch of mercenary idiots who manage their players badly. Well done, Official Site — no wonder Everton's media presence is bad.
Rupert Sullivan     Posted 14/01/2010 at 15:34:30   Comments (8)

Johnny Heitinga

Having watched our last few games rather closely, I must say that I am majorly impressed with the performances of our Dutch stopper.

He is so comfortable and composed on the ball (more so than any of our other defenders) and reads the game exceptionally well. There have been some references to his lack of height, but I am not sure this is an issue, due to his excellent reading of the play.

He is no-nonsense in his approach and despite his skill is not afraid to stick his head in where it hurts (there was one occasion against Arsenal where he took a boot to the head and just got on with things).

The way in which he shackled Arshavin was also most impressive. All told, I think we have found the long-term partner for Jags and there is no doubt in my mind that he will continue to improve as he settles down more.

It really does add an exciting dimension to our play to have such a good passer at CB, with more attacks now building from the back.

Johnny, Johnny, Johnny Johnny Heitinga... Long may it continue!!!
David Gallant     Posted 14/01/2010 at 07:25:14   Comments (27)

Curiosity over our injuries

I have heard many opinions about why we have such a serious problem about our players getting injured season in season out. There is the fact we are unlucky every season, and whether are players are prepared adequately beforehand. I have even heard from one person who blames the training ground as, going back a few years ago, Newcastle used the very same excuse for their injury crisis.

Now I am not one to speculate what the true reason is, as it seems all like conspiracy theories to me. However, there is one thing that does come to mind that makes me question the whole nature of our 'unlucky' problem, as it were.

I distinctly remember when Sylvan Distin signed for us. After he signed, he mentioned his medical and his surprise as to the results. "In the past seven years I have missed something like 15 league games so I have a good record and my age is not a problem."

So when we signed Distin, we got ourselves a dependable and fit player to replace the departed Lescott. Yet, 5-6 months into the season, the official site says he has a hamstring injury, expected return unknown. I may be wrong here and correct me if so but has Distin played since he was injured before the Athens game in December? If not, then he would be missing his 10th game this week, almost 2 thirds of what he has missed in the past 7 years.

So you can take your conspiracy theories, and your facts. I ask all of you simply one thing: is it just down to luck when one of the most consistent Premier League players falls to injury, just like all others before him, season after season?

It seems to me that Distin reveals that luck is not a factor, and maybe the conspiracy theories have some ground. I mean, when can we stop blaming luck and start looking deeper? By 'we', I mean the club — not myself specifically.
Christopher Ashton     Posted 13/01/2010 at 19:46:15   Comments (21)

Thank you, Royals

So, the 4th round tie v. Birmingham City is on Saturday 23 January KO 3pm after all.

We don't talk about Liverpool on here so I'll just pay a compliment to Reading. They were superb in every department apart from their finishing. A 5-1 scoreline wouldn't have flattered them.

The OS were quick off the mark. Two minutes after the final whistle the Saturday date was confirmed.
Frank Milner     Posted 13/01/2010 at 20:01:13   Comments (24)

Neill for £750k???

So the club has confirmed that they are seriously considering a bid of £750k for Lucas Neill.

I am the only one confused about this. Neill is a solid Premier League performer. He has hardly set the world alight since his arrival, but neither has he stank the place out.

He also offers cover across the whole back-line and without him this season could have been much worse (who would have played centre back in last 10 games??)

£750k, we might lose him fat end of season for nothing but what difference does £750k make in Premier League Football?

If we sanction this move, it makes me seriously wonder how fucked this club is? Are we that desperate for relative pennies?

I'm confused.
Fran Mitchell     Posted 13/01/2010 at 10:58:44   Comments (105)

Can I be a fan?

This question has been worrying me a long time. Especially when I support the current management and it's thrown back at me: Did I watch the last game?

Well, no. I have never watched Everton in the flesh... in fact, if truth be told, I have never actually set foot in Liverpool. And yet I claim to be an Everton fan. What right have I to give any opinion?

By way of background, I should explain that my Dad is Irish and a supporter of Liverpool and I am a forces child. At the end of the 87-88 season, my brother and I decided we would support a then First Division club. I, the older child and glory-hunter, chose Everton.

Up to that point in my life, Everton were winning everything (we went on to win nothing bar the 95 FA Cup, one of the happiest moments of my life); my brother chose Arsenal, who went on to win everything.

Now I have stuck with my choice through thick and thin and, let's face it, mainly thin as I believe in loyalty, even though (as already admitted) I have little territorial or family claim to be an Everton fan.

I do intend to see Everton live at some point this season but the worry I come back to each time is: what right do I really have? So... can I be a fan? What do you think?
Kiern Moran     Posted 12/01/2010 at 22:37:42   Comments (66)

Great old footage

I am sure that this must have been mentioned before on ToffeeWeb, but a reminder is still worthwhile. Just spent an hour or so watching old Everton films on the Pathe News Archive.

The highlight for me amongst many was Alan Ball scoring against the dark side in that famous 1967 FA Cup tie when 65,000 were at GP and 50,000 watching on screens at the old cabbage patch.

Here's the link: http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=44601


Trevor Powell     Posted 12/01/2010 at 21:15:09   Comments (18)

Who do we think we are?

I've just been perusing the fixtures for February on the 'official site' and noticed that incredibly all our fixtures are live. This is made up of four League and two Europa Cup ties.

Add the potential (TBC) game against Brum and if successful here the same again on March 6th and we COULD have 8 live games on the trot — something of a record, I reckon, unless there is a stat prof out there who knows any different. Anyway, we're deffo on 6 times... so who do we think we are... Liverpool?
Brian Foley     Posted 12/01/2010 at 19:27:29   Comments (10)

Eurotrip

Just wondered who will be making the trip to Lisbon next month?

I've got my ticket and can't wait. I went to Nuremberg a couple of years ago and anyone who went will tell it wasn't any old away trip, it was fucking Electric!!!! I might be wrong but I don't think any other away trip has come close to that and hope Lisbon will be the same.

Sometimes you've got to forget wether you think Fellaini's the best player in the world or not and just go and get off ya barnet and sing ya heart out for the boys in blue! COYB
Nick Touhey     Posted 12/01/2010 at 17:46:49   Comments (3)

The new 'new Carsley'

Marouane Fellaini is on a great run of form. He could become a real talisman for us. I can see Fellaini goals becoming events in themselves, in the same way Big Dunc's were — he has a knack for big goals, important strikes — his goals are always high octane and he should probably score more headers than he does. However, the goals aren't the big deal with the Big Fella because, as we all know, he is a defensive midfield player. Looking around the Prem, he could become one of his generation's top defensive midfield players (if Rodwell doesn't get there first).

Fellaini himself is clearly relishing his 'new' role and is busy telling journalists it is his best position. We knew this, of course, because we'd read the reports and seen him in action against the shite a week before he joined us — he was outstanding that night. I recall that having lost Carsley, there seemed genuine satisfaction that we had busted our transfer record for this guy — the new Carsley.

And yet, one man didn't see it that way. Mr Moyes (and I do love Moyesy, but I have a bee in my bonnet about this) went to great lengths to stress that Fellaini was not Carsley's replacement. In fact, I think I rememeber a quote that went something like, "people seem to think he is here to replace Lee, that is certainly not the case". Now I know he is not similar to Cars in terms of style, but undoubtedly he should occupy the same area of the pitch as Super Lee did.

Moyesy was certain in his conviction and consequently Fellaini has spent 18 months looking even more awkward than his gait insists, sometimes doing rather well (there have been hot streaks of form and goals) but, more often than not, standing out like a sore thumb — mainly to do with his unique style of 'tackling', which I can't help but feel isn't helped by the fact he has found himself running back into positions he is more comfortable occupying in the first place.

It has taken a terrible run of injuries for Fellaini to start in the defensive midfield role — he excels here — he's imposing, physical, can play a great pass from deep and links well with his team mates. It's always been a no-brainer. But am I alone in wondering how much better we'd have been with Felli as the "new Lee Carsley" 18 months ago?
David McEvoy     Posted 12/01/2010 at 14:34:16   Comments (12)

Hapless Horne

It was few days ago but did anyone else see that utter drivel in the Echo penned by Barry Horne demanding Evertonians "pay tribute" to the useless oaf that is Bill Kenwright, convieniently forgetting 10 years of lies, fuck-ups and Bullshit.

The way virtually all our former players refuse to criticise and suck up to this man has annoyed me for years... What is it? Are they scared of missing out on their free ticket and other freebees on the odd occasion they pitch-up at Goodison?? The only exception to this has been, unsurprisingly, Big Nev, who has had a pop at BK on TV and radio a number of times.

I've never rated Horne as pundit as he talks rubbish and if he believes only a "vociferous minority" are critical of Mr Kenwright then he really has got his head in the sand.
Ste Traverse     Posted 12/01/2010 at 13:27:21   Comments (23)

Saha looking for 60 grand per week

Could be rubbish rumours, but according to an article on the Daily Mail website, Louis Saha is looking for 60 grand per week for 3 years from Everton...

At 31 years of age and with his injury record, I don't think Everton will give in to his demands. That money could be spent on a younger, fitter striker. He has a lot of cheek asking for that kind of money... Spurs, Arsenal and our neighbours look to be interested.

So it looks like we are losing Saha in the summer. Should we pay the money or not? As good a player as he is, I don't think we should...

Article link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1242468/Louis-Sahas-wage-demands-won-t-scare-Arsenal-Spurs-Liverpool-monitor-striker.html?ITO=1490
Damian Scott     Posted 12/01/2010 at 09:26:51   Comments (35)

Best eleven?

With news that Arteta, Anichebe and Jagielka are all back training, it got me wondering. Supposing our whole squad was fit (I know it will never happen), who would you pick for the first team. It's very tough between Distin/Yobo or Jagielka/Heitinga in defense. In midfield do we play Bily/Donovan or Neville/Rodwell?

My first eleven would be:

Howard
Neville
Jagielka
Yobo
Baines
Pienaar
Fellaini
Arteta
Bilyaletdinov
Cahill
Saha

Tom Campbell     Posted 12/01/2010 at 07:23:19   Comments (29)

GrandOldTeam.com

I just wanted to say how delighted I was to see that the Grandoldteam.com are your official forums. You really couldn't have chosen a better bunch of guys to represent you.

The forum is warm and welcoming, and very well moderated, but most of all is the sheer friendliness of the members, and their pride in making it a great place to visit, and indeed make yourself at home there shines through.

I've been a member there since July, after trying out various other Everton related forums, and can sincerely say that A href="http://www.GrandOldTeam.com">www.GrandOldTeam.com is by far the most enjoyable experience of them all. Mature discussion, friendly banter, generous sharing of knowledge, and a warm reception for other fans from many different clubs.

The facilities there are top-notch too, and the forum incredibly well organised. On a whole, the admin team, members, and forum are a credit to Everton Football Club, and it's great to see ToffeeWeb and GrandOldTeam as one.

Superb guys! Have a great New Year and thanks for all the hard work and effort on both sites.

Kind regards Kee (Bluebastardo)
Kee Smith     Posted 11/01/2010 at 22:54:50   Comments (3)

The value of Phil Neville

There's an interesting article on the site regarding how underrated Phil Neville is. Now, I believe he is an average full back and at best an average midfielder; however, his total assets make him of outstanding value to the club.

John Arlott once said of Mike Brearley, that he would have him in his all-time great side purely for his captaincy. Of course a cricket captain is going to have much more influence than a captain in football. Some clubs offer the captaincy as a reward but, in my view, Neville is as inspirational a football captain as I have ever seen.

I believe he, as much as Moyes, was responsible for the confident aggressive attitude evident on Saturday. There is not a better professional in the Premier League.
Andy Crooks     Posted 11/01/2010 at 11:42:53   Comments (23)

Moyes / Fellaini

I'm a big Moyes fan. I think he's worked miracles at our club given the money available to him, the injuries, the board, stadium move etc.

But, something that has really annoyed me is his use of Fellaini. We paid €15 million for a defensive midfielder, something we have desperately needed, only to stick him up front supporting our main striker. That then knocked Cahill back into a more defensive role and we lost his goals and attacking contribution that has pulled us through many a tough game.

Now I see stories of Moyes saying Felli is the best midfielder in the league after his recent performances... as a defensive midfielder. Yeah, and he would have been one of the best back in 2008 when we signed him if he was played in the right position.
James Elliott     Posted 11/01/2010 at 08:57:01   Comments (35)

Stadium talks

Finally, the day has come when Everton sit down with Liverpool City Council to discuss future stadium plans. Hopefully something positive comes from the meeting but I doubt it. If Bill decides to turn up, he could possibly negotiate a brand new exclusivity agreement. I hope he proves me wrong....


Jimmy I'Anson     Posted 11/01/2010 at 08:21:11   Comments (21)

Bloody BBC

Well it's happened again, even when there's only two games on the day, WE are the last game on the telly again. Not only did our game have more goals and more action in it, yet Man U get top billing again.

Just to wind me up even more, when they talked about the game, Everton's play was just a side note. They wanted to talk more about Arsenal's play than ours and Captain Scarlet wanted to talk more about a dodgy left back more than Pienaar's wonder goal.

If that was Shreck, Torres or anyone else for that matter they would be talking about it for God knows how long. Right, rant over now back to the Prozac.
Dave McCarten     Posted 10/01/2010 at 11:17:01   Comments (24)

There's Snow Donovan Factor...?

Not getting too carried away about Donovan's debut, which was solid and assured — certainly had more composure than Bily on the ball at this stage of the season (who clearly needs to sit out a few games). Donovan was impressive considering he has not played for a month - but it is the off the field impact of having this guy with us that interests me as much.

Donovan is the MLS's Most Valuable Player (MVP) and has more commercial endorsements than any of our existing players put together. From peak time TV commercials to giant bill-boards in the US, this is a fantastic commercial opportunity for Everton to raise brand awareness in the US and, in fact, all over the world – obviously (well you would hope so anyway) something not lost on our commercial team.

There is HUGE interest in how Donovan copes in the EPL (Google his name under ‘News’ this morning and now there are 845 articles related to his performance yesterday alone (and the LA hacks are still in bed as I write) — one glowing article in the New York Times for instance — we could not have wished for a more commercially sensitive loan signing.

The "will he / won't he stay?" question will continue as his loan progresses, drumming up more interest, but if he continues to be as solid as yesterday's start suggests then this move might turn out more beneficial to us off the field than on it — even if he does not stay on (which is an unlikely scenario in any case). Let me explain:

This could be our best opportunity to convince a ‘Randy Lerner’ type character (Heaven forbid a Gillete and Hicks-like combo) to invest moderately in our club. With a World Cup looming and having the two best US players of all-time ever to grace their team on our books represents a fantastic opportunity to flog our wares across the pond — it is a marketeer's dream.

If Keith Harris (of non-Orville the Duck fame) wanted an opportunity to drum up publicity for a club looking to invite investment, then you could wish for no better opportunity — so I will watch this situation with great interest and hope that Bill's 24-hour investment search results in several lines of enquiry coming from across the pond in the coming weeks.

Finally – I would like it to snow until mid-May. Why? Whatever the squad have done this week, perhaps with restricted training sessions, in-door activities instead of out-door and perhaps more time to discuss set pieces and tactical awareness due to the snow worked a treat yesterday. We looked fitter and hungrier than I have seen in an away performance for many years and no injuries in training to the run-up….. Snow coincidence that! …..(sorry – couldn’t resist).
Steve Callaghan     Posted 10/01/2010 at 10:46:35   Comments (12)

3 reasons to be very happy

While some of us are no doubt slightly miffed at not sealing 3 points this morning, I’ve had time to reflect and read two top quality articles which make me laugh out loud. So the three reasons we should be happy going into second half of the season, in my opinion are:-

1. The two-all draw at Arsenal. We all witnessed a rousing team performance yesterday away at Arsenal, a team themselves in great form — the Sky Sports commentator said Everton have only won 4 away points at Arsenal in the Premier League!!! Yet, Arsene Wenger thought his team were fortunate to get a 2 – 2 draw and not a 3 – 1 loss.

I for one was pleased to see that we didn’t roll out the team bus and sit 11 players behind the ball. We are turning things around on the pitch, Captain Pip lead the boys well. Landon looks like he might add a bit while he is with us, and I thought our bench looked pretty good. Bily, Vaughan, Duffy, Coleman, Baxter, Mustafi – full of promise.

2. The fat waiter has admitted his pot of cash has gone and now he cannot stop his two stars being sold. They have no money... in fact they have less than no money, they owe big money and they will need to sell their star players to service the debt the owners have loving taken out on the club. They might also sell Gerrard and Torres to get their massive wages off the books.

I’m sure every Everton fan would have loved DM to sign £25 / £30m players, but that isn’t going to happen and clearly spending beyond your means reaps one outcome. Let’s hope this is the beginning of a Pompey-style slide down the league. One thing that is assured they won’t be able to spend in Jan to help them try to push for 4th... hahaha. 3. The Liverpool owners are now insulting the fans. Brilliant – I doubt even the useless BK would stoop this low. Personally, the reaction suggests two things: the owners are under a lot of pressure and the reaction was possibly the first sign that the release valve is about to blow open; and secondly, they probably don’t understand how passionate the fans are about the ‘business’ they own and the owners will make business decisions based on business outcomes... e.g. sell to service the debt.

So, in summary, we have had our problems this season which have been outlined and double underscored on the website, but I can see three very good reasons why we should be happy. Liverpool are on the way out, possibly on and off the pitch, while we are looking like a Premier League side on the pitch and DM has said he would like to get two more players.

Come on you blues – and Happy New Year to you all.
Thomas Christensen     Posted 10/01/2010 at 07:16:49   Comments (9)

Time to Win

Trying to look forward and not back is hard this season. The fact of the matter is we are probably playing as good as anyone in the Premier League right now (the top teams are very much under performing). But no-one seems to notice our top performances because we have very little to show for it.

Since the Liverpool game... which I think we should have at least drawn, we have upped our game and only recorded 8 from a possible 18 points. Converting 3 of the 4 draws (not Chelsea, though we might have there) and drawing LIverpool would give us 7 more points right now and we would be 30 pts and a shot at taking on the top six again.

We aren't in this position because we can't finish teams off. We can't beat teams we should beat on the day. We can't WIN. Some of the posters on here have turned against The Editor because he thinks we should win. If no one has noticed even more so this season teams have shown... any team in this league can beat anyone on their day.

The fact of the matter is it doesn't matter who you're beating in this league... it matters that you beat them. A draw is only a good result if you are outplayed and come away with one point, it doesn't matter who the other team is. Winning should always be the goal... and putting teams away needs to start now.

Everton need points... and when you outplay 5 teams and only come away with 7 points.... something is wrong. It's time to start converting... But that should have been happening for over a month now.
Joey Brown     Posted 09/01/2010 at 20:38:58   Comments (7)

So near... yet so far

A tremendous match, and a far better performance from Everton overall, but still not enough to give the victory they should really have. Why oh why didn't we win that one?

Still far too many moments of maddening frustration for me. At east we went for it, and looked eventually to have won it, so that draw to me was hugely frustrating.

When when when will we ever go for the kill? Far too many times the ball was passed back or square when a forward ball was called for. So many areas where just a small improvement would have reaped dividends.
Michael Kenrick     Posted 09/01/2010 at 14:01:49   Comments (133)

Arsenal vs Everton

Everton Line up as follows:

Everton: Howard, Neville, Baines, Heitinga, Neill, Osman, Fellaini, Cahill, Pienaar, Donovan, Saha.

Subs: Nash, Bilyaltedinov, Vaughan, Coleman, Duffy, Baxter, Mustafi

Debut for Donavan

Neville dropping rightback and Saha returning to replace Vaughan. Also BIlly dropped to the bench with Osman coming in.

I expect to see Coleman, Bilyaltedinov and Vaughan play some part in the 2nd Half.
Stuart Mitchell     Posted 09/01/2010 at 11:21:30   Comments (255)

Rumour: Moyes gone?

Heard an interesting one today from an ex-colleague in Glasgow who is convinced that Moyes is ready to walk. I'll refrain from saying "I have it on good authority" as he's never come to me with info like this before, and in any case I don't usually listen. However, he was convinced.

He stated that Moyes has given the board his "A List" of transfer targets, which has been completely overlooked for people on the C and D list! (wouldn't suprise me). Apparently, it's the final straw for Moyes and the only thing keeping him is the lack of current good vacancies elsewhere.

I'm not one for getting overly excited about rumours that lack any real substance; however, I wondered if TW readers could add any substance, and indeed if anyone has heard similar??

Also, my source had a point when he said "that's you boys in the Championship then!". I'm not saying Moyes is the be-all and end-all, but Kenwright, for me, is fucking criminal. Even moreso if Moyes walks.

Interested to know what readers think the impact would be if this is true??
Alec Laurie     Posted 08/01/2010 at 15:25:05   Comments (35)

February Fest?

During continuing big freeze the warming news announced today of the return to training of Mikel Arteta, Victor Anichebe and Phil Jagielka - albeit in tentative cotton wool strapped steps cannot have come soon enough.

Looking at the fixture list ahead and the prospect of the month of February throwing up the possibility of 7 matches in 28 days, including Europs Cup-ties, The Derby, Man United, Chelsea and Spurs, and a possible FA Cup tie, February will undoubtedly be challenging. It may be a massive ask to expect or even consider that our long-term casualties will have any influence upon the outcome of these matches; however, even as bit-part players, I am certain that they will have a galvinising effect upon morale within the squad.

With a near full strength squad to choose from, the uknown quantity of Donovan, the return of the Afcon players and precocity of Rodwell and Coleman, will we see the green shoots of recovery? And will we stride on into the spring with a renewed vigor and final flourish to the season?

Onwards Evertonians.......we shall not be removed.
Peter Laing     Posted 08/01/2010 at 13:57:44   Comments (5)

Brazilian Jô

This is starting to annoy me now because it's sooooo unnecessary and also stereotypical.

Is Jo's first name (nickname as I know they have different long real names) "Brazilian"? Every Nyany interview etc Moyes always calls him "Brazilian Jo... isnt it just Jo? It's not just Moyes either. I'm sure pundits do it too.

We know who Jo is, what's this Brazilian Business all about? Arrgghh... eerrr... hhaarghhhhh....
Charlie Percival     Posted 08/01/2010 at 11:39:10   Comments (15)

Alex Parker's passing

I am one of the older supporters who was lucky enough to watch Alex Parker play for us. A truly classy full-back. Can you imagine that he couldn't join us right away because he had to complete his Army duties? He then left us to join Southport.

In these days of pampered millionaire players, I am sure it would do some of them the world of good to spend two years serving their country. They would be far less inclined to roll around the field as though they had been shot. We could all identify with the players in those days of 60,000 gates and players who had houses next door to the ground.
John Boon     Posted 07/01/2010 at 19:50:39   Comments (19)

When greed doesn't 'pay'

I have just read that Kyle Naughton may be loaned back to Sheffield United after playing only one game for Spurs since they 'gazumped' the Toffees to his signature at the start of the season. I can't help thinking that the lad could be an Everton regular by now if he'd joined us...

Hibbert was surely well out of favour after the FA Cup Final and Naughton would have surely got a start early on. Who knows, with a lack of depth in the right-back position he could even have been eyeing a World Cup spot if he'd done well.

Spurs have a history of signing young talent, with a very low success rate: for every Lennon and Huddlestone there seems to be a Naughton, Dos Santos, Bostock and a Bentley!

No disrespect to Hibbert but with Coleman, Neill, Heitinga and Neville now available we have a lot of cover there. Moyes has a much better record at bringing young talent into the first squad and Naughton should have considered this and told the Sheffield United greedy guts boys to send him to Goodison.
Spragg Johnson     Posted 07/01/2010 at 17:06:39   Comments (28)

Up the Arsenal

With the game against Arsenal looming and our desperate need to get more points on the board, I thought back to this time last year when we were keeping clean sheets for fun and getting results we didn't expect.

One of the key factors for me was the presing game that Everton have employed so well... particularly led by Jags. In fact, losing Jags and then Lescott has IMO had a pronounced effect on the defence because replacements are not the type to "stand on a player" or "Get in their faces" as the expression goes.

I see Distin and Neill as players who stand off rather than press; however, Heitinga has pleasantly surprised me in this regard as he seems to have found his best position.

This inability to press is compounded by a constantly changing midfield with very little defensive qualities. The big Fella is the only one to attempt to defend and even though I'm a big fan of his he sometimes loses concentration defensively and makes clumsy challenges.

Now that Phil Neville is fit again he may be the answer although unlike Fellaini ,who is always looking for a pass, PN is a natural hoofball merchant which, given Arsenal's penchant for keeping possession, may not be a good thing.

I also feel that Billy needs the bench for a while and would suggest that Coleman would not be uncomfortable on the right flank and would help out defensively too.
Jay Harris     Posted 07/01/2010 at 10:45:27   Comments (24)

Investment in Football

Let's get this straight, once and for all... repeat after me:

"There's no such thing as investment in football."

Investment means that you give your money into something for the reason that you will gain more money afterwards. Football is not something you invest in, because it is not something that is profitable...

You have two types of owners:

1. Those who own clubs as a passion (see Spurs, Aston Villa)... these types of owners spend millions of their own money to see the success of their clubs.

2. Those who own clubs as toys... this will tarnish the pride/integrity/indentity of the club (see Man City, Chelsea); they will run the moment they get bored or change manager every 2 seconds.

3. And those who own clubs to make money. This will lead to the failure of clubs... because they will soon realise football is not profitable (see Portsmouth, Newcastle, Leeds etc).

Ownesr of Type 1 are rare spesies.. Most of the other "Investors" are Type 2 or 3.

I'd rather keep Kenwright than handing our beloved club someone who will lead to turmoil. Stability on our own means is the key.
Wayne Baxter     Posted 07/01/2010 at 06:08:50   Comments (36)

Beckford

Just read Beckford has handed in a transfer request and Newcastle have put a bid in for £1.5M.

Now I don't think the lad is top notch but I do think he could do a job for us. I watched him play against Man Utd and he was a pain in the arse to them, took the piss out of Orange Brown and scored the winning goal, quite a decent goal as well.

If we go in, the price will jump to £5M or something but he's still cheap, he's fast, he knows where the goal is, and he plays with a bit of fire in his belly. I'd like to see him on the bench behind Saha, I know he's a bit like Vaughan but Vaughan's always going to be injured.
Iain Love     Posted 06/01/2010 at 18:16:08   Comments (33)

Authorities' Bias

Am I the only one outraged by the fact that Everton must await the outcome of the Liverpool v Reading replay before we know the date of our FA Cup 4th round tie?

We are through to the fourth round, Liverpool are not. We should take precedence for the Saturday KO, not them.

Why on earth are fans being forced to wait to make travel arrangements etc, and the club having to wait to finalise match arrangements when we could go ahead now?

This is typical of the ongoing bias that keeps "The Big Four" as The Big Four, come what may.

Or am I missing something?
Steve Syder     Posted 06/01/2010 at 11:21:02   Comments (11)

You the Jury

A couple of friends and me have been competing to see who could come up with the worst Everton team we could put together from players we have seen. A sort of Nightmare Football Manager. Now we need a winner, which is where you come in. All verdicts gratefully received - but note this is not a competition to be thrown open to all! Simply vote Team A B or C, with any comments welcome.

There's a pint riding on this.....

Team A

Stefan Wessels
Glen Keeley  Carl Tiler  Mitch  Ward Clive Marshall
Danny Williamson Stefen Rehn   Claus Thomsen Stephen Hughes
Mikael Madar Brett Angell  

Team B

Mimms (for the traumatic close to the 85/86 season)
Marc Hottiger                 Billy Wright         Glen Keeley                        Terry Phelan
Alan Ainscow          Scott Gemmill               Gareth Farrelly                Ian Wilson
Bernie Wright                    Brett Angell

Team C



Drew Brand
Earl Barrett Per Kroldrup Marc Hottiger Terry Darracott
Stefan Rehn Claus Thomsen Tobias Linderoth Niclas Alexandersson
Mickey Walsh Brett Angell

Brian Denton     Posted 06/01/2010 at 11:05:42   Comments (57)

Piquionne rumour

I know this is a rumour which happened a few days ago, and may not be true, but it's an interesting one... firstly, because it says he replaces Jo; and secondly, because it is almost the same as when we got Manny Fernandes the first time.

Is he a good replacement for Jo? I think so... certainally fits into the Moyes persona with working your ass off on the pitch, and looked promising in November and December when he scored a few goals, especially the one against Liverpool!

I do hope this one is pulled off, it would be a good move.
Ben Jones     Posted 05/01/2010 at 15:33:15   Comments (23)

Fake World Cup Bid Theory

Less than a year ago, Bill Kenwright told shareholders at an EGM that he "didn't want to be here next year". We were then told that he had employed Keith Harris to help him find a buyer. A few short weeks ago, Robert Elstone (or was it Ian Ross?) was assuring us that Everton will have built a stadium in time for 2018.

Have I missed something... and does this mean Harris has been called off?

Bill has fucked up royally with both King's Dock and Destination Kirkby. What is he planning next ?

Now what concerns me is the prospect of Bill Kenwright turning down what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to extend the Goodison footprint in favour of pressing on with one of his hair-brained schemes. Let's face it, if the council offer it then it would leave Kenwright in the unique position of not having any excuses for investing fuck all in Goodison Park.

Are his plans serious or are they simply a tool to deflect a possible offer to extend the Goodison Footprint (an offer that would mean they would actually have to spend real money) until such time that they offload their shares? The lack of a genuine World Cup bid would suggest the latter.

If Bill Kenwright turns down an offer to extend the footprint, I propose we chase him from Goodison Park a la Peter Johnson.
David Johnson     Posted 05/01/2010 at 02:12:38   Comments (44)

Senderos on loan

I don't necessarily like starting rumours like this... but a mate of mine (I know, I know) is a secretary at Goodison Park and ocassionaly gets the skinny on transfers (he was the first to tell me about Distin and Bilyaletdinov before it hit the news) and he told me this afternoon that we are working towards getting a deal sorted with Arsenal for the six month loan of Phillipe Senderos with a set "compensation" fee (I believe his contract runs out at the end of thet season) if we are interested in signing him permenantly. I'd be interested to know what other ToffeeWebers think about this.
Ian Tod     Posted 04/01/2010 at 15:59:40   Comments (42)

Crowds staying away?

That increasingly old chestnut about the FA Cup losing its appeal to the fans came up again on 606 at the weekend. As far as Everton were concerned, I thought a 30k+ attendance was reasonable in the circumstances.

I looked back, just over the Moyes era, and the pattern is pretty consistent for 3rd and 4th Round home ties: ±30k. Yet we have people like Chris Butler on previous threads insisting that the crowds are deserting Goodison in their droves.

Personally, I think the crowds are currently holding up remarkably well, given the lack of key players and the rather insipid football. (That gal Vicki on 606 had a pretty good go at how poor we are to watch!)
Michael Kenrick     Posted 04/01/2010 at 12:49:26   Comments (14)

Why no Clattenburg?

Graham Poll has come out and said Premier League needs more 'top flight' referees and that it's 'not healthy to referee a team 7 or 8 times a season'.

To my recollection we haven't had Mr Clattenburg officiate since that infamous game. By the law of averages we should have had him again by now.

Is this an admittance by the PL that he does have a bias towards the other lot? Has he reffed Liverpool since?

I don't even think he was reprimanded for that game, he just sat out the following week's fixtures.

I've got my lozenges ready to berate the tosser.
Ged Hogg     Posted 04/01/2010 at 07:53:44   Comments (25)

Envy

Many of you will have watched the battle of the Uniteds this afternoon with mixed feelings - who to cheer for... who to laugh at, etc.

The overall feeling I had was one of envy. The League 1 side attacked from the off, no inferiority complex here. They took the game to the hosts at every opportunity, harassing their defenders, closing them down, and making it difficult for them to build from defence.

The weakest link in this Utd team is their defence and the visitors exploited this weakness time and again. A wonderful Leeds performance.

Now to the envy. Can any one here even imagine us playing like that at Old Trafford? Can anyone here imagine us winning at Old Trafford? Can anyone here imagine us playing like that at the Emirates next week? Why not? Oh yes,we have injuries to players which prevent us blah blah blah.

Is it really this simple?
Des Farren     Posted 03/01/2010 at 16:00:13   Comments (33)

What would I settle for this season?

A lot of my expectations for the season have changed at the half-way mark.

Like a lot of people, I was genuinely expecting as much as hoping in August that we would be fighting it out for another top six finish and perhaps pushing for another cup final. Right now, that seems very far away and our injury list, league position and the head start and impetus that Villa, City and Spurs have over us would suggest that a top ten finish is the best we can hope for, let alone expect, in the league. In terms of cup competitions, our form is so inconsistent at the moment you would wonder what team would turn up on the day of a cup game.

Given that the Europa League doesn't start back until February makes me feel a little better about things but there are a lot of top quality teams left in the competition; with players still injured, I think that, between the league, FA Cup and Europa League, something will have to give.

With all of this in mind, I was thinking about what my expectations are for the rest of the season. To me, it seems obvious that keeping the squad together will be David Moyes's biggest challenge between now and the start of next season. Things have gone very badly on the pitch and there has been a lot of debate about player confidence, player unrest and I would be fearful about whether or not our better players will be looking to move on between now and the end of the August transfer window.

Like most Everton fans, I would gladly take us winning the FA and Europa Cups and not dropping another league point. Do I expect it to happen? Right now my head says no, of course it won't. Would I settle for semi-final and final appearances and a top ten league finish? At the moment, damn right I would. I'd take hand and all off you. And I think that to some degree we're capable of it.

With a little luck and a bit more confidence from the players, I do think it's possible. But right now, most of all, I think that I would just happily settle for us to have the current squad fit, and happy to be at the club come next August. If Coleman, Duffy and Rodwell were developed into first team regulars, all the better. I know this doesn't sound very ambitious of me but I think when fully fit we have the squad to compete with anyone.

I'm interested to hear from you folks to see what you expect or genuinely hope for between now and the end of the season.
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 03/01/2010 at 10:00:55   Comments (24)

Donovan Deal

I have a question about the Landon Donovan deal. Why is he only here for 2½ months whereas David Beckham is going to Milan for the same 5 month period as last season? Surely the short period of Landon's loan means we run the risk of losing him just when he's getting bedded down in our first eleven?
Alistair Strachan     Posted 02/01/2010 at 22:18:23   Comments (6)

Our best ever manager

I suppose it's a bit like policemen getting younger but I can remember an era when managers were proper men. They wore suits and they had hairstyles like your dad. I'm talking about Stan Cullis, Bill Nicholson, Tony Waddington, Matt Busby, Joe Mercer, Bertie Mee and of course, the greatest ever manager of Everton: Harry Catterick.

Why Catterick and not Kendall? Well, I have a pennant, it shows, badly drawn, sketches of his team:

West, Brown, Morrissey, Hurst, Ball, Harvey, Kendall, Labone, Husband, Royle and a couple of others that I can't quite remember. This was a time when Goodison Park was great and we played proper football.

So where does David Moyes rate? Well, my line-up would be:

Catterick
Kendall
Moyes
Royle

I was going to put Walter Smith in at number three but just couldn't face the stick. In my view, without Walter, we would be in League Two.
Andy Crooks     Posted 02/01/2010 at 16:39:41   Comments (53)

Everton vs Carlisle

Everton v Carlisle line-ups:

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Heitinga, Neill, Baines, Pienaar, Neville, Cahill, Fellaini, Bilyaletdinov, Vaughan.

Subs: Nash, Coleman, Duffy, Forshaw, Agard, Baxter, Mustafi.

Carlisle: Collin, Keogh, Livesey, Harte, Horwood, Hurst, Clayton, Kavanagh, Taiwo, Robson, Pericard.

Subs: Pidgeley, Bridge-Wilkinson, Murphy, Anyinsah, Dobie, Burns, Kane.

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

Nothing if not predictable. Vaughan from the start and a very young bench.
Mike Allison     Posted 02/01/2010 at 11:23:25   Comments (216)

Carlisle are coming

Being born in Carlisle, and having lived in Cumbria all my 51 years, I started following Everton in 1966 after the greatest cup final in history. Alan Ball's signing in August 1966 was the icing on the cake, but I always went to Carlisle matches as there was no way I could afford to get to Goodison.

Everton remained my true love, and I was as pissed off as anyone in 1974-75 when, in Carlisle's only season in Division One, I saw them do the double over us and prevent us winning the Championship.

They, like us, have tremendous away support, and they have sold out their 6,000 tickets for Saturday's game, and apparently bought copious amounts in the Everton ends. I was at Nuremburg watching Everton a couple of seasons ago, and this is their version of that away day.

We need to stand tall as Evertonians tomorrow, and not let Goodison be the graveyard it can be until we (hopefully) go ahead, as they will make enough noise on their own.

A final point, it looks like Jimmy Vaughan will be our only striker tomorrow, and he's had about 20 minutes play this season. I hope Donovan can play some part, although I keep waiting for Blue Bill to announce it was Jason Donovan or the Scottish protest singer we bought.

Carlisle's defence, especially Harte and Murphy, are absolutely pedestrian, and we must have someone of pace attacking them. Pericard is good up front for them, but looks like he is running in treacle, so the message to Moyesie is go 4-4-2 and run these League One lads ragged!

See you in the Park End tomorrow.
COYB
Keith Harrison     Posted 01/01/2010 at 17:09:32   Comments (12)

Everton Suspend Jô

Just broke on Sky Sports News.

This is all we need: Yak — unfit & unavailiable; Saha — impossible to see him propping up the attack single-handedly; Vaughan — fingers crossed there,but now this ineffectual waster has pissed-off the famously stubborn Moyes.

Despite many posters on ToffeeWeb waxing-lyrical over this Brazilian, the majority have been under-whelmed; now this: A breach of club rules. This is good news though as I think Moyes will swoop for a striker!
Kevin Hudson     Posted 01/01/2010 at 10:43:43   Comments (44)

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