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Close to the edge?

By Christine Foster :  27/12/2010 :  Comments (35) :
It?s transfer time again and the biannual press interview from David Moyes regarding no money is once again rolled out.

He may well be right, but this has gone on for the past three or four years; no matter how you wish to portray the situation, it is a damming indictment of the management of the club that we should be in this position and that we are telling everyone who wants to listen that we are broke.

What?s next? ? donation boxes at the turnstiles?

In addition, we have players who are dictating to the club regarding contracts, with the threat of "Give me a better deal or you will get nothing for me..." Playing out contracts is NOT and never should be an option, irrespective of who that player is and their personal circumstances.

We hear that the club is being well run from different parts of the media because we refuse to go into further debt; the truth is more likely that we cannot borrow any more money as we have nothing to borrow against!

In this situation, the manager has to wheel and deal. We may have to sacrifice a little to progress but there are too many players that need to be shown the door as we have hung on to them a year too long and fresh blood is needed.

It all makes for an uncomfortable situation going forward as there is no apparent plan to get us out of the mess we are in. We have a chicken-and-egg problem: we need a team to succeed in order to generate more revenue... we need players who can do it.

Off the pitch, we need better commercial deals but these are tied to our success on the pitch.. . but we have no money to succeed.

So how long can we go on? Our mate Keith Harris reckons we are not an urgent case needing to be sold; I beg to differ ? how much longer have we got before the cost of borrowing goes through the roof again and we can?t pay our bills?

I dare say that many will come on and post that it's all because of the previous chairman etc etc. The rot may have started there but it has never been eradicated and, if anything, the situation has escalated considerably.

What needs to happen then?

1. David Moyes needs to sell at least six players and bring in a mixture of loan deals AND key signings; we may not get a great deal for Yakubu, Saha, Anichebe, Pienaar, Hibbert, Osman but we have got the best we could out of them so take the cash and invest it in two or three players to build a new team around.

2. We even may have to sell either Jags, Mikel, Howard or Cahill for the money to survive another year ? we have cover in all of those positions but it pains me to even suggest it.

3. Is Yobo still out on loan?? Can we either bring him back or sell him?

4. To stabilise the ship, we need to bring in a few journeymen whilst the team is being built around others. We have done this very successfully in the past but Moyes seems to believe that, if you're over 25, you're too old for the club to bring in. Sorry, Davey, there are good professionals out there that are not stars but make up for it in professionalism; we miss that in our current squad.

But this can only go on for so long. Unless something changes soon, we risk slipping down the table and into the Championship. If Moyes does not get the resources, I doubt he will be around to watch it happen.

Without the team, you can?t attract the funding; without the funding, you cannot build the team. (It?s a fine mess you have gotten us into) ... but how much longer can it go on? We are suffering a death by a thousand cuts and a Band-Aid is no longer of any use.

With an ageing team and no plan on or off the field, there is a distinct feeling of everything slipping away from us. How long will it be before the vultures gather and, instead of the club allegedly being offered for sale for up to £200M, will we be sold for £50M as a plaything?

The club needs to be sold, Kenwright moved out, and time and money invested in the club. The big question mark will still hang over Moyes but, until then, the cheapening of the brand that was Everton FC continues in the daily press.

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 28/12/2010 at 04:19:31

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I'm sorry, Christine, but what a load of nonsense.

I thought perhaps I was over-reacting the first time I read it but my computer froze near the end and I had to read and edit the bastard thing again... and my conclusion just got worse:

What a load of paranoid, cliche-ridden, panic-striken drivel.

Playing out contracts is not necessarily bad: remember: big money offers for Pienaar? Zilch.

As for "too many players that need to be shown the door" ? what happened to the universally accepted "best squad ever" of 3 months ago?

There is no "uncomfortable situation going forward" ? it's business as usual, that's all. Who says we are in a mess? Only FM lunes who think you have to blow millions and millions on foreign stars. That is patently NOT the Everton Way.

"Chicken-and-egg" ? we are operating under a tight-belt model that seems too much for many of the fans to grasp... hardly means it's the Highway to Hell that you portray.

Now, the numbered stuff:

1. You don't sell players when you already have a small squad. You don't sell your faithful favourites (Hibbert, Osman)

2. No, an thousand times NO!

3. Yes; No. A long-term loan is a long-term loan.

4. Bring in journeymen!?! Err... that's what you're trying to sell under #1!!! Astounding. And as for "over 25.. good professionals... we miss that in our squad". Er... Neville, Distin, Cahill... there's three for starters.

You say we can't go on like this... but why not? Clearly we have done for at least the last three years and we can for a few more yet. And all it takes for the current model to look just fine is the series of wins we should've had already this season.

I'm sorry, but this is doom-mongering at its very worst, Christine. I usually agree with your stuff but this beyond the pale.

Jamie Crowley
2   Posted 28/12/2010 at 06:30:21

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I think the basic premise of dumping bad weight to raise funds to sign 2-3 players is exactly what needs to happen. Yak, Saha, Anichebe, and Heitinga gotta go. Right deal for Pienaar? Send him.

The other concept of selling an otherwise "talented" player for a big price tag (Arteta, Jags, Howard) absolutely should be considered.

All this should be done not due to financial considerations, but team morale and chemistry. The dumping of the dead wood just has to happen. For a definition of said dead wood, see paragraph #1 and the names of the players contained therein.

Best squad under Moyes? Yes. And they've not performed ? and that shot at a top 4 spot is all but gone. So it's time for the boat to be rocked.

So Michael, the tone may be black but if you pull out point 4, is Christine really that far off? We're sell to buy, we can't borrow, there's players that need off-loaded, and we might be at the point where we get rid of one of our real assets to finance some solid player acquisitions.

Seems logical to me... And can you blame anyone for possibly looking at the glass half-empty on all levels ? especially when the outlook prior to the start of the season held such optimism?

I for one defend the lady ? sans that point 4 thing....
Dave Wilson
3   Posted 28/12/2010 at 06:56:31

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A tad harsh Michael.

I`m no Moyes basher but somebody need to explain to me why, if he had no intention of playing the Yak, did he not accept the £7 Million offered by West Ham?

I may disagree with Christine's choice of players to be offloaded but she definitely has a point. Moyesie's virtual inertia in the transfer market has nothing to do with lack of funds. The £15 Million Wenger wanted to spend on Jagielka could have triggered a 2-or-3-in / 2-or-3-out summer without seriously disrupting the progress of "our best squad in years"

And about this "playing out their contract" lark: players (and agents) call all of the shots. If a player digs his heels in for a big pay day, that's it ? the club has no say.

Pienaar has worked his bollocks of this season, he also said he would go if the club decided to sell him. Not sure how he could be any fairer than that

Robert Daniels
4   Posted 28/12/2010 at 08:55:40

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Some of the points you make are spot on, we do need to sell to buy.

If a big offer comes in for the likes of Jags, say £15M, we should take it. Same for Johnny, Saha and the Yak, although I still feel the Yak might come good again.

The problem is of course, our beloved chairman. Even now, he's planning to give away the car park at the Park End, without raising some capital (share rights issue) and going the extra mile to incorporate the development of the Park End stand... total fuckin madness!

Our partners, are paying the £10 million building costs, for the new development, we should be using this to our advantage, and add a second tier to the stand, and have the new offices/corporate/ etc built on the back of it. Increasing capacity and revenue. Instead, we're getting a standalone structure that would stop any future development at that end.

It's all about vision and creative thinking and that twat doesn't possess any. Oh, and by the way, Bill ? how about lagging the pipes, or just leave the fucking heating on, for fuck's sake?
Christine Foster
5   Posted 28/12/2010 at 09:21:33

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Michael, not a bad serve as they say here, but I stand by what I have said. It's my opinion that the team needs to be refreshed and indeed if you check back on my posts to the end of last season, I said exactly that with almost all of the same players. Hardly panic stricken drivel.
As for paranoid, I am an Evertonian, we all are... but seriously, we are told we have no money, the best squad for years can't perform together, we are much closer to the bottom than the top, much closer...

So what do we do? Same old same old?? The squad is getting older, we have no stars coming through, we are having to loan players other teams don't want. Doom and gloom? No just a reality check. In the absence of a rich benefactor, what do you advocate Michael? That we continue the way we are with the current crop of players?

Loyalty is a great thing, it's worth its weight in gold but just because you have loyalty does not mean you have quality. The ability of our squad is patchy at best and frankly doesn't look like improving.

Are we that far away from a decent squad? Yes. Why? because we don't have sufficent quality in depth to cover loss of form or injuries. It's why we are where we are.

Moyes should wheel and deal to rid the dead wood. Is that Doom mongering? Hardly. But for how long can it continue? How much debt is enough? It's like sitting on a deck chair on the Titanic and thinking we can't sink.

What I frankly said in a nutshell is that we have players that need replacing and the only way we can do this is to sell them to buy better.

I think our squad has too many players over the hill. Without money we can't replace them unless we sell.

Simple enough?
Stewart Littler
6   Posted 28/12/2010 at 09:11:56

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I agree with some of what you say Christine, but the word 'ageing' has me puzzled. If you take the 23 players who make up our first-team squad (age they'll be at start of 2011-12 season):

Howard (32), Mucha (28), Neville (33), Hibbert (30), Jagielka (29), Distin (33), Yobo (30), Heitinga (27), Baines (26), Coleman (22), Anichebe (23), Arteta (29), Rodwell (20), Fellaini (23), Osman (30), Pienaar (29), Bilyaletdinov (26), Cahill (31), Yakubu (28), Saha (33), Beckford (27), Gueye (21), Vaughan (23) ? the average age is 28, which hardly fits your description.

What I do agree with is that a shake-up is needed, and I would certainly be looking to offload a couple of our over-30s for a start in Yobo and Saha. Yobo at the end of the season and Saha now if there are any takers.

If Yakubu and Pienaar are staying, then I would be looking to offload Bily and Vaughan. One of DM's strengths is low-value signings, and I think there is enough talent out there to bring in a defender, winger and striker for the cash we would raise.

Richard Dodd
7   Posted 28/12/2010 at 10:41:01

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Oh, if only Christine could be our Chairman, Manager and financial guru all our problems would be over. She would get rid of all our players and fill the team with journeymen ? that way 17th spot would be secured and the club sold to one of the hundreds of Arabs forming a queue round Goodison. If only...
Tony I'Anson
8   Posted 28/12/2010 at 11:07:36

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I'd like to raise another point that's been bugging me. With football clubs getting sold all around us, can anyone tell me how much those individuals selling clubs have made, over and above their purchase price? (Bar H & G being forced to sell.) Is this part of their business plan, pretty much similar to buy to let property investors ? buy cheap, cover costs with rental income, spend as little as they can get away with to keep tenants at bay, then sell after 10 years to make a tidy profit.

It would also be interesting to consider if it is the norm for owners to instruct their CEOs to "just run the Club as a business, and don't ask us for any more money".

Apart from the big spenders recently coming into the game, is this what it's like for the majority of league clubs as owners are all unwilling to throw bucket loads of cash into their clubs after they have bought their shares?

Hope everyone is enjoying the in-between Christmas and New Year period.
Jon Ferguson
9   Posted 28/12/2010 at 10:57:56

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I feel that selling your loyal squad players (Hibbert and Osman) and some of your star players (Arteta, Felliani, Jagielka, Cahill) in order to sign a number of hard working journeymen is pressing a self-destruct button. It'd be what we had a few years ago with the like of Radzinski, Bent and Kilbane. We used them to get where we are now. Christine's proposal is just a giant step backward.

There are players that could be sold in the current squad. Heitinga looks a certainty to go to me. If like the media says, more than one club is after him than we could possibly get £5 - 6 mil (World Cup Final centre-back, good Premier League season last season).

I feel sorry for Bily because I don't think he has ever been given a fair crack of the whip, but he is a Russian international, I'm sure there's a few teams there that would pay £5 mil for him. Then there is Vaughan, apparently every club in the Championship is willing to pay £2 mil for him...

I wouldn't spend any profits made on journeymen though. I'd try for Dale Jennings at Tranmere, 17, and a potential superstar rated at £2 mil. Even if he didn't make it big, we could sell him on for evens, but the lad looks like a star in the making to me. There are other up-and-coming youngsters out there and if an affordable older option became available then he shouldn't be ruled out simply by ideology of course.

Unless we get a billionaire owner then in my opinion we shouldn't change the model. We can't make excuses for our awful start to the season like last year, but I believe we are just a few players away from the top teams. If we had an on-form striker, we would be right up there as it is. I can't believe any sane Evertonian would dismantle what we have for the Bent's and Kilbane's (no offense to either as they both ran their socks of for the shirt) of our past.

Nick Entwistle
10   Posted 28/12/2010 at 11:28:30

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I was going to respond with the same first line from MK, only I would have changed nonsense with bollocks.

I don't think this season is an indictment of anything other than having an off season which is slowly coming to the good. Sure we need a striker, and we're skint, but you don't go selling the family silver to placate some panic striken supporters who have it all worked out on FM.
Brian Waring
11   Posted 28/12/2010 at 12:00:29

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"Which is slowly coming to the good." ? How do you come to that conclusion, Nick? Is it because we have had one good result agaist Man City? FFS, talk about being easily pleased.

That's the problem Nick, while we have the likes of you, Doddy and Co, who are happy with Moyes, BK etc, we'll never get anywhere.

Also "having an off-season" ? is this the same "having an off-season" that we have at the start of nearly every season?
Stephen Kenny
12   Posted 28/12/2010 at 12:29:11

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The business plan is buy promising players, develop them, sell them on for a profit, then replace with another one or two promising players who will repeat the cycle. Supplement this with quality players who have lost their way a bit (Pienaar). Every so often we have to go outside of that due to injuries, circumstance (Distin) but ultimately that is what's got us to the so-called best squad in 20 years.
Martin Mason
13   Posted 28/12/2010 at 12:33:11

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I believe that Christine's description is a fair one of a club that has reached its financial limit. It is very good that as fans we appreciate exactly where the club is now and that we needn't expect the purchase of top players and a natural progression into the top 4 as of our right as a big club because we are no longer a big club.

We've done badly this year especially in home games where I feel our negative tactics prevent us from doing well. Away our negative tactics are often a strength. I believe that from here we have a limit on how well we can do and no real limit on the downside as we compete against the other small clubs. That will of course mean selling to buy but we have a group of players that we could unload without weakening the squad such as Vaughan, Saha, Bily and Yakubu.

Pienaar wants to go so anything we can get is worth it and that probably goes for Heitinga who is probably still a valuable asset but having sold who do we buy who is within our budget?

Christine Foster
14   Posted 28/12/2010 at 12:45:32

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Every year we seem to sink further into debt. We can't afford to buy players without selling what we have. We have a team that needs refreshing and replacements are needed. That's not nonsense, it's fact. So if players don't perform how long do we persist with them?

Best Squad? I have never said or acknowledged that I believe it is. I have always believed that too many had seen better days. In the end that was and still is my opinion. If Moyes can get another season from them great but it doesn't seem that way at the moment.

Oh and Doddy, you really are a smug little person aren't you? I'm sorry but it takes balls to run a football club and I don't qualify... neither do you.
Nelaj Behajiha
15   Posted 28/12/2010 at 13:06:16

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It's nonsense really; theories are made up every day about why we're not higher in the table.

First of all, we had a typical awful summer ? no decent signings meaning same old faces, nothing new being brought to the team. Signing Beckford who really is no better than Vaughan is just typical of Moyes. He wallows in self-pity yet kept players like Arteta and Pienaar in the summer; both decisions for different reasons look poor.

Nobody in our team is capable of passing; nobody in our team is exceptional at taking on players; and we don't have a good enough goal scorer. I'm my opinion, Moyes is to blame 100% for some of our pathetic results this season. He continues to fail to notice blatantly obvious things and continues to make bizarre selections.

Getting rid of loads of players just doesn't work as there's no point in it. You can't get rid of that many players in a month and replace them.

John Daley
16   Posted 28/12/2010 at 12:46:24

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"The business plan is buy promising player's, develop them, sell them on for a profit then replace with another one or two promising players who will repeat the cycle." ? I can only think of Lescott who meets the above criteria. Which other promising players have we bought, developed and sold at a decent profit during the last few years?

One player sale doesn't constitute a business plan. I think it's more a case of Bill and Co just blundering their way through. The impending departure of Pienaar and Anichebe on free transfers and the earlier Gosling debacle demonstrates that the club don't have a clue when it comes to matters of finance.

Sam Hoare
17   Posted 28/12/2010 at 13:10:50

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Selling half our squad is both not likely and not sensible. However, to lose a couple of players who seem to add very little would not be a bad thing. By this, I mean:

Heitinga ? he has looked crap and his comments suggest a severe lack of interest and loyalty.

Saha ? Great on his day but old, injured and can't buy a goal. Sell while he has some small value left.

Anichebe/Vaughan ? Keep the one more likely to play; sell the other.

Pienaar ? This season does not have enough going for it to justify keeping him for 6 extra months. If an offer comes in, sell.

I think we might just be able to get £8-10 m for that lot, which in this depressed market might just get us two players who really add something. Added to a couple of loans and we won't lose any squad depth.
David O'Keefe
18   Posted 28/12/2010 at 13:24:06

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I agree with the diagnosis, Christine, as I have said the exact same thing myself. Don't agree with it all though ? the club can't afford the replacements anymore, so we can't sell on the cheap. They can sell Fellaini, Coleman and Rodwell for big money and that will keep BK in place and the banks at bay.

As for the best squad in years? I don't think Moyes believed that we all believed it but on the available evidence it's just not true. When Moyes came (2002-03) to the club his stated ambition was to aim to finish first with a squad that was far inferior to the one he has now. I liked his ambition, but did he really believe it then, did we? No, we do know, but he clearly doesn't.

Resources matter, that is my point and Christine's and the lack of resources are now having an effect on the pitch.
Leon Perrin
19   Posted 28/12/2010 at 13:05:57

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You're dead right. If we haven't got money and the buggers won't sell, we've gotta wheel and deal.

If Moyes is staying, it's his stock in trade: the rug pulled.

But it's the "journeyman" tag that upset the natives??? Cos we're always in the market for the big stars, right? What a laugh!!

It is depressing because that's the reality. As it stands, we will have to sell our better players ? it's garbage to argue otherwise.

Stephen Kenny
20   Posted 28/12/2010 at 13:59:42

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Jeffers, Rooney, Johnson, Lescott were all sold on for profit; there were others, but they spring to mind.

The players they paid for (in a roundabout way) such as Fellaini, Jagielka, Heitinga,Coleman, Baines etc ? in addition to the investment in very young players like Garbutt, Orenuga etc ? means that the club has assets it can use to raise money if need be, such as a striker or a big bill. This will happen if Moyes decides he wants to change the balance.

I'm not saying it's a great plan and we are poor commercially but it is what it is. At least we are in a situation where we have the assets on the pitch. The only risk is one bad injury, poor season and an asset becomes a liability.

For me, the balance of the squad is wrong and Moyes doesn't want to do anything about it. That's his prerogative but he must be held to account for it it goes wrong on the pitch.

Off the pitch, Bill must be the one held to account, but quite honestly that won't happen unless there is a real relegation fight, and I can't see that happening while Moyes is in charge. While I don't think he will scale the heights (I did once), he's far too good a manager to take us down. Bill knows this.

Richard Parker
21   Posted 28/12/2010 at 14:07:27

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We are a sell-to-buy club. Until something changes at Everton, we'll not have money to invest, without selling a valuable player. 2007 was the last time we invested money in a player, without balancing the books by selling. The players we have are now 3 years older and we haven't brought in much in the way of quality since.

The only way that I can see of keeping things going, is to sell a couple of top players and bring in up-and-coming younger players to replace them. If we continue to keep our squad together, we'll arrive at a point where they lose value and are no longer worth selling.

Saha is no longer performing for us and is no longer worth anything, so we're stuck with him. Yakubu is worth a fraction of what he was. Cahill is more-or-less at the age where his value is reducing. Etc, etc, etc.

Our most saleable assets are Arteta, Fellaini, Rodwell, Jags and Baines. I don't see how we can carry on without one of them moving on.....
John Roberts
22   Posted 28/12/2010 at 14:28:17

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Does anybody really know where all our money goes!!? And I dont want to hear any of Billy Bullshitter's PR! ? but then again he don't tell us either!!

Where does the money go!?! Unless he's keeping it for another white elephant ground move!!


John Daley
23   Posted 28/12/2010 at 14:27:25

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Jeffers and Rooney were already at the club as youth players and so weren't bought and then subsequently sold on for a higher fee. Andy Johnson yes, but I think that was attributable to the player himself wanting to leave (like Lescott) rather than due to any preconceived 'business plan' the club was operating under. I still stick by my assertion that the board have no business model whatsoever and are simply bungling their way through, season after season, sporadically hitting pay dirt only when someone wants to jump ship.

I agree with the rest of your post. Particularly the point about the manager's seeming reluctance to address the squad's deficiencies by stubbornly sticking with what he's got. If certain players aren't contributing or aren't going to be used then surely they must be moved on.
Jay Harris
24   Posted 28/12/2010 at 14:07:50

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Happy Xmas... war is over. Not on ToffeeWeb it's not.

So let's split it into a few camps.

Some are happy with where we are as a club, even if it is only Doddy!!

Some are ambivalent thinking we could do much worse than BK/DM and "hoping" that we finish in the top half of the table, which would be good considering our lack of resources.

Some think BK is to blame for being penniless and clueless.

Some think DM is to blame... whilst begrudgingly acknowledging his Manager of the Year awards and consistent 6th place finishes, they now suggest he is past his sell-by date and has become dour and negative.

Some blame Sky and other media forces that have facilitated ridiculous wages for average players and made media personalities of referees.

Everybody has a valid view but there can be no doubt that this would not be allowed to continue at a top club where aspirations amongst supporters would be accompanied by a forceful demonstration if things weren't going well.

We may well have the best squad for 20 years but other teams have much better squads. That is the "Premier League" of today ? which is awash with money despite the economy.

My view is that we have a potentially disastrous situation with Kenwright hocked up to anyone who will lend him money, which is now costing us a fortune in fees and interest, with Green and Earl unwilling to sell at a reasonable price until their "retail dream" is enabled by a new stadium. Evidenced by the fact we couldn't even have the pipes lagged at GP, which has only had a lick of paint since Peter Johnson's departure.

As regards the playing staff we couldn't even invest in a quality striker in the Summer, having to settle for an untried freebie and some crocked has-beens.

That compares with the RS who have been the butt of our jokes but who have gone out and spent millions despite having serious debt problems.


One feeling they have a rightful place at the top table; the other relying on history and a bit of luck to grasp any opportunities that come their way.

Kenwright has no plan other than to stagger from season to season on a hope and a prayer, so we are totally reliant on DM and the players pulling rabbits out of the hat every season.

Well, unfortunately, I agree with Christine ? that is not a strategy with a future.
Tony I'Anson
25   Posted 28/12/2010 at 15:20:05

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Does anyone (board, players, coaching staff, fans) believe that Everton will win the league in the next 20 years?

There is a generation of fans who have grown up with Sky and never even dreamed that we could win the league again one day. That is where the danger lies for the future of our Club.
Jimmy Hacking
26   Posted 28/12/2010 at 15:55:33

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I certainly don't believe Christine's points are "nonsense" even if i don't entirely agree with them all.

The "problem" with Everton under Moyes is that we keep bouncing back in the face of adversity, get all the press plaudits and everything seems tickety-boo come May, causing some of us to get excited and begin whispering about the Champions League again.

I honestly believe we will finish 6th or 7th this season, make the Europa league, and paper over the cracks once again. as for our long-term strategy, I don't believe Kenwright even has one any more.

I guess my slightly confused point is that there will only be a revolution at Everton if we start finishing 16th every season, which is where we SHOULD be finishing with our level of financing. Moyes is just too bloody good to let that happen, the bastard...
Mike Gwyer
27   Posted 28/12/2010 at 15:59:27

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Dave #3.

£7M for the Yak was never on, WHU were playing us about with a real offer of around £1M or £2M put on the table. Funny because that is exactly what we are going to get for him in Jan.

It don't take much to see that the Yak is not flavour of the month and one thing you don't do at GP is piss off Moyes. The Yak will be off sometime in Jan, probably with Vaughan, so a new striker is looking odds on. Whether that will be on loan or through the transfer market is another matter.

Gavin Ramejkis
28   Posted 28/12/2010 at 15:56:02

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Tony, think about whether or not Man City fans or Spurs fans just five years ago thought they would have enough money to buy internationals of the calibre they have or either of them would have a good crack at qualifying for the Champions League? Main difference being they were both for sale and sold. The former a yo yo side who have done fuck all for decades.

Come on Doddy tell us all how Black Bill is helping this club to anything but a slow painful death and obscurity? You never did phone Goodison and tell us all how Green has Black Bill by the balls either.
Tony I'Anson
29   Posted 28/12/2010 at 16:49:16

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Yes Gavin, but as documented at DK, our board are not interested in selling their shares - so the question about winning the league in the next 20 years could be put to them. I wonder if it's in their plans?
Denis Richardson
30   Posted 28/12/2010 at 18:50:37

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Personally I think Christine has some valid points, in that fresh faces are needed. However, I would certainly not go down the road of getting journeymen in - we have enough of these already!

We dont have much money but that does not explain what DM is doing with Billy or Heitinga. Billy has not been given a carck to prove himself and is currently just losing value on the bench - if you're not going to use him then sell him FFS and stop moaning about not having any money - be PROACTIVE!.

Heintga is a good CB and has been mentioned many a time is not a frigging midfielder, which is probably why he's pissed off and wants to leave - can't blame him myself. From his point of view DM is having a bad effect on his career and I can understand why he would want to leave if he is consistently played out of position.

We may have no money but that does not explain why DM is so bad with loan signings. If we need fresh faces, you only have to look as far as Citeh to see they have about half a dozen internationals who cannot get a sniff - bring one or two of these in. Sant Cruz, Badbuyor, SWP etc. Bellamy is on loan at Cardiff and MC are still paying most of his wages!!

On another note - got in from work to see that we started the game against WH playing 4-6-0 (sorry I do not class cahill as an out and out striker), and our subs bench had no less that FOUR strikers FFS. Wonderful bit of confidence boosting that is from the manager! Still 1-1 but even if we win I cannot see how the strikers cannot be totally pissed off with the manager. Again, if you dont trust the player then FFS get rid of him and bring in someone else - even if it is on loan!

And don't embarass the club by calling the twat Beckahm on a SOS mission!
Christine Foster
31   Posted 29/12/2010 at 00:28:56

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I got up at 3:30am to watch that pile of crap. So did my son. I just sat and watched quietly as my son ranted.

"Why no strikers?" he asked, "We played with a striker against City and won!"

Frankly, this match just confirmed what I was trying to get across. If Moyes has no faith in the players, they will have no faith in him. I certainly have little faith after this one.

So what would you rather we have, Michael? The same manager, team and tactics for the next three years because we are still in the Premier League and the model has "worked" up until now? How are you going to improve, rebuild and remove the deadwood?

They don't all need to go at once, that's just daft and I am not advocating it, but Christ almighty ? that was not the approach nor the way forward last night.

One last point, I made reference to an ageing squad ? I perhaps should have said a squad that is on the wrong side of the hill performance-wise. Some players peak early, some late. A good example was Francis Jeffers, only 28, playing here in Australia in the A-League. Not a shadow of his former self. I could name quite a few others.

Point being that the team Moyes put together four or five years ago needs reworking. Some need to go, that will need managing by Moyes. (Or someone else if he is not up to it.)

A few seasons back, we played with Cahill up front out of desperation because we had no strikers; last night, we played him up front and we had three strikers on the bench. A really bad call, take the best striker of the three and play him.
Jamie Crowley
32   Posted 29/12/2010 at 01:26:09

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Christine -

You officially get the coveted and highly prestigeous "dream wife" award.

Up at 3:30 a.m. to watch a sporting event?! Not to mention I distinctly remember you mentioning leaving your wedding reception to go to Goodison Park to catch a game, then returning to the reception to celebrate your union.

Does you husband understand how fortunate he is?

Michael Kenrick
33   Posted 29/12/2010 at 05:36:57

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Christine, there are serious problems, of that there is no doubt.

But looking to fix them through deals in the January transfer window is I think simply unrealistic ? that was the thrust of my serve... Moyes has taken years to build this squad. He is not going to cast it asunder next month. No way.

As for keeping things the same... well, that game we just sat through tells us everything we need to know: It's Moyes that needs to go. Plain and simple.

I have held back from advocating this in the sad belief that he can turn it around and get us on a winning streak again. City seemed to be a corner turned ? although I am reminded that someone said we actually played like we had all season, and just got lucky... How right they have been proven.

However, Kenwright can carry on like this for years, and I half-suspect that he may well just do that without anyone to accept his terms for buying the club... But, at some point, the failings of the manager will become too much for even the prince of luvvies to resist. That's what we saw with Smith; even though it took two years to sink in.

But Moyes proved to me tonight he is on the final approach to the end of his Everton road. I don't know how it will end, or when, because he won't leave while Kenwright still "supports" him... and Kenwright can't ditch him because he has no money to pay him off. However, this is the only realistic change that can be made. And it is the only realistic change that might get something different happening where it matters most ? on the pitch ? WITH the current squad of players we already have. I believe another manger could come in and rejuvenate the deadwood. I believe the players we have now ? all of them ? would be buzzed to play for someone different... anyone.

We are so desperate now for a breath of fresh air: it is Moyes and his management team, such as they are, that must go. Of this I am finally convinced.

Christine Foster
34   Posted 29/12/2010 at 08:06:36

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Jamie, thanks for the acolade, it has been the cause of many a difficult night and many a row but Everton came first in life.. and as they say, you never leave your first love!
Christine Foster
35   Posted 29/12/2010 at 08:08:44

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Michael, My comments have been written with the perspective of Moyes staying because, like you, I cannot see anyway he will be sacked by Kenwright unless we end up 10 points adrift in March... God Forbid. I don't think thats going to happen either. So, unless the pals double act is torpedoed by a buyer in the near future, it's likely we will be subject to more of the negativity we saw last night.

We haven't improved for three years. In fact, we are going backward, it's only the best squad if they play like it and they aren't.

So it's likely Moyes has to do some culling and restructuring, something he is loathe to do; it's his naiveity that demonstrates his lack experience in this area, whereas SAF has recourse to fall back on, he is not adverse to getting rid of players who come just slightly off their peak. Moyes has no killer instinct to do that and try something different.

He has taken Everton FC as far as he can UNLESS he seeks advice, listens and acts on it. Does he think we are all sodding stupid?? Does he think we don't see what's going on? Just because we are not party to a conversation does not mean we are oblivious to its consequences!! We see the body language and the faces of players, we see the mistrust he has in them and it's reciprocated.

I feel like it's deja vu, because I distincly remember a year or two back posting comments that said in essence, shape up or ship out. He did, for a while.. but we are locked into that particular loop again...

Sadly, if nothing does materialise in the coming weeks to bolster my flagging opinion, I would have to agree with you, Moyes should go.

But that would take him to fall on his sword... and in most pantos ? the sword is made of rubber...

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