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The Mail Bag

March 2010 Archive
Want to have your say?

Depressed by Barcelona

I just watched the game tonight and, though I enjoyed it immensely, couldn't help feeling just a bit demoralized. Arsenal are as good as football goes in the Premier League and yet they were, despite the final result, utterly outplayed.

We went to the Emirates and should have won; so how would we have done tonight? Frankly,it doesn't bear thinking about. We dream about the Champions League next year but, really, are we not a million miles from what is required?

I've always felt that team spirit, organization, discipline and some flair can go a long way. Until tonight, I thought that money, or lack of it, could be overcome. Not any more...

I have always thought that we should try to play good football. Wigan play good football and get stuffed. Arsenal play great football and should have been stuffed. So what should we do?
Andy Crooks     Posted 31/03/2010 at 23:24:31   Comments (46)

The Blues Are Still Blue

Listening to the Radio 5 build up to Liverpool v Sunderland last weekend raised another tinge of jealousy in me. It's something that has niggled at me for ages, forever possibly.

I heard in the background, playing over the loudspeaker "Heart As Big As Liverpool" by Pete Wylie. Great song. I'm jealous because that club truly embrace their roots in every possible way, down to choosing pre- and half-time music that celebrates the city's musical heritage.

The Beatles are regularly played at Anfield but would any visitor to Goodison make any connection with the Beatles? Can anyone ever remember them being played?

We are strictly small time in this respect. We play all the boy band X Factor stuff that's churning round the charts as well as that appalling thing that's boomed out throughout half-time. I honestly don't know what that sound is or for who's benefit it is played but it's terrible. We are seriously one step away from playing "Pig Bag" after each goal is scored.

I regard Everton as a culturally rich institution and the music played should be of a certain standard, whilst at the same time reinforcing in visitors, viewers and listeners that Everton is actually proud to be part of the world famous city of Liverpool. I for one would be happy to hear "Heart as big as Liverpool" at Goodison but if not that, why not "The story of the Blues" also by Pete Wylie?

Why don't we hear songs by Echo and the Bunnymen, Pale Fountains and Shack at the match. Even tenuous links like "The Blues are still Blue" by Belle and Sebastian would be a major improvement on current offerings. Any more suggestions along these lines?
John Kline     Posted 31/03/2010 at 22:56:28   Comments (39)

Another long-term injury!

Just heard on Radio 2 that Dan Gosling is out for 9 months!! Is it me or do we get more than our fair share of these type of what I would call reckless challenges (by the opposition) resulting in long term injuries to our players? — Victor springs to mind.

Does anyone have the stats with regard to how many of our players have suffered these type of injuries as opposed to how many of these type of injuries our players have subjected opposition players to?

I know people blame Dan for poor first touch and goalies have to do what ever they can to keep out a shot but am I alone in feeling that Hahnemanns challenge was reckless — I know that I would have a pretty good idea that if I throw my 14 stone? (Hahnemanns weight — not mine) on to an outstretched leg, I am likely to do some serious damage to it — imagine if this sort of challenge had been by an outfield player or on an Arsenal player.
Jeff Magee     Posted 31/03/2010 at 16:13:00   Comments (32)


Having watched the Manchester United – Bayern Munich game last night, I would be interested to know what other Everton supporters' opinions are to the following question:

Would you swap any of the Man U midfield players — ie Park, Scholes, Carrick or Fletcher — for either Pienaar, Arteta, Cahill or Rodwell?
Ron Haslam     Posted 31/03/2010 at 11:16:28   Comments (36)


So according to the dailies Stephen Pienaar is looking for a potential move to a top 4 club so he can play Champions League football. I can't knock any player wanting to move to improve their game or the chance to win trophies. If he went and we managed to get £13 million, who would be the ideal replacement?
Ken Williams     Posted 31/03/2010 at 09:12:23   Comments (44)

Our history is great but...

Let me start off by recognizing that I am going to get plenty of stick for this... but I am fed up of us Evertonians living in the past. Perhaps it is because of the upcoming 25th anniversary of a truly great side, that we are hearing so much about past events.

Please don't misunderstand. I started following Everton in 1971 and love talking about the Holy Trinity, Bob Latchford, Martin Dobson (who I went to school with), Duncan McKenzie etc in subsequent years... but let's all realize that those days are over and concentrate on the potential we have today.

One cup win and a handful of "if only's" are not good enough for the past 20 odd years. .
Ajay Timothy     Posted 30/03/2010 at 18:28:57   Comments (23)

Mark Who?

I was just watching a clip on YouTube of the Club's 1985 25th anniversary celebration montage; near the end, as they are quickly mentioning each individual player and one of their good traits (ie, Sheedy's "sweet left boot" etc), a player by the name of Mark Higgins is shown, albeit with his back turned, and we are told he would have played a part if not for a serious knee injury.

Forgive me for my lack of knowledge on the the great 80s side's fringe players but, as an 8 year old kid, I was more focused on the Sharps & Sheedys of the side. I would like to hear more about him and, more importantly, was he any good?
Stuart O'Malley     Posted 30/03/2010 at 16:51:50   Comments (14)

Jose Baxter

Living in Los Angeles I don't catch too many reserve or youth matches. I was mostly wondering what's happened with this kid since his arrest in connection with drug dealing.

He was supposed to be better than Jack Rodwell a year back and yet all I seem to remember of him is his miss on opening day last season. Any info on his current form would be appreciated.

Joey Brown     Posted 29/03/2010 at 22:20:48   Comments (19)

EFC For Sale... To Us?

With a general election within touching distance, we hear today that Labour are proposing to legislate in the national game.

Getting the FA organised might be a vote winner, but the proposal that jumps off the page is giving supporter groups what looks like a 'right to buy' if a club is up for sale.

I'm not suggesting we should get into party political debate here, but how would such a measure affect us? Bill says the club is always up for sale, but how could interested supporters act if this became a reality?
Keith Glazzard     Posted 29/03/2010 at 17:30:21   Comments (33)

Yet another season in the top flight

In the warm afterglow of the humiliation of Manchester City on their own midden and the disappointment of a myriad missed chances against Wolves, another milestone went largely unnoticed this weekend.

It became mathematically impossible for us to be relegated this season (short of going into administration!)

It must be all those nailbiting dicings-with-death of a few years ago that are to blame but I start doing the calculations at the end of February each season and always breathe a sigh of relief when the magical point is mathematically achieved and, if nothing else, we can still lay claim to the record of spending more seasons in the top flight than anybody else.

We should get a trophy for that!
Dave Roberts     Posted 29/03/2010 at 16:09:27   Comments (20)

Broken Dreams

I have just finsished reading an excellent book, written by an investigative historian called Tom Bower. The title is Broken Dreams and I can't recommend this book highly enough. It is an in-depth investigation into the "bung" culture, agents, bent managers, Chairmen, Foreign Owners, the FA and the Premiers League. As far as I am aware, no-one mentioned in the book has sued the author, so the contents must be accurate.

His investigation into foreign ownership made me glad that we have not gone down that road... yet! Everton as a club appear to get a thumbs up in the way they are run: only Peter Johnson's mad spending spree with money he never really had comes under the microscope.

Compared to other teams: Spurs, West Ham... we come out of it smelling of roses. I can't recommend this book highly enough. Read this book and you may change your mind on foreign ownership!
Austin  Heath     Posted 29/03/2010 at 15:19:47   Comments (7)

Arteta for England ?

So Fabio Capello was at the Wolves game on Saturday, supposedly running the rule over a couple of Everton players, and perhaps wanting to catch one certain little Spaniard who unfortunately could not make it.

Now this question is aimed at all Evertonians, but is probably more pertinent for England fans: Would you like to see him get a call up for the England national side?

Personally, as an Evertonian first and foremost, I would like him to wait for the Spanish to come calling, which I think is inevitable regardless of the quality they have as he is definitely up there with the best of them. Also I would hate to think of him being influenced by the likes of Cashley Cole, Stevire G and the likes...
Stuart O'Malley     Posted 29/03/2010 at 14:51:45   Comments (15)

Yakubu is 27... Really???

Over here in The States, Major League Baseball is having a problem with Latin American prospects using fraudulent birth certificates to appear younger than they actually are. These players/propects lie about their age to enhance their value in contract negotiations. An 18-year-old who plays with the skill and maturity of a 25-year-old is more valuable and has more potential.

So, my question is, is this a problem in English football? Or for that matter, the entirety of Europe, with players from African or any where else?

The reason I'm curious about this is because I recently became aware that Yakubu is 27. He looks more like early to mid 30s to me. I know he's been injured, but it may explain his poor form lately. He's closer to the end of his professional career than the beginning...
Caio Jenks     Posted 28/03/2010 at 22:56:38   Comments (52)

Just not our day

That\'s dissapointing... one of the most frustrating games to watch. The amount of chances we wasted is just ridiculous. We were by far the better team throughout, and they were just scrapping for a 0-0 draw.

Hard luck fellas, just wasn\'t our day.

Duncan McDine     Posted 27/03/2010 at    Comments (103)

No Mikel Arteta today...

Wolves v Everton line-ups:

Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Osman, Rodwell, Heitinga, Cahill, Pienaar, Saha.

Subs: Nash, Hibbert, Yobo, Bilyaletdinov, Gosling, Yakubu, Senderos.

Wolves: Hahnemann, Zubar, Craddock, Berra, Elokobi, Foley, Mancienne, Henry, David Jones, Jarvis, Doyle.

Subs: Hennessey, Ebanks-Blake, Keogh, Ward, Iwelumo, Milijas, Guedioura.

Editor's Note: Please use the LIVE FORUM for the Second Half

Amanda Huddleston     Posted 27/03/2010 at 14:26:37   Comments (76)

On the Moyes/Mancini spat

Great quote from Jim White in a Daily Telegraph blog.

While Mancini flapped and blinked, Moyes kept his icy blue gaze unwaveringly focused on the City manager's chin, a slight smile playing on his lips as he considered momentarily whether it would be worth the lengthy touchline ban that would ensue from administering a warning slap.

Alan Wilson     Posted 26/03/2010 at 14:01:37   Comments (8)

European Qualification

Something has been nagging at me for a couple of weeks now: do we need the RS to win the Europa League?

If the league were to finish now, the top 4 would enter the Champions League. City would qualify for the Europa League through the Premier League. Villa would qualify from the League Cup & the RS would gain entry via a place being handed to the league from the FA cup finalists already being qualified.

Hypothetically (for this scenario to work) the RS have won the Europa League. Would their league place then be passed to 8th in the league, which would mean we can qualify this way?

PS - I believe we can gain an extra place in the league, but this could be a fall back for us.
Andy MacRae     Posted 26/03/2010 at 13:01:28   Comments (23)

VIP guest thrown out at Eastlands

Firstly what twats Man City execs, players (Bellamy and Lescott and other money-grabbing gimps) and fans seem to be.

But who is George Downing? Toffeweb news mentions he is a muti-millionaire everton fan.

Is he multi-millionaire enough to invest? Or is he already an investor?
Craig Taylor     Posted 26/03/2010 at 08:14:49   Comments (20)

Goal of the Season?

I don't know whether this post deserves a thread of its own or whether I should have just tagged it onto one of the other threads about last night's game. I'll let the editors decide!

I just wanted to make this point though.

I can't get enough of the second goal last night! (and the first was a training ground beaut itself!) I keep going back to it to watch it again. It is one of the most perfectly constructed goals I have ever seen, certainly better than anything I have seen from anybody this season.

There may be better 'individual' efforts some can point to such as great shots or headers but for pure team-construction this goal takes the plaudits for me.

From the inch-perfect ball down the line, the faultless collection by Jack, his pace and strength which left the defender floundering and the flick inside that sent the defender the wrong way... the ball pulled back across the area and Cahill's dummy and then Mikey's pass into the goal!

If Arsenal had scored it, the video would have been on sale by now and we would never have heard the last of it until the middle of next season!

Does anybody else see it as I do or am I just going over the top?

I'm just going back for another look!
Dave  Roberts     Posted 25/03/2010 at 18:09:04   Comments (41)

Inevitable Conjecture: Moyes to Celtic?

Just saw the news today that Celtic have parted company with Tony Mowbray. The inevitable question will be who will replace him. With our Davey's Celtic connection, it is inevitable that he will forever be linked with this post.

I, for one, think that one day he will join the Glasgow former giants but not now. He has a close relationship with the chairman and I truly believe that he loves the Blues. He has recently said that possibly qualifying this year for the Europa Cup would be his biggest achievement to date and I am convinced that the best squad that he has seen in eight years can win trophies under his management.

He also has a lucrative contract and probably has more transfer money available to spend than Celtic. Lets also not forget that this team that he has built has the quality, youth and spirit to certainly be challenging again for a top 4 - 6 spot next season.
Ajay Timothy     Posted 25/03/2010 at 16:56:40   Comments (32)

Wolves in 48 hrs - FOCUS

Great result at City, blah blah....lads, it's gone.

I've heard enough of it now.

"What's our name"? Everton!!!

We have a three-time LMA Manager of the year, 8 years of stability, a squad packed full of class players with values that probably rank them far above many of Manchester City's over-priced, under-working mercenary squad... so why are we all backslapping and celebrating like we have won the World Cup because we have taken 3 points from them??

It's nothing less than I absolutely EXPECT from this manager and his squad of players and when they achieve results last night they are simply matching my expectations, not exceeding them.

A quick glance at the league table — if we can come down from the giddiness for a second — will tell you that we are FAILING.

With a squad like ours, to not AT LEAST gain re-entry into that stepping-stone Europa League would constitute and absolute disaster.

So I ask of you all... let's remember where we have come from and let's remember where we are heading to... and keep our eyes on the prize.

Everton FC is still one of THE biggest clubs in this country. We have some wonderful players and our fans are amongst the most passionate and loyal in the land.

Let's start acting like it and remember what we need to do to achieve our ambitions.

Wolverhampton Wanderers away, Saturday 3:00pm.

Nothing else matters.
Neil Steele     Posted 25/03/2010 at 15:31:19   Comments (62)

Throw Down the Gauntlet

So... here we are finally. A big game on the road between 2 top sides playing well, with a lot at stake for both teams late in the season, and we found the way to win.

Sometimes pretty, sometimes not. Sometimes on our heels, let's face it, but holding... and waiting to pounce. And pounce we did. The exact thing title contenders do, we did.

David Moyes got hot in interviews about today's game. It's been written and discussed here. I say he needs to throw the same challenge out to every opponent left on the schedule.

He needs to determine what players he has to get rid of before this Autumn. All the years of preventing relegation, building confidence, moving up the Table to respectability are over. This win proved it.

The waiting is over. Next season is the crucible. Who's up to it, Mr Moyes?
James Flynn     Posted 24/03/2010 at 22:51:39   Comments (46)

What a fucking result!!

What a fucking result!! Watched the game and the lads were superb! City had a spell of about 20 minutes but never gonna gonna break us down.

I am so proud of the lads tonight! Words can't express my sheer joy at beating those horrible MANC TWATS! I detest that club and everything it stands for and I am grinning like a Cheshire cat tonight! I only wish it was by a bigger margin.

Wish Moyes would have jawed that Italian quilt though!

Awesome night Everton COYFB!!!
Benn Chambers     Posted 24/03/2010 at    Comments (82)

Pompey allowed to sell their players now...

I've just noticed Portsmouth have been allowed to flog their players now, therefor before the transfer window officially opens.

Kinda got me thinking... would I have any of them in our squad?

I like O'Hara but hes' a Tottenham player... I think they have sold their best players before the start of this season.

So I just wondered if any of you would like to see any of their players here... as I'm sure they will be pretty cheap.
Josh  Holmes     Posted 24/03/2010 at 15:30:36   Comments (10)

Moyes Bad-mouthing City

Hi all, long time reader, first time poster!

Just reading Moyes's comments on Sky Sports claiming in short that City players are individuals, feel little for the club, and are years behind getting a team spirit like Everton. All true perhaps, but that's not the point I'm looking to make...

While playing mind games in an effort to give your side an advantage is a part of the modern game (it certainly worked for the Goodison game v City), comments like this when playing AWAY against a very good side regardless, is surely giving City more motivation to beat us (not that they need much motivating), while serving very little in motivating our own players?

I just feel it was an uncalled for rant that may very well leave us with egg on our faces come 10pm tonight. By all means, say it in the dressing room befire KO, but not publicly. Hope I'm on here tomorrow holding my hands up and saying Moyes knows best...
GJ Butler     Posted 24/03/2010 at 10:32:49   Comments (43)

Coleman at Blackpool

Just noticed from BBC sport that Seamus Coleman provided the assist on 3 of Blackpool's 5 goals tonight.

So, is this a brilliant decision to give the lad some proper game time away from all the hype and expectation... or should he be at Goodison giving us a vital edge in the chase for Europe?

Can't decide one way or the other, personally.
Steve Payne     Posted 23/03/2010 at 21:50:54   Comments (31)

Mr Kenwright "In Specie" Dividend

I just caught a copy of this article and wondered whether the superior force that is ToffeeWeb posters could put forward some facts and /or theories as to what this is about.

Any company law/tax experts care to comment?

"THEATRE impresario Bill Kenwright has transferred his shareholding in Everton Football Club to a separate company as part of a 'structural reorganisation'.

According to the most recently filed accounts at Companies House, his company Bill Kenwright Ltd paid a 'dividend in specie' of £7.5m representing its investment in The Everton Football Club Company Limited.

The ownership was transferred to a separate company under Mr Kenwright's ownership in January 2009 and he remains the club's chairman."

Jay Harris     Posted 23/03/2010 at 14:47:28   Comments (4)

Conspiracy or what?

I may be barking up the wrong tree, but I wonder if the resignation of Ian Whatmore, chief executive of the FA, for quote "with the power wielded by the Premier League within the FA" may have something to do with lack of discipline handed out to certain high profile players?

Only time will tell, if the story is allowed to come out?
Norman Merrill     Posted 23/03/2010 at 07:33:01   Comments (18)

Is it A or B?

is it just me or is anybody else having this feeling ? We play City on Wednesday and I'm thinking, (A) I want us to win... but (B), if City win, it helps to keep Liverpool out of 4th spot.

I think City have the best chance of finishing 4th. Spurs have too many tough games... and Villa will implode any game soon!
Tony  Williams     Posted 23/03/2010 at 01:09:51   Comments (47)

Is Bily bothered?

I know our Russian friend has amazing talent but did anyone else notice in the highlights of the Pienaar goal against Bolton how he struck a pose while the action continued?

I know he was up-ended but he could have easily gotten up and presented himself for the cut-back by Osman also. instead, we see him laying there following the play like a spectator and then extending an arm in celebration with Pienaar's finish.

Maybe he was just knackered but he did come on as a sub albeit after 15mins...
Brian Reidy     Posted 22/03/2010 at 19:11:13   Comments (34)

Europa Cup

If Liverpool finish 5th & win the Europa Cup, and as it all tails out, the Europa places for next season fall down to 7th, would there be an extra Europa place in the Prem due to the fact that Liverpool by right of cup holders have a place in the competition & not by league position?

I don't know if this is right, but it's something that has got in to my head; please let me know if I'm getting false hope... lol.
Neil Cruikshank     Posted 22/03/2010 at 10:03:55   Comments (27)

The long ball truely is dead

Ten conscutive passes by the toffees for Pienaar's goal vs Bolton. The Moyes long ball tactic is well and truely dead, methinks.

Everton have become far more of a passing possession team than they have been — not seen since the days of Kendall's and Harvey's management.

This was the way Moyesie always wanted the team to play. Now he has the players to do so and it is being shown on the pitch and he has said so himself. Not an Arsenal yet but very refreshing, more effective, and far more enjoyable to watch.

Mick MacManus     Posted 21/03/2010 at 23:13:29   Comments (38)

Home AND away

After what has been so far a strange but ultimately disappointing season, thoughts begin to turn towards the future.

There seems again to be a reasonable case for the optimists and the idea that the future is looking good. Since our full team (or close enough) has returned, there have been signs of some impressive football and certainly some memorable results, even if intermixed with some poor cup displays and bitter derby defeats.

I read somewhere that our form in the Premier League over the last 12 games or so would see us in the top 3. With 6 of those games against the top, 6 that's no mean feat and surely evidence that we have in the team the potential for something pretty exciting.

I would say the next 8 games will see exactly what this crop has to offer. In particular the away games at Man City, Villa, Stoke and Blackburn.

Whilst our form at Goodison has been stellar, if we are to challenge in the higher echelons, we have to learn to play with the same confidence wherever we go. We have 3 away wins all season. Only 8 teams have worse. To progress we clearly need to do better. Its not enough to just win at home.

If we can get 8-10 points from those 4 away games, then I will believe that we have really turned the corner and I for one will start to get very exited about the possibilities of next season and the further future.
Sam Hoare     Posted 21/03/2010 at 20:36:27   Comments (7)

João Silva

Here in Portugal, there's a story that João Silva, 19-year-old striker from League 2 club Desportivo das Aves, already has a deal with Everton FC. He is a very promising Portuguese striker. Many clubs were interested in him but it seems that EFC got the best of the concurrence.

You can see the notice below, in Portuguese:

Everton FC 4EVER
Vasco Teixeira     Posted 21/03/2010 at    Comments (6)

The Run-In

Okay guys, just a very basic piece, based on current form... I've used which (at the time of writing) had been updated to include Liverpool v Man Utd but not Man City v Fulham (so I have factored that in myself).

So basically I worked out their average points over the last six games and multiplied it by the games they have left.

On Current Form:

Tottenham 4th with 72 pts City 5th with 68 pts Villa 6th with 65 pts Everton 7th with 62 pts Liverpool 8th with 59 pts

It doesn't take into account the teams we all have to play, but it's one way of looking at it. How do you feel the Blues will do? Can we get above seventh?
Stuart Downey     Posted 21/03/2010 at    Comments (12)

Time to be pragmatic

I've noticed on ToffeeWeb recently some signs of optimism. There are those who appear to believe that, with an injury free run, our squad is strong enough and that next season will be our time. This is Everton... what are the chances of an injury-free run?

Others, myself included, feel we need to strengthen; unfortunately... we are broke. Perhaps Bill's mythical 24/7 search for a billionaire will pay dividends; I'm not holding my breath.

In my view, there is only one likely way to move the club forward and that is to sell our most marketable asset: Jack Rodwell. This summer, I believe there will be two major buying clubs: Man City — because they can... Chelsea — because they must.

In Lampard and Ballack, Chelsea have two midfielders approaching their sell-by date. If Jack Rodwell fulfills his potential, he could (in two years time) be a replacement. At the moment he is a good player who may become a great player. Chelsea can afford to take a chance on his potential, Everton can't.

If he were to be sold for, say, £16-£20 million with, £3-£4 million in add-ons plus a percentage of any sell-on, Everton would hopefully be in a position to buy. I'm using the following players, merely as examples as I have no idea as to their availability:

For that sort of money, we could buy Parker or Ireland plus Wright-Phillips as well as cover at left back. In other words, start next season with a substantially stronger squad.

This is not selling off the family silver, nor is it a sign of lack of ambition. It is, in fact, the opposite. It is making a bold decision at our time of choosing to strengthen the squad. Why wait till the vultures come circling in September?

What is the alternative?

Andy Crooks     Posted 21/03/2010 at    Comments (15)

No strike, no Donovan

If you don't feel like reading this article, basically, it says that the MLS and the players Union have agreed in principle on a deal that will prevent a strike. This means Donovan's loan deal will not be extended this season as the LA Galaxy will be playing football.

So... who fancies our chances of getting him this summer?
Pat Finegan     Posted 21/03/2010 at    Comments (5)

Thinking out loud

Been today... average; but 2-0 is welcome.

Couple of thoughts:

Firstly, having watched a lot of footie on tele this week, it has crossed my mind that a number of top teams are declining... And whether next season we will have a squad that will challenge for a higher Premier League finish?

Secondly, I understand that we could qualify for Europe next season; I'm not quite sure of the rules... but it seems we will have to catch one more team.

Which one?
Ian Smitham     Posted 21/03/2010 at    Comments (21)

Identity Crisis v Bolton

So which Everton will show up today against Bolton? The one that comprehensively beat Bolton 3 - 0 last season or the one that lost so badly at Goodison against them 4 - 0 a few seasons ago.

On current form the former looks likely especially with Saha back and the pressure for a Europa place somewhat off. But with Everton you really never can be sure.
Ajay Timothy     Posted 20/03/2010 at 14:13:00   Comments (111)

Phil Neville

On the Official Everton Website, David Moyes says Phil Neville is one of his best 5 signings. Content of my previous posts says I agree... Do you??? And who are the other 4?
Mike Jones     Posted 20/03/2010 at 00:52:47   Comments (11)

Facebook help!

Hey guys, i stumbled upon this piece while researching on the fanbase of us. It begins:

According to new statistics produced, Liverpool are the most supported Premier League team on Facebook – which seems to have truly ticked off our city rivals Everton...
OMG, please do something about it. COYB.

Anyway, we are also lagging behind Aston Villa and far behind Tottenham, of course it's just an online thing and not all fans will have thought of this way of supporting the team... but still, this can be said of all fans of all clubs, so it still holds some credibility.

Man Utd's fan base is app in arently 300,000 — far behind the rest of the big four's — which in reality is impossible and even the opposite.

As I do not live England therefore not having a close up check on our fanbase relative to others, just wish to ask how are we doing?
Jack Lee     Posted 20/03/2010 at 00:03:26   Comments (3)

New Everton Fan

My brother has finally fallen out of love with F1 - the Bahrain GP marked the final straw. Today, he is up for a change of direction; he cancelled his membership to Autosport after 12 years... He is not a massive football fan (at the moment) so doesn't follow a team, I have been on at him for a number weeks about Everton and the great banter on ToffeeWeb.

He asked me, "Why Everton?"

At the moment, I've told him we have a striker called 'The Yak, and when the team feed him he scores. He is aware that our 'keeper is Tim Howard and we call him Timmy Tourettes.

I've made him aware that the Captain isn't really good enough to make the 1st XI on pure talent, but we call him Captain Pip and he knows the team is run by David Moyes who looks like grounds keeper Willy.

He is now thirsty for more information, so we might have a new fan on our hands and contributor to this website.

But, in order for him to see the real beauty of Everton, what reason do you all love / hate Everton?
Thomas Christensen     Posted 19/03/2010 at 20:19:19   Comments (17)


Who could not admire that magnificant comeback from Fulham against Juventus, full credit their team and manager.

What I find so frustrating is that man for man we are far superior to them yet we went out of Europe with a whimper against an inferior side to Juve in Sporting Lisbon.

I'm not really a Moyes basher, but I hope he watched and learned what happens when you send a side out to have a real go, rather than with negative tactics and full of fear like he did against Sporting.
Ste Traverse     Posted 19/03/2010 at 02:00:36   Comments (41)

Hasta la Pronta, Sunshine Superman

He's not the answer to all of our prayers, but Landon Donovan has had a most satisfactory ten weeks for him and for us during our all too brief encounter.

Although it doesn't win points or sell replica shirts — but who knows? ... Look at what he is saying in California about us (link on the Official Site). "I am an Evertonian".

I'm not in the habit of hugging a Californian I've never met before, but I could manage that if I bumped into him in Stalybridge on a Friday night.
Keith Glazzard     Posted 19/03/2010 at 00:39:22   Comments (8)

Something for the stadium debate

Just listening to the scums game on Five live. Interesting comments made by one of the commentators.

"I was driving passed Goodison and there was a big group of Lille fans taking photos of Goodison Park"

It surely shows how big a stadium Goodison is, not just us but football fans around the world. They want to say "I've been to Goodison Park".

Craig Taylor     Posted 18/03/2010 at 23:05:50   Comments (8)

What Happened to Obstruction?

Watching games these days, I have been struck by the absence of any obstruction decisions.

A player pushes the ball past someone who gets in his way, intentionally or not. I am not saying they all should be called up for fouls... In fact I believe many of them are caused by the man with the ball and the defender has no chance of getting out of his way. The player with the ball is looking for the foul and when he falls to ground, appeals go up for a penalty or, at least, a direct free-kick.

But shouldn't this be, at most, obstruction? I don't like indirect free kicks in the penalty area but unless obstruction has been deleted from the rule book without my knowing it, surely this is the correct call?
Terry White     Posted 18/03/2010 at 21:17:17   Comments (11)

New Everton Fans??

My brother has finally fallen out of love with F1 - the Bahrain GP marked the final straw. Today, he is up for a change of direction; he cancelled his membership to Autosport after 12 years... He is not a massive football fan (at the moment) so doesn't follow a team, I have been on at him for a number weeks about Everton and the great banter on ToffeeWeb.

He asked me, "Why Everton?"

At the moment, I've told him we have a striker called 'The Yak, and when the team feed him he scores. He is aware that our 'keeper is Tim Howard and we call him Timmy Tourettes.

I've made him aware that the Captain isn't really good enough to make the 1st XI on pure talent, but we call him Captain Pip and he knows the team is run by David Moyes who looks like grounds keeper Willy.

He is now thirsty for more information, so we might have a new fan on our hands and contributor to this website.

But, in order for him to see the real beauty of Everton, what reason do you all love / hate Everton?
Thomas Christensen     Posted 18/03/2010 at 20:45:40   Comments (0)

How great we are...

Here we are at the back end of another forgettable season, knocked out in the early rounds of the Carling, FA and Euro Cups and with precious little hope of qualifying for next years Euro competitions — yet our players still cannot keep their big gobs shut.

As each disapointing week dragged into the next, a parade of players have bragged how great we are. The latest to do so is Yakubu of all people. Before joining this kind of pathetic mutual back-scratching, he would be better off to pactice his penalty kicks or learn how to dive with some conviction. Also, instead of slow token attempts at pressurising keepers he could put some real effort into it.

Those few things would improve his performance and then he might be better placed to comment on the team performance.
Dick Fearon     Posted 17/03/2010 at 12:17:09   Comments (12)

Osman (again!)

I have noticed on many threads that Osman is one of the regular whipping boys.

I indulged myself in last seasons DVD last night and was amazed how many goals/critical situations (for the good) that Ossie was involved in. I actually think that if he were playing last Saturday we wouldn't have capitulated like we did.

He may not be the most skilled player, but he always works hard, breaks up play and scores almost as many crucial goals as Cahill.
Lynn Thorne     Posted 17/03/2010 at 08:32:44   Comments (20)

Vaughan update!

A lot of people suggesting lately that Vaughan should not have been loaned out. As all of my in laws are Foxes fans, I thought I would keep you up to date with how JV is doing. I did post on a thread on Monday that Vaughan was terrible when he came off the bench on Saturday.

Tonight, Leicester play Crystal Palace. Vaughan has been dropped, not even in the squad. It isn't clear yet if this is due to injury or not.

Either way, for me it isn't a good sign of the early impact he has had at Leicester.
Craig Taylor     Posted 16/03/2010 at 22:28:44   Comments (23)

Europa - do we want it?

I just wanted to ask people's opinions on whether they think it's a good thing to qualify for the Europa League?

I'm not arsed this year. We always underperform in it. We have a small squad that can't cope with the extra games and if you look at all the teams challenging Liverpool for 4th they're all only involved in domestic competition. Last year we got knocked out early and reached the cup final. The same has happened with Villa this year.

Jagielka's recent comments sound like the team don't really want it. For me there's no glamour in playing BATE Borisov away on a Thursday night so I can't imagine it has a massive effect on player recruitment or retention and less than 30,000 turned up to watch the Sporting Lisbon game at Goodison. Are we really arsed about the Europa? I'd sooner we didn't qualify and try and have a proper crack at the top 4 next season. I'll also be pissed off if we've spent all season moaning about injuries to then place the extra demand on the players again next year.
Alan Clarke     Posted 16/03/2010 at 21:47:46   Comments (25)

Player of the Season

Having just been on Paddy Power i came across the betting for Everton's player of the season and was shocked to see Johnny Heitinga is 11th favourite for the award at 33/1. Now besides Pienaar 13/8 and Saha 5/2 surely Johnny is in with a chance.

Who votes for the Everton player of the season? Is it the fans or the players? If it's the fans, I reckon Johnny is in with a shout and we should all lump on at 33/1.
Colin Ryan     Posted 16/03/2010 at 20:14:00   Comments (10)

Jags What?

Jags had a very bad game with Birmingham. I could forgive him due to his rustiness and past performances. But to give a comment like below is totally wrong after giving a shit performance with a goal through his legs and a missed header after coming for the ball thus leaving a big space behind him for Heitinga to cover.

Everton defender Phil Jagielka believes qualifying for the Europa League is beyond them this season.

The Blues were held 2-2 by Birmingham City on Saturday.

"Maybe, realistically, we were never going to be pushing for the European places," said Jagielka.

"The boys had some fantastic results which catapulted us back up the league and put those sorts of ideas back in people’s heads."

Jagielka added: "It is a missed opportunity. We needed to lay down a marker and hope results would go our way."

Surely a good way of making up for his mistakes by putting the team down. It is due to his mistakes that we lost. COYB.
Vincent Zhang     Posted 15/03/2010 at 13:10:39   Comments (25)

Are ALL Goalkeepers mad?

Some of our younger fans will not have heard ths but there used to be a theme running along the lines that all Goalies were crackers.

From Gordon West with his handbag to Big Nev staging a halftime sit in against the post in protest at how poor we were that day.

Well, I saw it first hand today...

The Yak, Big Vic and Tiger Tim all go off and Tim Howard starts hoofing the ball up the pitch... To who?... FFS How much is he on?? Professional? Footballer?

You couldn't make it up.

But to make matters worse then Jags starts it.

I would like to know who the imaginary "Peter Crouch" was that they were hoofing it to!!

A match we should have won in a canter and didn't because we've lost our MoJo.

We CANNOT keep clean sheets because we keep inviting pressure!!

IMO, Howard has a lot to do with this because he's a "panic" merchant and lives on his nerves.

Excellent shot stopper, very good reactions (usually!!) but does not keep a defence calm and certainly does not command his area.

The first two positions on my list for Summer shopping are goalkeeper and centre-forward (and yes, Crouch would be good).
Jay Harris     Posted 14/03/2010 at 00:31:06   Comments (26)

Two up and cruising...

I can't put into words how gutted I am with that result.

Two up, we were cruising. We looked fucking awesome. And we end up taking what can only be considered a deserved point out of the game.

We threw it away due to playing the ball backwards, and going route one. The whole midfield needs a good bollocking there, they undid all their good football by losing concentration in the second half.

Brum had much more fight than us, and ended up getting a point nobody could argue with. Very very disappointed.
Dan Brierley     Posted 13/03/2010 at 17:11:22   Comments (45)

The Line-Up v Brum

Birmingham: Hart, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Gardner, Ferguson, Bowyer, Fahey, Jerome, Benitez.

Subs: Taylor, Larsson, Phillips, McFadden, Michel, Queudrue, Tainio.

Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Anichebe, Heitinga, Arteta, Pienaar, Cahill, Yakubu.

Subs: Nash, Hibbert, Yobo, Bilyaletdinov, Donovan, Gosling, Rodwell.

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)
Gerry Quinn     Posted 13/03/2010 at 14:40:50   Comments (171)

Come On You Bellew

Good luck to Tony Bellew who fights later tonight for the Commonwealth light-heavy title at the Echo arena. Tony (who apparently will be led into the ring tonight by John Conteh) is a fanatical Evertonian who dreams of fighting for the world title inside a packed Goodison Park. I couldn't make tonight but would love to see him fight at Goodison.
Eugene Ruane     Posted 12/03/2010 at 20:26:10   Comments (2)

Which Everton will show up tomorrow?

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's game. But I am wondering which Everton will show up. Our season has been consistently inconsistent as we'll turn in a cracking performance / result and follow it with a woeful one. Notably away from in recent weeks.

Hull gave us the freedom of Goodison last weekend and we picked them off. Teams like Chelsea, Arsenal (away) and Man U arguably gave us sufficient space to play and we got good results. However, what I have noted is that, when teams press up on us and harry us, we look far less effective. <:P>Birmingham have done it twice this season, Liverpool kicked us around Anfield and even Sporting Lisbon got in amongst us and won the midfield battle in Lisbon...

So, will we have enough to see off Birmingham, or will we be ground down in a dour battle?
Andy Morden     Posted 12/03/2010 at 14:07:50   Comments (10)

Is it just me.......

....or does anyone else find it a little embarrassing that every time we win a big game, Everton release a DVD of it?

Why are the wins over Chelsea and Man Utd granted this status? It's bad enough it happens after every derby win.

Whatever next... relive the magic of the Burnley home win? It makes Everton look very small time in my opinion.
Chris Williams     Posted 12/03/2010 at 13:27:24   Comments (13)

Vaughan on loan

Suprised to see JV going out on loan at this stage in the season, even if its only for one month.

With Donovan playing his last game at the weekend and Yakubu and Anchiebe looking out of sorts at the moment, plus Cahill's injury and Saha's fragility, I would have thought that ironically this would be the time that Vaughan would be essential to either start games or be on the bench as an impact substitute if required. Just don't understand the rationale about sending him out on loan now...
Alun Jones     Posted 12/03/2010 at 02:12:01   Comments (18)

Are you Superstitious......?

I was pondering Brendan O'Doherty's post the other night on Francis Porters "The tide is Turning...." mailbag thread...

"David, could be just the Chardonnay,but 1891,1915,1939,1963,1987.......2011." and it got me thinking....

Was Brendan alluding to the fact that if you add a 4 onto the last digit of each consecutive title winning season then you'd get the next?

If so this would be misleading - so I must be wrong about that - as 3 of the title winning years are ommited, the real sequence is as we know is....

1891, 1915, 1928, 1932, 1939, 1963, 1970, 1985 and 1987...

So, if I've got this right, the real sequence is 4, 3, 4, 7, 4, 7, 5, 2 or in real terms 24, 13, 4, 7, 24, 7, 15 and 2 - so no real correlation.

Or is there....

We have never gone more than 24 years — if I'm right — and not won a league title. This has nearly happened twice but was averted in 1915 and 1963.

If we don't win the title next season we will have gone more the 24 years without a championship title — for the very first time in our history.

However... wait for it... wait for it.....

There was 48 years between the two seasons when we last broke the 24-year hoodoo, 1915 and 1963....

Add another 48 years on to find the next time we will break the ..... oh my God..... OH MY GOD!?!?

24-year hoodoo...

It's 2011!!!!

Put your house on it lads! The trophy's coming home.....!!!!!
Mike Green     Posted 11/03/2010 at 23:15:13   Comments (24)

Billionaire needed! So look at today's news, Bill

Bill and his mates are apparently looking hard for a billionaire. Well here is a list of people for you to contact courtesy of the latest Forbes magazine Billionaire list:
Craig Taylor     Posted 11/03/2010 at 15:59:47   Comments (17)

Jermaine Beckford

I guess that this is probably more suited to the Rumour Mill, but here goes...

A close work colleague of mine is very good friends with the goalkeeping coach at a Championship club nearby to where we work in Sheffield. He just happened to mention this morning that his mate had told him that we have definitely signed Beckford from Leeds and he will join us during the close season.

Apparently it's common knowledge in football circles. Kind of fits in with the Vaughan to Leicester rumours as well?
Mike Southworth     Posted 11/03/2010 at 12:29:39   Comments (31)

The Underdogs...

I was reading through some articles, saying that we have nothing to play for, or playing just for a league position. Utter nonsense!

Someone said, 10 games, 30 points for grab. Which is absolutely true! I live in a small little country where there're competitions everywhere, so we don't dream here, we face the reality. But, looking at the fixtures, we have every chance of being the underdogs and surprise everyone.

The 9 Games left are... Birmingham (A) - after the 5-1 thrashing of Hull, morale is high, 3 points... why not?

Bolton (H) - Home form is excellent, another 3 points.

Man City (A) - Definitely the toughest compared to other matches. A draw is good.

Wolves (A) - Not easy meat as wolves are fighting to avoid relegation. Still, possible 3 points

West Ham (H) - I'd say, this is the most unpredictable game, Hammers are good but inconsistent, hopefully 3 points

Blackburn (A) - By this time, Blackburn has nothing much to play for. Possible 3 points

Fulham (H) - The second toughest among all. Maybe 1 point

Stoke (A) - Again, nothing to play for. Possible 3 points

Portsmouth (H) - I have to say more? 3 point.

Don't think we need a calculator to sum it up. So let's do it slowly and quietly. Europa, possible.
David Lok David     Posted 11/03/2010 at 05:37:17   Comments (23)

Pienaar Banned for 12 Months... on the road

When the news broke that an Everton player had been retarded enough to drink under the influence and get charged, I called the guy on these pages a tit.

Quite a few responded with a ‘wait and see what happens at the trial’ attitude, but with a DUI charge, the outcome was inevitable. We now learn Pienaar has a 12-month ban from driving and a fine of what would equate to you and me as a fiver.

I’m not looking for a public apology, or some kind of statement to re-enforce him as a role model… THE CHILDREN! WILL SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

What I do want is Moyes, or Kenwright who pays the guy, to give him a severe dressing down, and if done already, again. Other teams will happily sign players who drink and drive, screw around, dodge drug tests, assault people, roast girls, hide mobile phones in dark places, but David Moyes does not.

Away from the Coke ads and the Sky Sports Spectacularness, footballers are not looked on too well from the fans. David Moyes though has a squad of players who bring dignity to the club and the game, and Pienaar should be reminded that stepping out of line is not what we want from our team.

How difficult would it be to now support the type of players whose continuous bad behaviour makes them reviled to anyone but their own fans at other clubs? Sanctimonious this may be, but it reflects the culture that David Moyes has brought to the playing staff.

As for Pienaar, a tit-like action, but not a tit presumably or Moyes would not have signed him. So if Moyes does have Man Utd ambitions, this is where the hair-dryer treatment can be practiced.
Nick Entwistle     Posted 09/03/2010 at 16:47:54   Comments (40)

The tide is turning...

I know we don't usually talk about that shower on here, but after watching the Wigan - Liverpool game last night, I had to sit and think what might have been.

The score was only one-nil but could and should have been more. At one point, I watched four Liverpool defenders running after one Wigan player, like when you see under-10 teams play. It was brilliant. The amount of dross in their team is mad, Insua shite, Rodriguez looked shite, Lucas shite, Krygiakos shite, Babel shite, Kuyt shite, Carragher, well, well past his best.

It made me question how we never managed to take even a point of them this season. At Goodison, our bad run was just coming to an end but we got hit by two sucker punches. It's the return at Anfield that grates me so much, the fuckers where their for the taking and we missed a great opportunity. If only that Tim Cahill header...

It was also mentioned last night that they had around 80 million pounds worth of 'talent' on the bench. Jesus, what could DM do with that sort of money?

As I said earlier, I know we don't usually talk about that lot but I think if we can keep this squad and mananger together, along with a couple of new faces, we can seriously think about becoming the dominant force on Merseyside.

Is this just me wishfull thinking or does anyone agree?
Francis Porter     Posted 09/03/2010 at 13:55:43   Comments (32)

We all need one!

What? — you are probably thinking... Why, a Utility man, of course. The two best Everton sides had one each: Sandy Brown for the 1970 side and Alan Harper for the mid-1980s side, the former even playing in goal, all along the back four, in midfield and up front; while the latter was a back-four and midfield player.

Having a man to slot in a number of positions is invaluable. They know the pattern of play and continuity is vital. Ask Rafa the Tinkerman!

I'd be the first to say that the current side isn't a patch on 1970 and 1985. But the group as a whole is a good one and if it stays together, I can see silverware glinting in the distance.

We do, however, have a class utility player on the books. John Heitinga has played right-back, centre-back (with a number of different partners) and in midfield. Arguably he was the Man of the Match against Hull. Because he ensured that Mikel Arteta could do his stuff.

For next season, we need a lot of cotton wool to ensure our injury jinx does not continue. And we need our lads to have a moderate World Cup! Particularly Holland and South Africa!!!
Mike Berry     Posted 08/03/2010 at 19:22:21   Comments (11)

Big game chokers?

Now yesterday was fantastic. Couldn't have asked for much more, other than perhaps a few more goals (that we probably should've had). But, superb as it was, it raised again the question of inconsistency. An inconsistency that has ruined this season.

Thinking about it, yesterday, it became apparent to me that only when expectations have diminished do we really seem to to be able to consistently play our best football.

Often this happens during a match. Once we are down and have nothing to lose. Expectations of a win seem far off... THEN we start to play. Witness the second halves away at Hull and Tottenham for example.

Equally, some of the highlights this season have come against teams where, if we're honest, we may have expected nothing. Away to Arsenal, home to Man U and Chelsea. These are games again in which the team and Moyes may think they have nothing to lose, therefore no pressure.

Yesterday saw the beginning of a run of games in which, in terms of the grand scheme of things, there is little to play for. Yes, there is league position and an outside chance of Europe but realistically the pressure is off and voila... 5-1.

Sadly often in the BIG games, where expectations have been high and positive results realistically hoped for, we have gone missing. The derbies and Sporting away being the most painful evidence.

Now I am a big fan of Moyes and this Everton team. I'm not looking to knock them. I just think finding the key to this inconsistency is vital. To me, the problem does seem to be a sort of mental weakness... an inability to bring the same strengths to the pressure situations.

I'm sure I am oversimplifying it and I'm sure there are BIG games we have played well in (our FA Cup run last season, for example) but it does seem to me that, in order to progress, the boys must get used to playing to the highs standards they have set themselves in all the toughest of games. Then next season could be very exciting indeed.

On a side note, I read today that Wigan are looking at Egypt's Ahmed Al-Muhammadi. This guy is rapid, plays right back and right wing, has been described as the Egyptian 'Ronaldo' with 40 caps already for a good Egypt team, is only 22 and probably available for £2m. Worth a dabble, I say.
Sam Hoare     Posted 08/03/2010 at 17:21:28   Comments (24)

Anybody concerned about the Yak?

I know he's recently back from a career threatening injury but is anybody concerned with how poor Yakubu looked today (and in the past matches). He could've had 4 goals today!!

What is the verdict in the summer:

Sold? Moved into more of a supporting role? Will he revert back to old form? Does he even care enough to?

Somebody tell me because he was infuriating today...
Chris Kelly     Posted 08/03/2010 at 00:56:49   Comments (48)

Johnny Sixpence...

Great performance today... couldn't fault one player in a blue shirt, while the likes of Arteta, Pienaar, Baines, Jagielka and Co get a most of the media headlines, I thought Johnny Sixpence was EXCELLENT. One other thing with Heitinga is his will to win. We were 4-1 up in total control... then up popped a 50/50, now most players would've said "Nah, I'll leave that one because we are cruising..." but not our Johnny — he thundered into the challenge won the ball, took the man, stood up and puffed his chest out, as if to say, "This is my fucking patch. son..."

Fucking great stuff. All-in-all, Johnny Sixpence for the captain's roll — A legend in the making. COYB
Sean McKenna     Posted 07/03/2010 at 21:46:32   Comments (30)

What next?

Let's face it, we will be stuck at Goodison in its current state for many years. Some will think this a bad thing, ohers will not. We will be polarised by the inclusion of certain players on the teamsheet, (Hibbert, Osman, Neville and Distin to name a few). We will love or hate Bill Kenwright, David Moyes and maybe even Ethel the cleaner, but at the end of the day we all love our club, and rightly so.

With all this in mind, I am curious of what other Evertonians think of this coming summer and the prospect of us spending the majority of our transfer budget on securing our current players on more lucrative deals as has been reported in the press today, instead of spending it on improving the team/squad with fresh players.

Next year could be a big one in our history, we seem to have a very good first eleven and some very good subs, including a couple of very talented youngsters. Is it worth losing a Rodwell to fund a few high profile signings that will really put this club on the map, or should we be securing the Arteta's Fellaini's and the others on deals which would probably smash our wage structure to keep them out of the clutches of others.

Personally, I think the latter. I would not be too disappointed to see minimal movement into the club if it meant keeping the squad together as it is. If we needed the extra cash then there are players at the crossroads of their careers that might benefit from a move away, such as Nash, Vaughan, Vic, Ruddy and Turner. This won't bring in a great deal of money, but could be enough to fund one decent player. It could also mean playing next season with a smaller but more talented squad, and we all know the perils that can bring with injuries, bans etc.

Anyway, enough of me and over to you, and for what it's worth... I quite like Ethel and think she is worth every penny she earns!

Al Reddish     Posted 07/03/2010 at 21:08:38   Comments (10)

Penalty Piss Take

As soon as Yakubu sauntered up to half-heartedly strike the ball straight into the keeper's grasp, it was obvious that we were going to piss another penalty gift up the wall. I had the same feeling of inevitability as Saha prepared to take the recent penalty against Chelsea.

Ok, so the misses didn't matter in the end, as we went on to win the game on both occasions, but in vital games these gilt-edged scoring opportunities need to be taken.

What baffles me is that on both occasions we had one of the best penalty takers in the Premier league on the pitch in the shape of Mikel Arteta. Anyone know why he's suddenly been relegated from spot kick duty? I know he's been missing for a long time and other people have obviously had to step forward & take them in the interim, but i can't recall him ever missing one for us before — unlike both Loius and the Yak.

I still have nightmares about Yakubus cocky little effort against Fiorentina bouncing back out off the post! I know a striker is always going to want to lay claim to a penalty because they see it as a golden chance to get their name on the scoresheet, so i can't blame either Saha or Yakubu for wanting to take the kicks, but surely Moyes needs to be telling them now that Mikel's the man.
John Daley     Posted 07/03/2010 at 19:47:06   Comments (16)

Europe... now very very difficult

We received a real hammer blow to our chances of getting into Europe for the 2010-11 season. At the end of the Matchday thread, Eugene Ruane asked the rules for Qualification:

The top 3 automatically go into the group stages of the Champions League. We know already that this will be Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal.

There are then 2 more guaranteed places for Europe. 4th place goes into a final Champions League qualifying round - win you are in, lose you are the Europa League. 5th place is in the Europa League.

If the team that wins the Carling Cup is NOT one of the top 5, then they go in the Europa League. But if the winners are in the top 5, then that Europa League place goes to the team 6th in the League. Runners up in the Carling Cup has no European Qualification.

The FA Cup is different. The winners get a Europa League place, but if they have already qualified for Europe, then the Runners-up get the final Europa League place. If both of them have qualified for Europe, then the final Europa League place goes to the team who finishes 7th in the League (Like Fulham last year).

So where does that leave us? We have 5 clubs, Villa, Spurs, City, Liverpool and Everton, all after 4 places. However now it is Spurs/Fulham or Pompey, then unless Spurs get to the final and finish in the top 6, then 7th won't even get a place.

So we need to finish 6th or higher to get into Europe. That will be a tough ask.

Just as a guide — assume last year's results, that would leave us in 8th, behind City on Goal Difference, 2 points back on Spurs and 3 on Villa. And our results last year we won 6, drew 3 lost 1.

Silver Lining? — we can concentrate on getting into Champions League for 2011-12 or never give up hope...
Phil Roberts     Posted 07/03/2010 at 19:00:16   Comments (6)

Excellent Perfomance

19 shots, an excellent performance against an admittedly poor opposition. They look like they have give up.

Arteta without a doubt MOM. Two goals, and a million (exaggeration) good passes. How we have missed his talents. He looks like exactly the same player that left. I want to give praise to DIstin, who did his job excellently. And pushed forward when it was available. But in fairness, nobody had a bad game. They could sense Hull were down, and they lashed them for it.

Well done to all, a much needed tonic after a few weeks of shite.
Dan Brierley     Posted 07/03/2010 at 18:16:14   Comments (55)

Hull Matchday Thread

This is it...

[Sorry, but we have some technical problems with the Live Forum running on the new server we got switched over to last week...]

Michael Kenrick     Posted 07/03/2010 at 15:57:33   Comments (224)

Early Team news

Early team news coming out of GP is not good:

Midfielder Tim Cahill could be back in contention. The influential Australia international is still to return to training after suffering a calf injury two weeks ago but has not been ruled out by boss David Moyes.

Phil Jagielka, recently returned from a long-term knee injury, is doubtful due to a slight thigh strain, as is Leon Osman after a blow to the foot.

Top scorer Louis Saha (hamstring) is again ruled out and James Vaughan will be assessed after suffering a knock playing for the reserves in midweek.

In defence, Philippe Senderos (hip) is hoping to prove his fitness but Tony Hibbert (groin) is still out. Marouane Fellaini (ankle) will miss the rest of the season.

So it looks like (Moyes's choice):

Neville Heitinga Distin Baines
Donovan Arteta Cahill Bily Pienaar

My Choice:

Coleman Johnny Distin Baines
Donovan Arteta Cahill Pienaar
Jay Harris     Posted 06/03/2010 at 17:03:27   Comments (22)

Sunshine Superman Here For Spring?

You couldn't hear it here first, because it hasn't been signed off yet — but isn't Landon Donovan staying a while longer?

When his loan deal was announced there were a few on these pages who said he'd have no idea, he'd be crap, based on the notion that the yanks can't play (proper) football. The wise heads wanted to see a couple of games to weigh him up. And Moyes duly obliged.

I can't recall any overseas player making as rapid an adjustment to the PL as our Sunshine Superman. Attitude and athleticism obviously help, but his ability to soak up the complexities of tactical systems — for us and the opposition — marks him out as a good one.

And — would you believe it? — it seems that he'd like to stay. With all due respect to the developing soccer players and teams in the USA, he must be seeing the home flight as a backward step. Having earned the respect of the best supporters any team could ever have at Goodison must make him think again.

And it might happen — like we said it would.
Keith Glazzard     Posted 05/03/2010 at 20:29:08   Comments (18)

Going for broke?

After the bitter disappointment of defeat in Lisbon ended our Europa dreams, Evertonians’ thoughts have inevitably turned to the remaining league fixtures and what can be achieved between now and the end of the season.

At first glance, the league table doesn’t make encouraging reading – the Blues are in 10th place and 11 points off an automatic Europa spot in 5th. However, with the Carling Cup meaning 6th place guarantees a Europa spot and an FA Cup win for either Spurs, Villa or Chelsea opening the door to the team who finishes 7th, then all is obviously not lost.

Everton have 11 games left and a possible 33 points up for grabs. Nine wins from the last 11 may mean a European place is ours again. Moreover, there are away games at teams in the European mix (City, Birmingham and Villa). From the team point of view, we have Jagielka back, Arteta moving into form, and Cahill retuning soon. Obviously losing Fellaini is a big blow and it may be necessary to move Heitinga into the holding midfield position now, rather than rely on Jack Rodwell.

My main point is that there’s nothing now to lose for Moyes — it’s time to be positive and go on the offensive Clearly draws are going to be no good — we need wins from most if not all of our games. Better to lose 3-2 by going for it than draw 0-0 with no adventure.

The question is: Will Moyes adopt a positive approach and go for broke? – Or will he settle back and play it tight and hope to nick the odd goal to win games? I hope the experience in Lisbon will make him wary of sending out the team to contain the opposition and instead adopt a more positive approach. We can but hope...
Colin O'Keeffe     Posted 05/03/2010 at 10:48:57   Comments (9)

Jan Mucha

I was reading this article earlier on our new Slovak goalkeeper Jan Mucha, arriving in the summer:,19528,11661_6002832,00.html.

So does anyone know anything about this guy? Apart from his stats (age 27, 82 appearnaces for Legia Warsaw, 14 for Slovakia). Has anyone seen him play a few games? Seems a good age and a good build for a keeper, I look forward to watching him this summer at the World Cup.

Also interested to hear people's opinions on whether they think this guy is coming in as a No 2 or as a serious contender for the No 1 spot?
Richard Williams     Posted 04/03/2010 at 16:53:34   Comments (18)

How did Leighton do?

I watched the England match tonight for one reason: to see how Leighton did. I thought he was, understandably, nervous but did fine. He concentrated more on defence and took the safe option every time. Still, he looked a decent defender.

So... what next? Will he make the World Cup? I think so... Then what? Will he have have his head turned by the horrible England clique? Yes, I fear so. i think we can add him to the list of potential targets.
Andy Crooks     Posted 03/03/2010 at 23:11:24   Comments (35)

Trade off?

It seems to me we are stuck in no man’s land in terms of a redevelopment of Goodison Park or finding a suitable site and available funds for a stadium move. My opinion on the subject is that we shoud do all that is humanly possible to stay and redevelop Goodison Park.

I don’t want to get into the rights and wrongs of how we have found ourselves where we are today; I just want to ask what sacrifice would some fans be willing to accept to stay at Goodison? My own is the following:

1. Sell Jagielka for circa £20M
2. Sell Big Mo for circa £30-35M
3. Sell Arteta/Pienaar for circa £15-20M

Many will look at that and think "No Way!!!"... but at the end of the day £65M would go a long way to getting a serious stadium upgrade underway!

We will have a ready-made replacement for Jagielka and Fellaini within the next season or two and Arteta has stated his desire to go back to Spain at some point in his career. I also think that Pienaar will be looking for a move after this World Cup.

The players mentioned are all great players and are all important to the side in their own right. But to potentially refurbish a stadium I love and can’t imagine leaving for the sake of three players? It’s a done deal as far as I’m concerned.
Stephen Kenny     Posted 03/03/2010 at 18:40:18   Comments (43)

Common sense and Integrity in Football

At a time that the Terry/Bridge debacle, the Portsmouth disaster and the Shawcross tackle hit the headlines I would like to point to two people, who until recently have been on my hated list, who have given me hope for integrity in the game.

Neil Warnock, who you either love or hate, has shown tremendous integrity in saying he would only go to QPR if a compensation was paid to Palace. In their hour of need, I think this shows Warnock's love of the game!

Secondly, and more relevant to the site, is Wayne Rooney, Increasingly I believe he is showing maturity and real class. He has started to make amends with us as been documented and I have just read his comments on the BBC site re the Terry/Bridge situation and also the Shawcross tackle. it is diplomatic and sensible and if England need a captain then surely he is getting to be the prime candidate.

Hopefully one day before he is past it he will once again be a blue!
Tim O'Connell     Posted 01/03/2010 at 21:11:32   Comments (39)

How much does EFC owe?

I know profits are up but does anyone know how big a debt problem EFC has? The Independent reckoned it was around £40 million which is a whole lot of Bovril. But they don't really know, do they? It's all guesswork as far as I can tell.

I've been reading about the demise of Pompey and the massive debt over at MUFC and LFC.

Sure, it would be a terrible shame if our American neighbours went bust; but how likely is it that the same could happen to EFC?

Roy Haygarth     Posted 01/03/2010 at 17:43:55   Comments (36)

Home and Away

No, not an article about a crap Australian soap.

I just wonder how people are feeling after the "month of death"?

How many of us at the start of Feb would have taken winning all our home games but losing all our away games?

Given our form home and away this season, I think we would have been pleased, and in all honesty, it would be no more than we could have realistically expected.

And yet the "month of death" has seemingly put an end to our season — we won our home Europa tie but lost the away leg and crashed out.

We beat the two best teams in the country and yet still find ourselves in the same position in the league as when we started (or worse? did we drop from 9th to 10th?). Losing to two of our rivals for 4th place may well have put paid to that dream.

We have lost one of our most effective players for the rest of the season (Fellaini), but have seen another return (Jagielka).

A month of contrasts. I just can't help thinking we've now run out of steam and there's nothing much left to play for.

What do you think?
Dan Kemp     Posted 01/03/2010 at 11:49:03   Comments (19)

A few good things about the Spurs game

Here are a few good things that I can pick up from yesterday's game, despite our loss:

  1. We’ve recovered from our loss in Lisbon. Our second half performance proved that. The loss in Lisbon is now in the past.
  2. We were that close to winning the game. If only we knew how to convert goals.
  3. Spurs are not that good after all. And they’re supposed to be the more expensive team.
  4. We now know Anichebe is bad at playing right midfield. So, we need to push Gosling instead. ( I wonder why DM didn’t start Gosling instead. He could not be worst than Anichebe, but at least he could stop Spurs from attacking down their left flank)
  5. Arteta has returned to his best form indicating complete recovery from his injury
  6. So has Jagielka.
  7. We’ve gone through the worst part of our schedule barring Villa (away) and Birmingham (away). The rest of the season is winnable. This means we can win 7th or 6th if we put our hearts into it.
  8. With United picking up the Carling Cup, I am hoping 7th place will qualify us for Europe.
  9. There are 8 games that we can actually get full points. And all we need to do is draw at Villa and Birmingham.
  10. If we win 8 and draw 2, our total points would be 64. That is more than enough to warrant at least a 6th spot. Hello Europe once again.
  11. DM has realized that Billy is a bad buy. He should make preparations to offload him in the next transfer window
  12. Yakubu too looked sharp and threatening. He is near to full recovery, in my opinion.
  13. We can actually go down 2-0 but come back and give the opposition hell in their backyard.
  14. We survived February and didn’t get worst in the table.

In conclusion, cheer up. If we play like in the second half, we’ll come out on top in the league. Now, we don’t have any more distractions, we’d be even more potent in the League.

The best will be if we can beat Villa and Birmingham. To me, that would be a bigger win than getting through against Sporting Lisbon.

Rahman Talib     Posted 01/03/2010 at 04:42:02   Comments (17)

Let's see how loyal the players are...

Some of our players are young, and will have many seasons left in them. Some are at their peak (Arteta, Jags, Yak), and some have peaked and won't have too many more goes (Saha, Neville - stop cheering at the back).

So, in a variation of YADM, would you call the players together and say, right lads, we're not going to qualify for Europe next season. The Europa league is too much effort for too little gain. Therefore, are you all willing to forgo one season of European football, travelling to far flung places like BATE, Kharkiv etc. to really push for top 4 in 2010/2011?

With a fit squad, full pre-season / preparation, we go all out on the assault.

(This is where my plan goes fanciful). The Board will provide a reasonable transfer fund, and commensurate increase in wage budget, on the understanding that the nucleus of the squad remains in place. We'll also go all out for the domestic cups.

Would people go for that? It's hypothetical I know, but following on from Keiran's email - would give game time to some of the other fringe players, and a chance for some experience.

I know many have enjoyed the European Goodison nights, and trips abroad, but until there's a re-evaluation of the worth of the CL and Europa, we've got to focus on that surely?
Matt Traynor     Posted 01/03/2010 at 04:17:08   Comments (16)

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