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The Mail Bag

November 2010 Archive
Want to have your say?

We are not as bad as we make out

Let's be sensible for a minute, you can put our poor performances down to three fundamental problems.

1. No belief! We do not approach games with the right attitude, we stand off players in possession, the crowd isn't showing the encouragement it should, the Plan A is usually only followed by Plan A+1 ? there is no Plan B.

2. Three positions are letting us down badly: no defensive leader (Jags not performing as he should); no midfield enforcer (no-one dominating our play with skill or vision); and no finisher (perhaps Beckford will be the one to operate with Cahill). I think with Big Vic and Seamus we should be ok on the right wing (... until Donovan comes that is!).

3. Poor team spirit, probably brought about by a number of factors; Heitinga's lack of interest playing for us particularly in midfield; Pienaar ready to jump ship; Arteta unable to recapture form; no confidence in the TWO underperforming strikers (Saha & Yak); Bily out of position and out of his depth...

Bring in three class players in these three positions and we can dominate teams that would be expected to dominate us.
Steve Cotton     Posted 30/11/2010 at 17:26:33   Comments (39)

Barca Brilliance

After watching one of the most complete footballing displays it has ever been my privilige to witness, I sat there and went through the Barcelona team and the Everton team and asked myself one question ? would any Everton players get anywhere near to the Barca team?

Arteta no, Cahill no, Jagielka no, Saha no, Yakubu no, Rodwell no, Fellaini possibly, Coleman no. Then I came to Baines and Pienaar and I thought they epitomise the Barca/Cruyff philosophy, skill allied with commitment allied to composure under pressure \"the tight circle\" type of pressure training Cruyff introduced.

Barca work harder without the ball than with it, closing down, stealing posession then building attacks with short sharp passing, all players part of the same idea, including the keeper.

The ritual for free kick taking at Everton is painful to watch, let the opposition get back in position, loft into the box etc. Barca just drop the ball on the floor and keep the mesmerising passing movements going (I have noticed Blackpool adopting this). corners are well thought out, quickly taken, CBs are playing short passes in their own box with the keeper.

They had 8 of the starting 11 that had come through the youth system, at the final whistle that had gone up to 10 I think, so the money argument does not come into it ? set up a system, coach all young players to develop through this system, majoring in skill under pressure... do we have that at Everton, we have a good production line of players, but is their first idea defend, when in doubt boot it anywhere?

To come back to Baines and Pienaar, I see them harrying and trying to play football long after any of the other 20 players on the pitch, so it can be done; we need to coach players to express themselves rather than be safety first.

I am of the opinion that Mr Moyes is too set in his ways to allow people like Rodwell, Coleman, Fellaini to express themselves. We usually win games by overpowering teams, outlasting them, Sunderland have moved on and improved since that 7-1 loss to us; better players, better manager, better tactics... we have stayed the same.
You don\'t have to have world class players to play a world class system ? you just need the will to do it; the rest will follow.
Larry Boner     Posted 30/11/2010 at    Comments (35)

Intimidating Goodison

Almost as worrying as the performances on the pitch lately has been the performance of the fans. We have been pathetic.

I took one my girlfriend?s mates (a West Brom fan) to the match with me on Saturday as she rarely gets to go and I had a spare ticket. She asked me if the atmosphere was always this bad and I had to concede that this year it was. We went one down and there was barely a muster from the Gwladys to try and spur them on. For twenty minutes in the second half it got going (although we could really have made it more intense) but it fizzled out even before the third goal.

Admittedly I sit in the top balcony where the atmosphere is not as intense as other areas (but you can study the game more) but I do chant along with the Gwladys St when they do get going. This season it has been lack lustre at best. The Park End also has a responsibility to get some chants going, being so close to the away fans. My heart has sunk every game so far when the opposition has chanted ?your support is fucking shit? because on the day I?ve been agreeing with them. Goodison / we, have the ability to make a superb atmosphere, I?ve often read the likes of Lampard saying it?s the most intimidating he?s played in, but we can?t live off these past glories.

It is a chicken and egg scenario, you could argue that the team needs to give something to chant about but I suggest that the fans are more important in getting the players going. In previous seasons we have always got behind the team, I know it can?t always be like at the Derby (or my favourite, v Fiorentina; what noise we made that night), but it needs to be better than it is currently.

I won?t comment on Moyes etc (enough has been said in the last week) and this isn?t an apology for him or the players, just an acknowledgment that we have a responsibility as well and we are not doing ourselves justice recently.

Jon Ferguson     Posted 30/11/2010 at    Comments (37)

Arteta's Winter Break

Call me cynical if you like, but does anyone else think Arteta might have had less than retaliatory thoughts on his mind when he decided to extract revenge for the Baines's elbow on Saturday?

His overall contribution has recently (since signing his contract coincidentally!!??) clearly waned, he's miles off the pace, and his free kicks and corners have started to attract the criticism, in my opinion long overdue, that they deserve.

Now, I may be wrong and hopefully I am, but it will be interesting to see where Mikel spends the next few weeks during his suspension.

Ploughing a lone furrow like some Rockyesque type figure trying to get his fitness and all round game up to an acceptable level ? or enjoying a few weeks of warmth in sunny Spain with a cold beer in his hand?

Let's face it, it wouldn't be the first time a player got himself deliberately sent off to have a break now... would it???

John Reilly     Posted 30/11/2010 at 12:40:46   Comments (15)

Vaughan 5 - Saha, Beckford, Yakubu 2

James Vaughan has now scored 5 league goals compared with only 2 from Saha, Beckford and Yakubu.

Some may say it's in a different league but most Championship teams are on a par with the vast majority of Premier League teams. And Vaughan is also playing in a struggling team so it's even more commendable.

He's been fit all season and scoring while our 3 have missed chance after chance... so let's keep ignoring the obvious!

Ged Dwyer     Posted 30/11/2010 at 11:27:37   Comments (17)

My message to Moyes

We have been let down big time so far, IMO we are not going to come back into contention for anything of note and we will probably see a fair few shite performances from now until May.

IMO Moyes, you re on borrowed time. I do however think we have players at the club to make a big impact in this league. This is what I want to see:


4-3-1-2. Playing to our strengths.

Go for it, not for one game, or until your favourite players are fit again, go for it because it's clear that the players you trusted have let you down and are not trying hard enough, and most importantly fold like a pack of cards when the big games come around.

It's time for a new cycle at Everton and if you want to be part of it you need to understand that were sick of this shite you have served up almost consistently for almost 10 years. This is my message to you.
Stephen  Kenny     Posted 29/11/2010 at 21:19:29   Comments (13)

I want an apology

Instead of again coming out with admissions that we were poor, David Moyes should apologise to us for HIS failings.

I'll never be a Moyes basher and I still won't call for his head but when will he learn? His latest tactics & team selections are awful.

Heitinga in midfield? No wonder he doesn't want to know ? he's a centre-half! And with Jags losing his touch (we've shipped 7 in 3 games) will DM change it & try JH in that position? No chance.

He won't try anything new, leaves trying 2 up until we're desperate. Never tries different tactics, just different players doing the same thing over and over. He's like a rabbit in the headlights.

Arteta's form has been poor of late but he won't drop him. When he does give Bily a chance, it's not in his favoured inside position, it's out wide ? HE'S NOT A WINGER ? he's not fast enough, but has technical skill to burn & can see & play a through-ball quickly. DM uses him as a sub ? but he's not an impact player. Don't discard him until he's been played in his best position.

Come on, DM ? wake up!
Dave Roberts     Posted 29/11/2010 at 21:06:43   Comments (8)

Lost that loving feeling

It would be an understatement to say the season up to now has been a mare. The worst thing for me though, is how much faith I have lost in the club as a whole; I have just reached the point where I really can't be arsed anymore.

If I ever had to miss a game for some reason, I would be gutted; now though I couldn't give two fucks if I had to miss any.

Even at the game, talking to lads, they are so downbeat it's unbelievable, it's like a close family member has died the way some of them go on. Even in the ground the atmosphere is one of despair.

I don't know what you lads on here think, but I never thought anything could make me lose any of the passion I felt for the club, even through the really dark days... thing is, my passion is worryingly waning.
Brian Waring     Posted 29/11/2010 at 15:50:56   Comments (15)

Just Shut It !

There have been more calls to arms from Everton players this season than an octopus has legs. They come in various guises such as "the players have to look at themselves", "we're much better than our league position but we have to produce results" etc and ad nauseam.

Personally, I am sick to death of Neville, Jagielka and (occasionally) Baines, Howard and Arteta, trotting out these inane phrases (it's Jags turn this week by the look of it), as though we buy it anymore.

I've another phrase for them to consider taking on board: "Do your talking on the pitch" and in the meantime, shut up and get on with learning how to pass, cross, take free-kicks and shoot. Start earning the ridiculous amounts you get paid with performances of some merit instead of trying to talk your way to the next win.
Steve Guy     Posted 29/11/2010 at 12:56:51   Comments (22)

Please let this be the Wigan effect!

Take yourselves back two seasons. A very indifferent start to the season culminated in a November live TV game away against Wigan. We lost 1-0 and put on possibly the worst showing ever seen under Moyes (yes, it was THAT bad). After the gam,e you could tell Moyes was in a state of disbelief ? as I was too.

However, that game acted as some sort of trigger that galvanised the players (and manager?) to reach some impressive heights for the remainder of the season.

So, have things reached the lowest ebb against West Brom on Saturday? Does this mean that enough is enough and we start to show 200% drive and determination to go with our occasionally neat passing? Perhaps one of our ?strikers? will actually hit the net? my money's on Anichebe to achieve this first. He looked OK, and really does offer something different.

Bring on Chelsea, as if this was the Wigan effect, then they ought to be quaking in their pink boots! I?m done now, call the asylum to pick me up.
Gareth Mercer     Posted 29/11/2010 at 09:09:06   Comments (11)

Attack the best form of defence?

Firstly, let me say that David Moyes has been a good manager for Everton, being appointed at a time when we had to take a risk, and work it did.

Fast forward nearly 9 years, and football clubs have begun to employ young managers who have a different mentality to our present incumbent . Managers are not content in putting 11 men behind the ball, but they are playing with 2 and sometimes 3 forwards in the hope of scoring more goals than the opposition. Previously, Moyes's teams were based on a good defence (not an unusual premise) and then hope to grind out a 1-0 win (remember how we qualified for the Champions League).

Now, Everton FC are in danger of being left behind as our manager has not realised the shift in other team's philosophies, ie, attack being the best form of defence.

Already, we have dropped points at home to Wolves, Bolton, Newcastle and WBA ? teams that we would normally beat 9 times out of 10 at home. The common factor is that all the above teams attacked Everton at Goodsion, our supposed fortress, and we have picked up only 2 points from those games ? two of teams newly promoted from the Championship.

Now has Moyes got the bottle to throw the defensive manual out of the window, and prepare his teams to go for the jugular? Remember, it was not that long ago that we were playing some glorious fast flowing football, with the same players that have been playing for most of the season, bar one or two additions. What has gone wrong? ? we are all wondering...

Well, as stated above, more and more managers have got an attacking philosophy that Moyes does not possess and we are in serious danger of being left behind. I said to some of my work colleagues, that if Redknapp, Coyle or Holloway had been in charge of our team against Sunderland on Monday last week for only the last 20 minutes, we would have won that game. And that is it in a nutshell.

I think that Moyes has been found out and, unless he learns... and learns quickly, then we are in real danger of not only flirting with relegation, but actually being sucked in with the perennial fighters.

If Moyes were to go or if BK were to sack him, I do not know who would come in; I will leave that to other people to submit names, but my hope is that whoever is next ? whether next week, month, year or whenever ? that he brings an attacking mentality with him. However, my hope is that it is not too late to resurrect the current season, and if we were to suffer the ignominy of relegation, than at least go down with some attacking flair, and not with a whimper.
Mark Browne     Posted 28/11/2010 at 20:05:34   Comments (24)

The long goodbye

Those who are seeking decisive action from our chairman can forget it. We have a chairman who, don't forget, refused to sack Walter Smith on the spot after we lost 3-0 at home to Tranmere and allowed a sinking ship to limp on for another dire 12 months. When you add in the following factors, the chances of Moyes being sacked are nil.

Firstly, Kenwright's tenure as Chairman is based solely upon a policy of wait, hope and delay ? the NTL and Kings Dock fiasco's are clear evidence of this and of the resulting massive damage that happens to the club as a result.

Secondly, sacking Moyes will cost Kenwright money (the payout will lower the sale value of the club) and Kenwright will do everything possible to avoid this.

Finally, Kenwight actually believes Moyes is a world class manager, despite all the evidence to the contrary (a Moyes team always chokes when the expectation levels rise) ? in particular, the club's rapid decline in the last 18 months. I believe he would continue to believe this fantasy up to and beyond relegation.

The only very slim chance of Moyes going early is if he is subject to a consistent, sustained and vocal OUT campaign. Normally, I would doubt our fans' heart for such action but judging by the anger evident at yesterday's game everyone should stand by ? it's about to get nasty.

In many ways, this would be a great shame as Moyes has been a good and at times very good manager but all the signs are there of an end-of-days feel to his time at the club. When those in power refuse to act, then the fans have to make their feelings known.

John Doolan     Posted 28/11/2010 at 12:02:16   Comments (37)

Time for that Black Taxi

The firing of any manager is traumatic. Nobody wants to see it. Most like Davey even if we disagree with some of what he has done. But once it's done, it's like opening a window on an airless room.

Look what Big Joe achieved after his appalling predecessor ? I can't even bring myself to write his name ? was fired. Look what Davey was able to do after Walter Smith was gone. I believe we could turn this season around, refocus on the FA Cup and get to Wembley if Moyes goes now.

I can tell you what he is doing right now ? getting back to basics: Five at the back. 'Making us difficult to beat.' One up front, etc etc. And he will field reserves in the FA Cup to focus on a relegation fight.

It's negative bullshit and it's time to end it. This is not going to change by itself.
Peter Fearon     Posted 27/11/2010 at 17:02:43   Comments (87)

Desperate Davey Beckoning Beckham

Just saw an article in the Guardian with a somewhat desperate Everton manager quoting that David Beckham only needs to call Moyes himself or Phil Neville to organise a short-term loan deal to Everton.

Seems like a bit of a non-story to me, but if anything came of this, it would appear to be an interesting, and potentially sceptical, choice for a quick-fix at the right side of midfield... if he was to play there, that is.

Either way, Donovan may also come, but I guess the question beckons, would we, the supporters, welcome the signing of Becks?

Andy Paolacci     Posted 27/11/2010 at 02:29:28   Comments (58)

Hairy Goats?

When Steve Round arrived, he came with a reputation of being an enthusiastic user of the latest technology. I was wondering if he makes use of those geo thingys that keep tabs on the movement of and distance covered by players.

More and more clubs are using that technology and it would be surprising if Round is not also into it. Some players run about like hairy goats and with the same affect so distance covered may not be a true indication of their worth.

Nonetheless it would be an interesting talking point to compare our players with others playing in similar positions.On distance covered by Everton players in descending order my top half dozen are, Cahill, Fellani, Baines, Pienaar, Neville, Distin...
Dick Fearon     Posted 26/11/2010 at 21:30:51   Comments (7)

Foreign Referees ? the way to go ?

This weekend sees problems up North with Scottish referees striking over criticism from Clubs and managers, the main culprits in recent years being Hearts, Rangers and Celtic. Celtic and their manager Neil Lennon in particular being voiciferous when results go against them, claiming conspiracies etc. To maintain their fixture list, the SFA are trying to recruit foreign refs to come over.

We've had our problems in recent years with idiots such as Clattenburg and Poll. Other clubs also appear to have major problems with refs ? Atwell being another classic.

I understand language may be a problem, I also understand foreign referees possibly having a problem with our style of play. But would foreign referees help restore balance to top games by ignoring reputations of certain clubs and players and evening the field up a bit? Would a foreign referee have given the RS as much as Clattenburg did in that most infamous Derby?
John Keating     Posted 26/11/2010 at 16:46:41   Comments (17)

Chang Partnership?

Having just read the article concerning the 'New Sponsorship Deal', I am interested to read that Everton have agreed a deal which could be worth up to £12M. Could be... not is.

The recent spate of Sponsorship changes were (if I recall correctly) in the region of £8M a year, and some like Spurs, even have 2 sponsors, one for League and Cup and another for Europe. EFC sign a deal for what will be at most £4M a year, and this for a team which is routinely in Europe.

All of which begs the question, why do EFC stay with Chang? There is little or no mention of EFC on the Chang website; and a google search for Chang Beer yields a photo of Fellaini on Page 8 (compared to a picture of Rooney for AON on page 1, an LFC top on Page 2 for Standard Chatered, a Spurs top for Investec on page 2 etc...)

So what do Chang DO for Everton FC? Not much in the way of money, nothing evident in the way of publicity on their own website ? not even when you log your location as UK on the Chang website do you see mention of Everton FC....

Everton may not be the biggest football club in the UK, but surely the club should be capable of obtaining more money and a more productive partnership with a Sponsor.
Rupert Sullivan     Posted 25/11/2010 at 07:35:25   Comments (57)

Go 4-4-2

West Brom at home on Saturday is now a huge game in my eyes. Lose or draw and we could easily be heading into December in 17th or 18th place and that simply isn't good enough if we are to have any ambitions of finishing in the top six again.

So my opinion is that David Moyes has to grow a set of balls and set his team out to win the game ? not rescue a point in the dying minutes as has been the case several times this season. We aren't playing Chelsea or Man City, we are playing a poor West Brom team here.

The tried and trusted, and usually dour 4-5-1 formation has to be abandoned when we are playing at home against average opposition and the performances against Wolves and Newcastle when we only collected a point from these games proves this.

The frustrating thing is that when we are predictably losing games such as Bolton, Arsenal and even against Sunderland on Monday, Moyes decides to go with two up front for the last 5 or 10 minutes and we look a different team and go on to score goals.

Moyes should take a leaf out of Owen Coyle's book and have a look at how playing an attacking game with two strikers can produce results ? big ones ? such as Bolton's home wins over Spurs and Newcastle (4-2 and 5-1)

My team for Saturday would be:

Howard; Baines, Distin, Jagielka, Neville; Pienaar, Rodwell, Cahill, Arteta; Saha, Yakubu.

Feel free to criticise or praise my idea's!!
Chris Sillett     Posted 24/11/2010 at 12:36:04   Comments (35)


Can someone please explain to me why, when we clear the ball out of defence, "King" Louis is almost always stood out near the touchline and not near the middle of the pitch? Standing close enough to Moyes so that he could pull him off means that he has almost no chance of winning/getting near the ball. He is bloody frustrating to say the least. Bring back the Yak.
Lee Courtliff     Posted 23/11/2010 at 23:20:49   Comments (45)

Was Moyes kidding us?

Following last night`s game, our manager was moved to tell Sky Sports `We deserved to win it, we`re a good side and well capable of challenging the top sides.`

Now I am one of his most ardent supporters and maintain my enthusiasm for his methods by keeping my aspirations at a modest level on the basis that he is required to work within a tight budget.

But `challenging the top sides`is a different thing all together! We may well have abandoned hoof-ball for a more aesthetic form of play but results will show it is hardly more effective. Given that our `strikers` have managed but two goals all season, we could play it around like Brazil and still be in the lower half of the table come May!

So does Davey really believe that he has a team to challenge the best or was he merely gilding the lily in an effort to keep our spirits up and our criticism down?

I`d love to think it was the former but can`t help feeling a little patronised by our man on the evidence available to us this season. Yes, we might well be able to repeat last season`s eighth position but challenge the top teams? Pull the other one, Davey!
Richard Dodd     Posted 23/11/2010 at 12:41:38   Comments (57)

Grim Monday night... time to look to the future.

So, enough said about last night. Disappointing, even if i probably would have taken a point beforehand.

For me and many others, gathering from some of the comments on here, it was in the central midfield area that we were particularly poor. I think Arteta and Heitinga are, on their day (and in the right positions), top class players but at the moment they are passengers at best, liabilities at worst.

It's time to play Rodwell and Fellaini. For me these two at 19 and 22 have the capacity to become one of the best central midfield combinations in the league.

Fellaini (when not suspended) has looked class since midway through last season. He is composed, intelligent, has a good engine and range of passing to add to his obvious physical presence.

Rodwell, though raw, has pace, stamina, can pass and shoot well off both feet and is potentially a future captain of Everton and England.

Both these players are box-to-box and can both defend and create and score goals and it is my belief that if we are to challenge at the top in the next 4 or 5 years then they must be at our heart.

Arteta will come good again, Heitinga must return to centre back, but for now let's have a glimpse at the future. Oh, and enough Saha starting...feed the yak.
Sam Hoare     Posted 23/11/2010 at 11:17:47   Comments (22)

Asian Cup

There?s been a lot of murmuring on this site recently about whether having Tim Cahill in the side effectively weakens the team because it means we are more direct, rely on set pieces or rely on Tim getting on the end of something in the box. Thus, without him we would be a far more fluid attacking team.

To me, that?s a load of bollocks, as Tim was without doubt head and shoulders above the rest of the side again last night and without his 1 in 2 ratio of goals in the league (a stat any striker would be proud of), we?d be propping up the table.

Now I can?t be sure of his attendance in the Asian Cup in Qatar in January, but seeing as he is very proud to represent Australia, there is a very good possibility that we will be without his services for a significant slice of that month.

It will be very interesting to see who steps up to the plate in terms of goals and if indeed we do see a far more fluid Everton. I have my doubts...
Liam Reilly     Posted 23/11/2010 at 08:40:01   Comments (13)


Cards on the table: I back Moyes, I think he has done a great job for us and sometimes a lot of fans forget how lucky we are to have him, in my opinion. I also love Arteta and he would be one of the first players on the team sheet every week for me. Finally I don?t mind Johnny H... thought he was superb last season, but think Moyes is playing him out of position.

But, fuck me, tonight was a shocker. What is going on with Arteta? Is he injured, out of form, or is there something behind the way he is playing? He was terrible; yes, he scored, but apart from that what else did he do? He looks like he is running on quicksand, he is a yard behind everyone else and just sticks a leg out in a last-ditch attempt to track back as a player flies past him... and his passing was awful.

Heitinga was also terrible, mis-passing, strolling around the pitch, clapping his hands to gee other players up when he is the one that needed to pull his finger out of his arse. The way the Sunderland players passed him time after time and he jogged behind them, then just stopped ? how much are we paying for that effort? It was like we had no-one in the middle ? how often did the excellent Piennar drift into the middle trying to help?

Finally... Moyes ? we are on top of them and pushing for a winner and he changed nothing. It?s not until we are losing with ten mins left that he brings on Yak and Beckford ? why? What is he waiting for? The Yak scores a few weeks back and hasn?t started since ? why?

Arteta is way out of form and he leaves him on and takes of Coleman ? why? Why start with him? Heitinga does nothing, he stays on for 80-odd minutes ? why? Saha is slow, doesn?t look like the player of last season, yet he continues to start with him ? why?

For me tonight our best players were Baines, who was superb, especially in the first half; Cahill, who again lead the line (far better than Saha) and looked only one of a couple of players who gave a shit; and Pienaar who I felt battled, chased and tried everything to drag us into the game. My only complaint would be why he doesn?t shoot more often ? gets in a good position and goes all ?Arsenal? with too much ?tippy tappy? football.

I really feel Sunderland were there for the taking tonight and we blew it ? why will Moyes not go for it for a change??? I know this has been said a thousand times, but tonight, watching it on the TV, I was so frustrated.

Finally I guarantee Beckford will get a load of stick for that last-minute ?miss?, but for me I think he was unlucky and what really annoys me is that the 6 or 7 others who played average tonight will ?get away? with it, especially Arteta, because he scored.
Marc Davis     Posted 22/11/2010 at 22:21:13   Comments (44)

Happy Sad Songs

I have found the recent debates from the pro- and anti-Kenwright factions extremely enlightening and entertaining. However, after a while, trawling through the endless opinions and counter opinions makes one a little weary.

So, to lighten my mood, I reached for my iPod and started searching through my extensive music collection for some soothing tunes. I have to admit that my music selection can be described as eclectic at best. One song jumped out at me though and just had to be played: the song in question was Sad Songs by Elton John.

Whenever I hear this song, I get goose bumps down my arms and the hairs in my neck stand up. And if I am really feeling sentimental, then I can swear that I actually get tears forming in my eyes. Now, before I get derided for being some sort of silly romantic fool with questionable sexual tastes, I have to explain that this is the song that ITV choose to play after Everton had beaten Watford in the FA Cup Final in 1984.

I remember getting home from Wembley via a couple of pubs, with my brother, in the early hours of the morning, praying that my dad had remembered to tape the game. Of course he did, and those pictures of Rats, and Gray and John Bailey et al running around with the FA Cup at the end of the game with ITV playing Elton?s Sad Songs means that this song will forever remind me of happy times. I was too young to remember the Championship winning team of 69-70 so this was the first trophy I had ever seen us win ? and boy did it feel good.

It got me wondering as to how many other fans have a particular song that probably doesn?t mean anything to anybody else, but to them it can bring back evocative memories of a time in their lives when watching the blues was the only thing that mattered in their lives.
Shaun Sparke     Posted 22/11/2010 at 00:27:37   Comments (11)

Better the Moyes you know...?

Having just watched Aston Villa led (???) by Houlier, is it a case of ?Better the Moyes you know?.??

Under O?Neill, Villa were definitely a team that could have challenged for the magical 5th place but look at them now? completely out-played and out-muscled by a Blackburn team (who even had a 6?4? giant on the bench) on Saturday.

I looked at the players Houlier had found somewhere ? household names such as Clark, Bannan and Hogg, with the likes of a 38-year-old coming off the bench ? where were the likes of Heskey, Carew, Reo-Coker and Albrighton?injured or dropped?

Now I know there were many reasons for O?Neill to go? but unfortunately there is not that much talent out there right now to choose from?

If not Moyes ? then who??? Dave Cooper
Dave  Cooper     Posted 21/11/2010 at 22:41:02   Comments (23)

A Good Win In Chile

Everton defeated sixth-placed Union San Felipe 3-0 at the Sausalito stadium in Vina del Mar to move out of the automatic relegation places, temporarily at least.

They leapfrogged Nublense who play at home tonight (Sunday) against third-placed Universidad de Concepcion.

Everton triumphed with goals from Yakubulo, Beckfordista and Saha... Just checking you're awake. No, the first goal came just before half-time from 22-year-old Argentine defender Maximiliano Cerrato.

Seven minutes into the second half, 23-year-old Uruguayan Nicolas Freitas extended the lead. Then on 63 minutes, 23-year old Chilean Gabriel Carcamo made it 3-0 and four games undefeated.

Mike Owen     Posted 21/11/2010 at 13:10:16   Comments (4)

Down amongst the deadmen

Just a little someting to chew on along with your bacon sarnies this fine morning. Everton, the team who were going to break the top 4 this season, or maybe even win the league (stand up whoever said that!) are 6th from bottom and ONE point off the bottom 3. After 10 games, let alone 13, the table has taken shape and we are down in the poo.

Yes, we have a game in hand but we are playing Sunderland who beat Chelsea 3-0 away from home. In all the 8½ years of David Moyes have we ever done that to anyone? Have we ever beaten an Arsenal, Chelsea or Man U away from home? Everton are 7 points off a European place and that is a mighty gap to make up. If Chelsea were 7 points ahead of the rest at the top most people would say the title race was over.

The truth is that something has happened this season. Teams like Sunderland and Bolton, who previously we treated with lofty disdain, now play with a verve and swagger that we can only admire. The 4-5-1 formation is suddenly looking bereft, outdated and David Moyes is being typically Davey, standing on the touchline dithering and feeling the breeze in his hair as these other teams speed past him.

Something dramatic needs to happen at Everton. Certain players need to go as they are completely and utterly over rated; Saha, Yakubu, Heitinga, Bily and gulp, Arteta. The manager and chairman need the balls to do this and Moyes somehow has to change a career's worth of caution and negativity and start playing 4-4-2 because he is being found out big time!
Gareth Hughes     Posted 21/11/2010 at 11:53:23   Comments (23)

Panic button is primed

I can?t help but be alarmed that a loss to Sunderland drops us into the danger zone. If that comes about, dreams of European nights need to go on hold while we fight for our very existence.

What concerns me is, when the chips are down, we might not have the resources for that kind of battle. A check list of those resources must begin with the manager and he does not inspire confidence.

He stubbornly persists with a lone striker when it is patently obvious that none of our strikers are suited for that role. Either that or the supply lines are inadequate. His team selections, positioning of players, use, deployment and most importantly his timing of substitutes often seem without sense or reason.

Moyes, nor any of his assistants, have any kind of attacking experience and that is reflected in the teams' total lack of ideas and inability to create clear cut openings. Our so-called creative midfield players do not create very much and their goal scoring shots are usually pathetic.

If Moyes had any sense, he would not let Arteta anywhere near free kicks or corners. If Arteta had any sense, he would not need Moyes to tell him. Pienaar cannot kick the skin of a rice pudding and he wants away in any case, Bily is too bloody slow, Neville nor Hibbert can not cross a decent ball, Jags is a hoofer noted for desperate last-gasp tackles, Howard has moments of madness, Johnnie has red cards and penalties just below the surface... and I guess the big fella is also in that category.

That does not leave much in the way of resources; thank god for Baines, Distin and Cahill. Or have I been to harsh on our underachievers?
Dick Fearon     Posted 21/11/2010 at 01:19:47   Comments (14)

David France audio interview

As part of his visit to the UK, David France, the man behind the Everton Collection, the Everton Former Players Foundation, and no fewer than 17 Everton books, took time out to discuss things with NSNO, which I thought might be of interest to ToffeeWeb readers too.

In the first part of this special two-part podcast, he tells us about his early days following Everton and the things that inspired him to create some of the proudest achievements of Everton fans.

David has been a strong supporter of both ToffeeWeb and NSNO, as well as Everton Football Club, and it was an honour to conduct an interview that was planned to last 30 minutes, but ended up lasting over 90!

Read more:
Simon Paul     Posted 20/11/2010 at 13:43:35   Comments (2)

The John Heitinga Issue

Is Johny Heitinga any good? I have heard many arguments how he isn?t a good player and he's nothing better than a thug running round on the pitch, to he's he is a good player but he is just tired and he needs time to gel into the team.

My view on it is that he is a very good player and we do see glimpses of it. We do see the few world class passes across the park. He is a very good battler, we've seen that last season; he will fight for the cause, but this season he is making us look like a team of thugs. His actions have been stupid and he's lost his cool a few times but last year he was up there for Player of the Season.

One of the reasons he might not be playing well is because he is not a defensive midfielder, he is a centre-half. He played there for Athletico Madrid and Ajax. Where did he play in the World Cup? At centre-half. Holland had a solid defence the whole tournament with Heitinga at the heart of it.

Moyes has made a habit of playing people out of position; sometimes it has paid off, like Pienaar was never a left winger but he has come good... even putting Lescott at left back. But there are players where it has gone wrong.

Bilyaletdinov is NOT a left winger and I am sick of people slating him off for not being able to come to a different club, a different style of play, a different speed of league. People will say he should be able to adapt because we spent so much on him. We spent the money on him, but did not give it to him, he did not value himself. Lokomotiv Moscow asked for the £10 million ? not him.

But back on topic: Heitinga is a good centre-half and a very average midfielder. In the summer, people were saying drop Distin and play Jagielka and Heitinga, but after the first few months of the season Distin has been a rock at the back, solid and dependable, he has bailed us out on a few occasions.

Last season, we had a solid back four, with Distin and Heitinga and Fellaini or Rodwell holding. That gave Baines and Neville the chance to move forward. Jagielka?s form hasn?t been the greatest this season and we haven?t been solid at the back this year and a change could do us good.
Jake Wilson     Posted 20/11/2010 at 11:28:50   Comments (34)

Happy Birthday

I note it is Yakubu's (ahem) 28th Birthday this weekend. I wouldn't have put him a day older than 35. Happy Birthday Ayegbeni! Let's hope you score.

Alan Clarke     Posted 19/11/2010 at 12:56:22   Comments (18)

Two Jags

Watching Phil Jagielka play Right Back for England last night brought back haunting memories of when he first joined Everton, when he was being asked to play out of position in Midfield.

It was through no fault of his own, but I felt embarrassed for the lad, whatching him getting 'munsoned' by the french, who truely targeted his inexperience in that area.

Lord only knows why Moyes and now Capello view him as being a versatile player, because he isn't. He's an excellent centre back, but that's his position, full stop.

Let's hope he doesn't take a confidence hangover into the Sunderland game...

Liam Reilly     Posted 18/11/2010 at 13:57:01   Comments (23)

What's the problem?

There was some hoofball on Sunday. Our sideways passing often went nowhere and the ball went back to Neville who thumped it forward to no-one in particular.

My first thought was that we had no-one capable of making an incisive forward pass. Then it occurred to me that we don't have any forward moving into a position to receive such a pass. I think that a temporary return to 4-4-2 is the answer.

Yakubu was just starting to show some fitness and form; our coach responds by picking Saha. In my view he must start up front with Beckford, who at least has a bit of pace and might invite Arteta to play a forward pass. Our midfield should be Coleman, Rodwell (Fellaini, perhaps, when back), Arteta and Pienaar with Cahill as an impact sub.

What we are doing now simply isn't working. Yes, I know most international teams don't play this formation but most international teams would struggle in the Championship. We do not have the personnel to play 4-5-1. Andrew Johnson would fit perfectly into our side now. It's a shame that hoofball destroyed his time at Everton.

It is time to play to our strengths... show Sunderland that we have better players than they have. Let's be bold. Let David Moyes show belief in his squad and send them out to attack. Let us take a chance for once.
Andy Crooks     Posted 16/11/2010 at 23:42:23   Comments (45)


I have tended to avoid discussions about Landon Donovan and a return to Everton because I never really believed it would happen. But, as I was taking my annual look at Facebook, I came across Landon's latest post.

"Just got back from a long walk along the beach with my dogs. Hard to imagine that this season began for me on January 1st with so much promise and ended so abruptly last night. It's been the best year of my life, and it wouldn't be the same without all your love. To the Everton fans, the US National Team fans and the Galaxy fans, thanks for being a part of so many memorable moments in my life. Much love"

I then looked at the comments and was astounded at how many were from Evertonians. I had expected, at best, half Blue, half Galaxy. But no ? this was nearly all Everton, and it got me thinking.

Apart from his on-the-pitch contribution, how much good would the return of Landon Donovan do to the feeling around Goodison? Would the atmosphere at home games improve with crazy chants of 'USA USA'? Would fans start to forget some of the low points because LD had come home.

Or would it just be another bust like the second coming of Gravesen?
Steve Pugh     Posted 16/11/2010 at 13:35:06   Comments (36)


After simmering down after Sunday's debacle, I watched the game again and unsurprisingly came to the following conclusions:

Wenger certainly has done his job on the FA. His team's spoiling tactics are there to see but not many people notice it. Yesterday, Arsenal kept the ball for long periods, passing the ball and making our players chase shadows, but when they lose the ball they tended to foul our players so that our momentum came to a sudden end. Especially when they were 2-0 up.

It's called spoiling tactics, Mr Wenger, and your team gets away with it. Howard Webb didn't help, I know, and it's not sour grapes, but no wonder we struggled to get any rhythm into our game when after chasing shadows for 2-3 minutes all we end up with is a free kick. I hope the Gooners get a taste of their own medicine but I doubt it.
Antony Matthews     Posted 15/11/2010 at 19:35:28   Comments (31)

All's fair in love ? not football

Current results against us... in my opinion, how each game should have gone? I honestly think it?s a fine line between us gaining 13 extra points so far. This would put us 2nd... sounds crazy, but please tell me which games am I out of order with and why.

Blackburn A 0-0 +1
Wolves H 3-1 +2
Aston V. A 3-1 +2
Man Utd H 3-3 0
Newcastle H 1-1 +1
Fulham A 2-0 +2
B?Ham A 2-0 0
Liverpool H 2-0 0
Spurs A 1-1 0
Stoke H 1-1 -2
Blackpool A 4-3 +2
Bolton H 3-1 +2
Arsenal H 2-2 +1

Have I an outdated pair of blue tinted specs after watching each game? I just feel we are so close, a bit like the winter of '83 before it clicked. To say we are heading from disaster to another certainly reminds me of the opinions from that time all those years ago.

Let battle commence...
David Price     Posted 15/11/2010 at 11:41:37   Comments (22)

Little bit of Cup trivia

After the match yesterday, along with some friends, we went to our usual watering hole to discuss the game.

It was during our referee inquest that this little bit of cup trivia struck me: Everton have been refereed in two FA Cup Finals by men who have gone on to take the World Cup Final. In 1966 versus Sheffield Wednesday, the man in charge was a Wolverhampton butcher, Jack Taylor, who then went on to to take control of the 1974 match between Holland & West Germany. Our ref yesterday Howard Webb who was in charge of our game against Chelsea 2008. As referees only take charge of one final in each competition, it's another first in our history.

Jack Taylor who is still alive, was a firm but fair referee. I will not say what I think of Mr Webb, as it may not get printed, I am sure most Evertonians have their own view.
Norman Merrill     Posted 15/11/2010 at 11:42:55   Comments (6)


I watched some of the Man City v Birmingham game on the telly this morning and noticed that the "Blues" were in red for their away strip:

Q1: Am I right in saying that Everton have NEVER worn red as a strip (I know we wore salmon pink once)?

Q2: How would you react if Everton ever wore red as an away strip?
Gerry Quinn     Posted 13/11/2010 at 20:33:31   Comments (26)

Yobo: Forgotten man

Does anyone know how Joseph Yobo is getting on at Fenerbahçe? We're only an injury away from needing defensive cover, but perhaps more significantly, if Joey is deemed definitely surplus to requirements, shouldn't we be considering a sale to fund another attacking option, wide player or back up left back?

A quick google news search revealed that he's speaking out about matters to do with Nigeria, but little on the playing side. Anyone more clued up?
Ben Patchesa     Posted 13/11/2010 at 19:14:44   Comments (13)

Loyalty, good or bad?

In an ideal world, loyalty is an admirable quality. A chairman who sticks with his manager through tough times deserves all the plaudits going. A coach who, despite being admired in the press and associated with many other high-profile jobs, signs a contract with a side with no money... Admirable indeed. A coach who sticks by what is in his mind, his best eleven through thick and thin... and who will ignore the mob and will pick players who are out of form in the belief that they will come good. Bloody admirable indeed... Or is it?

The loyalty between Kenwright and Moyes is totally understandable. Kenwright gets to be chairman of a club that is guaranteed Premier League football and Moyes gets the praise of his peers, the admiration of the press, and a huge salary.

It seems to me, however, that the loyalty of David Moyes to certain players goes well beyond what is healthy: Osman wide right ahead of Coleman went on too long; Neville, great captain but should be taking coaching badges. Misplaced loyalty will have an affect on the team long after his sell-by date. I like Tim Howard but what other goalkeeper in their right mind would be at Everton? There is not a hope in hell of Moyes reconsidering his loyalty to his goalkeeper.

I like Tim Cahill and believe he should be in the side at the moment. However, I believe he will start, due to blind loyalty, for as long as he draws breath. For Everton to move forward, Moyes must fear the sack and some of this woefully underperforming squad must fear the axe.
Andy Crooks     Posted 13/11/2010 at 16:19:37   Comments (30)

The Psychology of Everton FC

This post is prompted by listening to some TalkSport caller (a Man City fan) talking about how the psychology of the club has changed in recent times ? clearly by the addition of vast sums of dosh.

I am 44 years old and EFC have won the league 3 times in my lifetime. I was always under the impression that ? long ago ? we were always the dominant club of the city. However, a quick flick through the league tables on the (excellent) website reveals some periods of dominance (notably winning the league before the outbreak of both world wars ? bloody Germans! ? before returns to mediocity in peace time) but long periods of mid-table mediocrity and sporadic, short-lived success.

While the motto of EFC might be aspirational, the psychology of Everton FC is not Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. Sadly, historically, we are a mid-table team... though I hate to say this.

Every now and then factors not linked to finance ? Bill Shankly, Howard Kendall, Alex Ferguson ? transform a club's fortunes. Will Everton ever get back to the top and build a long-standing era of success that Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal have done over the decades?

Is a change in psychology of the club ? i.e. long-term winning mentality ? only linked to finance nowadays? (By the way, Man City's mind shift is from lower to upper mediocrity at the moment, just to make that point.)
Mike Hughes     Posted 12/11/2010 at 16:45:53   Comments (29)

I want a reserves team, not the youth team

I am becoming more and more frustrated by the fact that each time I see the reserves team sheet, it has an average age of 18 or so.

Many of us bemoan the fact that when Moyes introduces his subs, usually 20 minutes too late, they don't have the required impact and seem off the boil (Beckford and Bily). To get rid of this lethargy, i don't understand why the whole bench should not be the starting team for the reserves week-in, week-out. As they are only getting 20 minutes of senior action a week, fatigue isn't going to be an option. Only last week, a strong line-up was played and Beckford scored in the following week.

If the Reserve team had the likes of Mucha, Beckford, Saha/Yakubu, Bily, Hibbert, Rodwell, Heitinga (both on the bench when others fit) playing, it would only be positive for the players. Match fitness would rise, and one would hope that playing against weaker opposition their confidence would rise. Gueye and Duffy are the only bench members that get a regular gig, yet it seems they are just making up the numbers for the bench. I do understand this can't always be done, but when there is no clash, why not?

If it pushes out younger players of the reserves team, we could always send them out on loan, to a Championship or League One team for more regular games. Duffy/Mustafi, Baxter, Silva, Barkley (after his injury) to name only a few would could be sent out. We could just take them back if injuries arose.

This is a possible option ? 1st team from Blackpool game: Howard; Neville, Jags, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Arteta, Heitinga, Pienaar; Cahill; Yakubu.

Strongest reserve team: Mucha; Hibbert, Mustafi, Duffy, Garbutt; Gueye, Rodwell, Fellaini, Bilyaletdinov; Beckford, Saha.

Does anyone have the same opinion??
David Moore     Posted 12/11/2010 at 11:28:21   Comments (9)

Baines ? a real star

There is understandable frustration about us being nearly there on the site. Strange season as we play lovely midfield football but cannot score. School of Science stuff but just missing that elusive Big Bang.

But, whilst we all have our people to blame, may I just suggest that we have a player who seems to give his all and do it well for us: Leighton Baines.

So good and so unrecognised ? unless he makes a mistake of course.

He plays in a position that does not grab headlines and the press have forgotten about him but for me he is one of our best players and we would have lost last night without him.

When he retires, we will look back on him as a real star.
Ged Simpson     Posted 11/11/2010 at 17:28:09   Comments (31)


What a dick! No excuse for his red card.

Moyes needs to sort him out, Fine him and bollock him and tell him to grow up.

This has been on the cards for a while, TV replays picking up elbows etc that he has got away with. Refs are just waiting for it.

At ?15 million he needs to be on the pitch and play with the form of this time last season.
Craig Taylor     Posted 11/11/2010 at 09:04:40   Comments (55)

A Little Time

For a while now, following the Mailbag threads, all I've been reading is how Beckford is out of his league and, well, "shit" is the term generally being thrown about.

The more sensible posters on here have pointed out he's been here all of five minutes, has often either played up front on his own or had 10/15 minutes on the pitch to make an impact, and that he's stepped up from a much lower level of football. Now, after that stunning goal right at the death, can people perhaps stop being idiots and give the lad a chance to adapt? He won't do that every week, but he's capable of it. Given our poor choice of strikers at the moment, we should be cheering on a young lad who cost us nothing and is costing us peanuts in wages.

Everton generally are playing fantastic football with no killer instinct in front of goal. Whilst Beckford may not be the complete answer to this problem, I find it unbelievably harsh that he's dismissed as a joke after about an hours worth of football as part of a front two partnership in the Everton shirt!
Lee Kidd     Posted 10/11/2010 at 21:57:16   Comments (45)

Howard Tired???

Can someone explain how a goalkeeper, yes a goalkeeper, the guy that STANDS around in his goalmouth for the majority of the game ? can blame tiredness for some inept performances this season???

Oh sorry I forgot to throw in the 2hrs training 4 days a week. Stop playing the X-Box, Timmy. Go to bed early. You've got work in the morning. Well ... some mornings!!!
Rob Murphy     Posted 10/11/2010 at 18:23:15   Comments (19)

Ripe Apples

Just read some interesting comments from Australia?s new(ish) German coach, Holger Osieck, which got me thinking about our expectations of new young players. Here's the quote:-

Placing high expectations on promising players would do no good to anyone in the long term. The problem is that young players are put on a podium after one or two games,? Osieck said.

?It takes a lot more to establish yourself at the top level of football and I think we should recognise that. We don?t do players any favours by making them big heroes or big stars. That is not a good idea.

?They first have to prove their consistency at lower levels before they are ready to step up. It?s like a process, a process of maturing. You should only pick an apple from a tree when it is ripe.

?These days the development of players is influenced by people who talk them up....."
Fair comment I say and I think that basically David Moyes operates along these lines. This explains his reluctance to throw young players (eg Rodwell and Coleman) straight into the fray unless his hand is forced. To a certain extent, SAF follows this line too. So, it might be worth reminding ourselves that patience is worth its weight in gold and always looking for the instant solution through the latest shining star is not the way to go.
Ciaran Duffy     Posted 10/11/2010 at 11:37:47   Comments (15)

Kicking the Ball Right

David Moyes says ?its about time someone got on the end of a corner kick?, but it will take the Manager of the Month for October to realise it's about time Arteta cleared the first man on both free kicks and corners.

Also, it would be nice to recognise most teams play a deep defensive line knowing we?re impotent in and around the box. Knowing that none of our players likes to or cannot take a pop from distance must give them all kinds of confidence to sit back.

Also #2, if Cahill can?t muster the effort needed for his corner flag routine maybe he should think of a new one. Perhaps picking the ball out of the net and running back to the centre circle knowing there?s still work to be done. I swear we must be the one team in the PL who doesn?t get a confidence boost from scoring a goal. Two, yes, but how often are we two up?

Also #3, I hope we rip apart Bolton tonight. Something has pissed me right off today, not a clue what it is but the Blues better make me happy!!!!
Nick Entwistle     Posted 10/11/2010 at 10:05:13   Comments (12)

Let's Get A Grip

After much deliberation I have decided to post on here for the first time in a while, reading some of the comments from fans is pretty astonishing really.

After missing only one match this season, I too am disappointed with the result on Saturday: we hammered Blackpool and lacked that real cutting edge in front of goal (plus I am never ever watching MotD after the shocking way they showed the highlights).

Let's for 1 minute look on the brightside: we haven?t lost a game in 6, we?re playing some lovely football and are only a win away from 5th place... happy days. Yes, I agree we?re not going to win the league any time soon but the suggestions to get rid of Moyes are looney ? the man has single handedly turned round the fortunes of this football club and made us what we are today. The pessimists amongst us will say he?s taken us as far as we can go; others will cry out for investment (why we?ve all seen where that gets you, a la Liverpool).

We are a well run club with a fantastic manager, a good squad, and the foundations for a very bright future. I love the Blues more than anything in my life as my missus often says but I get upset when fellow Blues are so down in the dumps. Let's get a grip, club together, and get 6 points form Bolton and Arsenal. COYB!!!!!!
Mikey John     Posted 09/11/2010 at 12:46:44   Comments (39)

Early Season Blues

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     Posted 08/11/2010 at 10:52:58   Comments (34)

The magic touch?

Yet again we've been struck down by a lot of injuries this season. I have noticed though that the players seem to be coming back into action much earlier than the original time frames given after the initial diagnosis. I'm just wondering whether this has anything to do with our new head physio and Mick Rathbone given the boot? Does seem rather coincidental...
Nick Veitch     Posted 08/11/2010 at 07:31:51   Comments (9)

Why Everton?

As a youngster I was proud of our motto and believed the intent behind it. The club did, in my honest opinion, strive to be the best, win trophy?s and play good, entertaining football. After the success in the 60?s cam a difficult 70?s and then a successful 80?s Its fair to say we have had our ups and downs.

The last 20 years have been quite abysmal for the club, its fair to say that with the start of the Premier league we missed the boat completely and failed to have the foresight to realise that a different way of thinking commercially was needed. Not only that we failed to invest in the team and the team management but sadly and most importantly, failed to see that football at a senior level was changing to.

We lost our way on the field and off the field for a multitude of reasons, but frankly a dissection of those reasons is about as useful as expecting a large transfer kitty anytime soon.

The chickens came home to roost in Walter Smith's reign and to his credit David Moyes has put in a work ethic and made use of limited resources to allow us to compete where before we would fail hopelessly. That has been a major benefit without a shadow of doubt. There have been many ( including myself) who have believed that he has reached the top of his ability with

Everton and that if we are to progress further and challenge not on a ?Punching above our weight? basis but on a consistent quality base ( re- Arsenal) we need to change and fresh blood would be needed.

Its not that I believe he is a poor manager, far from it. He has undoubtedly been the main reason we are still in the Premier League. However treading water whilst we sit in hope of a financial miracle will never work, Moyes will either tire of the lack of funds or tire of the promises.

Everyone expects Moyes to join a ?bigger club? a statement damming in itself. But as long as the bailing out continues, the less hope we have of regaining a lost status and there is more chance that Moyes will go. Under the present regime and board management of the club that would be an unmitigated disaster for the immediate future of the club.

At the moment, David Moyes is possibly the clubs greatest asset in terms of finding a suitor. Take that away and we would have a rudderless ship without a captain that is holes below the waterline. So he has to stay. At least for now or until the club has a stronger financial base to work on, albeit from an investor or buyer.

The problem is that no one knows what actually is on offer for what price, its hard to see improvement in what we have in the short term both on and off the pitch. We are over the barrel not just financially but from the options available to us.

Despite the comments from Harris saying that we are not in a fire sale situation, the problem we soon will be as we are running out of time and money. Our debts may be amongst the lowest in the league but then so are our assets and income from non match day activities. The changing face of football and the commercial realities have left us praying for Arab money or a international sports organisation deal akin to the one the RS have secured.

People who are Sports Brand marketing professionals and have a track record in the successful commercial management & promotion of global sports operations. That?s probably were the next level of ownership is likely to be for the club that will enable us to compete on a consistent basis, but the questions from any likely purchaser will be: What?s required to turn the good ship Everton FC around and are there better opportunities in the second tier clubs, the best of the rest who could step up, that are worth investing in? Why Everton?
Christine Foster     Posted 08/11/2010 at 03:40:35   Comments (27)

Lack of Ambition?

I rarely go to away games but Blackpool was too near to ignore. Like most I came back down the M6 feeling we had lost two points rather than gaining one. Results like this do pose the question as to whether we shall EVER win a trophy or, indeed, EVER be in serious contention so to do.

Personally, I`m a pragmatist and happy to see us comfortably in mid-table or above but I do accept that many of us aspire to greater things. Do they expect too much or is it my lack of ambition that lets the Club off too lightly?
Richard Dodd     Posted 07/11/2010 at    Comments (48)

Need for Russian roubles...

In the pre-season, I have to admit I was one of many suggesting and hoping that Diniyar Bilyaletdinov was going to be a key player for us this season. While there is still a lot of time (and room) for improvement, I fear that we cannot really afford to have a £9M passenger who, if anything, has shown less in his second season than his first.

I have no doubt that Bily is a talented player and will do well somewhere but I'm not convinced it is with Everton in the Premier League.

The main problem is that I think it is clear he is not a winger; his pace of foot and thought is not quick enough. He could do well in the centre but is behind Cahill, Arteta, Fellaini, Heitinga and Rodwell amongst others for the central berths.

If we could recoup all or a lot of the £9M we paid for him, presumably by flogging him back to one of the rich Russian clubs, then we could buy a pacy winger or perhaps a goalscoring forward that we are screaming out for.

In no way would I be unhappy to see Bily stay; I do believe he has talent in those boots. But I also believe that, if we are to climb the table this season, we will need another player or two to come in in January. Perhaps a seasoned goalscoring Premier League winger such as N'Zogbia?
Sam Hoare     Posted 07/11/2010 at 13:33:18   Comments (17)

Am I missing something

Admittedly I don't get to go as often as I did, but I watched the game against Stoke and, although it was a poor game, I thought we had the better of it... but the MotD pundits and papers all say Stoke were unlucky.

Against Blackpool, the radio said Everton were in control but MotD showed that they battered us and, apart from Saha's pathetic effort, we did nothing after equalising! Are we really as shite as we are made to look? Am I looking through rose tinted glasses?
Chris Perry     Posted 07/11/2010 at 12:25:57   Comments (17)

1985-86 opener

Can anybody tell me who we played in our first home game of the 85-86 season? If I remember rightly we played Leicester City away on the 1st game of the season and lost but who did we play the week later at home?
Paul Clays     Posted 05/11/2010 at 15:05:02   Comments (6)

Best since 84-85 ? says who?

Once again I read recently (the Echo match report, v Stoke) about the present set of players being the best assembled since the mighty 84-85 side, but is it?

I believe Joe Royle's squad 94-96 was better ? in fact they won the FA Cup in 95 and finished 6th in 96; also in 94 he picked the team up from bottom of the table and eased them out of relegation comfortably. If you picked a composite side from the two eras, Joe's team would have the most players in it: 4-4-2 (I ain't David Moyes but if it mean leaving out Tiny Tim so be it)

Southall; Neville, Watson, Jagielka, Hinchcliffe; Kanchelskis, Arteta, Fellaini, Limpar; Ferguson; Rideout.
Gaz Cass     Posted 04/11/2010 at 17:28:35   Comments (53)

Pragmatic Henry Looks to Groundshare

The new Liverpool owner, John W Henry, is looking into groundsharing with EFC. Henry is not the free spending billionaire that Liverpool would have liked, but the pragmatic businessman who did not build a new stadium when he bought the Red Sox. He is counting his pennies after spending a few hundred million and does not like the idea of doubling that outlay by building a new home for the Reds. Refurbishing Anfield would be his first choice, but that has proven to be a tricky situation, or it would have happened by now.

The second option is to build a new stadium with his neighbours, ours truly, Everton FC. We have been through all this before and most fans of both persuasions abhor the very idea of sharing anything with each other. But there are few options and this one is looking more and more a possibility.

Are we ready to share a home with them? How could it work? What do you think about it?

Henry is a pragmatist. How pragmatic are we?
Albert  Perkins     Posted 04/11/2010 at 04:11:43   Comments (92)

ToffeeWeb Under Attack

BBC 606, Grand Old Team ... posters from sites left, right and centre are having a pop at Toffeeweb ... largely, it seems, because views are posted with which they disagree.

It seems that there are far too few Moyes groupies on this site; far too many critics of Kenwright.

Should we repent and believe the good news of the Official Site, or continue in a spirit of friendly, constructive criticism?

I for one have examined my conscience and plead guilty to the charge of not believing that David Moyes is omniscient, but a goodish manager doing a tricky job, and that Kenwright is a very lucky shyster.
Mike McLean     Posted 03/11/2010 at 22:14:39   Comments (65)

Phil Neville Worldwide sensation!

I've just been on twitter and looked in the bottom right hand corner. What's that? Phil Neville is trending? Trending WORLDWIDE! Ha ha!

It appears the rave reviews of Gareth Bale last night have been tempered with the fact our Phil had him in his pocket a few weeks ago!

Landon Donovan has even been on twitter to exclaim ?Phil Neville is trending?!? What has this world come to?!?!?!??

That's put a smile on my face today!
Dean Williamson     Posted 03/11/2010 at 19:19:02   Comments (33)

Phil Neville for England

Over the last couple of weeks, a little bit to my surprise, Adrian Durham on Talksport has been advocating Pip as the best English right back and that he should be in the England team.

I am full of praise for our captain, but was still surprised. However, having just watched Gareth Bale destroy Inter for the second time and knowing Pip totally nullified him, Durham's thoughts become more realistic. Can anyone name a more consistent right back than Phil Neville?

I am a very proud English supporter and I would certainly be happy if he was chosen again.
Tim O'Connell     Posted 02/11/2010 at 21:38:38   Comments (65)

Tickets at the Megastore

Just a quick thought but, after purchasing several tickets over the phone and having them delivered this season, it occurred to me that tickets could and perhaps should be sold at the club shop?

I'm sure that their takings would...well they might actually make some money, as I'm sure they struggle to break even at the moment going by the number of customers I see in there.
Jon Gorman     Posted 02/11/2010 at 07:41:12   Comments (7)

Tough decisions ahead

One of the biggest problems the England team have had in recent years is the tendency of coaches to pick their best players and then try to fit them into a formation. Lampard and Gerrard do not work in the same side.

Many years ago, Wales had a glut of decent strikers. Too many times they all played.

With a fully fit, squad David Moyes faces the same problem: To be a big team one must be able to keep decent players happy on the bench. How can this be done?

Firstly there is the money option. Pay them a huge amount. Some players will be ok with that. This is an option not obviously open to Everton.

Secondly, look like winning something. In this case the players on the bench have the hope of injury offering them a medal. Not an option immediately available to Everton.

Finally have reasonably well players on the bench who can believe that if one of the first eleven is consistently poor then their chance will come. This should be Everton.

My point is that an average player in the right spot is more effective than a better player in the wrong place.

At Everton the first decision is in goal. In my view, Tim Howard is a decent goalkeeper prone to the odd error. If he was consistently poor then we should see what Mucha can do.

At right back, if Hibbert plays, which in my opinion he should, then Neville plays holding midfield or sits on the bench. As the proper club man he is, then I think he is a good player who will accept that.

Centre back? At the moment it seems to me that it should be Jagielka and Distin. That leaves Hetinga out of position in holding midfield or a quality player on the bench. Would he accept that for any of the reasons I have named? I doubt it very much.

Right midfield we have Vic or Seamus. Seamus nicks it for me and I feel for the immediate future future Vic will accept that.

Pienaar and Arteta must start so that leaves Fellaini or Rodwell for holding midfield; I'd go for Fellaini which leaves DM trying to keep one of the best prospects in the Premier League happy as sub. Will he accept that? Not if United and Chelsea make overtures.

Behind the striker? Cahill or Bily? A tough one but right now it's Cahill. Will Bily accept that? Maybe, at present, for the money.

Up front Yakubu or Saha. Not a problem at the moment. I think fitness will decide that Saha will accept limited games.

So, if Neville never plays gain in central midfield, the same for Heitinga. If Arteta and Osman never play wide right. If Fellaini never plays as a striker. Then, with a fit squad, David Moyes must restrict his often admirable loyalty and make some tough decisions.
Andy Crooks     Posted 01/11/2010 at 19:30:58   Comments (42)

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