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Transfer deadline

So then, with the January transfer window closing shortly who would you like to see (realistically) coming in?

I personally feel a midfielder and a striker. For my midfielder it would probably be Lewis Holtby he can play in defensive mid position like he did with schalke sometimes plus we can give a rest to McCarthy and Barry when needed. He can also play as attacking midfielder so he can cover for Barkley as well. £5 million is all it will take, apparently.

For the striking department I am not really sure who at this moment in time. Maybe Michy Batshuayi from Standard Liege. I feel we shouldn't have sold Jelavic I think he could of done a job for us. Anyway, hopefully we should get a few people in. Come on, Bobby, show us some of that magic.
Mark Johnson     Posted 30/01/2014 at 12:19:33   Comments (42)


A few noted over Christmas that clubs that play in the Champions League stop dropping points at that time of year. The other thing they do is score a lot of goals.

One glance at the current league table shows us the top 4 are now away from the rest in terms of goal difference, and goal difference is only rarely not reflected in final league position.

Three of us in for 5th, us possibly favourites if Man United don't improve markedly.

We don't have a good enough second string. 'Nuff said.
Thomas Lennon     Posted 30/01/2014 at 08:57:34   Comments (31)

McCarthy: The elephant in the room

I've been watching him very closely this season. My hope was that Everton's major summer signing would become one of the great forces in the Everton team and drive us on into European contention. The early signs, I was told, were good. He played like a man possessed, snarling, able to crush up attacks, harry the meanest players in the Premier League and destroy oppositions. Hell, he won November's player of the month so he must be good.

But try as I might I couldn't see this. I just couldn't get it. Why did everyone else see McCarthy as the reincarnation of John Lennon crossed? He did appear to run around a bit. Mostly getting to the player and waving a leg in their direction, before seeing the ball fly past him. But where were the pinging cross-field passes? Where was the superstar tacking? I just couldn't see Patrick Viera out there. No sign of Roy Keane. I didn't even see Joey Barton (available on a free transfer). But sure, if that's what better readers of the game said I believed it.

But soon I started to look at the flaws in McCarthy's game. The lack of invention. His inability to hit a forward pass. His poor ball control (at least once a match he'll lose the ball then run back to try and retrieve it). The complete lack of attacking ability. As far as I can remember (having seen virtually all the games) it's two shots into the goalkeepers arms hit at 2mph and a halfway decent cross to the goalkeepers hands.

Yes, he did have an assist, the surging run where he was fouled and free-kick converted by Barkley (is that an assist?). Someone also tried to give him credit for the side pass to Coleman when the latter hit his 30-yard howitzer. But nothing else. Not a sausage (the cross for Naismith v Liverpool was a shot on goal).

This became worse when I noticed that he didn't even do that much as a defensive midfielder. I've watched closely, and hoped and prayed I might be wrong. But I cannot see it. He doesn't even win the ball back very well. His passing range is 5 yards back to Jagielka or Barry (I watched one game where he and Jagielka exchanged 5 passes in a row).

He's supposed to be the cog in Everton's wheel. The water carrier, the Dider Deschamps. But Deschamps was able to play a forward ball when needed. McCarthy can't. The players upfield are suffering from dehydration.

Everton's problems of late are, in my opinion, down to a complete lack of creativity from the centre. It was something papered over when the wingers/wingbacks were flying. But now they're not. If Barry has a bad game then the centre's shot. There was nothing from centre-mid against Liverpool, nor WBA, nor Stoke. As for preventing attacks... 4-0 (should've been 6).

But the real elephant in the room is the money paid for him – £13m: the equivalent of a Sturridge who ripped us apart last night; the equivalent of an entire season's budget, the second biggest transfer fee in Everton's history, for a club that has nothing but a bag of chips and fifteen loan deals to work with. Yes, blowing £13m on a workhorse isn't good enough. For that Martinez is to blame. I love the man for his positivity but McCarthy makes me afraid he knows sod all about transfers.

As George Bush said: "Fool me once, more fool you. Fool me twice and we won't be fooled again."

Barry Green     Posted 29/01/2014 at 20:09:26   Comments (77)

Playing at Anfield second

This topic has done the rounds in recent months and last night got me thinking as to what bearing this has on our season.

Apparently there is an agreement that the Anfield derby is always played second in the season. Why is neither here or there at the moment but I feel this greatly disadvantages us.

We have a small squad and going to Anfield in the second half we are very likely to have injuries and a depleted team. Just compare the side that played at Goodison to last night and also take into account those players carrying injuries or just not match fit.

If the match last night had been at home, I'm not saying we would not have lost but I'm sure we'd have made a better go of it. The RS have all the advantages going for them most of the time so why blatantly give them another one for free?
Kevin Naylor     Posted 29/01/2014 at 19:37:49   Comments (21)

Question Time for Roberto

We’ve all been beguiled by Roberto in his time at the club, and have really enjoyed his positive nature and his football philosophy. But, as last night’s rout showed, all is not perfect at EFC. At his next press conference, I would like to hear his answers to some hard questions:

1. You’ve spent 8 months building up Baines, calling him an ‘icon’, extolling his many virtues and giving him a big new contract. Have you noticed in this time that his on-field production has declined quite alarmingly, in terms of chances created, goals, assists, crosses in, buccaneering runs down the left side, etc? Is his new contract a reward for past performance, or do you expect more from him in the next four years?

2. Jagielka and Distin have been excellent this year, but do you think your second-choice centre backs (Stones and Alcaraz) are good enough, especially since your starters are aging and perhaps overworked?

3. What’s with the leg (hamstring) injuries that seem to be plaguing the club (Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Deulofeu, Alcaraz, Pienaar)? Is it something about your training methods, or just coincidence?

4. You sold Jelavic, which was a good move considering his miserable form over the past 18 months. But your replacements are a crocked, 6ft 8in stringbean with no experience anywhere near the Premier League level, and Naismith, who looks more and more like the second coming of The Stracq. Did you think Lukaku was Superman, and couldn’t be injured? Now what?

5. Do you think McCarthy and Barry can’t go down with injuries? If they do, what’s your Plan B for defensive midfield? (Please don’t answer “Osman”.)

6. Future hypothetical: Should we take Chelsea’s £50 million for Barkley this summer, and invest it in 4-6 good players to get us the depth we’re so obviously lacking?

I support Roberto wholeheartedly, but I think we can’t stick our heads in the sand over the tough questions we must ultimately face.
Phil Friedman     Posted 29/01/2014 at 16:47:36   Comments (14)

It's far from over. Stay positive.

I've been a Blue since my brother took me to a game when I was ten years old. I'm 52 now but I've never lost my enthusiasm or my optimism or my faith in EFC.

I've seen them win titles and cups, not as many as the neighbours but we have done better than most and our golden era of the eighties was probably our most notable. Going forward we all know the club needs investment, we have literally been knocking on the door of the top five places for sometime now but have lacked that strength in depth to finish the job.

What I don't understand is this: there we are, a top 6 or 7 club on a regular basis on the fringes of gate crashing the top 5 but ultimately have no cash. Why we can't attract an investor worries me and that's my only negative regarding EFC. Our lack of investment holds us back; we are a great club with a huge history and a fantastic fan base yet we see other clubs being bought and money being invested into them.

Clubs like Aston Villa, Man City, Sunderland, QPR, Cardiff, Hull to name but a few but we can't find a buyer and that's what will hold us back. Hopefully an investor will come along and see what all we Evertonians see, a fantastic club that will go places with the right backing!

Once a Blue, always a Blue !

Kevin Stanley     Posted 29/01/2014 at 10:10:34   Comments (11)

Let's hear it for the Refs

Firstly, this is not a reaction to last night (well done Liverpool, an all that), but a general football observation. Referees have a massive impact throughout the season, and penalties for and against can illustrate how the so-called 'glamour' clubs are massively aided by the men in the middle.

If we take the 4 teams who are fighting for the coveted 4th place this season, it makes an interesting read.

Tottenham have been awarded 4 and conceded 2; Liverpool - awarded 5 conceded 2; United - awarded 2 conceded 0; Everton - awarded 1 conceded 6.

Arsenal are badly treated comparatively as well, and this illustration only takes into account penalties – I'm sure if red and yellow cards and free kicks in dangerous areas the stats would show a similar pattern.

What does this tell us?

It tells us that if Everton get in the top 4, and Arsenal win the league, their achievements will surpass all the teams around them massively.

Refs have perceptions about the status of teams, which must influence their decisions. Sadly for us, they perceive us in the same way as they do Hull or Stoke, while they see the reds as Barcelona.

Sin miedo...
Adam Baig     Posted 29/01/2014 at 08:57:11   Comments (29)

Life after Lukaku?

Not sure if this has been posted and talked about already but I just wondered what you all thought about this - Traore on loan, is Martinez planning for life without Lukaku?

Chelsea want him back, Lukaku wants to go back and if (god forbid) we fail to get top 4 he won't be in a rush to stay with us so I get the feeling that maybe Traore is like a plan b.

If Lukaku signs for us in the summer, all is well and send Traoré back to Monaco. If he stays with Chelsea then try to get Traore on another season long loan or even signed up.

Anybody else get that feeling?
Paul Ellam     Posted 23/01/2014 at 17:52:11   Comments (42)

The Beatles and Everton Football Club

How close did the Beatles come to supporting Everton? Macca a Blue? Really?

Did you see them wearing that red n' white scarf in HELP!?

How can any of them not love football either Blue or Red when they come from Liverpool?
Rob Madigan     Posted 23/01/2014 at 14:06:31   Comments (63)


A year ago we had, in my view, the chance to step forward. Investment was needed and it wasn't forthcoming, We drifted to our default league position; I strongly believed it was our last chance of Champions League football.

Off the pitch, little has changed, we are cash-strapped with no billionaire on the horizon. Whether or not we are really for sale is a matter of conjecture.

Now, there is a new innovative option. Roberto Martinez has brought in players we could never have afforded; the outcome is that Champions League is possible. For perhaps the same price as the costly gamble of Bilyaletdinov, we are getting a throw of the dice at UCL. It may not work but I doubt it will financially damage the club. Also, Roberto can, if this year fails, throw the dice again.

If we qualify for Champions League, and I accept that it is unlikely, then the club can be moved forward. If we don't, then we try again.

I have seen arguments that it is not the Everton way, that we are in some way being sold short. That somehow buying the league like the Sky clubs is more acceptable. I would argue that this strategy is the only way forward.

We have enjoyed the football this season. We are thereabouts. I challenge any Evertonian to come forward with a better way to move the club forward. This is as good as it gets and we should enjoy and embrace it.

Andy Crooks     Posted 22/01/2014 at 19:38:41   Comments (36)

Weak wingers

It seemed we had progressed this season, but despite the new feel we are still not able to turn draws into wins.

The problem seems to be our striker, but looking more closely at it you can see we simply do not make enough crosses in behind the defenders for Lukaku to run at.

This was very evident in the WBA match and now Lukaku has gone out in the Belgian media saying he has become a target man due to lack of balls in behind the defenders.

This is a huge problem and something Roberto has failed to fix.

Besides our inability to score from corners the problem Lukaku has complained about is worrying.

In a way we are similar to last season even though we pass a lot more and have more posession.

The air has come out of the balloon because of injuries to key players. We also lack that proven goalscorer who has it all.

I think Roberto has to get several players in this vindow, at least a striker, midfielder and a forward.

Donovan is a player we should aim to get, and with Traore on his way there is hope in the tunnel.

Our playing style does not work without top wingers who can cross the ball on a regular basis in behind defenders.

We will never be able to get the goals needed by just going trough the middle like Roberto favours.

We are nothing special without Deulofeu and Barkley and that goes to show how average most of the squad is.

Roberto has a job to do, and Lukaku needs to stop obsessing about his haircut and rather start doing what he is paid to.
Jimmy Sørheim     Posted 22/01/2014 at 19:11:31   Comments (15)

Drumming up the atmosphere

Is it just me or does the mindless drumming by moronic fans at places like West Brom drive you mad?

I don't know what the fans at the match think about it but it definitely ruins any match on TV. I doubt the players get anything out of it and it is questionable whether it adds to the general atmosphere.

Robert  Thomason     Posted 21/01/2014 at 20:17:39   Comments (32)

More Misery for Moyes

A number of our readers are cluttering various threads with comments regarding Manchester United's showing at Chelsea, where they have now got a goal back against a rather nice hat-trick from Samuel Eto'o.

Rather than just delete all these comments. I'm moving them onto this thread, for those who are enjoying more pain and anguish for our former manager and his new fans.

Michael Kenrick     Posted 19/01/2014 at 17:35:54   Comments (258)

Magic moment?

I know it's only January but this season has already given us so much to discuss and look back on with great fondness.

But what moment is the one that you will remember the most, or you think was season-defining or pivotal in the Martinez revolution?
Mick  Davies     Posted 18/01/2014 at 03:59:36   Comments (46)

Must Do Better!

As we come towards the end of another transfer window, every Blue is hoping we can retain our star players. For once, it looks like we can all rest easy! it is reported at least three first teamers — Baines, Barkley & Coleman — will be putting pen to paper on lucrative new deals.

That brings me to the main point of this post. Our noisy neighbours have just signed up another commercial partner, Dunkin' Doughnuts no less. That may be a bit of a laugh if you spot a fat 'arl fella in the Kop scooping another one into his gob, but it's no laughing matter when you compare the numbers.

Our commercial revenue is around £10m per season. Liverpool's 2013/14 commercial revenues are projected to net them £100m!!

Our Chang deal is worth around £4m per season, but that is due to expire at the end of this season. Will we be announcing a new sponsor? Or will we just bumble along, signing another poor deal because we don't seem to show any ambition in this area of our business?

We do some great work at our club. Everton in the community is a fantastic extension of what we are all about. There is no better club out there who looks after their former players as we do. Surely we can take this good name and show the wider world how they would benefit from being associated with our ethical football club.

I know one thing, Pukka Pies, Chang and Crabbies won't give Roberto the funds he requires for new players!

Kevin Tully     Posted 16/01/2014 at 22:31:00   Comments (133)

The best post you never wrote

I doubt that anyone who has ever contributed an article or post to ToffeeWeb has not written something that in the cold light of day has curled their toes. Fortunately I have been saved by the editors on numerous occasions.

Right now, having watched Everton for more than 40 years, this is up there with the best I have seen. It is almost impossible to compare teams from different eras. Football was different in the days of Harry Catterick. In the seventies, a newly promoted team could win the league. In the eighties, players who seemed over the hill could be forged in to a winning unit.

The advent of the Premier League seemed to me to be the end of dreams. I accepted the argument that money equalled points. Now, I believe that Roberto has brought back the age of dreams.

I haven't always thought that, which brings me to the title of this post. After the opening weeks of the season, I had doubts. I didn't think that our players were equipped for the Martinez Way. Although I bowed to no-one in my criticism of Moyes, I bought into the myth that he had kept us safe. To me, we needed an exceptional replacement, and Roberto Martinez, on the back of being relegated and apparently bringing some of his useless squad with him, was not the answer.

I intended to give him time but, after one of the early draws I thought, "enough is enough". I wrote an article entitled "This man will get us relegated" . Something... I don't know what, stopped me from submitting it. That, I believe is the best article I never wrote.

I challenge anyone to top that for the title of "How wrong can a man be?"

Andy Crooks     Posted 15/01/2014 at 19:56:57   Comments (53)

Communications Director

I think our new Communications Director deserves a pat on the back for what I assume are his initiatives since taking over. First there was the Morecambe & Wise "Bring me Sunshine " video at Christmas, then a fans question and answer session with RM at Finch Farm. Then yesterday the Junior Blues day, where junior Evertonians replicated all of the duties carried out on a matchday from groundstaff to Manager.

I think the young boy who shared the announcers job brought a smile to everybody when announcing the name of the goalscorer.

There is no doubt that Alan Myers has added to the feelgood factor that permeates right around Goodison at the moment. I think it is also nice for a club to realise that, while the players and manager are the most important people, the fans also play a part.

I watched Sky this morning where they covered the junior blues day, pity the BBC couldn't have mentioned it on their Match of the Day programme.

Brian Harrison     Posted 12/01/2014 at 11:14:52   Comments (29)

Goodison Atmosphere

Whats going on at Goodison? The place seems like a morgue!!

I follow twitter and after game Distin stated: "Good win, what do you guys think of the atmosphere? What's going on, fellow blues? The place should be rocking EVERY week!"

For me, this is the best football I've ever seen Everton play (I'm 32); are we scared that we will implode? Is it the style? Can someone explain what's going on?

Sean McKenna     Posted 11/01/2014 at 20:24:05   Comments (64)

Can Everton compete in the transfer market

Whith the number of supporters speculating on the amounts of money available for transfers in January and the future, my question is: With the amount of weekly wages that are being quoted for quality players, can Everton afford to pay this type of fee even if they can afford the transfer?

My understanding is that, under the present wage structure at Everton, there are no players near the £90,000-a-week mark.

Reading the reports of fees paid to players in the top 4 teams, will Everton be able to bring in players to reach and maintain a top 4 position under its present wage structure?
William Gall     Posted 08/01/2014 at 17:30:09   Comments (47)

Hitzlsperger comes out

Breaking news involving our former midfielder.

Good for him, although i suspect that the fact that he didn´t reveal this earlier proves that coming out as a professional footballer is still a problem.

How do you guys feel about this? Would it have changed your opinion about Hitz had he come out while still playing for us?
Paul Olsen     Posted 08/01/2014 at 13:35:46   Comments (100)

Always Eternal, Eusebio

"Sorry, I don't speak good English. But today for me, for my family, it's a good day, for Benfica to play here. This stadium for me is the best stadium in my playing life."

A true giant amongst footballers, a gentleman, a pure delight to watch and someone with a real place in Everton's rich history.

RIP Eusebio da Silva Ferreira (1942-2014)
Tony Draper     Posted 05/01/2014 at 09:26:01   Comments (42)

Being A True Blue

My name is Nicholas Singh and I am a born blue. I am 11 and you might not think I am a true blue because I'm so little. I can happily tell you that you are far wrong from that.

I live in the USA. Every single day when I wake up, the first thing I do is go on my iPad and go into the Everton app. I remember my first ever game I saw and went to. It was a friendly against DC United. Before the game started and we left the hotel, we met the one and only Graeme Sharp. I still smack my head today about this. I just thought he was some random guy. I don't remember even looking at the game. My eyes were only on my Uncle Jay who was a blue. Without him, I wouldn't know about the grand old team that we all know today.

I didn't understand anything about football. I just screamed when he screamed and I stood when he stood. We ended up winning 3-1. On the train back to the hotel, the Evertonians were singing their hearts out. I couldn't understand why they were doing this. I just stayed quiet because all I heard were miscellaneous screams. But that was 3 years ago.

Today, being an Evertonian has changed my life. There have been good times, like when Oviedo struck the winning goal against Manchester United, and there have been bad times when the red shite equalized in the 221st Merseyside Derby to keep Merseyside red and blue.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that being a blue can really change someone's life like it has changed mine. From trying to understand what offside meant to crying in a Merseyside derby, I've really come a long way to support the one and only team in my blue heart.

Nicholas  Singh     Posted 04/01/2014 at 01:00:15   Comments (18)

What do you wish for?

I've said before that it is unrealistic to hope for European Champions League qualification and I've never been a fan of the very second rate Europa competition, believing that its ridiculous travel demands mitigates against domestic success.

Given, therefore, that I'm happy to finish 'seventhish' in the Premier, I'm dubbed as unambitious, but that really ain't so as I would just love us to add to that league placing the great honour of winning the FA Cup!

I know the money associated with winning the ancient pot is as nothing compared with ECL pickings but, hey, we're talking Everton here not the moneybags big boys who dominate the modern game and we have waited a while to win ANYTHING.

But what do YOU wish for ? That Bill Kenwright mortgages the Club further in pursuit of Champions League? That we stick in 5th position and chase our arses all over Moldova and such outposts?

Or, we hope Roberto fields decent team(s) in 'the Cup' and goes all out to supplement that inevitable Prem sixth or seventh with a bit of silverware?

Phil Walling     Posted 03/01/2014 at 13:44:00   Comments (22)

Once a Blue, not always a Blue...

Just a little thought about our beloved club, away from the goings-on in the pitch.

I'm a massive Evertonian, based in Singapore and have been supporting the Mighty Blues since the 1970s. A couple of days ago, while driving, I turned on a regional radio station that plays pretty much retro music.

The deejay at the time (RS fan), played Ferry Cross the Mersey by Gerry & The Pacemakers and then followed-up waxing lyrical about the group's other song and how great it was, etc, etc, ad-nauseum. He was no doubt alluding to the kopite's national anthem, when I switched off the radio.

When I got back home, I Googled "Gerry Marsden" and found out that he was an Everton supporter till the age of 13, when spirits from the dark side came a-calling and he changed allegiance. I've read of many such personalities who started supporting the mighty Blues when they were young, only to be turncoats, later in their lives. However, I've yet to hear of anyone who started off as Red fans, only to see the light of day growing up.

Surely there must be stories out there about people who were touched by the Blue Angel?

I would love to hear such experiences...

Wally Melwani     Posted 03/01/2014 at 04:58:12   Comments (96)

Pundits and Everton

I know we should ignore what pundits have to say as most of the time they are wrong anyway. But I am getting heartily sick that every time they talk about a game that we are involved in, they start not by discussing the merits of our players and manager, but can we hold on to Barkley or Baines.

New Year's Day was another perfect example on Soccer Saturday, Jeff Stelling says, "Well, let's talk about Stoke versus Everton," then starts by asking, "Do you think Everton can keep hold of Barkley in this transfer window?" Then McAnally chirps up "I think if Everton are offered £25 million plus for Barkley then because of Everton's financial position they will be forced to sell."

When are they going to start talking about this young exciting team playing great football, and led by this brilliant manager? We have only lost 2 games this season and the Sunderland result was a travesty, yet they talk about us over-achieving and not even considered as possible Champions League contenders.

Brian Harrison     Posted 02/01/2014 at 14:00:53   Comments (94)

EFC1878 on BBC Eastenders

Just watched tonights Eastenders and in a shot in Phil Mitchel's garage on a notice board was "EFC 1878". Classic.
Mike Berry     Posted 01/01/2014 at 21:01:54   Comments (24)

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