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Early Season Blues

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Does anyone else feel the same way as I do at the moment in that we started the season full of promise, failed completely to match that promise for the first 5 games; then recovered well recently... but I actually feel uncomfortable about our prospects for the rest of the season. I can't put my finger on any one reason but what are the some of issues contributing to this feeling are:-

(i) Our lack of pace (ii) Our lack of a class forward (iii) Our lack powerful personality who can turn games (iv) Our lack of belief in ourselves (v) Arteta?s complete lack of form (vi) Other than Utd and Chelsea, is there actually a difference between the rest and should we expect every game to be a tough contest?

I was never of the belief that we were Top 4 material as a right and to me it was whether the mighty Liverpool and Arsenal continued their declines, whether Spurs had too much on their plate and whether City would implode. If any of these materialised, I did fancy our chances of pushing for a Top 4 place. Whilst there were/are signs that maybe some of these clubs are suffering I don?t see Everton putting together the form to challenge. Yes, we are unbeaten in 6 games, but they have all been a real struggle, none have been won and wrapped up by half-time and we continue to go to places like Blackpool and honestly struggle to dominate/show our class.

Some will say isn?t it a sign of a good team when you get a result when you not actually playing well? ? Well, yes... if you were Utd, Chelsea or Arsenal and you knew you were going to give someone a good stuffing just around the corner, but can actually any Evertonian feel as though Bolton or Arsenal are going to be tonked by us this week? ? I don?t, but 6 points will lift my spirits.

Apologies for being down but I like my team to win with a bit of class ? don?t we all!
Mike Oates, South Coast     Posted 08/11/2010 at 10:52:58

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Lee Kidd
1   Posted 08/11/2010 at 14:19:58

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Arteta ran the show for large periods of the game against Blackpool to be fair. I think we have pace with Baines, Pienaar and Coleman, but it is true we lack it otherwise. In Cahill we have a forceful personality on the pitch. And I honestly don't think there's a lack of belief; some of the football we're playing is actually really good ? the set up play for Cahill's goal was fantastic, for example.

There's very rarely a thrashing in the Premier League anymore. Whilst I'd love us to go out and wallop a team like Blackpool ? a game we should have won, obviously ? it's just an unfortunate fact that we haven't got the financial backing due to having a pauper of a chairman and we have a manager who, at times, grinds out results rather than goes for the throat.

My mind is split on Everton at the moment ? one side of me appreciates the circumstances we're in for as long as we have a chairman of the status of Bill Kenwright, but the other side of me wants a "gamble", replacing Moyes and bringing in some new dynamism.

As it is, I still remember the still recent memories of clinging on to our Premier League status and, in many ways, I'm just happy we're not at that junction anymore. Negative thinking I know, but a club in stagnation like Everton could easily be in League One right now.
Paul Olsen
2   Posted 08/11/2010 at 14:53:04

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I also thought Arteta bossed the game until he got completely knackered the last 20.

I also think we have two class forwards, one who is now returning to his best and one who at the moment is clearly unfit. Sadly they are no Rooney, Drogba or Torres in terms of raw ability (although Saha has some resemblances to Torres injurywise).

But, then again who have strikers of that class? Villa? No Spurs? No, not really... Arsenal? No, not really.

I think Saha/Yakubu is a match to the likes of Defoe/Pavlychenko, Agbonlahor/Heskey and Bendtner/Chamakh

Hopefully they will prove me right shortly...
Dave Brierley
3   Posted 08/11/2010 at 15:30:08

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I can see why you're down Mike. At times we show a bit of form but overall we don't have the credentials for even a top 6 side.

I think Lee and Paul are being very kind to Arteta who early on showed a bit of class (and remember this was Blackpool) but made some really poor errors to lose possession and give them the advantage on several occasions

Arsenal next weekend for me is the yardstick. Even after their home defeat they are realistic contenders for the title and how we play them will tell us a lot about our true calibre.
Gareth Hughes
4   Posted 08/11/2010 at 16:22:34

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Mike, completely agree with you. There is something not quite right with this Everton side for me, partly to do with the weak mentality of some of the players, partly the lack of money for top-quality players in key positions.

Two other things; Lee Kidd - will people like you shut the stuff up going on about Everton having relegation battles and feeling grateful for being in the Premier League. This is Everton FC for pity's sake. You embarrass yourself and all true Evertonians with nonsense like that.

And Paul Olsen; if you think Yakubu and Saha are the equivalent of Defoe and Pavlyuchenko (let's not forget Crouch who Moyes wanted to replace Yak in the summer) then can I drink some of what you're drinking please!

Lee Kidd
5   Posted 08/11/2010 at 16:31:45

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I'm not grateful Gareth, and I'm not a defeatist. But I'm realistic ? I'm wondering whether a managerial change would make a sod all bit of difference; Mourinho couldn't push this side into the top four at the moment.

Whilst it's true as Evertonians "nothing but the best is good enough", but at the moment we should be directing that at the board rather than the players. Kenwright is the biggest hindrance we as a club have right now.

Moyes will never win anything with Everton due to a) a lack of funds for squad depth and b) he doesn't have a winning mentality, he has a survivors mentality.

But here's a question for you Gareth ? what would you like to see, and how would it be done? Name one thing that could be done differently at Everton while Bill Kenwright is still chairman!

Whilst he's still here, I'll take the realistic road and be happy we're regular "top half of the tablers".

Like it or not, Everton aren't going to win the Premier League any time soon!
Gareth Hughes
6   Posted 08/11/2010 at 16:37:26

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I have misgivings about Moyes but would'nt get rid of him. As for Kenwright, I am on the same page as you. The guy is an embarrassment, a hindrance, an irrelevance in the modern game. But the people who are happy just to be in the Premier League, or even top 10, give oxygen to this man. Our apathy is what keeps him going.
David Price
7   Posted 08/11/2010 at 16:26:38

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Arsenal will be the yardstick, you reckon?

Newcastle beat Arsenal, Arsenal beat Blackpool, Blackpool beat Newcastle, Newcastle beat Everton, Everton beat Liverpool, Liverpool beat Chelsea, Chelsea beat West Brom, West Brom beat Arsenal, Arsenal beat Man City, Man City beat Liverpool, Liverpool beat West Brom, West Brom beat Sunderland, Sunderland beat Man City, Man City beat Chelsea, Chelsea beat Arsenal.

Even if Brussels make us call it the ?baton metre? it?s hard to see how a one game performance will have a season?s effect, the Premier League is bloody up the wall.

Great ain?t it?

Lee Kidd
8   Posted 08/11/2010 at 16:41:25

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I completely agree that the fan apathy is his oxygen, but I've called for him to go so often with nothing happening that it's perfectly clear now that I've got as much chance as one of those hippies making a citizens arrest on Tony Blair as I have of seeing Kenwright leave this club.

We're not for sale, we're available for investment. Huge, huge difference.

And I'm not calling for a foreign oil tycoon either; I'd be happy with a chairman who could bankroll a +£10M net transfer spending policy over a period of time, instead of "breaking transfer records" then covering that loss by selling other key assets.

Believe me, I thoroughly believe Evertonians should settle for nothing but the best, but as long as we have this penniless tyrant in charge of our club we have absolutely no choice but to accept the fact we're going beyond our means by being in the top half of the Premier League ? and it's a sheer fluke we're still in this division. Kevin Campbell aside we wouldn't be, we'd be the Scouse version of Sheffield Wednesday.
Mike McLean
9   Posted 08/11/2010 at 17:02:26

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Depends where you've called for him to go, Lee. I think it's only if/when the majority of match going fans get on his back that he'll shift. Internet critics mean nothing to him.
Joe McMahon
10   Posted 08/11/2010 at 17:24:16

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I'm just sick of hearing "we are now unbeatEn in 6 games"
Another way of looking at is we have won just 3, yes 3 games out of 11. And we are where we belong in 11th position.
Tony J Williams
11   Posted 08/11/2010 at 17:29:04

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Joe, a lot of people were as sick when we had the "we haven't won in 6 games" when only three were defeats. Swings and roundabouts.
Jon Cox
12   Posted 08/11/2010 at 19:04:30

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Lee (5),"Mourinho couldn't push this side into the top four at the moment."

"b) he doesn't (Moyes) have a winning mentality, he has a survivors mentality.

So are you saying Mourinho only has the same mentality as moyes or are you saying our squad is shit?

Seems to me that Mourinho has easily proved himself as far as CL trophies are concerned. I remember when Chelsea on one occasion went down to 10 men. Instead of bringing on a defensive player he actually
brought on another stricker. Sorry but for for me this guy excretes confidence and to a certain extent a somewhat gung ho attitude to the game.

Dont get me wrong, I like David Moyes and think he's done a great job at EFC but even he needs to find that elusive mentor (sir Alex perhaps when retired) to point him in a slightly different direction. Quite a few people commented after the Blackpool game that we were trying to walk the ball into the net. Me being one of them.

My question was why the lack of shooting when our approach play was so dominant? Yes we did shoot but the calibre of our shooting was abysmal to say the least. It was obvious that this particular craft was not being worked upon at the training ground.

I dont think it's just about money although it's part of the answer. It's not about having the world 11 playing for the team to win stff (real Madrid) It's about having 11 players that the sum is greater than the sum of the hypotenuse and having a guy at the helm who can tacticly from game to game change personell, formation of the team and instil a mental swagger in the way they play football.

Easy..... innit
Mick Wrende
13   Posted 08/11/2010 at 20:24:51

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1 goal between our 3 strikers says it all. One eats too many pies, one gets more injuries than an 80-year-old and the other is simply clueless and belongs in the park on a Sunday morning. We are in our rightful position now with these clowns up front. No goals = no wins ? is that too hard to grasp?
Jon Cox
14   Posted 08/11/2010 at 20:46:14

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Mick, spot on!
Ian McDowell
15   Posted 08/11/2010 at 20:40:09

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I don?t like to admit this but, to be honest, I wasn?t even looking forward to the game on Saturday like I usually do. I don?t know why... maybe it?s the fact that all the pre-season hype got us all far too optimistic about what the season could lead to. Maybe it's because I can't see us scoring enough goals too finish in the top 6.

I see Newcastle playing so well this season and wonder why; maybe it?s because they have width and strikers that actually look dangerous. I would like to see Vaughan back because he actually puts a shift in and looks like he gives a shit.
Lars Eidissen
16   Posted 08/11/2010 at 22:12:19

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It's a relative term often used by lazy journalists, but I find that we simply lack "killer instinct". Both simply when it comes to putting away chances, but also when it comes to making games easy on ourselves and winning key games.

Point in case have been very crucial late season trips to Villa Park in the past two seasons. Giving up the lead three times (!) last season, and even worse, a two-goal lead twice in 2009.

We seem to make heavy work out of nearly every home game these days. In a lot of these games we have spent a long time to get going, but we completely bossed Birmingham for the opening 25 minutes at Goodison last term, even scoring (and admittedly being wrongfully disallowed a second), yet somehow failed to win. I just carry the feeling that every time we play a "make or break" game, we come up short.

To illustrate, I can see us beating Arsenal at the weekend, but only if we have "relieved" the pressure that a win there could really make things interesting by dropping points against Bolton. A six-point haul from these games (a big ask, I know) simply seems impossible to come by these days.

Jay Harris
17   Posted 08/11/2010 at 23:09:47

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Lars, a very good point that I agree with entirely

I used to be involved with professional snooker at about the time of Steve Davies and Alex Higgins and if you saw what these guys could do in practice it would make your hair stand on end.

Then, when you watched them in competitive games, it was like they had another identity except for the likes of Davies who was ice cool and Higgins who steadied his nerves with the odd ? ? purely for medicinal purposes.

I often think in pro-football it's the self-belief and arrogance that makes winners and I am afraid we don't have many Rooneys or Drogbas in our ranks.
David Hallwood
18   Posted 09/11/2010 at 00:15:26

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I really didn't want to get into this... Lee Kidd #8: "We're not for sale, we're available for investment. Huge, huge difference."
No we're not ? we are for sale. How do I know this? Because Kenwright has stated it on many occasions. Now, before all the Kenwright haters start screaming 'apologist' and all the rest of it, hear me out.

If we take our nearest and dearest, they were in the same position as us when Hicks & Gilette put the club up for sale, then a number of prospective buyers came out of the woodwork. How do I know this? Simple: I read the papers. One of the investors made a statement that H&G were fooling and were not acting seriously... All of this was reported in the papers, and you can be sure that the prospective buyers would make it their business to go public, mainly because it smokes out other shareholders, that?s why takeovers of any company are so public.

So let?s put this into practice: Kenwright puts the club up for sale ? or, according to you, he doesn?t put the club up for sale, he?s only saying it. A Russian, or a Saudi or a Yank, says, "I?ll have a piece of that" and gets his ?people? to break the news to the press.

Kenwright gets in touch and says, "Sorry, Boris/Ahmed/Hank, I was only havin; a larff." ? Do you honestly believe that they would say ?November fool, Bill, nice one?? They would be all over the papers saying what a time-wasting bastard Bill is.

Now, until that happens, I take the view that nobody wants to buy us for reasons that have been aired on this site ad nauseam. Unless Evil Bill has a hold over the media that would make Murdoch stand back and admire, you cannot suppress news. Oh BTW, I would like a new richer chairman as well

Paul Olsen
19   Posted 09/11/2010 at 03:53:05

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Gareth Hughes ? "Iif you think Yakubu and Saha are the equivalent of Defoe and Pavlyuchenko (let's not forget Crouch, who Moyes wanted to replace Yak in the summer)"

Has Moyes confirmed that we were after Crouch? I seem to remember that as a bullshit rumour?

Crouch is just their Beckford, hehe. Remember, out of their three "class" strikers, it is only Pavlyuchenko who has scored this season.

In terms of raw ability, yes, I do find Saha/Yak just as good as the Spurs strikers.

Mike Green
20   Posted 09/11/2010 at 07:38:08

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Spot on David Price. What a brilliant post.
Alan Clarke
21   Posted 09/11/2010 at 08:29:16

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Between our 3 strikers this season, they've scored 1 league goal. That is as poor a record as you'll see in this league and that is our problem.

It is shameful that we went into this season with Saha, Yakubu and Beckford as our strikers. Saha is injury prone, Yakubu for the most part is unfit and uninterested and Beckford is just not up to it. It is shameful that Kenwright could not provide any funds and it is shameful that Moyes could not play the market better to bring in a striker. It is going to be the same old story all season ? all the play and no goals. Like Mick Wrende says no goals = no wins.
James I'Anson
22   Posted 09/11/2010 at 09:09:55

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"we are for sale. How do i know this? Because Kenwright has stated it on many occasions"

Really. Well that's that then.
Here's me thinking the club wasn't for sale. Why not ask him how much he wants. That's if he's not too bored.

Why would anyone believe anything he says? The list of reasons to not believe is endless.
Tony J Williams
23   Posted 09/11/2010 at 09:44:27

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Alan, to play the market better you actually need to have money behind you.

A free and two sub £200k buys, paid for by the profit from Lucas Neill. Disgusting that league one sides have probably spent more than us last transfer window.

We couldn't even afford to get Bellendamy on loan.
Tony Waring
24   Posted 09/11/2010 at 09:50:24

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I'm as frustrated as any Blue but the problem can be summed up - IMO - fairly quickly, indeed some posters have already done so. We cannot score goals, or at least our strikers can't. Our basic approach is pretty good for most of the time... I'd go so far to say it's pretty classy but we lack punch. I'd also hazard the opinion that life in the Premier League is becoming more difficult.

Chelsea, Man Utd and Arsenal are - for me - the best teams and the ones to emulate, whilst Man City and Spurs are "work in progress" and with their spending power will surely make progress. The rest work just as hard as we do for the most part and that's another reason it's getting more difficult to carve out wins.

Alan Clarke
25   Posted 09/11/2010 at 09:57:38

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Tony, I think Dick Anderson makes some good points in his front page article that there are players surplus to requirement in our squad that could be used to bring in some funds.

Could Moyes not have wheeled and dealed a bit more to prioritise buying a striker?

Certainly Bily could have been sold to fund a striker. He is way down the pecking order so Moyes obviously doesn't rate him too highly. Anyone who watches him regularly knows he's not up to much. He was a very poor buy for £9 million considering how poor our attacking options are. Is Bily really worth more than Van der Vaart? I don't think Moyes can always cry poverty when that money could have been spent more wisely.

Larry Boner
26   Posted 09/11/2010 at 11:00:16

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Forget climbing the table for the next few games - Mr Moyes just named Manager of the Month for October.
Tony J Williams
27   Posted 09/11/2010 at 11:44:28

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Alan, it's not Bily's fault we paid over the odds for him and it's ridiculous to compare him to Van der Vart, that deal just absolutely stinks of a fiddle (allegedly). Old 'Arry has got himself an absolute bargain there, seeing that he was supposedly being sold for over double that cost to Bayern (I think).

You have said it yourself, he is way down the pecking order so why would any other team be interested in him?
Tony J Williams
28   Posted 09/11/2010 at 11:49:48

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It was a last-minute panic buy, probably to spend Lescott's fee.
Norman Merrill
29   Posted 09/11/2010 at 12:22:30

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Although I can't complain about our recent points collection, I feel that we do have a problem with scoring. At Blackpool for instance, our approach play at times was very good, but when it comes to pulling the trigger, so to speak, we lack confidence. I am just glad that Seamus Coleman decided to shoot when he made that break, as others in the side would try and walk it in.

Our next two games, the opponents are like chalk & cheese: Bolton will use the battling technique of Davies & Elmander up front, and try to win physical battles all over the park, whereas Arsenal will try and pass us off the park, similar to the opening game last season.

But it's our finishing that worries me, we need to start scoring from other areas, other than Tim Cahill, regularly. I appreciate we cannot go gung ho! but at little more shoot on sight may bring rewards, as both keepers Jaaskelainer and Fabianski are not in great form.

Lee Kidd
30   Posted 09/11/2010 at 13:51:43

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"No we're not ? we are for sale. How do I know this? Because Kenwright has stated it on many occasions."

Actually, no. The latest spin out of the gob of Kenwright is that he's looking for "investment" 24/7. He stated that he sometimes has upwards of three offers on the table but when the time comes to "show the money" they disappear.

They aren't bids for the club, it's simply investment, big difference.




The man is a spin doctor.
David Hallwood
31   Posted 09/11/2010 at 19:06:21

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I told you I didn?t want to get involved with this pointless ?debate?

Lee Kidd #30 I think my four of a kind beats your pair and I want you to concentrate on the word ?sale? in the webpages above.

And James I'Anson is a perfect example of some toffeewebbers that when it comes to BK have lost their reasoning; you didn?t read my post because I said DON?T believe Kenwright, gauge the reaction to the news that the club is up for sale and who steps up to the plate and declares an interest.

In simple terms, supposing I?m not David Hallwood, struggling to pay the mortgage, I am in fact Dave Big Swinging Dick hedge fund boss and I want to buy a Premier league club. Therefore I get my ?people? to look out for one that?s up for sale and they in turn respond to the aforementioned stories. Kenwright is contacted and he says, ?No the club is really up for sale, I say that to wind up the daft bastards on Toffee Web?

Now how would I react; would I a) reply by saying what a card, what a larff, or b) reply by saying, do you think I?ve got fuck all better to do than get involved with your bullshit, and then expose him for the knob he is in the papers- answers on a postcard.

Now the fact that no one come out in the press saying that he/they put in a bid to buy Everton and all they got was bullshit, leads me to believe that nobody?s done it. But James & lee if you can point me to anyone that has expressed an interest I?ll gladly apologise.

James I'Anson
32   Posted 09/11/2010 at 22:14:24

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"Dave Big Swinging Dick hedge fund boss"? (class)
Bill himself recently said that he has people interested all the time. Why are they not in the papers? Maybe he told them he wants £600m and they've told him to fuck off. Is he asking too much, similar to Hicks & Gillet?

By the way, when Bill first arrived, I was disappointed as I knew he was skint but I quite liked him and kind of understood what he says he was trying to do. Twelve years later and I can't stand the little shit. Something happened in between. Actually, lots of things have happened.
So yes, I think you're right. I have lost all reasoning when it comes to Bill. Why wouldn't I?

Alan Clarke
33   Posted 10/11/2010 at 08:27:03

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I know what you're saying Tony but it's no excuse. In fact Van der Vaart was a last minute buy wasn't he? So how come we panic buy and pay £9 million for someone below both Osman and Coleman in the pecking order?

If McGeady fetched £9 million from a Russian team in the summer then I'm sure Bily could have been sold back to a Russian team for a similar amount especially considering he has a good record at international level.

It makes no sense to have a player like him completely out of favour, who could bring some much needed funds into the club. The fact is we need more goals. We need a striker and I don't think any Evertonian would have argued if Bily had been sold in the summer and a striker had been bought with those funds.
Lee Kidd
34   Posted 11/11/2010 at 00:04:48

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Let's see... Birmingham have a prospective owner and it's all over the papers. Man Utd, West Ham, Blackburn... etc etc etc.

Kenwright apparently talks about being in "constant" sales talk and there's not a peep in the media.

He's used the word 'investment' constantly recently and I'm 99% certain the fraudster means exactly what that word means. He wants someone to plough money in a la invisible Fortress Sports Fund, but he wants to keep ultimate control on his little toy that is Everton.

By the way...


But James & Lee, if you can point me to anyone that has expressed an interest I?ll gladly apologise.

You answered your own question. If you believe Kenwright.

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