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Season 2012-13

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May 2013 Archive
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Parlez-vous anglais?

The English connection of the non-English manager

I wanted to talk about one aspect of the manager debate which hasn’t been discussed much: language. Several fans have voiced their approval of Vitor Pereira, and for some good reasons. The guy has been successful... in Portugal. Other foreign coaches have also been discussed favorably.

But one thing seems important to a Premier League manager, and which several of these candidates might lack: the ability to communicate day-in and day-out with his players, in all manner of contexts, in their own language.

One reason Mancini might have lost the dressing room at Manchester City, if this is in fact true, is that his ability to communicate with the players was limited. At least, his performances in front of the media suggested as much.

Conversely, one of the things that made Moyes successful at Everton was the degree of his involvement with all aspects of the club and the players’ lives. It was partly language that allowed him to be completely immersed in all aspects of the club, and to create a bond with players such that they would be willing to walk through, or at least into, brick walls for the sake of manager and club. Everton players seemed to be regularly playing with injuries during Moyes’s reign, and that might be one indication of their attachment to Moyes and the cause.

In contrast, it’s debatable whether a candidate like Pereira can have that kind of relationship with the players and the club, without the language. He’s no doubt a great coach and tactician who can work on a tight budget. But how much control can he exert if he needs a steady stream of translation while doing his job?

And, similarly, how close can he get to players if he doesn’t speak much of the same language? Admittedly, I don’t know Pereira’s exact level of English, but the worry is worth some thought. Part of the appeal of Everton is the story of Everton, its history and stream of historic firsts, and you need a storyteller to make sure new players get this. After, that is, he himself is able to get it.

Anyone with similar experience of working with others without a common language can probably call to mind a certain kind of relationship. It’s one with someone who is respected and liked, but across a barrier, with the limits of language preventing the deepening of a relationship.

Of course, language isn't the only factor, nor even the most important. But arguments made in favour of non-UK managers can overlook the importance of language as a tool to bind together a club. On this point, and whatever his other short-comings, Martinez might offer the best of both worlds: a decidedly un-British approach to football, but the story-telling powers and Premier League experience to draw players into his vision.


Andrew Lambert     Posted 30/05/2013 at 18:14:49   Comments (29)

The type of manager we all want

About a year before Walter Smith was sacked, he came out with a similar comment to Moyes's infamous 'knife to a gunfight' quote (something along the lines of "I can't turn muck into gold"). Roughly translated, he was basically saying there was only so much he could do with a limited budget.

When Walter was finally sacked, the fans were craving a manager who would motivate the players to put 100% effort into every game, and play like they cared about the team. This was because Walter's squad contained a lot of players who looked like they were just going through the motions (Alex Nyarko typifies that era). Moyes replaced Walter, and within a few years, he'd turned Walter's 'muck' into a Top 4 team.

At some point though, Moyes's attitude seemed to change. When he first took over Everton, he wouldn't have come out with excuses about knives and gunfights. At some point, he turned into another Walter Smith.

The point I'm trying to make is that, 11 years later, Evertonians now have a very different craving to the one we had in 2002. Our instincts are now craving for a manager who will instill belief in the players, and encourage the team to play without fear. There's a large minority of fans who disagree with Martinez being offered the Everton job. That's fair enough; I respect all Evertonians' opinions. However, even if the Spaniard doesn't become the new manager, I think we can all agree that whoever is offered the job must have the Martinez philosophy: Sin Miedo (play without fear). No more talk of knives, gunfights, muck and gold.

To paraphrase a fellow ToffeeWebber, "Moyes leaving is not the beginning of the end. It's merely the end of the beginning".
Gavin Wadeson     Posted 29/05/2013 at 23:06:54   Comments (34)

What Do The Stats Say?

In the last five years, there have been 29 teams that have played in the Premier League. I have looked at what impact a change of manager whilst in the PL has had on each club, and more importantly what the profile of each manager was. The profiles being:– (1) Foreign with no PL experience; (2) Foreign with PL experience; (3) British; No PL experience. I have judged whether each new manager has had a positive, neutral or negative impact at each club, based upon how he changed the club relative to how he found it.

Arsenal, Man Utd, and Everton haven’t changed managers during this time; also Blackpool and Stoke never changed manager during their time in the PL. Reading this season were already down and the season nearly over when Nigel Atkins came in so he’s not included.

There have been 49 new managers at clubs while still in the PL during this time.

Foreign with no PL experience has a success rate of 62.5% — Positive: 5, Neutral: 1, Negative: 2

Foreign with PL experience has a success rate of 25% — Positive: 2, Neutral: 2, Negative: 4

British Manager has a success rate of 25% — Positive: 7, Neutral: 7, Negative: 14

No experience In Management has a success rate of 20%— Positive: 1, Neutral: 0, Negative: 4

The results show that only foreign managers coming to the PL without experience have an outstanding record with a 62.5% success rate. The five successes in the last five years are: Hiddink, Ancelotti, Mancini, Pochettino and Laudrup.

The one neutral performer is Paulo Di Canio, and the two negative performers are Scolari and Andreas Villas-Boas. Had Chelsea persevered with AVB, he may well have done okay (their current star performers were signed under him) and I’ve been harsh in classing him as negative. I class Pochettino as a success because he’s got Southampton playing some decent football and achieved his first target of survival comfortably. Going back further Jose and Rafa stand out as successes during their first spells in the PL.

So... is appointing a foreigner with no EPL experience such a risk?

As for the foreigners with PL experience, an ordinary 25% success rate may be clouded by the fact that Avram Grant accounts for two of the negative results for his spells at Pompey and West Ham, and Gerard Houllier had to leave Aston Villa because of health issues and Roberto Martinez is the fourth negative — although he’s revered for what he’s done at Wigan by many.

British managers have the largest test sample and haven’t set the world alight with a 25% success rate.

Untried managers come in with the lowest success rate at 20%, the one success being Steve Clarke. Chris Hughton hasn’t been factored in because Newcastle were in the Championship when he took over. The four negatives are: Steve Kean; Tony Adams; Shearer; Terry Connor.

Of course this is too small a test sample with lots of variable factors; I just thought it was quite interesting.

David Stuart     Posted 29/05/2013 at 17:09:29   Comments (13)

Moyes leaves... staff cheer

I have reported from this source within EFC before and it has always been 100% accurate when factual and 75% accurate when opinion. Then, as now, I will not reveal their name or whether male or female. Also, by 'internal staff' I mean all bar the playing and coaching staff.

I recently spoke to someone in my family who works for Everton FC and has done for a number of years. I had not seen them for a while so we soon got onto all things Everton.

When the announcement was made to the internal staff of the imminent departure of David Moyes, there was a loud cheer from all those present. The reason for this is that Moyes had gone from a man of the people, who said a daily hello to everyone from the cleaners to the box office staff to the stewards, but had turned into an arrogant, over-confident dictator over his 11-year tenure.

For the last 3 to 4 years, he believed that without him the club would be nowhere, that he was bigger than the club and everyone working for the club where beneath him. He believes his own hype and has done for a number of years.

I was a tad shocked at this but it does explain why, in his leaving press conference, he stated, "I am moving on to better things." There was absolutely no need whatsoever to say this but he could not help himself.

Two opinions from my relative;

a) At Finch Farm, they observed that Moyes had ‘lost’ the dressing room on a number of occasions. Not individual players but the whole 1st team squad with his ‘I know more about football than all of you put together’ mentality.

B) They tell me that the majority of the internal staff, 48 hours ago, are convinced that the new manager will be internal and it will be Stubbs and AN Other depending on who Moyes takes to Man Utd.

But, as said above, based on previous opinion they have told me, it is has only a 75% chance, thank goodness, and the press report Martinez in the frame. Maybe Stubbs as Number 2 if Neville is off to Man Utd with Woods, Round et al.

Real name withheld to protect the source.

Bob Davis     Posted 29/05/2013 at 16:20:50   Comments (73)

The Case for Roberto Martinez

Some Evertonians may be the most fickle fans you will ever come across. First loads went all livid over the club crest, which has seen many evolutionary mutations during the course of history, and now some are pouting over the potential appointment of Roberto Martinez as manager.

The greatest objection to Martinez is his dismal win rate as Wigan's manager. Let us in this regard briefly consider the statistics: an overall win rate of a mere 28.4% in the top division and an accumulated deficit of 23 goals during the season of relegation should make it amply clear to us all that Martinez is a woefully inept manager.

Here it should be pointed out that the mentioned statistics have no relation whatsoever to Martinez; rather we are dealing with Jürgen Klopp's performance as the Fußballtrainer of Mainz05.

Klopp's spell in the Bundesliga with Mainz05 yielded the following figures:

Games Played: 102 W 29 D 28 L 45, Win Rate: 28.4%

Martinez's spell in the Premier League with Wigan Athletic yielded the following figures:

Games Played: 175 W 51 D 47 L 78, Win Rate: 29.14%

As can be seen, the respective performance rate of Klopp and Martinez is wellnigh identical and they both had to live through the sorrows of relegation. But Mainz05, it should be pointed out, are a considerably bigger club than Wigan Athletic.

The purpose of these figures is to show that there is a quasi-logical correlation between (x) the size of the club + (y) resources at one's disposal and the performance rate one could reasonably expect. Klopp fared poorly at a small club like Mainz05, but did exceptionally well at a big club like Borussia Dortmund. Similarly, Martinez fared poorly at a small club like Wigan Athletic, but what would he be able to achieve at a relatively big club like Everton?

Martinez belongs to a new generation of managers such as Jürgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel who will soon confine football managers of the old school, should-be-extinct dinosaurs such as Roy Hodgson and missing links such as David Moyes, to the dustbin of history. Football is no rocket science, footballers no intelligentsia, and football fans are hoipolloi at large. This new generation of managers with a scientific approach not only to the game and man-management, but also to the running of the club, will usher in a new era of managers who will also be technocrats.

In Roberto Martinez, Evertonians would have everything they could ask for from a manager. Martinez knows how to get the most out of a tight budget, he gets his team to play exciting football, he has faith in the youth, and he is likely to prove a loyal servant of the club. This man may well be Everton's very own Jürgen Klopp.

Al Philby     Posted 29/05/2013 at 15:20:11   Comments (30)

Have we got our priorities right?

So Bill Kenwright has sat unchallenged as owner of Everton FC for over 10 years and – despite looking 24/7 – has never been close to even selling the club. The board collectively with Bill Kenwright have provided nothing and done nothing to move this club forward and are largely the main reason why we have not progressed as a club and will continue to fail to do so for the foreseeable future.

Yet we do nothing, say nothing and sit on our hands and consider ourselves lucky, plucky little Evertonians.

Yet some Latin gets missed off the badge in a proposed redesign and it's headline national news, making all the major sports columns and we have petitions of 19,000 and rising and it's total anger and bedlam.

Something is very wrong at Everton FC... but arguably something is very wrong with its fans too.

Daniel Johnson     Posted 28/05/2013 at 13:15:49   Comments (28)

What do we ask of our new manager?

The King is dead, long live the King! Moyes is no more — at least as manager of Everton — and interesting though the inquests about his triumphs and failings may be, we must now turn to the task ahead for his successor.

Now I can’t imagine there’s a job description for the post anymore that the general rules of recruitment will be applied to the way our club will seek out his successor. There won't be a psychometric test, personality profile, and all the other gobbledegook most of us have to suffer in our pursuit of a new job, just as applicants won't have to fill in an application form.

The post will eventually be filled by someone with whom Bill Kenwright ‘feels at home’ and who knows how to behave in front of Lady Seagrove.

What we don’t know of course are the aims and objectives, targets, priorities and, dare I say it, action plans that the person appointed will work to.

Will he control ‘all football matters’ as Moyes so insisted on? Will his brief extend to all levels of players, teams and staff or will, as the continentals prefer, he be seen as merely ‘the first team coach?

Will he be expected to encourage a return to ‘The School of Science’ style of play which dominated those far-off days when Everton were great and had a motto that meant something like ‘Nothing but the Best‘? Or, as so many fear, will it just be enough to keep us in the top half?

Of course, we’ll never know what will be expected of the new man by the hierarchy but what would you be wanted from him if you were invited to be involved in the appointment process?

Answers to BK, please. After all, this club wants to know how its fans feel on major issues, don’t it?

Richard Dodd     Posted 26/05/2013 at 16:17:25   Comments (82)

Goal scorer

Rumours about that Fulham are in for Darren Bent! Figure of £4m being mentioned! Consistent goal scorer over the years and still has a bit to offer at 28yrs of age.

I would love for our new manager to make this happen as I could see him answering our wishes for a 15-20 goal a season scorer!

Thoughts??
Jonathon Edwards     Posted 26/05/2013 at 13:35:28   Comments (44)

In other news – The Crest

So, while we all gnaw at our fingernails, and shout for & against the various names being mooted for the glaring vacancy at Everton, there is another issue being talked about which I just wanted to address briefly - namely the club crest.

Now I have been a staunch anti-change supporter of late, calling like the majority, for the club to keep the old crest for the sake of history and the traditions of our beloved club.... until today.

Taking a look at the reports of Everton going on this International Champions Cup pre-season tour of the United States, I stumbled across this link with all the clubs taking part emblazoned across the top.

They all have very similar club crests to our 'new' one, which made me think perhaps it isn't such a terrible idea after all. Our old one, while we all love & identify with it, up against these others does look dated and cluttered.

Maybe it really is more important than we think that we modernise things like the club crest, as part of the modernisation of our club which – let's face it – does have more than one foot in the past is so many ways.

Time to (as our American counterparts might say) get with the program???

James Marshall     Posted 26/05/2013 at 12:08:18   Comments (45)

Do they need to change the rules?

The Premier League and Football League both have rules concerning the ownership/directorship of the football clubs under their jurisdictions. People cannot fulfill dual roles at different clubs. However the last few weeks have shown that, when it comes to club managers – and despite a potential massive conflict of interest - the same rules do not apply.

Since Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement as Manchester United manager, his replacement David Moyes is effectively managing both Everton and Man Utd in the same League. In the meantime the following incidents (that we know of) have occurred:

At Man Utd: 1. Moyes has visited Carrington to meet his future players despite being employed by Everton. 2. Rio Ferdinand’s has signed a contract extension 3. Two United coaches have been sacked

At Everton: 1. Leon Osman has signed a new two-year contract.

All these decisions were probably taken by one man, yet they affect both clubs. For better or worse, the Osman contract extension has the biggest implication for any incoming Everton manager. While the new man may want Ossie, the truth is he might not.

In my humble opinion, when the Premier League and the Football League originally made their rules regarding owners & directors they could not have envisaged that any club would be stupid/spineless enough to allow their manager to “double job” with one of their main rivals. The rule should be amended as a matter of urgency to safeguard the integrity of football and above all to protect fans from their gormless Chairmen.
Declan Burke     Posted 25/05/2013 at 21:54:57   Comments (5)

The recent love affair with Slaven Bilic

It seems that a lot of fans want Slaven Bilic to be the man who takes us forward because he is a good manager and has links to the club.

The first one is true, he is a very good manager, but the second one couldn't be further from the truth.

People forget that he hardly played while he was at Everton and was "injured" most of the time he was here. He was also a mercenary in the worst sense of the word.

The reason I am so strongly against his appointment is because of a letter I once saw. I was working in the correspondence department of an electric company part time while I was in college, when a girl I worked with came over to me with a letter from Everton and said "You support Everton, look at this".

So I read it and was fairly shocked because it was in regards to an unpaid electric bill for Slaven Bilic. It said that "we at the club do not know the whereabouts of Mr Bilic as he left his accommodation without notice and without a forwarding address, however we believe he may be in Anderlecht."

Then it went on to explain that they were not responsible for the bill etc but that part is not important. What struck me most was how does a player leave a club so suddenly without letting them know where he is going and how can a man on that much money not pay an electric bill??

A scumbag who should never be offered the Everton job

ps: The club were not right about him being in Anderlecht as, after he played for us, he went back to Croatia, so it's not a new thing that they don't know anything about anything.
Dave Trudgeon     Posted 25/05/2013 at 09:15:41   Comments (19)

Trying to be logical about it all...

I'm trying to be logical about it all — it's my new approach to the stresses of being an Toffee.

So, some of the things some of us are worried about can be overcome by logic surely? Let's try.

Worry No 1: An uninspiring internal candidate will be appointed manager.

Logic: If we were going down the internal appointment route, and serious about it, surely we'd have heard of the appointment by now and been told by Bill how we should be thankful for a seamless transition?

Worry No 2: The Moyes appointment took the club by surprise and Kenwright is still in shock.

Logic: Surely, Bill knew this was on the cards from the beginning of the year — even in our dysfunctional club, surely we've been transition planning for months and Bill has always had a successor in mind?

Worry No 3: No-one wants to manage us?!

Logic: The Portugeuse season isn't over, and Laudrup and Martinez are keeping their cards close to their chest. Everton will, in reality, be a hard job to turn down should we move for one of them.
Mark Tanton     Posted 24/05/2013 at 11:45:28   Comments (49)

Kenwright's Decision?

Many of the recent submissions and comments have referred to the ability of Bill Kenwright to correctly identify, approach, interview and ultimately appoint the correct person to manage and coach at Everton Football Club for the next several years.

Kenwright has, famously, declared himself to be "only the chairman" and unacquainted with the inner workings of the world-renowned institution under his purported control.

There are several contributors to this site who clearly have a great knowledge of UK Company Law - I have none.

Kenwright owns 25.84% of the shareholding in Everton. Is he therefore entitled to unilaterally make this appointment without the knowledge, input, and advice of his fellow shareholders and directors?

Woods and Earl both have large stakes in Everton yet are conspicuously silent, as always. If both of these men trust Kenwright with their shareholdings, we need to be seriously concerned, not necessarily about their judgement, but the entire future of EFC.


Brian Hill     Posted 23/05/2013 at 14:19:23   Comments (75)

Guiness is good for you, Everton

There are numerous rumours going round over on this side of the Atlantic that Everton's name will be added to those of Inter, Juventus, Real Madrid and LA Galaxy plus 3 others (possibly Chelsea, Benfica and AC Milan) from July 27th to August 7th.

Two groups of 4 - remaining cities to be named, but Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, New York and Indianapolis have been confirmed.

http://internationalchampionscup.com/

I understood that Everton had already fixed a South Africa pre-season! Anyone out there any wiser on what has been planned?

If Everton do decide to be part of this tournament, surely that would improve on their usual visits to the USA????
Gerry Quinn     Posted 22/05/2013 at 13:22:44   Comments (32)

Waiting for Roberto?

Talk to any Wigan fan and they will tell you that Sunday can`t come quick enough because that`s when Roberto Martinez will tell Dave Whelan whether or not he`s moving to Everton.

Note: Moving to Everton, not Stoke or anywhere else. If you believe the Pie-eaters grapevine that is, an offer that has been on the table since Moyes decided to move `up the scale` as long ago as last Christmas.

Now, this isn`t a new experience for the Wigan loyalists. They went through it last year when Villa (and, maybe, the RS) waited on their man`s decision and the year before that it was somebody else.

But as an Evertonian who works in their midst, I care little for their angst, worrying more about how this heart-stopping drama will impact on my club. Should Bill Kenwright be giving his reported first choice (I do realise whoever is eventually appointed will be paraded as such) so much time to make up his mind? Should not someone who gets the call be so enthused by the opportunity that they can`t wait to get started – à la David Moyes at Old Trafford?

My old man told me last night that the Club has gone through this scenario before. Apparently, post-Catterick, Jimmy Armfield of Bolton took over three weeks to decide whether he was up to the Everton challenge .....and then bottled it! As a result, John Moores looked at all the Everton old boys and appointed Billy Bingham!

Now I guess I'd be happy with Roberto – not ecstatic but happy – and the same goes for Perreira or Mackay but it worries me that nobody seems to be knocking Bill`s door down to get started. Is it that they are only lukewarm about the job or just that the money on offer is not very appealing?

Perhaps Pip will tell us when he gets the job!

Richard Dodd     Posted 22/05/2013 at 09:58:43   Comments (62)

Thank you Davie Moyes (Not!)

The reason we clapped you a fond farewell is that we appreciate hard work and there were some good times as a result of that work, no question, but in the clear light of day, Everton fans see that your decision-making has often wronged us, both in games with bad tactical moves, as well as now, as we face this period of managerial transition with no preparative work. You worked hard, and that’s why you have commanded respect, but other than that, a few points of relevance for both your reign and legacy:

• You left us with no compensation to buy a new manager

• We need a new goalkeeper (our No 1 is someone you have stuck with that has single-handedly for 3 seasons lost us an aggregate 10 pts / season)
• GK’s are not cheap and there is no-one at the club at the right standard to keep goal
• There are at least 3 other positions that require desperate player funds; a good manager, after 11 years, would have seen these weaknesses long ago and sorted them
• We now have ex-players and backroom staff believing they can be our next manager and Everton’s chairman believing that too. Why? Because you have said any of them could do a good job and could be recommended (if that was the case why the hell have you been paid so much for so long)
• You left us with nothing to shout about, no additions to silverware in 11 years
• We so rarely advanced in cups, and when we did, we had no initiative in the very big games: initiative is installed by a manager, we were limp
• Tactically you were efficiently out-done by Dalgliesh at Wembley
• You promoted the move to Kirkby
• You’ve left us at a time so perfect for you, in order to carve out your new role and contract... but it seems that all the planning and thought that Ferguson offered to Man Utd, you failed to give to Everton, a telling difference in your two characters
• Would I be surprised to see Leroy Fer at Man Utd? the turnaround in his signing oddly coincides with Ferguson’s admission that January was the time he first thought of leaving Man Utd
• Your perfectly revealing parting soundbite after the West Ham Goodison send-off game, where you did say how amazing your time had been at Everton, was that you’re to ‘move on to better things’, a truly terrible choice of words however true you felt it to be. So revealing though of a career person and NOT an Evertonian.

And to re-visit my first point:

You left us with no compensation to buy a new manager; the difference between you and Wenger is that when Wenger says he’ll see out a contract, he will, but has not ever run one down to leave his club in the lurch. You have committed the most disloyal move on your employer, and your employer was ultimately the fanbase of Everton.

Thank You Davie Moyes, enjoy the riches of the modern game, as a hard working man, not a man deserving of them.

Charlie Martin     Posted 21/05/2013 at 22:47:43   Comments (127)

Bringing In A Winner

Bill Kenwright has given us his usual sound bites, embarrassed himself in the media and at the end of the final game of the season. So our chairman has not got the manner in which to invigorate or inspire in this real time of worry for us lot. He should be worried too, by the way, because the next decision he makes about the manager will really define the direction of the club. Let's hope it turns out to be the right manager who projects the right image of Everton Football Club, the School of Science... Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.

David Moyes called us "The People's Club" – a good way of getting us onside straight away by complimenting us and also giving a back-handed swipe towards the Dark Side. What do you want the new manager to say? Well this is what I am looking for:

“I came to Everton to reinvigorate this famous old club, I’m here to make it a famous new club. The history of this place, the Championships won, the players they have had in the past means this is a massive massive club and I’m here to help put this club back where it belongs. We will play to the clubs School of Science mantra, we will play every game to win.

"We don’t want to play for 6th, were playing to win the league, to win every cup competition we enter — to win every game. Yes I accept we can’t win every game but we will try to win every game. That is what this club is. It a winning club and Nil Satis Nisi Optimum will be carried around in everyone's minds when they think of Everton.

"Nothing but the best from my players will do for me. I’m here to change the mentality, I’m here to change the perception, Everton aren’t underdogs. Everton are a big club who have struggled. It’s happened before to other clubs who were used to winning in the past but haven’t won for a while.

"I know what the fans are used to seeing here. The older ones know what football is played here. It’s served to the highest order and the standards I set of the players will be of the highest order!

"It's time for Everton to really push on; the previous manager has left me with a very good squad of players — now it’s up to me to support them, to instill the ethics of Everton Football Club into them and to make them believe they are good enough!

"I will set targets. Players will know what is expected of them in each game and during each day in training. We have come to Everton to win, not to win the 'Best of the Rest' but to win trophies.

"I want to deliver trophies to the people of Everton, I want to bring Everton into Europe again, I want people to sit up and take notice of Everton. Evertonians are proud of their history and rightly so. I’m here to make them even prouder to be Evertonians.

"They will lift their heads up knowing that every game we play in we will be trying to win the game. Trying to score goals and trying to play the best football we can. If we don’t win, Evertonians will leave the ground knowing that the team tried to win.

"We won’t try to draw, or play not to lose, you win football matches by trying to win them. This is what Everton Football Club will try to do in every game we play.

"I want dedication, I want passion and I want winners with me at this football club!”

I don’t want to hear him slate anyone, I don’t want to hear him belittle any other clubs, I want his focus on Everton and winning.

Now there are a few things that can blow that speech out of the water and make it meaningless. One is if it’s spouted by Martin O'Niell or Mark Hughes or someone like that! Then I won’t really believe it. The difference with this speech – in order to make US believe that the manager can deliver – is that it has to come from a winner. He has to be a winner. Let's hope he is!
John Hughes     Posted 21/05/2013 at 09:04:30   Comments (69)

Don\'t look down...

Much is made of the words of Bill Kenwright regarding the appointment of the next Everton manager. I think in fairness we are reading too much into every word that is uttered by every “has been” or “wannabe” manager or player that in someway or not is associated to the club.

Sadly it's not worth speculating upon because for years we have been trying to understand the conundrum that is Everton Football Club and its management. We may as well not bother as one cannot believe a word that is said or trust I them to do the right thing — you know, what’s best for the club.

So here we are, where we always knew we would be, post Moyes: looking for hope once more. I said in a post not so long ago that Moyes would go and I feared for the club when he did because I do not have the trust in the Board to get it right. I hope I was wrong, but inside I cannot help feeling a little sick, a little angry and a little helpless.

Like all of us, I am waiting for inspiration from a new manager: like most of us I am dreading the prospect of an internal appointment.

If there is one streak (yellow) that has prevailed in the boardroom for the past decade it is the unwillingness to back a manager, the unwillingness to personally back someone with ambition. No passion, no guts, no plan.

We stand on a very precarious cliff, a wind from the wrong direction can send us spiralling down, a wind from the right direction can make us soar. Enough of the glass half-full merchants — I cannot take my eyes of the rocks below.

Over the years, we have had teams that defend well, create too, but can never score. It's been our Achilles heel. That stems from the coaching staff and getting the best out of the players. Our coaching staff have all been defenders. Says it all really... to promote from Stubbs, Weir, Neville — lord help us. We need a winner to lead from the front. If Duncan Ferguson is around in 5 years time, it may well be his moment... but not now.

The lack ambition from Kenwright is clearly evident; we have a chairman who puts the fans down — "industrial club"? Please someone tell him to think first. That’s a great tag to give a Premier League club worldwide… what do people think of when they hear "industrial"?? A throwback to the Industrial Revolution? The 60s? hard-working, cheap labour, not well thought of? Yep... great pitch, Mr Chairman, that should stop anyone with half a brain from applying from outside the North.

We have a winner on the Wirral, Mr Kenwright. A world class manager. Looking for a job. It's that easy. Will it happen? No... because Rafa has more ambition than any of the board and is not afraid to tell it the way it is. That’s why he won’t get the job. That’s why he won’t even get the phone call for a chat.

That is why we are looking for an industrial manager from Bury, or Bolton or Leeds and not the South of France, Italy or South America.

I wish so hard I am wrong, I will eat every word with a public apology on these pages if I am. But I cannot see it working any other way. It's like shopping at Aldi; you get what you pay for.

Christine Foster     Posted 20/05/2013 at 13:12:30   Comments (143)

New manager's salary

Like everyone else, I am waiting and hoping for the announcement of the new Everton manager to be someone who will be inspiring and of a high caliber. What I am confused about is posters on here who are saying we cant' afford Mr A or Mr Z etc.

If Moyes was on £3 million or so a year then surely we have the financial clout to entice any of the foreign names being suggested. Would Bielsa, Bilic, Blanc, Pereira, etc not be enticed by £2 million or so a year and a Premier League challenge? Seems like a complete no-brainer to me.

The stumbling block as most would agree is Bill Kenwright. Will he show some vision and balls? I mean, if he as been paying the departing manager £3 million pa then how can we not pay the new guy likewise if we have to? I am hoping just once he will make a decision that most of us will be salivating over with renewed optimism for next season...

Gary Russell     Posted 19/05/2013 at 02:25:18   Comments (27)

Starting again with a Blanc canvas

There are many names that the bookies and fellow Evertonians are suggesting are in the running or should be the next manager of our great club. One name I have not seen mentioned in any articles, blogs or on TW who I believe should be seriously considered as the next manager of the mighty blues is that of Laurent Blanc.

Currently unemployed but previously having been manager of the French national team and prior to this manager of Bordeaux. Blanc managed to win the Ligue 1 title and League Cup in only his second season in management, his first season in charge Bordeaux finished runners up.

There may be those of you that will question the quality of the French league compared to the Premier League but before you do please read the excerpts below some direct comments from Blanc himself and some stats from articles written from his time in charge at Bordeaux:

"For me, playing football means ­having the ball, conjuring moves, ­harnessing your strengths, posing problems to your opponents, scoring goals and ­taking risks," he said last week. "Obviously I want my team to win, but I also want them to play ball. That's a state of mind, a fundamental principle, and Manchester United and Barcelona share it."

Bordeaux were down in fifth after Week 27, but they won their last 11 matches, a French record, with their final victory sending Caen into Ligue 2. "We worked so hard on our fitness back in January to be fit for this part of the season," said Blanc, "and that's what made the difference in the end."

It was not the only difference: this season, Bordeaux were unbeaten at home (their last defeat at Stade Chaban-Delmas was in October 2007), and earned 12 more points at home than the runners-up, Marseille; they showed huge mental strength, not least in the nine-man 1–0 win over Grenoble in Week 6, the comeback from 3–0 down to beat Monaco away 4–3 in Week 19 and, in Week 33, the 3–2 win at Rennes after having a player dismissed in the first half-hour. Their youth policy is working, as evidenced by the emergence of young local talents such as Benoît Trémoulinas and Grégory Sertic and their recruitment has been spot on, as the yo-yo pairing of two Yoanns – Gourcuff and Gouffran – proved on Saturday night.

Blanc had taken France to Euro 2012 on a high, with their 23-match unbeaten run only ended by a 2-0 defeat to Sweden in the last group game of the competition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurent_Blanc

Maybe it's just me being too optimistic but if we are going to push on as a club with the foundations that Moyes has laid I think we could do a lot worse than appointing Blanc.

There is a good mix in the current squad of aged heads in the form of Distin, Jags and Osman with the flair of Pienaar, Mirallas, Baines and Fellaini along with the likes of Barkley, Coleman, Vellios, Duffy, Bidwell, Lundstram, Stones etc in the youth set-up that would give Blanc something to really work with to create a solid platform to build off. I would hope he would also be able to get Jelli firing again!

My thoughts are that if the club are going to try and retain the best players that the appointment of a manager with a solid reputation and proven track record is a must.

Lets just hope the hierarchy at Goodison are truly listening to what the fans think!

Brendan Fox     Posted 18/05/2013 at 11:05:50   Comments (34)

Not going to the match makes you miserable?

I know this may stir up some strong opinions, but I have noticed something, especially this season, that I feel should be discussed.

I live 250 miles from Liverpool and work most Saturdays. As such, this means that attending matches is always going to be costly and time-consuming for me. Nevertheless, I still get to 6-8 matches a year, home and away, and keep up to date via the programme subscription, the Everton app on my iPhone, 'When Skies Are Grey' and, of course, ToffeeWeb.

In fact, I visit ToffeeWeb probably 5 days out of 7 every week, maybe more, and it's probably my main provider of 'Evertonia', if you like. You may have noticed sometimes from my posts that my views on Everton are fairly polarised in that I have, by and large, been appreciative of matters on the pitch in the last 10 years, but my view about Everton's off the pitch activities is, let's just say, not very positive! Therefore, whilst siding with the frustrations over Kirkby, commercial activities, that new badge (give me strength!), etc, etc, I have been at odds with what I have often felt is an overly negative view of our playing style, certain players, David Moyes and the playing side in general exhibited on ToffeeWeb.

During spells between attending matches, I have often found this negativity towards the playing side of the club quite depressing and have started to believe that the vast majority of all Evertonians are inherently negative or in some cases verging on schizophrenic in saying they love the club one minute and then denigrating every single thing about it including the team the next.

When I next attend a match, I'm expecting a morgue like atmosphere, snarling arl arses and a bad atmosphere, yet in every case, this is not what I find. I find Goodison Park full of smiling faces, a big appreciation of the team, chants everywhere, Davie Moyes songs and a positive vibe to the place. Evertonians at away matches are even more positive and the atmosphere generated and the support given to the team has been often truly superb. I go home wondering why I thought all our fans were so down in the mouth.

Last Sunday against West Ham was a perfect example. Dignity and class. Fans singing 'Oh Davie Moyes', followed in irony with 'And Manchester is full of shit' just to make the point that even though we fully appreciate what you've done Davie, you're now going to hell in a handcart to those Mancs and we know it. In fact, when I think back to my early matches in the early 80s, our fans were a far more miserable, cynical bunch then than they are now. Players and Managers often got dog's abuse from our own fans.

So, my question is, why is it that match-going fans seem to have a different outlook to what is happening on here? I'm not slagging off ToffeeWeb in any way. I have already said I'm an avid consumer after all and life would not be the same without it. But, I have noticed this difference and even match going When Skies are Grey have had a pop at ' keyboard warriors' for being overly negative.

I know many on here go to the match, so I'm not silly enough to be saying that all ToffeeWebbers live in Australia, Thailand, the USA or the Outer Hebrides. But, there is a difference in my mind to what I am seeing and hearing here and what is exhibited at the Match. Can anyone explain?


Karl Masters     Posted 17/05/2013 at 15:35:08   Comments (47)

The same or different?

Much has already been written and many are very firm in their views of who should and should not be considered for our new manager... The operative word is NEW.

If we want the team to play the same way, and can add one or two players to the squad, we should consider those that are at the club: Stubbs, Neville, Sheedy, Ferguson. But, bearing in mind that person will not have the same qualities of man-management, tactics or approach that Moyes had, they should will at least continue working in the same way.

Some will consider that a good thing: building on firm foundation with a different management style. The other side of the coin would be to bring in a manager with his own thoughts and ideas and revolutionise the club. An example of that would be Lambert at Aston Villa. This approach would be a risk but might bring rewards in the longer term. If this were the desired approach I would consider Hiddink, De Boer, Rijkaard, Bilic, Pereira, Favre, etc.

What I don't think Kenwright should do is be influenced by the media or bookmakers. IMO, we need to think and act like a top 4 club and look to improve on the Moyes years.
Jay Harris     Posted 17/05/2013 at 16:47:30   Comments (13)

Manager: The No! No!! No!!! List

Many articles, polls and items have appeared since the managerial vacancy at Goodison Park was confirmed. All (including ToffeeWeb's latest) seem to focus on "Who would YOU choose?" ... But, for me, there is an equally important list: The "No! No!! No!!!" List.

Those potential candidates who may fancy their chances or whom other, less dignified [*cough*] clubs' fans may wish upon Everton FC out of "schadenfreude" (aka shyte-stirring). Mine is as follows:

Martin O'Neill:
I suspect that, like David Moyes, his best days are behind him. he didn't do what his earlier promise pointed at. Too late. No thanks.

Mark Hughes:
Almost identical reasons to MO'N. He just seems to have derailed himself and become... well... weird, frankly. Also, as a player here, he stunk and spent most on-pitch time just grappling like he belonged on the wrestling with Mick McManus.

Neil Lennon:
Nope. Not a cat in hell's chance. Good run in Europe, credit there. But in a season where the engraver has had 10 months to practice "Glasgow Celtic", hardly a taxing domestic season for the Big Bhoys in the little kids' playground.

Malky MacKay:
Nope... anyway his Dad was horrible to Fletcher when Big Dunc shared a cell with him at HMP Slade!

Steve Round:
I have NO evidence for or against... I just do not want him to get the job.

Desperate Dan Allardyce:
NO! NO!! NO!!!

Orrible 'Arry Redknapp:
NO! NO!! NO!!! — Ever since Baddiel & Skinner did that sketch where 'Orrible 'Arry was going through the lovely Louise's knicker drawer.........

A common factor here is that largely I JUST do not like these guys!

Well that's My No! No!! NO!!! List. I'm sure as others comment, that I'll add more...

Tony Draper     Posted 17/05/2013 at 08:30:59   Comments (72)

We Know Our History and Only The Best Is Good Enough

I moved to Perth in November last year, loving the fact each morning was like waking up on holiday, with blistering heat and a laid back lifestyle but missing the march towards Goodison on gameday. The adrenalin rush as Z-Cars blasts through the speakers and the team run out. Watching away games on a pub screen and being surrounded by Blues, still I haven't missed a game this season, driving my girlfriend crazy, screaming at a tiny TV screen at 3am in the morning, and I am always on the TW site looking at how we as a whole are feeling. Strangely, with recent events I find myself looking at our situation with higher expectations than ever before.

For a while now, we have been the nearly team: nearly winning cups, nearly qualifying for continental football, nearly advancing the next young talent or nearly signing stars as they approach their peak. But we have always been in the mix. The reason many outsiders rated Moyes so highly is that the structure he built into EFC was to stabilize us as a team that, 9 times out of 10, compete with whoever we would be playing. We are consistent and challenging.

When looking at a new managers, opinions are divided – and that in itself is a problem. I personally want us to break the current ideal that huge investors are required and that cheating and intimidating the ref is acceptable by big clubs. I believe that League titles and European glory can be achieved by traditional clubs. I don't feel there is a team out there more capable of doing that right now.

That platform is there for something special. We have a coaching team with more than enough Premier League playing experience; if Pip Neville stays on also, even better. Our Youth teams have performed very well this season with talent apparent and I for one feel this is a great opportunity to kick on. Moyes did what he needed to for us; the next step is to employ a visionary manager who builds on that stability and adds that extra bit of magic.

I know it's a bit romantic of me, but I believe somewhere out there is a superstar manager – proven – who shares my notion, and wants to make history with a club that has not lost its identity and integrity whilst others melt into the common, bland and fickle...

I only hope the names being thrown around are due to bookies underestimating our potential and that BK (if you do read on here Bill, take note) sees this as the biggest and most important signing he has ever had to make.

Get it wrong and a generation of work will have been wasted,

Get it right and we can become the Everton we deserve....

Ash Coakley     Posted 16/05/2013 at 12:34:36   Comments (52)

7 Minutes between 6th and Champions League

They say that things even themselves out over a season, and I'm sure they do – however the most galling thing about our season to date is that, out of 3,330 minutes of Premier League football played this season, our lack of CL qualification boils down to 7 minutes of football when 4 goals were scored against us.

Newcastle, Fulham and Norwich – all scored in the last minute. Spurs with 3 minutes to go. 8 points lost that would have had us sitting on 71 points guaranteeing Europa league at least but with CL place to play for this Saturday.

Ok, you could point to Spurs at home where we turned it round in injury time, but looking at the 3 relegated teams away we took 2 points from a possible 9.

History cannot be changed but I just wonder, "What if?...."
Len Gowing     Posted 15/05/2013 at 20:51:43   Comments (29)

Pip for gaffer

I have seen numerous posts over the past week about who we should bring in and why we have to go for a continental coach, but i haven't seen many yet mention Phill Neville. Now i know for some he's not been overly popular since his move from Man Utd but for me he always did his best for us and was a proper captain and organiser, Wigan cup game excluded he was very good for us, and for me would make a great managerial choice.

To think that hes learnt and been coached by the best manager there has been in Ferguson and also had 8 seasons under Man Utd's newest employee our very own David Moyes. I say Neville because he knows the squad well, hes doing his badges people like Moyes Ferguson Pearce speak highly of him and regard him as a future top manager.

The biggest point for me is, he knows how we operate at board level, we all want better from the board or we all want new owners but that's a separate subject. We aren't losing Kenwright anytime soon and Pip would be the perfect choice to replace Moyes with, yes, Steve Round as number two as I don't see him going with Moyes to United.

It may be deemed negative by some on here; it's just my opinion, under our board now 6th is the best i think we can really aim for. I think next season Neville would get us in and around that position again. I like what he's said about becoming a manager in that he would want to play with style and have an attacking team. Under him we may even go one step further in the cups. I want stability, I don't want a huge risk and that's what Martinez brings. I also think he simply isn't good enough for our club.

So if Kenwright offered him the job he would obviously have to avoid going with the U21s this summer to focus on his first managerial project with us. I just have a feeling that we potentially have a great manager already at the club in him and we would be foolish not to take the risk on someone like him who knows what the clubs all about than a continental choice who will have no money and knows very little about us.

Stevie Leary     Posted 15/05/2013 at 16:58:29   Comments (52)

Memories of 1985

I am reminded by my little brother that 28 years ago today we enjoyed, arguably, our greatest moment in history, when winning the Cup Winner's Cup in Rotterdam. Where you there?

Three of us travelled from Lime Street, met by a couple of fans who couldn't get on the train with their case of McEwans Export, so, being the good citizens, we helped out. Train was late so we missed our connection to Harwich for the ferry.

We were fortunate that the Station Manager at Euston, an agreeable chap, was able to help us on our way. We had to run at the dockside and just made the boat as they pulled up the gangway. The water was like a mill pond but the boat rocked all the way to the Hook of Holland.

On arrival, we needed breakfast so – donned from head to toe in blue – we gave our fellow diners at the Rotterdam Hilton something to talk about over breakfast. Lots of time to kill before the game... what should we do? Question answered when we turned a corner into some square and behold, a host of blue and white seating singing under the blue and white awning of a local hostelry.... We drank, we ate, we sang... Some even played football with the local police.

The game.... well, I don't need to tell you anything about it — probably like me you've watched it many times on video/DVD — but the stadium rocked more than the boat. Do you remember the thunderous hand-clapping feet-stomping? The old stadium had never seen anything like it before and I bet nothing since!

Oh glory, the final whistle... boy did we party!!! We slept in the concrete pipes outside Rotterdam Station (some new drainage system going in). We arrived home late Thursday night just in time to catch a few zzzzzzs before the trip to Wembley...

Well, with the dawn of a new era pending, I just hope I'm around and able to sample some more of the same. COYB
Rob Coles     Posted 15/05/2013 at 16:50:17   Comments (27)

Duncan Disorderly

After losing our illustrious manager, we are now linked, on an almost hourly basis, with every man and his dog, as a potential successor to Davidd Moyes. People make quite compelling arguments as to the whys and wherefores of different managers on ability, and experience... Well, I thought, I would have ago myself… and yes — Big Dunc is the man for me.

Now I have already tweeted this, (yes I do tweet) and some people agree, and some don’t. The main reason for disagreeing is based on experience, They respond with, "Not now... one for the future. We need a man with a proven track record."

Now that seems a fair observation but, as I have pointed out, when Daglish took over the shite as player manager, he never had an ounce of experience. Not even a coaching badge or licence; he just got given the job. He won the League Title in his first year... sorry to remind us all of that but I believe he won it because he was a winner. Man-management, leading from the front, the fans hero, and rightly so.

I believe it takes a man who has won the day, cups, titles, and a forward-thinking player. Not a defender type, negative, from the outset, concentrating on avoiding defeat rather than seizing the day. Wigan seized the day on Saturday, others have as well in the past.

I believe with Big Dunc we have a winner, a winner who is an Evertonian. Yes, he may need help, Royle, Harvey, any one you can think of… But he would be an imposing figure on the touchline... he would inspire the will to win. I have heard he is doing an excellent job as a coach at Everton now, and commands respect from everyone.

I haven't renewed my season ticket for a few years now, picking and choosing my games. If Big Dunc was the new man at the helm, I would instantly renew, such is the appeal, and I have spoken to a few others who have said the same. Oh and by the way, I don’t think he would leave us for anyone… Mancs included.

One last thing, before this gets ripped to shreds, no doubt, if I was Kenwright, I would move heaven and earth to bring back Rooney, give him £100k a week and all his own Merchandise, spend £25M to sign him out of the TV revenue. I know I am dreaming now, but Rooney up front with Super Kev and Big Dunc on the touchline... titles in the bag.

Robby Daniels     Posted 15/05/2013 at 12:55:15   Comments (66)

Moyes and Man Utd Meeting

This morning watching SSN before heading off into work, I was most annoyed to learn of a meeting between Alex Ferguson, Ryan Giggs and our soon-to-be-former manager yesterday.

Er... excuse me, but would I be wrong in saying he's still employed by our club? Our season isn't over and he should be concentrating on our game at Chelsea this weekend!

And now it suddenly emerges that Phil Jagielka is the latest player he wants to take with him.

When the final whistle goes at Stamford Bridge on Sunday I can honestly say I'm not arsed what he does, but he shouldn't be conducting Man Utd business right now.

Moyes got a brilliant send off on Sunday, and leaves with plenty of goodwill, but for me meeting up with them at this moment is downright taking the piss.

Ste Traverse     Posted 14/05/2013 at 17:19:10   Comments (201)

Old Trafford Loans and Acquisitions

Time for some more aimless speculation! It is the season after all.

So with Moyes getting ready to go to Manchester, I was trying to work out what sort of positives Everton can take from this development. And one of the most immediate would be the link that Moyes will provide to the best up and coming (and established but out of favour) players at Old Trafford.

I've seen several comments that have focused on Man Utd's potential pilfering of our best players – most notably Baines and Fellaini – but it's a two-way street, and I was wondering whether anybody thinks there might be any realistic targets that could find themselves at Goodison Park next season.

Now I know that they'll be a lot of people who'll make the argument that we should be developing our own young players and not another club's, but with our relatively small squad size – and perhaps more importantly our modest budget – if there is a diamond to be had then we'd be foolish not to have it.

I'll start the bidding with a season-long loan for Nick Powell.

Any takers?
Andrew Keatley     Posted 14/05/2013 at 00:47:15   Comments (0)

The money debate...

I was just watching SSN, where they show the leagues from around Europe. And it seems that Ajax, PSG, Man Utd, Bayern, Juventus and Barcelona will all win their respective leagues. Barcelona aside, who are without doubt the world model of how to do it, is it right to say all other teams across Europe 'bought' their titles by spending more than their opponents in the last two transfer windows? With this in mind, what is the expectation that is actually set on our new manager? Are you expecting him/her to defy the odds and break into the top four? Anything less is a failure? Or you just want to see good footy, but concede that we don't have the funds to compete?

It's awfully difficult to try and convince myself we have had one of our best PL seasons ever, yet points wise we are just as close to relegation as we are winning the title. But by the same token, we are a decent striker short of playing CL footy. The fragmented leagues with sub-leagues seem to be apparent all across Europe now. I guess France was the last to be affected, but now PSG seem to be untouchable.

Dan Brierley     Posted 13/05/2013 at 18:59:22   Comments (36)

The new 'young' manager...

I have just heard the most horrendous rumour about our next manager which, if it's true, means I am totally finished with the club... Phil Neville and Davey Weir are the next in charge.

It's doing the rounds as we speak and it's coming from someone who works at Everton... Please, it cant be true, would Blue Bill actually do it? Has anyone else heard of this? Is this what Moyes meant by "young manager"?

It couldn't possibly be true, could it?? FFS NO WAY! — PLEASE LET IT BE A WIND-UP...

Tony Marsh     Posted 12/05/2013 at    Comments (382)

What will Kenwright do?

I reckon that is a pretty difficult question, because right now the perpetually bewildered Bill is probably taking bewilderment to an immeasurable level.

What should he do? Well, much as I'd like to have a say in the matter, I really don't think he should listen to the fans; we are pretty divided on this anyway. Nor, I believe, should he listen to the little voice in the back of his head urging him to save a few quid. In other words, forget appointing from within or hiring anyone who has ever played for Everton.

Should he listen to David Moyes? Well, David Moyes must, and one can understand it now, consider himself to be the dog's bollocks when it comes to management, and will likely see Malkey as a Moyes Mk 2.

To me, Kenwright several months ago should have hired a football man to line up a replacement. He won't have have done that... but he should now.

What will he do, though? I reckon he will do as he always does; try to court popularity. He will believe that appointing an Evertonian as a caretaker will appease the fans and buy him time. So take your pick from: Reid, Royle, McCall, Stubbs, Sheedy. Ferguson, Southall — or any combination of the foregoing.

I have deliberately omitted the name of the football man I would pick to choose a new coach. I just couldn't face naming who's the man to pick the man to replace the man who went to Man Utd.


Andy Crooks     Posted 12/05/2013 at 00:58:30   Comments (91)

The case for Roberto Martinez

Everyone has an opinion on the next Everton manager. For me, he must have Premier League experience and play an attractive brand of attacking football. He must also be willing to stay a long while in order to try and build on Moyes's foundations.

So, for me, that man should be Roberto Martinez.

Yes, Wigan have been treading water above the relegation zone for 4 years with Martinez. Being critical, Wigan have never really pushed on and achieved mid-table stability.

But what you have to understand with Martinez is that he has kept a club who are the equivalent of Blackpool with sub-20k attendances in the Premier League for the last 4 years.

He is a man of principal and he believes that you play to win and try to win and at all costs. His teams have had massive defeats 5-0, 7-1 and even a 9-0 as a result of this philosophy.

But, then again, on the flip side, do we want a manger setting his team up wanting a 0-0 and being happy with a 1-1 at Anfield?

He takes this team to Wembley tomorrow for a shot at the FA Cup. Remember how his Wigan team came out, attacked, and got us by the throat: in a 15-min period we were 3-0 down and still yet to wake up from the pre-match Moyes motivation.

You could argue he's achieved just as much as Moyes in getting to an FA Cup Final and keeping Wigan in the Premier League. If Wigan beat City, the tune will soon change on here regarding Martinez.

I for one am quite excited about the football our players could play under Martinez, the creative free expression and the "get the win" mentality. I'm for one sure Martinez could achieve more with our squad than Moyes did this season.

Daniel Johnson     Posted 11/05/2013 at 11:50:30   Comments (211)

The Marriage is over

He left someone else (PNE) to start a love affair with us. He came into our lives at a time when we were in great turmoil and not sure where we were heading.

His love of the job and attention to detail helped stabilize the club (playing side that is) and the love affair quickly became a marriage.

We started to look forward and expect a lot more, could we win a trophy or qualify for the champions league. All of these things became possibilities during our marriage to Davey.

Then cracks started to appear in the marriage. Why does he bring everyone back for corners? Why is there no plan B? Why doesn’t he try the youngsters? Why is he bottling the big games? We started to question the marriage.

We asked him to commit to our marriage, plan for the future together. He stalled and would not discuss it. Always putting the talks off with some excuse, let’s wait and see what happens in January, let’s see if we make Europe. There always seemed an excuse not to commit to our future.

Does he want to leave us? Could he be seeing someone else? The nagging doubts started to creep in. Plenty buried their heads. Ignore it and it will go away. Our marriage is strong we will be ok.

Then it happened, Davey announced that he was leaving and committing his future to a new marriage. Surely he had been seeing them behind our back? His thoughts must surely be on planning for his new marriage, his new life without us and not on finishing this marriage.

But wait, he could stay around a while so we can throw a big send off party for the last 11 years of marriage. Let’s invite all the friends and family round to wave him off into the arms of his new love.

Now really, would you? I do not think so.

The marriage is over; Davey has left us for someone else. There should be no party.

I do not want the manager of Manchester Utd managing Everton Football Club and cannot believe that anybody would.

If you want to thank him then write him a letter and applaud him when he brings his new team to Goodison next season.

We need to move on and should be more worried about finding a new manager.


Ian Hollingworth     Posted 10/05/2013 at 12:57:09   Comments (16)

Promote from within ?

Like many fellow Evertonians, I am currently feeling hurt and slightly betrayed that our great club has been used like a pawn in Manchester United's and David Moyes’s master strategy and I am alone in believing the only people who won’t inflict similar pain or use our club is one of us — an Evertonian.

Step forward, Alan Stubbs! Ably assisted by Duncan Ferguson and Davie Weir. I understand that Stubbs has no previous experience and may not even possess the requisite qualifications but he will be committed and for him, like us, there is no bigger job in football. I believe that, with our squad being so well drilled and experienced, the transition could become seamless and who knows how the journey would end.

However, if we do look to the outside, I feel it is important that the new manager maintains our current setup and is only allowed to bring with him a first team coach so Stubbs, Ferguson, Weir et al are continued to develop for the good of the club. Ideally we could do without the scenario where a new manager appoints his own backroom staff like Mark Hughes and Sam Allardyce do.
Darren Thompson     Posted 10/05/2013 at 10:05:34   Comments (45)

There was a Dutchman, a Croatian and a Frenchman...

This my shortlist of three to replace David Moyes.

1: Dennis Bergkamp, assistant manager at Ajax working with Frank De Boer. He loves attacking stylish football, he knows the Premier League and its demands. He has physical and mental toughness and a fantastic work ethic. He would be better than Laudrup in my view.

2: Slaven Bilic. He not only has valuable Premier League experience, he was a great Everton player in his day. We all know what he achieved with Croatia, but he has not been doing very well in Russia with Lokomotiv Moscow and could become available.

3: Frederic Antonetti. I can almost hear people saying, “who?” He recently left the French Ligue 1 team Rennes after four years and has managed St Etienne and Bastia. He is the “French David Moyes” in the sense that his teams tend to punch above their weight. However, he was publicly critical of Rennes owners for not putting up needed investment. A Moyes with balls!
Peter Fearon     Posted 09/05/2013 at 21:39:14   Comments (46)

An 11-year marriage of convenience?

I've always been a big fan of David Moyes. I admired his loyalty to the club over the last 11 years, and the way he represented Everton Football Club. I wanted him to stay and try to achieve the success that his work ethic and desire warranted.

However, I'm very disappointed with the way things have turned out, and it got me thinking. Have the last 11 years all been a sham? Has he always been nailed on for the Man United job? Ferguson was 60 when David Moyes started at Everton, and it is quite conceivable that they could have come calling after 2 years, after 5 years, 8 years. If they had come in sooner, I believe he would have left us, just as he has left us now, like a married man who leaves his family for another woman.

The fact that Ferguson (I can't bring myself to call him 'Ferg'!) hung on for 11 years, meant that Moyes was content to hang around at Everton on a massive salary. Is that why he never actively pursued a move to any other club? Was it common knowledge at other big clubs who chose not to bother offering him a job, knowing that he was hanging on for United? Many people are saying that he had to leave because Everton couldn't compete financially with the top 4. I think he would have (not would 'of') gone to them regardless, because it turns out that even after 11 years he's not an Evertonian.

No true Evertonian would walk out on the club. He's just like all the others who fawn over United, seduced by their success and the media circus that surrounds them. Ok, he's virtually certain to pick up a couple of trophies over the next few years, but that will be down to Ferguson's legacy. If it does happen, the achievement will be hollow compared to anything he might have achieved if he had stayed at Goodison. Everton's new manager will have a tougher job replacing an aging squad.

As an afterthought it occurred to me that Tim Cahill a few years down the line would be worth considering if he decided to move into management. He shares a lot of Moyes good points – determination, will to win, competitiveness and he was a fine ambassador for the club off the field.

Finally, I thank Moyes for everything he has done for Everton down the years, but I don't wish him success at Man Utd – they've had far too much success already, thank you very much!


Mike Goodwin     Posted 09/05/2013 at 20:30:51   Comments (22)

What's the Remit?

If there has been one decent decision that Bill Kenwright has made in his time, it is to have hired David Moyes. Whatever the long-term benefits that did or did not transpire, it was at the time the perfect appointment.

11 years on, Everton are in a very different place, the remit has changed, but the same man has the final word.

But what is the remit? The notion that the board have any real ambition is tempered by their own catastrophic handling of club finances and the absolute failure in what long term plans they tried implementing along the way.

The remit will be either reflect a lack of ambition and accept shuffling back into the pack, to persist with the outside chance of European qualification, or to go all out to bring in a man to smash the glass ceiling – and put us on those midweek flights to Barcelona and Munich! .

At the start of any one season relegation haunts all clubs in the bottom 13. Yet Everton are one of seven clubs guaranteed the higher reaches. If the club slides and the potential of Europe disappears, so do the best players. Then without finances to cover the lost potential Everton will be a West Ham or Fulham. So sliding back into the pack would come with the type of manager that flitters between Premier League and Championship clubs. The Alan Pardews or Steve Bruces of this world.

Who to fear? Former Blue – Mark Hughes.

But if Bill wishes to persist with where the club are now we need to view what David Moyes brought to the table: Guaranteed safety in the top 7 and a challenge for Europe.

David Moyes shows this can be done without financial backing. Joint 9th in wage budgets, and no first team purchases in five of the last seven transfer windows. There is no other team on Everton’s financial level who are even close to the top 7, and certainly Everton are the only club to do this with consistency and hang on to the coat tails of Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal come April. The type of manager to at least continue this would be the gambles on flavour of the month types such as Laudrup or Di Matteo, but there are others with better track records.

Who to hope for? Former Blue – Slaven Bilic.

Some years ago I remember Fulham live on TV playing at Old Trafford in the FA Cup. The whole crowd were signing ‘Keegan for England’. With the full backing of public support The FA made the worst managerial appointment possible.
When it comes to the next manager, Kenwright is passing the future buck when he says he’s listening to the fans. Act with some bloody conviction! If anything, the fans are suggesting the level of manager they would expect for you to appoint!

It could be though, could be, that Bill Kenwright has the club motto tattooed on his backside. If he is tired of 6th and 7th like the rest of us, he may want through sheer brilliance of the next manager to qualify for the Champions League.
If Everton can go into April on the shirt-tails of the massively funded competition above with David Moyes, then think what the new impetuous of a Hiddink or a Bielsa type could give the players.

Who to pray for? Bill, if your blood is Blue, and you want nothing but the best, here’s a name for you - Jose Mourinho. Get on the phone to Madrid. Hell, get on a plane. Start there. If it doesn’t work out, work backwards. But for the love of God, go out there, sell the name of Everton - and give us someone to believe in!

Nick Entwistle     Posted 09/05/2013 at 18:24:53   Comments (48)

From People's Club to A Lack of Respect

First of all an update on my cancer treatment – inoperable but I been having Chemo since February and my last CT scan showed a reduction in the size of the tumours. So, to put it in footy terms, it's Wembley '66 and Trebilcock has just pulled a goal back – Game On!!

I was able to go to the Fulham game – I can't make West Ham as it's during the worst period of my Chemo. Anyway, there was a Charity Day at the Fulham game and 2 volunteers offered me a leaflet – "Bowel Cancer" awareness – I had to smile at that!!! We had a good chat and I hope that any who took a leaflet/talked to the volunteers will have found it very useful.

Well it looks as if David Moyes will be named the new Manchester United manager. I wrote to him prior to the Fulham match, to wish him and the team well. I still do wish him well for the future.

However – there's always one of those, isn't there? – I think that both Manchester United and David Moyes have shown a distinct lack of respect for Everton. The title is already decided and it is fair to say I think that the last two matches of the season are more important for Everton than they are for Manchester United. Yet they have clearly disrupted Everton's preparations for these games.

Man Utd could have waited until the season was over on 20th May before making any moves. Indeed it would seem that they have not made any official approach – they are not obliged to – but it would seem that they are happy to use the media to get things moving rather than speak directly to Everton. I hope in the future somebody treats them in the same way. It seems too much to expect a global brand to act with integrity.

I had too cringe at both Hansen and Shearer as they patronised Everton on TV last night. We were made to feel that we should be eternally grateful to David Moyes and that he was some Saviour figure who had rescued Everton out of the goodness of his own heart. Yes, I am grateful to Moyes and he has been very good for Everton, but it is a two-sided coin – Everton have been very good for David Moyes. And he hasn't exactly been paid peanuts has he?

Back in 2009 during the Lescott " affair" David Moyes had a go at Mark Hughes for showing a lack of respect to Everton. Has Moyes behaved any better in the last couple of days? From telling us "Everton are the People's Club" to treating that Club and its supporters with such a lack of respect. It could have been done at the end of the season; instead, the timing has been very poor indeed. What happened to making a decision at the end of the season? I wish Moyes well, but he has gone down in my estimation.

Michael Brien     Posted 09/05/2013 at 09:57:05   Comments (61)

Rooney considering his future

Wayne Rooney has to be looking at the headlines today and the betting odds on Ferguson's replacement and considering his own future. I don't personally believe that Man Utd's powers that be are foolish enough to appoint David Moyes, but if they did I doubt if either man wants to work with the other again.

Rooney will be 28 in October and not really the player he once was or once seemed destined to be. He held up signing a new contract because he wanted assurances about Ferguson's future. Could Rooney come back to Everton? Would we want him? Could we afford him?

Maybe Moyes would swap him for Fellaini - or Baines. I once felt that I wouldn't want Rooney back for free but when you consider we have no effective strikers - Anichebe is a bad joke - I feel very differently. Failing all that, Rooney is sold to finance a purchase of Lewandowski, are we entitled to a piece of the action?

Incidentally, I can't want to see van Persie wasting his energy tracking back, defending the near post on corners, helping out on the wing - doing everything but scoring. Welcome to Moyeschester!
Peter Fearon     Posted 08/05/2013 at 15:07:12   Comments (26)

Top Seven League 2013

We often hear that the Premier League has leagues within itself. This season there have been seven teams really interested in a European place outside of picking up a cup competition place. How have they fared within their league within a league?

		Pl      W    D     L     Pts
Man Utd		12      6     2      4     20
Chelsea		10      5     3      2     18
Man City		12      4     5      3     17
Everton		11      3     6      2     15
Spurs		11      3     2      6     11
Arsenal		12      2     5      5     11
Liverpool		12      1     7      4       9

What does this tell us about the Blues? Despite our abysmal record of winning away against these sort of teams, we do fare well in avoiding defeat and would earn a champions league spot on this basis.

However, the story is marred by embarrassing defeats — especially at Reading and Norwich, when games should have been closed out!
Trevor Powell     Posted 06/05/2013 at 21:44:47   Comments (24)

A bridge too far

So we're fizzling out, and have been fighting the fizzle for weeks if not months.

We knew we needed an away victory to really push for a meaningful finish to the season, but surely deep down when looking at the fixture list even the most optimistic of Evertonians doubted the team's ability to go away and win at any of the bigger clubs.

We've fallen short and I think mentally Arsenal, Liverpool and (coming up) Chelsea away are just a bridge too far for Everton FC currently. We're too timid and, at this time of the season, too tired.

I think we'd have had more of a chance of top 4 if Moyes had used his fringe players:–

  • Barkley – surely underused and could have contributed something more valuable. If he'd gotten more experience with us under his belt, he could have been a big player in the final six weeks.
  • Oviedo – most of us like what little we have seen of him. What has he done to so displease Moyes? Why can Pienaar turn in such poor performances (when did he last even pass successfully to another player?)
  • Hitzlsperger – Was he fit enough? Why did he fade away? Why sign him?
  • Vellios – We weren't scoring enough chances, so why didn't he get his turn?
The biggest reason though for fizzling out has to be laid squarely at the door of the board for the mess of the January window. I also have to blame Moyes if he was party to the last-minute approach which backfired. Perhaps his dithering contributed.

Anyway, who knows what the summer holds... but, as for most clubs, we can only now ask "What if?"

Mark Tanton     Posted 06/05/2013 at 08:02:53   Comments (33)

Do We Still Have European Hopes?

I was watching the Sunday Supplement this morning and Martin Lipton (Football Correspondant at the Daily Mirror) said something quite interesting. Here's what he said verbatim:

"If Liverpool win this and win their remaining fixtures, and just knick Everton for 6th, and Chelsea win the Europa League but don't finish 4th, Liverpool get into Europe. There's an extra place in the Europa League next season. 6th could could still be a Europa League place if there was a series of other events."

Now after today's result it looks increasingly likely that Everton will finish 6th. In fact a home win against West Ham next week would confirm Everton in 6th place.

So if 6th place might have been good enough to get Liverpool into Europe then surely 6th place might be good enough to see Everton in Europe?

I cannot quite understand what Martin Lipton was talking about. If Chelsea win the Europa League but don't finish 4th?? But, even if Martin Lipton was confused explaining it, surely he is correct in saying a series of events can make 6th a European spot?

Can anyone confirm Martin's statement? Surely the football correspondent for the Daily Mirror knows what he's talking about and if he says 6th can make Europe then we might still be on for European football next season yet.

And I think European football will be a big factor in David Moyes big decision over staying or leaving...

Dick Brady     Posted 05/05/2013 at 21:03:14   Comments (40)

A team for the future

With all the "Will Moyes stay or go?" talk we have had in the past few months, it has got me thinking: How can we genuinely move forward as a club?

In the current model, we seem to be just outside the top clubs in the league and selling players to survive each year. Currently Fellaini, Baines and Heitinga are mooted to leave this summer. We can go buy replacements for these players sure but give it a few years and we are back to square one, especially with us being outside the top 4 and the big money on offer. So it begs the question: How can we make that next step? My view on this will be controversial but I think it does carry weight — we use youth.

When I say "use youth", I don’t mean like the current Aston Villa model of playing so many players 22 and under and hoping for the best. Certainly there has to be some sort of balance in this to prevent free-fall down the league. I think the experience of Jagielka, Baines, Gibson, Pienaar, Osman etc will be vital in moving the club forward but, instead of repeating the same cycle every 5 years, we should break it.

I don’t want us to radically change over the summer but, if you look at the ‘five-year plan’, I think we should be looking realistically at who will be in the team by then. In my mind, I would like to see all the youth we have lined up for this depending on them being good enough. I mean, at this present moment in time we have;

Duffy
Stones
Vellios
Barkley
Junior
Kennedy
Garbutt
Lundstram
Bidwell
McAleny
Gueye

All these players in my mind should be already considered for the squad or have plans to integrate them over the next 2-3 years. A few of them may make it as it stands but without a genuine plan like this, how can we expect the club to progress?

A lot of comparisons can be made to the German model that is currently in the news but I think, if we give these young players a chance to break into the team, then over the next 5 years we could see a team that is challenging up there. Our money can then be spent either adding to this new cycle of youth or bringing in the experience to play alongside them to strengthen us over the course of 38 games.

If we had at least four more players this season, we maybe could have been still contenders for 4th, but considering Kennedy was playing SPL, Barkley was doing nothing, Vellios hasn’t played at all, and Gueye is on loan... What a prize it would have been to have them fill the gaps to rest our main players?

I personally don’t see us progressing at the moment without any plan for these players and I think this is what is costing us from becoming successful. Whether they would have been good enough or not, how many young players in the past 10 years have made the squad and how many have we let go?

I personally believe if you give a kid a chance to prove himself then he has the potential to make it. You look at Man Utd, Bayern, Barca, AC Milan, all successful clubs, all rich clubs. All of them also bring kids through, and benefit from it, by planning ahead.

I may be talking about a pipedream, but I would love nothing else than for us to develop our team from the bottom up, and potentially in 5 years, play 11 homegrown players like Baines rather than 11 poor Scottish imports like Naismith.

Chris Ashton     Posted 02/05/2013 at 10:50:54   Comments (60)

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