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Season 2012-13

The Mail Bag

August 2012 Archive
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Old Evertonians in Adelphi Autograph Mystery

Many years ago, I gained possession of an autographed page of notepaper from The Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool 1 – no date available, entitled "Ex-Evertonians".

The page contains 10 old Evertonians' autographs, many of whon will have passed away. I don't know all the names because I am not and Everton fan but I believe they are Dixie Dean, Tommy Lawton, Joe Mercer, Willie Cook, Howard Kendall, Jack Thomson and four others. Perhaps you can help in identifying the other names for me – I have sent in a scanned copy.

I would be prepared to sell the autographs if desired.

Many thanks
Dave Fyfe     Posted 30/08/2012 at 14:57:14   Comments (13)

Let's keep it real

I am knocking about nowadays fearing unhappiness because, as they say, unhappiness is unfulfilled expectations! What am I getting at?

1. We have won 3 games on the bounce, with relative degrees of ease. Will my expectations of ths being sustainable be fulfilled?

2. Noises coming from Goodison's corridors of power suggest more players will be arriving then leaving? Will the unforeseen events of 10:00 to 11:59pm, 31 August 2012 deal a devastating blow to my expectations that this will happen? More in then out?

So... what are your expectations for the season, the near and distant parts?


1. We will finish 4th.
2. We will read of one loan player arriving at Everton we have never heard of, but Wikipedia has; another neither we nor Wiki have heard of... and one player that will make us pray our wives (and husbands!) are in the mood for love-making. I am seriously expecting a big name arrival!
3. All of our current squad will at worst leave home with their 'footballer's man bag' and not their suitcase come 1 September.

Am I destined for unhappiness... and are you too?

Sal Nelson     Posted 30/08/2012 at 01:21:29   Comments (68)

Is our squad now too small?

During a season there will be players who get injured. Recent seasons we have sold off many squad players, and the result is not a good one.

We have only 20 first team players, goalkeepers not included. Our reserve squad is the smallest I have ever seen. You can count it on one hand.

Our first team might survive but our long term plan seems gone. We have Barkley, Junior, Green and Vellios but, other then that, our future seems bleak.

How long can we survive with such a small squad? I think our season could be in danger if we get a lot of suspensions and injuries. We will struggle like never before if we hit a injury spell.

That is a dilemma, if we do not get more young talented players in, we will not be fighting for Europa League the next 10 years... We also have old players who will have to be replaced.

I can picture this season being a good one, perhaps the next too... but after that, I fear for our squad.

What is the long term plan at Everton? Do anyone know?

JImmy Soerheim     Posted 28/08/2012 at 02:55:25   Comments (60)

Pienaar's Coach?

Does anyone know what member of the Everton coaching staff Steven Pienaar ran to when he scored his wonder goal at Villa on Saturday?
Pete Norton     Posted 27/08/2012 at 13:43:40   Comments (22)

Our Goalkeeper

To me, Tim Howard has been a very good goalkeeper for Everton these past years, but on Saturday against Villa he was at fault for their goal. This isn't the first mistake he's made and it won't be the last.

I believe he is capable of making fantastic saves but the last 2 seasons have seen him make more and more silly mistakes. This one seems to be the same. My worry is that he won't get any better at his age and so we'll be left fighting for a new goalkeeper when it's too late.

His distribution is shocking at times and he doesn't ALWAYS command his area. Often he punches away the ball when it appears to be simple enough to catch it. I know he's not the only one to do this, but the correct-decision making can set apart the top keepers.

As I said before, I believe he's been a very good goalkeeper for Everton, but surely we should be getting somebody in now who can take his place next year or year after? We let John Ruddy go and he was in the England Euro squad until he was injured (I think it was injury that stopped him going)

Chris Morris     Posted 27/08/2012 at 12:36:50   Comments (44)

Team for Leyton Orient

With the relative lack of depth in our first team, does it make sense to run out a starting XI of reserves/unplayed squad players for the Capital One League Cup tie against Leyton Orient on Wednesday?

GK - Mucha
RB - ?
CB1- Duffy
CB2- Heitinga
LB - Garbutt
MC - Junior
MC - Barkley
MR - Mirallas
ML - Gueye
ST - Anichebe
ST - Vellios

Surely the Premier League should be the absolute focus this season (and perhaps the FA Cup) and we can afford to let the kids shine a little bit against weaker opposition?

Nigel Gregson     Posted 26/08/2012 at 09:34:22   Comments (45)

Great Performances

I was away last week and was gutted to miss the victory over United. Today I was talking to a United supporter who was at the game. He described Fellaini's performance as magnificent, In fact,he said that in all his years as a United supporter it was the best single performance he'd ever seen against them.

For those who were there, was it really that good? Finally what is the greatest individual performance anyone has seen from an Everton player?
Andy Crooks     Posted 25/08/2012 at 21:34:31   Comments (41)

Look What Statto says!

Are you familiar with Statto? ( It’s always worth a look. Instead of pundit's views and our hopes and fears, it gives a numerical view of performances; past facts, current trends, projected outcomes. It’s for punters rather than pundits.

So why draw attention to it now? Well, before the season started it had us finishing fifth this year. I played it down because, of course, we had a good end to the season and everyone knows we can’t win a game at the start of the season (correction — Statto doesn’t know this).

Now it has us finishing equal fourth. Although our ‘Rating’ (current performance measure) is still fifth, we are close enough to Arsenal for the 2-point gap to balance the rating. And Statto really does know the merit of beating Man Utd, so we have jumped in expectation of final points after that.

Meanwhile, guess how many points Statto think we will finish ahead of the RS? You got it — 16. This is because we have the fastest rising rating and they have the opposite.

The table doesn’t render properly here so visit, though it will probably have changed a bit by the time you see it. Every result swings the numbers a touch. Before Chelsea-Reading we were clear fourth!

Peter Hall     Posted 24/08/2012 at 20:36:22   Comments (11)

Doping in sport

For any of you, who like myself, take an interest in other sports I have been particularly captivated by the Tour de France in recent years. Mainly it has to be said, due to emergence of the likes of Cavendish and Wiggins.

So, on the back of this, I’ve also been following the recent USADA case against a certain Lance Armstrong and the allegations of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) in relation to his seven tour wins. What has any of this got to do with Everton? Well, when reading into the history of doping in the sport of cycling I’ve read a number of references to PEDs into various other sports.

To my shock and surprise, when the reference came up to football,, our very own championship winning team of '62-'63 popped up. Which I’ve referenced below.

“Everton have long been one of the top clubs in the English association football league. The club were champions of the 1962–63 season. And it was done, according to a national newspaper investigation, with the help of Benzedrine. Word spread after Everton's win that the drug had been involved. The newspaper investigated, cited where the reporter believed it had come from, and quoted the goalkeeper, Albert Dunlop, as saying:

"I cannot remember how they first came to be offered to us. But they were distributed in the dressing rooms. We didn't have to take them but most of the players did. The tablets were mostly white but once or twice they were yellow. They were used through the 1961–62 season and the championship season which followed it.

Drug-taking had previously been virtually unnamed in the club. But once it had started we could have as many tablets as we liked. On match days they were handed out to most players as a matter of course. Soon some of the players could not do without the drug."

The club agreed that drugs had been used but that they "could not possibly have had any harmful effect." Dunlop, however, said he had become an addict."

Now, I wasn’t born until '75 but in all my years of supporting the Blues I’ve never come across this story before. I was wondering what some of our older supporters who can recall watching the Blues in our Championship-winning team remember of this incident. Were our players the only ones in the old First Division who tried this? Can anyone relay how the players, fans and the club in general were looked upon by others and did we receive any fines or disciplinary actions against the club in relation to this?
Paul Thomas     Posted 24/08/2012 at 14:47:16   Comments (11)

Has Bill Kenwright won over the Blue Union?

I just read an article on Liverpool Echo that showed Bill Kenwright gloating like the "stand up" guy he is. He talks about Everton signing Pienaar again and adds that this is the reason why fans are on a high again.

This just goes to show how full he is of himself when he talks. Taking for granted what the fans are thinking just sums up this last year for me.

Unlike some I have not forgotten his comments last year, that the BU betrayed the club. Given the comments was made to non-members of the BU, I think it was meant as an insult not only to the BU but on those who dear support them.

What makes Bill Kenwright distasteful is not only the timing if this comment but his condescending attitude as well. Bill just knows that Pienaar is the whole reason why we are all so happy all of a sudden. How far from the truth can you really get?

On the one hand he has the need to stick it to the BU for being silent, but on the other he also finds the need to conclude that Pienaar is all we needed. The stadium issue has gone dead silent, but hey, we have Steven Pienaar.

As a fan, I demand that our chairman takes charge and seeks a way of re-building Goodison Park if he is not able to get a new stadium. A long term plan to re-new the stadium should have been in place by now, yet he ducks it like the plague.

The only thing Bill knows is talk, the cheap kind. He does not care about our stadium or the future of this club. If he did there would be ready laid plans to do something "new". Our kit sponsor deal could have been altered too but that is too much for Bill to handle.

I truly see now that overall Bill is a puppet doll for his buddies in the board. Keep the masses happy while we do nothing has worked for a very long time. Maybe we as fans are just fine with it too, because we got Steven Pienaar back.
I can picture Kenwright and his board laughing while I write this and it just makes me heart broken. I want the Blue Union to stand up for the long term well being of Everton, not just looking for an investor but a new stadfium plan and new ways to increase our sponsor deals. Our chairman needs to be pushed into gear actually doing something for the long term future of this club. Otherwise he will just be content with the signing of Steven Pienaar and call it a night.
JImmy Soerheim     Posted 24/08/2012 at 10:20:39   Comments (89)

So what next?

As I've seen repeatedly from many of my Sky 5-supporting friends over the years and indeed experienced in professional life, the problem with success is that you can never have enough.

Once that initial euphoria following an amazing result or a great signing dies down, the nagging questions begin to build at the back of your mind 'how can we build on that?', 'how could it be better still?'', 'what next?'

So it is then, that after an amazing opening match (in which we not only won 3 points pre-October and beat championship challengers, but also played like we deserved to win (...for at least 60 minutes!) and following on from some genuinely smart, quick and incisive transfer activity (selling off assets we could live without and bringing in creative talent), I find myself asking precisely those questions.

Specifically, I've been thinking of who else we can bring in before the window closes to add further momentum and strengthen the squad. In fact I've been doing more than thinking, I've been feverishly checking every outlet from ToffeeWeb and Kipper to Sky Sports and the BBC roundup for any whiff of who could be next.

As my desire has yet to be sated, I've decided to try and feed myself by running through the players we've been linked with (and some I wish we were) and surveying the chances.

Adam Johnson

  • The player: A tricky winger with some real class who's not made the grade at City, but could give us options on either flank and supply more ammunition for Jelavic, Naismith and Felli!
  • The price: At one point it looked like a loan could be on the cards, but now £10M offers are on the table.
  • The verdict: Sadly I think this ship has sailed

Michael Owen

  • The player: In his prime a genuinely world class forward with pace, skill and an eye for goal. Sadly that prime was pretty much a decade ago, now the pace has gone and he has more of an eye for horses than the onion bag.
  • The price tag: Available free and possibly even on pay as you play, but even then has high wage expectations.
  • The verdict: At one point last week this looked like it might be nailed on, fortunately that has cooled somewhat in last few days because I frankly don't see what Owen would bring us aside from some tips form the track. For me he's effectively a less motivated and potentially even more injury prone version of Saha who can't play up front on his own.

Clint Dempsey

  • The player: Combative and skillful forward playing off the front man, with an uncanny eye for goal and typical American persistance and fitness.
  • The price tag: Sounds like it'll be in the £8-12M bracket
  • The verdict: On one hand he looks a ready made replacement for Tim Cahill, but on the other he's quite expensive, at the latter stage of career and we already have a few 'in the hole' options (Felliani, Naismith, Berkley, Osman). A good player in short but maybe not quite the right fit now.

Charlie Adam

  • The player: A creative ball-player who pulled the strings and notched a fair few goals in an attacking Blackpool side but who has struggled at Liverpool (along with many others).
  • The price tag: Not confirmed, but thought to be c.£5M (down from the £6.75M that Liverpool paid)
  • The verdict: Obviously the time at Liverpool muddies the waters a fair bit and he hasn't covered himself in glory there, but he's a versatile player able to make things happen and for a keener price this could be a route to adding some strength in depth.

Matt Phillips

  • The player: A young wing-player with premiership experience and an attacking bent.
  • The price tag: £Unknown, but would likely be £3-5M
  • The verdict: I think this could be a good move if the price is low enough and it doesn't preclude any other loans or moves.

M'Baye Niang

  • The player: To be honest I know very little about him, apart from the fact he's a highly thought of young forward from France.
  • The price tag: Rumoured to need at least £6M to prize him away.
  • The verdict: I'm all in favour of bringing through promising youth players, we should have a clutch of at least 3 in or on the cusp of the first team every year. However, I think in McAleny, Vellios, Gueye and Big Vic we have enough of our own attacking prospects that aren't able to get a real run as it is, without shelling out big money for another one.

So what do you think? Feel free to rip into my evaluations, I'm certainly no expert, and also suggest who else we might reasonably pick up in the next 9 days.

Chris James     Posted 22/08/2012 at 02:49:39   Comments (71)

Non-Liverpudlian Everton Supporters

I was just thinking about the Everton fans that weren't born in Liverpool and wondering why they support Everton. It's not unusual to come across people who support the more successful teams such as Man United, 'them lot across the park' and even Man City (since the money and success as rolled in) who don't live in those areas, but it's rare to see an Evertonian outside Liverpool.

I was born and bred in London and been an Everton fan since I first got into football properly (1988). I'm a bit lucky in that I know a couple of Everton fans down here but it's a rare sight. The reason I support Everton was because most of the kids I knew supported Liverp**l (this was the 80s) so I wanted to support someone else and the first teams I saw on TV were Everton v Man Utd. I took a liking to Everton and that was it.

To those non-Liverpudlians, why Everton?
Trevor Thompson     Posted 22/08/2012 at 10:36:02   Comments (163)


I couldn't believe my eyes the other night. Whilst the players from both sides were warming up, there was a scrum of photographers scrambling to train their lenses on Man Utd players. Van Persie in the main I presume.

They had no interest whatsoever in the home side similarly going through their warm up. They then, en masse, trudged up behind the goal that Everton were defending (surprise surprise), to set up their remote cameras for the forthcoming stroll in the Park for their darling Red Devils.

Even at half time, when their favourites were well behind on points, off the went and set up at the Park End. If you look at all of the photos that are in today's press of Fellaini's goal, they are all taken with long lenses from the Park End! Twats!

No wonder Moyes had a dig a media disrespect of Everton in his post match interview. I thought the media were supposed to report games from an unbiased perspective,not act as an extension of the Man Utd propaganda machine!
Peter Morris     Posted 21/08/2012 at 12:57:17   Comments (44)

Picking up where we left off....

Monday's performance was a continuation of all the positive football we saw the last 3-4 months of last season. Whatever SAF may say we outplayed his team on every front including passing and the scoreline of 1-0 was flattering for ManU. (Most ManU fans are admitting it this morning on various sites)
10 days to go till the window shuts and I thought I would compare the current team with who we had on the books Sept 1st 2011. I’ve split it into First Team and Reserves.
Players Lost: (from 1st Team)

1) Bily
2) Saha
3) Straq
4) Drenthe
5) Cahill
6) Rodwell

Players Lost from Reserves:
1) Wallace
2) Forshaw
3) Silva
4) Yobo (For all intensive purposes I have considered him a reserve player)
5) Mustafi
6) Baxter

Players In:
1) Jelavic
2) Gibson
3) Naismith
4) Pienaar
5) Mirallas

Players In for the Reserves:
1) Junior (Man City)
2) McLaughlin

Based on the above just to make up the numbers from last year we need 1 more Senior player and 4 more reserve/ academy caliber players.
The trend above is worrying because it could reveal the compromise that Moyes has agreed with Kenwright. Sacrifice numbers in the academy to afford (or even maintain) Senior numbers. I really hope that we are able to bring in 2 more players who can slot into the 1st team straight away because most of us know that there’s not much beyond player 15 right now.

I still think there’s a lot of action between now and the 31st and Heitinga sitting on the bench is a reflection of him not signing a contract extension. The way I see it nowadays once a player gets to under 2 yrs on their contract the power shifts to them and the club has less options.

My main things to watch for between now and the deadline:

1) Will Heitinga sign a new contract or be sold?
2) If he is sold will we be able to bring in a reasonable replacement in time?
3) Will Barkley be sent out on loan? Based on our squad numbers above I will be shocked if we loan out anyone this year. (But this could be driven by the banks)
4) After yesterday’s performance I am still afraid that a big money bid will come in for either Baines or Fellaini.

After last year maybe the richer clubs know that Everton are vulnerable at the 11th hour and while the club might not want to accept the bid but with our debt the banks still have the final say.

It will be interesting to see who’s still here on Sept 1st till then

Mohammed Horoub     Posted 21/08/2012 at 10:34:22   Comments (14)

EFC vs MUFC — the response

For the first time in five years Everton have won their opening game of the season, and against Manchester United of all teams. A superb performance by the Blues showed the visitors just how tough a place Goodison Park can be when the crowd get behind the team, and the way Everton’s transfer window has played out so far, the fans have every reason to get behind them.

After bringing in three new players before the start of the campaign, something of a rarity for Everton Football Club, morale was high on Monday night around the ground. You could feel the positive energy inside the stadium. The players looked confident, they had the fans' backing and the manager’s 100% belief in them. And even a Manchester United squad featuring their latest bank-busting signing couldn’t dampen their spirits or break their nerve.

Marouane Fellaini scored the only goal of the game in what turned out to be a fantastic Man of the Match performance by the Belgian. He won every ball and controlled the tempo of the game for the vast majority. He was big, he used his strength and guile, and showed how indispensible he is to the Toffees.

United, with a few centre backs short, turned to Michael Carrick, who didn’t have a bad game but in fairness he was up against someone on top form. A goal was the icing on the cake for Fellaini who looked delighted to have scored, a reassuring nod to all Evertonian’s who have in the recent past questioned his commitment to Everton Football Club.

Phil Jagielka too gave an inspiring performance, as did Tony Hibbert, but the whole team tonight did their job. They attacked when they could, they defended admirably against, let us not forget, the most successful team in England, and they’ve taken the first step in breaking the curse that haunts the beginning of every season for the Blues.

However, we can’t get carried away. The last 20 minutes was a glimpse into the Everton we all know and love/hate. The players were showing their fatigue, Moyes was delaying his substitutions, and the game of “hoof” was back. The final third of the game was played in Everton’s half but, despite this, Howard hardly had anything to do all game. On the other hand, David De Gea had a great game and showed signs of why Ferguson has stood by his man. He pulled off a few fine saves off Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar and was arguably Man Utd’s best player.

Tonight was the first time my friends (United fans) have been to Goodison Park and I’m sure they didn’t enjoy the football. But, in true sportsman like fashion, a feeling often generated by the Goodison crowd as it reminds people what Premier League football is all about — unlike the corporate events held every week at Old Trafford, amongst others — they held their hands up and said well done. It’s hard to hate Everton because we do it properly. And when we perform like we did tonight, it’s magnificent and leaves many people Singing the Blues.
Dan Owens     Posted 20/08/2012 at 23:53:03   Comments (45)

Optimism back again

I was disappointed at the sale of Rodwell. I believed it was made out of necessity and thought that Moyes might have some crumbs with the rest going to the bank. It seems that may not be so.

David Moyes says that Rodwell did not have to be sold but that he CHOSE to sell him. It puts a different light on things... It looks that we might make a couple of decent signings and that the quality if not the depth of the squad will be strengthened.

If that is the case, then it is shrewd work by Moyes and I will happily admit to being wrong. I really didn't think we had the money. Is it possible that Kenwright is taking a chance and going for an outside shot at the Champions League?

Whatever the case, we look as if we are building a very competitive first eleven. I feel optimistic — Words I doubt I have ever written on this site before...

Andy Crooks     Posted 18/08/2012 at 00:58:36   Comments (37)

Redevelopment – Again!

I read with interest today the plans for redevelopment of the area around Anfield, which seemingly pave the way for redevelopment of their stadium rather than a relocation to Stanley Park. I know this has been done to death, but what does this mean for Everton? Probably not a lot, but here's my thoughts anyway.

I'm not going to use this post to suggest that we build a shiny new stadium on Stanley Park, I think we all know that our clubs' custodians can't/won't find the money to fund this, and personally I'd rather see us stay put anyway. However, could this impact or influence our own plans for the redevelopment of the Grand Old Lady?

Thinking of the area to the east of Bullens Road, there's 2 or 3 rows of terraced housing, a school and a used car dealership. By my estimation (thanks to Google Earth), there's between 50 and 75 houses; prices in the area seem to range from £45k to £65k. Let's assume worst case so 75 houses at £65k is £4.9m. Gwladys Street could possibly remain untouched barring daylight considerations?.

For the car dealership and land, reasonable to assume £200k? Then to the school, well how about using the stadium-earmarked land on Stanley Park to relocate the school, give them a new school, with plenty of green space (which looks to be lacking now). An Everton-funded community school in the shadow of our lovable neighbours? All paving the way for a redevelopment of our home of the last hundred-odd years.

This is all over-simplistic I know, planning and funding considerations would come into it, but I'll leave the financing of the redevelopment to those more qualified and informed to comment (Tom Hughes et al), but for relatively little outlay (approx £5m, plus a new school build) the enabling footprint expansion could be in place.

Paul Norman     Posted 17/08/2012 at 10:48:17   Comments (28)

Unsung Everton Heroes

Following another post, Natasha's "The last signing that got you excited" got me thinking about Everton players over the years who did Everton proud but kind of go under the radar.

Kevin Campbell springs to mind - his goals kept us up and he came across pretty well in the media.

Lee Carsley got a bit of stick from time to time but he was always one of the first names on the team sheet for me - a real specialist in front of the back four. You only really noticed him when he wasn't there.

Mike Lyons was a stalwart who won nothing but always gave his best and bled for the club.

Which other Evertonians would you have a pint with who could be classed in the "Unsung Hero" category?

Mike Hughes     Posted 16/08/2012 at 20:45:49   Comments (63)

Fixture Fix!

Saturday 27th October will mark ten consecutive seasons where by the first Merseyside derby of the season will have been played at Goodison Park.

Three wins and a lot of losses. It certainly puts the pressure on the team to restore local pride in the return fixture.

Is anyone else suspicious? Is it a conspiracy? If it is random chance the odds on this happening are 1024/1. I don't like it. Who can we blame? God I hate Liverpool.

Nick Entwistle     Posted 16/08/2012 at 14:50:29   Comments (46)

The last signing that got you excited?

With minimum thoughts of a sexual nature in my mind, I have been thinking about the last time Everton signed someone who really excited me!

My thoughts centred around Peter Beardsley! He was the last signing Everton made that excited me! He was brilliant for us and was the number 1 reason my dad took me to so many games! I cried when he left and continued crying watching him turn Newcastle into a side that could play football, in spite of EFC insisting 'he was past his best, so we sold him!'

Then I moved to the more melancholy side of signings and thought, who was the last signing that depressed me?

My thoughts centred around two signings :-

  1. Mark Hughes - as he was being added to a squad that included Gazza, Ginola and Gough and it wasn't 1989! He was also signed on the same day the reds signed Emile Heskey for £11 million (which highlighted not the gulf in spotting talent, but the financial gulf between us and them!)
  2. Peter Beagrie for the second time! Pure desperation!

    Then I fell asleep. But woke up in a cold sweat, having nightmares about the last time we sold someone I never wanted to see leave! That of course was Mikel Arteta! My nightmare involved Arteta leaving through the door and Stracquarlersi passing him on the way in!

    So who are your choices for worst/best signing? Most traumatic departure?

    No time limit, just have to have been alive when it happened!
    Natasha Nelson     Posted 15/08/2012 at 19:04:52   Comments (120)

Trust Everton – What's happening??

The Sound of Silence... that's what. I have (some) money to give you and I'm not a Nigerian. Time is a-wasting in the old Compound Interest stakes.

How long does it take to dot the i's and cross the t's to make it scoundrel proof???

Derek Thomas     Posted 15/08/2012 at 08:15:16   Comments (9)

How will we start the season?

I was having a few pints with some good Blues a couple of weeks ago, and a question was posed:

"How many points will we have after 6 games, and what will our position be after those 6 games?"

I went for 6 points and 17th – what are fellow posters' predictions?

Kevin Tully     Posted 14/08/2012 at 21:44:00   Comments (14)

The Overdraft

I'll keep this brief. Putting conjecture to one side, what is Everton's overdraft facility? Why is it that whenever there's an incoming transfer fee involved, a hefty percentage is said to be put aside for calming the bank down?

This is not a pro/anti BK post. I'd simply like to know what we owe the bank and why they seem to be demanding payback all the time. I don't hear this about other clubs.

Guy Hastings     Posted 14/08/2012 at 20:32:11   Comments (16)

The Bright Promise of Youth

In recent years, Everton have seen their fair share of young talented attacking players come through the ranks of the youth squad... only Victor Anichebe and Wayne Rooney were seen as good enough to go on and play for any length of time with the Everton first team.

This got me thinking: Why is it that Everton can have so many young players come through the youth ranks, looking so promising... only to have hardly any first team football? They are subsequently sold/released and then to go on and look relatively good young players playing for their current teams.

Players like Jose Baxter, James Wallace and Lukas Jutkiewicz have all been sold/released from Everton after there being talk that they could make it. The question has to be asked why haven’t Everton managed to bring through a striker or winger since Rooney and Anichebe? Why is there all the hype around so many young players for Everton only for them to eventually leave or be deemed not good enough when they reach the first team?

It was at this point I decided to check the Official Website to see who our first team coaches are, and to my complete shock Everton have six first team coaches listed: A goalkeeping coach; an ex-midfielder who scored only nine goals in his playing career; and FOUR ex-defenders!!!

Who is going to teach Everton’s young strikers shooting techniques? Who is going to teach our young wingers about crossing and dribbling?

I find it incredibly shocking that a club like Everton doesn’t have an ex-forward as part of the coaching staff, and I feel this could be the reason Everton’s overall play is quite defensive and boring and that we haven’t managed to bring through any young players through the ranks unless they are defensive minded.

Phil Davies     Posted 14/08/2012 at 00:36:01   Comments (60)

Midfield an issue!

Everton are known for having a small squad but we are looking very short at the moment!

Having read that Fellaini is struggling and Gibson was out of the Ireland squad, it's looking like we'll have a centre midfield of Neville and Osman for Man Utd in a week. A scary thought!

Although Barkley is an option that I think Moyes will look to hold off, to keep him out the limelight for a little longer... Maybe Hibbert can get pushed up into midfield to provide daisy cutters from the centre!!!

I think, like most, I'm disappointed to see Rodwell go as he provided hope of becoming a big player. We couldn't refuse the money, as Rodwell could continue to be crocked for over half a season each year! It will likely harm Rodwell's career as his development was not hindered by Everton but by injuries occurring when he's just got a run of games!

I hope that we get to use the money and believe Moyes is well skilled at finding central midfield gems! It's finding and keeping a decent right midfielder that has been his long standing need.

I believe we have a squad with a lot of quality but a huge lack of depth and need to bring in three players, a CM, RM and if possible a forward. I think Moyes may head back to the Championship for someone like Rhodes or Phillips, but wouldn't mind someone like Lewis Holtby who has developed a decent reputation and apparently loves Everton!

Best scenario, Gibson and Fallaini pull through and Moyes gets atleast 2/3 of the transfer fee!

Martin Clark     Posted 13/08/2012 at 15:20:56   Comments (21)

Optimism gone?

After selling Rodwell yesterday, I was just wondering if any fellow Blues' optimism for the new season has now waned? I don't think it's the fact that Rodwell has gone that has left me feeling like I did last August after Arteta went; it's the fact that our club once again needs to come out and explain themselves.

After reading the comments from Jack himself saying "the chairman didn't want me to go" and if believe yesterday's rumors, Jack himself was quite happy to stay where he was. I would like Moyes to come out and explain why this was a good deal for the club. Will it provide him the funds he needs for his own targets? Or is this just another sale to keep the bank manager at Barclays happy?

Last week, I did feel optimistic about the squad we have... granted, it is small and a few injuries could harm any top 6 chances we have... but, after hearing Moyes last week saying he wants another forward and a winger, I really started to believe this year could be a good one for us.

However, after yesterday and the suddenness and quickness that this deal happened, has just got me thinking that yet another debt has called time on Kenwright's bill and they wanted the money ASAP. Only time will tell over the next 2 weeks but from being optimistic just a week ago, I now feel like it's going to be another shit start and I fear Man Utd will walk all over us next Monday...

Let's hope im wrong. COYB
Stephen Leary     Posted 13/08/2012 at 15:19:28   Comments (83)

Quiz Time

Here's a bit of fun on the eve of the new season: Can anyone name a starting XI of present and former Everton players that were also boyhood Evertonians?

For example, Baines and Jagielka on the current squad are famous Evertonians. Other players that you could include are Gary Speed and Wayne Rooney if you want them in your team!

'Adopted' Evertonians such as Duncan Ferguson, Tim Cahill and Landon Donovan can't be included. They need to have been boyhood Evertonians.

Good luck!
Matthew Lovekin     Posted 12/08/2012 at 22:51:49   Comments (14)

Rodwell: The product of poor coaching?

In the wake of the breaking news of Rodwell about to join Man City, many blues are left scratching their heads as to a promising but ultimately failed career for us. On the face of it, Rodwell has all the attributes to be great. He is two footed, possesses a great strike, has pace and is good in the air.

This ticks all the boxes an English coach looks for; however, I believe his high rating is indicative of why English football continues to fail. More stock is put into physical attributes than technical ability or mental strength. It’s still early in his career so some will call this premature but I don’t believe Rodwell will be a great payer. I just can’t see him stepping up and having the belief or technical skills to dominate a game at the highest level. His physical attributes will only get him so far.

They are different types of players so I am not directly comparing them to Rodwell but if Pienaar, Modric or Silver had grown up in England they wouldn’t have ticked all these boxes and may have been overlooked as a result. However, through their pure talent, application and delivery, they are light years ahead of all current English players.

So what am I getting at? I believe Man City are playing into our hands. If Moyes is given the funds (big 'if' – I know), he can bring in a couple of players for areas of the pitch less well-covered. The depth and quality can be improved in the next two weeks and we could build some serious momentum.

As far as Rodwell is concerned, unfortunately he will not play much this season. I can only see his career going backward now and that is a shame. I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds himself on loan next season. I hope he proves me wrong but I don’t think I am – as much as I don’t want Man City to benefit – because he seems like a lovely lad and a proper blue.

Pablo Connelly     Posted 12/08/2012 at 13:27:12   Comments (42)

Annual Araz around?

It's August again and about this time of year, when we are scratching around for Bosmans with ruptured ligaments, we eventually ask ourselves: Where's Araz Abdullayev, the Azerbaijani wonderkid?

Has he had enough caps to get a work permit yet? Are Azerbaijan anywhere near getting into the European Union? Did he compete in the Olympics and steal away during the night to Merseyside in the search for political asylum and Premier League minutes?

Any update would be most welcome...
Drew O'Neall     Posted 09/08/2012 at 23:22:31   Comments (7)

Root cause for frequently travelling players' performance?

The linked article below makes an effort to assert that being away from "home" can cause more illness, which in itself is not a surprise. But it made me think in particular of Cahill, as well as perhaps other athletes that have to "acclimatise" to new environments ..

Per previous discussions, I can't help but think that if – for one example – Cahill hadn't been jetting back and forth on a fairly regular basis, he might have had a longer career at Everton and been more of a force in his last 24 months.

This is not intended to rake up old ground over Cahill (or Yobo, Bily, etc) more for looking forwards in terms of players that we acquire going forwards, and also how we manage players we have now that might travel more (Pienaar, Howard etc).

It seems less of an issue for a goalkeeper like Howard, but still he's an athlete and needs to stay in shape (cf. Nev ...).

Should this type of consideration of international commitments influence who we buy/loan? Has it already? Is it August 20th yet? :-)
Julian Wait     Posted 09/08/2012 at 14:00:41   Comments (2)

Still not match fit, another slow start ahead?

I think the loss to Blackpool told us that once again we are far behind in match fitness. Osman said so himself, Blackpool were ahead of us in match fitness.

With only AEK Athens and Malaga left, I fear it will take us until November to get where we want to be.

We have not played enough games up until now, and the quality of the opposition has been awful.

I wonder if Moyes takes notice at all at the fact that we are behind Blackpool in fitness.

Players like Baines has just started playing, he and others will need at least 5-8 more games before they are ready to perform 100%.

I think people must be blind if they cannot see who is at fault here. Moyes has been here 10 years and still he has not learned how to conduct a perfect pre-season.

Playing against Motherwell and Morecambe does not inspire players to really step up; instead, we get below par performances until we meet tougher teams.

Even though we have got Pienaar and Naismith, it makes little difference to the slow-start syndrome. If Moyes does not get a grip and find us some more games between now and 20th of August then we will suffer a sure loss against Manchester United.

Like I said, when we lose 2 - 0 to Blackpool this close to the season, some alarm bells have to ring in Moyes's and his staff's ears.

If Baines and Pienaar only have two games left to get 100% fit then I have to laugh at Moyes and all the coaches, this is not worthy of Everton FC.

When will Moyes learn? My guess is never.
J A Hansen     Posted 06/08/2012 at 16:58:40   Comments (73)


There is a certain amount of talk of Everton being bought by a Mega Rich Chinese organisation. Any truth in this or just more rubbish?
Des Kenny     Posted 05/08/2012 at 10:08:40   Comments (60)

Should Moyes ever take the Man Utd job?

The colossal press seems to know that David Moyes is a contender for the Manchester United job when Sir Alex Ferguson retires. However, would it be wise for Moyes to jump ship should Man Utd come calling?

I vaguely remember reading that Man Utd fans are thinking about some kind of protest against the current Man Utd owners these days. It has been suggested by some that the owners have saddled the club with mass debt. The owners are now contemplating an IPO to raise some cash. (May I assume some much needed financing!)

I find it a strange coincidence that GM of America just recently (barely a few days ago) mentioned that they have agreed some kind of multiyear sponsorship deal for Man Utd. That announcement came just days before I heard about a possible Man Utd IPO (possibly to juice the IPO). GM should have known that they have only recently been saved by taxpayers’ money… Hopefully, the US congress is taking note.

It seems like things are getting bad at Man U because SAF had to publicly claim that he has nothing to gain from any impending Man Utd IPO and he is on the side of the fans. It has also been suggested that Man Utd is not making big money signings, á la Man City or Chelski style because of too much debt.

I am sure that if Man Utd is ever for sale, there will be no shortage of takers. However, it is also clear that the club that’s ranked Number 1 in the world in terms of revenue cannot be supported by business means alone. It’s racking up more debt than revenue. Buying such massive clubs these days also means draining money. And, the recent financial crisis has unleashed a set of legislation that I believe will make it hard for super-moneymen from Russia or the Middle East to come splash the cash. How the latter affects football financing is a debate for another day.

Let us envisage the worst case but possible scenario: Man Utd debt becomes unsustainable, the IPO falls like Facebook’s, fans remonstrating á la Blackburn-style… Don’t you think it’s better to stay in the non-tumultuous world that is Finch Farm?

Sur Jo     Posted 04/08/2012 at 06:06:48   Comments (9)

Tim's grim US debut

It was great, but genuinely odd, to see Tim Cahill in a dark blue shirt and gold shorts tonight as he made his MLS debut for New York Red Bulls.

Unfortunately, Cahill is clearly a long way from game fitness, and his contribution was nil as New York was dominated by Houston 2-0. Deployed in central support of strikers Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper (a former ManU trainee), Timmy barely touched the ball, and his best moment, a headed clearance off his own line in the early moments, went for naught – Houston scored on the followup. Expecting 60 minutes, Cahill wound up going the full 90 because of some strange substitutions, and he ran out of gas long before the finish.

Better days are no doubt ahead. But it was a pleasure to see him in US prime time!
Mike Gaynes     Posted 04/08/2012 at 03:13:44   Comments (38)

Is there a right solution?

Some contributors to this website maintain that the current board lack the necessary business know-how to make good the Everton name and also provide the necessary funds to allow us to progress. I have the following issues / questions / thoughts:

  1. Some people complain that Blue Bill will not sell. Therefore with regards to the Blue Union would their efforts be better served in finding someone who actually wants to buy us? Protesting to get the board to sell is all well and good, but to whom? Surely the Blue Union would get a significant uplift in support if we knew that there was actually a buyer out there.
  2. Who do we want running our club? We are living (albeit just ) within our means (and with the need to sell each year) so what is stopping either a businessman taking over and asset-stripping to a greater extent, or running up significant debt that we become a new Leeds?
  3. Does anyone have the means to take us forward? Forward is defined as a sustainable business model that gets us in the top 4 most years. This will require a significant outlay for players and wages, a new or upgraded stadium and an overhaul of the business strategy. How much will this cost? Then, with this is the actual cost of purchasing the club. The sub question to this is obviously can this be achieved.
  4. Would Everton fans be prepared to pay more for tickets / season tickets? Because the reality is tat need to increase.
  5. No right or wrong answers (isn't that the problem?) — just interested in opinions.

Simon Spencer     Posted 03/08/2012 at 20:11:17   Comments (31)

Rodwell for Right Back?

Having seen the conversion of a decent central midfielder into a top class right back (Snods), I can't help thinking that Rodwell could fit the bill.

I know he was a fish out of water in a more advanced right-sided role but he appears to have the qualities needed as an attacking wing back: good engine, good reader of the game, good passer, strong defensive qualities (being groomed as a future centre half) solid tackler, decent pace and height...

This could be a great asset arriving late at the back post from a Baines cross... (Okay, I know, when have we ever had two full backs attacking at the same time?)

This is a make-or-break season for Jack and could be his best opportunity.

Dave  Edwards     Posted 03/08/2012 at 09:16:23   Comments (43)

What next?

So Naismith and Pienaar in, Cahill and Yobo out(ish)... What next?

We obviousliy need to strengthen the right-side of midfield and may need another back-up striker. We do have a strong squad when you think of the young players that can come in this season, with the likes of Duffy, Garbutt, Barkley, Junior, Gueye, McAleny and Vellios all coming through.

So, who exactly would you like to see come in, if anyone?

I personally would love to see Donovan in permanently and Dempsey but realistically would like to see Owen on a pay-as-you-play deal, Jamie Makie from QPR and Grant Hanley form Blackburn if possible...

For any other signings, who would you like to see or let go to fund them? Jagielka, Fellaini, Baines, or Heitinga would fetch the most money and for me I'd let Jags go.

Mike McDonald     Posted 01/08/2012 at 12:46:44   Comments (43)

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