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Season 2012-13

The Mail Bag

March 2013 Archive
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Mathematically safe!

Being a "glass half-full" type, I always like to mark the day on which we are safe for another season. The red side did us a favour today as their victory against the Villains combined with the fact that Villa and Sunderland still have to play each other means that Premier League football is mathematically guaranteed for another season. (If my dodgy maths skills haven't let me down again...)

COYBs — now we really can concentrate on the top 4 spot..!
Carl Waldron     Posted 31/03/2013 at 17:24:29   Comments (27)

Everton Youth in Soweto

Everton Youth have reached the final of a youth tournament being played in Soweto.

I was flicking through the sports channels yesterday and caught the final 20 minutes of a 60-minute semi-final. We beat the defending champions from Brazil 1-0 and we meet a Mexican team in the final. The match kicks off at noon (10am GMT). The match is live on the TV and I will post the final score.

Alan Irvine is in charge of the team. I read on the official site that the tournament is for Under-17s but we have taken an Under-16 team. We scored with 10 minutes to go. A flowing move of one-touch football down the right flank. The cross was met first time by our centre-forward and he gave the keeper no chance.

Philip Arnold     Posted 30/03/2013 at 07:44:27   Comments (5)

Who Owns Goodison Park?

I keep reading on TW that we have no assets and that Goodison Park has been sold. Is this true? And if so, to whom?

If this is the case, it's a recipe for disaster and will lead to us becoming a small club. If you look at other clubs who don't own their grounds, they have all dropped to lower divisions. Look what's happening at Coventry City now...

If you have to rent Goodison Park and Finch Farm, you can be held to ransom and will never get into profit. No true Evertonian would ever sell Goodison Park.

Clive Rogers     Posted 29/03/2013 at 21:17:51   Comments (90)

What does Bill really think about Moyes?

We all know, publicly and privately, that Bill Kenwright and David Moyes are inseparable, with mutual respect for each other. Remember their love-in on Goals on Sunday last season?

People will probably shoot me down for writing this but a thought is bugging me. When we conceded the third goal against Wigan (sorry to bring it up again), what was Bill thinking when the ITV cameras picked him up? If he was the true Evertonian he claims he is, he would surely have had a word with Moyes after the match — or sacked him, wouldn't he?

Or what about that rollover at Anfield last season? For me, one of the worst days in Everton's recent history. If he actually cared about our club he supposedly loves, he would have either sacked Moyes after that match or given him a good hiding.

But no... I suspect, even if we got relegated to League Two, Kenwright would try to keep him even longer. Yet he is so detached from reality, like a dictator clinging to power that he thinks all of the supporters are behind Moyes... Did he hear those boos of disapproval at Moyes and the team against Wigan?

We are stagnating under our current management: Moyes has seemingly lost interest and run out of ideas and is seemingly looking to fill his pockets with more money from another club next season.

I'm going to ask you all, When we lost 0-3 against Wigan and 0-3 last season at Anfield, what do you think Kenwright's reaction was?

Ross Edwards     Posted 28/03/2013 at 21:18:24   Comments (34)

When was the last time Moyes trusted a youngster?

I was reading about the top 10 youngest goal scorers in the Premier League and, to my surprise, I found that Everton had a few of them. The oldest of them was Danny Cadamarteri, then came Wayne Rooney and James Vaughan.

So this makes me think that Moyes has lost his love for youngsters somewhere along the way. The last youngsters Moyes brought through from our own ranks were Rodwell and Anichebe; I can not even remember when I last saw Moyes put a youngster in the first team for a decent period.

I am shocked as I am writing this because it makes me realise that Moyes has gone backwards as a manager. We all love to think about the early Moyes times with Rooney and other youngsters, but the sad part is that we have zero local young players in our first team at this time.

I am really unhappy about this... something has to be done about it and I feel the best way to do that is to get rid of Moyes. Am I the only one who feels this is a big problem? And is Moyes going to change his ways, go back to his early days when the local youngsters at Everton were actually given playing time?

JImmy Sørheim     Posted 26/03/2013 at 16:25:27   Comments (96)

What if...?

What if... Jose Mourinho has dropped a huge hint about a sensational summer return to ... ???

Mourinho, who won six trophies in just over three seasons with Chelsea, said: “Everyone knows I have an adventurous spirit. “It could be a destination where I have coached before. There are things that may be about to happen no-one could imagine.”
So... what if the destination is a play on words by Jose and rather than meaning a club destination he means a country destination… and let’s say what if again that the “There are things that may be about to happen no one could imagine” he’s alluding to doesn’t mean a return to Chelsea but — and here’s the "stay with me" bit — he’s going to be Everton’s new manager!!! — installed as the main man by the mega rich consortium who will at the end of the season announce a takeover of Everton, regardless of where we finish in the league.

They want Jose because he can attract the best players in the world; they’ve got a plan for making Everton the best and biggest football club in the world and will build a “new Goodison” on it’s original site because they love their history.

Just… just… what if???

John Hughes     Posted 26/03/2013 at 12:59:22   Comments (56)

Does the team against Stoke pick itself?

It seems to me to be straightforward. The same eleven that played against Man City with the following changes:

Duffy for Heitinga, against Stoke City — I can see no logical argument against this.

Oviedo for Pienaar and Barkley for Fellaini.

I admire both Neville and Naismith but feel that we can manage without them this weekend.

If we match the onslaught at the back, I believe that cleverness, passing and skill will un-man these bullies and play them off the pitch. Stoke have a hammering coming and we have the players to deliver if fear is forgotten.

Andy Crooks     Posted 26/03/2013 at 00:06:44   Comments (76)

Light Side of the Sun?

As we have just celebrated the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd's masterpiece, why not adapt it to our own circumstances?

1. Speak to Me
Could we have the reintroduction of AGMs please? At least the proletariat may well be able to sound off about a few things before being pu

2. Breathe
Don't leave me, look around, choose your own ground. The higher we fly, the more we pay, we live to fight another day — well, how much longer??

3. Time
Well, perhaps it's time to let go of the train set, Mr Kenwright? There may well be at least one more (or less?) of those Russian billionaires out there willing to buy you out. Yes, I see another of the great train robbers has gone to that great gig in the sky. Flowers shouldn't be a problem.

4. The great gig in the Sky
With the blues up there (led, of course, by the incomparable Dixie, we're already 3-0 up after 10 minutes), no more needs to be said.

5. Money
Now that's a difficult one, it really is. We all appreciate you guys on the board have ploughed every last euro from your Cyprus bank accounts into supporting the club... but... well... you know... there seems still to be a little something still missing??

6. Us and them
As everybody knows these days, it's £300 for a decent Bordeaux. And that lot moan about £3-40 for a pint of Chang? I rest my case.

7. Any colour you like
A new stadium, a shared stadium, a new team, new colours, red and white, red bull, red shirts, red faces. Err, blue flags, blue moon, blue money, blues at the stadium, blue cheers, blue victory!!

8. Brain Damage
Over to you, Bill...

9. Eclipse
That shadow over the sun, is one of nature's wonders! Can you hand over the reins, Bill — as long as it's not the Venkys?!!

John Brennan     Posted 25/03/2013 at 16:44:24   Comments (18)

Watching the Michael Owen interview on the BBC

I was not really interested in him, not a great fan of his, but it was interesting to hear him say that he believes that he played too much when he was a teenager and that he essentially burnt out before he reached 30.

It got me thinking about other young players and how they are managed by the clubs that they play for. I remember Moyes being lambasted for not playing Rooney in every game and the debates that went on here on ToffeeWeb about how we as a club lost out because in the end it was Man Utd who benefited from our approach. Can’t argue with the fact that Rooney never got enough games for us, but I believe the approach was the right one.

For me, it is why I don’t have too many issues with Moyes not playing Ross Barkley. I would rather have the player still playing at his best level at 30, than doing an “Owen”. Of course, it all depends on keeping the player at your club, but for me the long term interests of the player should outweigh the needs of the club. Michael Owen seemed rather upset by the way he had been used by the “Darkside”, intimating that if he had been at Mn Utd he would still be at his best now. A rather damning statement to level at our red cousins, but more evidence of the major differences between our two clubs. Another reason to be glad to be a Blue.

It would of course be beneficial to give the younger players a taste of the action and I can see no real reasons why Moyes chooses not to give our most promising players like, Barkley, Duffy, McAleny, Kennedy and Vellios a few cameos so as to give them a taste of where they need to be aiming. As a team it would surely be of benefit to see some good young talent being given a chance. For the first-team players it could be a real boost to come under a little pressure to maintain performance levels, or face being the ones to be replaced.

Moyes for me is just being too cautious... Now where have I heard that before?

Dean Adams     Posted 23/03/2013 at 14:43:09   Comments (30)

West Ham get a (virtually) 'free' stadium

Given how rumours of possible sites for a new EFC stadium have once again gone quiet, is anybody else feeling sick to the stomach at the way in which West Ham have been granted the use of the Olympic Stadium on a 99-year lease for just £15m, with a further £2m annual rental payment?

As a Londoner, I have already felt the tax burden of the Games last year, and the fact that we taxpayers are now largely subsidising West Ham's move into this magnificent arena has left me fuming. No such luck for Everton of course.

With a 54,000-seater stadium, top level facilities and transport links, it will doubtless not be long before West Ham leave us trailing in their wake – this could well propel them into CL contention before long.

Why can't Everton be the beneficiaries of such municipal and national generosity?!

Mark Boulle     Posted 22/03/2013 at 18:22:54   Comments (93)

We need someone like The Stracq!

At a similar stage to our end of last season, when effort was there to be seen in almost every game, by most of our players, it would be a bonus to have someone like Denis Stracqualursi in our team.

Does anyone know how this season has gone for him so far?

Frank Capper     Posted 22/03/2013 at 12:05:12   Comments (46)

The Corinthian Way

Off the pitch, Everton are an example to no-one. It seems to me that we are badly run – despite what the media think. On the pitch, we are limited and that has a lot to do with the board. We can, however be different.

Why can we not be an example of how the game should be approached? No diving, no cheating, no protesting to the referee... I looked at the Bluemoon site after the Man City game and I saw examples of what bitter (Sky) Blues really are. We were mocked for treating the game like our cup final. Is that not how it should be? I don't begrudge any working class lad the chance to earn a fortune. I do expect 100% from every player in every game. This is the one thing that costs nothing:. Good attitude, respect and decency. – I believe, if we took and promoted this attitude, we would be a sponsor's dream. The rest cheat – and it might gain them some points – but why not be different? Frankly, in the past, I have criticised Moyes for not playing the cynical game... but, if he is going to have integrity, let's take it to the limit.

Andy Crooks     Posted 21/03/2013 at 01:05:17   Comments (35)

Have they mortgaged next season?

I guess that Everton`s finances will play a big role in David Moyes's decision whether to stop or go. He knows the score here and has been happy to accept it but bargain hunter that he is (has had to be), I imagine that shopping at Poundstretcher can become a bit wearing — as well as challenging — after 11 years of it!

Of course, earning a king's ransom makes that challenge worthwhile but being the multi-millionaire with a begging bowl must become mildly frustrating at times.

I'd be one to suggest he takes on a new challenge. I think that would be good for him and for the Club although I know there are those who will disagree — half of the fanbase if you believe the polls! But... could Everton`s finances be so stretched that even the massively increased Sky funding will serve only to appease the banks?

Last weekend, I heard on Sky and later read in the Sunday papers that Everton might well be one of about half-a-dozen clubs who had already taken out loans against the future riches in order to see this season through. West Ham were named as definite borrowers whilst Everton was said to 'have form' in dealing with the British Virgin Islands loan company Vibrac Corporation.

Now we know all about director Robert Earl`s links with BVI financiers so it's reasonable to suppose that the Club will have again looked in that direction for a bail-out. But this soon... and before the new deal has even kicked in? I hope not.

Bill Kenwright, of course, will say we have no right to impose on his private grief and, with no AGMs and cloudy accounts, Everton is a very private undertaking these days. But he can't stop us wondering — we all have enough emotional wealth tied up in the Club to do that.

So I pose the question: Has the club already mortgaged next season in the cause of seeing us through this one?

Perhaps those with connections to Companies House can seek out the answer...

Phil Walling     Posted 19/03/2013 at 09:31:42   Comments (102)

A fan's right to day dream

For me, as a football fan, one of it's biggest attractions is the right it gives me to day dream. Being a football fan is the last proper chance I have to tune out from the realities of work, family, mortgage, recession and everything else in my life. Even with planning my holidays, I always have one eye on the holiday fund jar in the press over the fridge.

With football, I will happily spend hours out of my week thinking about how many goals our strikers will score, about being one place higher in the league come Monday, about who we will sign in January or August, about who will start the game on Saturday... I love the feeling of anticipation I get on the day of a game.

For me, the Wigan cup game was the last straw in terms of me losing this ability to daydream. As this season had gone on, we had played poorer and poorer football. Our tactics were becoming the same old predictable one-dimensional ones. Our manager was resorting back to his conservative fearful self. Our board yet again failed to provide any type of meaningful investment in the January window.

The overall display against Wigan just left me with a horrible sense of realism in terms of where the club is at. There was nothing that I could pick out that would have given me the opportunity to daydream and fantasize. The season, with over a quarter of its league games left to play, was over.

For me, this was the worst crime that the club could have inflicted upon me as a fan. Then came Saturday's performance and result. I hadn't even kept an ear out for the score while the game was on. I was expecting us to be badly beaten and only checked the score at the end of the game because the internet was open on my brother's computer...

Suddenly, I was thinking about the Arsenal game and about how a result there would see us leapfrog them and envigorate the rest of our season. I actually felt great for a couple of hours. But then I thought that we will turn up against Stoke first and be absolutely dreadful.

I have spent part of this afternoon reading all of the post Man City game match reports, articles and posts and I'm not as convinced as many of the other fans. Yes, the game gave me a lift and yes, I am daring to daydream a little. But I think that it will take more than one game and one performance to fully draw me back in to full-on fantasyland mode.

Kieran Fitzgerald     Posted 18/03/2013 at 16:00:41   Comments (37)

We're Evertonians

One of my favourite times as an Everton fan all of those years ago on the terraces of the Old Lady was singing “We Shall Not Be Moved”, when we actually WERE on our way to Wembley on many occasions.

Well, one recent Saturday morning, whilst waiting to join the Matchday Live Forum, I happened to be listening to the Seekers (oh, that Judith Durham!) on You Tube and came across another popular song, “We are Australian” written in 1987 by Bruce Woodley of The Seekers.

I know there will be disagreements/complaints about it not being “grunge” or “HipHop” enough for nowadays (yes, giving my age away), but bear with me – I thought that it was quite a catchy and patriotic Australian song that would go down just as well as the Gospel song in my opening paragraph and think something new would not go amiss on the terraces….



Can I also plead insanity and ask forgiveness from Dick Fearon and all of the other Aussies out there? I just thought it may be fun to change the words somewhat (and shorten our motto to make it fit!):


We’re Evertonians…

We were born, not manufactured, our history’s Everton,
We’re the chosen ones that understand – thru “Satis Optimum”,
We’ve all stood up on the terracing, we’ve travelled wide and far,
And for all those years, thru thick and thin, it’s Everton our star.

We are one, but we are many
And from the streets of Merseyside we come,
We share a dream,
And sing with one voice,
I am, you are - we’re Evertonians,
I am, you are - we’re Evertonians.

We’re the keepers of our history, we’re the children of Blue love,
We’re supporters of the Toffee’s even when we suffer, Guv,
We are the battling blue boys, we’ll see the good times come,
I'm a Scouser, Red Shite hater – but an Evertonian.

We are one, but we are many
And from the streets of Merseyside we come,
We share a dream,
And sing with one voice,
I am, you are – we’re Evertonians,
I am, you are – we’re Evertonians.

We’re the guardians of our history, we remember heroes cast,
We helped Dixie Dean smash records, as defenders he sailed past,
We’re Labby’s 1 in 20, we’re Dave Hickson’s broken bones,
We’re the one’s who know their history – we’re Evertonians.

We are one, but we are many
And from the streets of Merseyside we come,
We share a dream,
And sing with one voice,
I am, you are - we’re Evertonians,
I am, you are – we’re Evertonians.

We’re the travelling band of blue boys, we’re the best behaved there are,
When you visit our Old Lady, we will ask to “mind yer car”!
We’ll climb mountainsides and valleys, we’ll support us through each drought,
We’re the rock, we are the blue, blue sky, we’re the Mersey running out
We’re the spirit of the greatest team - we’re Evertonians.

We are one, but we are many
And from the streets of Merseyside we come,
We share a dream,
And sing with one voice,
I am, you are – we’re Evertonians,
I am, you are – we’re Evertonians.
I am – you are – we’re Evertonians!

Gerry Quinn     Posted 18/03/2013 at 14:39:03   Comments (58)

Unexpectedly, not polls apart

David Moyes has been stalling on his new contract since last summer. Despite this a poll on the matter only appears on ToffeeWeb after the embarrassing "no show" to Wigan last weekend. What is more interesting, however, is that a similar poll was conducted the last time we were at this juncture and there's a remarkable similarity.

In the current poll and the one conducted 5 years ago there appears not to have been the slightest increase in the numbers looking for Moyes to go. It remains constant at 46%. Now I know the question was slightly different on each occasion but after the last two very difficult years in particular, you have to wonder why the "Moyes Out" message is apparently falling on such stony ground?


Brendan McLaughlin     Posted 17/03/2013 at 16:50:26   Comments (138)

What now with suspensions?

Had "no expectations" today, to the point where I was listening to that Stones song before kick off. Great effort all over the pitch, though, and the crowd put the knives aside from last week to drive the team on. Jan Mucha... who'd have thought it, eh?

I can't help hoping with the suspension of Fellaini and Pienaar that Moyes finally jibs the Neville option and puts Barkley in behind the striker and gives Oviedo a run out on the left of midfield against Stoke. It's almost a blessing that Felly misses the Stoke square-up as we are one dimensional against teams of cloggers.

Pace on both wings and Ross in the hole, with a bit of guile, should be able to rip through that bunch of knuckledraggers. Coleman came of age today, he just needs to hit the penalty spot from the by line and for someone to have the brains to be in the vicinity every time.

Here's hoping we can turn up at Anfield and the Emirates with the same attitude.


Mike Corcoran     Posted 16/03/2013 at 23:33:49   Comments (56)

Do Seamus and Mucha prove a point?

The euphoria generated by the wonderful performance against Manchester City will inevitably quieten many of the voices raised against David Moyes in the past week. Evertonians are no different to any other club's supporters in that they are up in arms after a defeat and as happy as the proverbial Larry when their team gets the points.

Before today's game you would have struggled to hear a voice in praise of Moyes; afterwards he was a bloody hero! On the way out it was all about WHETHER he would choose to stay rather that WHEN he would be off. It seems just one win (albeit spectacular) is enough to calm the MOB!

But the main point of this missive is to focus on our manager`s reluctance to take a risk on fringe players until he absolutely has no alternative.

All the rave notices tonight are (justifiably) focused on Coleman, Mucha and, to a lesser extent, Anichebe. But does ANYONE really believe that any of this trio would have got anywhere near the team if the inadequate Hibbert and Howard were not ruled out by injury? Would Anichebe have ever sprung to his mind if Jelavic had not gone SEVENTEEN league games without hitting the net?

Today, these players proved they are up to the task against the very best and it begs the question as to how many more of his fringe players would perform to a similar level if given a chance.

My view is that Moyes's reluctance to give fresh faces a chance is all tied up with his self-confessed Dithering Dave philosophy. Did he not admit that he had watched Lescott 17 times before "taking a chance on him"? Why has he persistently ignored Duffy in favour of Heitinga who has stunk the place out all season and acted as though the likes of Vellios and Oviedo were not even on the staff?

I think most of know the answer. FEAR. Fear of making a mistake. The sort of fear that has prevented him from bringing a single trophy to Goodison in eleven years and so mitigates against him ever getting victories at "those big stadiums".

Today, Moyes overcame those fears because he knew the MOB had rumbled him. Even with ten men, he was urging his defence to play a high line because he knew the game was ours for the winning. But don't kid yourselves he'll take the same approach into the future because now the noise has died down he will revert to type, as he always does.

We'll still win nowt at Anfield and those other grounds and Neville and Naismith will still be preferred to Barkley and Oviedo.
That's why the Moyes I prefer is the DESPERATE DAVE rather than the DITHERING one.


Phil Walling     Posted 16/03/2013 at 19:54:45   Comments (45)

Time to get behind the lads

With a week of mourning behind us and more doom and gloom on here than an episode of eastenders, don't you think enough is enough and it's time to get behind the lads tomorrow and do the only thing we can do in the circumstances SUPPORT OUR CLUB!

Don't forget we are born not manufactured

We can't change and won't change whatever the outcome. We have had some fantastic performances this season and there are some great games coming up, the season is not over yet.

Do you really think the players meant to lose last week? Regardless of ability we have some very honest professionals on that pitch who will be embarrassed knowing they are better than that, they will be doing their bit tomorrow to put it right.

As for the manager I agree with the majority his time is nearly up, but give the guy some credit and respect for raising our expectations.

As for Kenwright, his crime is he's a millionaire not a billionaire, he is just as much an Evertonian as us and he will be hurting. Wherever he takes us and to what the future holds who knows, but he doesn't deserve the bile that is thrown at him from some quarters on here.

I for one will be right behind the lads tomorrow I don't know any different, we have a brilliant record against City, I can't see why we can't get something from them tomorrow and even if we don't then I will always proud to be a Blue, whoever is wearing the shirt or running the club !

Come on, lads make them have it.

Kevin Bennett     Posted 15/03/2013 at 21:33:29   Comments (23)

Expectations

In many of the threads on ToffeeWeb, there are references to how David Moyes's time here has raised our expectations causing many to be unrealistic in their assessment of our current predicament.

David Moyes has not raised my expectations from those I have held for more than 50 years of supporting Everton, who will always be, in good times or bad, the only club I will ever support.

Whilst my support for Everton Football Club is undying – my support for the transient group who represent it, on and off the pitch, can and should be variable.

My expectations are simple (and I suspect similar to most others):

I expect the Manager to:

  • Pick players on the basis of current form not favouritism
  • Know when players are not performing and leave them out
  • Regularly give emerging players chances to play more than a few minutes
  • Pick players willing to die on the pitch rather than give in
  • Have the courage and ability to change things during games when that is not happening
  • Have a range of tactical plans for various occasions
  • Have the courage to take risks and attack ANY and ALL opposition
  • Know the best form of defence is attack (especially at home)
  • Treat both cups as an opportunity for success (Millwall may be going to their SECOND cup final in 9 nine years)
  • Leave me feeling at the end of every game, win or lose, that he and the team he put on the pitch, could not have done any more than they did

If he can do that consistently who knows what he could achieve

If he can do that he can give me hope

If he can do that he can expect my support.

It is precisely because I am losing hope that he is losing my support.


Tom Fazal     Posted 15/03/2013 at 16:15:46   Comments (13)

£150 million – Are you having a laugh? (or Bill, Jon or Robert do you want my single share?)

My understanding is that the 75% shareholding, now controlled by Kenwright, Woods and Earl was purchased from Peter Johnson for approximately £25 million at the end of 1999. That would have meant at that time 100% of the club was worth approximately £33 million.

Presuming that this “ballpark figure”, supposedly originating from the club, is for 100% of the club not merely the 75% majority shareholding — and notwithstanding that the club supposedly had some assets and less debt — then how can an increase amounting to a 4.5 multiplication in the value of the shareholding be arrived at?

Put another way, I understand Mr Johnson was paid £857 for each individual share — this means that the current majority shareholding now will only sell for £3,843 per share.

As a lifelong Evertonian, I purchased a single share for my 50th birthday in 2007 at a cost of £1,250 and that generally seems to have stayed static since then. One of the reasons was that I wanted to feel even more a part of the club and attend AGMs which had been running at that time for over 100 years. I only went to a couple of AGMs before Kenwright stopped them — and I found those attending to be well behaved. Those who spoke were polite and asked appropriate questions.

According to these figures, my single share is now worth £3,843. Therefore, why don’t the current board offer slightly less than that, say £3,750 to me and all other small shareholders? If they were confident in their valuation, they would surely happily do so.
Andy Riley     Posted 14/03/2013 at 19:22:39   Comments (28)

2012

Everyone talks about how Everton are a 'half-season' team, generally coming good in the 2nd half of recent seasons after a typically poor start. Many would see this season as a bucking of that trend and a reversal of fortunes with a better beginning to 2012-13.

With all that considered, surely by that logic our results for the calendar year 2012 must have been impressive then eh? Well after having a quick review of our record in all comps for that timeframe, it reads like this:

Played 49
Won 22
Drew 18
Lost 9

Whilst the stats seem impressive with only 9 defeats in an entire year, a more accurate reflection lies in winning less than half and drawing almost as many games. This is Everton in a nutshell, difficult to beat, but ultimately unable to convert any kind of dominance without any killer instinct.

How often have we thrown away 3pts and drawn matches we absolutely should've won? This has often been said to be because of Moyes, his stubborn tactics and dour, rigid attitude towards games. And it's a point that's hard to argue against. When was the last time we properly hammered a team? Or when you can honestly say we put a game out of sight?

Away at Villa and Swansea were without doubt our best this season – but even Swansea had plenty of chances that day (Howard MotM?). And then there was the spell of league games last season when we scored 4 in three consecutive games against Sunderland, Man Utd and Fulham. But even that run was straddled by THAT FA Cup semi-final defeat.

On the flip side, our results so far this year over 13 games has a W6 D4 L3, which reads quite similarly to those of last year. The same potential with the same outcome – close but no cigar. And that's the way it's always gonna be if we continue with DM. We are standing on the edge right now, we'll never know what we can become unless we take that leap.

In the meantime following yet another rallying call, we face the current champions at Goodison Park next and a run of very tough league games to end the campaign. Of course anything is possible but deep down we all having that sinking feeling.
COYB.

Conor Waters     Posted 14/03/2013 at 07:02:09   Comments (11)

Moving On

I think we have all been grieving since Saturday. You may have heard of the 5 stages of grief?

1. Numbness & Denial,
2. Yearning & Anger,
3. Emotional Despair, Sadness & Withdrawal,
4. Reorganization
5. Letting Go & Moving On.

I think most of us are still at Stage 3 but apparently we have a game on Saturday against last season's Champions, so I think we might want to start thinking about moving on.

It will be interesting to see how the team react to last week. I am hoping that the team will be out to prove a point to the fans and themselves. It will also be interesting to see how the fans behave. Whatever your feelings on the team, Moyes or Kenwright, I personally never want to see Everton lose.

It will also be interesting to see how Moyes reacts and if he makes any changes. I am sure he would be tempted to make some but, given that it is Man City, I'd guess not too many – would it be fair to throw in Duffy against Tevez etc?

In terms of hopes and expectations for the end of the season, my hope is that we finish above Liverpool. I'm not saying that to be petty. If we do finish above them (which is a big ask given our respective run-ins), then it is likely we will be in Europe and they won't. If they don't qualify for Europe then it is another blow to their US backers and worldwide support.

What I am really hoping will then happen is that Suarez will be picked up by another club. He is a dirty little prick but you cannot deny that he is a top player and is all that is keeping them going. Losing him would be a big blow to them.

Let's face it, they are a big impediment to us getting an investor, so staying on top of them is important to our future prospects.

Ciaran Duff     Posted 13/03/2013 at 10:56:03   Comments (22)

Say it isn't so!

I heard on the television, here in North America, that as Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City should be in next season’s European Champions League due to their standings in the Premier League, European football will be played at either Blackburn, Millwall or Wigan next season.

Two of these last three teams will meet each other in the FA Cup semi final with one going on to the final.

If this is true, Everton’s defeat by Wigan last week was more that just a loss. I haven’t heard or read this synopsis from any media in the UK.

Please say it isn’t so!
Eric Owen     Posted 12/03/2013 at 15:07:11   Comments (15)

Di Canio to be tapped up

Please, please, please can we snap up one of the greatest young managers around someone with flair, excitement and ambition? A man with strong principles and a love of good football who can relate to the fans.

We all know Moyes is holding out for another big payday, hoping another big club comes in for him and even his biggest fans at our club ( I am not a fan of Moyes by the way) want him to go now. I will be so disappointed if we offer Moyes another contract. He should be told we will pay his contract and allow him to sit in the main stand until May.

Di Canio a man of principles would stand up to Billy Liar and hold him to account for us. We are allegedly talking to new investors (convenient that whilst season ticket applications are being sent out), well Di Canio can ensure that this promise is met he is not a 'yes' man and is the right candidate for change. If he is promised money he will ensure he gets the money if there is no money but we sell our stars he will question why.

Di Canio in and new owners the cloud of the Wigan defeat May just have that silver lining,
Dennis Shaw     Posted 12/03/2013 at 09:30:47   Comments (108)

Howard Kendall Autobiography

In the aftermath of the Wigan debacle, one piece of Everton news has slipped under the radar: James Corbett — author of the wonderful Everton Encyclopedia — is working with Howard Kendall on his memoirs. The tome should be published in August by de Coubertin books.

Much of the glory years have been covered in previous books by HK but I will be very interested to learn more about his second and third managerial comings at Goodison and understand where it went wrong (and maybe confirm or deny several rumours).
Rob Sawyer     Posted 11/03/2013 at 23:59:09   Comments (8)

Justify The Contract

There's been a lot of obvious reaction to Saturday's dismal performance. Amidst all the abuse of Moyes and the bizarre comments of some of his advocates, there's one thing I haven't seen yet — a coherent argument as to why Moyes deserves another contract to enable him to take the club forward.

I agree he's done a good job. I agree our league position is better than under the worst managers in our history. What's always perplexed me about Moyes's teams is their ability to freeze on the big occasions. I can understand it against a good Chelsea side, but not against the worst Liverpool team I've seen and against Wigan at home. That looks to me like a gaping hole in Moyes's skillset.

If, like me, you're one of those Blues who just can't get a wet dream about finishing 6th to 10th, but does get excited watching an Everton captain lift a trophy, this matters a lot.

I could speculate all day about contracts, character flaws, lack of tactical nous, I could hurl mindless abuse at Moyes, but that one factor is the reason why I wouldn't give him another contract.

I'd love to see an article on this site explaining why Moyes should get his contract and what makes him the man to take us forward. I respect him and what he's done, but I'm more concerned with the future.

Over to you, folks.

Paul Tran     Posted 11/03/2013 at 17:38:03   Comments (77)

Are ToffeeWebbers Representative?

Having just heard on 5-Live that ‘he’s fat he’s round he’s worth a million pound’ is saying he now ‘has doubts’ about the gaffer’s future at The Old Lady because he has lost support in important places, I’m starting to think even more deeply about the bukkake of boos on Saturday and the empty seats that spoke volumes in silence. ‘The noise is coming out’, Reidy said, and ‘no positive vibe’ at all from Moyes himself about a contract or anything else.

To narrow it down a little more, just how representative is the general mood on ToffeeWeb which seems to me to be glum for the most part? Yes, there are a range of positions on a spectrum of walk now all the way to it is important that he stays; in other words, from day to night.

That said, however, the scope and scale of the calls for change and the gaffer’s head was unprecedented in what was to be sure a weekend to end all weekends. Moyes was lambasted and lampooned in one post after another in what might well be a record number of post-match threads and posts with intervals of backing and/or what was called realism by Blues who could be counted on the fingers of two hands (their number might not have been as high as the posters who said that they had once been staunch Moyes’s supporters but not now, not after that day: 9 March 2013 could well go down in our often sparkling sometimes chequered history as a red-letter day).

I am now a Ferry cross the Atlantic. I know Blues in Chicago – all in exile – and not one of them supports Moyes. I call and Skype with my eight best mates from Crosby – all of us together were at Highbury (84), Bayern A and H (85), Rotterdam (85), all those Wembley days – and not one of them wants Moyes to stay at the club next season, though for some the realization dawned later than for others.

Are my little groups just doom and gloom grunge merchants? Are we the minority back home in Liverpool? Is there something to be said that our generation – mid-40s on – is more predisposed to be less accepting and more critical because of what and who we, the club, once were? Does the outpouring of criticism and down right indignation on ToffeeWeb mirror what you hear in your circles, or is the ratio of backing for Moyes higher off these pages? I can’t walk into a Liverpool boozer until next month and I’d love to know the tenor and tone of the chat there right now.

In a nutshell, are ToffeeWebbers by and large representative of the more general body of Evertonians everywhere, God bless ‘em?

Paul Ferry     Posted 11/03/2013 at 15:37:43   Comments (14)

The Con Artists Win Again

As every blue bit their nails waiting for the January transfer window to close, we all had to do a double-take when we woke up to a star signing.

"Leroy Fer on his way to Everton in shock £8.5m move" screamed the headlines. We all thought it must be a wind up, until it was announced on the club website.

ToffeeWeb went into meltdown, and we all got a little bit excited that the Board were funding this move, and showing the ambition for a serious challenge for a Champions League place.

I posted on here, that even our Board were not THAT stupid to withhold funding at such a critical time. They would have to do something. Even the Liverpool Echo were questioning why these multi-millionaires would not guarantee funds when the rise in TV money was going to cover any January transfer. We would never have such an opportunity, Liverpool & Arsenal were both under-performing, and we were right up there.

Then we were all left stunned when it was announced Fer's knee injury had not healed properly, but the transfer would go ahead, with the terms dictated by appearances.

The more cynical amongst us were lambasted on this site when we smelt a rat. Surely this quote from FC Twente's Chairman rang a few bells: "Yesterday, Everton claimed on their own website they reached an agreement with FC Twente about a transfer of Leroy Fer," said Munsterman.

"Today they started up the negotiations once again. During the day they came with all sort of additional conditions about the payment terms and also the transfer fee.

"We won't deal with that. Then there won't be a transfer.

"We don't play that game at Twente. They can come up with any demand they wish but we're not playing along with their demands."

Fast forward to this weekend, and The Times reported we only had £1.5m to offer the Dutch side in the first place; this was also confirmed by David Prentice in the Liverpool Echo.

We tried to mug them off, and they laughed their way out of Goodison, along with their player.

We then had another phantom bid turned down for Negredo; now we were a laughing stock across Europe.

No wonder we are in such a mess. The truth will finally come out, but I think these facts prove we are not all mad conspiracy theorists.

We tried to push through a transfer we had no funds for, so the likes of the Blue Union would not have more ammunition to use against this Board. Truly amazing.

Kevin Tully     Posted 11/03/2013 at 11:30:34   Comments (50)

Le Nouveau Patron

The day that David Moyes signed his new contract in 2008 was the day I changed from believing he was the man to take us to the top to questioning his actual cause and caliber. I think he held off for a better offer then, and demanded a fairly ridiculous compensation to stay, never once assuming BK (Liar, Boys Pen, “Your Blue Union has betrayed the club” bollocks, wanker) would cough up.

For the record, I think Moyes will be our manager next season. Even after yesterday’s debacle, I think the supporters are still around 50-50 on him. For the past few years, myself and others have been explaining why we want rid of Moyes, much to chagrin of some of the regular posters – the IMWT crew. Our, the MOB’s, biggest stumble has been when asked about a suitable replacement.

The flavour of the month has been our 2013 FA Cup conquistador, Señor Roberto Martínez. I’ve kept away from calling for his employ as I just don’t know enough about him, and, while impressed by his charm and supposed dedication to athletic football, he’s won the exact trophy as Moyes the exact amount of times.

Today, I watched Atlético Madrid vs Real Sociedad. Ever since we bought Arteta from the San Sebastian club, I’ve followed their results with interest. Today, they went to the Spanish capital to play a team that had sat second in La Liga all season until their local rivals won earlier in the day to put them ahead on the ladder. It is worth mentioning that the last time Atlético dropped a point at home was late last season against Sociedad. It would have been understandable if Philipe Montanier sent his small squad (smaller than Everton’s and worth considerably less) out to minimise the deficit. When they went a goal up, Atlético threw everything at them, only to have counter-attack after counter-attack threaten to make it 2-0 to the away side. In other words, with a goal lead to one of the best teams in the league, they defended well AND tried to extend their lead. They won 1-0.

I’ve been trying to learn as much as I can of Montanier this season, and now think he is the man I would put my vote behind, should he desire a job in England. The kicker is that the form Sociedad are showing (lost once since the start of November, lost 4-3 to Real in a cracker and beat Barcelona 3-2 after going 2-0 down in the first half), they will be playing Champions League next season – we’ll be lucky to be playing League Cup past October. He seems a graceful fella, with a good football mentality, and I’d be proud to call him the manager of Everton FC.

Roman Sidey     Posted 10/03/2013 at 23:45:19   Comments (14)

MOB protest next weekend?

A few weeks ago, I bought match and train tickets to come up from London to next Saturday's game. I can only make it once or twice a season as it's an expensive day out. My anticipation at coming to watch my beloved Everton for the first time this campaign was only heightened when we then beat Oldham to set up an eminently winnable quarterfinal vs Wigan, such that I was sure next weekend a joyous, capacity crowd would be basking in the glow of a Wembley semi...

There is nothing more to say about yesterday that hasn't already been covered on here. This post is not about that in any case.

This post is about what happens next weekend? Of course I'll still go, although I suspect the atmosphere will at best be flat and at worst downright poisonous. The question is: Will anybody follow up the entirely justified protests and vitriol at yesterday's performance by loudly calling for Moyes's head, or preparing a "Moyes Out" banner or whatever?

I officially joined the MOB yesterday, having wavered over the past couple of seasons. But he has consistently said he will only leave if the fans want him to go. ToffeeWebbers may or may not be an accurate representation of the larger fanbase, but Kenwright only sacked Walter Smith when the fans made their displeasure loud and clear.

Will anybody on here be doing that, or will the impact be felt by fans not going to the game instead? I would be interested to hear how the MOB intend to follow up on yesterday's debacle.

Mark Boulle     Posted 10/03/2013 at 19:30:53   Comments (67)

Punching above our weight

I've resisted posting since yesterday's debacle. That certainly ruined what might otherwise have been a good weekend. I've read loads and loads on here and agreed with a lot, disagreed with just as many.

There's no getting round the fact that yesterday's display was as bad as I can remember, not just because of poor play, but because in some cases of lack of effort. All that notwithstanding, I wonder whether we actually expect too much?

Now before I get labelled an apologist, Moyes lover, or worse... I asked myself a few questions today. People bemoan the fact that we've won nothing with Moyes over his 11 years tenure, how we got played off the park by lowly Wigan.... How many teams HAVE won anything over the last 10, 11 years? There will be the odd "strange" cup winners, that's always gonna happen, but, on the whole, the trophies have gone to money.

How many would swap places with our tormentors from yesterday though? True they're in the FA Cup semi-final, but may well be playing in the Championship next season...

I'm of an age where I am lucky enough to have enjoyed the success of the eighties. They were wonderful but short-lived times; for one reason or another we, as a club, didn't move with the times, we didn't grow, didn't evolve.

Nowadays, it's survival of the richest — not the fittest. I would love nothing more than have us pushing for Champions League, cups etc... but in reality ALL the odds are stacked against us. I know it's been a case of so close, so close, and I fucking well hate the phrase "punching above our weight" but let's actually face it... WE ARE!

We have a rich and wonderful history, but unfortunately, without a 'dream come true' rich benefactor, that's going to be as good as it gets, without a 'one in so many seasons' cup run. In one way, it's good that we expect better, but I've thought over this weekend.... Are we being realistic about expecting to compete with the financial bigboys?

It's true we should have won yesterday; it's true our form has dropped terribly since Christmas. But looking at it (pretty obvioulsy I'll admit) before the drop, we were playing some great football. So don't things tend to even themselves up in all walks of life?

Be honest though... did anyone genuinely, really honestly, expect us to win the Premier League this season? No, of course not, but with our good form hopes were rasied that we might qualify for Champions League, and maybe win a Cup. Well we'll probably miss out on CL by 12 points? 15 points? and we've missed out on an FA Cup win by three games, (yesterday's, a win in the semi, and a win in the Final).

I know we're all still angry, with Moyes, with the team, with Kenwright... but in the cold light of day, being totally honest... Have we not just inevitably fallen short in "punching above our weight once more"?


Brian Williams     Posted 10/03/2013 at 19:16:51   Comments (25)

A dose of realism…. Anyone for cricket?

With Saturday’s disaster still all too fresh in our minds I thought that I would try and establish a few facts rather than just post a tirade of disbelieving dejected derision. Perhaps my reasons for doing this are simply so that I can find some rationale for continuing to be a football fan at all…

Facts

1. The squad of players at Everton is the best we have had for a long while – Moyes deserves credit for this. However, we are still not good enough and lack strength in depth.

2. We don’t have world class players (maybe Baines is the exception) so it is irrational to expect Osman to perform like Messi.

3. Moyes seems to be able to over-achieve (slightly) in the course of a season but for some reason gets things very wrong for one-off big occasions and fails to inspire at all.

4. It is not possible to compete with the top clubs in the Premier League whilst at such a financial disadvantage – to think it is do-able is pure folly.

5. Bill Kenwright is blue through and through but is misguided and delusional in what he expects to sell Everton FC for and the terms he wants.

6. Everton’s financial position and wage structure is such that selling at least one high profile player in the summer is inevitable.

There is absolutely zero excuse for the Wigan performance and as Evertonians who have seen past glories we expect so much better. But, big-game capitulations aside, and in the light of the facts above, not much is going to change any time soon. Therefore we can all either stop bothering going to the game at all, or at best hope for a new manager in the summer who will reinvigorate things and maybe get the School of Science playing some more expansive and entertaining football.

Maybe it is time to take a dose of realism and try to enjoy watching Everton again – okay not for performances like Saturdays! But for god's sake, it has to better than cricket…

Graeme Dodd     Posted 10/03/2013 at 13:15:10   Comments (19)

Moyes should move for the sake of his career

I've no aspirations to become a careers advisor – and I'm still looking for the guy who said I should become a cake decorator, but I do think David Moyes is in need of some urgent advice.

Whilst yesterday should have convinced him that his time here was spent, staying in one job for 11 years is no longer the ideal way to persuade potential employers that you have wide experience. They tend to think that you are more happy 'in the comfort zone' than prepared to 'cope with change' or 'work outside the box'.

Believe me, I've suffered more performance-based interviews than most so I know what I`m talking about!

Moyes struck lucky with Everton — or, more accurately, with Kenwright. Here was an employer whose only interest was personal survival... and oh, whatever could be done with Everton in that cause. Fair dooz, Davey has 'ticked all the boxes' and has been obscenely well rewarded for doing so.

But as The Byrds sang so long ago, "For every season, there is a time for change" and if Our Man can`t see this season is it, he`s about to find out that nothing goes on forever.

I wish him and our club no harm but like most of us I feel just one more season at Everton will see both the club and his career go straight down the pan.

So, if he's as astute as I think him to be, he'll have spotted the signs and even if it means a reduction in salary, he'll be looking to broaden his experience. Otherwise, in a few months` time, he may be the one doing the cake decorating!

Phil Walling     Posted 10/03/2013 at 12:43:18   Comments (25)

The End of the Moyes Project

In the aftermath of the Wigan game, many Toffewebbers posted how embarrassed, ashamed and angry they were at this FA Cup quarter-final debacle. I'm one of them.

The reason for the fury is simple. No other manager in the Premier League would've picked Jelavic, Neville or Heitinga to start that game. No other manager would've dismissed such an abject failure as – just a bad day at the office. No football club would go in to such a crucial game with the manager hanging Damocles sword over their heads. For those like me who have pretty much sat on the fence on the MOB vs Moyesiah debate, yesterday was a turning point, the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

For the first six years of his tenure, the Moyes project was mutually beneficial. He was learning his trade as a Premier League manager and in turn he was bringing stability and rekindling a spirit of hope and expectation back in to the club. The high points for both Moyes and the club were: the 4th place finish in 2004–05, the 2009 FA Cup Final, 2012 FA Cup semi-final and this year’s quarter-final. However, there’s a pattern beginning to emerge, and it’s not that we’re standing still, we’re going backwards... Is it any wonder then that Everton supporters have now reached the end of their tether with Moyes's Project?

Unless by some miraculous feat we manage to get 4th or 5th in the last ten games, then it’s time for the travelling companions of Everton and Moyes to part company and go on their separate ways. If he goes at the end of the season, then the Everton history books will be generous to Moyes. He if he stays then the old adage of familiarity breeding contempt will become increasingly toxic and putrid.

Sam Fitzsimmons     Posted 10/03/2013 at 12:13:46   Comments (27)

A man of honour?

What really wrankles me is that Moyes, the honourable man, is running down his contract and is able to do so. When Pienaar tried to do it, he was sold... when has any top flight manager ever done this before?

What right has he got to hold the club to ransom? Yes he had done well but he is the reason the club hasn't pushed onto the next level through his defensive minded tactics, handing the initiative to the opposition through defensive minded teams or substitutions, worrying more about the opposition than concentrating on our game. (As Ferguson said last week if you we're concerned too much about the opposition, you forget about the good things you can do as a team yourselves).

Also a determination to coach natural goalscorers into running the channels and defending (it means the likes of Yak and now Jelavic don't focus on their natural game and become too knackered to make the chances they have count as often).

The whole situation is a disgrace and Moyes isn't stupid enough to believe it isn't having an impact; then again he's stupid enough to think Neville, with no vision or drive to push us forward or attack, is a better choice than Gibson, Hitzlsperger or even Barkley, FFS. For years it's been obvious Neville in midfield doesn't work; yes, he may have great passing stats for his 2-yard passes and help us grind out results but it tells the opposition we are more worried about them, makes us one-dimensional, and allows any team with pace to overrun us. Yes, we're all armchair managers but it's been clear for years, just as it's been clear that Fellaini up front was sussed out long ago.

There are plenty of managers who would do a better job with the squad we have, who would instil belief, and not believe every player has to be a defender first and foremost, and who would drop players out of form and play more of the squad. As much as I hate to say it, Rodgers would have been playing Barkley all season; you learn nothing from the bench. Neville makes mistakes all the time yet Barkley doesn't get a game in case he makes mistakes.

If Moyes walks, I personally (having calmed down) still think he should be sacked; he will have cost us potentially millions in compensation from his next club — is that a man of integrity putting the club first? The club has no money without selling, that has been clear for years... so I'm not sure Moyes really believes that his contract stance would get money for players from the board. If there was really money it would have been spent at the start of January not used for phantom bids at the death.

Moyes is thinking of himself in the same way his constant aim of not losing is to protect his own reputation — not to take the club forward.
Steve Jones     Posted 10/03/2013 at 09:34:42   Comments (40)

Forget Bill & Dave, you're to blame

In my opinion, there are a number of people who are to blame for the current situation at Everton.

Obviously Bill Kenwright who has systematically tried to destroy the club he so loves.

Then there's David Moyes, who's inability to adapt or even realise what tactics are or what players are far beyond the hill impeded his work.

But most importantly, there's the fans. We should be ashamed of ourselves. Week-in, week-out, we put up with this shit. We defend the players, we defend Moyes non-stop... why, because they wear the blue.

Fair enough, but when a player wearing the blue earns £40,000 a week and can't give a shit on the pitch, well then he deserves a fucking ripping apart. But no, not us, we defend him. When one of the highest paid managers in England makes a substitution that makes every supporter scream at the TV....we back him up. Don't you know he is one of the best managers in this league!

I have seen tweets, facebook statuses and even comments on here actually having a go at fans criticising Moyes and players after today. I admire your loyalty, I really do. But you do realise you are the kind of people who go over the top first?

The big problem with Everton is the fans who continue to accept this shit on a weekly basis and not complain once. They will renew their tickets, they will defend Bill, Davey and Phil to the end.

Forget Bill, forget Moyes... you fans are the very thing that is killing this great club. Wake up, take a look around and realise what you are doing to this team.

Kevin Freaney     Posted 10/03/2013 at 04:07:29   Comments (45)

The end of the Moyes Years

It really wasn't "one of those days". The draws we should have won when we pounded teams early in the season were the days he surely must mean. The January window really was the beginning of the end. Our last chance passed then. Today feels like the end of an era.

I'd like to say it has been a roller-coaster ride. Eleven years of heroic failure and great memories. Giving it a go against the odds, taking on the big boys and giving it a real shot... It hasn't though; it's been stability and not much more. Maybe that's enough, certainly for five years that would leave a respectable legacy.

It seems to me, however, that we have come in a circle. An ageing team, young players who can't be trusted and a "40 points, job done" mentality. Let's not drag this on till the end of the season; time's up. Old Trafford and today were not "one of those days" scenarios. They were examples of a stale coach unable to motivate a stale team.

It's over and let's not have a slow painful death. Moyes can offer Everton nothing more and Everton can only bring Moyes a decline in his reputation.

Andy Crooks     Posted 10/03/2013 at 01:46:42   Comments (18)

10 Things to Fix Everton

1 – David Moyes must either sign his contract or leave immediately. His presence at the club is currently becoming toxic.

2 – We need more height and not Heitinga in defence. Every week, we are conceding goals from set-pieces because the defenders are never winning the ball in the air.

3 – Sell Jelavic this summer. Sadly he is a one-trick pony and this year teams have sussed him out. The surprise element has gone following that excellent first season.

4 – Sell Fellaini. Fair enough, he has scored a few goals... but he is lazy and this is not acceptable in an Everton shirt.

5 – A better reserve keeper. Jan Mucha is a poor keeper. I think Howard would have stopped at least one of the three goals conceded against Wigan.

6 – Drop your out-of-form players, even if they aren't as good 'on paper'. I guarantee had Barkley, Duffy, Gibson and Big Vic started today, then we would have had more hunger and desire to win the game.

7 – This sounds ludicrous and I can't believe I'm saying this but do everything within the club's power to bring Wayne Rooney back home this summer.

8 – Make Leighton Baines club captain. A bad game by his standards against Wigan but the boy has more passion for this club than anyone else out there.

9 – Make right back a priority for strengthening this summer. I like Seamus but he needs to be further up the pitch.

10 – If you do stick around, Mr Moyes, then please don't be afraid to just go and have a go now and then!

Paul Coleman     Posted 09/03/2013 at 21:25:00   Comments (4)

Knee Jerk Reactions

To say that today’s result was disappointing is something of an understatement. The combination of implosion on the pitch and the inertia off the pitch has been taxing for a while now. The performance in today’s match has taken the frustration of fans to a new level.

Let me be quite clear, I am a big fan of Moyes as a manager. I really respect his work ethic and commitment to the club. I think of him as someone with honesty, integrity and no small amount of ability as a manager. Notwithstanding all of this, it seems to me that his time at Everton is coming to an end.

I remember last season, before Christmas, when there were a lot of people on this site forecasting relegation. I thought at the time we would stay up fairly comfortably but Moyes would fall on his sword at the end of the season, as he wouldn’t be satisfied with the job that he’d done.

In the end we did indeed comfortably avoid relegation, but, in my opinion, the impact of Jelavic on the team and the return of Pienaar persuaded Moyes to stay on. I think he thought that we might just do something this season, and in that spirit he gave it one last throw of the dice.

Let’s be honest: for one reason or another, it just hasn’t worked out. Most of it in my opinion is down to the board. I thought that Moyes might have resigned today, an echo of Walter Smith’s last game in charge. Still, he seems to be staying on at least until the end of the season.

I wanted him to resign after the match. Now I think that was something of a knee-jerk reaction. I think now that it would be much better if he stayed on until the end of the season. Meanwhile we should be looking for a new manager.

Despite today’s result, I don’t think that should be Martinez. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t see him as the right man for Everton. It’s not exactly the same as Mike Walker, but I do think managing Wigan is a world away from managing Everton.

So should Moyes leave now? Would it be better to keep him for a couple of months in case we can grab a European place (and use this time to find a new coach)? Or should Moyes stay on, sign a new deal, and try to rebuild for the next season?

Gavin McGarvey     Posted 09/03/2013 at 21:46:49   Comments (36)

Ugly, Cowardly, Shameful, Sad, Pathetic.

The title of my post could define the worst performance I've seen in 28 matchgoing years, and also Moyes's attitude and tactics.

I'll leave the horror show on the pitch and where we go from here to Tony Marsh as that guy has been talking sense for years and he will put it into words better than me. I look forward to your views on today, Tony.

The thing that is playing on my mind, and to which that title really refers, happened after the 3rd goal. I was in the Main Stand away from my usual seat in the Bullens Road stand. Whoever piped up to Emerson Boyce as he took a throw and screamed "Get a move on, nigger!" — words fail me.

I've never felt ashamed to be a blue and the display alone would've been enough for that, but to those in the Main Stand by the Gwladys Street end who were a lot closer to this shithouse rat than me – please contact the club with seat number.

Nobody seemed to bat an eyelid and I heard it from several rows back loud and clear. Police and stewards did nothing from what I could see...

People's Club, really? What a fucking disgusting day, I should've stayed in bed.

Tony Cawson     Posted 09/03/2013 at 17:34:15   Comments (49)

Moyes's FA cup record

I used to think that Everton had a proud FA cup record – that was until Moyes took charge. His run started disastrously with probably the worst FA cup result in Everton’s history – losing at Shrewsbury who were relegated from the Football League that season.

In total, Moyes has had 11 seasons of FA Cup football and we have been knocked out 7 times after being pulled out of the bag at home. To remind everyone these are: Fulham, Man Utd, Chelsea, Oldham (3rd tier), Reading (2nd tier), Birmingham & Wigan.

The Premier League teams we have beaten, after being drawn at home, are: Chelsea, Aston Villa, Middlesboro, Fulham & Sunderland. Hardly impressive when compared with those we have lost to.

In the same period we have been drawn away once to a Premier League side – Liverpool. You couldn’t have asked for better cup draws if you were doing the draw yourself!

Yet in 11 seasons we have only managed to get through to the 6th round 3 times. Now I would have thought, as we have averaged somewhere round about 7th - 8th in the league under Moyes, that we could expect much better, especially with our luck in the draw.

In the Moyes reign, by my estimate, admittedly after a few drinks to null the pain, we have been drawn 17 times at home and only 9 times away in the FA Cup. Nearly 2 to 1 in favour of home ties – it makes our FA Cup record even more pathetic.

As for Moyes signing a new contract, I genuinely don’t care one way or the other. (Kenwright being chairman, that’s a different matter...) Anyway, I think Moyes's FA Cup record says everything that needs to be said about the likelihood of ever winning anything under the Moyesiah.

Brian Donnelly     Posted 09/03/2013 at 17:01:33   Comments (27)

When Harry Catterick moved upstairs

I have read how Harry Catterick was moved on to a non-executive director position when declining health (and footballing judgement?) called for a change in manager in 1973.

What is not explained is whether this was a genuine role or more of an honourary position (before he moved to Preston NE in 1975 for one last hurrah in a hot seat).

Can any Everton officiandos advise?

Rob Sawyer     Posted 08/03/2013 at 00:13:22   Comments (6)

Still hope for 4th!

For the majority of that awful February, I thought we had no chance in hell of a top 4 finish. We were losing games we should have won, not killing teams off, the usual story. And this was during a period when Spurs were playing well, and Arsenal less so, but are still ahead of us.

Now the wins against Oldham and Reading have given us some much needed confidence. So now, we're playing alright rather than crap, and top 4 is still looking pretty unlikely, but I still think it is possible. Why, you may ask? I may be overly optimistic, but let's just think about it for a second...

We still have to play Man City, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool in our next 10 games. All teams that are around us. Now to finish 4th, we have to be better than 3 of these teams listed above. So if we want the top 4 bad enough, we have got a great opportunity, win against these teams! It's still in our own hands!

It is notable fans' expectations (especially on Toffeeweb) have gone higher. We may have been happy with top 6 before, some think that may do us now, but what goes with high expectations is better performances against the teams around us — and not just drawing with them but BEATING them!

The only problem with this is that only one of these games is at home, and this is annoyingly against the best team of the lot, Man City. All of the key games fighting for 4th are away from home. But still.... BELIEVE!!!

4th place is still on!

Ben Jones     Posted 07/03/2013 at 14:47:28   Comments (79)

The Queen picks her Everton team...

Her Majesty met an Evertonian last week – club photographer Peter McFall, to be precise. She gave him an MBE, which was nice. I’m not making it up, it was on the Official Site: (http://www.evertonfc.com/news/archive/2013/03/02/peter-s-day-at-the-palace)

Peter said “Her Majesty was not only knowledgeable but very pleasant and easy to talk to.” What, knowledgeable about football? Blimey, who’d have thought it! I have it on good authority that their private conversation went something like this...

HM: "I hereby do declare that the way forward is for the Everton team to consist solely of British-born players, augmented with foreigners who have lived here for at least 10 years and can pass the citizenship test. OK? So, I’d plump for: Howard, Stones, Jagielka, Distin and Baines in defense. A midfield of Coleman, Phil Neville, Gibson and Osman. Then young Ross playing behind Big Vic. Subs: Springthorpe, Hibbert, Duffy, Garbutt, Kennedy, Naismith and McAleny. What do you think?"

PM: "Er, it’s a bit..."

HM: "What, racist? No, I’ve got Sylvain and Victor in there. It’s not about skin colour – it’s about Britishness."

PM: "No, not that, it’s just a bit..."

HM: " What, controversial? I know Ireland is not, strictly speaking, part of Britain but I think we can get away with it. The British Lions rugby union team includes Irish players, doesn’t they? Well then..."

PM: "No, not that, it’s..."

HM: "What, disappointing for Duffy? I know, I know. He can’t even get a game when we take out all the unfairly talented foreigners. Unlucky, Shane."

PM: "No, what I was going to say was that it’s a little bit..."

HM: "What, mediocre? I know what you mean, it doesn’t set the pulse racing, does it? Still, relegation can be a godsend in the long run. Anyway, like it or not, that’s the way it’s going. I’ve put forward a proposal to the PM. Oh, and another thing: we’re going to cap footballers’ yearly salaries at £100,000. That’ll teach them, the overpaid posers."

PM: "Overpaid? I thought the monarchy kept out of politics?"

HM: "Yeah, right."


Kev Johnson     Posted 06/03/2013 at 16:11:58   Comments (11)

Why the hatred of Man Utd?

I was in my local last night watching the Man Utd - Real Madrid game. When the latter equalised, then again when they went ahead and even more so at the final whistle there was much raucous enjoyment of United's defeat. Knowing Kopites as I do, I immediately suspected it was all down to them so imagine my surprise when I noticed a fair number of blokes I know to be Blues enjoying their defeat just as much.

It reminded me of quite a number of 'anti-Manc' comments I have heard from other Blues over time as well as a few comments I have read on this site and it got me wondering why an Evertonian would despise Manchester United and what any Blue who did would offer as a reason.

What exactly have Manchester United ever done to us?

I readily admit to despising Liverpool, partly for reasons which may seem immature (they occupy the same city as we do and think they own it: they are our hometown rivals and that is always a major factor in such things, and I just despise the bloated glory-hunting Kopites anyway). I can also point to more tangible reasons for hating them. They blocked our passage towards becoming a world brand and never admit it, they are a shit club who act like a spoilt child when things don't go their way, and they put up with vermin like Suarez and Gerrard.

But I can't think of any similar charges to lay against Manchester United. I was made up two years ago when they took Liverpool's Premier League record away from them and I look forward to them creeping further ahead this year. I wish it was us who was doing it but if we can't then good luck to anyone who can take something away from the bleating kopite bastards. They are the only club who look likely at some point to take Liverpool's English Champions League record away from them too so I can understand Kopites being happy that that prospect has been delayed by at least another year.

But why should Evertonians, however small the number may be (if indeed it is small) be happy about it too?

Could it be because they are the media's darlings? Well, they have been since 1957 and the Busby Babes and we can blame the media for that not the club. Could it be the antagonistic, whingeing Sir Alex Ferguson? Could be... but he doesn't annoy me half as much as Benitez, Wenger, O'Neill and Dalglish.

I'd be interested to know therefore, just what it is that encourages an Evertonian to dislike Manchester United? — and I ask the question as somebody who, if Everton disappeared tomorrow and I was really desperate to watch regular football, would more likely go to Old Trafford than anywhere else. I could never support them as I do Everton, but actually I quite like them as a club!

Dave Roberts     Posted 06/03/2013 at 10:23:21   Comments (118)

This Surprised Me!!

I work over here in Australia, Fly in, Fly out (FIFO) at a small mine a few kilometres from the middle of nowhere in Western Australia

I get a call to ask, Can I pick up Liz from the stores and give her a lift back to camp? As she is a lovely person and I was going that way, I said Yep.

I know Liz but never realised and we where chatting and up comes football and all things blue, for me, when the pennies, two-bobs and all drop. Her name is Liz Cuff, the great grand daughter of William C Cuff — one of the founder greats of Everton FC!

After she told me this, I could hear Z-Cars playing in my head and we went on to talk about her parents going over to the UK to unveil the W C Cuff portrait a few years ago and does she have any memorabilia?

They have a fruit bowl presented to him when he was entered into the Hall of Fame (not to sure which one) and it has a scroll attached with all the league placings for that year. There is a good article in the ToffeeWeb archives on WC Cuff if you want to see what he means to EFC.

Just thought I would share this with you. Over here, working in the bush, the dust is a red colour but I like to think there are at least two royal blue parts that stand out by far from all the rest. Thanks!

Phil Smallwood     Posted 06/03/2013 at 03:48:31   Comments (6)

Peel Holdings

Peel Holdings’ £5.5bn Liverpool Waters scheme to regenerate the city’s northern docklands has now been approved by the Government.

Has there been any indication that Everton’s Board of Directors have discussed with Peel Holdings the possibility of a football stadium being included in the plans?

What’s to stop Peel Holdings building a stadium and leasing it to us, as we can’t afford to pay for one outright?
Chris Owens     Posted 04/03/2013 at 20:45:10   Comments (38)

Hoofball getting the hoof?

Given that my early years of football watching were spent at Marine, so-called hoofball has never offended me as it has done many of my fellow Evertonians although I do agree that it contributes little to 'the beautiful game'.

Early this season, it seemed to have disappeared from our tactical armoury but, since Christmas, the quick wallop up-field has re-emerged as the defenders' 'ball of choice' on far too many occasions. This was particularly the case in the cup-tie at Oldham where "get rid of it" led, in my humble view, to us getting taken to a replay.

Good to see then that on Saturday last, it was almost non-existent and I got to wondering why this was so? Could it possibly have had something to do with the absence of Messrs Howard, Neville and Jagielka in the game against Reading?

Are these three our main hoofers? Or does the manager train defenders in the art, anyway?

A quick look at the Executioner's Blog shows that Coleman, in particular, completed a huge number of passes to colleagues as did Heitinga and Mucha`s distribution was generally accurate. So has Moyes chanced on the team selection to pretty up our game or will it be back to air miles once everyone is fit to play?

Richard Dodd     Posted 04/03/2013 at 11:33:22   Comments (26)

A Neville Surprise

Just read some stats in Saturday's Daily Mail called the GAME CHANGERS, "Teams average more points per game when these players feature with a minimum of 15 starts".

Guess who comes out top for the Blues, which should peeve the anti-Neville brigade, but ugly Phil has a PPG of 1.89 points! Who would have thought it was he and not Fellaini or Baines?

By the way, Allen has the top PPG for Liverpool and not the little cheating one!

Trevor Powell     Posted 04/03/2013 at 11:35:25   Comments (24)

Takeover at Arsenal

There was a thread just before Christmas, I think, that hinted of a takeover at Everton and that – if it didn't happen – the poster would come back and tell us why. I think his name was Richard , lots of folks were sceptical as the pre Christmas half Season Ticket Sale was about to be launched. What happened?

Seeing the rumours of a buyer in for Arsenal got me thinking... Okay Everton don't have a stadium, they are not in London, but our history and our recent league form is very similar to Arsenal. We have a well thought-of long-serving manager, a state-of-the-art training facility and very little debt. So how much would it take to fix Everton and could we be fixed for less than the £1.5 billion that it would cost to purchase the North London Club?

Most people on here talk about £500/600m to build a new stadium etc etc. Okay, why isn't our 24/7 bullshitter of a chairman banging on their door? The stadium could be built in Stanley Park now that FSG have finally admitted that they don't have the will nor Funds to do it. Manchester has shown that a city can have and support two successful Football Clubs.

Once the stadium is built they would get a similar return For a massively lower initial investment... but then again, no-one is buying football clubs these days. What is unbelievable is that I didn't know Arsenal were up for sale whereas our fantastic chairman has been scouring the world 24/7 for someone to invest in Everton. It's that word 'invest' that rings alarm bells — is the club for sale?

This club will never win anything while we have this charlaton as chairman and what is crazy is that some misguided folks still think he has invested money in the Club. I sometimes... no, often worry at the lack of the will to rid the club of this lying conniving excuse for an Evertonian.

But hey — be careful what you wish for.

.
Steve Sweeney     Posted 03/03/2013 at 10:35:57   Comments (77)

'Martinez in' Brigade

There’s a remarkable lack of ambition in the eyes of some ToffeeWebbers and their view to David Moyes’s successor.

The one decent decision of Bill Kenwright was to hire the ginger one and though the young up-and-coming type was needed then, it is by no mean necessary now. Historic and consistent force in the world’s biggest league with first-class starting eleven, increase in future revenue and salary to match reputation seek manager.

Is the club unable to aspire to a trophy-laden genius? It is alarming then the one name appearing on TW is Roberto Martinez.

Why? I mean, Swansea have done more in one season than his entire time at Wigan. If he’s so good how come none of the big clubs have came in for him, etc etc… Houdini acts need not apply.

And I’m not buying the supposed groundwork, blue print, legacy bananas brought up about his time at The Swans. Did Martinez forget to create one at Wigan? If a chairman wants a manager with a reputation for good football, he hires a manager with a reputation for good football, as happened when hiring Brendan Rogers and Michael Laudrup.

Defending Martinez by talking up Wigan’s constraints is on the ironic side as the names promoting him do very little to acknowledge those of our current manager. Tony Marsh showed his Martinez colours and made a comparison of Everton being a “massive” top flight club, from one of the biggest football mad cities. It made no difference to Newcastle going down, so when citing Wigan as a club from a rugby town, we’re back to Swansea again.

It is as he says a miracle that Wigan remain in the Premier League, but for different reasons. Martinez doesn’t keep them up, he’s the one taking them down. It is interesting that prior to their Premiership reigns the careers of Moyes and Martinez are similar. Both winning the League 1 title they narrowly miss out on promotion to the top flight and soon seal moves to their Premier League outfits.

Everton though were in a far worse position to Wigan at their times of appointment. Walter Smith left a club in deterioration and nothing like the increasing stability shown by the 10th 17th 14th and 11th positions inherited by Martinez from Paul Jewell and Steve Bruce. 16th, 16th, 15th followed, and worse still this season.

Why, when we’re always a few wins short of Champions League football each season would we want Wigan's Master of the unspectacular? He is not NSNO.

Unable to make Wigan consistently safe like other unfashionable and restricted clubs is not what Everton require to break the glass ceiling and into 4th. Where’s the ambition?

You want to know who has a better record to take over Everton? Tony Pullis. And I’m not recommending him either. A Frank Rijkaard style appointment would reflect ambition that many ask of David Moyes.

Roberto Martinez… what’s he ever won?
Nick Entwistle     Posted 03/03/2013 at 02:14:37   Comments (220)

Jelavić's woes

The form of Nikica Jelavić around a year ago led to many labelling him the 'best buy of January 2012'. At the moment, attitudes towards the Croat could not be more different. His last goal in Everton colours came in early January, and even that was against lower league side Cheltenham Town. However, this hasn't always been the case, as he did pick up an impressive 4 goals in his first 6 Premier League games of the season.

Despite the size of the squad, David Moyes has recently done what any sensible manager would do in this situation, and has dropped Jelavić from the starting 11. His start in the defeat against Norwich last week was his first in the league since the 0 - 0 draw at Southampton on 21st January. Sadly, it appears that this move has not had the desired effect, resulting in the continuing frustration of the manager and fans. Moyes, however, reiterated Jelavić’s importance at Everton claiming that "the team need him". The Scot went on to say that he "would like him to get his goals and lift his performances".

In-game lately, Jelavić has had a tendency to drift into wing-like positions when essentially he is needed in the middle. His 90 minutes against Reading produced another lacklustre performance. It has reached the stage where he is a liability with the ball, although you can’t deny the fact that he has a great work ethic.

So, where from here? Should Jelavić be placed on the bench until Moyes sees a drastic improvement? Victor Anichebe certainly hasn't disappointed when he's had the chance to play this season. The Nigerian has one less goal (5) in the league, yet Jelavić has around 20 hours more of game time. Maybe selling the Croatian international at the end of the season, and bringing in a replacement (increased with the funds that are available due to the failed Fer transfer) could be an option. Either way, we need a striker performing at his best to achieve any sort of European football. I hope that Jelavić can rediscover his previous form so that we can concentrate any future signings on other areas which need reinforcing. Whatever his fate, it is crucial that Jelavić tries to improve because at the moment he is merely a shadow of his former self.


Cal Davies     Posted 03/03/2013 at 00:53:56   Comments (19)

Best Everton side of the last 50 years

Hey all,

After talking to the arl fella - and trying to recall conversations with the late great arl fella's arl fella - I put together my greatest side of the last 50 years

The paucity of players in it from the last two and a bit decades is actually rather depressing...but thats another story.

Some of these lads started for us before 1963, but all appeared — in their prime — in the last 50 years.

What a team this would be:

{GK} Southall
{RB} Stevens
{CB} Labone (c)
{CB} Ratcliffe
{LB} Wilson
{RM} Harvey
{CM} Ball
{CM} Kendall
{LM} Sheedy
{CF} Royle
{CF} Lineker

SUBS : West, McKenzie, Sharp, Reid, Mountfield

Truly NSNO
David Cornmell     Posted 01/03/2013 at 06:33:30   Comments (49)

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