Skip to Main Content
Members:   Log In Sign Up
The Mail Bag

If you know your history...

Comments (36)

Evertonians who are in denial about the seriousness of our current predicament and who are still claiming that it is too early in the season to worry about our position should take a look at the league table for this time last season. The two clubs at the bottom of the table, Hull and Portsmouth, were still bottom at the end of the season.

The two at the top of the table, Chelsea and Manchester United, were still first and second at the end of the season.

Of the bottom six going into the last week in September, only one: Blackburn Rovers, had climbed to mid-table by the end of the season.

The fact is that movement within the table is relatively limited. The bottom clubs tend to stay close to bottom, slipping in and out of danger. The mid-table clubs hover in and around mid-table and the top five or six clubs move in and out of the top four.

Occasionally, a club goes into freefall, as Burnley did, after an encouraging start. What doesn?t usually happen is that the bottom club rockets up the table after suddenly getting everything right. Everton rose only five places from September to May last season after a much better start than this one.

In short, ours is a very, very, very serious situation, as serious as anything we have experienced since Mike Walker. I am not saying we are going to be relegated or it?s impossible to climb to safety by Christmas, but it is foolishness to regard this is anything other than a relegation fight.

The fact is we should not be in a relegation scrap at all this season and it is David Moyes's responsibility that we are. He has had a string of strikers, each of whom has arrived with much fanfare, and all of them have failed to make more than a temporary impact., and it is this position that has consistently let us down over the years.
Peter Fearon, Liverpool     Posted 27/09/2010 at 22:08:54

back Return to the Mail Bag


Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Chris Keightley
1   Posted 28/09/2010 at 08:43:45

Report abuse

Great post, Peter, but you need not look at the manager's door, it's investment we needed to push on. Don't for a second think that Moyes did not want a quality striker because he did; he knew it would be time for the Yak to regain fitness, he knew Saha was limited due to injuries, he knew Anichebe would not play till late September/October, he knew Vaughan was not cutting the mustard...

And we all know that, once the team goes onto the pitch, it's the players who need to play with passion and pride in wearing the shirt. So far they haven't ... I'm not a Moyes fan particually, but he has seriously had his hands tied firmly up his back.

Ray Robinson
2   Posted 28/09/2010 at 09:12:13

Report abuse

Well Peter, the one team that has undermined your theory a few times is Everton but, as you say, it cannot be taken for granted. I'm sure that we won't go down but it probably won't be a quick rising from the ashes.

Strikers? Never enough of a sufficiently high quality, and those that are, are consistently undermined by lack of adequate support and poor tactics.
Michael Evans
3   Posted 28/09/2010 at 09:15:35

Report abuse

As Private Frazer famously used to say in Dad's Army "We're all doomed!"

Sorry, Peter, I don't mean to be flippant about your post. You're right ? things are pretty crap at the moment. Hence the gallows humour.

Perhaps we should spare a thought for MK who has to proof read etc all the articles/mailbags etc as they are submitted. That sure must be a depressing job at the moment!

Brian Noble
4   Posted 28/09/2010 at 10:54:12

Report abuse

Don`t you know Everton are too good to go down! The manager is a genius and will receive further plaudits when he gets us to 12th position by Easter.You can see it now ``Moyes worked miracles after the start they made.``Of course none of the scribes who love him will ask who got us into this mess!
Tom Winek
5   Posted 28/09/2010 at 11:41:26

Report abuse

I don't share the pessimism. We'll finish higher than we should do in 7th or 8th and some 25 points clear of relegation.
Dick Fearon
6   Posted 28/09/2010 at 12:10:04

Report abuse

Michael E #3. Another correlation with Dad's Army.... Permission to panic sir?
David Booth
7   Posted 28/09/2010 at 12:48:56

Report abuse

There's no denying we're in a mess right now and indeed, are bottom of the league.

But, embarrassing, annoying and frustrating as it is, we are not in any realistic danger of staying there.

We're only eight points from a top four spot for goodness' sake, with 32 games to go.

This 'Moyes out/we're all doomed' soothsaying is ridiculous.

Yes, things need to improve rapidly and consistently, but the rabid pessimism witnessed on these pages is out of control.

That being said, David Moyes's persistence with Fellaini up front, Heitinga in midfield (while Distin occupies his rightful his place at the back), Osman anywhere and Coleman on the bench is a significant barrier to our recovery

Meanwhile, the delight some Evertonians seem to be taking in our current plight is verging on the perverse.

I'm happy when we win. Surprised to see so many of you delerious when we don't!

Calm down. This is not a team utterly devoid of prospects and potential with Mike Walker, or Walter Smith at the helm.

We all know we can ? and will ? do (much) better.
Tony J Williams
8   Posted 28/09/2010 at 13:48:06

Report abuse

Were we not bottom after 10 games a few years back? I seem to recall that we got out of that slump with far worse players.

Were we not top when we beat Liverpool 3-0? I seem to recall that we didn't win the League that season.

"as serious as anything we have experienced since Mike Walker" & "it is foolishness to regard this is anything other than a relegation fight"

In the same sense it would be foolish to say that we are not in contention for the League Title, I mean we are only 12 points from the top of the league aren't we?
Peter Fearon
9   Posted 28/09/2010 at 14:02:40

Report abuse

David Booth, in 46 years of watching the Blues, I have never once been anything other than utterly dejected when we lose, although I have on occasion been delirious when we draw. I have never taken a perverse delight in failure, even in the darkest days when Walter Smith was manager.

The idea that we are only 8 points from a top four spot and therefore everything is going to be fine and dandy is precisely the self-deception I was trying to combat in the post. If we beat Birmingham, Liverpool and Spurs and shoot up the table I will be delighted, but the essential weaknesses within the club will not change until we have potent strikers and are playing positive football.

Michael Evans
10   Posted 28/09/2010 at 14:35:01

Report abuse

David Booth @6 "Meanwhile, the delight some Evertonians seem to be taking in our current plight is verging on the perverse"

Err............... no, David, I don't think that's true. Whilst I can only call upon 36 years of watching the Blues, I completely agree with Peter Fearon's reply to those comments.

It's is true that those that oppose DM's management feel the current state we find ourselves justifies their call for a new manager

However, I have not read anyone on ToffeeWeb expressing their "delight" at our current form ... far from it.

Steve Pugh
11   Posted 28/09/2010 at 14:51:25

Report abuse

Michael, whilst nobody appears delighted there are a few smug "I told you so's" floating around. Personally I think that this season is still wide open because all of the big clubs have shown themselves to be vulnerable so anyone that can put together a good run will fly up the table.

The only thing is I can't see us putting together a good run right now.
Michael Evans
12   Posted 28/09/2010 at 14:57:59

Report abuse

Steve, no mate I can't see us putting together a good run either.

DM went into the new season knowing that his strikeforce consisted off: the injury prone, the inexperienced/unproven and the coming back from a long term injury

Stating the bleeding obvious we all agree that football is about scoring goals. A Manager who ignores that basic fact is in serious trouble.

Chris Keightley
13   Posted 28/09/2010 at 15:07:42

Report abuse

I find it all quite exciting really: if you're mid-table, you're pushing for Europa if the deficit is not too far; if you're top four, it's the title; or you fight relegation! Surely fighting for something is better than sitting comfortably mid-table filing your nails?

C'mon, let's get behind the boys and be as vocal and as excited as we would be if we challenged for the title ? at least we have something to seriously fight for!

Steve Pugh
14   Posted 28/09/2010 at 15:09:54

Report abuse

The scary thing is that our only real hope is Beckford coming good. Louis will always be injury prone, likewise Vic 'n' Vaughan, and the Yak just doesn't cut it for me.
Ray Robinson
15   Posted 28/09/2010 at 15:10:55

Report abuse

Carrying on the Dad's Army analogy, Michael, you'd want to say "You stupid boy" to Moyes, wouldn't you?
Michael Evans
16   Posted 28/09/2010 at 15:20:50

Report abuse

Nice one Ray - too right I would mate.

With all these Dad's army quotes flying about it looks like the over 40s club have woken up.

When is the pill trolley due ?

Peter Laing
17   Posted 28/09/2010 at 16:20:57

Report abuse

Have to agree regarding the lack of a striker and the worrying trend for not being able to score goals. How the hell can we continuing to pay the wages of Yakubu and Saha? I would hazzard a guess that their combined salary must be in excess of £90,000 per week. For that surely we could and should be attracting a proven finisher.

Facts are facts, we are bottom of the league and we need to start scoring goals soon. Whilst the general malaise continues to permeate the Club, it's hard to find any optimism at all.

Michael Kenrick
18   Posted 28/09/2010 at 17:03:41

Report abuse

Thanks for your consideration, Michael Evans (#3). I was skip-reading most of them, especially the onslaught we received after the Newcastle game.

The really depressing thing is what I watch on the pitch; first and foremost, that is the driver for what I would call the primary reaction people express on here about the situation. If we were playing better, scoring goals and winning games, we'd be talking about great football rather than what we have, which for me is lousy football. And I include the Fulham game in that. For me, it was dreadful stuff.

I appreciate though what you said in #10 in terms of putting the record straight ? that's what really depresses me (after the failures on the field): people will quite freely state what are completely falsehoods on here, and they seem to do it more often when we are all hurting for the right reasons. (What I mean by that is hopefully obvious ? we've started the season badly and are bottom of the league.) So why would someone come on the website and talk about "the delight some Evertonians seem to be taking in our current plight is verging on the perverse."???

That's what I find depressing about a small fraction of the mailbag: that a few people will essentially invent things to respond to. God knows there's enough written on here that's genuine, from genuine fans of all persuasions within the Blue family, plenty to get your teeth into ? why do they need to lie about what they read on here?

Seems the explantion, if there is any, could be that it's part of a pattern, what I will call the "secondary reaction". The problem (as I see it!) seems to be caused by a secondary wave of fans who (a) hadn't felt compelled to write in about the situation on the field, but (b) feel compelled to write in to personalise, castigate and abuse those who did. It's the castigation I'm focussing on here ? not the fact that they have a different viewpoint about how things transpired. That I fully accept and only debate if my view is different.

Take David Price yesterday on one thread, where he said of me that I had "ripped the team to bits" in what was, I thought, a very restrained and all-too-accepting Match Report. He says he needed to "exaggerate" (ie "lie") about what I'd written because I was being "unfair".

Or Tony J Williams, who on the same thread, says that I "usually have a little pop at anyone not calling Moyes every bad name under the sun." Why do people feel they are free to come on the internet and make such blatantly false statements? Then they complain about censorship when I challenge them?

That's what I find truly depressing, not so much because they are abusing me or fellow fans, but because they are undermining what we have here and what we can share as fellow Evertonians. So, Michael Evans, thanks ? for characterizing things correctly. Much appreciated.

David Price
19   Posted 28/09/2010 at 17:30:59

Report abuse

My sister Dolly says she'll make you all some nice cakes if we beat Birmingham..
Michael Brien
20   Posted 28/09/2010 at 17:34:57

Report abuse

As regards taking delight in our current plight !!!!!! A pretty poor defence of the manager if that's the best that you can do.

I would take great delight if David Moyes was to turn things around. However I have to be honest and say that I don't believe that he will. I don't hate the man, I just am becoming fed up with the same predictable tactics. The same cautious approach, which will not I believe bring success.

It may be that it will be another manager, who is able to get more from the players we have. Personally I think we have creative players - but I think the manager doesn't appear to know how to use them.
David Hallwood
21   Posted 28/09/2010 at 17:37:18

Report abuse

Reading the posts on TW these days is like listening to Leonard Cohen (remember him?) on Mogadon. FFS, you can quote all the stats that you like but I've been watching football too long to recognise a team that will be relegation strugglers and this ain't one of them.

Go back 10 years and we did look like a team that was destined for the drop, with Farrelly, Gemmil, Tiler et al, this isn't one of them, and that's even allowing for the "They're too good to go down" clause.

We've been beaten 1-0 three times and we haven't been battered or had our backs against the wall this season, quite the opposite in fact, Yes scoring goal is a problem but creating them isn't. Can anyone one of you give an example when we got what tanked and in fact it should've been 4-0 not losing by the odd goal.

Screaming for a manager's head after 6 games is the worst type of fan knee-jerk reaction, and usually when a weak board give in to the fans and sack the manager prematurely it seldom changed the fortunes of the team.

Show me a side that changes the manager because of a short-term crisis and I'll show you a team in serious trouble.
Richard Dodd
22   Posted 28/09/2010 at 17:55:34

Report abuse

Since my attempt at irony on another thread, I have recieved some very funny looks from Evertonians pro- and anti-Moyes.

Just to make clear my take on our current situation, I remain firmly of the belief that we are blessed with an all-time great manager who, having performed miracles with very modest resources in the past, will view the present situation as a very temporary embarrassment soon to be left behind. No, I`m not happy at being bottom but as Davey says, somebody has to occupy that position but it won`t be us for long. Just keep the faith, our resurgence is but a week or two away!

Andy Crooks
23   Posted 28/09/2010 at 18:00:49

Report abuse

Peter, you are absolutely right. We are in serious trouble. What is most infuriating is having a coach talking about how long it will take to get out of it. I am sick of hearing, especially in patronising tones, of supporters of other clubs and ill-informed pundits talking about how David Moyes will get us out of it.

He, through his fucking ineptitude, gets us into it year after year. He's been at the club to long. Any spark he ever had is long gone. Time to show some honour and integrity and go.

Dennis Stevens
24   Posted 28/09/2010 at 18:25:00

Report abuse

David, off the cuff, I do recall a couple of instances where managers have been changed to address a perceived crisis. In the first one that springs to mind. The manager in question managed to turn 'round a desperate situation to avoid the drop & also won the FA Cup in the same season. Sadly Mr Royle was the last manager to lead the club to lifting some silverware.

In the second instance, the manager again saved the day & subsequently lead us into Europe on a few occasions, sadly Mr Moyes doesn't look to me like he's the next manager who'll guide the club to winning anything.

Richard Dodd : "... we are blessed with an all-time great manager..." - I'm glad to see some can maintain a sense of humour in the current predicament!

David Hallwood
25   Posted 28/09/2010 at 20:22:06

Report abuse

Dennis#24 Newcastle, West Ham, Portsmouth, Shef Wed do you want me to go on (and on)
Michael Kenrick
26   Posted 28/09/2010 at 20:35:27

Report abuse

I can understand people getting concerned... Aren't we the only team across the four 'divisions' not to have won a league game this season? At the same time, seriously calling for the manager's head seems foolhardy, although I'm glad Dennis quoted the examples he did.

On one level, the ingredients are potentially in place ("best squad in 20 years") for a more positive manager to get more from these current players than Moyes is doing. It would be good for the club if that were to happen... but there are no guarantees! So swapping managers, now or indeed any time, remains a risky business.

And the bottom-line reality of it is likely wrapped up in that massive contract of his, as many have pointed out: Kenwright can't afford to sack him, and there is no real possibility that he would anyway. And he seems very unlikely to walk. So, as we've been saying here for years and years and years, Moyes isn't going anywhere.

But expressing great confidence that he can get us out of the mess he has gotten us into? Who said Laurel & Hardy? I've been wishing him to improve (for seemingly years and years and years), to learn from his mistakes, to overcome his failings... but the balance seems to be swinging all the other way at the moment.

Still, a change in fortune, a win at Birmingham, and we will indeed be signing a different tune. That's football. It won't mean much more than 3 points... but it might just be something to build on going forward.

Dennis Stevens
27   Posted 28/09/2010 at 23:21:47

Report abuse

You do seem to be going on & on David, but have you got a point to make?
Paul Oakes
28   Posted 29/09/2010 at 03:55:52

Report abuse

Chris Keightley ? tell me just where you get the conclusion that financies have anything to do with Moyes picking a team and continuously fucking up with tactics and just bizarre substitutions?

To blame this entirely on a lack of investment defies any sense at all. No my friend, this is because of his terrible terrible management and unwillingness to learn even the basics of management.

We got 4th and 5th despite Moyes not because of him...

Tom Winek ? And thats' the reason we are rotting... 7th or 8th and 25 points clear? Sorry dude, there is only one thing certain... Moyes has to go ? and now, along with agent Kenwright and his bullshit.
Michael Brien
29   Posted 29/09/2010 at 07:24:03

Report abuse

Michael ? I desperately want David Moyes to turn things around. I have never in my time as an Evertonian joined in any "whoever the manager is out" chants when going to a game at Goodison and I wouldn't do so now. Even when things were at their worst under Gordon Lee I wasn't shouting "Lee Out" from the terraces. I think that kind of thing undermines the morale of the team and helps the opposition.

However, I feel increasingly frustrated at David Moyes. Just as Gordon Lee was so frustrating as he used the slightest excuse to have Duncan McKenzie ? our most creative player at that time ? on the bench, so it is becoming a similar situation with David Moyes. I am losing confidence in his ability to use our most creative players to their full potential. Indeed I think his tactics limit those players.

Back in 1986, injury and suspension forced Bobby Robson to change his tactics during the World Cup. Indeed he admitted that he had to change his tactics. If one of the best managers of the modern era ? someone really worthy of the title Great Manager ? is prepared to change then surely it's time for David Moyes to "come down off his high horse."

One thing that has got very little mention: Pienaar has got slated over contract talks ? it took David Moyes long enough to sort his own contract out a couple of years ago. He is very well paid is David Moyes and I think it is time that he started to show that he is worth that very good salary that he is on.
Chris Keightley
30   Posted 29/09/2010 at 08:25:35

Report abuse

Paul, to answer your question and to sum up my initial thread, it was clear we needed two quality strikers, but we were limited with regard to spending. Finances = players, unfortunately we could only bring in Gueye (been in the ressies all year) and League 1 Beckford!! A good striker = goals, which could have seen us top 6 right now!!
Michael Kenrick
31   Posted 29/09/2010 at 09:41:01

Report abuse

Michael (#29), I'd agree with everything you say there. I'm not one for shouting Moyes Out, it's more about expecting higher standards, based on the players he has assembled into a squad, and the high regard in which he is held. Those things simply don't tally for me with the basic errors he's repeating and the failings that have put us where we are now. And I'll try not to even mention his salary...
Anthony Hughes
32   Posted 29/09/2010 at 10:15:17

Report abuse

I'm starting to enjoy the Doddisims I read now, "blessed with an all-time great manager", brilliant!!
Craig Walker
33   Posted 29/09/2010 at 12:52:57

Report abuse

I don't yet think it's critical but if we lose against Birmingham, the RS and then Spurs, it will be. Does anyone fancy us to get more than 3 draws at best from those fixtures by playing one up front? I don't.

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Kenwright?
Steve Pugh
34   Posted 29/09/2010 at 15:15:29

Report abuse

"We got 4th and 5th despite Moyes not because of him..."

Please tell me this is not for real. Substitute Kenwright for Moyes and yes I would agree, but Moyes chose the players, picked the formation and motivated average players to perform above themselves.

Maybe we need to get rid of all our good players and get average ones again. Moyes seems to get better results out of them. (Tongue is well in cheek)
Michael Kenrick
35   Posted 29/09/2010 at 17:36:21

Report abuse

Steve, this lad Paul Oakes, whom you quote, seems to be a bit offbase. (Just a bit!) He also committed the cardinal sin of calling Sam Hoare a kopite, so he probably won't be posting much more unless he exercises a little bit more self-control.

Pity, 'cause he was clearly one of those Moyes haters Tony J says I have been coaching... I'm obviously as bad as Moyes in getting my "players" to do what I want! [Tongue firmly in cheek]

Tony J Williams
36   Posted 29/09/2010 at 19:12:26

Report abuse

Who said anything about coaching?

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment to the MailBag, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.

© ToffeeWeb
Subscribe to The Athletic, Get 40% off

Bet on Everton and get a deposit bonus with bet365 at


We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.