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Job done... just about

David Moyes enters his 10th year as Everton manager with the return of his first opponents, Fulham.  Everton have an impressive 100% home record against Fulham in the Premier League... but wins remain at a distinct premium and what little creative spark there was in this current squad has been cut out with the loss of Mikel Arteta to a hamstring injury.  Fellaini, the enigmatic midfield defensive rock, is also missing for the rest of the season, but Tim Cahill returns after hopefully recovering from pushing his body beyond the limits to play for Australia in the Asia Cup ? an unneeded effort that has denied Everton meaningful service from their leading scorer for the best part of three months!!! Will we see the real Tim Cahill step up into the void today?

Or will it finally be the day Magaye Gueye gets his league debut?  The "secret weapon" appears on the bench after apparently recovering form an injury.  Andy Johnson returns to Goodison, playing upfront for Fulham, managed by Mark Hughes, once of this parish.

A Neville long throw won the first Everton corner, taken well by Baines. Cahill was next to pump one in from the left wing, Everton starting toward the Gwladys Street.  Johnson's first effort was to overrun the byeline. After a dozen or more throw-ins down the left, in the first 6 mins, play was finally switched to the right and it eventually fell to Osman wide left of the area but his hurried shot was hopeless. 

Hibbert blocked Dempsey well for a corner to two to Fulham, Dembele pushing Howard over.  At the other end, Baines tried a rather hopeful volley.  Osman's technique let him down badly when he failed to control a very opportune knockdown but neither side were doing much beyond resolute defence, with Neville gifting Johnson a free-kick on 14 mins that Murphy planted on Dempsey's head, thankfully directed well away from the Everton goal.

Cahill won a corner but it did not get past Johnson, the first defender; Johnson then returned the honour, and Hibbert won a nice duel to dispossess Murphy.  But a quarter gone and the game was as shapeless, formless, and downright boring as we have come to expect, the Goodison crowd understandably quiet until Saha won Everton's third corner and almost the first chance for a shot on goal that just would not come.

Everton's fourth corner was delivered very well by Osman but diverted away from the waiting Saha.  Cahill won Everton's fifth after good work by Osman and it resulted in a Saha header that was bundled off the line. A great Baines cross was tamely headed to the keeper by Rodwell.

Rodwell had a shot blocked in the next attack on the half-hour, and it seemed nothing of note would happen before half-time, but Baines switched a ball back to Osman instead of looping in yet another cross and it inspired Osman to pick out Coleman at the far post with a peach of a cross and he planted his header fair and square beyond Schwarzer for a worthy opening goal that would hopefully energize what was in danger of becoming a turgid mid-table end-of-season display.

The next attack and Coleman was fouled but Baines drilled it off the wall as Johnson blatantly infringed the 10-yard rule with no punishment from the ref. Dempsey might have done better at the other end but Distin did enough to put him off as half-time was signalled.

Rodwell woke up a little and went on a fairly impressive run, winning a free-kick that Baines touched a foot or two to Saha who lashed it into the bottom corner, hopefully wrapping this one up after less than 5 mins of the second half. Everton finally relaxed a little, Coleman going on a run but mistiming his cutback, Baines getting in his run but Haggeland defending it away. Osman booked for silly shirt-tugging that led to a few potshots by Fulham.

Coleman was really having fun, running at Fulham and shooting, forcing a save from Schwarzer. But at the other end, the Everton defence parted for Dempsey to put Fulham right back in the game. 

Hibbert was next in the book for a studs-up challenge, and Cahill, who had done remarkably little, was then replaced buy Heitinga as Everton looked to hang on to what had been thought was a comfortable lead.

After a dreadful spell where Everton could not lift themselves above the level of dross, Bily finally replaced the almost completely invisible Rodwell.  Coleman went on another run but it was Keystone Cops as he ran into Osman in the Fulham area and collapsed in a heap.

With 10 mins left, from a bizarre corner, Osman delivered a great ball for Jagielka to head just inside the post but Salcido was there on the post again to head it away.  Distin did well to contain AJ, who was then replaced by Gudjohnsonen. 

A free header for Zamora was thankfully squandered as the click ticked on and the Blues appeared to have weathered the storm. Saha seemed to land a little heavily and nay have done his ankle in.  The stretcher came on, as did Beckford.

5 mins of nervey added time, Beckford did get free but his shot was very poorly executed. And that was pretty much it. Victory snatched from the jaws of an ominously threatening draw. Everton up into the heady heights of 8th place... what could possibly be wrong with that?

Michael Kenrick     Posted 19/03/2011 at

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Reader Comments

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Andy Crooks
1   Posted 19/03/2011 at 19:30:49

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I'm just happy to reach 40 points. I hope Saha's injury wasn't as bad as it looked.
Daniel A Johnson
2   Posted 19/03/2011 at 19:38:15

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40 point mark = another amazing Moyes achievement, let's raise a glass to the next 9 years.
Sam Alcarez
3   Posted 19/03/2011 at 19:54:13

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Solid win for the Blues. Coleman looked incredibly confident after he scored that opener; all of a sudden he looked like an honest-to-God wingman.

I think much praise should be given to Neville, who looked to be in fine form in midfield today. His distribution was excellent, as well as his constant pace. A great showing from the captain.
Col Noon
4   Posted 19/03/2011 at 19:52:15

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I was frustrated during periods of the game when possesion was sqaundered or we didn't pressurise the ball. The passing wasn't crisp at times as well. But then I realised there have been many a time this season when the approach play and movement has warranted more.

Dispite this season being a let-down, we have still been in my eyes very unlucky not to be higher up the table and some of our play has been excellent, maybe not tonight's game but that's how it goes. A win is a win and that's all that matters this stage of the season... just ask old whiskey-nose Ferguson. Coleman & Osman played well... apart from that, nothing special, but will you hear me complaining? Not a chance.

Daniel J Johnson
5   Posted 19/03/2011 at 19:57:22

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Daniel A Johnson ? A frankly astonishing attitude considering the constrictions under which Moyes has operated during is tenure. Clubs who've spent far more than us have been relegated or are similarly in the mire (Fulham coincidentally) yet I wonder if their fans are similarly cynical and negative. Get real.

And oh look; that much creamed over manager in Owen Coyle is really showing us what we're missing ? Bolton are ahead of us in the Premier League table alphabetically.
Daniel J Johnson
6   Posted 19/03/2011 at 20:02:30

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Just to clarify Post 5 is from a different Daniel; I don't normally argue with myself unless its 4 o'clock in the morning on a Friday night.
David Hallwood
7   Posted 19/03/2011 at 20:01:19

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Sorry Sam, "Solid win for the blues", where was the solid? We should've been cruising at 2-0 against a piss poor Fulham side. And Johnny replacing Cahill WTF! Surely with Fulham chasing the game it should've been Beckford and go 2 up front.
Guy Hastings
8   Posted 19/03/2011 at 20:13:13

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Every record is a record waiting to be broken. Haven't been beaten by Portsmouth since the invention of moveable type? Cue Pompey win. Etc etc. Wasn't pretty but sometimes 'it will do'. Smart bet ? Everton not to be awarded a penalty all season.
Jamie Barlow
9   Posted 19/03/2011 at 20:13:24

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Why is it every side we beat are piss poor?
John Audsley
10   Posted 19/03/2011 at 20:20:04

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No idea what to make of that at all. The first goal was a superb and I missed the the 2nd as I went for a pint and was late coming back for kick off!!

After that, it was total defense, which I could understand against the Mancs or even the RS BUT this was Fulham

To be honest I'm just glad of the win.

I'm sure this was meant to be the "breakthrough season"....
Daniel A Johnson
11   Posted 19/03/2011 at 20:36:09

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To my alter ego Daniel J Johnson, up yours ? a club like "Everton FC" shouldn't be doing high fives for hitting the 40 point mark, aim low and enjoy the gutter my curious same name friend.

Some of us want to aim higher.
Peter Webster
12   Posted 19/03/2011 at 20:47:10

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Two Daniel Johnsons, there's only two Daniel Johnsons.

Thank Christ for the win. I had that sinking feeling towards the end with the strange substitutions but good play from Ossie and Coleman.
Richard Dodd
13   Posted 19/03/2011 at 20:39:25

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Not much to get excited about today except the fact that we are virtually clear of any relegation worries and March is a long way from out! So many clubs would love to be in our position ? not least Aston Villa, hailed as the perfect example of a smooth takeover by a very rich Yank!

So thanks to Davey for another year of security (even though it`s been uninspiring) and to Blue Bill who, assailed on all sides, has ignored the hate mob and kept his faith in his excellent manager.

Michael Lynch
14   Posted 19/03/2011 at 20:46:57

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Daniel Johnson 1 and 2 start using your middle initial. That little spat was quite confusing. I agree with No 1 (I think), Everton fans should not be happy with 40 points. Success is winning trophies, not staving off relegation. I thought Rodwell was poor again tonight, and Cahill should not be an automatic starter.
Gavin Ramejkis
15   Posted 19/03/2011 at 20:51:56

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Back from the game, Jekyll and Hyde in the same game, really odd substitutions which frustrated the hell out of me. Cahill out of sorts and wasted as he and Saha too far apart for any headers to reach their teammates, some decent footwork from Baines, Coleman and Osman.

My subs would have been Beckford for Cahill after Saha's goal and Bily for Rodwell, who seems like he doesn't know where he is to play anymore and just ambles around chasing shadows. I think that Beckford coming on earlier might have taken the workload off Saha and might have lessened the chance of his injury. Going to a single striker meant anything coming to him and he had at least two if not three Fulham players all over him.

My final observation is the shite ref who should have booked at least three Fulham players but seemed to forget how to book a player in anything other than a blue shirt.

Adam Wilkinson
16   Posted 19/03/2011 at 20:56:20

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How do ToffeeWebers feel about the season if we finish above Liverpool? I for one have been bored a lot (and disappointed) this season but finishing above those nobs across the park and king knobby will make me feel a lot better about it.
Michael Lynch
17   Posted 19/03/2011 at 20:59:53

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Richard, Blue Bill is running this club into the ground, mate. I'm sorry but I just can't see how you can defend him so much. The man is a liar and a dictator in my opinion. That's why he banned the local press from Finch Farm. Why can't you see that?
Colin Malone
18   Posted 19/03/2011 at 20:39:50

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What the fuck was Moyes doing playing Rodwell as the playmaker?. The lad has only one gear, stay still and canter, without guile/crab. So therefore it's the holding role or centre-half for the lad. The only playmaker we had (Osman) was put on the wing.

There has to be midfield players at the club, who are a better option than putting a centre-half there. I've said it since Moyes became manager, we need a midfield coach.

John Audsley
19   Posted 19/03/2011 at 21:20:48

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Richard Dodd,

Words fail me, they really do.

At least yer consistent...
Daniel J Johnson
20   Posted 19/03/2011 at 21:24:25

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Could I ask when anybody said anything about doing 'High Fives" for securing 40 points? And this idea of aiming higher ? do you really think Moyes aims to secure 40 points in a season? He was quoted when he arrived at Goodison as saying that he aimed for top spot at the start of every season. I really just cannot understand the hostility towards someone that has only had a positive impact on the general operation and fortunes of the club.
Tommy Coleman
21   Posted 19/03/2011 at 21:23:52

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I have now developed a nervous twitch every time I read one of Richy Dodd's posts. Very much like Chief Inspector Dreyfus dealing with Inspector Cleuseau.
Chris James
22   Posted 19/03/2011 at 21:25:13

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Slightly off topic this one, but just came across the fairplay qualification rules. At the moment it looks like the EPL is on track to earn one of the 3 slots and we were sitting 6th in the fair play league at the end of Feb (with Chelsea, United and Spurs taking 3 of those slots). Just Blackpool and Fulham to overhaul ? maybe we should give up trying to win and concentrate on playing nice for the last 8 games?
Sam Hoare
23   Posted 19/03/2011 at 21:29:24

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The moaners are upset!!

Because we've been awful all season and yet sit in 8th, 2 points behind Liverpool and certainly much higher in the Premier League than we would be in the net spend table.

'Yeah but we should be in the Champions League' Ha! get real, with our resources we are doing better than we should. Fact.

Also have a look at Tottenham and Arsenal today... see! We are not the only team able to dominate but not find the cutting edge and lose points to teams that we should be beating.
Dermot Ryan
24   Posted 19/03/2011 at 21:40:57

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With the center of midfield as decimated as it is at the moment (and for the rest of the season), I'm happy to win ugly and with a bit of luck.

Some observations. Ossie has really stepped up his game for us. If injuries offered Jack an opportunity to show his talents and inspire the team, he hasn't really seized that opportunity. I'm sorry but game-in and game-out, I don't see how he is our best prospect in years. Yes, he shows moments of real skill and occasional moments of magic, but generally he is just too anonymous. And as a one-time fan of Bily's, I think it is time to sell him and move on: it just isn't happening. Moyes does not want to play him in the middle (and I understand why due to his defensive frailties) or in the slot and he is ineffective on the wing.

Really pleased to have a win, especially at home.
Lyndon Lloyd
25   Posted 19/03/2011 at 21:38:33

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Sam Hoare, it's that mentality that is preventing any pressure from forming against the current regime.

You sum it up perfectly when you say "we've been awful all season". Nothing much beyond that matters because there's been almost nothing to reward the fans who have watched crap performance after crap performance, week-in, week-out.

If we hadn't had been awful all season, we *would* probably be in the Champions League places... exactly where our form from December to March last year suggested we might be on the fewer resources than we had for the first half of this campaign.

The fact that we're 8th and two points behind Liverpool (but that could be ninth place or five points off the horrible horde tomorrow afternoon, don't forget) says more about the supposed quality of the Premier League than it does about us.

The bottom line: we're abysmal to watch right now and no Evertonian should find that acceptable.

Ian McDowell
26   Posted 19/03/2011 at 21:50:48

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"The bottom line: we're abysmal to watch right now and no Evertonian should find that acceptable."

That pretty much sums it up, Lyndon.
John Audsley
27   Posted 19/03/2011 at 21:50:32

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Superb comment, LL!
Dermot Ryan
28   Posted 19/03/2011 at 21:40:57

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With the center of midfield as decimated as it is at the moment (and for the rest of the season), I'm happy to win ugly and with a bit of luck.

Some observations. Ossie has really stepped up his game for us. If injuries offered Jack an opportunity to show his talents and inspire the team, he hasn't really seized that opportunity. I'm sorry but game in and game out, I don't see how he is our best prospect in years. Yes, he shows moments of real skill and occasional moments of magic, but generally he is just too anonymous. And as a one-time fan of Bily's, I think it is time to sell him and move on: it just isn't happening. Moyes does not want to play him in the middle (and I understand why due to his defensive frailties) or in the slot and he is ineffective on the wing.

Really pleased to have a win, especially at home.
Jeff Armstrong
29   Posted 19/03/2011 at 21:31:25

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Richard (#13) ? or do you prefer Dick?

Anyways I just think you're a wind-up merchant. What exactly has Kenwright done to deserve your unswerving support? He is completely out of his depth...

A Premier League football club owner in name only, certainly not in terms of financial clout!!

Moyes is stale and void of ideas... personally I would like to see what O'Niell, with Moyes's salary, and this group of players (including loanees) could do, (still no money though, Martin).

Believe me, it would be no worse, because this group of players have just about proved they can stay in this division. So, with a bit of freshening up from a new manager , I think a wave of optimism might start emitting from us for next season, instead of the feeling of, same old, same old.

David Crowe
30   Posted 19/03/2011 at 21:56:37

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Did the job in the end and I'll never complain when we get three points, especially not this season. Now we're 8th we can think about pushing on for 7th. That's a place better than last year and is all we could have hoped for at Christmas.

Great goal by Coleman but he's a poor footballer really. Literally every time he got the ball he looked like he didn't know what to do with it so he ran into blind alley after blind alley.

Personally, I think we've got to sell to buy in the summer. Just forget about this "strongest squad ever". Let's clear out the shite and spend the money on changing the look of the squad and let the quality players know there's a plan.

Dermot Ryan
31   Posted 19/03/2011 at 22:03:41

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Looking at the table as it stands, what result does an Evertonian hope for tomorrow? A draw between Sunderland or the Shite? Or the Shite to lose and have Sunderland leapfrog us?
Jamie Barlow
32   Posted 19/03/2011 at 22:00:07

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Maybe the players don't want a new manager Jeff. It could quite easily go the other way if we get a new manager. I also don't see how you can say it can't get any worse. It obviously can, there are 12 teams below us that are worse than us at the moment.
Sam Hoare
33   Posted 19/03/2011 at 22:16:24

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I might argue that it is your mentality that is indicative of the great discontent that sits so heavily on many fans shoulders.

We haven't been good this season but have we been any worse than any other teams in and around us? No.

I am very proud of our history and heritage but I do not think that we have a god-given right to believe that we are entitled to compete for the title.

Times have changed. Money talks. We have none. And considering that fact we have done OK this season ? not great by any means... but ok, at a push, and I find it hysterical that some people genuinely seem upset that we have won today because it provides them with less ammunition against the regime (which I'm not necessarily against changing).

Yeah, I'd like better but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy the present when we pick up 3 points.
Roman Sidey
34   Posted 19/03/2011 at 22:26:07

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Guy Hastings, to win a penalty you actually have to be playing the ball inside the 18-yard box. So, that is a good bet that we don't win one all season.

Sam Hoare, you sound like a broken record. The fact that Arsenal and Tottenham both dropped points to crap teams doesn't excuse Everton for dropping points to craps teams as we seem to do it MOST OF THE TIME.

League position, two behind the Shite, all the positives can lick my bell end. The bottom line is, we have played 30 games, are nearly at the end of March, and have won NINE games.

Moyes Out!
Graham Duffy
35   Posted 19/03/2011 at 22:39:05

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First half ? shite. Second half much better. At two-nil we should have pushed on but we didn't.

We sit back and invite pressure.

Tactics, Mr Moyes???????
Andrew James
36   Posted 19/03/2011 at 23:17:48

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Some of you lot need to get a grip. We now sit 8th. All the teams above us have spent far more in recent years. Many of the teams below us likewise. We have had injury problems again this season with the likes of Fellaini, Rodwell, Saha, Jagielka, and Arteta being out for periods.

Yes, I think we should be aiming to finish 6th and yes I just don't get what happened against Bolton, Reading or West Brom. But some of you are talking as if we're in a relegation battle or something!!
Michael Coville
37   Posted 19/03/2011 at 23:41:04

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Tactics Graham #38. Now let me see who we had in mid-field at least for some of the game:

Coleman 1? right full-back
Neville ? right full-back
Rodwell ? centre-back
Hardly surprising we sit back. Unfortunately, our tactics from now until the end of the season will be more of the same seeing our best midfielders are injured. It is crap but at this stage of the season I will take three points.

I have seen us relegated once in my lifetime and I don't want to repeat the experience... By the way, if United offer us £25M for Rodwell, we would be stupid not to say, "Thank You, Sir Alex!"

David Thomas
38   Posted 20/03/2011 at 00:03:13

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Is it just me who cannot see a £25 million pound player in Jack Rodwell?

In my opinion, the games seem to pass him by without him having had any impact.

Roberto Birquet
39   Posted 19/03/2011 at 23:56:55

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To my alter ego Daniel J Johnson, up yours ? a club like "Everton FC" shouldn't be doing high fives for hitting the 40 point mark, aim low and enjoy the gutter my curious same name friend.
I seem to remember Daniel, that is exactly what we did just about every season (bar maybe 2) in the nine years before Moyes.
Roman Sidey
40   Posted 20/03/2011 at 00:06:37

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Andrew, I think the real problem with a lot of us who are unhappy with the situation (albeit, stoked to get three points today) is that Moyes himself got our expectations so high saying it was the best squad he'd had at Everton. Other teams can spend what they like on whatever players. I honestly believe that, despite the massive spendings, our squad at the start of the season WAS actually that good.

Moyes's tactics have made those same players mediocre, and I can't help but think that even some of the squad must be thinking of playing not somewhere else exactly, but under someone else, be it at Everton or another club.
Tony J Williams
41   Posted 20/03/2011 at 00:22:30

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38 "just enough's" would suit me just fine.
David Edwards
42   Posted 20/03/2011 at 00:23:05

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As one of the doom and gloom posters earlier in the season who saw us getting relegated unless we changed things around, I am delighted we have reached 40 pts. It's been such a lousy season, to be on the verge of securing our top flight status for yet another year is one of the few achievements we can boast about and leave the Gunners trailing behind us by a few years.

As I said a while back, I still reckon we need another 2 pts to be sure ? but I am now seeing quite a lot of daylight.

Yes it is sad that we have to celebrate this landmark of 40 pts ? and it does reflect our awful current state ? but I think we need to be very realistic this year, and hope the summer brings about real change. I also don't fancy seeing this fixture in 2020 with the same people in charge and the trophy cabinet with even more dust!
Mike Green
43   Posted 20/03/2011 at 00:26:58

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Lyndon Lloyd - shame on you.

'Sam Hoare, it's that mentality that is preventing any pressure from forming against the current regime.'

Eh? Is TW now a vehicle to dislodge the "current regime" then?

Disgraceful comment from a co-editor I highly respect.

Lyndon Lloyd
44   Posted 20/03/2011 at 01:05:38

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Mike Green. Is TW a "vehicle" for dislodging the current regime? Not at all. Do I personally, as a fan, want to see the current regime dislodged? Absolutely.

The club is being run into the ground by the current custodians of the club... pretty much to the point where my fear of the devil I don't know is being surpassed by the fear of the devil I do.

I'm less convinced that Kenwright is really pulling the strings at Everton and increasingly of the opinion that someone has him by the short and curlies.

I'm also highly troubled by the increasing attempts to silence any dissent against said regime, be it fan sites or the local press. The more they try to muzzle the opposition, the more it appears there is to hide.
Chris Bannantyne
45   Posted 20/03/2011 at 02:49:31

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The first game I didn't watch all season. Starting at 4 am in Australia, I just couldn't bring myself to stay up for it, as I usually would.

With Arteta out, Cahill and Neville back, I just knew the formation would be all kinds of weird, with players out of position. I was predicting another scrappy 1-1 or 0-0 draw.

In saying that, I am pleased to find out that we won and, although it doesn't sound like it was the most pleasing game to watch, I am now really dirty on myself for not staying up.

Gonna have to watch the highlights on evertonTV now, a not-very-good online tv channel that I continue to pay for because I'm a sucker.
Dermot Ryan
46   Posted 20/03/2011 at 03:48:22

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Michael (37) and David (38): Agree entirely. In our financial situation, I'd be thrilled to get £25M for Jack Rodwell. With our squad, that valuation says he is worth at least 3 players on our squad and he is nowhere near that.

In contrast, I'd dig in on the following players: Baines, Fellaini, and Arteta. Rodwell is a luxury item whose contribution just doesn't merit holding onto at any cost. I'm not saying Jack is not a talent and I really like his attitude. And I think he may well blossom in another venue, but we are flat broke and we need a left midfield player and strikers not a holding midfielder who occasionally scores spectacular goals.

Roman Sidey
47   Posted 20/03/2011 at 03:25:03

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Chris, don't be down on yourself. It was a really bad to watch. I had to go to rugby just as Fulham scored their goal, and I must say that, before that, there was only two or 3 moments that had me interested. You're not the only sucker. All Everton supporters this season have been turned into suckers.
Sam Hoare
48   Posted 20/03/2011 at 08:08:24

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Roman, if I'm a broken record then so are you mate!!

The difference is I'm trying to play a happy song.

Negativity seems to permeate your every post on here. It must be exhausting. Or maybe i'ts cathartic. Either way, I hope it works for you.
KPR Williams
49   Posted 20/03/2011 at 09:25:57

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We have just taken 10 of the last 12 points and the air around Everton FC as a whole is like a funeral parlour. Even mentioned it on MotD day last night. Lawro quoting 'be careful what you wish for'. Alan Curbishley's name came up. They got rid of him because things had gone stale and a fresh approach was required. They now look forward to away trips to Colchester, Hartlepool and Dagenham and Redbridge.

After the Bolton game, I genuinely feared for our EPL status and I'd have taken 3 wins and a draw from our next 4 games any time ? and I'm guessing so would everybody else. The manner in which we got them points I didn't give a flying fook.

So here we are now, 40 points on the board, most of our important players crocked, and the end of the season can't come quick enough for me. All the calls for settling for mediocrity are tiresome. We can't compete with the big boys, or even the little boys on the spending front anymore but we compete where it matters, on the pitch. Yes, we've been dropping points teams we should have battered but show me a team in the Premier League who's fans aren't saying the same this season.

We have been crap at times and the football served up this season has been rubbish. Re-new or don't renew, it's up to yourselves. I haven't been able to afford to go the match for years since my little girl came along. I'm babbling. All I care about in this very unstable time is Everton having a seat at the top table. It's a the pinnacle of football in my opinion, and we are, by hook or by crook, still in there.

I don't want to watch us playing Dagenham and Redbridge in a half full dilapidated stadium with a different manager every couple of years. I want to watch us taking on the giants with a manager I know and trust. I just wish Bill would put up or go because, if nothing changes, we are gone next season. Of that I have no doubt.

Lars Eidissen
50   Posted 20/03/2011 at 10:17:07

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KPR Williams, very sensible post.

Not really sure the football has been as rubbish as some people suggest. We have scored 40 goals from 30 games, and have apparantly been a playing "pretty football with little penetration".

Remember that normally, you get a handful of penalties over the course of the season, so 40 goals non-penalties from 30 games is a very decent haul from a midtable side.

We've conceded too many silly goals. And the offside flag on Beckford against Wigan could cost us Europe.
David Crowe
51   Posted 20/03/2011 at 10:46:23

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Something occurred to me the other day when watching Arsenal v Barca. We are, or were as the case may be in the first half of the season, a shitter Arsenal. Just like they are a shitter Barca.

First half of the season, we played good passing football without the finishing touch or final ball, ie, we were Arsenal without a Fabregas to play the perfectly weighted incisive pass and without the Van Persie to apply the quality finish.

I still believe, given a couple more years, Moyes can push us on like he has done before into a better team than we are now with a bit of nous that he seems to possess in the transfer market.

Andy Codling
52   Posted 20/03/2011 at 10:45:02

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Fuck me, fans are actually celebrating hitting the 40 point mark, no wonder Kenwright can do what he wants.

Mediocre manager, mediocre Chairman and mediocre fans like Doddy who think success is finishing mid-table. Our chairman couldn't even be arsed to turn up to a cup match, choosing to view the Wizard of Oz instead. Shove your renewal up your arse, Kenwright.

Sam Hoare
53   Posted 20/03/2011 at 11:37:39

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KPR WIlliams, very good post.

David Hallwood
54   Posted 20/03/2011 at 12:05:09

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I always thought that Rodwell was a ball playing centre-back not a midfielder and I suspect that SAF is lining him up to replace Ferdinand.
Dan Brierley
55   Posted 20/03/2011 at 12:35:02

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Made up with the win, but not at all happy with the team performance. That could just have easily been a 1-2 loss or 2-2 draw, and nobody would be able to say we were hard done to.

Loss of key players is certainly a mitigating factor in the standard of football we are playing. Rodwell was exposed yesterday, and still very much a kid learning his trade. One benefit of the unusually quiet Goodison, was that I heard Moyes frequently telling the players to get forward. He seemed as frustrated as anyone when the players starting sitting back.

The season can't end quick enough for me, yesterday was a very painful game to watch. Full of industry, but very little guile or cutting edge.

John Ford
56   Posted 20/03/2011 at 12:42:30

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LL: Our financial situation to a large extent dictates results on the field, and I believe generally will heavily influence whether the football we play is good to watch. In my view, to play better football, simply we need new players.

Or, if people aren't happy with the way we play, are they saying that our players are actually good enough, but just aren't performing? It's an important distinction.

It's possible I suppose to be more exciting to watch, but no less likely to win. Every time I see Stoke, they seem to be having a right good go at the opposition but obviously their results aren't good. It's only one example but if anyone sees clubs outside of the anointed four who are consistently playing great watchable fare, do say so.

Everton are probably punching their financial weight, but to me this still isn't good enough. I want to see better things happening on the pitch. Like everyone else, I want more.

Equally, based on what other managers have achieved and how other 'comparable' clubs play, there is nothing we can point to as an example. There are no examples in recent times of clubs doing better then we are with similar resources. In fact, quite the opposite. So, rather depressingly, English football is in this rut where clubs find it virtually impossible to raise themselves to the top.

Part of me would have loved Spurs or City to have progressed to where they are solely through good management and teamwork, because we could then have said "Look, it ain't just about the cash, so let's do it." But they didnt. They got cashed up and paid out big time to get better football.

Tony J Williams
57   Posted 20/03/2011 at 13:40:47

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Andy, Kenwright can do what he wants because he is the Chairman of the club and fans' personal views on "relative success" have not one jot of influence on what he does or does not do.
Lyndon Lloyd
58   Posted 20/03/2011 at 22:57:14

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John Ford: Our financial situation to a large extent dictates results on the field, and I believe generally will heavily influence whether the football we play is good to watch.

I agree that that is affecting us badly now — i.e. with injuries piling up and squad members shipped out — hence my comments about people accepting it and not blaming the regime for it.

I would say, though, that by the same token, with almost the same squad as the last half of last season, we started this one playing badly and have made it a hallmark of the campaign.

Was Landon Donovan really the difference between a side playing free-flowing passing football and the dross we've been forced to put up with for much of the season?

And how do you explain those rare glimpses of class and attacking abandon the players have shown at times in the last few months? There's just been no consistency at all.
KPR Williams
59   Posted 20/03/2011 at 23:35:02

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Lyndon: "Was Landon Donovan really the difference between a side playing free-flowing passing football and the dross we've been forced to put up with for much of the season?

"And how do you explain those rare glimpses of class and attacking abandon the players have shown at times in the last few months? There's just been no consistency at all."

See Arsenal, they play the best football by far in the PL and like us, win fuck all.... It ain't about painting pretty pictures, it's about winning and right now I'll take ugly wins.
James Hollister
60   Posted 21/03/2011 at 00:14:03

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I think 43 points is going to be a magical number this season for secured safety. There is just too much competition near the foot to give it 40 points for safety.

On another note, the outlandish claim about Europa football next season, a couple of weeks ago, now looks definitely achievable if we can keep this run going, but we will need to keep the winning mentality up.

It would be ironic if we finished 6th or 7th and claimed the prize of Europe next year, despite a shocking season.
James Hollister
61   Posted 21/03/2011 at 00:26:36

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Sam Hoare ? words fail me with your comments, they really do. No wonder this regime has managed to run us into the ground with fans like you.
Jimmy Sorheim
62   Posted 21/03/2011 at 08:09:18

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Come summer, I will want to keep Yobo, Yakubu and Vaughan, and sell Anichebe, Heitinga and Rodwell as they have been piss poor. One more argument for the players on loan is we haven't seen what they can do this season.

I do miss Yakubu and Vaughan cause those two are my favorites in a rather dull striker team. Who else do we have in front of goal? Saha, the injured one and Beckford the unlucky one... hahaha. It isn't funny really, it is sad cause it tells us that the club has no money to even pay the wages for a full squad.

We all watched the January transfer window but nothing came, many went though; Pienaar went for £3 million and I would have thought that we could at least buy a Championship striker for it, but no, of course that went straight into the expense account.

It is a disaster really and I feel pissed off like nothing ever has when I think that more players will be sold and no money will be spent to replace them. Yobo, Yakubu and Vaughan will all be sold and we will still be without a penny for a quality striker and left midfielder. No wonder people are not renewing their season tickets.

Sam Hoare
63   Posted 21/03/2011 at 11:38:18

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James Hollister, care to expand? Any argument there?

I don't feel 'run into the ground' but if you do then stop moaning and do something about it. I'm not stopping you. Nothing huh? Thought so.
Lyndon Lloyd
64   Posted 24/03/2011 at 22:21:24

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