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The Mail Bag

May 2010 Archive
Want to have your say?

Baines has a summer holiday

Although it keeps him out of the lime light, what a disgrace that Baines looks to be out of the World Cup squad.

Ok he had a shakey game last week, but why not give Warnock a game on Sunday to make sure he is up for it?

Looking at some of the other rumoured selections, has Capello only picked people who he hasn't played in these friendlies?
Craig Taylor     Posted 01/06/2010 at 13:47:41   Comments (132)

Everton scouting Marcus Pedersen

In the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, Everton are said to be one of four Premier League clubs to have watched Norwegian striker Marcus Pedersen last Friday, as he scored two goals against Hungary for the Under-21 national side.

Pedersen has scored 6 goals in 13 matches for top flight side Strømsgodset this season, and the 19-year-old is one of the most promising strikers in the country.

Being a Norwegian, and having watched Pedersen for the last couple seasons, I'm unsure as to whether I think Everton should go for him or not. He is 19, too old to go into the Academy, and at the same time I struggle to see him getting into our first team at once.

Also he is known to be a moody player, sometimes getting into unlucky situations on and off the field. That being said; Craig Bellamy has been one of the most successful players from Wales in the PL the last 10 years — so who knows?
Kjetil Moen     Posted 01/06/2010 at 12:50:00   Comments (8)

Beckford Signs

So, according to the offical site, Jermaine Beckford has signed a four-year deal with EFC and is looking forward to hitting the ground running. This begs the question of course: Is he good enough for the Premier League?

And the supplementary question: If he is good enough, who will make way for him in our glut of strikers?

A little tongue in cheek that — but do we see him as an ideal partner for the Yak or Louis? Or is it going to be a Victor role of right winger/striker?

Interesting days ahead.
Tony McDonald     Posted 31/05/2010 at 14:16:03   Comments (88)

Moyes on Managers

The Sunday Times has an interesting article written by David Moyes about the pressures of management in a World Cup.

I think the interesting bits are where we perhaps see glimpses of his own thinking as a manager — his thoughts on tactics, the 'face' of the manager and the longevity needed to build a team at club level compared to international tournament team building.

These are all issues that have been debated on ToffeeWeb — Moyes's tactical nous, his demeanour and messages he can give off in interviews, as well as the amount of time he has had to make the Toffees a force again. Interesting reading.
Andy Morden     Posted 30/05/2010 at 11:14:03   Comments (15)

Past glory

I think the constant speculation about who will go and who will arrive is pointless and is becoming tedious.

This club has a magnificent history and I believe we have had some great players here. What is the best ever Everton team?

Southall Wright Labone Radcliffe Wilson Kanchelskis Ball Arteta Sheedy Lineker Dean

On the bench, West, Watson, Steven, Young and Lawton. What would that team be worth?
Andy Crooks     Posted 30/05/2010 at 00:36:20   Comments (18)

Heitinga to City?

In Dutch press, there is some speculation about Heitinga going to Man City. See link for the article:

http://www.telegraaf.nl/telesport/wk2010/6810482/__Heitinga_ziet_City_wel_zitten__.html?p=3,1

The article says City are interested in Johnny, they do not name a source but bring it as given. Heitinga is quoted as saying he heard the rumour but that it is no more than that; he thinks City is an ambitious club and that he wouldn't reject a move to a big club. But he also states he has 4 years to go on his contract with no minimum fee release clause and that he is very happy at Everton.

It's no more than media speculation, the "Telegraaf" is not quite the most reliable source. To put it into perspective: today's front page contains an article about Hul Hogan's surgery and the haunted house of Kate Moss. And which player would reject a move to a big club? It's just a pity that he sees City as a bigger team according to this article...
Erik Dols     Posted 29/05/2010 at 12:33:19   Comments (65)

Being a philosophical Everton fan

I'm a Blue and an ex-pat and so have plenty of time to reflect at a distance on the team (not much football here in Hawaii). I'm also a philosopher and writer and I thought I'd let you know about an article I just published about life as a football fan and Evertonian.

It's in a book entitled "Soccer and Philosophy", in the Popular Culture and Philosophy Series published by Open Court Publishing. I wrote the article because I wanted to explain what makes being a football fan worthwhile in a world that is now very different from the one in which football was first popular as a spectator sport. But I also wanted to make the book's readers aware of the history and standing of Everton Football Club.

The book is very different from the usual mindless punditry that fans are subjected to by the popular media. All the articles are written by professional philosophers and so they offer a much deeper level of insight into what makes the game beautiful and what makes being a fan both a blessing and a curse.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that the name of Everton is being brought to an ever-wider audience (the book has already been published in the USA and UK, and is scheduled to be published in several other countries). If you're interested in a more thoughtful and philosophical treatment of football, then feel free to check out the book. You can find it on Amazon and elsewhere.


Andrew Lambert     Posted 29/05/2010 at 11:25:03   Comments (12)

Our Nigerians

There has been a lot of talk recently about our Nigerian trio and how most people seems to have them lined up as our most expendable assests so we can get a bit of cash in our pathetic (as always) transfer kitty. Personally, I would like to see at least two of them stay.

Firstly, Yobo. He has fallen behind Heitinga and Jags in the pecking order (rightly) and seems to have been scapegoated by most Evertonians for our Europa League exit against Sporting. He wasn't great that night but he was a hell of a lot better than Senderos (please don't re-sign him!) and offers bags of pace and experience.

Yes, he will occasionally switch off mentally but if we sell him who could we get for the same money who is better when we can't offer European football next season? Yobo has been a superb pro for the club since Moyes first bought him in on loan. I hope he has a decent World Cup and comes back to the Blues next season.

Secondly... Big Vic. Again he seems to be on most people's lists to cash in on but I think (and hope) he will be at Goodison next season. Don't forget that he has suffered some horrible injuries and missed almost a year after Nolan's assault on him. Moyes seems to like him and there is no doubt that he is strong, quick and can turn brilliantly.

Yes he needs to toughen up mentally but he is still young. Vic has to be worth persevering with, especially as he finished the season so strongly.

Finally, the Yak. Again many are assuming that our move for Beckford means he is off but I think Beckford will (sadly) replace Vaughan not Yak. Like most of us I waited most of last season for the real Yak to stand up and start scoring. He never really did...

Does he need more time to recover from what was a terrible injury or is his recent form a reflection of what he did at Portsmouth and Boro - start brilliantly... then look increasingly disinterested as time went on. There is no doubt that a fit and focussed Yak is one of the most potent strikers in the league but I have a feeling that he won't be in a blue shirt next season.

I only hope that, whoever leaves Goodison over the summer (please not Arteta!), any transfer money received goes on Landon.
Miles Wilson     Posted 29/05/2010 at 01:30:48   Comments (15)

New First Shirt

Saw this leaked as our new first shirt. [It's not, see Comments — Ed] If it's real I think its a big improvement on last year's.

Looks like the new change shirt will be pink and black too. Check out the link.


Miles Wilson     Posted 28/05/2010 at 20:23:30   Comments (13)

Uefa Talking Sense

Just read that Uefa are considering revolutionary changes to the way football clubs are run in Europe. Effectively, what they are saying is that clubs will in future have to live within their means and that expenditure on salaries, transfers and other operational costs should not exceed the income of the club. It looks like a real shot at the sugar daddy syndrome that is ruining the game, and would mean that City and Chelsea "projects" would come under threat.

It's a long way from talking about change to making it, but it's a sign of the mood in European football that Platini is taking Uefa in this direction. I believe that it could be a huge plus for a club like Everton and would, at last, relieve Blue Bill of his 24/7 search for a billionaire investor.
Gerry  Grimes     Posted 27/05/2010 at 21:38:01   Comments (20)

Beckford at Finch Farm?

I am informed by someone one door up from my auntie's dog that Jermaine Beckford was at Finch Farm today.

If true, that could mean a couple of things.

1. He was just being shown around ahead of a rumoured meeting with Villa.

2. He was getting a "two bob" medical ahead of the rumoured June 1 availability on a free.

3. It was the Yak back from the World Cup 3 stone lighter after failing to get in the Nigeria team.

I have not seen enough of Beckford to have an opinion on whether he'll make it but on a free I guess it makes more sense than hanging on to Vaughany and picking up his medical bills.
Jay Harris     Posted 27/05/2010 at 21:23:19   Comments (28)

Yak 'agrees' to sign for the Hammers

I know it's only a journo's article but it does seem to be gathering pace and Yak is one of those players who divides opinion so, as an alternative to Pienaar bashing and Tater speculation, what is our opinion of potential departure for the Yak?

For what it's worth, I believe he is one of the most natural goalscorers we've seen since Latchford, I hate the potential disruption to the squad and our strikers are asked to do a very lonely job.

On the other hand, he had a very serious injury and may not ever recover his best form and the money generated could maybe buy us a younger more lively forward.
Jay Harris     Posted 26/05/2010 at 15:15:14   Comments (73)

Tough talking Moyes

I know we have another thread talking about Pienaar, but after 126 responses it has mainly descended in arguing semantics over who said what (which I do like reading). However, in order to move the discussion on I wanted to make TWers aware that the line has been drawn in the sand over the saga by Moyes.

I am aware that TWers have suggested that Moyes should put a figure out in the press in order to 1. Sell the player or 2. Scare off potential suitors – well he has. The consequences for Pienaar, who in my opinion is holding the club to ransom for a £60k+ a week deal, is that he either signs the contract on the table which he previously rejected or he better start learning cockey as ‘Appy ‘Arry is likely to be his new boss.

Personally I think this is the way we should do business and it is a positive move and a marked improvement on last year's debacle with Lescott and a sign that lessons have be learnt – we won’t be pushed about by club or player. The sad news for Everton fans and TWers is that Pienaar has probably played his last game for us. Article below.

“Everton boss David Moyes wants a stunning £15million for contract rebel Steven Pienaar - as Tottenham chief Harry Redknapp sizes up a bid. The South Africa World Cup star has failed to agree a new deal at Goodison and looks set to quit in the summer with the Toffees reluctant to lose him for nothing in a year.

But hard-bargaining Moyes is looking for a huge sum for the hard-working midfielder who is in Redknapp's sights as he looks for a left-sided player to add to his glory-chasing squad.

Pienaar has left his future on Merseyside clouded in doubt by heading for the finals in his homeland without any sign of an extended stay in the offing. Now Moyes, who held out for top dollar for Joleon Lescott when Manchester City came calling, will dig in to get the best valuation for highly-rated Pienaar.

Liverpool have also shown an interest, but Spurs are clear favourites. Redknapp is expected to offer players in part exchange, but Moyes will be reluctant to have anyone he does not want pushed into the move.”
Thomas Christensen     Posted 26/05/2010 at 09:58:38   Comments (80)

24th Year Rule

Most readers of this site would be aware of this implausible statistic since 1891, where every 24 years, Everton are crowned League champions:

1890-91, 1914-15, 1938-39, 1962-63, 1986-87

I’ve had my hopes dashed so many times by the football club and am despairingly pessimistic when it comes to Everton. I believe a top 4 challenge would be considerable progress next season, but am finding it difficult to ignore this sequence.

Obviously the game has changed considerably since the introduction of the Premier League and that could (and perhaps should), signal the end of the chain, but I am also old enough to remember the Kevin Brock back-pass at Oxford, when Inchy saved Howard Kendall from receiving his P45. An FA Cup duly followed and a League Championship the following season. Few would have thought that possible who witnessed that game at Oxford, the lack of belief and talent (or so we thought) evident.

With this current side's ability and a couple of additions, is it worth a tenner at 250\1?
Liam Reilly     Posted 26/05/2010 at 08:33:58   Comments (21)

Our Bainesey

Has anyone read today the tripe, the utter tosh about our Lad at left back for England in the sewage papers?

The thing that got me was the fact that they were all agreed that Baines would be on the plane because at left back there was no one else good enough to fill the position and infering that he wasn't that good.

Well, there was one blindingly obviouse reason that our lad had a nightmare of an evening and that was because of one person. People I give you one S. Gerrard.

Apparently he was supposed to be the guy who was playing left attack mid. But for all of the time this fraud was on the pitch I never saw him once track back and help bainsy.

He was left to his own devices and did anyone suss out that it was only when a real class footballer called Adam Johnson came on that Leighton Baines started to fall into the Everton mode. Shame on you Gerrard and shame on you Cappello you were both negligent of your professional duties.

We started to see (because I was on the look out) after what had gone on, prior to Johnsons arrival, Bainsey starting to dictate things down the left flank.

Now maybe with Cappello it was a pre-planned tactic to suss out whether LB could handle it. I would go for the BOTD. But please any journo's reading, your evaluation of the full facts were at best dire since your hero Rio played like a pub centre-back and man of the moment although he scored, both let our country down badly and both of them were in fact SHITE.
Jon Cox     Posted 25/05/2010 at 17:59:17   Comments (51)

Rodwell Signs New Five-Year Deal!

Excellent!

Phil Bellis     Posted 24/05/2010 at    Comments (22)

What to do with Pienaar?

He has been a brilliant player for us, he really has. He is central to the football that we want to play. He keeps it on the ground, lots of short passes and never stops running. He is probably at his peak.

What I am thinking is that next season is our best chance to reach the top-4. If we fail this season, I feel we will be waiting another generation to reach it.

I get the feeling that many people agree with this sentiment. So, with that in mind, What to do with regards to Pienaar's contract?

If we keep him, and risk losing him for free next season, at least we will keep him in our most important of seasons.

If we sell him, get £10-14 million, we need to replace him. And this replacement needs to settle immediately. When buying a player, there is always the risk that they won't be any good. Can we afford that risk?

We need to sign a right-sided midfielder. Can we really expect to sign two wide players in one summer, have them settle, and be at the level we need them to be?

Ideally he will sign a new contract. But, if this doesn't happen, what should we do?

I would keep him, go for it and risk losing him for free. If we finish 4th or higher, he will happily stay, and we will be able to afford a new contract. If not, it will be a bugger to lose him for nothing, but we will survive.
Fran Mitchell     Posted 24/05/2010 at 12:56:47   Comments (144)

The new away kit :(

Here is what might be the disgusting away kit:

I was horrified. I would much prefer the hot pink breast awareness kit that we had a few years ago. If it is pink may it be hot and not salmon. What are everyone's opinions?
David Moore     Posted 24/05/2010 at 03:42:43   Comments (55)

Congratulations, Coleman!

What an extraordinary day this was for our young star Seamus Coleman... victory at Wembley, where so few players are fortunate enough to tread, let alone win. Coleman looked fully worthy -- he was completely poised in the ultimate pressure cooker (and a very hot one today!). He was calm on the ball and fearless in attack, and it was his quick, sharp move in from the right touchline that triggered Ormerod's gamewinner. And he made the last two critical clearances in the final seconds that helped preserve Blackpool's promotion to heaven.

However, it must also be said that Coleman's defensive inexperience was also fully on display. He was caught completely flatfooted by Ledley's obvious angled run for Cardiff's second goal (you could see it coming 20 yards away), and he repeatedly drifted while marking. His head was turned when Ledley popped up wide open for a header in the 91st minute.

I'm certainly looking forward to seeing more of Coleman in Everton's line-up next season, but let's hope the young man meantime takes a full schedule of classes at the Hibbert-Neville College of Defensive Positioning and Man-Marking. His experience today was priceless, but he clearly has much to learn before he takes full-time possession of a starting job at Everton.
Mike Gaynes     Posted 22/05/2010 at 16:47:24   Comments (35)

Get well soon, Shane Duffy

Just a note to wish Shane Duffy a speedy recovery from what sounds a horrific freak challenge. Nearly dying playing football puts a lot into perspective.
Andy Morden     Posted 22/05/2010 at 14:09:19   Comments (14)

Season Ticket Fiasco

Where, on the Official Site, did it say that season tickets were only available to able bodied men who could catch a bus to the ground?

As they were generally available today — well that's what I put in my Everton diary ages ago — I was sitting by the phone at ten this morning, customer number, section, row and desired seat (next to the brother's) written down.

Got through, put No 20 in a queue and was quite surprised when I was eventually asked what I wanted. The highly-trained operative who claimed that he had no idea what the OS said must have been taking much worse abuse from the feeble efforts I could summon before I told him where to stick it.

I'm calmer now. However, on reflection, my hackles are rising for others.

Half-term holiday week starting, for nearly every school because of the bank holiday. So Evertonians presumably don't have family holidays. Families? Holidays?

And they can't be women with children. 'Sorry kids, look after yourselves from 8 til 4 as I'm traveling to Goodison today'.

They are unlikely to be the people who get on the fleet of coaches which arrive from places like Coventry, Taunton, Workington and all points in Wales for every home game.

My feeble excuse for not driving down the East Lancs Road is that I am caring for my gravely ill partner, and the District Nurses wouldn't look too kindly on me being away for five hours or so.

So I wish those intrepid folk who show up at The Old Lady a joyous day out today. I certainly hope that no more tickets than the number of people who actually show up are allocated. I suppose that 'first come, first served' means that you can't get one for someone else — your wife, your old dad, your son who plays for the school team on a Saturday morning....

What a bloody fiasco.
Keith Glazzard     Posted 22/05/2010 at 10:26:40   Comments (10)

Sports memorabilia

There's a shopping centre beside where I live here in Dublin. One of the shops sells sports memorabilia. It's mostly signed photos and jerseys in picture frames. There's two Everton pieces that I can remember. I can't remember exactly what but one is a picture of the famous team from the mid eighties. There's two or three players, including Neville Southall, parading a trophy around Wembley. There are a couple of signatures on it as well.

The thing that I definitely remember about it is that it was priced at €250. Even if I had the cash, this isn't really my thing. I'm not really a memorabilia type fan. I have an Everton mug that's years old, and a two-year-old jersey that I mostly wear in the gym. I'm just wondering what people think about the whole signed memoribilia thing and what kind of money they would be prepared to pay for it.
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 22/05/2010 at 07:45:18   Comments (4)

Statement of Intent?

If rumours from 'respectable' journalists (if such a being exists) are to believed, Jack Rodwell has agreed a five-year deal with us. If true — and they say we will find out in next 24/48 hours — then for me this is a huge statement of intent from Everton to keep hold of their best players and challenge on all fronts next season.

Some may say that the Pienaar extension is more important... I disagree. I like Pienaar a lot but his departure would be cushioned with a £10-£12m replacement with hopefully less baggage.

No, for me, to convince one of the brightest prospects in English football to stay with us and not succumb to the riches of other teams (a la Rooney) is a huge coup for us and I for one will see my season ticket renewal as money well spent and would look forward to next season with great optimism.

Arteta loves Everton — I am sure we can convince him to extend; Jags also is a different animal than Lescott and, if Rodwell signs, the players must truly believe that we can push on and end the barren trophy years with a nice shiny Cup next season.

If the journos are correct, Rodwell will be on his way to true legend status so early in his career and we will have on our hands (dare I say it..?) the new Gerrard and someone who could be just as influential (let's hope he shares his luck)...

If I am wrong and he leaves... well I was not bothered anyway! :)
Steve Callaghan     Posted 21/05/2010 at 21:26:22   Comments (10)

Everton Going Nowhere

KEIOC this week reported that the demise of the planned St John`s Shopping Centre on the grounds of over-provision of retail in Liverpool inevitably means that Everton`s latest search for enabling partners to help them construct a new stadium, a la Tesco and Destination Kirkby, is doomed.

The surfeit of such provision in the City was no doubt the reason why the club had to look beyond its boundaries to build a new stadium and it is abundantly clear that only with the help of an outside partner will Everton EVER be able to afford such a move.

As KEIOC reports, there is absolutely no appetite within the Club for the `phased` re-development of Goodison Park given all the reasons — primarily financial — for rejecting that `solution` in favour of Destination Kirkby three years ago.

So where does this leave us?

Going nowhere, I'm afraid. Most of us have long given up the hope that a sugar daddy will arrive to work alongside Bill Kenwright for the good of our club... indeed, the chances of a sugar daddy arriving at all are now almost dead in the water!

So Bill Kenwright will soldier on, providing as much money as comes available for Davey to continue his team building — and few of us will quibble with that policy.

But the dream of a home fit for the 21st century is, to my mind, as far off as it has ever been in the 20 years of my support — and it`s still fading!

So, for me, the ONLY solution is a municipal stadium on the Stanley Park site in which both the City's clubs are tenants/partners. But then, I'm a Sefton ratepayer, so it`s easy for me to suggest such a plan...

The reality, of course, is that that too will never happen. As I said, Everton are going nowhere!
Richard Dodd     Posted 21/05/2010 at 08:46:46   Comments (27)

There`s always someone worse off

While some of us are already looking forward to next season, others are still reflecting on what might have been last season.

If you are one of the latter, do yourself a favour, You-tube "Song for Yann Kermorgant"

It overflows with angst and pain, but it's laugh-out-loud funny...


Dave Wilson     Posted 21/05/2010 at 06:44:48   Comments (10)

Duffy a Gem?

I thought some of you might be interested to read an article about Shane Duffy from one of the Irish papers today.

http://www.herald.ie/sport/soccer/irish-unearth-a-gem-in-duffy-2185406.html

Although only a training match, for now, It seems we might have a nice little player on our books. Let's hope he keeps developing the way he is and goes on to fulfill his potential.

Is there anybody out there who follows the reserves or would have seen him play regularly? Would any of you be of the same opinion as this reporter? Cheers
Stephen Rogers     Posted 20/05/2010 at 03:08:40   Comments (21)

Arteta & Pienaar - The stats

It has struck most of us this season that when Arteta and Pienaar are both playing we do well, and when they are not, we struggle. I have been through the results and team sheets for the season in a bid to back this feeling up with some stats. Here they are:

Our record with Arteta and Pienaar both playing:

P9 W7 D1 L1 F21 A9 Pts22

Our record when one or both are missing:

P29 W9 D12 L8 F39 A30 Pts39

This does back up the theory very well. However, it's not just a case of 'we just happen to be in better form since Christmas...', in the last nine games of the season, they played together five times — we won all five, scoring ten goals. The other four games where they weren't together, we won none and scored four goals.

It is a stark reminder that we need to hang on to both of these players. The mouth watering prospect is findng another similar player (ie Moutinho?) which would give us the luxury of coping when one of them are injured or suspended.

Imagine if we play the bulk of next season with two top quality creative attacking midfielders in the side, instead of just 9 games as this season. The mind boggles...
Phil Hamer     Posted 19/05/2010 at 12:00:22   Comments (42)

Youngsters star for England U-17s

I needed a football fix last night so I watched the England U-17s beat the Czech Republic 3-1. had Luke Garbutt and Ross Barkley playing from Everton; they both completed 90 mins.

Garbutt was captain. He looked assured and competent at left back. Getting forward when possible and putting some decent crosses in. Exposed at times and not spectacular, but a solid 7/10. A younger Baines.

Barkley was more impressive. He has a good engine, is pretty quick, both broke up play and started new moves. He scored the first and set up the third. Only problem being that he plays in the one area we are fairly over subscribed, central midfield. 8/10. A younger Rodwell.
Sam Hoare     Posted 19/05/2010 at 08:49:18   Comments (9)

Tim's contract extension

Great news.

I know he polarises opinion on this forum as to his abilities, but I am firmly of the belief that the extension is a great piece of business by EFC.

Tim in my opinion epitomises a lot of what EFC is about. One of his qualities is his loyalty — this guy went to hell and back to get the right to even turn out for Australia (yet still set the record for being their first goalscorer in the World Cup, ASEAN Cup and Confed Cup).

This new contract will take him up to age 34. After it expires he will go back to Australia, and focus on his academies, and enjoy his retirement. Whether he ends up as a squad player, or impact sub as some have suggested, remains to be seen... but I think his signing-on is good for us, given the limited budget we are under. Expect Mikel to also sign soon... (Fingers crossed!)
Matt Traynor     Posted 19/05/2010 at 05:45:13   Comments (17)

English Players

We all joke about how Liverpool in recent years have become predominantly Spanish, how Arsenal under Wenger have barely any Brits in their squad; but recent speculation has me worried about the composition of Everton's squad.

This is the Silly Season, and I should not let myself get worried by speculation, I know that. But I am concerned... Arteta to Arsenal? Pienaar's contract negotiation delay? Rodwell to United/Chelsea? The one that got me all flustered today was the rumour on caughtoffside.com that City are planning a £30m+ swoop for Rodwell and Jagielka.

We need an English, or at least a British, core to our team in my opinion. Firstly, because of any future legislation on homegrown players. (Does anyone know detail of this and how it will affect PL teams in the near future?). And secondly, because British core seems to breed success- United (Ferdinand, Neville, Giggs, Carrick, Fletcher, Rooney), Chelsea (Terry, Cole (x2), Lampard), Villa, Spurs... the clubs lacking substantial British talent are the ones who have failed in their objectives this season (Arsenal, Liverpool, City).

I am always excited by the prospect of new foreign players that bring quality to our team - Arteta, Pienaar, Heitinga, Fellaini etc. But at the moment, we have, as regular first team players, only Baines, Jagielka and Neville that are Brits. Hibbert on the bench. Maybe Rodwell next season too (if he is still an Evertonian).

Does Moyes need to focus more on British talent? True, some (Beattie, Johnson, McFadden etc) never fulfilled their potential). But I am starting to get concerned that we are loosing our British core -— something that, arguably, is central to Premier League success. If we lose the Jagielka/Rodwell spine this summer, we lose a core that could become as significant as Terry/Lampard or Ferdinand/Scholes.
Louis Huglin     Posted 18/05/2010 at 10:25:41   Comments (23)

Everton in Oz Too Expensive?

Everton's game here in Melbourne is scheduled for a 55,000 seat stadium with ticket prices being $50, $100, and $139. Even as a supporter of 45 years, and desperate to see the Blues, this seems a bit steep for what is after all a training run with probably a good portion of the team missing.

Add to this the fact that the game is against a brand new team with zero support base, I fear that at best the stadium will be half-full. These views and the talk of a boycott are echoed in Toffeeweb's Newslink section from a Brisbane Roar fan.

I'll be there (if it goes ahead) with as many family as possible, but we won't be in the best seats which we had expected to be.
Keith Edmunds     Posted 18/05/2010 at 06:36:14   Comments (23)

Mick Rathbone - Has left Everton.

As most of you will now know, our head of physio Mick Rathbone has left Everton.

The Official Website gives nothing away as to why he has left? Does anybody know why?
Josh Holmes     Posted 17/05/2010 at 19:43:41   Comments (25)

Slightly more balanced journalism

Please follow the link included in this post. Its a good read and very well balanced. Let's hope with a fit squad this season and a few additions, we can finally push on to the Holy Grail of the Champions League!

http://www.footballfancast.com/football-blogs/nine-things-we-learnt-from-everton-this-season
Jimmy Saville     Posted 17/05/2010 at 10:40:54   Comments (7)

Victor's Potential

It's time to put my head on the block and suggest something that others have already mocked me over...

Victor Anichebe, in my opinion, has all the ingredients to be a world class player.

Now, I am not saying he is a world class player — far from it currently — but if you analyse snippets of his performances, spread across a number of matches, you start to see a set of abilities that could make him a world beater.

Whilst not the quickest, he certainly has pace. This, combined with an immense strength, make him unplayable at times (all too infrequent times!). With his shooting boots on, he has demonstrated great goalscoring ability. His surging runs that I have witnessed once or twice take him past players with ease and create opportunities for himself and others.

So, he has proved to me that he has tremendous ability, but it is not on display anywhere near often enough.

If someone can get those abilities onto the pitch, with the right levels of desire and commitment and energy, I believe we have an absolutely fantastic and unique player on our hands.

I am a fan in waiting for his lad to consistently perform.

Now shoot me down.
Gareth Mercer     Posted 17/05/2010 at 10:28:23   Comments (72)

New Kit, 2010-11

I know this has been touched on previously, but the new kit is yet to released and I'm bored so I thought I would bring it up again, having seen Stoke's new kit, and watching the Blue SQ play-off today.

How can York City have a Nike shirt? Stoke an Adidas shirt? And then we have crappy Le Coq Sportif kit?

Granted we haven't seen the new kit yet, but rumours of a neon pink away kit! It's embarrassing... I still buy the kits, no matter how shit they are, but I'm not surprised we don't sell much merchandise!
Tom Rowe     Posted 16/05/2010 at 20:03:59   Comments (30)

Lazy Shite Journalism Epitomised

No new surprises and yet another example of why most Everton fans hold Sky and other media sources in such low respect: has anyone read their season review of Everton? Utter shite with very little to suggest they actually watched any of our games.

Read and decide yourself:-

Sky's Everton Season Review


Gavin Ramejkis     Posted 15/05/2010 at 12:50:59   Comments (37)

World Cup Stadium

With the handing over of the World Cup bid today, and The City of Liverpool being a host City... if successful, Is there a possibility that the City Council and Everton FC could build a new stadium, in a partnership, such that, after the games, it would then be our new home?
Simon Gilmovitch     Posted 14/05/2010 at 20:03:18   Comments (9)

Call-up for Hibbo!

OK, not from Fabio... it's only Virginmedia's 'team of the week', but the "marauding" Tony gets a bit of recognition for his storming game on Sunday. So it's not just a few TWebbers who made that judgment.

Also, there among the North Londonners is our Bily, stunning goal and all — and I know some would say 'and that's all', but I like the lad and expect very good things next season.

So, if you haven't seen it any other way, the clip (from 3 angles) is on:-

http://www.football.virginmedia.com/page/Football/PremierLeague/VideoIndex/0,,12555,00.html?vid=84041656001&pid=72589572001

... as well as some sparkling stuff from Hibbo. I'm fairly sure the site is open to all — enjoy!
Keith Glazzard     Posted 13/05/2010 at 20:35:30   Comments (15)

Craig Bellamy

No.

I'd be ashamed to have him play for my club. He's an ignorant, abrasive, divisive and wholly unpleasant guy on the pitch — I can only imagine how effective he'd be in our dressing room.

I'd be seriously disappointed if Moyes were to bring him to Goodison.
Chris Gallagher     Posted 13/05/2010 at 11:01:32   Comments (52)

Steven Pienaar

So Steven want to delay his decision until after the WC. Why? Because he is no longer committed to Everton — simple as that really.

Let's not pussy foot around. Slap a price on him now and invite offers.

Clearly he has decided that he can do better. Maybe he can sign for a CL team... but he will never be a regular in a CL team (perhaps only Bayern can offer him this if they sell Ribbery/Robben).

He will be sorry I think if he leaves us as it is a little more cut-throat elsewhere — as Lescott will find this summer.

Sell him and quickly I say and go an get N'Zogbia or the added ingredient we lack — pace. In Pienaar's last 5-6 games he simply has not broken sweat and has been jumpimg put of tackles saving himself for the World Cup. Bye bye, Steven... thanks for some good times — time to move on.
Steve Callaghan     Posted 12/05/2010 at 09:57:05   Comments (76)

Abe Donzo - the next Wayne Rooney?

Some time ago, ToffeeWeb had an article regarding the trial of young Abe Donzo. It looks like Abe will be signing a one-year contract with Everton's Academy, pending resolution to some of his immigration problems. Here's a link to an article about him:

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/sports/Making+soccer+grade+tough+business/2790858/story.html

I know that many are going to lambaste me (especially for this title!) but this kid is really exciting, and his coaches here in Ottawa are confident that he is ready to make the next big step to play in Europe. I hope they are correct.

Also, I would like to point out that any Evertonians who doubt the resourcefulness of our club's scouting system are simply misguided. The fact that they have found Abe in Canada, where most kids play ice hockey and "soccer" receives no attention, media or financial, I think shows that Moyes and Co are doing a great job in this area.

COYB
Alex Marsh Nikas     Posted 12/05/2010 at 00:13:10   Comments (19)

Mikel Arteta

Spain have released their provisional squad and yet again not a look-in for our outstanding player.

I am aware that Spain do boast a very strong midfield with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas and Silva to name a few, but surely Mikel deserves a call up or at least a friendly game so he can try and stake a claim in the squad. He is a wonderful team player, with massive ability and I truly believe his national squad would benefit with his inclusion.

I have never been one for getting un-capped players to change their nationality in order to gain International football, but surely on this occasion what is Spain's loss would be England's gain. A midfield player who can play in anywhere from Right, Left or Centre.

Who would you rather have on England's left hand side. Downing? Joe Cole? Or our very own Mikel Arteta? Alas this will not happen and Mikel will probably end his career without having represented his country.

A massive loss in my eyes...
Dave Southon     Posted 11/05/2010 at 12:51:33   Comments (101)

Could we have been braver?

We won a dull game against Pompey with a 94th minute stunner from Billy and finish with an 11-game unbeaten run. But did we miss the opportunity to learn more about our squad for next season?

We know and have seen plenty of Distin this season, so why not see what Duffy or another fringe player could offer? Baxter got to watch another game from the bench. We know what Osman can do so why not give Baxter a real go?

Also what are the thoughts on Arteta being captain? I'm not sure but if he can be inspired and inspire others to raise their game. Neville is not in my opinion an automatic pick and therefore shouldn't be captain next season.
Martin Clark     Posted 11/05/2010 at 12:31:52   Comments (29)

'Didier Bilabilabilakillakov'

Some light relief now that the season is over. I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles with Bily's name:

http://www.101greatgoals.com/videodisplay/5615879/
Anthony Gird     Posted 11/05/2010 at 10:34:22   Comments (20)

So it was offside after all!

Amazing really. Everybody missed it including David Moyes himself. The decision was so subtle but so right. But there is a caveat. Let me explain.

I've watched the video over and over again. Piquionne takes the ball to the by-line after Distin slips. He's right on the line. He then passes the ball into the crowded penalty area to Vanden Borre. Immediately, he gets the ball back. As he gets it back he is definitely offside as he is right on the line. Tim Howard and his defenders are all slightly in front of the line, naturally.

Now here's the caveat. Does he get the ball back from Vanden Borre or from an Everton player? It's difficult to see. If the latter, then he has been played onside. If it is from Vanden Borre, he is offside. He then passes the ball to O'Hara who flicks it across the goal area to the unmarked Vanden Borre to score.

From what I can see, Piquoinne originally passed the ball to Vanden Borre who returned the ball straightaway. At that moment, the lad became active and the flag went up. Everyone is looking at Vanden Borre and saying he's not offside — which is true. But we're looking at the wrong player!

There it is. Solved!
David  Ellis     Posted 10/05/2010 at 23:39:07   Comments (21)

Contract for Pienaar

Well, it's been reported that they are looking to secure Tim Cahill's services for another 4 years. Tim has 2 years left on his current contract. So it's slightly strange that Pienaar, with only 1 year left (and had been making suggesting he'd like to sign on again) has yet to be offered any contract extension?

Does this mean he will be going in the summer? If so what's the bottom line. How much is he worth? Sell him before the World Cup? Let him have a great World Cup and increase his value?

Or does he have a bad one or even worse get injured, thus lowering his value? Or will he stay and help take us on to the Holy Grail of the Champions League!
Jimmy Saville     Posted 10/05/2010 at 20:11:11   Comments (38)

Our new Right Winger

Well after reading the deserved praise for Bily's goal, and the expectations for his future, I should point out that he was only on the pitch for about 20 minutes.

So I thought I would point out the outstanding performance of the match from our new right winger.

Stand up and applaud... Tony Hibbert — who had probably the best game of his career yesterday and even found his way into the opposition penalty box with a chance to score on three occassions.
Eric Myles     Posted 10/05/2010 at 10:26:37   Comments (37)

Bye-Bye, James Vaughan

The lad is injured again. He couldn't play in the playoff semi-final for Leicester yesterday.
Craig Taylor     Posted 10/05/2010 at 09:18:04   Comments (17)

Nice finish, Bily!

I'm really pleased that it was Bily who rescued what looked to be a drab and boring end to a season that has seen us progress / stand still / slip backwards [delete as appropriate]. Sounds like a great goal and I really want to believe Bily is going to be a key player for us in a very important campaign next season.

11 games undefeated at the end... Getting us into a frame of mind that does not see us losing is a vital step forward. I don't see us yet getting to the point where our superiority is translated into the confidence and swagger that we will win through sheer application, but hopefully three last-minute wins in the last few games will strengthen that conviction.

Great to finish on a high note, and this is by far the best finish to a season we have ever seen during the Moyes era. Carrying it through to the start of the next season is vital; getting off to a good start is vital; not only not losing... but scoring goals and winning games is of course what it's really all about.

We still need to step up another level to really compete with those above us... can we do it? I believe we do now have the ingredients and the ability to do it. I'd be happy with few comings and goings over the summer, and starting the season as we should really mean to continue.


Michael Kenrick     Posted 09/05/2010 at 19:10:53   Comments (37)

Bill's Track Record

I've always been pretty adamant that Bill Kenwright has been a rotten chairman. Our stability and (relative) success in recent years (I know, I know, we haven't won anything... but at least now we aren't looking forward to an annual relegation battle) I have attributed to Moyes and his being able to gradually improve the club.

However, this article from the Guardian is a pretty sober reminder that a rich investor ain't always the answer (and what nicer a club could it happen to than Liverpool?)... and that, when they get it wrong, they get it very wrong.

We haven't achieved the off-field business success that I feel we're capable of and could drive us on, but neither have we been mortgaged to the hilt by cash hungry capitalists.

Are we going to be like the proverbial turtle who wins the race? I have no idea... but I'm sure nobody on these pages will shed a tear for the plight of our lovely neighbors.
Rory  Bresnan     Posted 08/05/2010 at 17:02:04   Comments (28)

Another Season Ends

Nearly there. Thank God! Too many up and down moments and not enough consistency — to state the bleedingly obvious.

But as the season exhales its last bronchitic breath, I wonder if we could all offer Michael, Lyndon — and whoever else — our thanks for providing an adult forum where the wildly optimistic and wrist slittingly depressive have equal chance to express their, probably delusional, beliefs?

As a computer know nothing, I have no idea how much time and effort have to be expended in order for this excellent site to be maintained but I expect it is more than the average guy would devote to anything else than football. Thanks, guys.

Thanks also to Eugene and Ciaran for their insightful comments, to Richard Dodd for his comedic genius and Tony Marsh for his pure love of the club.

See you in August!
Mike McLean     Posted 08/05/2010 at 06:31:18   Comments (27)

Wimbledon 1994

7 May marks the 16th anniversary of THAT Wimbledon game, where Everton Football Club stared into the abyss and somehow survived.

I was there... I wasn't a season ticket holder then and only just managed to squeeze into the Street End thanks to my red mate that came and pushed us into the queue, seeing fans up trees in the park, then waiting for the bus on Walton Lane after those 90 horrible minutes and the (replacement!) Wimbledon team coach coming past us and getting a wave off Sam Hamman!!

I would like other blues memorys of that crazy game and crazy day.

16 years? How time flies, it only feels like weeks ago.
Ste Traverse     Posted 07/05/2010 at 20:35:13   Comments (52)

Joe to go?

After reading some reports that Joseph Yobo may leave this summer, I was interested to know what my fellow TW'ers would think if he did move on?

Personally, I do believe if we were to get a good price for him, over the £5-6m range I think it would be a good bit of business as I believe he is not going to get any better... actually, I think he has got worse over the last few years after a very promising start to his Everton career.

So what do you think?
Stuart O'Malley     Posted 07/05/2010 at 13:25:55   Comments (33)

Carragher's having a laugh

OK I admit I'm "smalltime" - whatever that means - but did anyone else greet the news of the Carragher testimonial with absolute incredulity? After his comments about Everton fans in his biography, I would have thought that the last people he would want to share his professional farewell with are a bunch of "bitter blues"...

I don't have a problem with David Moyes accepting the invitation but it's rank hypochrisy on Carragher's part.
Brendan McLaughlin     Posted 06/05/2010 at 23:34:10   Comments (45)

Blues coverage in America

For those 10-odd away games I can't make it to I have to search for a stream and I can't help but notice that these streams are often from an American channel such as ESPN or Fox Soccer Channel. It seems as though those are the two channels that consistently cover our matches more than any channel in the world. Is this a sign that our star is rising in America after Landon's stay here or is it just me?
Ian Tod     Posted 06/05/2010 at 21:12:14   Comments (7)

1985 all over again

Well, the official site is in overdrive celebrating the 1985 League success. I was 9 back then and it meant the world to me, just like the Cup Winners Cup just after and the 1987 League Trophy did. I can still remember the pain from the Cup Finals of '85, '86 and '89 plus the league in '86 but anyway...

It seems to me that after 89 we nosedived as a club and have only recently started to recover

My Question is: Will we ever see times like 85 again, ever??

My 2 boys are growing up and my oldest Charlie (4!) is already a keen blue "We are blue boys NOT RED" he keeps saying...

I just hope that by the time he is 9 or 10 we will have won a trophy again, rather than runners up in a devalued Cup Final or getting covered in Champagne for finishing 4th!!

1985 seems such a long, long time ago...
John Audsley     Posted 06/05/2010 at 10:16:50   Comments (10)

Spurs into Champions League

I'm more a fan of City than Spurs, even though their billions and the Lescott situation have made some Blues revile them.

But how fortunate we are that Spurs have pipped them to 4th. If Man City triumphed they would have simply replaced Liverpool in the Big 4 and it would have been even tougher to break through.

I doubt Spurs would be able to seal off the CL places and Top 4 next season looks wide open. Even more so when you consider Spurs can overtake The Arse on the final day. Are Arsenal the next to fall?
Nick Entwistle     Posted 05/05/2010 at 22:30:23   Comments (39)

Jutkiewicz and Ruddy

Wondered what John Ruddy and Lukasz Jutkiewicz have been up to on loan to Motherwell? Well, Ruddy just let in six goals at home to Hibs. But it's OK, they didn't lose. Jutkiewicz scored a 92nd minute equaliser as Motherwell came back from 6-2 down with 25 minutes to go to clinch a 6-6 draw. And Motherwell missed a penalty after Jutkiewicz was fouled.

Puts Motherwell in pole position for the SPL's second Europa League spot, 1 point ahead of Hibs with 1 game left, which may enhance the chances of them having the money to sign one or other of the players on a permanent basis in the summer.
Richard Porter     Posted 05/05/2010 at 21:38:07   Comments (21)

Pienaar for Keane plus cash

Seems a given that Pienaar sees his future away from Goodison next year, with Spurs his most likely destination. He's been a massive player for the Blues this season ending with a much deserved Player of the Season award.

If the guy wants to leave, I don't think there is much we can do to keep him; instead of another Lescott type transfer, we should accept now we need to move him on, maximise the cash we get, and give Moyes money to bring in a couple of new faces at the start of pre-season instead of last minute as always seems the way with Moyes's transfer dealings.

Personally, I would love to see Robbie Keane at the Blues as part of a player plus cash deal for Pienaar. The lad is out of favour but is a proven goalscorer who we all know has the ability to open up a defense. Would Keane be an acceptable replacement for the loss of Pienaar?
Mark Ambrose     Posted 05/05/2010 at 07:55:43   Comments (85)

Europa Cup - What if Fulham Win?

A lot of supporters were disgruntled with a suggestion that the winners of this cup would automatically qualify for the same tournament the following season. Most were of the mindset that it was because of Liverpool, that the system was manipulated for Liverpool's benefit. Things change however...

Fulham play the final, are outside of the automatic qualifying table positions and IMO have a very good shot at being the victors. Should this be the case, how will the PL hierarchy act as this will affect the team that finishes seventh? Seventh could be occupied by Villa or Liverpool depending on the season's final match results. Conspiracy theory follows:

Aston Villa finish in that spot, Fulham play next year at Villa's expense; Liverpool finish in that spot and Fulham denied the chance to defend the crown or the PL allow Fulham to compete regardless.

Interesting...
Gary Sedgwick     Posted 05/05/2010 at 02:12:50   Comments (7)

Sports Piracy

I've just read an interesting article all about online feeds at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon.

Our favourites including JustinTV, UstreamTV, LiveStream, TVU, Channelsurfing.net, Adthe.net, Sopcast, TVAnts and myp2p.eu all get a mention so could be worth a read and a discussion.

I would gladly pay the price of a season ticket or more to be able to watch every Everton match live on my telly instead of an unreliable internet stream. But then addicts will drink methylated spirits if a fine bottle of Macallan 1974 is not available. Discuss?
Tony I'Anson     Posted 04/05/2010 at 17:41:45   Comments (19)

Moyes on Easy Street

There was a very interesting and good article in The Times this morning from Matt Dickinson regarding Steve McClaren's reversal of fortunes in Holland. Dickinson asked a question about the real trophy-winning ambition of managers like David Moyes who bang their heads against the Premier League glass ceiling whilst Steve McClaren goes to Holland and now experiences the real satisfaction of winning a trophy. (By the way, for those fans under 20 and others who are happy finishing 6th every season and winning nothing, a trophy is a big silver thing which you parade around the city!)

Now I'm aware that Steve McClaren may well have had no option but to go abroad and chance his luck in the land of Edam... but at least he had the balls to do it and now something to show for it. Hardly any British manager tries his luck in a different country, despite the fact many foreign clubs would probably love to give someone like David Moyes a chance.

So, it begs the question... Is David Moyes just as lacking in real ambition as many supporters and our Chairman? Yes, he earns more money here than he would at many other clubs on the continent but surely it's about more than just pay cheques? What about glory and trophies? Surely that beats cosy eighth-place finishes.

Yet again this summer, we and Moyes are faced with the enduring scandal of having no money to spend and the loss of one of our best players because we offer unsatisfactory wages. Surely there must come a point when Moyes says, "Enough is enough"?

Steve McClaren, the former national joke, the wally with a brolly, now has a European Title on his CV and will no doubt move on to another bigger club elsewhere in the continent. Meanwhile, David Moyes risks being remembered as a manager who turned top half finishes — without ever winning anything — into an art form.
Gareth Hughes     Posted 04/05/2010 at 16:13:08   Comments (50)

Last Chance for Europe?

Now that a European place next season through the league has gone, our only chance lies in the fair play league.

Currently, the disciplinary table (http://www.premierleague.com/page/Statistics/0,,12306,00.html) shows us behind Fulham, Tottenham, Arsenal, Man City, Man Utd and Burnley. If Fulham win the Europa League, then by virtue of the fact that all above Burnley have already qualified, Burnley would qualify for a Europa League place next season.

Now comes the interesting bit... According to the official Premier League disciplinary table, we have the same stats as Burnley (57 yellow cards, 2 red cards) which gives us and Burnley 63 points. Should Burnley take a bit of a kicking from Spurs at the weekend and collect a few yellow cards or get a man sent off, then we could be in with a shout of getting in through the back door.
Chris Dawson     Posted 04/05/2010 at 12:37:06   Comments (16)

The Scavenger Hunt

Now Hull's flirtation with top-flight football has come to an end, the three relegation places have been confirmed for the season. Based on this, and with silly season just around the corner, are there any players at these clubs worth a pinch?

Without venturing too far into the realms of FM speculating, I'd say that there's not a lot to pick from. There is clearly a massive gulf between some of these newly promoted sides and some of the more "established" ones lurking around. Only Stoke and Birmingham (for now) have managed to mix it up a bit... and, judging by the teams on the way up, the trend will continue.

Still, unless Peanuts does go (and even then it's not guaranteed) then we won't be spending big. It's going to be young players like the kid from Portugal, frees and loans, or the cheap players from the likes of Hull and Burnley.

For the record, I'd probably take that young lad from Hull we were linked with, and Chris Eagles if we are getting really angsty over the summer (though Dan Gosling will be like "a new signing" when he comes back).
Adam McCulloch     Posted 03/05/2010 at 16:12:21   Comments (37)

Stats vs teams below and above us

There has been a lot of talk about how often we haven't been able to finish off some of the poorer teams this season (or any season really). With this in mind, does anybody have stats on Everton results against all teams lower than us in the table and all teams ahead of us (and perhaps bottom half and top half of the table) for this season?

It will be interesting to see how our results compare between the categories and may shed some light as to whether we are indeed losing points from 'easier' games. If the results can be dissaggregated by 1st half of season and 2nd half of season that would be illuminating as well.

Thanks.
Anthony Gird     Posted 03/05/2010 at 12:58:49   Comments (10)

FA Women's Cup Final

Just setting off to cheer on Everton Ladies in the final today here in Nottingham. I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of interest on ToffeeWeb, and even on the OS, it doesn't get much of a mention.

On the day of the FA Cup Final, the Everton Women link on ToffeeWeb takes you to 'Page Not Found!'. As an Evertonian with 3 Blues-supporting daughters, I think our Women's team deserve a higher profile - I also think that there is a major marketing opportunity missed by the club, particularly in Liverpool and the North-West where we are by far the dominant team.

Good luck to Mo Marley and the team. COY(Lady)B!
Paul Heery     Posted 03/05/2010 at 11:13:39   Comments (48)

Fair Play

With a little desperation, I thought I would check the fair play option.. As it looks and things stay the same with England's positioned in 3rd. England will receive an extra Europa Cup spot.

With Fulham top, they are pretty secure in the knowledge they'll have European football next season. If they were to win the Europa League Cup, then the spot goes to whoever is behind Fulham who hasn't already qualified for Europe.

As it stands, Burnley will be representing England in Europe and the Championship at the same time! Fair play to them but feel a little aggrieved. Though Fulham would firstly have to do what Liverpool couldn't and beat Athletico Madrid in the final.

Have we ever qualified through fair play?? Man City did last year though finishing 10th.

Here's to a big season next year and making sure we play well throughout the season — not just at the end.
Martin Clark     Posted 03/05/2010 at 02:13:11   Comments (20)

A Yank on ToffeeWeb

Well, one game to go and I want to say you guys are the greatest. Since I came in here in January, you've torn to shreds virtually every player, Moyes, and the ownership. (That's an observation, not a critique.) Yet remained so passionate about all of them doing well. Incredible!

Some part of most days since Landon's signing, I've been in here knowing I'd enjoy myself. I've laughed out loud many times. I even made my wife (who hates sports, soccer in particular) read some posts and watched her make a "What's wrong with that guy" face (Michael Kenrick - Yes, that face was born as she read your post-ManU victory Moyes demolition).

Again, read nothing negative in any of this. It's been a great few months this sports fan would've missed if Moyes didn't sign Landon.

With that:

1. Kenrick et al: Great site. Congrats on it and thanks for creating a place for us. First-rate all-round.

2. Moyes, bringing Donovan back and no injury catastrophies; EPL look out.

3. I'll have to arrange to be over there next season when the League Trophy is lifted at Goodison by our boys. I'd like to meet a few of you. First round on me. 4. You're a great bunch.
James Flynn     Posted 05/02/2010 at 01:32:35   Comments (14)

Business Evertonians

Last August, I put an idea to Bill Kenwright. He responsded and I got invited to Goodison to discuss the idea.

I am looking to share ideas with business-type Everton fans who would like to look at how we can share our off-the-field talents and experience to help our Club. Can any one who has business or commercial experience please let ToffeeWeb know directly, detailing who you are and what you do.

Due to possible commercial sensitivity, you will understand that all details of what is being proposed cannot be made public and only shared with a small number of people at this time.

If you have a genuine interest in this, please get in touch direct with Michael or Lyndon at ToffeeWeb Towers. <>P> I met Everton last year to discuss the proposals and I have guaranteed to keep them confidential to give them first refusal. The proposals are still valid and I would like to share them in complete commercial confidence with some fellow fans, with only the Club's interests at heart. I've given them a season to consider, so I would now like to share the proposals with some genuine business fans.

Sorry to be so vague, but unless I know who you are and your genuine "Evertonness", I can't say more.

ToffeeWeb can send me your contact details so I can forward further information to your business email address (only).

Thanks for reading this.
Tony I'Anson     Posted 02/05/2010 at 21:47:48   Comments (5)

The summer of Pienaar

Last summer, our pre-season preparation was thrown into chaos by the Lescott business... in fact, it blighted our entire season. It seems that this summer it will be the turn of Pienaar.

I really can't bear the thought of protracted negotiations with David Moyes having no idea of what he has to spend and who he needs to replace. Or indeed open letters appearing on this site begging him to stay. I like Steven Pienaar but think he is vastly overrated.

Now my idea of contract negotiations may be unsophisticated and simplistic but why can something along the following lines not happen:

As soon as the season ends DM asks for an urgent meeting with Pienaar and his representatives. He tells Steven that he is an important part of the good times that are ahead. He mentions Lescott and his appalling misjudgement; then, he suggests to Steven that he can achieve financial stability and professional fulfillment at Goodison Park.. Finally he cuts to the chase and asks what he wants exactly..

DM goes to Bill and asks what is the absolute best we can do. DM goes back to Pienaar, makes him an offer, and says let us know within a week, emphasizing that this is an absolute final offer.

Pienaar says Yes, everyone is happy. Pienaar says No and DM wishes him the best of luck for the future. He alerts interested clubs that Pienaar is available for £13 million, immediately.

A deal is done. Two decent players are brought in in good time for pre-season. Everton are happy and Steven Pienaar has made the biggest mistake of his career.

Can life be this simple? Why not?
Andy Crooks     Posted 02/05/2010 at 18:29:15   Comments (36)

Give youth a chance!

As the last game of the season has little importance, I feel it's a good chance to give a few of the fringe youth players a chance to get some experience.

I realise that a few players are pushing for World Cup spots but others could be fit in around these players. An opportunity could be given to the likes of Turner, Mustafi, Duffy, Wallace, Baxter, Agard and even Senderos. Maybe others?

Turner – If he has any possibility of a career at Everton, this is a chance to show it. Though I doubt he'll make it as Mucha's signing puts him further back and Ruddy must be rated higher.

Mustafi – Comes with good reviews and could be a reward for consistent season.

Duffy – Played well from what I saw in Europe and seems to have a lot of promise. Could be an excellent prospect.

Wallace – Has sat on the bench a lot this season, why not see what he can do.

Baxter – Said to have the potential to be a star. Give him a chance against a weak Pompey side.

Agard – Not sure about this bloke, but is meant to have pace and may just need an opportunity.

Senderos — I am unsure. Could need to prove himself and the fact he's free helps. Got bags of experience for a 24-year-old. I think he could be an excellent defender if he could cut out the lapses. Good replacement for Yobo if we sold him.

The main thing is we have nothing to lose but an unbeaten record... and really, as nice as it is, I couldn't care less about the record, as in the end it counts for nothing next season.

This gives us a chance to give some lads experience, reward for their efforts and could show more than thought possible, showing if called upon could support the 1st team or even push for places next year.

The season is over and we need to be looking at possible benefits for next year. If these players can show they are good enough, Moyes may feel comfortable slotting them in rather than playing players out of position (like Hibbert at centre-back).

Any one else worthy of a chance in the 1st team?
Martin Clark     Posted 02/05/2010 at 03:21:49   Comments (17)

Oz: Wrong choice

I am really not getting our marketing department. We bring in THE biggest football name the USA has, and what do we do —- ignore it!

Why are we going to Australia this summer? Surely it makes so much more sense to visit the States and optimise the connection with Landon rather than start all over again in Oz, where, with respect, I can't see the commercial opportunities being any way near as beneficial.

We should be organising a tournament with us and three MLS sides (including the likes of LA and NY) that will firmly put us on the map. I know we have been to the States before but never have we been on the back of such a positive press from our tie in with their star player.

I honestly can't understand this decision to ignore a potentially money-spinning trip. If we are going to leave Europe during pre-season it has to be for the best of the club and from where I am, Australia over USA just doesn't quite stack up.

To summarise — I think we are missing a big opportunity that could:

  1. Help us get Landon back
  2. Increase the awareness of EFC in a country where football is really starting to take off
  3. God forbid, maybe help us find a potential investor!
As well as signing Pienaar up and bringing in additional players this summer, us having a commercially focussed, savvy Marketing/PR team is also up there on my wish list!
Brian Sneddon     Posted 02/05/2010 at 00:13:50   Comments (23)

Jags: No Fuss

Just watched Match of the Day and, while it was depressing to see our Europa League bid fizzle out like that, there was something in those brief highlights, that reminded me why I'm proud to be a Blue.

That was Phil Jagielka's reaction to the goal being disallowed. The guy had celebrated with his team mates and gone to the fans behind the goal. It seemed he was on his way back for the restart when he finally realised the goal had been ruled out.

But there was no look of disbelief on his face, no angry charge to remonstrate with the officials. The guy simply brushed it off and ran back to take up his position.

In fact, I didn't see any sign of protest at all from the team which, in this day and age of posturing players and managers, and given the fact that even Stoke seemed to accept it was a legitimate goal, is unusual to say the least. But then maybe that's just the Everton way these days — play the game fairly and with the minimum of fuss.

I get down to Goodison only a few times every season and maybe I'm picking the wrong games, but it always strikes me that the players just accept the referee's decision and get on with the game.

Incidentally, Jagielka was a gentleman when he signed an autograph and posed for a picture when my eldest son attended his first game at Goodison last year. He got injured a few weeks later and it's great to see him back.
Mike McQuaid     Posted 02/05/2010 at 00:06:15   Comments (12)

1969-70 TV Camera Ban

Can anybody enlighten me with regards to why there was a TV camera ban in force at Goodison Park during the second half of the 1969-70 Championship season. Thanks.
Brian Foley     Posted 01/05/2010 at 23:59:51   Comments (6)

Today's Back Four

After watching the highlights on MotD (suprised at the amount of time we got this week), I thought my eyes had deceived me when I saw Jagielka playing at right back as, earlier in the day, I thought Yobo was playing there.

Fair enough, Jags might have played well today, but what was Moyes's reason behind that decision considering he was crap there the last time he played in that position?
Brad Eastwood     Posted 01/05/2010 at 23:17:51   Comments (14)

Stoke v Everton

So.... Pienaar out of today's game... Ankle injury supposedly. If he goes, at least it won't be a drawn at affair like the Lescott saga. Get it done and dusted ASAP!

As for the game.... No Comment!
Kunal Desai     Posted 01/05/2010 at 14:00:40   Comments (29)

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