A few questions for one of you who is keen on recording club history:
How many weeks have we been above Liverpool FC this year?
When was the last time that was achieved?
Are we approaching a year yet?
Thomas Lennon Posted 29/12/2012 at 13:08:53 Comments (17)
Prior to an A-League Match this evening, Fox Sports presenters had Eddy Bosnar as a guest panelist to discuss the upcoming Asian Champions League matches involving his current club Suwon Samsung Bluewings.
Barely remembering his uneventful spell at Everton, I took the liberty of checking what he has done between then and now. What came up was a number of blistering free kicks that would send Der Hammer back to school.
Recently in May 2012 a 123 km/hr goal from 30 yards out and also another one for Dinamo Zagreb along the same line. Whilst I cannot comment on his other skills, I am guessing this is what Moyes saw in the guy.
Does anyone recall seeing him play for the reserves and what was the rest of his game like?
Mitchell Wilton Posted 28/12/2012 at 10:05:47 Comments (9)
This time last year, "not me, under any circumstances " would have been the answer. I have long thought that his time was up and have called many, many times for him to go.
Now, frankly, I resent his dithering. This season we have had, on a more consistent basis, football that we have only glimpsed in the past. Moyes's handling of the media has become clever rather than naive.
Still no trophies. Still strange substitutions and odd team selections... but there is hope. Has he seen the light, has there been a moment of epiphany? Or has he just got lucky in the transfer market?
It seems to me that he has changed. Matured, maybe. He is now one of the senior mangers in the Premier League and has developed a confidence that has passed to the players.
I dont think he will leave because he has the best job in the world. Support of the fan base, a chairman who he keeps in power and who will never sack him, and a huge salary. In the past, I have used the foregoing points to lament that we are stuck with him. Now, I see them as reasons for him to stay.
I would not be fearful were he to go but I believe it is best for Moyes and Everton to agree a new deal. A 20% pay cut would be the icing on the cake!
Andy Crooks Posted 27/12/2012 at 17:00:15 Comments (104)
I'm not sure if this has already been highlighted but I thought it was only fair to congratulate our captain Pip on reaching 500 Premier League appearances against Wigan.
I know Neville has his critics on TW but I think his influence on the team over the years cannot be underestimated. He came to Everton at a time when we were crying out for winners in the team, and whatever you think of Pip, there is no denying that he is a winner and I personally feel we have benefitted greatly as a team for having him at our football club.
Well done, Pip, and thanks for being a fantastic Everton servant!
Steven Scaffardi Posted 27/12/2012 at 09:14:51 Comments (20)
Many people would argue that Fellaini has been our biggest threat going forward this season. With 8 goals in 15 games, the stats would certainly suggest this. The two previous games that he had missed through injury (Norwich and QPR) resulted in draws for us. The Belgian's absence questioned our ability to win games.
As we are all aware, Marouane received a 3-game suspension for head-butting Ryan Shawcross in the Stoke fixture on 15 December. Subsequently, we have been without him for our two latest matches against West Ham and Wigan. However, in these two games we have picked up the full 6 points earning 2-1 victories in each.
With Fellaini ineligible, Moyes had to call upon the services of Victor Anichebe. Despite only having scored 2 goals this season (prior to the West Ham match) he had in fact only started 2 Premier League fixtures (also making a series of substitute appearances).
Judging by his two most recent performances, it would seem like he is a hungry striker – with the games bringing about a goal and an assist for the Nigerian. It also provides a reassurance to the Everton faithful that even though we don’t have a squad thriving in numbers, we do have some talent that is ready to step up to the plate when called upon.
There is no doubt that Fellaini plays a key role at the club, but with him uncertain of his future, it is of some comfort to acknowledge the fact that we do not rely entirely upon him.
When Joleon Lescott was signed in 2006, the big man’s arrival was ironically overshadowed by that of a much more diminutive figure in the shape of Andrew Johnson. Indeed, the striker’s important role in the destruction of Liverpool kept that up.
Yet by the following season Lescott the centre back was able to score as many goals as Johnson and played a far more integral role in the side that went on a run in the League cup and in Europe to eventually finish 5th.
Lescott was outstanding that season; sometimes playing left back, other times playing centre half next to Jagielka or Yobo.
It was his next season where his prowess next to the former really showed and an injury ravaged team’s clean sheets ensured we reached Wembley and 5th once again.
I won’t lie: I was gutted when Joleon left 3½ years ago. We’d lost a powerhouse at the back, a great source of goals and broken up one of the best defensive partnerships around. Despite the revenue from his sale and the signings we brought in courtesy of it, I’m not sure we ever have really replaced him. We bought Distin and Heitinga using the Lescott money. Although both have had their moments, can you really say hand on heart, that either have been as good or linked as well with Jagielka?
He’s rotting at City. A player at the peak of his powers with a good 5 years left. A one-time Player of the Season for us. When he and Jags played for England to keep a clean sheet against Spain, it showed just how good they are together. Jagielka is the expert tackler and blocker, the last-ditch stopper... whilst Lescott is dominant in the air and a much better distributor. As a left-footer, he provides the perfect balance next to Jags who is so reliant on his right.
I am not saying Lescott doesn’t have the occasional error in him but it’s not as common as with Distin. I am also not expecting everyone to forget the Arsenal game where we were humiliated with Lescott being a chief culprit. But we are currently gifting goals to opponents. I suspect Howard and Jagielka might feel a little more comfortable with Lescott in the mix and we might just start getting some clean sheets.
Will he come back? The reason he left was to win trophies. He’s won some now and secured his financial future. His body language and eagerness to play for England suggests he would rather get regular first team football than massive wages sitting on the bench. Therefore we should do our best to get him on loan. With goals hard to come by, he might just be the difference between the Europa League or the Champions League.
Andre James Posted 26/12/2012 at 23:10:35 Comments (32)
Who is everyone's Player of the season thus far... and why?
For me, it has been Leon Osman: ever present in the centre of midfield and has produced some outstanding displays mixed with big goals. We've swept the floor with a lot of teams in midfield this season and whether it be Neville, Gibson, or Hitzlsperger partnering him, Osman has kept up this midfield dominance and continued to play well regardless of his partner.
Now that he's finally in his proper position, he's rightly been recognised by England and our football has improved no end. Watching him and Gibson is a sight for sore eyes compared to the partnerships that Rodwell, Fellaini, Heitinga, and Neville played in centre-mid last year.
James Martin Posted 25/12/2012 at 23:41:23 Comments (39)
Leon Osman was excellent on Saturday. He's got an England cap and is getting deserved praise on this site. Is it now Vic's turn?
I thought he had a fine game on Saturday and scored a superb goal which didn't get the plaudits it deserved. Right now, in my view, he looks a better player than Jelavic. He has had little luck with injury and deserves a run in the side.
His attitude has been questioned but David Moyes seems to regard him highly. A new year, a clean slate and time for Vic to fulfill his potential. It seems to me that the flaws in his game can be coached out of it. He has the raw talent to be a decent striker. All it needs is for him to continue with the attitude he showed on Saturday. David Moyes can make that happen.
Andy Crooks Posted 24/12/2012 at 20:35:04 Comments (48)
There are many memories of our great 1980s team and also the fine players who brought us success after the barren years of the 1970s. I am sure that we all have our favourite moments — be it Sharpy's winner at Anfield or Andy Gray putting the frighteners on Bayern Munich.
One of my own, was Kevin Sheedy's free kick in the FA Cup Semi-Final v Luton. We were losing... time was running out... and I was overheard saying that we should let Sheedy do his stuff — and it brought comments of utter disbelief from a fellow Blue who let me know in no uncertain terms that Sheedy was having a nightmare. Anyway, before he could finish, Kevin had cut him short — you all know why. "Bless you, Kevin Sheedy," I thought back then!!!
And bless you now — for being so open with the bowel cancer that you went through and the advice that you gave to people about what to do if they had any worries. Kevin Sheedy's comments went a long way to making me think that I should contact my own doctor. The symptoms were a bit sporadic and could have been one of several things — myself, I had three possible culprits: bowel cancer, Crohn's disease, or some kind of food intolerance.
Anyway, last Tuesday I had an initial endoscopy and was given the news that I have bowel cancer. A couple of days ago I had a colonoscopy — which really worried me (being a complete wus who avoids the messy bits in any TV medical drama!!) — but the news was a bit better as there was no sign of any cancer in the colon. It's been a very emotional time as I am sure you can all imagine; things that I would normally think, "Oh, well... I will soon sort that out" have really upset me. For instance, I am usually pretty good at planning my Christmas Shopping... but the fact that I was completely thrown out of sync had me in a state.
And, to cap it all, on Friday when I was on my way for the colonoscopy, the taxi driver (a Coventry City fan) asked me who my team was playing tomorrow? I couldn't remember — I felt really awful! I always know who we are playing. I managed to sus it out when they were part way through the examination!!!
I have named the growth/tumour (whatever the technical term for it is) Suarez!!! My wife has promised me that if (or should I say when) I beat this, she will buy me an Everton Season Ticket. The things we Evertonians go through to support our team — above and beyond or what!!! I look forward to sorting out the logistical problems of travelling from Lincoln for as many games at Goodison as possible!!!
If you are worried about bowel cancer, or anything like that, then don\'t delay: contact your doctor. Yes, it's scary — I am the scardiest, wussiest bloke there is, as I am sure my family will tell you; so please, please do speak to your doctor.
Happy Christmas everyone, and have a great New Year. Blessings to You and Yours.
Michael Brien Posted 23/12/2012 at 15:05:43 Comments (47)
I think we are four players away from a title challenge:
A goalkeeper — Jack Butland
A centre half — [Insert names here]
A central midfielder — Although I'm more than happy with our midfield five of Gibson, Pienaar, Osman, Mirallas & Fellaini, one quality back up player is needed to cover injury. Vadis? Not sure.
Striker — If Jelavic gets injured, or remains in poor form, we need someone to step and and bang the goals in. Suggestions?
With some new additions, we can turn many of the silly draws (like Newcastle, Fulham, QPR, Wigan, Stoke etc) into wins. That would have us pushing the Manchester clubs.
Anthony Jaras Posted 23/12/2012 at 09:53:55 Comments (48)
So we come to that time of the year again when we take stock of what has gone and ponder on what may lie ahead. For the team, a few missed opportunities but an improvement on previous years and hopefully we march into the New Year full of confidence.
Though this article is not about the team – they're big enough to look after themselves – it's about us ToffeeWebbers. So we look back and we see another great year on ToffeeWeb has passed us by.
Everyone as passionate as usual and, even though we don't always agree, we all want the same outcome — a successful EFC. One thing I like about us is when the boys score: it doesn't matter if you're in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Europe or the Americas, for that moment we are one, a truly powerful force; if you could bottle it, you could make a fortune.
So for next year, I see more of the same: another roller-coaster ride of raw emotion. To the boys who run this site I'm sure I can say on behalf of everyone – thank you. To the readers, just keep it coming as it is, it's hard to improve the perfect site. So, wherever you are, I wish you and your family a lovely Christmas and may your New Year be a fine one.
One thing I need to ask before I go and I'm sure a few of you would like the answer as well. This site was summed up by two polar opposites: Tony Marsh and Richard Dodd, with the rest of us taking our places somewhere in-between.
Now some people believed these people were not real but like all deitiess that didn't matter, it's what they stood for that counted and we followed who was nearer our beliefs. Now lately Marshy has made a comeback (welcome back, Tony) , but where is Doddy? If you know off him, tell him to come home or the pendulum may swing too far to one side.
So finally, enjoy the season... and don't drink the yellow snow!
David Stewart Posted 22/12/2012 at 06:41:57 Comments (3)
So, as we put our Xmas jumpers on, it's nice to see that for the first time in a few years Everton are very much still in the hunt for European and even Champions League places. However, most people are concerned that we are just a tad short in the numbers department to mount a serious challenge and with coffers emptier than Helen Flanagan's head how do we manage to bring people in. I give to you Johnny Heitinga.
I know some people are big fans of his but while i think he has been excellent for us on more than one occasion I''ve never been totally convinced. Apart from his distribution he lacks some fundamental qualities such as being quick, good in the air and hard to get round or lose in the box. He's currently second fiddle. He's also got 18 months left on his contract.
This is speculation of course but if it's true that Ajax (or anyone else) are willing to spend £6-7M on him then I say bite their hand off.
In the same way that selling Bily helped revitalise us last season, so this could be a catalyst to improve this season. If we could get £7M for him then we could for example buy a younger cheap centre back (such as Forren) or maybe get Joleon back on loan and then have a good few million left to boost the squad and first team however Moyes sees fit.
One thing we do know is that Moyes can usually sniff out a bargain or two so if he can find us another Michu, Arteta or Pienaar along with a loan or two it might give us the fresh impetus and improved squad depth we need to mount a serious challenge for 4th or even 3rd. Either that or we shift Fellaini to the highest bidder but personally I'd rather he stayed for now at least.
Sam Hoare Posted 19/12/2012 at 09:45:28 Comments (41)
After all the months of glass half-full hype about best team to watch in Premier League, our creativity and Top 4 is guaranteed, then a few weeks were we are not obviously hitting the high notes, I’ve had a rethink and let me state the obvious: “Finishing in the Top 4 is now a joke.” I don’t see how we can even contemplate it when:
(i) We have a goalie who has completely lost it. His positional play is shot to bits – how can he on at least 3 occasions (Fulham, Norwich and Stoke) stand on or behind his goaline and end up flapping at ball as it enters the net? Once, yes... but 3 times!?! What the hell is Chris Woods teaching him? I can't believe that the back 4 has any confidence in Howard at all – he is and will be a liability for the rest of the season. Even if Moyes brings Butland in January, the lad will take 6-9 months to settle in.
(ii) The team is rife with players whose decision-making is not good enough. How many times do the likes of Pienaar, Osman, Naismith, Coleman etc panic with the decision to lay the ball off or shoot or cross? We have undoubtedly improved our play this year, improved our creativity, but our last-pass decision-making is shocking. Our only good decision-maker is Baines – he’s the only one who know’s when and where to pass.
(iii) The biggest issue to me is that the squad is far too small and inexperienced to compete in the possible 40-45 games this season. Current injuries and soon to be suspensions leave us with a bench were most of them have only played 2-3 games in the Premier League – Duffy, Barkley, Vellios, Oviedo, Mucha, Hitzelberger. Compare that with Man Utd bench yesterday – Vidic, Scholes, Fletcher, Hernandez, Welbeck. Spurs bench today – Friedel, Caulker, Huddlestone, Parker, Sigurdsson with Bale and Asso-Ekoto due back from injury soon. Arsenal’s last bench – Jenkinson, Rosicky, Ramsey, Poldolski, Walcott. And City’s ... well, not worth mentioning.
(iv) We will not be able to compete in the type of market in January Moyes would like to be in, and our only hope is that Moyes somehow finds another gem by way of loan or for peanuts like Jelavic, Gibson.
(v) We have 2 - 3 players we totally and utterly rely on – Baines, Jagielka and Fellaini, if we were to lose one or two for any length of time we are goosed.
I’m not surprised that Moyes has been holding back on any contract, he still has hopes that if he can somehow keep his true 14-15 man squad injury and suspension free he just might be able to sneak into the final CL position, but he is clearly getting rattled with our poor conversion rates, and Howard’s complete lack of form.
Mike Oates Posted 17/12/2012 at 09:18:20 Comments (60)
I checked the league table on Sunday evening and was completely confused to see us sitting in 4th place. I wasn't shocked or surprised or bemused, just completely confused. "How could we be sitting in fourth place?" I thought. The obvious and simple answer is that we have had a better set of results to date than everyone below us. My brain just couldn't accept that though. It still can't to some degree.
After all the frustration with recent results, after the great start to the season that seemed to disappear, after all the crappy refereeing decisions, after the fear that Moyes was slipping back into old ways tactics and substitution wise — how the hell could we be sitting pretty in 4th? Why could I not just be happy and get on with enjoying it? I don't know. Maybe it's because if I'm not complaining or worrying or feeling bitter, I'm not comfortable as an Everton fan.
Maybe it's because I'm just not used to dealing with seeing the club in this position. Challenging for fourth place or higher, never. A Uefa Cup/ Europa League place? Yes; looking at climbing a couple of places from mid-table with one weekend's fixtures? Certainly... but managing the expectation and experiences over almost half a season so far when you're pushing for a CL place, it almost seems like it's too much for my brain to handle.
Maybe it's just a matter of confidence, or simply getting used to it. For a generation of Man Utd fans, where else should you be? For Arsenal fans over the last fifteen years, it's been a God-given right. How confused and worried must they be right now. Even Liverpool fans, after 20 years of slow decline, still have a cockiness about them from when they were a dominant club.
Maybe I just need to learn how to be confident or cocky. Maybe I just need to start going about the place thumping my chest and shouting that I am an Everton fan. Maybe... For now, though, I think my nerves just need a break. For now, I will take a win at the weekend with the teams around us dropping points.
Kieran Fitzgerald Posted 13/12/2012 at 08:55:51 Comments (34)
Nikica Jelavic came to Everton last season without anyone expecting him to perform. Also, he arrived in the second half of the season, when teams in the Premier League are generally weakened by fatigue and injuries... So, not a lot of attention was paid to him and thus he had enough space to score his goals.
But, this season, Jelavic's reputation has preceded him. He is being marked like nobody's business. Sometimes by two center backs. He has less space to move now compared to last season. Hence the drying up of goals.
In fact, in the last 9 games, the only time he has scored (vs Sunderland and Spurs) is when Vellios was put to play alongside him, thus taking attention away from some of the defenders.
Also, he was most successful at Glasgow Rangers when he was partnered with Steven Naismith... Need I say more?
In my opinion, the perfect lone striker for David Moyes's system of play was Denis Stracqualursi: he was tall, meaning a threat in the air; well built, making it difficult for defenders to out-muscle him; able to play everywhere across the field; always asking for the ball; able not just to distract but intimidate defenders and goalkeepers.
Most importantly, he had no qualms about having single-digit goal tally. His main role was to distract and threaten defenders so much so they would forget about the other Everton players on the field, leaving acres of space for the attacking midfielders to score.
Seeing that Fellaini has been scoring most of the goals, maybe Jelavic is doing exactly what is expected of him as a lone striker? Draw away defenders, leaving the midfielders to do all the scoring.
Maybe David Moyes's system does destroy the reputation of many strikers... but it is necessary for the sake of the system???
Please, DM, get Denis back in January.
Rahman Talib Posted 12/12/2012 at 15:43:49 Comments (42)
If any proof were needed that the so-called football pundits talk through their hats, this absurd article is it. The pundit in question is Garth Crooks and the article is last week's "Team of the Week" from the BBC website. The goalkeeper of the week was ... believe it or not ..... Tim Howard!
"If ever there was a goalkeeping performance that kept a team in with a chance, then this was it. All the headlines will go to match-winner Nikica Jelavic but had it not been for Tim Howard who produced a string of fine saves, including one from Clint Dempsey, the outcome would almost certainly have been different. Instead, Howard's performance was the catalyst to an amazing turnaround."
Now, Tim Howard did produce some decent saves (none really out of this world), but he was beaten twice (one hit the cross bar), and the modest man that he is, would be embarrassed to claim that he "was the catalyst for the amazing turnaround".
Keep those gems coming, Garth. It would be nice if you actually sat through one of Everton's matches.
Just a little thought of a possibility of a little change of tactics and formation against Stoke.
Moyes might want to change things a little, go 4-4-2, put Vellios up top with Jelavic and then drop Fellaini back. I say this because (1) Stoke play 4-4-2 so we wouldn't be overrun in midfield, and (2) Stoke are good with their heads and have tall players and putting Vellios in might make a difference. He won a few headers when he came on last week.
I know it would be a bit harsh on the player dropped in midfield; I wouldn't want to make that decision, but this could be a tactic Moyes uses. I mean he's done something similar before a few years ago, when he shoved Jagielka right back, and put Yobo in the middle to give us some extra height.
Do we think it's a good idea? Do we think Moyes will do it?
Ben Jones Posted 11/12/2012 at 12:37:02 Comments (26)
Just wondering, we got Naismith after Jelavic seemingly said that he wanted him in due to their prior partnership. I can't watch the games, so I was just wondering:
Have we played those two alongside each other as they wanted, or were used to, and/or regularly?
Or have we only tried them one at a time, barring substitutions?
Or were they good together in a system Moyes don't want to use?
Nothing bad intended, was just wondering as I can't watch the games regularly and I seem to remember this one from ages ago...
Lev Vellene Posted 08/12/2012 at 01:01:41 Comments (43)
I read today that Steven is using his own money this Christmas to help the homeless in Liverpool. Good for him.
At least he is using some of his own money to help the less fortunate in our community. Sure, other players are doing some similar but at least we know he is a good guy.
Well done, Steven.
Frank Duffy Posted 07/12/2012 at 12:21:36 Comments (14)
So Everton's most famous and recognisable player has signed a contract with Warrior, Liverpool's official kit supplier..... Hmmmmm
I know some will say it has nothing to do with the club, and he's free to sign contracts with any suppliers he wants, but to me that seems a little off?! Has the club got a say in things like that? Does it even matter?
I know as a kid I refused to wear Adidas and as a teenager I avoided Carlsberg, due to their affiliations with Liverpool FC.
What is my lad supposed to think now? Does he want a pair of Fellaini's boots for Christmas or are they tainted by Liverpool's affiliation with the maker?
Where is the line?
Steve King Posted 04/12/2012 at 09:53:58 Comments (29)
OK, so it's early days to throw around superlatives. Derby matches will always raise more blood and hopefully we may yet have an FA Cup Final this season to look forward to... but till then, I believe that next weekend vs Spurs is a really huge match for us.
My main reason for this is that I believe Spurs will be the main contenders for that 4th spot (of course, with Chelseas implosion, it may be that the 3rd spot is up for grabs too). Arsenal are faltering badly, the likes of West Brom and Swansea will presumably fall away but Spurs are currently in 4th and looking stronger and stronger as AVB's reign settles in. They have a huge squad with quality reserves in almost all positions and will probably have money to spend in January as well, with possibly £22M earmarked for one time Everton target Joao Moutinho.
Our play against Arsenal and Man City has led to renewed hopes that we could still gatecrash the top 4 and if we are to achieve that then I think a home win against Spurs is badly needed. Whilst our efforts may have deserved more than 3 points in our last three outings, the fact is that draws alone will see us fall down what is an increasingly congested table. A draw against Spurs could well see us drop to 9th or 10th. A win however would see us leapfrog Spurs and quite possibly also Chelsea and West Brom into 3rd or 4th which would really provide some confidence ahead of physical away encounters at Stoke and West Ham.
Spurs are in good form but very beatable. They have a midweek match against Panathanaikos which should be easy but that they need a result in. Crucially they should also be without Gareth Bale. Him and Dembele have been huge players for them this season with Defoe and Vertonghen also standing out. They don't have any obvious weaknesses (except possibly Naughton at left back?) but, with Hibbert back and shoring up the right flank and Gibson showing how much he's been missed, neither do we. Mirallas's return would be a huge boost, as Naismith, though working hard, does not provide as much incision and I reckon Jelavic is due a goal.
This would be the perfect time to get our first win since Sunderland and give us some impetus as we look to finish 2012 strongly.
Sam Hoare Posted 02/12/2012 at 18:29:45 Comments (43)
Jelle Vossen – a player I have said we should sign for many a month now – is having another great season with 3 more goals today (16 goals so far!) and he is somebody we have been linked with before.
I just hope we seriously try and bring him in to help out Jelavic – as long as he doesn't cost too much!
Paul Ellam Posted 02/12/2012 at 17:31:40 Comments (25)
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