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Season 2012-13

The Mail Bag

November 2012 Archive
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Richard Knights: Another fine mess?

Before the Arsenal game, quite a lot of the talk, in the pub I was in was about the treatment Richard Knights was receiving from Everton.

This came about because of the articles on the KEIOC website, the first highlighting his treatment and the latest, I’m assuming, due to PR head Paul Tyrrell’s cosy chat on twitter with the new chairman of the Shareholders Association when he told everybody watching that nobody had been banned this season from Goodison Park — in other words, he was saying that KEIOC were lying.

What followed then was that KEIOC reproduced the content of a letter Tyrrell had sent Knights and it clearly says he is banned from Goodison Park.

My question is why do we continually employ people who simply can’t tell the truth and bring about adverse publicity? Look what Ross used to do, his handling of the Kings Dock, Destination Kirkby and the Park End fiasco... particularly the Park End was amateurish, but this appears vindictive and comes across as bullying. I've heard Tyrrell has picked fights with fans before at Man City and Liverpool; he might be out of his depth this time.

I understand the police are involved and looking at another series of tweets between KEIOC and a disgusted Keith Wyness of all people, who now appears very pally with them; the media are also taking interest.

Has Everton been fair in their treatment of Richard Knights or have they been underhand and wrong in the way they’ve handled this? Where there’s one lie, there’s usually more and telling the chairman of the Shareholders Association that they’ve banned nobody when clearly they have is typical of Everton shooting themselves in the foot – imho.      

Paul Jamieson     Posted 29/11/2012 at 15:24:23   Comments (69)

7th is 4th is 1st

Well I just had a trawl around the papers and that's what Platini is reported to be saying. Uefa are considering expanding the Champions League from 32 to 64 teams, so coming 7th in the Prem can get you in...

Now personally I'm a dinosaur and think only the Champions should get in but I accept I'm pissing in the wind and 4th is the new first, especially for our younger fans who have known no other way.

So I wonder, say in 5 years, will 7th be the new 1st? Will we be celebrating being in the Sky Seven?

When will all this madness end?

David Stewart     Posted 28/11/2012 at 11:53:40   Comments (28)

Pienaar for the Subs Bench?

We have seen an alarming drop in form from Steven Pienaar these last few weeks. There was the idiotic sending off against QPR and a downward dip in performance levels since his return.

This is the one area of management Moyes never seems to get quite right. He persists with players who are clearly out of form, not just for a few games either. Cahill always started if fit, no matter how he played.

I say put Pienaar on the bench against Arsenal, and start with Oviedo in front of Baines.

If a players know he will always start, even if playing poorly — how can you expect 100% effort from these players?

We cannot afford to turn over possession regularly to a good passing side, and Pienaar has been too sloppy with the ball lately.

Over to you, Mr Moyes.

Kevin Tully     Posted 27/11/2012 at 14:22:40   Comments (40)

Who is next?

Speculation today that Leighton Baines will be the subject of a £15 million bid. Fellaini has already stated he wants play Champions League football so he will more than likely be gone in the summer, as i don't believe we will get top 4. The truth of the matter is the manager, love him or loath him, will never be able to make this club a success. The inability of the Chairman to create a business that raises the required funding for transfer fees means that every time Moyes gets within touching distance of having the squad to compete, the Chairman cuts his legs off by selling his players. Until the present Chairman and his inept board leave the club, it will be same old, same old. As he sells players and does not reinvest all of the incoming fees, he also takes the club debt down. In the eventuality of a takeover that means more profit for the shareholders. Especially the major shareholder, who is....
Paul Andrews     Posted 27/11/2012 at 11:58:59   Comments (15)

Blues Against Racism

I heard and read about the absolute despicable chanting at Spurs on Sunday. How any human can make jokes and chant about Hitler and The Holocaust is beyond my reasoning. Added to the comments by Managers that they "didn't hear anything" — it makes me feel ill.

More than that, it makes me feel disgusted sometimes with the modern game. The goings on over the past 12 months with racism in football in all its forms, along with the Managers' "no comment" or even worse adding to the horror with stupid acts seemingly to support their foolish and cretinous "stars" has made me seriously think about not watching football anymore.

Football seems to me now more than ever morally bankrupt. The goings on at Chelsea and West Ham last week added to my disappointment and disgust.

In all of this I have always stood up and defended Everton and I have to say David Moyes's honesty and openness in the media.

In view of the stupid "twit" who sent (if proved) racist Twitter comments to a Norwich player for scoring an equaliser, I am asking fair minded Evertonians, I believe the majority are such, on ToffeeWeb to make a comment against this idiot and state quite clearly "not in our name".

Racism has no place in any form in football and certainly not here at Everton. Please support this and let's not hear any such chants at Goodison Park — ever.

George McKane     Posted 27/11/2012 at 08:33:17   Comments (24)

At Half-Time... We'd be Top!

An interesting stat from today's Times is that if all Premier League games ended at half-time this season, Everton would be top! So what is happening to us in the second half?

Now it may well be that other teams pick up after half-time but it must also mean that our performances drop off. If you compare us to Man Utd who are top after 90 minutes, their half-time home record is identical to ours. We have both been ahead in 3 games, drawing in 2 and losing in 1. Of the 3 we were winning we have won 1 and drawn 2 whereas Man Utd have won all 3 and of the 2 we were level in we have won 1 and drawn 1 whereas Man Utd have won both.

The interesting thing is the game we were losing we ended up winning but Utd lost theirs.

The possible reasons I can see for our weaker second half displays could be:

1) We are not fit enough.

2) Moyes's tactics are wrong in that he is naturally defensive-minded unless of course we are losing when he has to try and attack.

3) Other managers realise that attacking our weak defence is the best way for them to get something out of the game.

Whatever the reason, we cannot continue with games like last Saturday when we were hanging on for a 1-0 win against a team like Norwich.

Mick Wrende     Posted 26/11/2012 at 13:17:52   Comments (20)

Evertonianos Extaticos

Chile Everton return to the top-flight with a well deserved victory, 3-1, in Concepción. They almost fell behind on 10 minutes when the referee signalled a ridiculous penalty for the home side. They obliged by shooting wide. The rest of the half saw the locals dominating although Everton had the clearer chances. Just before the break the visitors took the lead with a fine header from Muñoz.

The second half saw the locals again pressing. On the hour Everton were denied a clear foul on the edge of the box; UDC went up the field and were awarded their second spot kick after a naive forward\'s tackle from Cerrato:– 1 - 1.

Just as we imagined the worst, Muñoz re-established the lead with another fine strike. Ten minutes from the end the locals were reduced to 10 men after Cerrato was hacked down, not for the first time. Everton were now attacking with ease and would have doubled their score but for poor finishing. A third was added just before the end – no more than they deserved and now 4-1 on aggregate.

So, after 2 years in the second division, Everton return to the top-flight to the delight of their 4,000 visiting fans. The 11-hour trip will see many of them just arriving home in time to clock-on on Monday morning. Well done to the fans who travelled and well done to the players who delivered top flight football again. E fore!
Tony Heslop     Posted 25/11/2012 at 20:52:58   Comments (8)

A Captaincy issue?

Since he joined Everton in 2005, Phil Neville has received a mixed view of support from the Everton fans. It can be argued that, while some see him as an important captain to the team, others would see him as a 'fringe player'. Yet, since 2007, after Weir left for Rangers, Neville has remained the captain under the management of David Moyes. It's pretty obvious why Moyes selected him for the role, with his main asset being the vast amount of experience he brings to the table (with over 350 appearances for Manchester United). Also, essentially he's not injury-prone — unlike his brother was at United.

However, in recent years, despite the lack of squad depth, there are better players that deserve a place in the starting line-up — but how can Moyes drop his captain? The newly acquired Hitzlsperger seems to be fitting in well, and Gibson is returning from injury soon. These two are a must-pick duo for our midfield. The recently returned (from loan) Ross Barkley is no doubt an exciting prospect, and one that I would love to see have a run out from time to time. With the likes of Osman also to contend with, I believe that Moyes has to seriously reconsider Neville's status at this club. Yes, he does bring experience... but in my opinion he brings little else. Do not get me wrong when I say this — I'm not expecting goals galore or even many assists... just the capability to string a few passes together without giving away possession.

But I cannot raise the issue of removing Neville as captain without naming possible replacements. Jagielka is currently the vice-captain, and a good one at that. At times he seems to be the heart of Everton FC, winning tackles in the defence that he has no right to. His passion and quality are both enough in my eyes to see him as a possible successor.

To conclude, I believe that Moyes at the time made the right call in selecting Neville as club captain, but ultimately he can no longer benefit this Everton side that must now be aiming for Europe once more.

Cal Davies     Posted 24/11/2012 at 14:36:40   Comments (14)

Chilean play-off final

It's a big day for Evertonianos in Chile on Sunday (25 November). A win or a draw puts Everton back in the top flight.

They travel to Concepción, a city with three clubs that was badly hit by the 2010 earthquake, for the second leg of their play-off final against Universidad Concepcion who spent last season in the top flight.

Everton won the first leg at home 1-0 although, according to the terraces, it should have been four or five.

The game, which kicks off at 15:30 local time on Sunday (18:30 GMT), will be shown live on Chilean television.

And, apparently, there is a Finch Farm connection in the other play-off final. I am told it sees Barnechea leading 3-1 against Cobresal from the first leg, with Barnechea (a club from the capital, Santiago) managed by a former Everton youth coach who spent some time at Finch Farm in 2010.

Mike Owen     Posted 24/11/2012 at 09:07:26   Comments (8)


Here in America, Thursday is the great day of Thanksgiving, where all Americans take a moment, look upwards, and appreciate what we have.

More importantly, we stuff our "gobs" with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, et al, all laden in gravy (aka liquid lard), and drink entirely too much alcohol. A form of gluttony the Romans would be quite proud of sans the vomitorium.

So I was curious, if the UK and points beyond had a day of thanks in a "Blue" mode, what would you be thankful for?

For me, off the top of my head:

  • The style of football we've played this year
  • An actual shot at Champions League (imo)
  • ToffeeWeb
  • David Moyes's "rebirth" into attacking football
  • Fox Soccer Channel — so I can watch the games thousands of mile away
  • My entire family becoming supporters
  • Finding Everton near 6 years ago and having it turn into obsession
  • And I'm sure a myriad of other things I can't think of at the moment...
So, what are you thankful for, in a Blue kinda way?

Happy Thanksgiving from America — where the red-headed-beaten-stepchild-adopted fans live. :0)

Jamie Crowley     Posted 22/11/2012 at 00:25:20   Comments (42)

Battle for third?

Roberto Di Matteo seems like a decent bloke, and hard done by. He won Roman’s supposed Holy Grail and unlike last season has Chelsea battling it out at the top of the league. What’s he ever done for us?

Now Roman has only gone and approached the fat Spanish waiter, the man who relegated Liverpool from the top 4. The repercussions in full swing as we speak.

With Benitez in charge of Chelsea it means 3rd place is up for grabs. Because all I see now is upheaval in west London, which further north at Spurs has caused more problems than necessary. There’s be even more so should Guardiola sign-up at the Bridge.

I have no idea who will stay the distance in the battle for the CL spots. Who’s to say WBA can’t do that? But battling for two available places is better than one, and I’ll look to Rafa to make sure that happens.
Nick Entwistle     Posted 21/11/2012 at 10:02:07   Comments (23)

Is the Everton Chairman a liar...?

The answer, as we all know, is an emphatic Yes!!

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Frannie Jeffers tells how Everton lied to the fans about his £8M sale to Arsenal back in 1997 June 2001.

Here is the original story in The Telegraph in which our 'beloved Chairman' was staggered at his choice to reject Everton's apparently non-existent offer!

Cue the Blue Bill Brigade who'll no doubt say different to Jeffers... who, as the player being sold, obviously knows less than they do!


Paul Jamieson     Posted 18/11/2012 at 23:17:59   Comments (31)

Bye-Bye Felli

Well... for me, yesterday would have been the day that the Big Fella decided it's time to move on. I too believed that this could have been a special year and 4th could have been achieved — thus bringing the opportunity of Champions League football.

This is no knee-jerk reaction but the way games are going I'm afraid this squad is just not good enough and we certainly don't have the depth to sustain a season-long challenge for 4th.

Now before you start having a go about how unrealistic are expectations are and how better this is than under Walter-blah,blah, blah this article is not about that,it\'s about if we can achieve 4th and maybe entice the big fella to stay.

As I stated, I now believe that the squad is just not good enough and we all know that any way of improving only comes from the sale of players, thus giving us a bit of cash to try again. To me, it's clear as night follows day that Fellaini is gonna move, the question is what part of this season will he go?

Well, at the moment, his star shines bright so I say let him go in January and hopefully we can persuade someone to hand over a wad of cash. The hope then is that this money can be reinvested and the depth of the squad can be improved; if we want that magical 4th.

(Oh how I hate that 4th has become our 1st.)

David Stewart     Posted 18/11/2012 at 00:57:17   Comments (47)

BK says NO to Financial Fairplay

It is reported this morning that Kenwright was one of the the four chairmen of Premier League clubs to vote AGAINST the introduction of Financial Fairplay rules when the concept was discussed by the clubs yesterday.

Apparently, he considers that such a move to establish a more level playing field would militate against the possibility of his finding a buyer for our club.

Whilst it is true such constraints might serve to lower the price, he can hardly claim that it is not in Everton's interests to see the Moneybags clubs forced to `toe the line`.

Once again, our hero has come up trumps for all who value pride in the club over profit.

Editor's note: Speaking with Sky Sports today, Bill Kenwright denied that he had voted against the proposed FFP regulations. The Telegraph have admitted their error: the four dissenting clubs were Man City, WBA, Aston Villa and Fulham.

Phil Walling     Posted 16/11/2012 at 12:28:54   Comments (22)


Just wanted to say and point out, that Toffeeweb and Grandoldteam have made 2 of the 32 websites of the Teamtalk recommend list. I do read Teamtalk quite a bit, and they do quite a lot of blogs, and most of them are fairly well written with good debates afterwards, just like a lot of articles on here.

I wanted to mention this though because only Everton and Arsenal are clubs with more than one site dedicated to them on this list. Even clubs like Man Utd only have one in it.

So it shows Michael, Lyndon and the creators of the Grandoldteam, and also just as important, Everton as a whole, are doing something right! Thanks for this site guys!

Link here if any of you are interested:
Ben Jones     Posted 15/11/2012 at 21:25:23   Comments (10)

Undermining the Blues?

I watched ESPN's Soccer Presspass program on TV last night. Generally it's an okay 30 minute program with analysis and speculation about teams and results. Steve Nicol, ex-Liverpool, was a pundit last night.

Early on he was trying to insist that Huntelaar should be pleased to join Liverpool from Schalke because Liverpool is a "bigger club". Happily the presenter and the co-pundit were incredulous that Liverpool, with Europa League at best, are bigger than Schlake who are in the Champions League.

However, what really made me mad was Nicol\'s later comment, after the program had named David Moyes as Manager of the Week. Nicol aggressively replayed the argument that Moyes was too good for Everton and has to leave very soon. The presenter had no time to challenge this assertion which was the closing statement of the program.

How can Liverpool and their media acolytes get away with this concerted campaign to unsettle The Blues? The kopites are shitting themselves that we will finish above them again.

Joe Green     Posted 14/11/2012 at 01:23:21   Comments (35)

Goals in a Calendar Year

I saw a facebook post from ESPN Soccernet earlier today regarding Lio Messi's goal scoring record. The post read:

"Lionel Messi surpassed Pele's milestone of goals in a calendar year by scoring for the 75th and 76th time in 2012 to move within nine of Gerd Mueller's all-time record. Will he break it?"

That got me to thinking, what was the most goals our very own Dixie Dean netted in a calendar year? 1927 looks like the year he probably scored the most as he scored 12 international goals that year in addition to setting his single season record in the 1927-28 season.

I like Lionel Messi. I think he is a class act in addition to being one of the best footballers of all time... but if our Dixie scored more in a year, we need to see to it that he gets the respect he deserves.

Pat Finegan     Posted 12/11/2012 at 00:44:49   Comments (27)

Wake Up, Bill!

We currently sit 4th in the Premier League table, level on points with West Brom and looking at a good run of games over Christmas. Surely Kenwright should be putting in extra hours in his search for a buyer because at the moment we are more attractive then recent years.

The potential for Everton to finish in the top 4 is increasing every week and Kenwright should see the potential in the current team. If we do come 4th, the club's value would rises to its maximum and Kenwright should have a buyer lined up.

The dream of Everton coming back to the top are down to Champions League qualification this season and an immediate buyer lined up straight away to take full advantage of coming fourth. Finishing in the Champions League places is good but if we ever want to be really successful again, Kenwright MUST sell the club at the end of the season!

Dominic Johnson     Posted 11/11/2012 at 13:01:40   Comments (78)

Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe

Did anyone see how Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe did last night against Newcastle?

I have scrawled through each of the match reports on Sky Sports and BBC and still not heard his name mentioned! Does he look like anything like the Ox that Vincent Kompany tweeted about?

George Allington     Posted 09/11/2012 at 10:17:57   Comments (15)

Birth Map of 2012-13 Everton squad

I have created a map which shows the birthplaces of the whole Everton senior squad (as of November 2012):

Check it out!

Charley Glynn     Posted 08/11/2012 at 21:24:11   Comments (26)

What's with Anichebe?

There seems to be a story brewing involving Big Vic. He was originally in the squad for Fulham, but then did not appear in the final subs list.

Moyes is quoted, when asked on the topic “I just decided not to use him at the last minute. I won't elaborate on it anymore”, which is quite a strange response in itself. Does anyone know any more about this?

Victor has talked himself up over the last 6 months and isn't getting a game. Is this causing tension with Moyes? Is it just that he's injured and we don't want to reveal it as the squad is so small?

How much would we get if he was to go in January? Would we miss him, or could the cash be better spent?

Jon Ferguson     Posted 07/11/2012 at 12:50:04   Comments (42)

Lewis Holtby

I will be watching with interest as Schalke take on Arsenal tonight in the Champions League group stages.

Lewis Holtby, a self-confessed Blues fanatic (his father was a soldier from the city), will be playing centre midfield for Schalke.

His current contract expires next summer, and he is free to sign a pre-contract agreement from January.

We are crying out for this type of player in our midfield, we all realise our options are severely limited in this area of the field.

His agent has indicated he has already had offers from Premier League clubs – I sincerely hope Everton are one of those clubs.

Kevin Tully     Posted 06/11/2012 at 11:38:14   Comments (35)

Donovan's dud

An apparently healthy Landon Donovan went the full 90 minutes last night for the LA Galaxy against San Jose. And in the club''s biggest game of the year — a playoff game doubling as a California derby rivalry — Donovan had no impact at all.

He was rushed off the ball repeatedly and spent much of the night seated on the turf, gazing mournfully at the referee as a San Jose player galloped off in the other direction with the ball. LA lost the game at home and could be eliminated from the playoffs Wednesday night in San Jose, giving Donovan plenty of time to rest up for a possible January loan return to Everton.

Or not.

Donovan's been talking about retirement and a lack of motivation, and the Donovan I saw last night has one foot out the door to the golf course. If we're a healthy side in December, I see no reason for Moyes to even pick up the phone. We're suddenly awash in right side choices — Mirallas, Naismith, Coleman — and this brand of Donovan doesn't figure in.

Donovan could still prove me wrong on Wednesday (I hope not, since I support San Jose), but I don't see a place for him with us.

Mike Gaynes     Posted 05/11/2012 at 16:31:37   Comments (79)

Barkley Hoots for the Owls

Young Ross scored again this weekend thus meaning he’s now bagged 4 since going to Sheffield Wednesday on loan at the start of the season. Some wondered if he would turn out to be just a decent championship player. Others argued the loan was a waste and that Barkley should be given a chance in our first eleven.

The suspicion was that the truth would be somewhere in the middle. Barkley’s goals and the rave reviews he’s been getting suggest at his young age he is probably too good for the Championship. But, as good as this loan has turned out to be, the real test will be whether he’s matured. Clever tricks and defence splitting passes are wonderful to see but if he doesn't tackle back, plays suicidal passes in the defensive area and makes the wrong decisions then he won’t ever progress.

One would hope his increased game time in the Championship might have ironed some of these creases out. Having been at Craven Cottage yesterday, I still believe we miss a driving force in the middle of the park, someone who will run at the opposition and unlock defences. As good as we are on the flanks, we need an attacking midfielder who will put his foot on the ball. Barkley might just be that player.

While the praise of Barkley is glowing on their forums (from a set of fans who know their stuff) there are also references to his errors in the middle of the park and the fact that he can do nothing for long periods. Everton cannot afford to carry players. We did yesterday at Fulham in the shape of Jelavic and that might go some way to explaining why we drew.

Many would have him back in January but, injuries and the transfer window aside, ideally I think we should leave him with the Owls for the remainder of the season. He left a boy and might well come back as a man.

Here’s hoping. The positive is that he plays in arguably the hardest position on the pitch and very few breakthrough into it until their mid-20s (Lampard and Gerrard being good examples of that – and one might include our very own Leon Osman in that as well) so perhaps, just perhaps, we might have a real player on our hands.

Andre James     Posted 04/11/2012 at 21:10:19   Comments (30)

The Pros and Cons of Playacting

Now, one of the reasons I am proud to support Everton is because they try to play the game 'the right way'. While Moyes has his many faults, one thing that you got to admire is the way he strictly imposes the Everton ethic all through the team. Example: his recent talking down to Neville for the derby dive.

But, I sometimes wonder if the 'Everton Way' does not affect us negatively with regards to referee decisions.

Take the Suarez stamp on Mirallas. In a way, it was unfortunate that Mirallas did not make a bigger deal out of the injury than what he did at that time. Much as I hate it, if he had rolled around a little bit more and stopped play for a few minutes, at least there would have been half a dozen replays of the incident on TV and the whole world would have known what kind of a weasel Suarez really is. Since Mirallas quietly limped out of the pitch to be attended on the sidelines, play went on and Suarez got away with it.

  1. Would making a big deal of the incident have helped in getting Suarez red-carded for the Distin stamp?
  2. Would it have ensured that Everton's players are better 'protected' by the referees in future?
  3. Would it have ensured that Liverpool and their fawning pundits on TV talked less about being 'cheated of victory'?
Please note: I am not advocating faking injury and cheating to get a fellow professional player in trouble. Although I hate to say this, I suggest that it might be beneficial to the team if you playact a bit to get decisions in your favour.

Ajay Gopal     Posted 03/11/2012 at 05:16:29   Comments (16)

Tim... Tim Who?

Tim Cahill... Remember him? He left only a few months ago, but already it's starting to seem like a distant memory. If you'd told me, say, two years ago that when he finally moved on we wouldn't really notice his absence, I'd have raised an eyebrow.

Pertinently, the derbies were always exactly his kind of game. I'm aware that his effectiveness had lessened, and fans were openly saying last season that his time was or ought to be up, but even so I had to remind myself on Sunday of just how recently he went.

For this to be the case for a player who did so much in a blue shirt that was good, is sad in a way.

But in another way it's bloody brilliant, as it underlines what a good team Everton have now become. You can just bet that, if we'd made our usual ponderous start to this season, we'd keep hearing his name. Much as I loved the guy, I'm so glad we don't.
Richard Pike     Posted 01/11/2012 at 00:33:35   Comments (44)

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