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Dave Prentice

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When he was Everton correspondent for the Echo I admit I used to respect him, his match reports were pretty much spot-on, as were his views on all things Everton.

However.... since he moved into his new role, all he seems to want to do is cosy up to Bill Kenwright and the club and avoid criticising it at all costs which I find irritating. Defending the undefendable and most annoyingly, constantly stiching up outgoing players, the latest being Joey Yobo on Friday, who has been a good servant to our club.

I'd like to gage other Blues' opinions on Mr Prentice, the self-styled 'man on the inside of Merseyside football'.
Ste Traverse, Liverpool     Posted 04/09/2010 at 00:42:30

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Matt Traynor
1   Posted 04/09/2010 at 04:28:58

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Ste, I don't know if this is still the case. But certainly very recently the publishers of The Echo and Daily Post (Trinity Mirror) were also the company that had the contract for "The Evertonian" (and the rag for RS).

So quite possibly journalistic integrity is sacrificed for the longer term publisher's business interests.

My old man still posts out cuttings and the like, as he has done no matter where I lived in UK, and now in Asia. And to be honest, the stuff from Echo is sometimes painful to read. I agree with you, I used to like reading Prentice' views, but some of the others they have - do they even have a GCSE in English? Know how to write? Have anything "newsworthy" to say?!
Paul Olsen
2   Posted 04/09/2010 at 06:19:23

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I find that post a relatively neutral comment about what might have happened between Moyes and Yobo.

He doesn't take sides as far as i can read, he just states what he thinks was the deciding factor.

Sorry, i don't see your issue. At least not from the Yobo article.
Eugene Ruane
3   Posted 04/09/2010 at 05:13:57

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All things considered - useless.

I'll explain.

No doubt he would say (or think) "Well look, if I upset anyone/everyone at the club, I get no access, so you don't get your news",

To me this is a piss-weak 'logic'.

Firstly, "Blues raring to go says Neville!" is NOT news.

Neither are 99% of the space-filler pieces published in the Echo.

Honestly, next time you read a piece, ask yourself 'what did I just LEARN?

'Am I better informed?'

Is this feller giving me anything 'exclusive'?

Or put it another way - when was the last time you ran up to the alehouse to tell everyone "Hey, you'll NEVER guess, Phil Neville reckons Everton are 'raring to go'".

It's NOT news, it's space-filler.

To me it doesn't even come under reporting and the only thing I can say by way of a 'defence' is everyone else is at it.

I've been buying Boxing News every week since the late 70's.

Life for their reporters is, I imagine, much easier if relations are good with fighters, managers and promoters.

However that NEVER interferes with the paper saying what it wants to say.

Over the years this has, from time to time, led to spats which in turn, have led to bans on their journalists and/or limited access.

It would be much easier for them just to go along with whatever would give them an easy life, but they don't.

They stick to their guns and find ways around.

Scandal, drugs, terrible performances, bad management, bad match-making, it's reported - nobody is protected for better access.

If stating the facts means upsetting an influential promotor who can make their life difficult, tough shit.

It's about integrity and it's always appreciated by readers.

That's why I've been buying BN for 30 odd years (and why I wouldn't wipe my arse with anything written by the man 'inside' Merseyside football).

Paul Olsen
4   Posted 04/09/2010 at 06:20:53

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As for local newspapers all over the world, it is not unusual for them to take a "positive" view on the local clubs when they write about them.

From my local rag in northern Norway to larger cities i am sure.
Gavin Ramejkis
5   Posted 04/09/2010 at 08:24:08

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Trinity have been over cosy with BK for years and literally not worth bothering with, don't forget their one sided reporting of the positives of Desperation Kirkby and, as Eugene has pointed out, non-news shite to fill slow days.
Karl Jones
6   Posted 04/09/2010 at 08:49:25

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I find his articles interesting and honestly written... Haven't noticed any bias towards the clubs interest.

Much better than what Evertonians have had to put up with in the past from the Echo... Pity it's now become an almost word-for-word copy of the Daily Post.
Chad Schofield
7   Posted 04/09/2010 at 08:23:59

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I think Eugene's got it spot on. It's sad when Journalists let themselves be boxed in by politics rather than doing their job. Yes, of course there has to be a level of trust for someone to continue to be fed inside information, but simply becoming someone's propaganda puppet goes against all that originally that person would (or should) have attached them to the job in the first place.

These days though with mass media coverage from all angles of Jordan's tits and other appendages - where everyone is offered a soapbox on which to rant about their subject of choice, and people have blogs for their dogs toilet habits, might make it feel like having a decent source is more important than ever.

However, the sound of Bill's withered balls slapping Mr Prentice's teeth, while truly repugnant, probably has more news worth than the soundbites commented on by him .
Neal Sutherland
8   Posted 04/09/2010 at 09:59:14

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Ste, the only problem there is that Prentice has to find the balance between reporting a story and not pissing off his subjects too much. Otherwise, they'll not give him the access he needs to do his stories. This is the problem all journalists face and ultimately they all become sycophants to the extreme. Check out Sky Sports News for examples, especially ol' Nick 'Spurs have a rich European heritage' Collins. If it fills a page or part of a running order of a programme, then that'll do.

And to a certain degree only when it's worth it are the real investigative journalists let loose to get something juicy and report with some freedom.

It's a symptom of the whole industry.
Phil Bellis
9   Posted 04/09/2010 at 10:47:01

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I find it sad that Dave Prentice has gone from a proper journalist ("Taking the Piss") to, as EJ says, the typical "Make Mine Poached, says Pienaar" school of hackery.
David S Shaw
10   Posted 04/09/2010 at 12:01:59

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Jar wrist play, club peoples the book.

I like re-arranging words, ahem
Eugene Ruane
11   Posted 04/09/2010 at 12:22:32

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That 'ahem' is VERY Tommy Saxondale.
Chris Butler
12   Posted 04/09/2010 at 13:17:52

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The Liverpool Echo's stories are absolute shite when it comes to football. They are useless at their job and seem to lack a personal opinion, a bit like the OS. It would be far better if they debated the manager's tactics and our lack of spending in the transfer window rather than printing something like "Manchester United will be a hard game for Everton" says Phil Neville. Really?

We all know why Yobo left ? it was not because of Benfica away, it was because he was unfairly treated by the club, I believe.

Jon Cox
13   Posted 04/09/2010 at 13:42:11

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Typical media.

It happens exactly the same way on politics.

Did no-one else notice that, just prior to the General Election, the politicos were constantly droning on and on about the economy?

But where was the debate about the EU? Sadly, this is the way it seems to work. Smoke screen the realities but give us shedloads of frivolousness.

John McLoughlin
14   Posted 04/09/2010 at 15:19:35

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Happy Birthday to Blue Bill

I hope he has a well earned day off from seeking investment in the club and enjoys himself
Tony McNulty
15   Posted 04/09/2010 at 15:31:42

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Ah, The Evertonian magazine. I remember one of their wonderful articles about Slaven Bilic. It must have been a slow news day. The piece was entitled: ?You are my Everton.? Well, bully for you. That was the last time I paid for that shite.

Perhaps we should all collaborate in writing a meaningless article for the Echo. Take it turns to add a sentence to the following. The opening paragraph reads as follows:

?He who digs deepest, deepest digs,? so says Bill Kenwright of his 24/7 search for investment.
Tony I'Anson
16   Posted 04/09/2010 at 16:48:08

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You will find more variety of honest opinion, debate and insightful, thoughtful articles on here than any other media. Is this why TW is so popular?
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
17   Posted 04/09/2010 at 17:55:58

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That's certainly our intent, Tony (#16). The 'problem', if there is one, that I suspect with such an open forum is that individuals often enter with entrenched views and not with open minds that might accept the possibility of there being a different shade of opinion than their own.

That's not so much a criticism of anyone in particular ? just an unfortunate facet of human nature. [There was a recent story in the main stream news regarding how difficult it is for people's entrenched views to be changed, even by clear refuting evidence!] And I'm sure I'm just as bad as anybody. The ones most likely to contribute are the ones who feel strongly enough to write in... and they are more than likely the strongest willed.

Perhaps the greatest benefit is for our more passive readers, who get this incredible diversity of pure 100% Evertonian opinion on any and every current topic we cover. I like to think they are weighing it all up and developing their perspective on all things Everton as a result... But then, I'm a bit of a dreamer!
Chris Sillett
18   Posted 04/09/2010 at 18:45:00

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I think David Prentice has always been very truthful when it comes to all things Everton. There has been times in the past when he has fallen out with people at the club because he has criticised them in the Echo.

I remember there being a furore among staff and players after he wrote a damning article about that depressing season we finished 17th in 2003-04. So I don't think he sucks up to the club and Bill Kenwright at all to be honest.

As for the Echo itself, I haven't bought it for months as I now just read it online for free but I have to admit some of the reporting from current Everton correspondent, Greg O'Keefe, seems to just be copy-and-paste jobs from the Official Website... and I thought some of the former Everton writer, Dominic King's reporting was down right amateur.

Steve Green
19   Posted 04/09/2010 at 21:31:57

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Just a few observations from when I was growing up in Roby Street, Bootle, in the 60s and 70s.

1. David Prentice used to live opposite and hung around with my brother who is 3 years younger than me.<2>2. We all played five-a-side football in the 55th Boys Brigade with a green coloured soft type ball cos we all loved football ? though can't recall DP playing. He played hollies with my brother instead.

3. We all walked up the match on a Saturday, every Saturday ? Kev Costello, Alan Morris, Kev and Joey Bartley, Mick Owens, Mick Clarke ? cos we all loved football and all loved and lived for the Blues. Can't recall DP going ? not even once. He played hollies with my brother instead.

4. We all played footy in the street and stood around talking about Ball, Harvey, Kendall, Joe Royle, Rod Belfitt, John Connolly, Bob Latchford, Martin Dobson. Can't recall DP being part of the conversation ? not even once. He played hollies with my brother instead.

5. Can't recall him having the slightest interest in EFC whatsoever, ever, during those times. What changed?...... and when??

Did he hide it away quite skillfully or did it just become a good line to give to Dixie's grand-daughter? Either way, have never, ever been able to take any of his comments on all things EFC seriously at all. I'd rather have a game of hollies with our kid.

Roy Coyne
20   Posted 05/09/2010 at 01:28:38

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In truth he is no worse or better than other echo reporters,all for years now follow the clubs version,you know when we are selling someone because he echo lets little snide comments creep into its reports.the yanks across the park are always slammed but Bill always gets good press when found out with his failings and lies its ignored but then he id used to go in the boys pen.
Ste Traverse
21   Posted 05/09/2010 at 04:59:09

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Roy. It sickens me also the way Prentice and his paper champion all things Bill Kenwright and won't allow any criticism of him in their publication yet can't stop having a pop at the Yanks across the park.

Matthew Salem
22   Posted 05/09/2010 at 07:21:42

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Tony (16),

Toffeeweb is so very popular because the members of the editorial team are not beholden to anybody. They may have strong views on certain players, issues, tactics and so forth, but at the end of the day there is no pressure to sell any papers or draw X numbers of readers.

It's a place where Evertonians from everyhwere in the world can exchange ideas and agree or disagree on any topic from Hibbert's passing to our pink away kit to João Moutinho's arrival ( which I happen to know from a highly reliable source is imminent, even if the transfer window has closed. Would I lie to you?;)

I disgaree strongly with some of the stuff some people post on here and am at times disappointed with what I consider to be excessive negativity of certain posters. However, at the end of the day, I love the fact that we have this beautiful site called Toffeeweb where we can cut through the bull-shit and just discuss what we really which to discuss, not what Sky Sports wishes to. The Liverpool Echo is not as bad as other papers and David Prentice not as bad as other "journalist", but there are limits to his freedom and to what he can say. Not here...
Tony I'Anson
23   Posted 05/09/2010 at 08:45:34

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It would be quite amusing to find out that Dave Prentice's other persona was actually the one and only Tony Marsh who has not posted on TW for many moons now. Are there any co-incidental dates with DP's his new role and the diappearance of Captain T Marsh?

Think about it, if you were a shackled journo working to pay the mortgage, wouldn't you want to vent your true feelings and frustrations to get your real thoughts, opinions, moods and emotions out there to our Cult?
Tony I'Anson
24   Posted 05/09/2010 at 08:53:39

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For example, could Karl Jones (#6) be a figure of DP's imagination?

Apology Karl as you are more than likely not, but I only illustrate your comment as a possible example. It's easy enough to get an email address resembling whoever you say you are, login to TW and away you go.
Karl Masters
25   Posted 05/09/2010 at 18:57:06

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WSAG had a writer for some years caliing himself 'Dave's Apprentice'. I often wondered if they were one in the same.

One article featured a visit by Mick Robertson of Magpie (kids ask your mums or dads) ar ound 1972 to somewhere near where he was playing footie with his mates and joining in. Remember that Steve Green?

I've got no problem with him myself. Seemed a nice bloke on the Official History DVD and let's face it, he has to toe a party line or else incur the wrath of the Club ? Joe Royle, anyone? He's not the News of the World's top reporter and hacking phone lines and exposing cricketing scandals is he?

As for the Echo, I bought a copy when in Liverpool for the Wolves game and frankly it was very uninteresting. Liverpool is a fascinating city, but you wouldn't think it reading that day's edition.
Brendan O'Doherty
26   Posted 06/09/2010 at 02:02:50

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Karl (#25)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if memory serves, the wrath of Joe Royle towards the Echo was because of a certain Phil 'Kopite' Mc Nulty's articles criticising a certain Duncan Ferguson.

I can understand Mr Prentice's balancing act between the club and supporters. I've always felt that the club needs the Echo on board, so that it can speak to the vast majority of its fan base. And this applies to the incumbent manager as well. We as fans, whether we like it or not, rely on the Echo's (and, by default, Dave Prentice's) contacts in the club to verify the veracity of a story. It seems to me that when a possible transfer rumour is gathering pace, the Echo ring up the manager and are told whether or not there is anything in it. They then report "Everton officials have denied...." So it is an important relationship, and Dave Prentice is at the heart of it.

I was a bit surprised at his take on Yobo leaving though, as Yobo himself has said that there was no problem with the manager. It seems he was allowed to go because he wasn't getting first team action; a favour which might not have been granted to players with a shorter length of service.

But Mr Prentice knows Mr Moyes better than most of us...
David Prentice
27   Posted 08/09/2010 at 21:46:05

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Dear Steve Green

Just a few observations from when I was growing up in Roby Street Bootle in the 60s and 70s.

You never played five-a-side football with me in the 55th Boys Brigade because, as you point out, you were three years older than me. I love five-a-side, played about five times a week from the age of 11 to 41 and still play once a week now when creaking knees and calf strains allow.

Your brother Philip was my best mate at Linacre County Primary. I remember you had a younger brother, Paul was it? But I don?t remember you ever saying a word to me. Not once.

I didn?t go to the match then because I was 8 years old (I moved from Bootle when I was 10) and my dad was never interested in football. I had to wait until I was 11 and I had a mate, who coincidentally was a couple of years older, who I could go with before I could watch the Blues.

From that point, though, I never stopped. Between 1975 and 1990 I missed barely a handful of home matches and went to many, many, many away games.

If you ever want to pit your interest/passion for Everton against mine feel free. You?ll come off second best I guarantee.

Perhaps if you or Joey Bartley (who I do remember although the other names you mentioned pass me by to be honest, but then I was still barely more than a toddler) had asked me to go to a match back then perhaps I might have been able to begin my Everton education much earlier.

As it was, you were probably too old and too cool to talk to a naïve eight-year-old. (When a class-mate ? Robert Millington ? proudly told me he?d been to Goodison Park I actually thought he meant a park like the North Park on Stanley Road.)

And you know why I never talked about Bob Latchford or Martin Dobson with you? Because I moved from Roby Street in 1973 and Big Bob (my favourite ever player ever) didn?t join us until the following February. Dobbo came a few months after that.

Your words ?a good line to use on Dixie?s grand-daughter? is cheap and doesn?t deserve answering. And what the hell is ?hollies?.

I hope Phil?s keeping well.

As for you, I?m afraid I don?t take your comments seriously.

ps: I?ve never posted anything anywhere on a website before. So I was never Dave?s Apprentice or that other name that was posted further up this thread. But I felt I had to reply to Steve Green?s critique of my Everton passion.

As regards the Yobo article, it wasn?t written with any malice or support for anybody in mind. It was based on a conversation with one of the parties central to the story at Lisbon airport and I thought some Blues might be interested in the background to his departure.

If not, fine.
Tony I'Anson
28   Posted 09/09/2010 at 08:26:44

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Good defending Dave.

Apologies if I suggested you may be logged on as someone else. However, I am convinced this kind of thing does happen on Toffeeweb.

It's just too easy to do. Set up a Google email account, register on and they email you the verify email that you click on, and away you go.

My conviction of this is based on some of the scathing comments that appear on here.
David Prentice
29   Posted 09/09/2010 at 14:41:20

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Cheers, Tony, and no worries. It wasn't the suggestion that I'd been posing as someone else that wound me up to be honest. People can say pretty much what they like about me 1 and clearly do.

And they are all entitled to their opinions. (Although Kenwright would have something to say about the suggestion I'm up his arse given the conversation we had in the summer when we thought Arteta was leaving.)

But what really pissed me off was somebody trying to use my behaviour as a spotty eight- and nine-year-old schoolboy as evidence that I couldn't possibly be a proper Blue.

Perhaps I should set up a spoof account and pass some observations on Steve Green's behaviour when he was 11.

Tony I'Anson
30   Posted 09/09/2010 at 15:47:30

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Somehow Toffeeweb draws you in at some point or another.

I'd love it if some of the Everton Board or high ranking officials came on here as aliases, writing articles and getting the responses from some very intelligent, articulate and passionate Evertonians. It could be a good form of stress relief.

By the way, did you know my uncle Henry from Litherland Road?
Brendan O'Doherty
31   Posted 09/09/2010 at 17:44:50

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Great tackle, Dave.
Ste Traverse
32   Posted 09/09/2010 at 18:29:31

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Pity you weren't as quick to criticise the hopeless Kenwright as were with Peter Johnson, Dave.

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