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The Mail Bag

November 2009 Archive
Want to have your say?

Put the pressure on Kenwright

How anybody can moan about Tim Cahill and/or David Moyes beggars belief. You couldn't wish for two more committed individuals to the football club.

The reasons Tim Cahill's form may seem to have dipped are both the result of his unselfishness and huge heart:

(a) he has been playing out of position by filling various midfield gaps — when he is a brilliant forward, and (b) Cahill has doubtless been playing through injuries too.

As for David Moyes, this is the man who came out on Friday and used the 'B' word that appears to strike fear into the supposed custodians of Everton FC — yes... BUY (US), Of course, Bill prefers 'I' for investment, and his mythical search which is totally dependent on maintaining the status quo of Bill Kenwright's Everton, and its narrow little world of north London cronyism.

If Evertonians are going to have a moan, they should make Bill Kenwright their first target every time. The club will only progress by being open to the possibilities of stadium (re-)development and new monies — and they will only be open to such opportunities if they put Everton Football Club above Bill Kenwright's Everton. One need not be dependent on the other.
Patrick Hart     Posted 30/11/2009 at 15:49:35   Comments (23)

No Yobo in Athens

Yobo has been confirmed as not travelling to Greece. I am always in favour of not playing people out of position unless an absolute emergency. What I'm saying is who should partner Distin on Wednesday?

Heitinga, Neill, Neville and Yobo are out so I say start Duffy or Mustafi and not Hibbert at centre-half, as we had in the same senario at Benfica. Rodwell is also an option but we are also short in centre midfield too so I think we will need Rodwell there.
John Crook     Posted 30/11/2009 at 14:40:13   Comments (19)

Turning point

Obviously we have lost the derby game and we are very down right now... especially that we only have one win in eleven games. However, we completely outplayed Liverpool and it is hard to comprehend how we did not win that game let alone lose it.

With the swagger returning to our play and the determination back, I wouldn't be surprised if this game inspires the team to start a run of good results, ie, like the Villa game last year. Let's hope we can get things rolling on Wednesday against a poor AEK team. COYB
Ian Tod     Posted 30/11/2009 at 14:15:03   Comments (5)

It's just a little embarrassing

Ok, so I'm not on here to rant and rave, but more to just vent my frustration at what I perceive to be mistakes that are not being corrected.

Now, I'm a teacher and when anyone in my class makes a mistake, I ask them to have another go, until they are confident at doing what ever they have been learning. Now, I'm no super teacher... but Moyes is Everton's teacher. So... on the playground today he should be doing the following few things:

1. Yobo needs to learn how to kick a ball. Every time I see him play, he either skews balls high into the stand or he doesn't actualy connect at all.

2. Pass and Move - why can't Everton pass and then run into space? Admittedly, yesterday was better but these players are pros who have been taught since day one to pass and move... so why are the players just starting to do this? It's like grown men taking baby steps for the first time!

3. Moyes needs to sort himself out by taking himself to one side and searching for his balls. Liverpool yesterday scored right after that nonsense substitution business. Moyes, get some balls and demand players to come off — don't ask them if they want to!!

4. Let's now make no mistake but if Everton were a school, then Jo would definitley be out of class in my special educational needs group. Firstly for learning the offside rule and then for learning how to be Brazilian — he needs some cultural understanding!

Right...I guess that has turned into a rant. I'm sorry. Now can you please publish this as I really am sad and need to see my whine on screen. I'm sorry for my past misgivings!!
Chris Marston     Posted 30/11/2009 at 12:56:02   Comments (6)

Projections and Pontifications

After a decent performance yesterday, let down by Bily and Fellaini, both missing sitters, I was wondering where we go from here....

At the risk of sounding like I'm moaning, with a very heavy heart and in my opinion, we'll be in the bottom 3 after the next 2 games. All left scratching our head again, wondering why the manager can't motivate the team like he seemed to yesterday, for any of the other games during the season.

I happen to think Moyes is beginning to lose patience with Everton and the ground-move falling through has compounded his frustration. I happen to think that we'll finished mid-table, but what hope (by way of possible honours) have we got as a club, looking forward...?!

We had our big chance after finishing 4th (which was a miracle in itself) to attract better players and what did we do about it? FUCK ALL, that's what. The players we've got at the moment simply aren't good enough to progress the club, don't wanna stay or get snapped up by a richer club. We should have bought big and taken the risk after getting in to the CL, but once again Everton FC failed to deliver.

Having seen that there are LOADS of people pontificating on this site, trying to be positive about how things will improve when all out players are fit (no team ever has all of it's best players fit, so you need a squad of players who can cover for the inevitable injuries), I felt compelled to write.

Other people have been saying that money doesn't buy you success - IT BUYS YOU BETTER PLAYERS though, doesn't it.....?!?!?! With better players, you've SURELY got a better chance of winning. I reckon we can only get to a certain level without considerable investment and last year was as-good-as-it-gets for this club, I'm afraid - 5th and a Cup Final is all we can hope for.

We can't improve past that level coz of the shite quality of player that Everton FC can afford these days. For example, Fellaini - fellas sitting around me in the Street End yesterday were saying that Fellaini played 'OK'; and that he did. However, if we're satisfied with one 'OK' performance in 15 with this fella, then we're ROYALLY in the shite.

Yobo is a fucking disaster zone / complete empty-head and is getting exposed EVERY SINGLE WEEK. Billy has been an utter disappointment — I reckon it's about time that he started to deliver, or he can fuck off too.

They're not solely to blame, these are the types of players that Everton can bring in / keep — players that are AREN'T good enough to get us challenging for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th. Dunno if you blame the manager for bringing these players in or what, but if he can't attract the players (due to the fact that our stadium is a fuckin' mess or that we simply can't afford them) then what is he supposed to do...?!?!

Pienaar looked good yesterday, but it looks like he'll be away in January — and who can blame him, as Everton are going nowhere. Rodwell will follow him too, by the looks of things.

We're a mid-table selling club that lacks ambition and unless investment / a buyer for the club can be found, 5th and a Cup-run (if Moyes doesn't play the kids in the 3rd round again, that is) is all we can expect. I love Everton FC, but anything else is simply pie-in-the-sky.
Andy Callan     Posted 30/11/2009 at 10:55:07   Comments (12)


No not the rambings of the FSW, but those of a seriously depressed Bluenose. I seriously upset family yesterday, when I decided watching Everton in the pub was more important than going to my nephew's Christening. Okay, I got there 5 pints later and as I said to the the vicar, there aint anything as painful as watching Everton under Moyes, the beer was ap ainkiller, purley on medical grounds!

Fact 1) There are not 3 worse teams in the Premier League than Everton, as an article in a paper today described Everton as the worst "pure footballing " team ever to grace the Premier League.

Fact 2) We will at best end up with 46 points.

Fact 3) It's not injuries and Europe that have ruined our season, it's Moyes and Billy bullshit.

FACT 4) iF you cannot put the ball in the back of then net then you are fucked; we clearly cannot... Bambi on ice, go back to City.

Let's just hope we can bounce straight back up like Newcastle look like they will do, at least we get £50 million in parachute payments!
Chris Perry     Posted 30/11/2009 at 09:58:09   Comments (16)

Holding on to our hero

So... last year — 5th pace and an FA Cup Final appearance. Not bad for a team of our meager means and antiquated stadium. Moyes, again, turned brass into gold — a squad light on top-eight talent was made to play, and compete, with some of the biggest spenders in the world of football.

Mr Moyes could, justifiably, look at last season as the pinnacle of what can be achieved at Goodison. He could walk away — he's obviously a talented manager; he could cite the lack of transfer funds and the lack of a plan for future growth, now that the Kirkby plan has hit the buffers.

The thing is, I still feel optimistic. I expect our season to turn around; next year, I expect things to go better and I'll be on the train down from Scotland as often as I can to see Everton, in the main, perform.

This is all down to Mr Moyes, a man of integrity and talent who obviously loves the club and the fans. Yes, his selections piss me off sometimes, and I rekon he can be a bit cautious — but he gives me hope and makes me proud.

How the fuck do we manage to keep him?
Jem Bir     Posted 30/11/2009 at 06:57:03   Comments (12)

Someone with Vision

At 52 years old, the notable teams for me have firstly been Shankly's Liverpool... as Ian St John said on Saturday, he came with a vision to make Liverpool the greatest team in the world; the club were languishing in the second division and Shankly himself called Anfield a slum but that didn't stop him.

Clough's Nottingham Forest transformed from Second Division non-entities to English and European Champions. When Tommy Docherty witnessed the demise of the Best, Law and Charlton team, resulting in relegation for Man Utd, he put together a team of youngsters with pace and verve that tore through the Second Division and returned to terrorise the First Division, smashing 6 in at Goodison against us and beating Liverpool at Wembley for the FA Cup.

I would add Keegan's first Newcastle to this company because the features of these teams was the belief generated by teams who were not built on household names costing fortunes but on managers with vision. Sure, money increases your chances but look at Man City with the unimaginative Mark Hughes... hardly tearing up trees, are they?

Listening to Owen Coyle of Burnley today explaining how, at a cost of less than £6 million, he's put together a team competing in the Premier League and notably playing better than us.

Too many supporters are looking for someone with a lot of money to sort us out; no, its someone with a lot of vision and ability to lead us to the promised land — that's what we need... thinking otherwise is delusional.
Charles King     Posted 29/11/2009 at 19:31:27   Comments (14)


We all keep spouting that, when we get Neville, Arteta, Jags etc back, we’ll go shooting up the league. Well hopefully we’ll improve and there were good signs today against Liverpool that just having Pienaar and Fellaini playing well we are at least competitive again. But if you look at the facts, we will be fortunate to get to 50 points this season — which on past basis will only be good enough for about 10th place in the league and way out of European places.

We have 24 games left, 5 of which against the normal Top 4 which on past history means 5 games lost and please don’t start yelling we can compete with that level, because we can't!!! This leaves 19 games and I’m sure we won't get anything from Spurs this season (next week-end will tell), so another 2 games lost.

This leaves 17 games against the rest (2 against Man City included, and Villa away)... So, at best, let's assume we can win 9, draw 4 and lose 4 (our normal points rate last 2 years). So this gives us another 31 points which added to our current 15, gives a total of 46 points.

Looking at the last 2 years of the Premier League, this would suggest a position around 10th or 11th. To get the necessary 6-7th position for Europe, we need about 58 points which means we need another 12 points – that’s 4 wins against the current Top 6 — something I can't see us doing.

So it looks like goodbye to Europe next year!
Mike Oates     Posted 29/11/2009 at 19:30:14   Comments (9)


Just got back from the pub watching it surrounded by fans of ’the other lot’. At least they had the good grace to say they didn’t deserve the win.

That was, so, so gutting. Our best performance in a long time, especially the second half. A lucky deflection and an individual error were what undid us.

I sent a text to my mate in the first half saying Yobo was giving me the jitters. Aside from this game, his clearances are routinely skewed and he gives me no confidence that he won’t put us onto the back foot.

Harsh on folk giving Hibbo grief, thought he had a decent game.

Take the positives though, our midfield looked pretty damn good today. Play like that consistently and we will be ok. Bit worried about Saha though, he looked well off colour and not fully fit when he came on. None of our other forwards can hit a barndoor from a yard at the moment...
Andy Morden     Posted 29/11/2009 at 13:04:42   Comments (51)


I posted on here beginning of last few seasons saying how we need a change and Moyes needs to go. Both times Moyes has turned it round and got European football and an FA Cup final. I'm sticking to my guns and saying the same now.

Everyone will turn round with, "Oh but we were unlucky and we played well..." etc etc etc. What bothers me with the performance is the players' efforts may have bought Moyes more time and excuses. I want to see the football at Everton evolve and a team that goes out to win and win playing good football. We're always going to be hoping that Moyes turns it round which he most likely will but that's all it's going to be — a turn round from shite to slightly over-achieving.

Under Moyes and the present board we will never go to a game thinking "We're going to win this!" and see our expectations of modern day good football played out in front of us. It's time for a change; time to stop being called over-achievers and actually be achievers.

If one player could sum Everton up at this present moment its Felliani. Felliani is a good footballer, one that is frustrated and angry because the people around him can't play football. Today, I watched a player who technically is above half the rest of team but has to jump half-arsed around trying to win Yobo's long balls and Hibbert's up-and-unders.

Sooner or later, the Tony Marshes of this world are going to be proven right and I just hope that relegation this season is not the start.

Before I end and wait for the over-achievers to slate me, I would like to say, if Moyes does go, please Everton go for a European manager and not Dave Jones, Peter Reid... the list goes on.

Matty Loveless     Posted 29/11/2009 at 12:30:32   Comments (27)

Happy Days!

'The Fonz' will get to see this line up of our boys today...

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Distin, Baines, Pienaar, Heitinga, Fellaini, Cahill, Bilyaletdinov, Jo. Subs: Nash, Saha, Gosling, Yakubu, Neill, Coleman, Baxter

I would never have thought Jo would have made the starting line-up for today and i guess the only consolation is the fact that Torres is out for today. Good to see Billy, Felli and Pienaar back, but no Rodwell. I had expected to see Hibbert in ahead of Neill today and i'm quite pleased by that one but gutted to see Saha hasn't made the starting line-up.

I hope Jo proves us all wrong and that his hair proves as big a hit as the Fonz's.

If you didn't know, 'The Fonz' is at the game today.

A good result for us today could see better days to come. Here's to 'Happy Days'...

Matt Lavery     Posted 29/11/2009 at 09:53:40   Comments (78)

Dare Davey, Dare!!

Come on Davey, give us a team for us to get behind against Liverpool. I hope it will be something like this:

Hibbert, Yobo, Distin, Baines
Pienaar, Heitinga, Rodwell (if fit), Bilyaletdinov
Cahill, Jo....
Tony Cheek     Posted 28/11/2009 at 16:23:27   Comments (49)

Hopes & Expectations

This time last year, my wife and I made the fairly major decision to uproot and move to Canada. Work was crap and the economy was getting worse and worse. An opportunity presented itself, which was too good to turn down so off we went, leaving friends, family and my beloved EFC behind.

I had been a season ticket holder for 7 years, traveling from Birmingham every home game. The Gwladys Street was my church and boy did I worship!

I miss it. I miss the whole god-damn thing. I miss getting up at 7:30am on Saturday and waiting, usually hung over, for my dad to pick me up. I miss us putting the world to rights on the way up the M6. I miss our mates Andy, James & Will joining us on the trip and the inevitable Alan Partridge impressions! I miss my fry-up on County Road. I miss the rest of the lads arriving in the Chepstow and the anticipation of the game, no matter who we were playing. I miss the buzz on County road and people rushing to get inside Goodison in time to catch Z-Cars. I miss the smell of horse shit. Christ, I even miss the Everton Corporate 'Tent' at the Park End!

Now, watching Everton (from afar) has been nothing short of depressing this season. I know there is not one of you out there who will disagree with me.

Watching from Canada gives you a sense of complete helplessness. I can't help, I can't turn up on a Saturday and scream my fucking lungs up in an attempt to get the team going. I'll be honest with you, it's difficult.

I know performances on the pitch, and shanannigans off it, have caused divisions amongst supporters, the likes of which I cannot recall in the 20 years I have been watching Everton. Fighting in the stands, bitching on message boards — not the typical behaviour of Everton Fans.

So I'm asking you all for a bit of a favour. Please could you all try and pitch in for me on Sunday.

I'll be watching in a pub full of Kopite twats, most of whom have cockney or Canadian accents and have never been to Anfield. They'll be there in their replica kits and red & white scarves. There will be a rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone and they will be hopping up and down like a set of wankers to that Torres song, as if they are really at the match.

I won't. Watching the game in the pub in Canada is as far removed from the match as you can be.

So please, if you are going, enjoy it. We're playing badly and the future of the club is at a cross-roads, that is true. But the fans need to have one voice, a united front. No fighting, no bitching and slagging off our own players, no berating the Chairman or the Manager.

This is Everton we are talking about. I love them. You love them. Show it.
Richard Osborne     Posted 28/11/2009 at 12:42:22   Comments (11)

Thank you, David Moyes

David Moyes on Sky Sports News:

"It is disappointing for the club but I don't think I'd have bought Everton when they were in the situation of will they get Kirkby, won't they get Kirkby," said the Toffees boss.

"One way or another we needed this decision as it has been hanging over us for a couple of years.

"If there are any buyers out there - and Bill Kenwright has said if there is anyone he would be willing to speak to them and do business - this may well force them out of the woodwork.

"I also think Liverpool council have said to us many times there are sites for us in the city so I'm looking forward to hearing what they can come up with.

"But I love Goodison and if I thought it could be fixed and put in the condition we want that would give me the biggest thrill.

"But maybe in the world just now the viable cost of it can't happen."

Over to you Mr Kenwright.

Steven Flavin     Posted 27/11/2009 at 13:18:56   Comments (17)

Don't worry about Moyes

Don't worry about Moyes. He knows better than most the hole Everton FC find themselves in.

We can only speculate on the true state of our finances, injuries, team spirit etc. David Moyes knows with certainty what his budget is for the January transfer window and our debt, the extent of Arteta, Vaughan, Victor, Neville and Jagielka's injuries and what his relationship is with his players and the players' relationships with each other.

Moyes has been the best pound-for-pound Premier League manager in recent years. Not longer do we expect a relegation battle come April. We are more accustomed to challenging for Europe, winning and constantly punching above our financial weight and media expectation. Everton FC has been good for Moyes's reputation and stature in the game too.

It is widely regarded outside the club that he, like Rooney, deserves a bigger platform to push on and challenge for the biggest prizes. However, when attractive managerial vacancies arise, his name is always conspicuous by it's absence. This is because Everton were seen as a team on-the-up, well-run, big fanbase and great history. I think we can say with confidence we are neither on-the-up or well-run!

I think Moyes's patience with the board is at breaking point as many of the supporters' is with him. The question is not whether he will jump ship, but when? The problem he now faces is that the teams Everton are in direct competition with e.g. Aston Villa, Spurs, Man City, appear to have put their recent unrest behind them and leap-frogged us.

I think what Moyes will do is wait until the season ends and fill the boots of the deposed Mark Hughes at Man City. I don't think he can handle another season at Everton and would sooner succeed Hughes, corrupting his ambition of managing Man Utd forever, rather than try and get the best out of what he has with us and endure another embarrassing summer of inactivity.

So for everyone desperate for Moyes to resign, get the sack, whatever, I honestly feel this will be his last season with us. He may well turn it around over the next 6 months but without investment the best he can hope for is a top 8-9 finish in seasons to come. It's the best we can all hope for.

For what it's worth I can't see us attracting anything even close to a world class manager. If our best players come back and we see a serious improvement starting this weekend, I'd be disappointed to see him go.

Tom Winek     Posted 27/11/2009 at 09:08:41   Comments (19)

Ground share profits

A lot of common sense has been spoken recently about how a ground share would benefit both Everton and Liverpool. In terms of costs, planning applications, access by fans through transport links and so on, it's easy to see the sense.

One thing that bugs me though is the fact that to me the financial profits for us may not be what we think. Even with Liverpool's current debts, I can see them coming up with a larger chunk of the money for the stadium than us. Will this mean that, because they are putting in more money, and incurring more of the debt, they will get more of the revenue? I would imagine it would.

If the council provide the site for free, and or provide some money towards the cost, what will they look for in return? The Goodison and Anfield sites probably but they may also look for some of the revenue as well. This to me would leave us with the smaller share of any revenue produced by the new stadium. By the time we pay our share of day to day running costs, as well as our share of the cost of the stadium, will we be earning more from a new stadium than we currently are from Goodison?

The answer is that I honestly don't know. And before you say anything, I think that a new stadium in the current climate is a good idea. Is it better than using the same cash to redevelop Goodison? I don't think so but I would be very interested to see someone do the sums on both options.
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 27/11/2009 at 05:55:31   Comments (15)

Cahill and the Derby

Just Moyes' stubborness in playing Cahill all the time, when the lad clearly needs a rest. He played right-wing yesterday when Gosling, who at least provides us some width and balance to the midfield, should have played instead.

I'm not sure if he should play in the derby now. Yes, his leadership and tenacity would be valuable, but he is so tired and would not be as effective.

Positives for the derby are we finally have our two best wingers back! So, if they're playing, I do think we have a chance against the shite. The second half performance was encouraging so we can take that into the game.

Just a thought of the team, mine might be something like this.

 Howard Neill, Yobo, Distin, Baines Billy, Heitinga, Rodwell, Pienaar Fellaini Saha 

I think this is a good starting eleven, because we'll be matching Liverpool's midfield, and Cahill can a deserved rest, and can be a useful impact player, as well as Yakubu. It's still a strong team, only Arteta and Jagielka would get in the team out of our injured players at the moment. But the main question is Cahill or Fellaini, and I'd pick Fellaini, solely because he'd be fitter, and hopefully if they have Glen Johnson injured, and that Kyrgiakos plays, Fellaini can stifle him as much as possible!!

It's a long shot but I definitely think we can win this game, COYB!!
Ben Jones     Posted 26/11/2009 at 12:03:45   Comments (17)

Whoa, not so fast

It's hard to see where the funding would come from without the Tesco super development, but DK is apparently not totally dead in the water as a destination for a football stadium. See para 22 of the Secretary of State's summary on the planning rejection.

Basically he says he has noted the objections to the development of a football stadium on the site, but does not see that they preclude the construction of a stadium in an alternative scheme which would be assessed on its own merits.

Very unlikely to happen unless someone chucks a load of money in, but still in there as a possibility.
Howard Don     Posted 26/11/2009 at 11:19:17   Comments (4)

The Crossroads is reached

Wednesday night 25th November 2009 may well go down as one of the most pivotal dates in Everton's long history.

On the pitch, we were beaten last night by a poor team who just got the basics right. The results are now starting to match the performances. Players are starting to hide, are underperforming or just not good enough. All of those issues are down to Moyes and Round. If we do well for the rest of the season now, we will be lucky to get a top 6 finish and progress a bit further in Europe. On the evidence thus far both objectives are laughable and Moyes' himself has raised the spectre of a relegation battle.

We were all hoping that on the pitch, we would make a decent fist of competing with the Villa, Man City and Spurs. More likely we will be relieved to win some of our remaining home games, sneak the odd draw away from Goodison and survive.

Off the pitch, the evening was also memorable for the news on the DK decision. I had originally voted for the move, but increasingly found myself wishing I hadn't. So I had mixed emotions last night; on one hand I was sort of relieved (at least I wouldn't have to endure Tesco bags floating across the pitch on Sunday and 'The City's all ours' from the RS Norwegian brigade) on the other hand I could just see us teetering on a precipice, because, of course we don't have a Plan B.

It is this lack of an alternative strategy which is most damning for both Kenwright and also his management team. In fact it's 'criminally' negligent and a major failure in their duty as Directors and guardians of our great Club. In my opinion it leaves Kenwright and his fellow Directors lacking in all credibility and they cannot continue on that basis.

Worse still it has left Moyes with his hands tied. He will be fuming this morning and not just at the performances on the pitch. He will be feeling duped by Kenwright et al. He will now feel that he's kept faith, has not had that faith met and as such will understandably feel open to offers from elsewhere.

This mail isn't about whether he should stay or go, or whether he is the right manager for us after 7 years at the helm. It's about a crossroads reached, a tipping point, where events seem to be colliding to take the Club (and by implication us supporters) along a route which could otherwise have been very different.

I suspect that a rather large rock as just been thrown into our pond and it won't create ripples so much as tsunami waves. This might be for the good (new investment, new manager who continues our upward curve, new stadium in the heart of the City) or it might just be our worst nightmare (the perpetuation of the current regime, the erosion of the playing squad, a new manager who can't arrest the decline or manage on penny scraps and a stadium which falls down around our ears).

Let's hope it's the former and let's do everything we can to make sure it is.

Steve Guy     Posted 26/11/2009 at 10:36:20   Comments (31)

Plan for All

Following the Destination Kirkby decision today and the aftermath that will undoubtedly begin from both camps, it is in my opinion that it is now time for both sides of the debate to now officially join together to stop the opportunity for the plans B, C, D to be worked upon without achieving a united front — after all, it's the future of this once great club that is at risk both on and off the pitch.

Both sides have worked extremely hard to put forward strong arguments for and against, with the against perceived to be the victors. There are no real winners and losers long term if we do not have an agreed solution. The real work starts now on coming up with the best solution for this club, therefore I urge the KEIOC team to realise that humility and understanding of the position Everton are now in, with no real tangible Plan B should be at the forefront of whatever else they want to involve themselves in.

I was a supporter of the KEOIC and I have been very impressed with the quality of their debate and presentation. I believe now that their ability and intelligence should be put to best use by working with and helping Everton move on.

Bill Kenwright and his team will be very disappointed for various reasons; financially, this has an impact on the club and no doubt the directors personally but they will come out fighting and good luck to them, any good businessman would do the same. It would now be fantastic to see that their own beliefs can be matched with all of the supporters' beliefs to achieve a mutual goal whatever that may be.

The start of that process begins on Sunday with all behind the team and the board on a united front to beat Liverpool and show the world we can be as one.

Bill Kenwright is the owner of this club and, despite anyone's thoughts on what is currently happening at Everton, I would not doubt for one minute he is not doing his best. That may not be good enough based on financial contraints but he still deserves support until there is an alternative.

One point of irony after reading the government paper: "A stadium in Kirkby severely impacting on a similar retail development in Skelmersdale."

Who would have thought that a town that is predominately made up of exiled Scousers, who chose not to live in Merseyside, would have such a sway on whether a stadium was in Liverpool or not?

Paul Niklas     Posted 26/11/2009 at 10:09:02   Comments (23)

The time has come

More fool me, I arranged a business trip so that I could take in the Hull game. I am 41 years old and have been watching Everton for a good 30 years, admittedly less since moving to the south coast from chester some 11 years ago.

I don't think I have seen a more collective bunch of disinterested players in my time.

These so-called professionals are on anything ranging from £10k a week up to £65k a week, if I or anyother person acted and performed the way these 11 did last night, showing disrespect for the fans and the reputation of my employer then I would expect to be sacked, or demoted.

There is no excuse for last night, except that the Manager is the most negative, excuse-making indivdual in the employment of Everton. Let's not forget the facts, this is Moyes's squad, he either bought them all or has brought them through as his own, e.g Hibbert and Osman, The blame lise well and truly at the feet of Moyes and his backroom staff.

The injuries: Why are they happening? Is it a result of our poor methods and general preparation for the season? I mean a worthless trip to the USA to play against a collection of wannabes and has beens? The preparation is down to Moyes and his back room staff.

Team selection and tactics: Players played out of position, negative tactics against teams we should steam roll over. Walking on to the pitch against the top 3 knowing we have lost before the ball is kicked. Simply down to Moyes and his backroom staff.

I think the time has come for a change, not just the players who simply are not good enough for Everton, e.g Fellaini, Osman, Hibbert, Neville, Yobo, Gosling, but also Moyes, Round and most definitly Kenwright. Last night was worse than watching the dross under Mike Walker, Kendall's 3rd ill-fated spell, Gordon Lee and Walter Smith's reign in charge.

I think any comments made to this post should also include a donation for the "Taxi".

One depressed, angry, cold and wet miserable self-exiled-in-the-south Everton supporter.
Chris Perry     Posted 26/11/2009 at 09:40:48   Comments (17)

Plan B?

The club have now said they will look into the possibility of a groundshare with the shite. If, as has been mentioned on here, that now Kirkby has gone, there is no chance of a new stadium, because we are skint, and we needed Tesco etc, where is the money coming from for a joint venture? You don't discuss the possibility of it happening, if you are skint.
Brian Waring     Posted 26/11/2009 at 06:17:25   Comments (3)

Misery and Blue Bill

We all know Bill Kenwright is a Toffee. Personally that means jack all to me.

He may love this club but he is slowly killing us. It brought into my mind that Steven King movie from the early 90s Misery with Kathy Bates. He loves us so much he can't bear to let us go. He is slowly loving this club to death.

I'm not going to write a negative or positive spin on Kirkby. It's in the past now and the net result has been a split fan base and a shit load of time wasted. Sure others have been involved but at the end of the day the responsibility for the entire direction of this club falls on Bill Kenwright. I'm begining to lose count of how many times we have been led down the garden path by this man to find nothing.

What now, for Christ's sake? There are plenty of complaints at the way the team is playing (I'll always watch but it's beginning to bloody hurt). Yes, Moyes is responsible for our tactics, players purchased and style but he has not been backed by the board at all. His best purchases are players like Pienaar, Arteta, Jags and Cahill who he picked up on the cheap because that was the only option open to him.

He has nevre had enough money to build a sqaud and plenty of our purchases have only come as a result of selling existing players. Moyes is responsible for poor onfield performances but Kenwright is responsible for who our manager is.

I still believe we will get by this year but we have taken a few big backward steps this year while our competition has only gotten stronger. That can only be sustained for so long. I'm beginning to rant but one thing is crystal clear now.

With our current board and recently our manager we are never going to get back to being in contention for the League or any major trophy. Change needs to come to Goodison.

Russell Buckley     Posted 25/11/2009 at 23:12:14   Comments (7)

Team spirit

Every time that someone like Tony Marsh who spends his hard earned money watching rubbish at GP comes on here and says "sack Moyes" those of us who now live overseas tend to protest and usally two or three mention "team spirit" as a positive in terms of keeping Moyes.

The belief seems to be that without Moyes we'll lose this "team spirit" and all our good players will go elsewhere. I noticed this week that both Heitinga and Neill have jumped on the "team spirit" bandwagon following in the footsteps of the oft quoted Neville, Cahill and Arteta.

My question is this: Where is this "spirit" when the games are going on ? When do we see the never say died attitude of old ? I once had a job at a bar where we had "team spirit" and what that really meant was that none of us did any work and we just hung out socially.

I never hear anyone talking of "team spirit" at Man Utd. In fact if you ask Stam, Beckham or Nani they will tell you that Fergie is never satisified, angry and unfriendly. You will hear similar things said about the Capello England team by the likes of David James, Rooney and Terry. The media often highlight the fact that Capello's thus far successful stint is in stark contrast to Steve MacLarens unsuccessful spell during which there was a "team spirit" and casual atmosphere among staff and players.

I am noticing a trend here. Demanding, authoritarian manager = success. Laid back "team spirit" facilitator = crap team. Additionally if we sign, enter into negotiations with or make a bid for Alan Hutton or any other right back in the next transfer window then my support of Everton will be at an end. You need more than just half a dozen right backs "enjoying a friendly rivalry" to build a team Moyes.
Kieran Kinsella     Posted 25/11/2009 at 20:45:39   Comments (31)

Everton are in meltdown, open your eyes people!

Everton FC are in a MAJOR meltdown.

Let me be clear, I am a fully fledged blue-blooded follower of the Everton reglion but I don't live in the city and never have. In fact there is no rhyme or reason why I support Everton, I just do. True love I suppose! For this reason I will confess upfront that I don't know enough about the ins and outs of the failed DK to have a strong/valid opinion as to whether this was right or wrong for the club and DK itself is not the point of this article.

The point is this: It really hurts me that the heads at Everton had such major losses today (although I understand that many may not see it as a loss). DM has again been show. up ON the field and BK has had the basket he kept all his eggs in trampled on OFF it.

What really terrifies and hurts me is not whether or not DK was a bad idea, or whether Rodwel should have been played in RM today. What really worries me is that the two head honchos at everton keep suffering such major defeats and consequently this failure filters down to the team on the field and our results. I have always been pro-Moyes and anti middle-eastern investors who are in it for the money, but what we have at this club at the moment does not work!

And yes, I'm sure people will harp on about injuries and reaching a cup final last year, but that's no excuse for all the failings we are seeing through the cracks. I said at the start of the year that we needed 7 or 8 good signings to get through the year and build on the success of last year, and I got shouted down so hard that one of the Toffeeweb staff banned someone for life for their offensive reply to me being 'negative' but look at us now: Our lack of funds from the top, our lack of ambition from DM and most importantly our lack of direction can only lead us (and I use the term 'lead' in the loosest possible way!) downwards. Thank you both for dragging us up from the repeted brink of relegation we used to have to suffer (I mean that from the bottom of my heart!), but BK: if you love this club so much, surely you can see that its time to go! Sell up and move on and take DM with you, as I for one would LOVE to see my beloved club achieve SOMETHING besides the 95 victory in my lifetime! With a Leader in charge of our business/future and a Leader in charge of our team/squad we have real chance of achiving the highs I can only read about! COYB
Viv Sharma     Posted 25/11/2009 at 19:50:16   Comments (13)

Shame, eternal shame, nothing but shame

Shame, eternal shame, nothing but shame. That really hurts... whatever happened in the 2nd half doesn't really matter

We all new this was a big game but the players CLEARLY where not motivated first half and had no ideas tactically.

This happens a lot and that is Moyes fault. 11 blokes run on the pitch and just hope for the best, or in this case had no fuckin' clue.

Pro, Anti or whatever else you can be its Moyes who motivates and instructs HIS team, no-one else.

And for tonight's result, he should be utterly ashamed.
John Audsley     Posted 25/11/2009 at 18:44:23   Comments (14)

Kirkby Rejected!

It's true, guys. You will either love it or hate it but the move to Kirkby has been turned down by the Governement.
Eric Day     Posted 25/11/2009 at 16:40:03   Comments (228)

Importance of the Europa League

Now, I know the Europa League has it's debate over it's worth.. playing so many games for little financial gain.. but gaining cup success etc.

Now though, one RS has come out and said he wants the team to go out a win it?

This has given me slightly more desire to see us put out decent teams and put in a strong attempt to win it!

It's not often we have a DECENT chance to have a more successful season than our rivals.. and not playing well to boot! CLASSIC

Brett Bradshaw     Posted 25/11/2009 at 11:06:46   Comments (0)

Tonight's scores on the doors!

I am going for a dour game 0-0 tonight... Moyes will play 5 in midfield to snub out the threat of Hull's dynamic midfield, but he knows we have one of our pacey strikers ready to pounce and hit the boardings.

Good news: Fellaini is not on the pitch, normally the phrase is "not playing", but does he ever play? Osman on stilts to go along side Bambi on ice (Jo) — Worldclass and brimming with attack minded pacey players
Chris Perry     Posted 25/11/2009 at 10:52:57   Comments (292)

Lukas Jutkiewicz

Ok this lad is only at Motherwell, but he has scored 5 goals from 8 games, plus 2 from the bench, been voted Young Player of the Year at Motherwell, plays in midfield.

Looked good when he played at Goodison, any reason why we cannot call him back?
Colin Malone     Posted 24/11/2009 at 19:17:59   Comments (19)

Moyes: Empty, lost and lonely

Just saw the boss's mug there on Sky Sports News; consequently, I felt an immediate inclination toward inebriation.

Is it just me or does he cut an increasingly morose, isolated figure? The poor guy needs some support and I'm not sure who is to blame: himself, Steve Round, the players, the board? A certainty, however, is that these are the times... this is the climate for a great leader to show his worth. We need a Roosevelt not a Brown.

Presently, Moyes looks like a creature driven and derided by self pity. That must have an influence in the dressing room. I hope I'm wrong because I'm a big Moyes fan. On a positive note, nice to see the other lot dumped out of Europe. Let's hope we can kick them while they are down. I've a feeling this could be a pivotal derby for the Moyes era. The team have to at least show some balls for a change.
Chris McCullough     Posted 24/11/2009 at 18:42:54   Comments (25)

Backroom staff

I pen this article due to the sheer frustration of the manu game. Moyes's tactics — or lack thereof — brought home to me the thought that he lacks quality in his backroom staff — only Jimmy Lumsden was a midfielder who reached a reasonable level playing at Leeds but never held down a first-team place.

So who is the tactical genius in our backroom at EFC? ... Well, erm... is it Moyes, who played centre-half? I don't know...

What I do know is the best footballing side, Arsenal, had (until last year) Liam Brady shaping the kids up in the reserves for 12 years to slot straight into the first team as though they had always been there.

Well, I suppose I'd best point the finger at Alan Irvine because, since November 2007, Moyes has controlled all the major decision-making. Maybe he needs a strong right-hand man who won't let him have all his own way on the team affairs.

I have played Sunday league — even I know with one up front and a midfield as slow as ours is asking for trouble; we got away with it in 2004 with Marcus Bent who ran like shit off a shovel but neither of our three front runners have blistering pace... that's why I would have played 4-4-2 and bypassed the midfield (don't laugh) and held the ball up for the midfield to get a bus there. At least it would have pushed Utd back and we might've ventured out of our own half.

So I ask those blues who read this, who is their choice to be Moyes's right-hand man... why our Peter Reid ended up at Stoke is beyond comprehension — even Stoke have half decent back room staff in Gerry Francis (ex-QPR and England) and Peter Reid.

I"ll say no more... what a shame we have to put together thoughts like this: one step forward, two steps back... what I want for January is a pacey defensive midfielder, sorry to say, in the mold of Macherrano and Roy Keane, and a defensive midfielder with a great engine playing for Lyon and available in January, Kim Kalstrom.
Stephen Williams     Posted 24/11/2009 at 16:44:55   Comments (5)

“The paper that speaks for the City”

I'd like to question the role of the Liverpool Echo in the whole Destination Kirkby farce. This once respected paper, that claims to speak for the City, has not once spoken out against DK despite its very foundations crumbling.

In fact, at the time of the call-in they expressed "disappointment" that the project might not happen, so, in effect, they were disappointed that something this City is most known for, Everton FC, may not be leaving after all! Speaks for the City, my backside!
Ste Traverse     Posted 24/11/2009 at 14:46:57   Comments (11)

It's a team game

Reading a lot of posts recently, it seems that fans are picking on their own scapegoat be it Moyes, Bullshit Bill, Fellaini or Rodwell. (It's a good job Osman or Hibbert aren't playing or it would all be thier fault). It is very easy to pick out one individual and say they're part of the problem but for me they are also part of the solution.

Football is and always has been a team game and therefore we need to look at the team collectively. In the great team of the eighties someone always got on the end of a pass even if it was a bad one and they very rarely lost the ball. I honestly believe that this squad could be as good but right now the heart and soul seems to have been ripped out of them and confidence is very low.

Now we can all apportion blame be it BK's bad chairmanship, Moyes's tendency to defend at all costs, Steve Round's questionable input... but what can be done about it?

First of all, we need a short term solution to put fire in the players' bellies again and then we need a longer term plan for a complete restructure top to bottom because it is now evident from boardroom down we will never be a top side again with this crowd of muppets in charge.

I really think we need a "Dogs of War" team for a few games especially in midfield. I thought I'd never say this but we need Neville, Hibbert and Osman back to put some enthusiasm back into the team. Once Jags is fit again he should slot straight into the back four.

Once we have a few clean sheets and some points on the board, we should have Pienaar and Arteta fit again and we can then start to look at players who are comfortable on the ball and build the team around them.

Moyes supposedly took the lads on a break last week... I firmly believe he needs to take himself on a break so he can rediscover his own enthusiasm and appetite for the club.
Jay Harris     Posted 23/11/2009 at 11:09:23   Comments (32)

Sick & Tired

Perhaps I am stomping over old ground here but the following statement on the OS has left me seething.....“Steven is the only one who is near coming back. He will hopefully train this week and we’ll take it from there," said the Everton manager.

Were we not told (last week I think) that Phil Neville & Leon Osman were close to being back also? The level of mis-information from our club is utterly frustrating. It seems to me that they have absolutely no regard for the fans whose only wish is to be kept informed on these matters.

We were also told that Steven Pienaar was only going to be out for a couple of weeks and it has been 2 months now... fuckin' sick of this, so I am.
Tony Doran     Posted 23/11/2009 at 08:05:48   Comments (28)

Tesco Bags

This is going to be a big week in the history of Everton with the DK decision expected by the time the Derby kicks off on Sunday. I've managed to get a ticket for the game but not looking forward to the sight of Tesco bags blowing all over the place, unless one gets on the pitch and in some crazy turn of events creates a goal for us a la beach ball style.

As a bit of retaliation and banter can anyone think how we can get a few hundred "Howard Browns" printed up. He is the quirky looking fella with round glasses who was the front man for a Royal Bank of Scotland campaign. When the Sky commentators are wetting themselves over the Tesco bags, it would give us something to throw back at them in the style of Everton 2.

The crowd could also get singing "Who Let the Dogs out" to see if they get it —
Tony I'Anson     Posted 23/11/2009 at 04:59:37   Comments (17)

Schoolboy Fool

Anyone who is drooling at the prospect of adding Spurs Scottish reject Alan Hutton to the squad in order to shore up our pathetic defence may wish to follow the link to the News of the Screws story and note that this international super star can't even tie up his own boot laces. Maybe his mum puts his bus fare in his glove on matchday so he doesn't lose it and end up playing for someone else by mistake.

Hopefully there is some truth to this rumour but has become unhinged by the inability of the NOTW to spell 'Huddlestone'. He would be worth spending money (we don't have) on.....
Mike Keating     Posted 22/11/2009 at 19:56:01   Comments (23)

Fools and horses

Liverpool had Beniyoun and Aurelio set for a month's lay off, Viola! a rub down with horse placenta and they did not miss a single game. It makes a complete farce of the constantly revised recovery date that is issued for our injured players. Then we discover that a list of top clubs have players queuing up for the same placenta treatment and have done for some time.

His continuously revised estimates on the return of all our injured players show that Baz Rathbone is only guessing and completely out of his depth on such matters. I am not saying that this placenta treatment is succesful but I am saying that whatever we are doing right now is not as effective as at other clubs. With our injury list being so huge every possibility would have been tried and tested...
Dick Fearon     Posted 22/11/2009 at 08:59:23   Comments (22)

Dear Santa

Ok, ok, so 41-year-olds should not believe in Santa! But, if not Santa, who the hell else is going to save Everton Football Club?

Let's face it, Eberneezer Kenwright isn't!

It's kinda strange... Everton has every xmasy in it, but I dont for one minute believe we intend to. Eberneezer Kenwright, tiny Davey, the ghost of Xmas past, present and future!! Xmas Panto, only its, "he's past you" to Fellaini, Hibbert, Osman, Neville, Gosling, Cahill et al.

So, Dear Santa.

Please can we have a new young, attack-minded rightback.

A attack-minded right midfielder, with pace.

A creative central midfielder, wih pace.

A striker... with Pace!!!

Yes it's obvious isn't it? We have heard it all before!

The difference being under Moyes we are going backwards! His tactics seem to revolve around the 7-year cycle farmers use: different each year... then back to the same shite as Year 1.
Chris Perry     Posted 21/11/2009 at 17:12:15   Comments (22)

Creating Giants

You could tell by watching today's game that the team is full of fear. Got me thinking about some of the things that people used to say about Brian Clough.

The one thing that came to mind was that he made an average player feel like a world beater, he made every player feel like a giant. He filled his players with confidence. He didn't send his players out to stiffle the opposition. He sent them out with belief to express themselves and let the opposition worry about them.

But when I think of David Moyes and his tactics, why would you have confidence? I mean, he is pretty much saying to his players, "You're not good enough, so let's keep it tight and hope that we don't concede. And maybe, just maybe you might nick a goal..."

Reminds me of the David and Goliath story. How the young boy wasn't swayed by fear; and we all know the outcome.
Gordon Crawford     Posted 21/11/2009 at 16:26:04   Comments (63)

Are we ready to Rumble!?!

It's not going to be easy... but each game as it comes. It would be great to smack Old Redface around the chops a bit. They are not playing all that well. It's all about belief, passion and a bit of luck. If Sunderland can do it, so can we!

Post the team sheet when it appears here, this can be your Matchday Thread. COYB
Michael Kenrick     Posted 21/11/2009 at 13:51:26   Comments (143)

You Are David Moyes, again.

Time to play the ever popular YADM (if in doubt, consult the title) game again. Not many rules, and probably not any winners. All you have to do is to pick from the OS published squad the team (plus bench if we need a tie-break) announced at OT about 5 tomorrow.

Everton (from): Howard, Nash, Hibbert, Neill, Yobo, Distin, Heitinga, Baines, Rodwell, Gosling, Fellaini, Yakubu, Saha, Jo, Baxtrer, Wallace, Agard, Coleman, Duffy.

This game has an extra twist, as Cahill isn't yet ruled out. And, of course, Baxter isn't spelled that way.
Keith Glazzard     Posted 20/11/2009 at 15:48:39   Comments (19)

Pienaar voted the best

"Steven Pienaar was voted Player of the Year at last night's Safa Awards after a fantastic season for both club and country.

The Everton midfielder has been the standout player for Bafana Bafana in a horror year, and has also established himself as a key player for English Premiership side Everton."

I have to admit, Pienaar has been brilliant during the Confeds... and this was in central midfield.

Another standout player that I personally think DM should look at was Mcbeth Sibaya, he players for Russian champions league side Rubin Kazan. This guys is as hard as steel and has played some brilliant games for his club who's Russian champions.
Ricardo Humphries     Posted 20/11/2009 at 04:20:32   Comments (10)

Training methods responsible for injuries?

Sorry to bring up injuries again. Just wanted to share some quotes by Carlos Ancelotti which I found interesting:(link:,16368,1765_5705262,00.html)

“I've gone for the very same fitness routine introduced by Guus Hiddink, without the slightest change. It's a routine that has drastically reduced the number of injuries over the last season. I've only increased the tactical training sessions, something the English are usually allergic to”...

I think some previous TW posts debated the possibility of training sessions as contributing to players' injuries. But I don't recall if it was sufficiently proven or disproven. Just thought of reopening discussion following Ancelotti's quotes... as he seems to imply that certain training methods may risk more injuries to players...

Could this be true?
Marcus Choo     Posted 19/11/2009 at 23:17:57   Comments (12)


Myself and two of my mates are heading to Manchester tomorrow for the weekend for the Utd game. I am absolutely delighted and am like a child on Christmas Eve in work at the moment. It is my first time getting to see Everton play in the flesh and I can't wait.

Now, before you ask, I'm not 12... I'm 35. And I know, I know, why didn't I just hop on a plane years ago, Dublin isn't exactly the moon, is it? Well for different reasons I've just never got round to it.

I don't know any Everton fans and I've tried the whole supporters club meeting in a bar to watch a game thing once or twice but never really fancied it. This has left me with friends who are mostly Utd or Liverpool fans. Over the last seven years I've been away to Old Trafford with all the lads from my last job four or five times. They're all Utd fans and there wasn't a hope in hell of them spending €400 to €500 for a weekend in Liverpool. The weekends away have been great entertainment and just to spend two days on a beer and footie trip was great, even if it wasn't at my club of choice.

Now I can understand completely you asking why I don't just go over to Goodison on my own? I know this isn't much of an excuse but part of the draw of going on a footie trip is that you're going with your mates and going on my own just wouldn't feel the same. It also seems easier to justify the expense, especially with a mortgage and a wedding next year.

As a slightly better effort at an excuse, Everton did play a pre season friendly over here against Bray a few years ago but I was trying to impress a girl and a night out with her and the chance of getting my end away clashed. ( Jesus, that probably sounds worse than the previous paragraph. Turning my back on football for a girl.)

But anyway, back to Saturday. I can't wait to be at the ground in the run-up to the game and to see several thousand Everton fans around the place. I can't wait to see the Everton team, in the flesh, walk out onto the pitch. No Z-Cars I know, but I'll still get a buzz out of it. Seeing the team take shape off the ball and how they manage things outside of what the cameras show. How I'll handle it if we score, I don't know as we're in with the home support, but I'll manage a smirk. To be honest I don't think a bad result will even bother me that much because I know I really will enjoy the whole experience.

Well, there you go. The good, the bad, and the ugly around why this is my first Everton game. I'll try to post next week with how the trip went.
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 19/11/2009 at 17:08:44   Comments (9)

Injury List Frightening

Just happened to look on the link below which is normally good. If it's correct this time looks like its back with the kids for Saturday's game with Utd.

According to all and sundry the International Break just came at the right time and we should have at least 3 players back, well... we haven't and they have possibly been joined by three more — Saha, Rodwell, Howard.
Mike Oates     Posted 19/11/2009 at 18:41:20   Comments (4)

Fair Play!

Ok, I'll fess up straight away. I'm still in shock at Ireland's defeat tonight and I need some therapy. So, I'll try to disguise this as a more general article. Like all Irish (and many independent) fans, I'm in shock at how France have qualified for the World Cup by the (double) hand of Henry.

So, a couple of Qs to ponder.

1- The practical side. Should we be looking at technology to assist the ref ? It is used in plenty of other sports (cricket, tennis, rugby league, American Football etc), so why not football?

Should be looking at using extra assistants (eg behind the goal like we had for some Europa games)?

2 - The philisophical side. Is it ok, as Ronnie Whelan suggested, that every player takes every opportunity (legal or illegal) that they can get? Am I a completely naive sap (ok, supporting Everton may already answer that Q) in thinking that there should still be some honesty and fair play in the game? Ok, in the argy bargy of most games there'll be bad calls, fouls and gamesmanship but in this case we talking about blatant, outright cheating.

Ok, maybe I should just get over it. Just hope Rooney doesn't score with a dodgy handball at the weekend!
Ciaran Duff     Posted 19/11/2009 at 00:58:00   Comments (63)

Injuries and “the Intangibles”

“You never know how long you are going to spend (at a club) but what I can say is that I can see myself finishing my career at Everton”. — Words spoken by Mikel Arteta during a recent interview with EvertonTV:


I took comfort in hearing those words... Arteta implied that one of the reasons he would consider staying for life at Everton is the team spirit (or “like a family”). And that “we have got really good people”. How do we measure something intangible like team spirit? Every team lays claim to this in whatever interview you read today...

It set me thinking about other factors that are intangible but do influence players' performances. For example, new players moving in and needing to settle. I think most of us would have no problems labeling that as an “intangible factor”. But in light of our recent horror story with injuries, can I suggest that another intangible factor is the players' confidence. I think one of the contributory factors to our less-than-satisfactory results is that many of our players are playing with low morale knowing that key and vital players are missing.

I thought it would be sensible to balance this idea with the often-demanded expectation that players should perform just because they are professionals and paid to do it...
Marcus Choo     Posted 18/11/2009 at 06:10:45   Comments (8)

Saturday's Game

Will Moyes be adventurous against Man U now there is a possibility we could have Pienaar, Neville and Osman back? Is the Pope a Catholic?

I wouldn't be at all surprised if it's the usual safety first, and try to nick a point. How often have we seen this tactic fail time and time again? Eventually we concede and then have to chase the game only to concede again as we push forward! Sunderland and Blackburn had a go and Sunderland got a point (I seem to recall Blackburn should have had a penalty).

It's a shame Bily isn't available but even if he was, the tactics would no doubt remain exactly the same. What a shock it would be for Ferguson to see an Everton team come flying out the blocks instead of the usual timidity and caution!!!

Bily has been compared to Pele (a very good Brazilian footballer like Jo) by Pavlyuchenko so Ferguson may well decide to pick him up next year along with Rodwell by dipping into his pocket for some loose change.

Go for it on Saturday Davey, and show them you aren't a one trick pony after all. COYB!!!
John Brennan     Posted 18/11/2009 at 05:29:24   Comments (16)

Best and Worst

As there has been little to talk about over the International break, I thought I would attempt a light-hearted look back through history. So, the rules are, one player who has been the best in a Blue shirt, and one who has been the worst. You must have seen them play LIVE, even if only once.

Here goes with mine: best, Kanchelskis. I was quite simply mesmerised by him. Worst, Espen Baardsen. He only played the one game, in a 4-3 defeat at Spurs, which was my first away game outside of Lancashire, and was absolutely and utterly terrible.
Stewart Littler     Posted 18/11/2009 at 00:35:06   Comments (36)

Maddock: Confiscate the shovel

David Maddock, he just doesn’t get it.

In his last column he got nothing but criticism; stung by that, he has deliberately mistaken it for cynicism and from that point on it spirals ever downwards.

I don’t know where to begin, but he still ignores the white elephant in the room... for god’s sake Brian Reade is a colleague of his! Does he not see eye to eye with him? Have they had a falling out over Mr Kenwright? It wouldn’t surprise me.

If I was him I wouldn’t be dismayed by others having an opposing view; if the opposing view was superior to my panegyric then I would be dismayed. In fact I would keep quiet and follow the Denis Healy rules for holes, instead he keeps digging and we all start laughing.

It is a sorry state of affairs when you have to go to ToffeeWeb for an informed opinion about my club, but when Maddock and his journalistic cohorts refuse to listen, you are left with no choice.
David O'Keefe     Posted 17/11/2009 at 16:02:36   Comments (16)

TeamTalk and Tony Hibbert

Pathetic journalism from TeamTalk and really bad criticism of Tony Hibbert:,16368,2483_5700609,00.html

What have the press got against him?
Ben Jones     Posted 17/11/2009 at 15:12:36   Comments (19)

How Do We Rate Mo Johnston?

November 1991: Everton sell Mike Newell to Blackburn for just over £1 million. Just five days later, Everton sign a replacement paying £1.5 million for highly rated striker Mo Johnston.

Mo Johnston arrived at Everton with a big reputation. Johnston was playing in the Scotish league and had scored 46 goals in just 100 games for Rangers. Helping them to two league titles. Johnston had also played in all three of Scotland's World Cup 90 games the previous year.

I remember being quite excited by Johnston's arrival. He looked a natural goalscorer and seemed ideal to partner Peter Beardsley up front in that early 1990's Everton side.

Unfortunately his Everton career never really took off and I have only a few memories of his time at our club.

I remember him being injured quite a bit.

I remember him scoring goals for the reserves but rarely getting first team opportunities due to the form of Paul Rideout, Peter Beardsley and er... Stuart Barlow.

In fact I can only remember him scoring two goals for Everton.

Johnston got the third goal in that famous 0-3 Old Trafford victory.

And I remember Johnston and Beardsley scoring in a 2-1 home victory against Liverpool.

Mo Johnston left Everton in October 1993. His replacement Brett Angell arrived a couple of months later.

Soccernet informs me that in the two years he was with us Mo Johnston started 33 games for Everton and scored 10 goals.

Personally I can hardly remember him even though he was a favourite of mine at that time.

Does anyone else have memories of Mo Johnston at Everton? Was he any good? Surely he was better then Jo?
Dick Anderson     Posted 17/11/2009 at 09:49:37   Comments (27)

You thought 6-1 was bad!

Just been doing some research in regards to the AFCON (running from the 10th to 31th in January) and our relevant fixtures.

Firstly assuming they are fit and available to play, the following players will be representing their respective countries; Yobo, Pienaar, Yak and quite possibly Anichebe. The first group matches take place on the 10th and, assuming the players are already in Africa preparing, that means we will be with out all four players for the return fixture against Arsenal!... (Visions of Hibbert at CB.... Jo falling over whilst warming up... Coleman shaking in a corner with flashbacks of Benfica...)

Hang on, it won't be that bad, as long as we have no more serious injuries (I hope!). Given the news of prolonged injury spells for Jags and Arteta the most likely line up will be;

Neville Neill Distin Baines
Cahill Rodwell Heitinga Bily
Saha Fellaini

Subs: Jo Hibbert Gosling Osman

Mix and match however you like depending on injuries and form... An OK team.

We will continue to be without those four players for the home game against Man City (16th) and, given that both Nigeria and South Africa are decent sides, they will both go through to the next round meaning we go without for the home game against Sunderland (27th).

If, by some horror twist of fate, both teams reach the final, we go without for the away v Wigan (30th) then when they return possibly quite tired we have the derby on the 6th (Feb).

The point of this letter is we need to sign some players Day One in January. This squad will already be exhausted after the Christmas fixtures coupled with some European games, assuming we get through (blessing in disguise if we don't?).

Hmmm, what are the chances of letting Senderos come to us before the Arsenal game?
Alex Campbell     Posted 16/11/2009 at 20:38:22   Comments (17)

At some time last season. I posted a comment on ToffeeWeb which stated, as far as I can remember, that, in my view, Jo would prove himself to be a world class striker. Now, I don't know if there is a ToffeeWeb archive, but if such a thing exists I would be grateful if that little gem could be deleted from it.

Having said that, I believe he has something to offer. He proved at Corinthians and at CSKA that he can score against good opposition; he looked at the Olympics to be a player of great promise and, frankly, people who know more about football than me have shown faith in him.

So... why has he not proved himself at Everton? Well, I don't believe he's a lone striker. I'd like to see him given a run in the side in a 4-4-2 line-up, preferably alongside Saha. I'd like to see him with Arteta and Pienaar behind him.

He's a confidence player and confidence at Everton has been low. We've got an £18 million Brazilian — let's give him a chance.
Andy Crooks     Posted 15/11/2009 at 20:02:12   Comments (50)

Oman vs Australia

In the first 10 minutes, Australian right full back Rhys Williams conceded a penalty and was sent off. Brett Emerton switched from midfield to full back, Cahill switched from a striking role to midfield and got forward when possible. Oman made full use of their extra man played a fast incisive game that sliced through the Aussie defence seemingly at will.

A combination of brilliant saves by Swartzer and desperate defending by Lucas Neil and veteran Craig Moore saved it from becoming a rout. On the stroke of half time Wiltshire scrambled a lucky equaliser then in the dying minutes Emerton scored the winner with a powerful low drive that was an absolute cracker.

With half an hour to go, Cahill was replaced, I can only assume it was because of his enormous work rate to that point. He did not appear to be happy at being subbed but did not seem to be injured.

Lucas Neill put in a very good shift but on occasion was caught out for speed. He also finish up seemingly uninjured.

This win should guarantee Australias entry into the next stage of the Asian Cup without the need to call on its European based players.
Dick Fearon     Posted 14/11/2009 at 19:48:51   Comments (25)

International Round-up

Good performance from the Everton boys on show today,

Russia 2 - 1 Slovenia

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov scored twice to seal what should have been a comfortable victory but had a late twist which keeps this tie very much alive. Bilyaletdinov opened the scoring when he turned superbly to take out two defenders and then lashed the ball into top right-hand corner.

And he doubled Russia's lead when he slotted home from close range after the ball came back to him off a defender.


Nigeria are now through to the World Cup after Nigeria's 200 or so spectators at the stadium had their spirits lifted when Obafemi Martins equalized on 62 minutes and Yakubu Aiyegbeni netted again just three minutes later. But Obafemi Martins saved the day for the Super Eagles netting his 2nd goal of the game on 83 minutes.

England U-21 1 - 0 Portugal U-21

Dan Gosling also made a cameo appearance in the England U-21 international game against Portugal's U-21's .
Jack Farrell     Posted 14/11/2009 at 19:32:01   Comments (7)

Rodwell, Chelsea, United, Arsenal

Apparently Chelsea has offered Everton £14 million for the youngster Jack Rodwell... which we immediately rejected, thank Christ. Honestly I'm not sure what they were thinking offering such a measley transfer fee for 'our great white hope'.

But this got me thinking: On what basis — if any at all — will you be 'okay' with us letting the lad go?

I say a Champions League qualification and an FA Cup. Then we sell him for £50 million and buy Mutihno and Van der Vaart.
Steve Kiamos     Posted 14/11/2009 at 00:29:45   Comments (35)

Rangers & Celtic

I'm glad for two reasons that these clubs are not joining the Premier League.

Firstly, it just doesn't sit well that these two giants want to abandon their sovereign nation's league because it isn't earning them enough money. I've no doubt that in a few seasons they would be competitive but surely this isn't the point. It's not exactly like the Welsh clubs either who have been in the Football League for years — these guys want to jump straight into the Premier League which is ridiculous (as would be them playing in League 2!).

Secondly, and very selfishly, I wouldn't want my beloved Blues having the extra competition. There, I said it and I know it sounds terrible... but there you go.

So, in short... "phew" to the "no"... but I fear it may come and I hope we're ready for it when it does!
Enzo Montagnino     Posted 13/11/2009 at 11:22:40   Comments (32)

Treatment Table Issues

Ok, enough. Three players have now been 'set back' in their recovery from serious injury in the past 2 weeks. Granted, they are serious, so there will always be complications. BUT it always seems to be our players who struggle to come back (Arteta, Jags, Victor, Vaughan, Yak...). I mean even Ferguson was never ever free from injury?

Are we doing something wrong in the recovery process? Are we trying to treat ligament damage with a cold bandage, some spray and TCP? I'm not having another go at the club and being overly critical, but rehabilitation always seems to be an issue with us.
Ste Boyle     Posted 11/11/2009 at 16:09:03   Comments (12)

Mid-table Obscurity?

Everton's potential season figures in Phil McNulty's Q & A blog, nothing new in it, but sadly it echoes what the majority of us believe on the key problems we are currently facing. It's mostly all here:

Sadly for Everton, I fear that unless some form of major investment comes into the club then fifth place in the Premier League and reaching the FA Cup Final last season may well prove the high point of David Moyes' reign at Everton.

Everton's achievement last season was remarkable given serious injuries sustained to Mikel Arteta, Phil Jagielka and Yakubu. This season we have seen the big investments from Spurs, Manchester City, Aston Villa and even Sunderland - whereas Everton effectively paid for their summer outlay via the sale of Joleon Lescott.

The previous summer Everton's record buy Marouane Fellaini was more or less funded by the sales of Andrew Johnson and James McFadden.

Moyes has been at Everton for seven seasons now, and it will be intriguing to see how he handles this. He has always been fiercely motivated, but who will continue to motivate him if he sees Everton being overtaken?

A big day awaits Everton later this month when a decision is made on their proposed new stadium at Kirkby. The club have hung a lot on this, in terms of increasing revenues and attracting investment.

If it is turned down what then? Don't make the common sense suggestion of a shared stadium between Liverpool and Everton because they won't listen. Pride comes before a fall on that one.

On the subject of support for Moyes from the board the facts are simple - they cannot give him what they haven't got.

For two seasons running, Everton have been racing around trying to sign players as the clock ticked to the transfer deadline. This is not the sign of a well-thought out and structured policy, and while Kenwright has to take his share of responsibility, Moyes as the manager cannot be absolved from blame either.

Kenwright said in September 2008 he wanted a billionaire for Everton and it was suggested deal broker Keith Harris was searching for a buyer - but it looks no more likely today than it did then.

It is tough to see how the Kenwright regime can turn things around financially without that investment and that would leave Moyes effectively settling for make-do-and-mend management.

He has worked the oracle before, but I do not see top five this season. Everton need major investment - but I'm not sure if and when it will ever arrive."
Stephen Graham     Posted 11/11/2009 at 14:14:12   Comments (20)

Loyalty works both ways

I read with dismay today the news that Darren Ferguson has parted company with Peterboro by mutual consent, which is a posh phrase for being sacked.

Darren Ferguson has taken Peterborough from League 2 to the Championship in consecutive seasons which, correct me if I am wrong, is pretty hard to top. But, as ever, his success has resulted in expectations raised to an unrealistic level and so he ends up being the victim of his own success... better for him if they had not gone up last year, ironically!

However, it makes me think of this in the context of the Lescott saga here at Everton. I know there was a lot of anger directed towards him over his departure but the Ferguson story illustrates that in football it's a 'dog eat dog' world and everyone is looking out for themselves. So last season's hero at Peterborough is this seasons fall guy.

With this happening a lot now in the success obsessed English leagues, I don't blame Lescott for leaving and good luck to him if he can earn more money and achieve success at Man City. Let's face it, in a couple of years time maybe Everton would have bought a younger guy and Lescott would be consigned to oblivion anyway or shipped out to the lower leagues to grass. He is no better or worse than many others who have done the same.
Alun Jones     Posted 11/11/2009 at 04:25:50   Comments (18)

Ian Ross defeated by his own man of straw

Reading David Maddock’s lame defence of a lame duck chairman, I had a revelation the game is up — Kenwright, Elstone and Ross have run out of ideas.

Ross, in attempt to turn away the tide of inevitable criticism that will come the board’s way, as soon as Destination Kirkby is rejected, has spoon fed the man from The Mirror, an attack on an anonymous caller to a radio phone-in show! It’s pathetic.

That a journalist or anyone else for that matter can write an article about Bill Kenwright, while ignoring the white elephant in the room that is DK is incredible. Maddock’s sin of omission is unforgivable and totally undermines his panegyric, hagiography or arselicking.

Also the man of straw puts forward a better argument than Maddock... or should that be Ian Ross? This, I believe is a first.
David O'Keefe     Posted 10/11/2009 at 17:40:51   Comments (38)

Hanging on by our finger nails

Watching Sunday’s game, it seemed to represent our season so far… we are just hanging on by our finger nails.

After the Hammers got their goal, I kept looking at the clock, which took forever to move, and wondering when they were going to equalize; however, some good goalkeeping, stubborn if unspectacular defending, West Ham’s inability to put the ball in the net, and lady luck kept us in front.

One of the current Blues debates seems to be “performance v results”. Today’s match certainly falls neatly into that discussion. A classic away performance… two well taken goals and “backs to the wall” defending by a team short on quality but full on all the things we like mentioning… resilience, heart, determination, grit….I could go on and empty the dictionary.

Was it pretty to watch? Hell, no…
Was it exciting? Yes…
Did I feel proud to be a long-suffering Evertonian at the end? …YES!!!

I’m lucky that I only pay a pittance to watch the game here in Canada, courtesy of Setanta. I’m not sure how I would feel if I was shelling out lots of English pounds each week to feed my “habit” which we all know is impossible to break. I think I have been able to watch all the Blues’ games this season either on TV or the computer but can only count on one hand the performances that have outshone the result. I can certainly sympathise with the Blues faithful who attend every game and have rarely seen any quality football — ie, 4 or 5 passes strung together that create an opening for someone — but instead have to settle for what passes for skilful football.

We have the worst injury record in the Premier League. Is this just bad luck… bad preparation… or the style that DM demands? — which is based on full-out effort for 90 minutes. I don’t know but it would make an interesting research study for someone in the medical field.

This two-week break could not have come at a better time. If we had to play another midweek game this week, I’m not sure where DM would find a team from except that he would continue to play the same players who were still walking.

So I’m hoping that the next two weeks will see the return of Steven Pienaar who I think has been the most missed (after Arteta… but it's been such a long time since we last saw the little Spaniard, I have almost forgotten that he is still a Blue).

It is a terrible indictment of the state of the Everton football professional that no one else has the slightest creative fibre in their body (King Louis excepted). If the other willing workers….Osman and Neville also return then I hope that we can give our “finger nails a break”…no pun intended!!! COYBs
David Cooper     Posted 10/11/2009 at 11:29:08   Comments (14)

Lee Carsley

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Lee Carsley and Jimmy McFadden's heroic performances for Birmingham City against Liverpool. Carsley in particular was like a stone wall and the penalty decision against him was utterly unjust. I raise it because, first, it's always good to see a former favorite blue perform so well against the Dark Side; second, it was a reminder that in terms of sheer blood and iron, we have never really replaced him.
Peter Fearon     Posted 10/11/2009 at 11:27:45   Comments (24)

Record Signing or Misfit?

I fear that the price tag on the afro-wearing Belgian is the only reason that he keeps his place in the side; after watching the game on Sunday, nothing I saw would change my mind on this.

The constant fouls, the needless bookings, admittedly this season is better than last, the giving away of possession in vital areas, and the lack of pace... I cannot understand how he keeps making the starting 11.

By playing Fellaini as the attacking midfielder, we are taking away one of our most potent threats in Timmy Cahill. You only need to look at his goalscoring record while he has been away playing for Australia in his prefered position, which is as good as it has always been, so I can only suggest the reason we are not seeing the best of him at Everton is the fact that Fellaini is playing in the pocket where Cahill has been so successful for us over the years.

I feel sure that, if the big Fella was left out and Timmy was playing in his prefered position, we would see the return of the corner flag geting a good hiding, a sight that has been all too infrequent this season.

I was as excited as everyone else when we purchased the big Belgian last year but that optimism has been eroded with each passing game. I was even hoping a full pre-season would give him time to prove his worth, but I am now of the opinion that he's never going to make the step up to be a top class midfielder.

And for those who say he has potential, I believe that when you purchase the club's record signing, you are looking for more than potential — we're not a club that has money to waste.

So, Mr Moyes, do us all a favour and place TIm back in the role that has given us so much pleasure over the years and we'll see that corner flag get the beating it deserves!!!
Gary Lawler     Posted 10/11/2009 at 00:06:07   Comments (33)

Performance v Results

There's been a lot of talk about our style of play, which is pure rubbish, but the results are not too bad compared to last year via our tally of points.

My point is that I fell in love with football because I used to love watching players do something special with the ball, something that I couldn't do when I was playing. I used to watch in awe of tricky wingers, playmakers... great strikers — and I feel it is disgracefull for our manager to turn round and say it's all about results!! Well, it's not, Moyes!!

We pay good money to be entertained and, to be honest, the last time Everton really entertained me was the 2-2 draw with Fiorentina — how long ago was that?

The excuses for injuries do not add up: we had an Aussie international, a Belgian international, a Dutch international, an England Under 21 international in midfield on Sunday against West Ham and we couldn't put two passes together? Why Moyes?

Yeah that's not their preferred positions but still can't string two passes together, ffs!! Also, remember, Moyes bought all these players so no excuses, I hate watching Everton now and I firmly blame Moyes — sort it out or leave!!
Sean McKenna     Posted 09/11/2009 at 21:05:12   Comments (25)


So Steven Pienaar was again absent from the squad yesterday, just wondered if anyone had heard news of his likely return.

The injury he sustained against Fulham seemed pretty minor and there was even talk that he would only miss 1 match, (this was about 2 months ago) and yet there is still no sign of a return and very little has been said at Everton about him or his condition. He is someone that we miss greatly and we need him back asap with Billy suspended and Arteta still out.

Maybe someone can shed some light as I may have missed something!
Steven Smith     Posted 09/11/2009 at 07:58:44   Comments (25)

Arteta has kicked his last ball for Everton

I found out last night from a very reliable source that Mikel Arteta will be sold in January as his wife is homesick, hence why Everton won't play him before the window for possible injury again. (Ignore the smokescreen that's in the Echo...)

He's gone.
Ryan Sloan     Posted 09/11/2009 at 07:56:46   Comments (24)

Where has the famous team spirit gone?

Where has the famous team spirit gone? I’ll tell ya in four words: There’s no Phil Neville!

We all know the press love to harp on about the “Everton Way”. The unity and bond that 11 players have for each other and how that gets a result beyond the norm! That repetitive good press began to really irritate me at its height last season but now I long for it back.

Yesterday, at the game (WHUFC v EFC) when it was 0-0, you could clearly see Everton players having a dig at each other. Not the positive kind of “come on mate let’s get this done” but the negative kind of “what the fuck is going on?”

That really worried me and, although we beat our whipping boys on their own turf again, it made me ask, "Where had our famous spirit gone?" My deliberated conclusion was Captain Marvell was missing.

OK, I can hear the screams of laughter coming from some quarters (Neville bashers) but I tell ya this; if I where on the Titanic when the inevitable happened, guess who I would want to be with? My chances of survival would significantly increase because his ability to perform against the odds would get me though. And I bet you this, he would get others off at his own expense too.

Yeah, as romantic as it sounds, simply his presence on the field helps composure and his presence of mind helps guide when the going gets tougher than most can handle. I for one would want him on the pitch if I where on the pitch as well.

I know he has his weaknesses, but don’t we all? And I too have been up in arms when he gave the ball away cheaply... but it’s his glue (that I never knew existed) that I missed then, and we as a team are missing now.

This two-week break will help on the injury front and I for one hope to hear his name on our next team sheet along with the more obvious others.
Karl Parsons     Posted 09/11/2009 at 06:40:05   Comments (25)

Saha: 13 games; 8 goals

I have to admit it, I was rather under-whelmed when Louis Saha joined Everton last summer. In fact, my first knowledge of his signing was a text message whilst in work, it read 'HA HA, You Got Saha'. It was off a Man Utd supporting friend. I was then greeted with much laughter as I informed the news to my Liverpool fan work colleague.

I had always seen him as over-rated. Scored a lot in Division 1, then did OK in the Premier League for Fulham. Had one good half season and off he went to Man Utd.

Injury ravaged, 30 years old and destined for 2 seasons cashing in while sitting on the bench, before sodding off to Australia, America or wherever for a final pay day.

How I was wrong... 100% wrong. This guy is class.

His first touch is excellent, he can beat a man, great skill and is a great finisher. What he lacks in pace he makes up with intelligence.

That goal today is what separates the good players from the very good ones. We didn't have a sniff all afternoon, then... Wham! One chance — one goal. AJ would never do that in a million years.

Look at Torres, Van Persie, Drogba. These are the best in the league/world because, when they get a chance, more often than not they score, when other 'good' strikers will not. Those games that others will draw 1-1 you win 2-1; those games you would otherwise lose you draw. Strikers like Louis are worth their weight in Gold, and we got him for next to nothing (if only he was 27).

If he stays fit, we have one of the best forwards in the League. And if Yakubu can get fully fit... well I wouldn't want to be a defender in that opposing team.
Fran Mitchell     Posted 08/11/2009 at 20:41:02   Comments (16)

Win the battle; lose the war

I found I had mixed emotions following the Everton game today. Obviously I like Everton to win but I really thought the best result for our long term future would have been a defeat.

I have lost all confidence in Moyes; I felt a defeat would have hastened his departure. Typical of Moyes, he always comes up with a win when he's really under pressure. It will just continue the In Moyes We Trust mentality of the Everton fans who think he is a good manager.

From the reports, it could have easily been a comfortable defeat. I've supported Everton for 40 years and I don't think I've ever felt as alienated from other Everton fans as I do now. I believe we should be doing better than we have in recent years. I remember us being the best team in Europe in the 80s...

I could go on but I don't want to. Moyes is a loser and Everton will be losers until he is fucked right off.
Tom Sullivan     Posted 08/11/2009 at 19:54:07   Comments (16)

David Moyes best manager not on a top four team?

Call me biased, but I tend to think that the Scottish Managers have been the best over the past thirty years. We all know about Sir Alex, and yes every time someone wonders if he’s going to leave, Mr Moyes is linked with the job. But let’s be honest, he’s not going to go. Why would he?

Think about it this way; he can lose a couple matches here and there, and the supporters don’t lose their marbles about him. Maybe it’s because all Toffee fans know that, regardless of the situation, David will get it done. Proof in the pudding last year, he lost all of the strikers, and played Tim Cahill up front. Other managers wouldn’t have thought of that (well maybe Jose Mourinho) — they’d just have pulled someone up from the reserves and dealt with it.

Could part of his genius be that he knows the academy will churn out another superstar every two years? Yes, I know that jerk at Man Utd came through Everton, but look at Jack Rodwell, Jose Baxter. Yes, they are very young but when you have players in the first team side like Victor Anichebe, you can always guarantee the guidance to make a player a star.

It’s only a matter of time before he makes Everton a top four team again. Yes, there’s a lot more money in football now than when Howard Kendall did it, but with a few breaks he can do it. Sooner or later, Man Utd will fall apart, Chelsea will get old, Arsenal is too young, and well Spurs aren’t talented enough. With Arteta, and Tim Howard, there always is that chance of the return to greatness that the supporters so yearn for.
Stephen Brandt     Posted 08/11/2009 at 18:37:42   Comments (30)

3 Away games

Does anyone else find it odd that we have to play 3 away games in the League in November. I can understand if its later in the year when games get moved or postponed, however this isn't the case. I have never known us do this before.
Trevor Williams     Posted 08/11/2009 at 16:26:16   Comments (4)

Same points as last season!

They just said on Sky Sports News that Everton have exactly the same points that they had this time last year.

Won - 4
Lost - 4
Drawn - 3

Exactly the same as this time last year... I don’t remember struggling this bad last year?

I guess in theory then we could well finish 5th again?

Dick Anderson     Posted 08/11/2009 at 16:13:19   Comments (35)

Unto the breech once more...

Everton team news vs West Ham:

Howard, Hibbert, Yobo, Distin, Baines, Heitinga, Gosling, Fellaini, Rodwell, Cahill, Saha.

Subs: Nash, Neill, Coleman, Wallace, Yakubu, Agard, Baxter.

An interesting line-up today. I'm extremely glad to have Saha back for today's game and it's interesting to see Gosling in the side again today. Hopefully he produces what he did first half the other day. Neill not being chosen is another interesting one but I thought Hibbert played reasonably well the other day especially some of his challenges. I think it has been a kick up his backside to be honest.

West Ham don't look that great on paper it has to be said and here's to a solid Everton victory... actually who am I kidding?! ANY victory today will do.

COYBB! Any match threads?
Matt Lavery     Posted 08/11/2009 at 11:31:38   Comments (171)


Can anyone tell me what he does? I'm fed up of people telling me how good a player he is. I know he's young but I see fuck all in him at all. He can't head the ball, tackle, defend... and half his passes find the other team. Any answers?
John Hanlon     Posted 08/11/2009 at 09:45:35   Comments (30)

Is Moyes undermining the players confidence?

Please bear with me for a while here as I might not be totally correct in what I am going to say. I don't play football as I am too old, and when I was young enough, I wasn't good enough... but I have been watching Everton most of my life (since about 1964). So, I have seen some very good players, and some very bad players, and I am not a bad judge, usually.

What I have seen over the last 40 years or so (and I am still seeing) is most footballers doing most of what they do by instinct.

An analogy: When I drive my car, most of my driving is instinctive. I don't say to myself “I will now press the clutch pedal and change into 1st gear”; “ I will now press the clutch pedal and change into 2nd gear”; “I will check my mirrors”; "I will hold the steering wheel." ... etc.

And I am pretty sure that, if someone was sitting next to me or behind me, and was shouting them instructions at me constantly, it would affect my driving and I may become a worse driver because, instead of using my instincts and just getting on with the simple stuff, like changing gear, I would possibly start thinking about every single action/decision I had to make... which would slow me down, and possibly cause me to make more mistakes. True or not True???

Watch David Moyes next time you watch Everton. He constantly shouts at players telling them what to do, even in the most basic situations. I have been watching this for a few seasons now and I am convinced that it is having an effect, particularly on players like Tony Hibbert, who sometimes looks to see where Moyes is before kicking the ball, thus taking a split second longer than he would if he hit it instinctively... which means he sometimes gets caught with the ball, or takes the wrong option.

Osman, Gosling, Fellaini, Bilyaletdinov, Yobo, Baines — all do the same when they are playing on the same side of the field as the dugout/bench. Could this be one of the reasons why the players sometimes look scared, and sometimes look like they are pissed off and/or can't be arsed?

I have also seen some players in the last couple of years screaming back at Moyes during a game (Pienaar, Arteta, Yakubu, Lescott) and, coincidentally, they have consistently been our better players. So maybe it doesn't bother them as much, or maybe they are just more confident in their own ability?

Like I said at the beginning of this article, “I might not be totally correct”, but Moyes does do this and sometimes I feel it is unnecessary.

I am keen to hear if anyone else has noticed this, or is it just me?
Steven Flavin     Posted 07/11/2009 at 18:19:21   Comments (11)

Our Main Problem

Now I know there seems to be many reasons people use to why we are in this position at the minute but I have had a thought that I have not seen mentioned on here.

Maybe what we are lacking is not creativity, or tactics, or players. Maybe it is a captain.

I mean look at Liverpool: no matter, what Gerrard picks them up when they are playing badly. Gerrard gets injured and hey presto, they are going through a bad spell in the league. I think that the problem started when we lost our captain.

It was all well and good banging them in every week but, when the times have got tough, we need our heart of the team to push us on. If Neville was on the pitch then maybe we could have pushed on against Bolton, Wolves and Stoke and won them games — just because we would have had that little extra heart we are lacking right now.

And 7 extra points right now would put us where in the league exactly?
Samantha Vinten     Posted 07/11/2009 at 10:48:28   Comments (16)

Reality Check

I can't believe some of the negativity that seems to come from Evertonians these days. One minute, it is the Board's fault, next its Moyes's. It seems my 22 years of following the Blues carries more support than people twice as old as me. I wanted to see what people thought of my view on the current situation with Everton as I see our beloved club a little more joyfully than others so it seems.

  1. Benfica were better than us, period. Never mind Screech, or Rodwell, or Moyes, we were not the better team. Benfica have a better team, and that's why we lost. It's not hard to comprehend that there are better football teams out there at the minute.
  2. On the topic of Benfica, we lost 5-0 because of our defence. We had a right back at centre-half, a teenage midfielder at right-back, and a right-back at left-back making his debut for the club and at European level. We had this because there was no-one else, meaning Jags, Yobo, Baines were out. A top european team, who were top seeds in the group took advantage of this. I for one will not condemn our manager for this, even Hull would have had a good go at us on the day.
  3. Our style of football has not changed over 7 years. Why is it suddenly an issue? It was not an issue when we finished 4th, 5th and 6th. Before we increased our expectations, it was not an issue. Now we again are struggling to put a squad out for a game and it's "Get rid of Moyes"...
  4. I get frustrated myself watching us, but I consider who we have out there fit and who is missing before condemning the team. I mean had we battered Stoke and Wolves, look at the table to see where those 4 points would have put us. It would have been a rosier picture right now.
  5. Finally, a question to all Evertonians who criticise players. When we finished 4th, and 5th, who was our first choice right back? For all the years we had a solid defence, and was gaining success, who was our right full back week in week out? This is the same player who seems to be our worst player in some toffees minds.

It would be nice to hear peoples views in regards to my own to see if maybe I'm just deluded or if my optimism for my beloved club actually has some ground!
Christopher Ashton     Posted 07/11/2009 at 10:27:14   Comments (9)

Moyes hates Yobo

On the OS today, Moyes was harping on about what a great influence Neville has had on the team this year and went onto to say this

Moyes continued: "The core here is really, really good and by the core at Everton I include Phil Jagielka, Mikel Arteta, Leon Osman, Tony Hibbert, Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines."

Given that Yobo has been here longer than all bar Hibbo where exactly does that leave him? Also what about Peanut? I guess we can forget him since we're going to have to sell him before his contract runs out to pay back the Bily money...
Kieran Kinsella     Posted 06/11/2009 at 21:53:03   Comments (3)


Having watched last night's attempt to restore pride to EFC, I have to say that I am bemused by many of the comments on here: firstly their two goals came from a combination of poor defending and luck, the first a rebounded pass and the second from an official who clearly hasn't read the offside law.

Nevertheless, criticism of Fellaini seems to me to be unwarranted — some of his passing was shoddy and he tended to not follow through towards the end but he worked tirelessly — and much more so than many of the team. To my mind the defending was the big let down... but I digress.

Watching the match last night the one key point which struck me was that EFC have absolutely no pace whatsoever... none, not a scrap, not a jot, not a dickie bird (in fact Dickie Bird would probably add to the team for pace).

The only player with any turn of speed out there was Baines; Everton were slow in defence — not helped by poor positioning — but they couldn't have caught a sodding cold, and up front they looked laboured and heavy.

I think Bilyaletdinov looks like a good player, but he has no pace, Gosling looks keen and has a bit of potential but no pace, the Yak looks like he is walking home from the pub when he runs and Jo just looks plain lost.

The net result..? Their players won every 50-50 ball, snaffled up balls into (or at least close to) the box and their wingers/ attackers creamed the back four — in fact on that note, about the only defender of any note was Tony Hibbert, good positioning, good tackling and should never have been carded.

Oh what I wouldn't give for the team to have a nippy midfielder who can run with the ball for a bloody change...
Rupert Sullivan     Posted 06/11/2009 at 16:15:28   Comments (5)

Tony Cascarino

Firstly, let me start by saying I'm no great lover of any pundits, they all spout shite and none of them seem to have a real grasp of what is happening in the Premier League, I mean FFS most of them still think Utd and Liverpool play good football.

I was aghast at Tony Cascarino's comments in the article and show's his blind ignorance to what is going on here, an ignorance shown by some who post on these pages (although everyone is entitled to their opinions of course).

He thinks that Moyes reputation will be damaged if he stays any longer at Everton and we're a club in decline. I mean excuse me, Mr Cascarino, WHY is this club in decline? Who is coaching this lot? Who is picking the XI? Who is telling them how to play?? It's certainly not me, Its David Fucking Moyes.

The reason this team is shit is because of him. They can't pass, they can't tackle, they don't find space, they don't do any of the basics right. The set pieces are awful. So who's fault is this? Phil Neville? Cahill? Yobo? NO! It's Moyes and Round. They coach the players every day they tell them what to do.

I'm sick and tired of people thinking Moyes is some super-manager who walks on water, he's making a fucking mess of this season and nobody will admit it. The press think he's some sort of god who will manage Man Utd one day, ha ha ha ha, he may get a run at FC United of Manchester but that's about his level.

Blame the injuries, blame the board etc. But ultimately he carries the can. If he takes the glory of getting us in the CL then he takes the stick for this gutless mess. If he was getting messed around in the summer, he should have walked to prove a point, why didnt he? Probably scared of not getting another job and losing his pay off.

And as for you, Tony Cascarino, if you're going to write an article, at least get your facts straight. This club is not ruining David Moyes's reputation — he's doing a good enough job of that himself.

Ste Boileau     Posted 06/11/2009 at 13:43:11   Comments (38)

The Tony Kay Scandal

On BBC Radio 4, the afternoon play was a dramatised documentary about the The Tony Kay Scandal. It is still available on BBC iPlayer and should be of interest to all Evertonians and not just the ones who, like me, remember Kay as a great footballer and also the affair which ended his career. Kay is interviewed as part of the production.
Ray Roche     Posted 06/11/2009 at 13:17:42   Comments (4)

Ol' mad eyes

Did anyone else catch the interview with Bill Kenwright shown on Sky Sports News last night? The story was the same old, same old: "I'm actively looking for a buyer. I'm talking to 5 groups — some are individuals, some are consortiums .." blah blah...

BUT the frightening thing was his eyes. They were rolling around in his head like one of those toy dogs people used to put on their car parcel shelves (& some still do). I am seriously wondering if he has gone to la-la land and it' s no wonder he cannot sell the club on if he is like that!
Rich Roberts     Posted 06/11/2009 at 10:23:39   Comments (10)

Outstanding arrogance

As I sat nursing my European lager bought in honour of our continental football tour, it suddenly dawned on me that for sometime now I have been losing the connection I once had with my boys in blue.

Their aloof attitude and arrogant and lazy body language would be appear to be infectious in-so-much-as I feel let down by them and disassociated from them.

Last night was a case in point, we will hear about the effort that the boys put in from those in management; however, I whole heartedly disagree. I saw pure arrogance and ambivalence to the shirt and a lazy, blasé attitude to the game in which they were competitors.

Chief amongst these offenders was the leader of the group, the ridiculously floppy haired, half-hearted excuse for a footballer, our record-signing — Fellaini. If the future of Everton FC is to include this man, then it is not a future I see myself a part of. His attitude is infectious too like a cancer spreading its vile disease through the squad.

Bily looks disinterested, Cahill mysteriously lacking in enthusiasm, Gosling a passenger and Yobo may as well take to the pitch with a deckchair under one arm the amount of effort he puts in. In short, the spirit has gone, the confidence shattered and replaced by arrogance and a misguided sense of self-entitlement.
Gavin Roberts     Posted 06/11/2009 at 07:27:29   Comments (21)

Time for a Change?

It may or may not be down to injuries but we aren't going to achieve what we would've hoped for at the start of the season/end of last season. The players that are taking to the pitch though are capable of playing much better than they are doing, is it Moyes they are not responding to? Is Moyes just as downbeat, demoralised and pissed-off right now as any Evertonian is?

Should we make a managerial change now? Get a new man in and let him have the rest of the season with the team and he can get rid of who he doesn't want at the end of the season and replace them with with his own players?

If we leave it and make a change at the end of the season then we may as well write-off next season too as the new man's bedding in season. If we don't make a change now then what can we hope for next season?

Even with the injured back will we actually win anything with Moyes? His style of football always seems to come unstuck when we come up against any decent team, regardless of the competition and regardless of the injuries we do or don't have.

I have always been a supporter of Moyes simply because he gave us back hope. Hope of winning something. But I don't think it's going to progress any further than that. I don't think we will get relegated under Moyes or anything as bad as that but I don't think we'll win anything either. So do we just settle for mediocrity/nothingness or take a chance? I vote take a chance, make a change now.
Phil Armitage     Posted 06/11/2009 at 07:04:45   Comments (13)


Among other things, Catch-22 is a general critique of bureaucratic operation and reasoning. Resulting from its specific use in the book, the phrase "Catch-22" is common idiomatic usage meaning "a no-win situation" or "a double bind" of any type. Within the book, "Catch-22" is a military rule, the self-contradictory circular logic that, for example, prevents anyone from avoiding combat missions.

Everton really are in our own Catch-22 Situation. Because the Big 4/ Top4 is impossible to get into and we are therefore unable to break into where the real money is ie, the Champions' League, the best we can do is the own brand Europa League. Most fans would want us to play in Europe but is it worth it? There is seemingly hardly any money to be made and by playing in this Mickey Mouse tournament that few people seem to care about we end up getting more of our threadbare squad injured and our league form is thrashed because we are disadvantaged through having to play so many more games than most of the other teams in the Premier League.

Being forced to play 48 hours after the Bolton game cost us possibly our place in the League Cup and already our involvement in the Europa League is going to cost us dearly in the Premier League.

So this really is Catch-22. Not to worry as I don't think we are going to be troubling Europe next season.
Jonathan Tasker     Posted 06/11/2009 at 06:37:59   Comments (5)

Communications re Pienaar?

I know I'm risking repeating myself to some extent here, but' having witnessed last night's display I'm growing more frustrated at the Stephen Piennar situation.

Unlike some posters, I don't agree there was a lack of effort last night, the players on the field gave what they had in their lockers, it just wasn't anywhere near enough. What was missing, what the team was crying out for was even the slightest spark of creativity. Arteta's return is now a forlorn hope on the distant horizon. (If we ever manage to dig him out of Spain again — new baby, nice home, family round his wife and child or move back to the Albert dock flat? Go figure!)

So that leaves Peanuts, whose prescence last night could have been crucial. Here's a quote from the Guardian 28 September:-

"Steven Pienaar is almost certainly out of Everton's Europa League Group I match against BATE Borisov on Thursday but the club believe he is not due for a long spell on the sidelines.

The midfielder picked up a knee injury in Saturday's 1-0 victory at Portsmouth, and has been on crutches since.

Everton's medical team have assessed the injury and hope that it is just heavy bruising. They plan further checks this week and will have a better idea of the injury when the bruising has reduced.

Everton leave for Minsk tomorrow. Pienaar is highly unlikely to be involved and may also miss Sunday's home game against Stoke.

The physiotherapist Mick Rathbone said: "There's no timescale at the moment but hopefully it will only be something short-term."

Come West Ham on Sunday it will be six weeks since this "short-term" problem arose and we hear absolutely zilch about the player's progress. He's a forgotton man no updates on the OS's useless players/injuries section and nothing in the media.

This, of course, leads to rumours about the player being shut out due to not signing his contract, wanting to leave etc. all of which are probably nonesense but it's what happens when you don't communicate with people and it creates unease.

Anybody know what Piennar's real situation is?
Howard Don     Posted 06/11/2009 at 06:14:02   Comments (9)

Our better players

I'm starting to think that our better players, Arteta, Pienaar, Jagielka and Neville, have been carrying this team. I don't just mean in terms of the quality of their play but also in terms of having a winning mentality.

Now I know that football is meant to be a confidence game. Certainly, if I was having the equivalent in work of our recent run of games I would be fairly low myself. But to see our fit senior players play with such a lack of passion and commitment does make me wonder at how much more we actually miss our better players.

In seasons past, if things started to go wrong we could always rely on a sense of spirit and sense of we can do it anyway driving the team forward. This season, with the aforementioned players out injured, these passions have been non-existent.

You would have to wonder at what is going through Arteta's or Jagielka's heads right now. I know their main focus will be just on getting back playing but I would worry about what they are starting to make of the mess we are currently in.
Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 06/11/2009 at 05:58:41   Comments (0)

Take these shades from my eyes

We know all about his injury problems yet Moyes no longer gets my sympathy. The latest Benfica game opened my eyes to things that have little to do with missing players and everything to do with the very poor technical ability and lack of basic football nous of our players. What is most depressing is the inability of Moyes to either recognise where the weaknesses lie or do anything about it.

It has been common knowledge for years that Hibbert, although a good tackler, is useless at crossing a ball. What has Moyes or his staff done about it or did they give up trying?

Similar can be said about other players who week-in, and week-out parade their very obvious faults. Anyone with half a brain knows who they are so I won’t bother to list them. I have to wonder what, if anything, our coaches are doing about them.

There is no argument that Benfica gave us two lessons in how the game can be played. With a bit of luck in both games they could have doubled their tally of goals. They played with a purpose, strength, speed and ability that put our mob in the shade.

The awakening for me was that where Moyes has had 8 years to set a standard and pattern of play, Benficas coach, Jorge Jesus, has only been in the job for a mere 4 months.

That last sentence sums it all up for me.
Dick Fearon     Posted 06/11/2009 at 04:19:37   Comments (7)

Well Beaten by Benfica

Nothing much to say, other than the fact we have been well beaten... in fact, toyed with.

Our only decent player was Fellaini, and I don't blame Howard for the goals, either. We were outclassed and outpassed by a better side. We didn't deserve a draw (which was the summit of my ambition for tonight). I was hoping for a draw (a win would have been tremendous, but I never expected it). We give the ball away too often in what could have been promising situations, and when our defence clears the ball, it always seems to fall to an opposing player.

There were times when they seemed to have an extra man on the pitch, which is an obvious and ominous sign of superiority. I was also surprised and disappointed at Bily; apart from about 3 decent crosses, he didn't figure much at all, and I got the impression Distin either needs a break or has becommewhat disillusioned with EFC.

I didn't see much in terms of inspiration from the bench either; perhaps Moyes accepts he is outgunned in these sorts of circumstances. A European team with a fair number of South Americans in it will invariably beat an English Premier League team with Brits, Aussies and more Brits in it.

We aren't good enough at that level, we don't have the individual skill, or indeed the combined team technique to defeat Latin American/Portugese sides of that quality. It isn't Moyes' fault — it goes back much further than that. Our schoolboys should be taught to trap, pass, and control a ball before being allowed to "move on" as they say.

Complain all you want about Moyes, and replace him if you want, but watch England in the World Cup 2010, we won't win because we lack the technique, skill, vision and basic ability to control a ball that enables clubs/countries to win competitions.

Rodwell has a long, long, way to go before he gets anywhere near being an international class player. Everton are a hard working, sweaty, struggling, lung-busting team, but their only problem is that they lack quality and skill, and the ability to pass the ball. We are an ordinary English Premier League team (yes, even with our "best" players back in the squad). Big hearted, hard working, sweat stained, Moyes trained, muscle straining, cursing, swearing, slide tackling, windmill waving, free kick giving, through ball defeatists.

Europa Cup winners? Premier League winners, FA Cup winners? This team will finish somewhere around 10th at best at the end of the season. We can't do it. The players we have are not good enough. What do you expect when you pay your top players around a measly £40,000 per week? Benfica's players will probably be on an average of about... Oooh, I've no idea, but I would guess the UK equivalent of about £4,000 per week.

Move to EFC and learn to be a member of the School of Science. Eusebio, weep for the ground you once graced!!!!
John Brennan     Posted 05/11/2009 at 19:01:02   Comments (38)

And other words that begin with 'out'...

That was like watching a traffic accident in slow motion. There's nothing you can do and you can't turn away. We were out-played, out-paced, out-thought, out-fought, out-coached and out-classed.

I laughed when the goalkeeper was booked for time wasting. We could have played for another hour and not done any damage. We were fortunate it was only 2-0. So much for payback time.
Peter Fearon     Posted 05/11/2009 at 18:58:22   Comments (89)

Team v Benfica

I know it won't happen but with what we have availible I would like to see

Howard Hibbo, Yobo, Distin, Baines
Gosling, Fellaini, Rodwell, Bilyaletdinov
Jo, Yak

or even !

Hibbo, Yobo, Distin, Baines
Fellaini, Cahill, Rodwell
Jo, Yak

The midfield center would be shored up with attacking options.

But as I said I don't expect it.
Neil Farrell     Posted 05/11/2009 at 14:58:41   Comments (96)

Youngsters at Motherwell

Just wondering if anyone had heard any official progress reports from our two youngsters out on loan at Motherwell. Seems like they are playing regularly and doing well. This must be a better level of football compared to reserve league and must be on a par with some of the Championship matches.

Do they have a future at Everton?

I do like the idea of growing our own rather than just buying readymade stars and with our finances we pretty much have too.
John Scott     Posted 05/11/2009 at 08:23:11   Comments (8)

All For Nothing

Well, what can I say, £300 million of debt, second in the Premier League, circa £200 million on players in, over 70 in total, top of the ridiculous Facebook league, darlings of the media "and what do you get" — A chance to play Everton in the second rate Europa League.

I really hope that ends up being the case.

What does it really say about having all the money they have had and the chasing of rainbows when you can spend not a lot, get no real recognition for anything you achieve, have no real future (pessimists only), it says nothing other than not everything is doom and gloom at our wonderful club and how much worse it would look if we had invested what they have to achieve basically the same.

Paul Niklas     Posted 04/11/2009 at 18:52:18   Comments (23)

Arteta Blow

Just announced that Mikel has had another setback (infection) with his knee injury and no official date set for a comeback — probably in New Year according to Echo!!

This doesn't look too good at all and I was astounded to read that he's still in Spain. I would have thought following the last problem (cartlidge stitches) that Rathbone would want him back at Finch Farm for his rehabilitation. Begs the question why are the players allowed to choose their own Consultants — surely there should be a club knee, ankle or whatever part of the body consultant all players should use? — and preferably based in the UK.
Mike Oates     Posted 04/11/2009 at 12:02:50   Comments (29)

Rodwell, The World Cup and becoming Rooney II

If current press are to be believed, Jack Rodwell has a long list of admirers. The usual Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal but now City too.

I'm really concerned a call up to the England World Cup squad will trigger a similar chain of events which saw Rooney (at Euro 2004) and his agents engineer a big money transfer. Given our pathetic commercial and financial predicament, once again we will be powerless. Really depresses me just thinking about it.

I know he's currently committed to EFC but how long before he gets whispers in his ears from Rooney and Co? How big a platform is the World Cup and how will he feel about playing for a club who can't afford to buy before they sell? It would mean in just over five years we have produced and lost two WORLD CLASS youngsters.

Lessons learnt? Progress made? Or just another summer in the circus called Everton FC
Phil Martin     Posted 04/11/2009 at 08:52:30   Comments (24)

Communications and Media

I'm probably preaching to the converted here but is anyone else fed up with the Club's media efforts.

This is prompted by my waking up this morning to the news on Radio Merseyside that Arteta is likely to have further surgery. Rushing to my PC and trawling "newsnow Everton" I find half the national papers carrying the story. Hoping it's just a rumour I go to the OS — nothing absolutely nothing, a national story and no official news. The Piennar saga is also frustrating, match after match he's "doubtful". Now doubtful implies there's a chance and it's been weeks now so how can a player have a chance of playing 4 weeks ago and still not be fit now? Again zero news or updates, he just never appears.

Trying to navigate the intricacies of the website for tickets can also become a nightmare. Before the Benfica away game I and others tried to join the European travel club or whatever it's called. It was either closed or there was an announcement saying it had reopened but when you tried to enter it wouldn't do anything. As I say it wasn't just me and in the end we gave up (you have to do SOME work after all). As it turns out they probably did me a favour but that's hardly the point.

I could go on, even the Benfica home game I ended up paying full wack as a season ticket holder as the site wouldn't let me purchase on the last day of reduced prices. When I eventually phoned to book my ticket and complained, the guy said he couldn't do anything, but sympathised and said they get a lot of complaints.

Come on guys a bit more up to date news and better service from the website please.
Howard Don     Posted 04/11/2009 at 05:02:23   Comments (9)

Bilyaletdinov's ban

I've been told by a few sources that Bilyaletdinov will miss the West Ham, Man Utd and Liverpool games. However, on the official website, the next 3 Premier League games are West Ham (A) 8th November, Manchester Utd (A) 21st November & Hull (A) 25th November. The derby is on 29th November. Have I missed something? Has the Hull game been put back?
Adam Doyle     Posted 02/11/2009 at 15:07:45   Comments (14)

Electronic Advertising Hoardings

Is anyone else, especially those who are able to get to Goodison on match day, starting to get really annoyed with the electronic advertising hoardings, especially now that the nights a drawing in?

I’m not sure how it looks on TV, as I am able get to all the games. Bit sitting in the Park End, whenever the ball is up towards the Gwladys Street End, I find it near impossible to follow the ball as I’m confronted with flashing lights coming from behind the goal and the side of the pitch.

I really hope they get rid of these electric hoardings pretty soon, as its starting to wreck my enjoyment of watching the match.
Adam Bennett     Posted 02/11/2009 at 12:50:17   Comments (25)

What's happened to Hibbo?

After the amount of stick Hibbo has taken from supporters most of it unwarranted and extreme you would wonder why a lot of supporters are anxious for him to feature on Thursday against Di Maria.

However, I am a bit perplexed at the moment because he didn't even feature in the squad on Saturday. He is not reported as injured on the official club site. And some media reports are saying Gosling will be playing RB again on Thursday.

I dont think he was suspended and although I normally take media reports with a pinch of salt it does seem strange. A bit like when Yobo was out for 3 games with what was initially described as a head injury, then a calf strain then a head injury again.

Does anyone know what's going on?
Jay Harris     Posted 02/11/2009 at 12:29:41   Comments (29)

Fellaini; what's going on?

Let me say right at the start that I am very much an Armchair fan these days so my opinion is formed from what I have seen from TV. However, when are we going to see something approaching the form that should expect for a player that cost £15m?

Moyes must have seen something that encouraged him to pay what he did yet I just don't get it. You would think, given his height that he had natural advantages but I fail to see what he does. He lumbers about and is not really good at anything.

Thanks to Sky+ I was able to watch the Villa goal several times at the weekend; Fellaini is in the vicinity but just doesn't seem bothered. I keep hoping he will come good but I don't think he ever will.
Jonathan Tasker     Posted 02/11/2009 at 10:12:38   Comments (35)

Things are looking up!

I reckon things are looking up. According to my calculations this is potentially our first team squad:

Goalkeepers: Howard & Nash;
Fullbacks: Hibbert, Baines, Neville, Neill;
CentreBacks: Jagielka, Yobo, Distin;
Midfielders: Arteta, Pienaar, Bilyaletdinov, Heitinga, Fellaini, Cahill, Rodwell, Osman, Gosling;
Strikers: Yakubu, Saha, Jo, Anichebe.

Based on watching the Villa game from start to finish “on the box”, after Howard, the first player on my team sheet picking from the full squad would undoubtedly be Heitinga. He gives us what we haven’t had since Lee Carsey left. Plenty of choice elsewhere except for goalkeeper and left back.

My formation = 4-1*-3-1-1. Heitinga is 1*. Fill in the blanks

Laurie Hartley     Posted 02/11/2009 at 06:58:39   Comments (12)

Heitinga's best position

A lot has been said about where Johnny Heitinga's best position is.

Some say he's too slow to be a right-back and some say he's got problems with his positioning at centre-back... but against Villa on Saturday he gave the best holding midfield performance of the season. With his great distribution and well timed tackles, he kept Villa's central midfield quiet.

He could be the long-term solution to our holding midfield problem as I believe he would compliment Arteta well and he would also allow Neville to drop back to right-back.

Am I alone in thinking this?
Ian Tod     Posted 01/11/2009 at 16:50:10   Comments (19)

Team on Thursday

I think, after the game yesterday, we are in an interesting situation to see what the team will be on Thursday against Benfica. I have a feeling it will be something like this, providing the players who were playing yesterday are still fit enough:

Hibbert, Distin, Yobo, Baines
Gosling, Rodwell, Fellaini, Bily

That's a pretty good team in my opinion, and a whole lot better than the team in the Europa League fixture in the Stadium of Light.

Hibbert's inclusion is very important because he is always good at containing wingers, so if Hibbert can handle Di Maria, I think we have a very good chance.

I really hope Pienaar is fit though, so we can rest Cahill. Or we could play 4-4-2 and play Jo or Yak with Saha.

So.... will it be 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 for this game?
Ben Jones     Posted 01/11/2009 at 12:39:56   Comments (23)

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