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Season 2012-13

The Mail Bag

October 2012 Archive
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Have Chelsea Dived? And if they have...?

Clattenberg. We know him. Senior ref from 25; Careerist; financially dodgy; ready to hug the bigger people; poor decisions... OK. But losing his cool and his career to be racist to two players from completely different racial backgrounds in a key match on prime-time? Hmm – seems so unlikely... I don’t think so.

Now Mata has walked from the whole thing, Chelsea have pleaded ‘insufficient evidence’. Well, yes – Mata has said it didn’t happen – that sounds like insufficient evidence to me.

Leaving Mikel. I know nothing about him to disqualify him as a witness but nor do I know his opinion to be worth setting against four match officials. Could he be mistaken? Could he and / or Chelsea be trying to catch up for John Terry and Ashley Cole? Ask Graham Poll, who says they lied about him 6 years ago.

Which brings us to the match officials who hear every word the referee says. And they say; 'Shocked – nothing took place'... are they all liars, and Mikel truthful? Perhaps – but again I don’t think so.

That is all I know so far so let’s leave the judgement there – jury out – but VERY unlikely to convict.

Where does that leave Chelsea if it happens? Beyond the pale I think, requiring the most serious sanction for playing this card without justification. Moving from football diving to moral diving. Glasgow Rangers would be the best example of suitable treatment IF this turns out to be the case.
Peter Hall     Posted 31/10/2012 at 21:04:56   Comments (23)

Priorities and predictions for January

Well, for the first time in years we have had a good start to the season; we have some great players and have held on to those who we think crucial.

We all hope that we can still be in touch of the top four when Christmas comes around, and the window opens for business.

What are Everton's priorities and pressing areas to address in the new transfer window? Who would you love to see? Who do you predict will come in?

I think we need at least three new faces, and hope that we can act quickly as we did in the summer. Is it possible to have two successful transfer windows in one season at Goodison?!
Mark Tanton     Posted 30/10/2012 at 14:54:41   Comments (46)

Looking ahead

Like, I'm sure, many of us, I've been fairly focused on the derby over the last couple of weeks, to point where this morning, I actually had no idea who our next game was against.

I duly had a look at the fixtures ahead and its reminded me of what a crucial time we've got coming up. To save you reaching for your favourite link, here's the next four:

Fulham (a)
Sunderland (h)
Reading (a)
Norwich (h)

Incidentally these are all on consecutive Saturday's throughout November, a rarity in our season so far with its near 50% rate of having been altered for TV coverage. The main point though, is that these four, and the three that follow it (in the space of ten days) represent two very different sorts of tests that will tell us a lot about where we really stand.

These four are all against teams below us in the table, who have consistently finished below us in the table, and who we would expect to beat. This brings with it the test of being favourites, overcoming opponents who may set out to avoid defeat, and living up to high expectations. This is a pressure we haven't often put on ourselves, preferring to fight under and underdogs banner, and last season seemed to buckle under with some underwhelming home results against poor teams. To take 10 or even 12 points from these fixtures is not unthinkable, and some would argue necessary if we are serious about a push into 4th place.

We follow these four with:

Arsenal (h)
Man City (a)
Tottenham (h)

(the Arsenal game being midweek between Norwich and City). Clearly this is a much tougher period with City being champions and the two North London clubs being currently adjacent to us in the table. You might even include the next fixture, Stoke away, in this more difficult run.

Quite apart from it being a significant chunk of the season in itself, these two opposite kinds of runs will be a rather stark barometer of what we can seriously expect come May. I'd venture that if we can take 15pts from a possible 21, then we're well on the way to a significantly realistic chance of breaking into that top four. Any less than 12 and we might have to accept that 6th or 7th is as good as its ever going to be.

What should we realistically expect from these games, and how much will it tell us about where we will be in May?

Mike Allison     Posted 29/10/2012 at    Comments (15)

Everton FC: £300M - £400M

Did anyone hear Charles Green on Talksport? The interview was also posted on ESPN:

He claims the sale price of Everton is between £300M and £400M; if true, it's no bloody wonder we've had no interest!!! How on earth could you ever justify such a figure???

Goodwill is worthless... as is history. Before anyone says that's how much a brand new stadium would cost, well, with respect, that's for spending AFTER the sale — not included in it when every penny will disappear into the sunset with the majority shareholders.

Gavin Ramejkis     Posted 29/10/2012 at 23:04:52   Comments (47)

Should Mirallas stay out on the left?

He was simply outstanding, the most exciting Everton player since – well I can't quite think actually.

Should he now stay out on the left and displace Pienaar elsewhere? Or can he do the same from the right, with Coleman – emulating the relationship between Baines and Pienaar?

I just hope he isn't injured for long.

Mark Tanton     Posted 29/10/2012 at 09:40:41   Comments (27)

What? FIVE in a row?

As a matter of fact, we conceded first and conceded early goals for the last FIVE games in a row!

It started from the League Cup against Leeds and the next 4 games in the EPL against a bunch of relegation candidates:

  • Leeds scored first in 4 mins
  • Southampton scored first in 6 mins
  • Wigan scored first in 10 mins and again in 23 mins
  • QPR scored first in 2 mins
  • Liverpool scored first in 14 mins and again in 20 mins
Amazingly, in these five games, we only lost once. On the other side of the coin, we have won four and drawn one when we have scored first this season.

The defence must have some difficulty getting into the game early on and David Moyes needs to sort it out.

How can a top 6 side concede goals first to so many lesser teams like we did? We won't get any better and go any further if we keep chasing the game and we will lose matches against better opponents.
David Leung     Posted 29/10/2012 at 03:18:52   Comments (5)

A new David Moyes?

Kevin Nolan committed a horrendous tackle on Victor Anichebe. He was exonerated by David Moyes: "He's not that sort of lad" was the comment made by David Moyes on MotD.

I think most of us knew that Nolan was exactly "that sort of lad" — A dirty fucker. I felt that Moyes was naive, soft and that, along with his negative safety first attitude, made me believe he wasn't the man for Everton.

This season, a new man appears. Now, his positive attitude seems to me due to some sort of epiphany but I realize and accept that many on the site believe it is down to new signings. However, his dealings with the media are utterly changed.

This week he has set a new agenda on cheating. Suarez's celebration was a Klinsmann-like confession. In fact, Moyes may have had a hand in the Torres sending off and the Neville yellow card. Most striking was his comment on MotD2 that he believed that Suarez deliberately hurt Distin.

I was impressed with how he delivered his disapproval. No whining, more a heavy hearted disappointment that other managers condone this sort of thing. There is a gravitas to him now that I think the press has bestowed on him.

No, I haven't gone soft; I want a trophy. But... off the field he is a new man. On it too...?
Andy Crooks     Posted 29/10/2012 at 00:28:46   Comments (24)

The Uruguayan

Look, I know its none of our business. We're here to talk about EFC and all that surrounds it. But, to be fair, the events of last Sunday do come into that category. And I have been very, very impressed by the inventive descriptions that so many of our TWebbers have devised in their references to little Luis.

As the dust settles, can we not have a competition with no winners or losers to arrive at a suitable epithet for the brave South American soul. For example, my favourite, not for him, is Nogbad the Bad.

No rules, beyond the law of the land and what Michael and Lyndon will allow, and I would urge all who have already said their piece to say it again for others to enjoy. We love our football, and our club, but let's face it, we love a bit of this as well.

Keith Glazzard     Posted 28/10/2012 at 19:51:58   Comments (52)

Things I Hate...

We were having a few scoops the other night and , after the usual "Meaning of Life" topic, drifted onto things we hate, or, at least, can't abide. Got me thinking...

(a) The feeling the morning after a valiant, solo but ultimately doomed attempt to significantly reduce the EU wine reserves.

(b) Going to bed with Katy Perry but finding that during the hours of darkness she has turned into a moose. (This usually follows (a).)

(c) Professional scousers. Like Cilla, and Tarbuck, the comedian who is about as funny as AIDS but less welcome.

(d) People in 4x4s who don't acknowledge you when you let them out at junctions. A pox on them.

(e) Women who bleat on about a "Glass Ceiling" when we all know that for 3 weeks in every four they become Pol Pot in pantyhose.

(f) The International break, which we were promised would make Engerland a world force in football. Again.

(g) Racism. Unless it's against the French. That's allowed.

(h) WWF at every corner kick....

(i) Other people's kids who kick the back of your seat all the way to Alicante.

And then it dawned on me... nothing... NOTHING comes close to the feelings of hatred I have for the RS.

From the badge-wearing, scarf-raising, dirge-singing retards who stand on the Kop every week before their flight back to Oslo, to DJ smacking Gerarrrrd and his crease-head, to Suarez and the teeth he stole off Red Rum's corpse, to Benitez and his 'small club' jibe, King effin Kenny, Shankly and the boot room, the luck that always goes their way in derbies, the way referees allow their whining, diving ways to ruin every match...

Lady Luck must be getting rogered by half the team, the way upstarts like Brenda embrace the "Liverpool Way" by trying to influence referees with his pre-match pleas to all and sundry, the way the BBC chiefs all appear to be RS, disappearing into the gents and knocking one off with a photo of Gerrard in their left hand...

And derby matches. I HATE derby matches. There\'s one tomorrow, yer know.

I should go for a lie down.....
Ray Roche     Posted 27/10/2012 at 16:26:06   Comments (70)

Vadis he any good?

Bearing in mind the debate going on with regard to our current crop of midfielders and whether or not they are up to it... did anybody see the Newcastle v Brugges match last night? And, if so. what were the impressions of Mr Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe?

I know it's hard to gauge from one match but does he look like he'll improve us in that area?? ... (Cue Neville haters!!)

ps: I never thought I'd ever say that Gibbo was gonna be such an important player for us when we signed him!!!!

Simon Boyd     Posted 26/10/2012 at 13:57:25   Comments (9)

BBC Bias... Again!

Just a very quick point from something that really annoyed me this morning.

I'm not sure how many TW readers are also 5 Live listeners, but I usually wake up for work to their breakfast show.

At just before 8 am today they had a short segment on the derby. The studio guests, announced in order - Liverpool obviously first - were Dietmaar Hamann and... Nick Barmby. Could the biased old beeb not have found one single former player with Everton-only connections to represent our side in this little debate?!

The discussion itself was short and banal and mostly seemed to focus on Merseyside unity and Hillsborough, plus of course some talk of whether Rodgers is now making an impact after they beat the Ruskis last night. Nothing whatsoever about Everton.

The final insult was when each was asked what the result would be. Hamaan went for a draw. Barmby said he therefore felt pressured to pick a winner. After a beat, he said he thought Liverpool would win. I'd forgotten how little respect I had for the treacherous fool, but all the feelings of betrayal swiftly came flooding back!

None of this is news of course — BBC coverage of LFC always borders on the sycophantic. But this morning was particularly galling. To borrow Keegan's famous phrase, I will love it, love it, if we beat them on Sunday...

Mark Boulle     Posted 26/10/2012 at 10:46:43   Comments (45)

Speed Kills

I think many of us on TW are focusing on the wrong issue for the upcoming game with Liverpool.

Everyone seems to be concerned about whether we'll have Fellaini, Gibson and Hibbert fit for the game. Somehow, there's this view that if one or two or all of them are fit for the game, we'll be set to give the RS a spanking.

I don't think so. Whether we have them three back or not, Everton will face the problem of speed which we're ill-equipped to handle. This Everton team can't deal with teams coming at them at speed.

Just look at what happened with Junior Holliet at QPR. Ran past Neville and at Jagielka and Baines at full speed. We couldn't catch him. We backed off and backed off until... goal!

Our full-backs, centre-backs, and central midfielders don't cope well with teams running at them at speed. And Liverpool do have players who can pose problems for us with their pace: Sterling, Wisdom, Johnson, Suso, Shelvey, Downing and even the aging Gerrard, like to break from midfield with pace. This will be the biggest threat to our slow and ponderous Everton defenders and midfielders.

I can see the RS scoring a few goals against us because of this speed element. I do hope Moyes has an answer to this come Sunday.

Timothy Sebastian     Posted 26/10/2012 at 04:58:48   Comments (38)

Will Moyes solve our midfield problem?

Our last two games has been drab and quite opposite of what we started this season with. The problem, as everybody but Moyes can see, is that Neville drags the overall quality of our midfield down to that of a relegation team.

Getting past Neville is so easy... the man is has no pace left. Also, his passing is abysmal, and he has lost his defensive strength in the air and everywhere else. The fact that he is a right back playing in midfield at the age of 35 makes us one player lighter in truth. You just cannot get away with it in the Premier League today. Things have changed and most teams have only their highest quality players in central midfield,

One would think Moyes is aware of how poor Neville is doing... but, given the last two games, I think Moyes has failed to see that our midfield is in fact wide open. That is why we have dropped 4 points in our last two games. It can not stay like this for the derby; last season showed what happens when you play a lesser side against them.

Heitinga could replace Neville and do a better job, but I would like to give Hitzlsperger the chance before him. Maybe it would be better to just go with both Hitz and Heitinga, instead of Neville and Osman. I think those two are a lot stronger then Neville and Osman. So, if Gibson and Fellaini are not ready for the derby, then I would urge Moyes to start with Heitinga and Hitz as our central midfielders.

I would feel a lot better about our defence if those two started; going forward, they would most likely bring much more to the table.

Pienaar is out for the derby so it might be best to just hand Oveido his role. Osman is not a winger, but he could be useful in a Cahill role.

This derby will be a stern test of how we stand as a team this season, and Moyes has to field the best possible first eleven. Right now that means Neville, Osman and Pienaar out, Heitinga, Hitzlsperger, and Oveido in. It would be best if Gibson and Fellaini were both ready, but it seems like they still need some more healing time.

Lastly, Moyes's record with Liverpool is weak at best, so here is his golden chance to turn that around. Will he choose to field his best players, or will he go with the same bad team sheet from last game?

I hope he does what is best, but I really doubt it; there is a reason why they have a great record against him.
JImmy Sørheim     Posted 25/10/2012 at 12:12:29   Comments (55)

Naismith v Liverpool

It seems to me that Steven Naismith is gradually developing James Vaughan syndrome. Few chances to start and run like fuck when you get a chance as sub. Little time to settle in, too much to prove, no chance to play your real game.

I think he should start behind Jelavic (in the absence of Fellaini) against Liverpool. He puts himself about, he has lots to prove and, most importantly, Jelavic believes in him.

I like Vic, but see him as an impact sub at best. We are severely limited in midfield but we really must go at Liverpool. This could be the Naismith derby...

Andy Crooks     Posted 23/10/2012 at 19:01:04   Comments (46)

Fellaini The key?

I really hope the big-haired Belgian is fit for Sunday. I thought we really missed him last weekend against QPR.

Who else in our midfield can bring a high ball under control so well, and start an attack with an incisive pass?

In a tough tackling game, we also require him to put his foot in where it hurts, he won't be bullied off the ball like some our lightweight midfielders.

Add to this his aerial threat from set pieces, and I am praying the big galoot is passed fit for the derby. We will need him come 1:30 on Sunday...

Kevin Tully     Posted 23/10/2012 at 15:31:32   Comments (34)

Everton Nearly Men

Just a quick post regarding potentially cracking players that Everton missed out on buying in the past. There has been quite a few but the ones I can remember off the top of my head are:

Muller who wanted to play tax free (I think);

Hagi, (can't remember why we missed out) and

Dahlin. I vaguely remember Linker mark II but I think he wanted to try somewhere different.

I'm sure there's of loads others but my memory is terrible. I'd be interested in hearing about players from the 60s, 70s and 80s that were on the verge of signing but didn't for some reason or other.


Trevor Thompson     Posted 23/10/2012 at 14:00:40   Comments (54)

It's my first derby!

Okay, so I have been a Toffee since 1986 and I am ashamed (and pretty excited) to admit that this weekend will be my first ever derby!

I am one of those rare London-based Everton fans who support Everton for a completely random reason, mine being that, as an eight-year-old, Gary Lineker was my hero during Mexico 86 and my dad told me he played for Everton. Luckily my dad failed to tell me that Lineker moved to Barcelona after the tournament – otherwise I'd be stuck supporting Messi and Co, and who wants to watch that dreadful brand of football?! Give me the Mike Walker 90s era any day of the week...!

I get to as many games as possible when the Blues travel down South, and have been to Goodison Park on the odd occasion, but never a derby.

I'll be travelling down with my one and only fellow London Evertonian for the game, and we'll be making a bit of a day of it, so I wondered what sort of things I should expect, what pubs should we go to, etc.

And if you hear two cockneys standing next to you in the pub, don't worry – we're not a couple of Chelsea fans who got lost – so please be gentle with us!

Steven Scaffardi     Posted 23/10/2012 at 12:48:45   Comments (19)

Banning Orders

Thankfully the yob that attacked Chris Kirkland has been caught, sentenced (not long enough imo) & banned for six years.

Thinking about this made me wonder how such bans are enforceable. Personally I don't think they can, bearing in mind that this particular yob has already breached two previous orders, which seems to confirm my thoughts that these bans are meaningless & no deterrent to the hooligan.

Jeff Beaumont     Posted 23/10/2012 at 11:00:20   Comments (16)

Bad Timing

For the most part this season, I think we have been playing decent football, and are fully deserving of our lofty perch in the league table. In my opinion, this has coincided with Moyes playing everyone (perhaps with the exception of Neville) in their best position. The likes of Osman and Coleman have been effective if unspectacular, and the team has had fluidity. Overall, we have been a decent watch.

So, why – the week before the derby, with one key player injured – does he revert back to type, shuffling key players around? Even breaking up the revered Baines/Pienaar partnership???

The timing of this shuffle is what worries me most. Our manager has got his sour puss face back on, he is moaning about injuries, refs and anything else he can think of, just before our most important game of the season so far. We have seen this before from Moyes, and it doesn't bode well.

I hope that he makes the right decisions on Sunday, and plays everyone where they are most comfortable. I don't expect Fellaini or Gibson to be fit, and replacing Pienaar can only mean Oviedo or Gueye, but please play Victor up front behind Jelavic, and retain the shape that has paid dividends so far this season. For me, that is the only way we will be victorious at the weekend.

I hate derby week....

Adam Baig     Posted 22/10/2012 at 09:45:46   Comments (25)

Pass the time until tomorrow

So my missus is watching Strictly and I am here trawling TW to pass time until tomorrow.

And the mind drifts away….

Sky News – 15 March 2013:


What are they saying about us, lads and lasses?

I will post mine tomorrow.

Ged Simpson     Posted 20/10/2012 at 19:26:36   Comments (11)

Fans Forum tonight

I am surprised there has been no mention or coverage of the Fan's Forum taking place tonight.

This was an invitation event sent to 10-yr+ Season Ticket Holders and takes place tonight (and I will attend).

So let's see what gets said...

Joe  Clitherow     Posted 19/10/2012 at    Comments (108)


It's all gone silent from our wonderful Chairman, Mr Bill Kenwright. Not a peep about a possible takeover, no mention of a new stadium... nothing, nada, zero.

The question is: Do we really care? The team is playing great stuff; we are high flying in the league; we had a good summer of transfer activity... so why no uproar from the fans about a takeover? Why no mention of investment?

The fact is we spent nothing in the summer yet again; our club is still broke; Bill is still searching 24/7 (*cough*) and nothing has changed. I believe most fans couldnt give a shite as long as we are winning!

Don't get me wrong: I don't want negativity around Everton while we're on a great run but surely this has to be addressed... How many times can Moyes pull of signing like Mirallas, Pienaar, Gibson etc? Every year, we sell to buy... we can't keep going like this; at some point, the roof will come down.

To put a positive spin on this, just imagine we had got a takeover with the new board investing a few bob every year – where would we be? Could we get back to being one of the best clubs in Europe again?

Answers on a postcard.

Sean McKenna     Posted 19/10/2012 at 04:17:11   Comments (69)

Our Next Captain?

In all probability, this season will be Phil Neville's last as a regular starter and Captain.

This got me thinking: Who will be our next permanent captain? My choice would be Bainesy as I believe he is totally committed to the cause and would most certainly lead by example. Also, I expect (hope!) he will be staying with us long term.

Your thoughts please, fellow Toffeewebbers?

Eddie Tully     Posted 18/10/2012 at 09:49:34   Comments (43)

The Belief-beggaring Commercial Ineptness Of Our Great Club

Once again this morning, and not for the first time, I was reminded of the barely believable commercial ineptness of our great club. Let me enlighten you…

I went along to the Park End box office as close as I could to 8am as tickets for the upcoming Fulham game were on sale for season ticket holders. Instead of taking our lad, as I normally do, I intended to take my wife as we had conveniently planned, and got train tickets, for what was hoped would be a great pre-Christmas Saturday down in London. I had carefully scheduled this to be on the day of the Fulham game knowing that we could enjoy some of our hopefully scintillating away form for a couple of hours in the afternoon

The very polite young lady at the Park End explained that I would be unable to buy two adult Fulham tickets because my season tickets are for one adult and one junior. If I waited till Friday when tickets went on general sale (a) there may be none left; (b) they will be selling tickets in a different block to the one adult ticket I was allowed to purchase

So, as result, my options are:

1. Wait till Friday to try and buy both tickets when they are on general sale, and possibly miss out. This would have meant another 40-mile round trip to the box office for me.

2. Wait till Friday and try and buy a 2nd ticket. The added disadvantage of this option is that the tickets will be in different blocks of the away support end.

3. Forget about buying tickets from Everton and go for a Fulham hospitality package available online. At £150 a pop, this is massively more expensive, and misses out on the great camaraderie that is one of the benefits of going to an Everton away game

As I had to make a quick decision, I opted for option 2 which means I’ll be going to match alone and my wife, although not quite as fervent a supporter as me but still pretty loyal, will end up kicking her heels or shopping while I’m at the match. That is unless I bite the bullet, go for option 3, and try and sell my single £40 away end ticket on the day

The point I want to make in all this is why, oh why do Everton treat their season ticket holders so abysmally badly? I could understand it if a junior ticket consumed only half a seat, or like airlines when you travel with a baby, the nipper sits on your lap or something. But as I can see it, there is no reason other than sheer bloody-mindedness towards the long-suffering support base

The commercial ineptness comes in because Everton had the option of selling two-full price tickets when, just maybe, they may not sell their entire allocation for this game. In addition, this and similar previous experiences might just tip me over the edge into not renewing next season, when, come April, the club will falling over themselves to get us to renew>

Michael, Lyndon – if you have any channels at all into the commercial entrails of the club, please make sure someone gets to read this.
John Ballinger     Posted 17/10/2012 at 15:12:40   Comments (25)

Everton in the Community

I was talking to a guy who came into my workplace and he was telling me that a number of years ago he was a teacher at West Ham Utd. Apparently the idea was that a number of troubled kids were actually taught at the club.

On occasion a first team player might drop in to offer encouragement. It seems that the scheme was quite successful although I'm unsure if it still continues. Does anyone know if Everton operate such a scheme and do you believe it is a good idea?

A couple of mates take the view that is rewarding bad behaviour. However to me it seems worth a try. What do you think?

Andy Crooks     Posted 17/10/2012 at 14:20:09   Comments (11)

Neville Southall

I went along to see and hear Neville Southall at Chepstow Drill Hall last Saturday afternoon, 13th October.

As the audience entered Big Nev was sat at a table autographing books and generally wanting to know about his audience. The book-signing and talk was attended by around fifty football fans, mostly Evertonians and a few welsh national fans. The owner of Chepstow Book Shop arranges quite a few of these sort of book talks and obviously likes to see himself as a chat show host with his clipboard, coffee table etc. Very quickly our host found his plans derailed by Nev who preferred a session of questions from the floor and hands were immediately thrown into the air. Nev proved to be humorous, thoughtful, direct and candid in his views.

These are some of the questions and my memory and paraphrased responses! [I hope that my report is accurate!]

Q. What was your greatest save?
A. I don't think like that. It was my job to stop the ball hitting the net.

Q. Who was the best manager you played under?
A. Howard Kendall

Q. Who was the worst manager you played under?
A. At Everton, without doubt, Mike walker, totally out of his depth! For Wales, Mike Smith.

Q. The best player you played with at Everton?
A. Trevor Steven, who was the same on the field as the training ground.

Q. Who was the worst player at Everton?
A. I suppose you could say Brett Angel but at least he was a real trier! There was nobody who was not good enough for lack of trying. The player I was most disappointed with was Duncan Ferguson in terms of him never reaching his real potential. Duncan was very distrustful after his fall-out with the Scottish FA.

Q. Why did the two subsequent management periods of Howard Kendall work out?
A. Nev gesticulates that drink was a real problem, before stating that the players easily lost confidence in his rather laid back approach. One pre-season comprised of ten days at Bellefield in which no set pieces were rehearsed either in attack or defence.

Q. What are your views on goal-line technology?
A. Are you married? On Saturday night you'll have to go home early because you have nothing to argue about! I am dead against it ... what will be next for technology and the game will become more and more sanitised ..... I would be happier if it was for football reasons but it really is about the money men wanting it!

Q. What do you think about academies?
A. There is a danger that they are producing sanitised players plying against other academies, who will then struggle to deal with the \"streetwise\" side of the game.

After an hour and three-quarters, the questions ran out and Nev stood up and said he was going home to Kent!

Nev spoke at length about working with disaffected kids in places such as Gravesend Pupil Referral Units which interested my Tottenham mate who also works in a PRU. My mate was really made up when Nev came over to him at the end of the event to talk about this aspect of education.

Great event but even greater MAN!

Trevor Powell     Posted 17/10/2012 at    Comments (12)

LFC to redevelop old Everton ground

What does Liverpool's decision to rebuild Anfield mean for Everton? [Warning: link is to a slightly cringe-making Echo write-up.]

On the plus side, the club could successfully bid for planning permission on Stanley Park; or, alternatively follow the same route as Liverpool FC – renovate our current ground.

It would be near impossible for the council to deny to Everton what they have gifted to Liverpool – twice. That is, they have approved two separate deals for the Shite (relocation to the park, and extending Anfield). It would be too outrageous for the council to deny either, and certainly to deny both to us.

Of course, the flip side is that groundshare was always the more likely (financially) for us, as we can never get the money together to do anything alone.

But there is certainly an opportunity for Everton, and hopefully one (or even two) that the club has planned for.

I'm just throwing this out there, hopefully others can shed some light on what Everton's possible next moves are...

Hopefully, it is not merely to just carry on with what we have got. This window of opportunity may not last long.

Roberto Birquet     Posted 15/10/2012 at 12:27:28   Comments (56)

Kingsley James – The boy looks good!

Surfing around aimlessly as you do on a wet Autumn evening with no worthwhile footy to watch, I was a bit surprised to see this new Everton player, Kingsley James, listed as one of the current senior squad:

Where's that come from, then? I could have sworn he played for Port Vale...

Paul Hardcastle     Posted 13/10/2012 at    Comments (22)

Big Nev's Heritage Night

I went to the Neville Southall Dinner put on by EFC Heritage Society on Friday night in the Alex Young Lounge at Goodison; it was the best dinner I have ever attended concerning Everton.

Neville was excellent, by far the most interesting ex-Everton player to speak and answer questions. Paul Wharton did a fantastic job in organising the night and the Raffle & Auction helped both Nevilles charity and the EFC Heritage Society. So many who attend said they were made up to be there.

I must mention the food and the service – both fantastic. Everton get some stick but this night they sparkled. Everyone who played a part should be proud of them selves.

I am looking forward to the next EFC Heritage occasion which is in the new Liverpool Museum on Saturday & Sunday 17 &18 November. Its all about celebrating 120 years at Goodison Park. Talks and items on show – and all free.

Once again, Paul Wharton – take a bow! Without you and the EFC Heritage Society, the rest of us Evertonians would not be aware of some of our lost history.

Joe  Bibb     Posted 04/10/2012 at    Comments (6)

Top Ten Subjects to rouse a Toffeewebber

I popped in to get my daily fix of Evertonia yesterday and read the article by Bill Griffiths entitled 'Moyes and Kenwright.. Who Else?'... Well I say I read it, I got as far as 'As a newcomer to the site I was surprised at the division between those that support Bill Kenwright....' (or something like that) and I just couldn't bring myself to go on. My preliminary thoughts were: lamb to the slaughter, wind-up merchant, done to death, don't want to start this it will take days, I wonder what's on Bluekipper..

Having checked back today (and similarly opting out) I see that there are 161 posts on the subject, which is well up there.

It got me to thinking about the last topic which attracted so much audience participation and that there are a few raw nerves which regularly seem to push the buttons of my esteemed peers.

I've started a top ten in no particular order and welcome contributions to complete this Evertononian Rankle-ogy....

  1. Support of Bill Kenwright
  2. Wayne Rooney's departure
  3. The Kings Dock
  4. Destination Kirby
  5. Ground expansion
  6. Wayne Rooney's return
  7. Collina

Drew O'Neall     Posted 04/10/2012 at 12:49:03   Comments (124)

In Memoriam: BBC 606 Forum

Did anyone on TW ever post on the EFC board of BBC's 606 Forum?

The Beeb pulled the plug on it at the end of the 2010-11 season, but before that it was a fairly lively fan forum. In one sense, it was just another place to chat about your team, but (a) it allowed fans of other teams to post on opposing boards, and (b) it was largely unmoderated.

As someone new to commenting online, it felt very inclusive – whereas my first experience of TW was that it was a bit exclusive. (I don't think that now, which probably says more about my confidence posting than about the site itself.)

Anyway, the problems with 606 were obvious. There was a lot of wind-ups from opposing fans and – with the minimal moderating taking place – that could get a bit lairy. BUT, and this is my point, it was good to occasionally have an intelligent exchange of views with fans of other teams. For example, in advance of the Wigan game, I'd quite like to know how Latics fans are seeing the game. (Trembling in their boots, if they've got any sense.)

I tell you, it was emoticon-rich, the 606 site! It was an unwritten rule that if you used more than two words there had to be an animated smile or a wink in there. Also, people didn't use their real names, so it lent the whole thing a comical air. I remember one guy posted as "Superman wears Tim Cahill pyjamas". For all I know, he's now a TW regular!

Kev Johnson     Posted 04/10/2012 at 11:52:22   Comments (20)

The Tide is Changing on Merseyside

I know we’re only 6 games into a long hard season. We’re currently in 2nd place. I know a lot of things can happen between now and May to cause us to fall from our lofty position. I’m certainly not trying to tempt fate, but having gone through over 10 seasons with David Moyes, I think we can be fairly sure that none of his Everton teams will ever be one-season wonders.

Over the past 10 years, Moyes has slowly and steadily built a team that marries hard work with tenacity, and now, with guile and tremendous skill as well. We may not end up in 2nd place this season, but I think based on past track record, we can be fairly certain that we’ll be in or around 6th place, maybe higher.

I’m sure all would agree that the Everton team of today is one that is going places. They may not be Premier League champions yet, but they are without doubt a top 6 side, and – with luck – may be able to scrap into the top 4 as well. With good husbandry of our finances and hopefully a benefactor to eventually materialise on the back of a few good years ahead, Everton are well poised to build on their current success and to secure themselves as a consistent top 6 team in the League.

Looking at the other end of Stanley Park, however, another picture emerges. What we see is a team that once was probably the best footballing side in Europe, if not the world. But, after over 10 years of poor management, dodgy transfers and acrimonious ownership changes, Liverpool FC are decidedly a mid-table side today. The 8th position they finished last year is a true reflection of how far they have fallen, and if they can achieve 10th place this year, many of the RS fans will see that as an achievement.

They currently have a team made up of one or 2 genuine world class players, who are surrounded by ageing stars, one-dimensional over-priced wannabes, and some promising, though untested youngsters who could potential become stars of the future. They are running out of money to fund further big ticket acquisitions, and if they fail to get into Europe this season, their remaining top players may need to be sold off over the summer to keep the club’s finances above water. This will mean that the RS will fall further behind the top 6 EPL clubs, of which Everton are one.

So we are in the cusp of a change on Merseyside, the likes of which we haven’t seen since 1984 when Kendall’s team came to the fore and competed head-to-head with Liverpool for the next 5 years (1985 to 1989). This time, however, the change will not be between Liverpool and Everton fighting for 1st and 2nd place in the League, but rather, fighting to see who will get into the top 6 places. And based on how the future will unfold, I’m banking that Everton will be the one that will consistently be in the top 6 position, and from time to time, nudge into the top 4 position. Liverpool, on the other hand, will struggle to break into the top 6 group, and will from time to time, drop into the mid-table range of 10th to 12th place.

Change is certainly upon us. We are living the history now. And we can tell our children in the future that we were there in 2012 when the tide changed on Merseyside.

Tim Luke     Posted 04/10/2012 at 10:33:08   Comments (71)

Getting the Balance (Right)?

Early days, I know, but the attacking combination down the right of Coleman & Mirallas looks really promising. Left side sorted with Baines & Pienaar.

To be honest, I can't remember the last time we have had such combinations on either flank. The right has caused us so many problems for a number of seasons, being too reliant with our left-side build-up, every team in the Premier League knows this: if Baines & Pienaar are stifled or having poor games, it seems too easy to block us out. But hopefully now with options on both sides we can cause teams different types of problems.

Southampton on Saturday is a point in question: they set out to stem Everton on the left, but completely ignored the right. What I did notice was nearly all of Southampton's attacks and chances strangely came & were built up from our left-hand side. So my question is will Moyes stick with this attacking threat on both flanks or will he just do it against the lesser sides at home? Perhaps away, against better sides, will he revert to a more defensive line-up and play Neville/Hibbert at fullback?

David Lawless     Posted 02/10/2012 at 13:24:11   Comments (23)

Moyes & Kenwright... who else?

As a newcomer to this site I am amazed at the huge gulf between the Moyes/Kenwright supporters and their detractors. Also the amount of vitriol displayed between some correspondents.

Personally I am a Moyes/Kenwright supporter and while I appreciate others may be of a different opinion I can’t see that any who are have any viable alternatives as things stand.

Obviously we are going to find it terribly difficult to progress without any significant increase in finances whether it is through investment or outright sale of the club. My outlook on this is that this may be the case but I don’t want the club to be sold to the first person(s) that come along offering gifts. Kenwright is a true blue and he will not just sell the club to anyone to make a quick buck.

Do his detractors want him to sell the club to the likes of the yanks who bought into the RS or the Indians who are currently destroying Blackburn Rovers? Other than getting an Oligarch who took over Chelsea or the Arabs at Man City what other club has suddenly risen from the ashes to be a force in the Premier League? What will happen to Chelsea or City should their owners decide they suddenly want to withdraw their support?

it’s all well and good telling Kenwright to sell the club, but to whom? Do the detractors just want a quick fix of success then maybe obscurity rather than steady progress and stability?

I would love Kenwright to either sell the club or secure significant investment to progress further but only to person(s) who have our interests at heart and who are not in it for a quick buck or asset stripping purposes. Be careful for what you wish for.

Again as far as David Moyes is concerned I would love him to stay as manager for ever. That doesn’t mean that I agree with every decision he makes or that he doesn’t make mistakes. However, I can’t see what it would achieve for us to get rid of him or who indeed could take his place.

Everton have the best team spirit and team ethics of any team in the Premier League and have punched above our weight due to this. This ethos has been engendered by Moyes and if and when he does go, this may well also goes with him. Also when he does eventually go, we are going to have to make sure that the person who does come in is the right person or I greatly fear for our future. I don’t think any other manager could have achieved what he has at our club under the severe financial restrictions he has worked under. It is obvious listening to other people within football of the regard that he is held in for what he has achieved.

One major criticism of Moyes is his negativity and while it is hard to argue with that sometimes from his comments, my personal opinion is that what he says to the media is totally different to what is said in the dressing room or on the training field.

These are my views and while I appreciate other have different views, I haven’t seen anyone come up with viable solutions. Okay, sell the club... but to whom?
Bill Griffiths     Posted 02/10/2012 at 10:54:38   Comments (213)

Quiet Goodison Park?!

On Saturday, I found myself in the unusual position of being a Blue amongst Saints!

I travelled to Goodison Park with a work colleague who is a Southampton fan and decided to watch the game with him as I can hold my emotions a little better than him and would therefore not be spotted if Everton were to score!

The main thing I noticed was how quiet the Goodison Park crowd were. I've been on numerous occasions to watch Everton (usually in the home end) and couldn't believe how quiet the fans were on Saturday.

Even at 3 - 1 up we hardly sung, whereas the Southampton fans sung all the way through (mainly in the end mocking how quiet we were).

I'm not going to do a Delia and stand on the pitch screaming "Where are you!"; however, are the fans bored of singing the same 3-4 songs and need a bit more variety???

Answers on a postcard...

Simon Bell     Posted 01/10/2012 at 09:26:38   Comments (35)

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