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What now for Everton?

By Neil Mulhearn :  16/05/2011 :  Comments (52) :
The season is virtually over, and we may just about hang on to seventh place, but we finish with no silverware, no European football and the prospect of a long and painful summer.

Any club could pick off our star assets and there is nothing we can do about it. The speculation has already started and I for one can?t wait for the end of August. If we just manage to keep the squad together I think that will be a major achievement.

I?ve read articles linking us with a few players, and everyone sums up with the fact we?ll never afford them. The recent article regarding N?Zgobia really highlights the point ? the vast majority of fans want him, think he?ll add something to the team, but at £10million it?s never going to happen.

I think this is the summer we must speculate to accumulate. Borrow the money to invest in players to take this club forward. We can probably generate £4 ? 5 mill in sales (Yakubu, Yobo, Vaughan) and need to raise maybe £20 ? 25 million in loans to bring three players in. I?d be happy with N?Zgobia, a forward is an absolute essential and a left footed-defender (if Baines is injured, we are fucked).

We know the club isn?t really for sale, and people keep citing the fact that we need a new stadium as the stumbling block. It's not... or Liverpool wouldn?t have been sold twice in the last three years. A new stadium would be nice, and it would generate extra income, but football has moved a long way from gate receipts ? money comes from TV & more importantly the Champions League. I seem to remember Destination Kirkby promising an extra £5 ? 10 million income... the Champions league is £30 mill plus.

In my opinion, we have to gamble on qualifying and we have to gamble now. This has probably been the worst Premier League season for a while, Man Utd just scraping over the line with a pathetic 77 points & only 5 away wins. Man City, for all the money they?ve spent, looked very average; we beat them twice & they looked far from convincing against Stoke on Saturday.

We have the core of a great team, but we have to take the next step. It is a massive gamble ? all six teams currently above us will think they have a right to the Champions League before us ? and if we fail to qualify, we?ve just added 50% to our overall debt and are no further on.

But if we don?t go for it, we?ll continue to be a nothing team. Maybe the odd cup run here and there. Our top players being picked off ? Rodwell, Baines, The Big Fella ? and not being able to do anything about it. I just hope somebody at the club has the balls to carry this off but I?m not holding my breath.

Reader Comments

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Tony J Williams
1   Posted 16/05/2011 at 16:23:41

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What now for Everton? Not much unfortunately, a few scrappy loan deals or free agents...
Chris Keightley
2   Posted 16/05/2011 at 16:30:00

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Frees Frees and more FREEs with the odd loanee sprinkled in ? can't wait, the teams going to look like a WH Smith's pick-and-mix: fucking awful.
Dennis Stevens
3   Posted 16/05/2011 at 16:37:34

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"What now for Everton?" - "...we?ll continue to be a nothing team." Just edited your piece to make it a little more concise, Neil.
Peter Laing
4   Posted 16/05/2011 at 16:59:04

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Neil, I share your frustration as following Everton each season is becoming an increasing hardship in terms of the short- to medium-term aspiration in terms of progress.

The perilous financial hardship that prevails, a fact supported by the last three transfer windows, would suggest that Everton do not have financial means or wherewithal to secure, borrow or have funds underwritten by guarantors (inter alia Green, Earl) in the foreseeable future.

Bill Kenwright has no cards left to play and we are listing in terms of a business model or future strategic goal for generating income other than producing and then selling on home-grown talent.

The wealth, greed and monopoly that exists within the EPL in terms of financial power and the ability to pay ludicrous transfer fee's and afford obscene wages means that we are feeding off the crumbs from the top table.

My own conclusion is that the game that we love is dying before our eyes, hijacked and promoted by those with previous in other areas of their business i.e Rupert Murdoch. If what is currently being bandied around is true regarding Manchester City and their next potential forrays into the transfer market, then we are looking at further proof of the death knell of the game being sounded. Yaya Toure is earning a reported £250,000 per week and if what I am hearing is correct they are talking telephone figures upwards of £500k per week for any potential marque signings.

Next season will be interesting no doubt, one that I am increasingly looking to be watching from afar as I steadily become disenfranchised with not just Everton but the game in general.
Phil Martin
5   Posted 16/05/2011 at 17:26:41

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The time to speculate to accumlate was 2009, when we had just missed out on winning the FA Cup but were looking incredibly strong (only 3 players short of pushing for 4th). Now we're at least 6-7 players short and behind the likes of Liverpool, City and Spurs. Not to mention that usual top 3.

I'd settle for a breakthrough on the stadium front and a change of ownership. That would be like winning the Champions League for me.
Richard Dodd
6   Posted 16/05/2011 at 17:49:28

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Sorry to say the banks are `on our case` in a big way and even if we do sell a couple of `our stars`, I think only a portion of it will go to Davey for signings. It`s called `cutting your cloth` and whilst BB will no doubt get all the blame, I don`t think he will have much say in the matter, really!
Mark Wayman
7   Posted 16/05/2011 at 17:48:14

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Peter Laing ? that last paragraph in particular sums up my current feelings.

As for the original post, let's just say we did get some money in, and spent it on decent players. Do you think the squad would have the belief in themselves to finish in the top four or win a trophy? I'm asking myself that question a lot lately, and the answer is no.

The current setup seems to just do enough ? and that is good enough for them.
John Ford
8   Posted 16/05/2011 at 17:58:53

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Neil, your article expresses the frustration of being pretty much the most consistent challenge the moneyed status quo as far as the Premier League is concerned. It's all the more frustrating because I agree with your point about us having a good core to the team. Taking the next step and making a serious crack at this is proving elusive, but in the Moyes era weve done better than any other team to try to achieve this. This has recently only been achieved with the addition of large wads of cash (Spurs/City)

I also agree with the idea of taking a chance. I'd like to see a short-term financial strategy which gave us two seasons to get to the top level by investing to a level comparable with Spurs or Liverpool. This is probably a pipe dream but the problem is that we have absolutely no chance of doing this without money.

If we don't invest, Moyes will always be at a disadvantage, something which some on here do not appear to recognise. Your point about having the core of a good team is essential and indeed is something Moyes has always managed to retain. But again this is something which gets completely ignored and lost in favour of secondary bleatings over team formation and how Moyes uses substitutes.
Eugene Ruane
9   Posted 16/05/2011 at 17:56:27

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What now?

Well nothing now, but early July we'll see the first of 37 "'Blues raring to go!' says Neville" articles.

This will be followed throughout the summer by numerous positive space-filler pieces in the Echo about how this feller or that feller is over an injury and feels 'stronger than ever' etc blah.

We will be 'linked' with all sorts - good, average, shite and MIGHT pick up a free or two (nb: bums).

We'll win a couple of pre-season games, draw a couple and lose one (nb: if Vaughan doesn't go to Palace, he breaks both legs against the Mississippi Oven Chips)

Late July, the first post to TW along the lines of "With Fellaini fit and if Arteta finds his real form, I really think we could..." will (depressingly) appear.

When the season kicks off, we'll win a few 1-0, loose a few 1-0 and have a few draws.

If we get the 'rub of the green' we'll finish 7th or 8th, if we don't 14th or 15th.

We probably won't go down and we almost certainly won't win anything.

Depressing in the extreme.

Basically, Everton FC will still be 'run' by cunts and 'managed' by a man with the imagination of a coat-hanger. DID ask.
Tony McNulty
10   Posted 16/05/2011 at 18:30:06

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Thanks Eugene ? the shorter form of what you said is, "life's a bitch and then you die". Didn't particularly want to hear that either.

When you go to the theatre do you keep standing up and saying, "listen everyone, that's not really Hamlet on the stage, it's an actor with make-up and a wig"?

Hope it's snowing in Sweden.
John Ford
11   Posted 16/05/2011 at 18:34:52

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Peter@4, excellent post. We're being slowly shafted (and not in a 70s porn way) by the game's administrators. We are a lame duck and maybe always will be. There's fuck all to be done unless money arrives.

Eugene @ 8... made me smile. Shit media, fililing shit papers with shit non-stories, what can you do? It's all part of the leviathan which keeps the status quo. Moyes ain't the problem though.
Andy Crooks
12   Posted 16/05/2011 at 18:37:37

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Eugene, you left a sentence unfinished. With Fellaini and Arteta fit and the strongest squad ever assembled, we will qualify for Champions league at worst. Ladbrokes will offer 14/1 and we will fill our boots. You know, I'd like something different. Moyes to Villa, someone else to Everton.
Dalziel Kane
13   Posted 16/05/2011 at 18:21:05

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It could be worse ? we could be West Ham. :)

Anyway, enough of that. What next for next season? Thing is, with following any team, you never know quite what is around the corner; how many Stoke fans would've foreseen their club would be in the FA Cup Final back last August? There's one example.

It does look like 7th place this season, but even then we could be overtaken on the last day but I'm quietly confident of hanging on. Next year, top four looks out of the question, hopeful maybe of a European place by some other means; further cup embarrassments may be lurking somewhere, the FA or League Cups may well be the only way we will get our hands on any serious silver and what we don't need is any repeats of Reading this season, or past upsets involving lesser teams... why can't Everton overcome these damn fixtures, then we may get somewhere.

OK, keep it short, next season, pushing for an outer Uefa Cup place, higher mid-table, some consistency, avoid any further cup disasters and see where it takes us. I do think sometimes Moyes has had a good innings here but maybe after nine years and no end product it may be time to look elsewhere and try a new face. I have no issue with Moyes but the club comes first, I'm sure people will realize the need for a trophy to arrive sometime soon.

Each year that goes past, I think it will be our turn again, and it only disappoints. 2010-11 was no exception.
Edward Robinson
14   Posted 16/05/2011 at 19:16:29

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A very depressing but realistic article and we MUST face facts and not bury our heads in the sand. Theoretically, we could lose ALL our star players as we have no power to resist so, where does that leave us? Very worrying.
Dennis Stevens
15   Posted 16/05/2011 at 19:18:49

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Although West Ham have been relegated, Dalziel, in all likelihood they'll soon be back up & in their new stadium, pushing us even further down the pecking order.
Andrew Clare
16   Posted 16/05/2011 at 19:21:30

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Yes. I also go along with Peter's #4 last paragraph.
It is very hard following a mid-table club with no expectations and no chance every year.
Kunal Desai
17   Posted 16/05/2011 at 19:20:55

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Not to mention in that short summary Eugene, Elstone's sound bite through the papers/TV "We are working extremely hard to bring in players to this club."

OR if we're all very well behaved fans we might just get the long overdue mumblings from BK, making a rare appearance on TV... Oooooh, watch this space!!!
Andy Crooks
18   Posted 16/05/2011 at 20:03:20

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Did anyone notice the Sunday Times sport rich list and laugh out loud at the two names on it whose connection to sport was "Everton" Robert Earl, fortune = £240 million, and Paul Gregg fortune = £110 million. They were on the list of Premier League owners.
So,here we are, most of us struggling to get by,but caring so much about the club while Bill and his cohorts treat this club as a toy.

"What now for Everton?" I've become slightly more hardline and less inclined to do nothing. Scarves, protests, bombarding his facebook page... doing anything possible to get this odious, phoney, two-faced, money-grabbing, slimy impostor out of our club.

Dave Wilson
19   Posted 16/05/2011 at 20:16:32

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Not a fan then, Andy?
Sean Patton
20   Posted 16/05/2011 at 20:20:15

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It is not that worrying as Everton don't have any star players.

I would not shed a tear if any player left as they are clearly not as good as they think they are.
John Ford
21   Posted 16/05/2011 at 20:21:45

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Andy, I wasn't aware of any of that, or at least those kind of numbers. It presents a darker picture.
Mike Oates
22   Posted 16/05/2011 at 21:11:03

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Let's stop kidding ourselves. We have at the most 3-4 players who can deliver at the top level: Howard, Jags, Baines and Fellaini. The others, including Cahill & Arteta, are either just past it or haven't shown the consistency required (Rodwell, Coleman).

This means we are probably 4-6 Top 4 quality players short. A top 4 team needs a core of 8 -10 top players supported by another 8 - 12 players ? normally including 3-4 up and coming youngsters, and 3-4 older experienced lads.

How can we possibly afford another 4-6 top players (full back, centre half, wide left man and at least 2 forwards) ? costing at least £50m? We'll be lucky to get 2-3 of these and that will be on the back of selling Fellaini or Rodwell or Baines or two of them to bring in £30m or so.

So it's a never-ending vicious circle: we need more players but can only fund it by selling our best current crop. There is no way Bill & Co will ever get anything more than a couple of million, and that's absolutely useless.

As someone has stated above, the best news we can hope for is for a buy-out to happen. There is no other way this club will be able to compete again at the top table.

Alan Clarke
23   Posted 16/05/2011 at 21:47:13

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Name your price, Kenwright.
David O'Keefe
24   Posted 16/05/2011 at 22:07:19

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Hasn't Robert Earl got two bankruptcies to his name?
Jackie Barry
25   Posted 17/05/2011 at 02:37:42

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David O'Keefe ? "Hasn't Robert Earl got two bankruptcys to his name?"

Maybe, but he still has more money than Bill. However, Everton don't see a penny and Bill keeps telling us he want's to find investors who care for the club, very strange.
Martin Mason
26   Posted 17/05/2011 at 03:36:55

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One thing for sure is that we can't spend money that we don't have so we won't be buying anybody unless we sell. I hate to say it but we probably should sell the higher paid players even Arteta. He doen't add that much value for what he's paid.
Eugene Ruane
27   Posted 17/05/2011 at 07:41:08

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Tony (10), last time I was in a theatre was to see Frank Ifield and Billy Dainty in a truly wonderful production of Aladdin.

And as it happens, I DID stand up and shout out (if I remember correctly, I shouted "He's beyiiiiiiind you!!").


Well not snow but cold and wet, however when I look out of the window each morning and look at the pissing rain and hear the wind howling, I think..

"This? This is nothing, this is like a beautiful, balmy, sunny summer's day".

My Swedish colleagues, who complain about their climate, ask "how can you nøt be annöyed aboüt the weather, höw can you löøk so positively at it?" and I say (in the same way Steve Martin does in Trains, Planes & Automobiles about Del Griffith) "Because I have watched Everton during the Moyes era. I have watched Kenwright's Everton and after that everything in life is...a breeze".

Hardly negative.
Tony McNulty
28   Posted 17/05/2011 at 08:49:24

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Sweden. Ah, beautiful women, snow tyres, your hosts all over you because you brought a bottle of whisky through Customs for them, the overnight boat to Finland for a tax-efficient company meeting (ie, debauched piss up).

I was offered a 12-month assignment in Sweden once (I had worked there a few times). Never trust a people who, when you?re having a conversation with them as you?re walking along on the street, suddenly start running. They tell you later that it was because they have heard a rustle, and they all learn as children that the rustle is not Billy Dainty coming up behind you, but an imminent fall of snow from an adjacent roof. Or maybe they were running because of my conversation?

Billy Dainty sounds like a winger who should have played for the Shite.

No, you are right, history will probably repeat itself this Summer. Except that without an injection of money soon we are in terminal decline. Manure, Shitty etc will be over the hill and far away. And we will be lucky to cement our status as a feeder club for the Champions League boys.
Chris Bannantyne
29   Posted 17/05/2011 at 09:07:56

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Next season? I hate being so pessimistic but I think next season will probably be worse than this one. I believe Everton's decline is not over yet.

Come on billionaires, where are you?
Chris Perry
30   Posted 17/05/2011 at 09:12:42

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Its inevitiable that Baines and Rodwell will be sacraficed so we can get more players like Beckford!

Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks!!!
Eugene Ruane
31   Posted 17/05/2011 at 10:11:41

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Tony - the women here certainly ARE beautiful, but (consequently) lack the one asset I always look for in a women.

The quality I have ALWAYS looked for in members of the opposite...erm..'number'.

You've guessed it, it's that sexiest of attributes, the 'hint of availability' (nb: I learned SO much at the Gravvy)

Basically, given they look like them and I look like me, I barely give them a second glance.

They probably think me stand-offish.

If only they knew that one glimpse of an average-looking sort with drink and/or psychological problems and my heart would start racing and I'd be sweating like Neil Lennon's postman.
Dick Fearon
32   Posted 17/05/2011 at 09:52:26

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Perchance to dream... all these prophesies of doom and gloom demand a response more in keeping with our alternative motto, You Have to Laugh.

I see it written in the stars that, while the RS talks about refurbishing Mordoc, Kenwright backed by new found gazillions stakes a claim on Stanley Park. Construction of our new ultra modern 65,000 seat stadium begins in less than 40 days.

The RS ownership that by now includes Baseball, Basketball, Grid Iron, and Ice Hockey players plus Popcorn makers, Film stars and snake oil merchants, make enquiries about a ground share. Dear old Blue Bill tells them all to get stuffed.

What really gets up their noses is our new stadium's name is Dixieland.

The only fly in the ointment is Moyes gets a transfer budget of £100 mil and uses it to sign four backs, half dozen defensive midfielders and a striker from the Conference.

David Hallwood
33   Posted 17/05/2011 at 10:48:57

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Eugene, surely that should the Grabby (as in grab a granny)? ?maybe it's your Sveedish hacsent...
Giles Larkman
34   Posted 17/05/2011 at 11:15:28

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Just a note: if it were me, I would not borrow more money to 'push on to the top four'. Borrowing more has rarely been an affective solution (Leeds, Portsmouth etc)...
Dawson Boyle
35   Posted 17/05/2011 at 11:40:20

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This was our year and we blew it.

All that's left now is to sell off some assets and get rid of the crippling debt.

Rodwell is gone and possibly Baines. As are Yobo, Yakubu and Vaughan.

Some of the money will go towards Fellaini's new contract maybe a bit for David Vaughan or Jay Bothroyd too, but that will be that.

A few seasons of rebuilding our finances await. At least we play better when we've been written off.
Andy Mack
36   Posted 17/05/2011 at 11:27:45

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To break the top four now requires mega-mega-money and not the money we could borrow even if we had a positive bank balance.

Why not do the opposite, sell our wagecap crashing "stars" to the Champions League wannabes, pay off monies owed starting with the frighteningly structured mortgage-on-mortgage loans, reinstate the wage cap and wait for it all to go "BANG!". Then we can start again. Yes, we'll have to endure a few seasons of mid/low placings with Hibbo and Ossie, loanees and promising Championship players, but we're Evertonians, we should be used to lack of recent success.

We don't have the staff for Euro-pleasing football either, so that could be our next project once the loans are paid. Start developing our coaches in non "old school" tactics.

"A gritty reboot of EFC" as the media meme goes.
Mark Stone
37   Posted 17/05/2011 at 11:54:05

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As you say, the Champions League might bring in about £30m... well it has cost Man City about £350m to get there (plus wages) ? and even then they've only grabbed the last spot and it was by no means a certainty until right at the end of the season! Winning a trophy might give the fans a fun day out, but the reality is that the cost of winning anything (or qualifying for Europe) far exceeds the revenue it generates. From that sense, the only thing that Everton can do is keep going as they are... and keep faith in our manager who somehow is able to finish top of the pile of the non-extravagant spenders league every year.
Phil Bellis
38   Posted 17/05/2011 at 12:26:10

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Doddy... are you suggesting Uncle Bill is at fault for the financiall mess we're in? Surely not?

And I fully agree with the author ? a new stadium won't get us the necessary money; a successful team will.

Tony McNulty
39   Posted 17/05/2011 at 12:35:37

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Part of this post seems to have turned into a problem page so I might as well capitalise.

Can anyone help myself or Eugene with the key to seducing beautiful Swedish women (although I'm probably beyond help)?
Phil Bellis
40   Posted 17/05/2011 at 12:56:20

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Well, Tony
With Scandeswegian girls, you can't hurry love, no, you just have to wait
or look like Sammy Davis Jr or Peter Sellers (not as they are now, of course)
Adam Rathe
41   Posted 17/05/2011 at 13:54:05

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Do none of you get it? You rant on about how last summer we didn't have any money which is somehow now the norm. IT'S NOT! Last season's budget went towards securing new contracts on players 'that will get picked off and we can't do anything about it' (which in itself is wrong). I suppose you're going to claim that Moyes should have spent last summer and allowed Rodwell, Cahill, Arteta and Baines' contracts to run down right?

'We might hang on to 7th'.... yeah, if we lose and Stoke win away at City who are going for 3rd and if they get it will bypass the qualifying round of the CL

Overly aggressive portions of this post were removed by moderators

Trevor Mackie
42   Posted 17/05/2011 at 15:22:39

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Whats next?

Exactly the same stuff we've had for years - mediocrity.
Bill Simpson
43   Posted 17/05/2011 at 15:45:20

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On Swedish women, Tony and Eugene, watch Wallander (the version in Swedish not the Kenneth Branagh version) on the box. He's always depressed and moody and that seems to have the women eating out of his hand.

As for our beloved club, I'd like us to be richer and more competitive too but, as an accidental shareholder in Stockport County, their relegation to the Conference has given me a sense of perspective. I know they've never amounted to much and have a history rather like Tranmere's, but their fans are suffering much more than we are!
Tony McNulty
44   Posted 17/05/2011 at 16:39:21

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Bill (42) ? If you are correct about Swedish women being attracted to the depressed and moody, then as Evertonians under the current regime, we should all be permanently shagging their brains out.
Rob Hollis
45   Posted 17/05/2011 at 20:50:55

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Subtle Tony, subtle.
Dick Fearon
46   Posted 17/05/2011 at 22:31:01

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FFS! Not only am I burdened with teaching you lot about football's finer points... it now seems I have to give you advice on how to grab a Greta.
James Hollister
47   Posted 18/05/2011 at 06:33:15

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Adam Rathe - When you grasp the fact contracts are meaningless to keeping hold of our star players such as they are, then you will understand why people are actually very worried.

Everton FC financially need to sell the highest earners, it's madness to keep them, we can't afford them, not now and probably never until we have a sugar daddy.

If you tie up all your money on contracts which it appears we have or about to do, then it leaves us with no money to strengthen anywhere else. People need to get real and do the simple math. We have no money, these high earning players add to our debt.

Whether we like or not until such time as we aquire wealth we are going to have to put up with Moyes or anyone else trying to do wonders with mediocre players..thats the only viable way forward, or else we'll end up with a walter smith team, of old useless farts..just look at the current age of the first team most are already in their late 20's early 30's.
James Hollister
48   Posted 18/05/2011 at 06:49:21

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If we where wining silverware, or if we where able to compete at the business end of the league table with Utd and Chavski, then the risk is clearly worth it, but we are no where near that level and probably never will be with the current custodians of this club, not to mention the manager.
James Hollister
49   Posted 18/05/2011 at 06:52:30

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Mike Oates ? Fellaini needs to be able to deliver a full season, never mind perform at the top level. Fellaini's injury record with us is beyond shocking, the lad can't even get past half a season without ending up out for the remainder.

We know Fellaini's best position is just in front of the back four, he had a really good half season, last year, but this year in the advanced roll... sorry, but Moyes needs to get him back to his best position, and try to work our some sort of strategy to keep him as injury-free as possible.

Until he is back in his natural good position and can last a season, then he will never be able to deliver at the top end (key word is consistency, which this season, compared to last and out of position has been mediocre to say the least).

Eugene Ruane
50   Posted 18/05/2011 at 09:41:16

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Bill (43) & Tony (44) ? both these responses had me (as we used to say) 'in bulk'.
Tony J Williams
51   Posted 18/05/2011 at 12:44:27

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James, you consistently (I think it's you) pick up on Felliani's injury record, as if it's his fault. We're not talking about the likes of Saha falling over a blade of grass here, we are are talking about disgusting tackles that have put him out for months.

To criticise a player for being injury-prone, I am inclined to think of when their body breaks down with no outside help. Fellaini has been booted everywhere and the injuries were caused by another player, not because his body wasn't able to take playing games.
Jay Harris
52   Posted 18/05/2011 at 22:23:00

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I thought Greta was German.

So we're shagging Swedes and Germans now.

Leave it to the supporters to expand the fanbase.

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