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Season 2012-13

The Mail Bag

April 2013 Archive
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What a feeling!

I've just seen a half-hour of highlights from the FA Cup Semi-Final between us and Southampton in 1984.

I've never seen highlights that long before and didn't realise how many chances we had. Some of you who were there must have thought it wasn't going to be our day.

It must have been a relief when Heath put the ball in the back of the net deep in injury-time. I'd have loved to have been there.
Trevor Thompson     Posted 29/04/2013 at 13:18:40   Comments (43)

Agony or Ecstasy at Anfield?

We're less than a week away from the Merseyside derby. Everton need to win to keep in order to keep us on track for 6th place finish or higher. Liverpool need to win to have any hope of overtaking Everton and of ensuring that they don't have to endure another year of finishing below their dreaded rivals.

If the game at Newcastle is anything to go by, we can expect Liverpool to come out the gates charging. Also expect Carragher, Lucas and Gerrard to put in some 'spicy' tackles to set the tone and disrupt Everton's passing game. They will target Fellaini and Pienaar for special attention as these two have the tendency to be easily distracted by rough-housing, and typically end up losing their heads and getting a red card.

We never do well when we're under pressure to get a result. We never do well when teams attack us with speed. We never do well when teams manhandle us. And we never do well at Anfield! So the omens don't look good for us come this weekend.

Let's hope the ref doesn't join in and give them the customary unfair advantage they normally get when we play them.

All-in-all, I don't have high hopes for a victory, or even a draw. But I'd be delighted if I'm proven wrong.

COYB! — Prove me wrong!!!

Timothy Sebastian     Posted 29/04/2013 at 05:04:33   Comments (74)

What will have persuaded Moyes to stay?

With all the Sunday paapers predicting Moyes will be staying at Everton, I got to thinking: What could have persuaded him to do so?

Is it, as they seem to be saying, that Kenwright has asked him to draw up a short-list of likely transfer targets and indicated that the Board will arrange funding? Or is it simply that he has received no decent offers to move?

Could it be that the team has done well enough to make him feel he is within touching distance of honours? Or maybe he's just come to love the Club too much to leave it in the lurch?

Now I know it`s a bit premature but the bookies have lengthened the odds on him moving on and they don`t often get it wrong. So what's your take on the situation?

Have all those keystrokes dedicated to naming his successor been in vain? And, if so, what has been the deciding factor?

Oh, if you'd like my take on the situation, I think Sir Alex Ferguson has told Moyes he's staying on at Man Utd for the time being... but he'll keep the seat warm for him.

Richard Dodd     Posted 28/04/2013 at 20:40:19   Comments (133)

This one's for Jimmy...

In truth, I loved Royston Drenthe as much as our Norweigen Blue. Undoubtedly in my mind the most talented player under Moyes's time in charge.

Playing under the radar for Alania in Russia he recently scored the first hat-trick of his career:

I also hope that his words earlier in the season that David Moyes was right all along would perhaps signal a return to the club should he have become professional in his behavior and reinstalled his kitchen.

Nick Entwistle     Posted 27/04/2013 at 09:15:11   Comments (41)

Derby fixture fix

Does anyone else resent the way the fixture list always comes up with the first derby match at Goodison, early on in the season, followed by the return at Anfield late on. This has happened for about 20 years on the trot, and cannot be random. It invariably means that Liverpool always have the last laugh, because we never win at Anfield.

I think, because Everton just seem to accept the status quo without complaint, the FA are happy to continue with this formula, and I've no doubt that next season's derby fixtures will fall in the same order.

Some people say the order of the fixtures does not matter, because we have to play every team home and away regardless. Okay, if it doesn't matter, let's just swap them around anyway, because one thing's for certain, and that is that it's not working in Everton's favour at the moment.

Mike Goodwin     Posted 25/04/2013 at 11:12:23   Comments (36)

Why have Everton missed out on a top four spot this season?

Why have we missed out on a top four slot questionnaire? I have recently read numerous comments across various websites suggesting why we have missed out, on a top four finish (although we technically haven’t it is highly unlikely).

Therefore, I put together a brief questionnaire on SurveyMonkey (literally just a couple of questions) to ask other Blues for their opinions. I will leave it up for a few days before posting my results.

I just wanted to know what the consensus of opinion was amongst the majority of blues out there.

Chris Regan     Posted 24/04/2013 at 18:01:00   Comments (103)

Seeing An Everton Legend in the Flesh

After the absolute debacle from Everton on Saturday (which, as we all know, is not the fault of David Moyes, aka the Greatest Manager in the World, because, after all, how can he compete against big money sides like Wigan and Sunderland?) my spirits were buoyed because I had tickets later that night to see my local side, the dreadfully named New York Red Bulls.

I had never been to a Red Bulls match before, despite living in or around New York all my life, or really knew much about the team. It's not because I'm anti-MLS, in fact I want the league to do well. But there simply aren't that many matches shown on TV; there are far more Premier League games shown per week in the US than MLS ones, at least in my television market. And the Red Bulls rarely get any press locally, getting lost in a very crowded local New York City sports landscape.

As excited as I was to see the match itself, I was really looking forward to finally getting to see an Everton legend in the flesh, a certain Mr Tim Cahill. The Everton-following experience is obviously very different for those of us in in faraway lands compared to all of you who live within walking or driving distance of Goodison Park. While you all get to see Baines, Fellaini and the rest in person on a regular basis, we must view them from afar, brought to us via radio waves by Fox Soccer Channel and ESPN2. To paraphrase a fine Brit, Ray Davies, "Never seen Leighton Baines, Neville Southall, Lee Carsley. Still I dream of that Goodison that I ain't never seen."

So this was an exciting day for me. As I stood in the stands of Red Bull Arena, gazing at the virile Aussie, I felt a little more connected to the Everton experience. Unfortunately, according to people sitting around me, Tim has not had exactly been in good form since his ballyhooed transfer here. I think he's only scored one goal in the parts of two seasons he's been playing for the team. And when he was subbed off in the 71st minute, there wasn't even one moment, thinking back, where I could say he really stood out.

But nonetheless, I got the chance to cheer Tim Cahill in person, and witnessed an amazing Thierry Henry goal (assisted by the fantastically named Jonny Steele) which I really suggest you watch:

Next year, there's probably a better than average chance that I'll also get to see Phil Neville!

Clarence Yurcan     Posted 23/04/2013 at 16:22:43   Comments (10)

Showtime, Bill.

My first trip to the Stadium of Light and — wouldn't you know it — it would be our first loss to the Mackems in 12 bastard years..?! Cheers boys: £200 lighter, having schlepped up to Wearside, only to see us not "play well enough". (Pithy understatement there, Moyesie!)

To be fair, my confidence wasn't great, due to the Di Canio factor, and from the off, they had that cliched 'new-manager syndrome,' written all over them; winning second-balls, 50-50s, momentum, favour with the referee, etc...

But what struck me was how one-paced our game was. I felt we needed urgency, high-energy, or the kitchen sink if necessary. Instead, needing two goals, and whilst they parked the bus, we fannied around way too much, with far too many simply not cutting the mustard, or showing enough appetite for a fight.

It struck me that if Spurs or Chelsea had been today's visitors, THEY would have found the stamina, pace, guile & forcefulness to negate Sunderland's spirit, and would have demonstrated the class & savvy required to nullify Il Duce's, sub-plot.

For us to develop that essential consistency, we need to compete economically – plain & simple; we have a tiny squad and a weak bench that Moyes doesn't fully trust. One cursory glance at the sheer depth of the clubs above us, and frankly, I don't blame the Gaffer for playing it close to the vest in relation to next season.

If the board don't, or cannot, get realistic, with the funds, then fair enough; find us the guy who can both work under the same constraints as Moyes, yet somehow elevate our trajectory. If it's utterly fanciful to generate or attract competitive revenue, or even retain the crown jewels, Moyes should walk, if he's inclined, on principle. There... I said it; because, I think he's exhausted every acumen at his disposal.

Whilst I don't actively support the Blue Union, they have at least shone a national spotlight on a narrative familiar to us all. I just can't see managerial talent alone advancing us further up the ladder — it ain't happening.

So, to a limited Board that spins and refuses difficult questions, but which, in fairness, has overseen the most consistent league returns in a generation, it's now or never. You have a manager respected throughout the land, who may yet walk, and a constituency of support who consider it their birthright to crave more from the club.

Oh, and if the rumours surrounding our dumbed-down crest actually come to pass, THAT blasphemous act will tell me everything I need to know about their ambition, and a Moyes exit will be wholly justified.

Kevin Hudson     Posted 20/04/2013 at 22:36:44   Comments (33)

Low Expectations

Everton have little money and David Moyes has assembled a good squad relatively cheaply. However, I believe that our utterly inept performance today had nothing to do with lack of funds. We had a strong team with players who really shouldn't be tired.

It seems to me that it has somehow become accepted by many that our financial position dictates our league position and that our expectations should be set at that level. I believe that is unacceptable. I am not an admirer of David Moyes but I would agree with his admirers that he has built a decent side; a side that can outplay Man City and Spurs. Beat United, draw at Arsenal and play some decent football.

Lack of funds didn't appear to matter in those games yet, away at Reading against Norwich, QPR etc it, is rolled out as an excuse. Sometimes Moyes's detractors are called player apologists but, he signed them, he coaches them... and he selects them.

I firmly believe that a different coach with the same players could achieve more. Time and time again when it counts we fall short. Too many accept that Moyes has done a wonderful job and that, without him, disaster awaits. There have been too many utterly abject performances this season from a team who have shown themselves to be better.

If David Moyes is offered and accepts a new contract, it will signal that any ambition Everton have is gone. It will signal an acceptance of safety first and survival. Surely we have higher expectations than that???

Andy Crooks     Posted 20/04/2013 at 21:58:23   Comments (53)

The Wrong Shape

What David Moyes can't seem to accept is the shape of the team is all wrong for the players we have yet he persists by jamming the players into the wrong shape.

Great managers who win things on a regular basis, shape the team so it has a sharp, pointy end so they can win games. Everything is shaped to get the strikers into a position where they can damage the opposition. Middling managers –like Moyes – start at the back and make things safe. They won't lose loads of games but they won't win anything either.

Starting at the front end of our team; Jelavic is clearly not suited to playing the lone striker role dictated by the current shape of the team – he needs to be in and around the box, not running out to the wings. Anichebe is okay at holding the ball up but isn't a natural finisher. Mirallas is comfortable running at pace with the ball and is a real threat when he does this. A great manager would look at these assets and shape the rest of the team to get the best out of these players. Maybe play Anichebe up top and get Mirallas playing off him? Play Anichebe up top and play Jelavic as the second striker?

A great manager would then then work backwards to look at how to feed those players. We have a great crosser in Baines but don't have a centre forward who will thrive on those crosses. We have fullbacks who can steam forward but we don't have solid wide midfielders who will cover for them when they bomb forward

The point I am trying to make –and its hard to stay coherent when you are this angry after watching the shite dished up for us today – is that, if the players we have don't fit the shape, then change the shape... or change the manager!
Ray Said     Posted 20/04/2013 at    Comments (32)

The picking of non-footballers

What an enigma is David Moyes. Much that he has done over the years is praiseworthy but he has also been one of the most frustrating of managers for many reasons. But there is one issue that for me is tarnishing any good that he has achieved during his long tenure at Everton and that is the disgraceful consistent selection of one of the most ineffectual "non-footballers" it has been my misfortune to witness in nearly 60 years of supporting Everton.

This is not a personal attack on Stephen Naismith, he may be a very fine young man indeed and he does not select himself. None of us have been a manager of a professional club but Mr Moyes seriously needs bringing to task over his selection of Naismith, even from the bench. A blind man could see that on the evidence so far this is a footballer with NO redeeming qualities that would account for him being a professional footballer at this or any other level in the professional game. To bring him on so consistently is in fact an insult to supporters who are treated as though they do not \"really know the game\".

Well this one certainly knows a bit after watching good, bad and indifferent players over many years and for this continued \"abuse of the Everton support base\" by parading such ineffectual footballers I am afraid that David Moyes\'s credit rating has most definitely slipped into a very real shade of red. It is a managerial disgrace.

Oh, and by the way Naismith is not alone in the negative appraisal stakes, he is just the example \"par excellence\".
Anthony  Lamb     Posted 20/04/2013 at    Comments (21)

PFA Shortlist

The player of the year shortlist is in and whaddaya know - Spurs, Liverpool, Chelsea, and Utd are all represented.

Michael Carrick, Gareth Bale, Robin van Persie, Luis Suarez, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata.

Hazard is a great player, but I would argue Lukaku has done better, and done better surrounded by West Brom players. Same for Michu at Swansea.

Obviously diving like a u-boat commander is of no concern to those who make up the list but admittedly Suarez and Bale have been excellent.

But the list smacks of laziness, spoils for the big teams, and a media friendly list at that.

Our contenders would be Baines (most creative player in Europe don't you know...) and Fellaini who despite his more quiet performances in recent fixtures surely trounces Carrick and Juan Mata, neither of whom had to carry Phil Neville all season.

If every player has a vote but can't vote for a team mate, and required to keep to the short list, is abstention allowed?

Also, if there were a veterans' award Distin has been a beast all season. But the bottom 14 don't count, right?

Nick Entwistle     Posted 19/04/2013 at 16:49:20   Comments (26)

The Liverpool - Chelsea Dilemma

I would usually expect to back whoever is playing Liverpool – regardless of how loathsome they might be in their own right.

However, this weekend, I am facing up to cheering on Liverpool against Chelsea. I wonder if others are doing the same or are you struggling with the following dilemmas:

1) Are you happy to want a Liverpool win when it benefits us or do you always want them to lose – even if we cut off our own noses in the process?

2) Are you looking downwards and wanting a Chelsea win so that we won't finish below 6th?

3) Or are you looking upwards wanting a Chelsea defeat so that they get drawn back towards us – even though we then have a greater risk that we might get caught for 6th?

Double dilemma or no-brainer? I am curious how other blues see it...

Damian Kelly     Posted 18/04/2013 at 17:18:33   Comments (96)

Europa Cup Opportunity

There has been a lot of talk before about the merits/demerits of us being in the Europa Leaqgue next season. It provides great "European nights" under lights at GP and the players seem to like it but it also can be energy sapping and affect our League campaign. Some people think it could be a poisoned chalice (à la Newcastle) while others see it as a stepping stone to the Uefa Champions League.

What I was wondering was, if we do qualify, whether it would be worth using it to give some of our "under-utilised" players more of a run? Based on our current squad, then players like Mucha, Hibbert, Heitinga, Duffy, Oviedo, Hitzlsperger, Barkley, Vellios & maybe Junior would be in the running for spots with some regular first teamers to fill in the gaps. That should still be a pretty good team, would give these guys (who have a point to prove) some real competitive action and limit potential damage to our PL campaign.

I guess the danger is that we lose and get knocked out earlier in the Europa League. I could live with that. Not sure what others feel?

Ciaran Duff     Posted 16/04/2013 at 01:36:12   Comments (55)

Picking over the bones

Following QPR's almost inevitable fall into the championship I wondered if there were any players that we Blues might pick up from the relegated teams or Championship sides that don't make promotion if we have any sort of kitty at the end of the season.

I don't think there is any doubt that we need reinforcements in the GK, MF and goalscoring departments so here's my shortlist from the "assumed" dead.

GK - Begovic from Stoke or McCarthy from Reading (Julio Cesar bit too old and assumed expensive).

MF - Nzonzi or Palacios from Stoke,Will Hughes from Derby, Jedinak from Crystal Palace. would love Taraabt but he may be too expensive.

Up front - Remy (worth it), Cormack from Leeds, wished we'd have got Zaha from Palace (maybe United will loan him to us next season).

Any other snippets that fellow blues might advocate?
Jay Harris     Posted 15/04/2013 at 21:26:23   Comments (22)

Coleman or Hibbert

Just read the article on the Under 21's win. It seems that Tony Hibbert is nearing full fitness, so this begs the question: Does he come back into the first team at the expense of Seamus Coleman. Do we want the solid tough tackling fullback or the cavalier marauding fullback.

This has been debated many times on toffee web but we have never had the luxury of Seamus having a good run in the fullback position before. So Hibbert or Coleman? My pick would be Seamus, were not shipping goals and he gives us that attacking option down the right and gives us Tony to strengthen our bench.

Paul Johnson     Posted 15/04/2013 at 20:26:00   Comments (27)

To be or not to be – that is the question….

In a previous thread, Patrick Murphy makes a really interesting point – “No manager that has not played for Everton has won a trophy!”

I thought this couldn’t be true so had a look into it.

In the early 20th Century we won trophies under Dick Molyneux, Will Cuff and Thomas McIntosh, none of whom played for Everton from what I can see. I’m happy to discount these though as they were club secretaries as opposed to team managers.

The first true team manager was Theo Kelly (1936-48), who won the League Championship in 1938-39. From what I can see Theo never played for Everton either, so I think he essentially disproves Patrick’s theory.

However, since Theo Kelly we’ve had twelve different men at the helm and I might be wrong but……

Four have played for Everton and never won anything (Cliff Britton, Johnny Carey as a guest, Billy Bingham and Colin Harvey – though many credit Harvey’s appointment as first team coach as crucial to Kendall's success).

Five have never played for Everton and also never won anything (Ian Buchan, Gordon Lee, Mike Walker, Walter Smith and David Moyes to date).

But, in the post-War era, every trophy we have won (4 Championships, 3 FA Cups and the ECWC) have been won under three managers, all of whom played for Everton – Harry Catterick, Howard Kendall and Joe Royle.

The interesting point in all of this is Catterick played under Theo Kelly – the last manager before him to win a trophy. The next manager to win a trophy was Kendall – who played under Catterick, and the next after that was Joe Royle, who also played under Catterick.

So – following this rule the next manager to win a trophy for Everton will have played for either Kendall or Royle.

Most candidates from Kendall's days are past it now but would Andy Gray have cut it had he come? Maybe Peter Reid could’ve brought us glory at his peak…? And who from Royle’s teams could have a go at it now…..? Big Dunc anyone…….?

Football has changed beyond recognition in recent years, and the formula may no longer work in the modern game, but Patrick Murphy’s right – history says winners at Everton have played for them, and not only that – they have also played under someone who’s won something for Everton.

A pool of people, who unfortunately, are increasingly getting a bit thin on the ground.

Mike Green     Posted 14/04/2013 at 11:28:04   Comments (30)

Should Moyes stay if we finish 4th?

There was a post on the QPR thread questioning whether supporters still felt Moyes should go even if we finish 4th. He said that those who responded in the affirmative would somehow reflect the mentality of (presumably) a section of the support.

Now I’ll hazard a guess that he wasn’t being entirely complimentary about those who think it is time for Moyes to go. Less portraying them as glass half-full, honey rather than vinegar, dancing in the meadows on a sunny day kind of guys; more your sullen, swearing, sitting in the corner of a dark room on their own, plotting ways to make themselves unhappy kind of guys.

Is there a mentality for the type of people that go on this site? Perhaps. If so, what is it? Is there a mentality that attaches itself to Everton fans? I’d like to think so, and I think there are a number of qualities that Everton fans share, largely borne of the mixed blessing that is following the Blues.

Now whilst I do think there is a certain amount of common ground amongst blues, I don’t agree that whether Moyes is your kind of coach is reflective of it. I still think Moyes should probably leave even if we finish fourth (and I really do hope that we do). I think it would be the best thing for both parties, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I don't think Moyes really has it in him to rebuild the side, and I think that's something that needs doing. He’s built the current side almost entirely on his own. Even Osman and Hibbert who may not have been signed under Moyes, were brought through to the first team by Moyes. One of his plus points is his loyalty to his players (something I imagine they value), does he really have it in him to tear the guts out of his current side and sell off his best players?

Secondly even if we do qualify for the Champions League, does anyone really believe the board would put in say £25 million to bring in the players to make a real go of it? As I remember last time they were very much backward in coming forward with the money for new players. Would it really be any different if it happened again?

Lastly, if Moyes is on his way, then finishing 4th would be a tribute to Moyes who has been a really good manager for the club. Personally I think he’s done well, but I realise he’s not everyone’s cup of tea as a manager. It being Everton, I doubt we’ll get anyone that much better in, but like the chase for 4th, in my heart there is hope.

Gavin McGarvey     Posted 13/04/2013 at 23:52:20   Comments (119)

Big Vic Should Play Central Midfield!

For next season, I think Victor Anichebe should play Central Midfield.

He has the power, drive and forward mentality to make the position his own. With Nev on his way and very likely Fellaini out the door, then we can leave Jelaviċ up front supported by Mirallas to work their Belgian magic — none of this perpetual running back like lunatics.

My selections as outlined below give us the option of putting Vic back up-front if Jelaviċ gets injured.

I would break up the Pienaar-Baines partnership, putting the younger legged but equally creative Oviedo in the link with Baines. As stated, Big Vic could dominate central midfield and unless we sign someone Pienaar can do a job on the right

I would have Johnny linking the back 4 to mid field instead of Gibbo.

We're spoilt at the back: any back five from Mucha, Howard, Hibbert, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Duffy, Baines is just fine.

I love Ossie but we need more power and pace going forward — he's a sub now as is Gibson... talent that he is, I'm afraid his injury problems have done for him in my book.

My first choice teamsheet is:

Howard

Coleman
Jagielka
Distin
Baines

Heitinga
Oviedo
Pienaar
Anichebe

Mirallas
Jelaviċ

Subs from: Mucha, Osman, Barkley, Duffy, Gibson, Hibbert

This side is full of pace, power and guile with flexibility from the bench and money in the bank.

As an ex-central midfielder of some brilliance, take it from me: that's where Victor should be!

Barry Rathbone     Posted 12/04/2013 at 18:05:51   Comments (78)

Can Anybody Find Me Somebody to Love?

Many, many moons ago while at the illustrious Tulane University in New Orleans, LA, USA, I found my watering hole.

The Rendon Inn.

This place probably made “the Freshy” look like a morgue with apologies to Mr. Dodd. I easily spent more time there than in a classroom. No question.

A college bar with hundreds of young men, jumped up on testosterone and beer, all with a single purpose in mind. Find “that” girl to spend an evening with… as young men in their late teens and early 20s are wont to do.

Every night at closing time, which is usually a healthy 3 to 4 am in New Orleans, the bartending staff would play Can Anybody Find Me Someone to Love? by Queen. A superb song in its own right blaring out at decibels that could break a small animal’s eardrums. The message to every young man at the Rendon Inn – we’re shuttin’ it down, hook up with that lady now while you can. Last chance...

The song signaled the end. Closing time. Find your “soul mate” or go home.

I just gotta get out of this prison cell!
Some day I’m gonna be free! Ohhhh Somebody
Somebody
Somebody
Somebody
Anybody find me?! Somebody to love!

I feel as if almost everyone on ToffeeWeb has started singing Queen’s booming plea, signaling the end of our season, in a Rendon Inn kind of way. Yet I wonder why?

I get it. Too many road games to navigate and come away with results. It’s a long shot. Time to pack it in; start up the Queen track.

But…

If we win against QPR and pull off a minor miracle and take three points at Arsenal, we will most likely be only 1 point off 4th place.

So why the singing?

I’ll pack it in if we get anything less than six points from our next two games. But surely it’s too early to ramp up Queen? One more drink or two before the Arsenal game? It can’t be closing time yet!


Jamie Crowley     Posted 10/04/2013 at 22:21:57   Comments (53)

Where has Bainesy gone?

The majority on here would agree that, for most of the season, Leighton Baines has been our best and most consistent player. Simply world class.

However, over the last 4 or 5 games, I've noticed a steady decline in his performances. His zest and enthusiasm have waned and at times he appears to be 'lost': his link-up play and passing accuracy has faded; his forays into the opposition penalty area are becoming less and less... and his crossing is simply below par.

What is the cause?

Has he simply played too many games and run out of steam?

Are the niggling injuries we all know he is suffering from finally taken their toll?

Or is his mind somewhere else?

I don't know the answer but I do know that, for the final run-in, we need the REAL Leighton Baines in the team.

Jeff Beaumont     Posted 09/04/2013 at 14:20:44   Comments (35)

Winning twice at your neighbours

Manchester United are a fantastic football club.

Long live the eighties when we battered them, the 5-0 win in 1984 was orgasmic, but you have to admit that, once Fergie hit his stride, they've been without equal. That said, I watched the game tonight and Man City dominated; they believed they'd win and they did, twice in two years. Ya Ya and the boys knew they were a better side and proved it.

Man Utd might have won the league but it's a poor Man Utd team and a poor Premier League... "What's your point?" I hear you scream. Well, the tream in Blue, Man CIty have now twice in a row at their neighbours... Just sayin...

We should be winning at Anfield, The Emirates, Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge in the league in 11 years FFS. WBA and Wigan have won at Arsenal, Sunderland murdered Chelsea a couple of years ago, Wigan have won at Liverpool, the list goes on.... Yet for Everton, No wins in the league at: Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd or Liverpool... In 11 years.... It's so ridiculous, it's funny!

The point: We don't believe: All the above, Shite at Wembley, Wigan at home in Cup Quarter Final..... no bottle!

Moyes hasn't signed a contract.... Declared Manager of the Month for March..... I know it's for the Premier League but Wigan at home in the FA Cup was so bad! FFS — I know it doesn't count but it was disgraceful.

Moyes — you needs to BELIEVE we are a top team... BELIEVE we can win at Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea.

Go on — I VERY DARE YOU!

Matthew Thompson     Posted 08/04/2013 at 21:57:22   Comments (26)

Close to perfection

My gut feeling after the game yesterday was one of disappointment and I must say, I felt even more disappointed to hear David Moyes come out afterwards and say he felt it was a 'good point'. Okay, in the wider context we have taken 4 points off Spurs this year, but it really should have been 6.

Spurs were there for the taking yesterday. There were gaps in their backline and to me, they looked a tired team. I thought we played well, but not great. If we had won the game then of course there would be few complaints. The fact we utimately came away with only a point instead of 3 got me thinking of other similar games this season where we have dropped points from winning positions and got me thinking why this has been the case.

Our ball retention was very poor. It was as if we took the lead and then sat back for the inevitable onslaught, whereas if we'd kept attacking them or simply kept the ball better, I believe we could have won that game comfortably. This has also happened in the following games this year:

Norwich (home and away)
Reading (away)
Fulham (away)
Stoke (away)

I don't think this is anything new – Moyes' teams have generally always operated in this manner (give or take a few exceptions). Sometimes you get away with it – with clean sheets of course, however the law of averages suggests that playing like this will ultimately prove costly.

What frustrates me though, is that this current team is probably the best attacking team I have seen in my time supporting the Blues (since 1997), yet we just can't seem to put teams to bed. Is this poor management or is the squad of players not as good as I believe they are? I'd say the former.

I just hope that (presuming we take 3 points off QPR) we go to Arsenal next week and attack them and not settle for a narrow lead when there is still a considerable amount of time left in the game. I genuinely believe 4th place is there for the taking, we just need rid of this overly cautious approach!

Just as an aside, Victor's performance yesterday was the best I have ever seen from him in a blue shirt!

COYB.


Matthew Roache     Posted 08/04/2013 at 16:07:21   Comments (43)

Billy or Wayne?

I was talking to a guy yesterday about our lack of achievement since the inception of the Premier League. Purely from a football point of view – as we were both in agreement regarding the management, or lack of. He reckoned that our failure to keep Rooney and the opportunity to build a team around him was a serious failure of the club — which I agreed with.

However, I actually felt we'd lost it long before Rooney left. I think our loss of Billy Kenny as a consequence of his substance abuse was a major factor in Everton not starting the Premier League years off on the right foot.

I appreciate we lost both players in totally different circumstances but I believe Billy Kenny had the ability to go on and Captain not only Everton but also England. I always thought he had the lot. A great miss not only for the Club but also for himself.

John Keating     Posted 08/04/2013 at 10:49:12   Comments (27)

Where's me Leonard Cohens?

I don`t think I`m being premature to proclaim: "It's all over now". Any hope that Evertonians (the ultra-optimistic ones) harboured of a top four – or even top five – position come season's end, disappeared with yet another warped-minded substitution five minutes from time this afternoon.

Not that it's any surprise to me. I've been saying all season that we are good enough to finish 6th/7th (probably 7th as we have to play the RS), so Moyes will have again delivered a so-called 'healthy finish' — for which we should all be eternally grateful... Or should we? Is this really as good as it gets — or is ever going to get in my lifetime?

The Doddistas will tell you that "in all our Premier League history, we have never been so consistent as under Moyes." And, of course, they are right... Consistently boring!

So why am I yet again experiencing a feeling of depression as I prepare myself for another 'empty' summer? A summer in which the most exciting thing I can look forward to is Moyes deigning to tell us whether he is going or staying.

Putting it bluntly, I couldn't give a fuck what he decides. I can't even get excited about a possible successor knowing, as I do, that the tosspots of all tosspots will be the one making the decision.

I know, I know: we can't all expect to be in Europe or win a trophy because it's all about money. But I pays me money to Everton, Sky and whoever else shows our matches. And all I get is bloody 7th!

Oh, fuck it. Where`s me Leonard Cohens?

Phil Walling     Posted 07/04/2013 at 17:17:42   Comments (45)

The Calendar Month of Death!

The next calendar month sees us take on 6 vital games that will either see us climb within reach of a lucrative Champions League spot or give us Evertonians another summer of what could have been.......... and aren't we sick of those!

Spurs (A)
QPR (H)
Arsenal (A)
Sunderland (A)
Fulham (H)
Liverpool (A)

I'm suspecting the latter, most of us have seen it before..... but who knows so why not dream a little.

Of course we could have been in a much better situation if we had won just a few of those 12 drawn games, how many late goals have we conceded? — mostly against lower opposition.
And let's not go back to the Wigan debacle and concentrate on the league — surely another FA Cup final spot missed there.

The two pivotal games in April are Spurs and Arsenal away, 4 points are a must here. Spurs being the most difficult of the two, Bale is on fire and we are missing Fellaini and Pienaar... I hoping we snatch a draw at White Hart Lane. Arsenal aren't the force they were and Moyes needs to grab his first win at the Emirates, we must get something out of this game. Our records at both grounds doesn't bode well: in the Premier League we have won three times at WHL: 2006, 2007 and 2008 and only once at Arsenal (Highbury) way back in 1996.

The two home games looks easy on paper..... Sunderland could be tough with Di Canio taking over and they need to start winning.

Then there's Anfield... Moyes's record there is appalling, its a disgrace we haven't won there since 1999.

So come on Moyes, time to earn your £4M-a-year contract.

COYBs.
John Maxwell     Posted 04/04/2013 at 02:09:49   Comments (75)

The Price of Replica Kits...

Earlier this year, I was going to do something I hardly ever do and buy myself a replica shirt. I always get one for my daughter but not often for myself. However, when I logged onto the website and saw that the shirts were £50 I decided to give it a miss and felt that the price was taking the piss.

A few weeks ago, my Mrs bought me the white shirt on my birthday. Thankfully the price had gone down to £30. Quite a drop in price. About a week later, the home shirt went down to £20... now, this week, if you buy any shirt you get a home one free. This essentially has priced the shirts at £15 each. A massive drop from the initial 50 sheets!

Seeing how much they have dropped makes me think we must be getting a new kit next season. If so, this is fucking ridiculous, not to mention a fucking kick in the bollocks if you paid £50 for a shirt a few weeks back.

The website also does not have any small kids' kits left at all. Now, if we planned on keeping the kit for next season, surely Everton would re-stock the kids kits for the Summer.

I was under the impression that teams kept kits for two years but to be honest I'm not sure where I heard this and it could just be bollocks.

Can anyone shed any light?

Franny Porter     Posted 02/04/2013 at 17:42:11   Comments (36)

The Leaving of David Moyes

I don't understand why people think Moyes will be staying. Surely the fact that he hasn't signed a new contract means he's almost certainly on the way out. When players fail to sign a new contract, it's normally because they aren't staying. How many players that run down their contract go on to sign one in the summer after it has run out?

There have been a few reasons put forward for Moyes’s refusal to put pen to paper.

Now we don’t know whether there have been negotiations, but some people have opined that it’s basically down to money. Moyes is holding out for more. Obviously this doesn’t come from those who would like to see him stay. It paints him as hypocrite. After all he came out and criticized the level of wages for both players and managers. Come to think of it, criticizing the level of wages, when you yourself are paid so well is probably a little hypocritical anyway.

Secondly it has been posited that he’s holding out to try and force Bill’s hand in negotiations over investment in the team this summer. This also reflects badly on Mr Moyes as it paints him as being stupid. I don’t know which I’d be more shocked by: Bill Kenwright coming up with £20 million each summer to spend on players ,or him coming out as a closet red who’s been trying to ruin the club from the inside. Does Moyes really think by holding out on his contract, Blue Bill will come up with more money for players? Does he seriously think the club has more money for players? Some sort of secret fund? Has Moyes not been paying attention since he joined the club? I find this option a little unlikely.

Finally there is the idea, and indeed the one I find most likely: that David Moyes is leaving the club. Whether this is straight to another job, or perhaps because he’s had enough, I’m not sure, but I would think the former is the most likely. He’s still relatively young for a manager. He’s done okay at Everton and I would imagine his record would look fairly positive to clubs with relatively minor means. Who knows... maybe one of the more wealthy teams will give him a season to see whether he can cut it in the Champions League.

One of the reasons that people put against this is that he’s at “the best job he’ll ever have”. Surely it’s the best job that anyone could ever have? Bar perhaps, turning out on the playing side for the club. Nevertheless, I don’t think that means he’ll stay here forever. The money he’s on is good admittedly, and he is able to do what’s asked of him, but I think he’s had enough and has got itchy feet. I’d be surprised if he isn’t off at the end of the season. I just hope he leaves us with a Champions League place, and the next man in can take us that bit further and we can actually win something.

Gavin McGarvey     Posted 02/04/2013 at 16:08:49   Comments (159)

Could derby win be clincher?

David Moyes is an honourable man. When he tells us that he will make his decision on whether to stay or go at the season's end... and not before, I believe him.

But there is one event which, were it to happen, would, I think, escalate that decision by several weeks. And that, my friends, is a victory in the Anfield derby game on 4th May! Thus, the very future of this great club may be riding on the outcome of a single game.

Pressure, what pressure?

Richard Dodd     Posted 02/04/2013 at 14:35:16   Comments (49)

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