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Leighton deserves a song...

I woke up this morning and felt compelled to write a new chant for our No. 3. I know this was brought up earlier this month, but I don't believe the issue was resolved. Anyway here's my offering to the tune of "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do..."

Bainsey, Bainsey, oh how we love you,
Our world class number 3 that wears the royal blue,
Your free-kicks are sublime,
You score them all the time,
Your left foot's sweet,
and the Gwladys Street,
will love you for all time!

In my humble opinion we really need to show him how much he means to us, especially if we want him to sign a new contract with us.

I have also been thinking that maybe we should have a Gwladys Street Choir where new chants can be tried and tested, then taken to Goodison when they are already known, thus helping them to stick. I have tweeted Alan Myers this morning to see if the club could help with a venue. I would feel privileged to head this up if you fellow blues think it's a good idea.

Paul Livesey     Posted 29/09/2013 at 10:38:47   Comments (31)

Evertonians and the League Cup

After last night's defeat down in London, yet again we are seeing certain Evertonians treating the League Cup with disdain.

I was gutted at last night's loss. So I was angry at reading comments like 'pointless competition' 'Mickey Mouse Cup' 'we lost, who cares' (well at least 3,000+ blues who travelled for starters).

What is so 'pointless' about a trip to Wembley, a Cup and the place in Europe that follows?

This club is hardly a trophy machine thesedays, so how the hell can fans of a club who haven't won fuck all in nearly 20 years be so dismissive? Do they not want us to break this embarrassing duck? Why do they think this club is above the League Cup?

Doubtless though, if we reach the final in the next few years these types of fans will be first in the queue for Wembley tickets.

As it approaches two decades since our last trophy success, my desperation to see us win something grows every season, so it really pisses me off to hear some fans simply not being arsed when another route to potential silverware is closed off.

Ste Traverse     Posted 25/09/2013 at 18:37:54   Comments (45)

Another Sickening Moyes Insult

I've just seen this quote from \'him\' on another fan forum, before Man Utd played Chelsea... I thought it was a wind up, then checked it out. Couldn\'t believe my eyes.

“I think it is different preparing a Manchester United team to face him rather than an Everton one. With United it doesn’t matter who we are facing, we are out there to win."
What the fuck did he used to say to our players in the dressing room?
Kevin Tully     Posted 24/09/2013 at    Comments (69)

A double-edged sword

I have heard so many commentators and pundits asking why Chelsea allowed Lukaku out on loan? I have a suspicion Chelsea know exactly what they are doing.

It is generally accepted that very wealthy clubs buy up the best players to prevent rivals acquiring them. We also know that it's difficult to keep players happy and focused if they are not playing: Barry, Lukaku et al.

I think we may be witnessing a new strategic trend in top-flight football. Given the margin of success in winning the Premier League can be as little as one goal or a point, why not loan one of your better hungry strikers out to another team with an agreement not to field them against the parent club? Not just any team, a team that can and does enjoy relative success against the wealthy clubs consistently challenging for the title. Not a West Brom, with all respect, but a side just sitting on the fringe, a side that could do real damage to your rivals if they had a little more fire power, a side like no other, Everton.

Mourinho, a genius perhaps, albeit he did not expect to lose at Goodison, but an Everton who can take points off the usual top 4 suspects can only enhance Chelsea's title aspirations.

Lukaku is therefore a double-edged sword serving both Everton and Chelsea simultaneously. A strategy that could catch on.

Lloyd Brodrick     Posted 24/09/2013 at 01:18:53   Comments (29)

Everton FC and the Liver Bird

Dear Sirs,

Many companies in Liverpool, in many different fields of business, use the Liver Bird to identify that their business or organisation is based in Liverpool. Everton Football Club, as one of the finest institutions in the city, should be using it also.

The official club crest of Everton FC should always feature Prince Rupert’s Tower, the laurel wreaths and the scroll, but the Liver Bird is known worldwide as the symbol of anything, and anybody, from the great city of Liverpool.

For nearly half of Everton FC’s existence, from 1878 up to 1938, the club was identified by it, and many winners' medals issued by the Football League to Everton featured the Liver Bird on them. Indeed, on the occasion of Everton’s first title triumph in 1891 the club made their own medals to present to the players. In the middle of the medal was a Liver Bird.

I feel that the Liver Bird should be used again by Everton FC on club merchandise, and there could even be a small one on the sleeve or on the back of the club shirts.

It would be especially appropriate next season, as a small tribute; for it will be 25 years since 96 of our fellow football supporters from across Stanley Park went to watch a game of football and did not come home.

I decided to write this letter when I saw a coach driver in Liverpool sporting a Liver Bird on his arm. In conversation I said to him that obviously he was a red, but when he said no, he was an ex-soldier, and that the tattoo was to show he was proud to come from Liverpool.

Some may say that the Liver Bird is now associated too closely with our neighbours for us to use it, but Liverpool FC have used the symbol of the city well, we just haven’t... Yet.

I think it is only right that Everton should renew its relationship with the Liver Bird – after all, recently we have had a French cockerel on our merchandise, and for quite some time elephants from Thailand have been adorning our shirts…

There are two professional football clubs in our city, and both have every right to use the Liver Bird.

Yours Sincerely,

Phil Parker     Posted 23/09/2013 at 11:44:11   Comments (46)

Proud of Everton

Yet again we lead the way in making the game more in touch with the real fans and community we live in.

This initiative with Stonewall and the fantastic work of Everton in the Community makes me very proud.

I work in similar field as Everton in the Community and take my hat off to their skills and ability to connect our club with the people in Liverpool.
Ged Simpson     Posted 19/09/2013 at 11:21:08   Comments (41)

A Way Forwards?

A few games into the season and I think we can all agree: these are exciting times!! I would argue that we have the most squad depth that we’ve had in 30 years. Certainly since I started supporting the Blues in 1994.

I do think with the new players we’ve added, there are some really exciting options for us to consider as we are going to have to push the envelope in order for us to qualify for the Europa League this season.

With that in mind, I think that, against everyone but say the top 5, we should really consider playing with 3 defenders and adding more offensive flexibility to our now dynamic squad.

With our new ball possession style, it’s the perfect opportunity to try it. No debate: we need to ping the ball about faster. I think the added offensive dimension (of pushing up Mirallas) can help us create more opportunities and ultimately score an additional goal a game.

Since we have the ball more, we’re less exposed at the back as well. We’d be susceptible on the break and that’s why McCarthy and especially Barry are the most important cogs in this wheel.

I think it can work:

Start Lukaku up top with Mirallas as a “false nine”... Barkley right behind him and to the side – Barkley can move to a more defensive role depending upon need.

Then play McCarthy in the middle with Barry backing him up in the engine room. Gibson is fantastic backup in this area!

On the wings, have Coleman and Baines tearing up and down the pitch running aggressive overlaps or slotting back as need be. Baines could be fed by McCarthy and Barkley and Coleman can run at players at speed.

In the back three, put Heitinga (Alcaraz when healthy) on one side, Jags in the middle and Distin on the other side…

(I would look to add depth here in January by selling Jelavic and using the Anichebe money.)

Last season was spoiled by dropping too many points to inferior competition. We cannot allow that to happen again. With our increased ball possession and a bona fide striker, it seems to me to make sense to give this line-up a try and really look to put teams to the sword.


Christopher Kelly     Posted 18/09/2013 at 05:36:39   Comments (55)

Return to the School of Science

If I knew how to I would have "tweeted" this question:

Given the events of the last 3 or 4 months, does anyone think (as I do) that we should drop "The People's Club" handle and get back "The School of Science"?

Editor's Note: We tweeted this question out to our followers; you can see the responses here
Laurie  Hartley     Posted 16/09/2013 at 11:13:17   Comments (47)

Tactical Acumen

To begin with it would be nice to leave any comparison to Moyes out of this piece. We had some good wins at home against the big boys under Moyes too and there were times when I also thought he set up well against them tactically.

This is more a thread to praise Roberto. I thought the tactics on Saturday were outstanding from start to finish. He started off with Osman and Barry actually pushing up on the Chelsea midfield, a tactic that is usually suicidal against talented number 10s like Mata and Hazard, but they did it so effectively that Mikel in particular with his unadventurous passing kept dropping it off wide forcing Hazard and Schurrle into two-v-ones against Naismith and Mirallas who had actually dropped deeper on their flanks. Mata still got the ball as all good players will do but it stopped any of that passing it around the edge of our box and us unable to get out. By actually giving Chelsea more space between our midfield and defense it allowed Jagielka and Distin to do what they are good at which is defending on the run. Chelsea started to resort to balls down the channels or over the top which were for the most part meat and drink to our back two.

As Chelsea changed their shape midway through the second half with the arrival of Lampard and Oscar it was good to see us adapting rather than leaving Barry and Osman isolated against the running power of their subs. Martinez brought on McCarthy and made it a deep lying midfield three. Barkley joined Naismith on the flanks and the two of them pushed up funneling everything into the congestion zone in the middle not allowing Lampard the freedom of the pitch he normally gets against us to unleash shots and long passes. Like a lot of English superstars Lampard is indeed very average in tight spaces or under pressure.

The final masterstroke was moving Mirallas uptop which a lot of fans had wanted to see at some point. I was a bit worried he would offer nothing and the ball would keep coming back at us but if anything his hold up play was better than a traditional target mans and a series of clever diagonal balls allowed him the space to run and draw fouls taking the pressure off us.

In summary I thought Martinez did an amazing job on Mourinho considering we had the usual key cogs of Gibson and Pienaar missing who used to be essential to any big win. Mourinho had also set up with Eto'o and Ramires often drifting out wide to stop Baines going forward. It was so good to see a bit of discipline in the fullbacks attacking at the right time rather than bombing forward at every opportunity. It was also good to see Naismith shutting down Hazard and Cole hardly ever leaving Coleman isolated.

All in all good to see a gameplan beyond our usual modus operandi of manoeuvring Baines into a crossing position for Fellaini. Also good to see that we had the discipline and awareness to seamlessly switch formations mid way through a match. Perhaps what is most encouraging is that, for the first time in a very long time, Jagielka and Distin don't look like they're going to make one crucial mistake every game.

Games against the big teams always rely on a bit of luck, and you're always going to have to defend at some point. Contrary to how some of the papers have portrayed it, however, I can only remember Howard making one decent save from Ramires. They were hardly peppering the goal or hitting posts and as the game went on they got worse.

Let's see what Roberto has in store for West Ham now — an altogether different proposition.

James Martin     Posted 15/09/2013 at 19:51:48   Comments (65)

How good can we be?

After yesterday's fantastic display of heart, composure and a will to win, I was thinking how good could this Everton team be?

Firstly, let's look at the squad:

GK Howard, Robles
RB Coleman, Stones, Hibbert
LB Baines, Oveido
CB Jagielka, Distin, Heitinga, Alcaraz, Duffy (Stones if needed)
CM Barry, Gibson, McCarthy, Osman
RM Mirallas, Deulofeu
CAM Barkley, Naismith
LM Pienaar
ST Jelavic, Kone, Lukaku

Now, looking through that, I believe that is the best squad I've ever seen in my 32 years of supporting the Blues. Let's add to the fact that our new manager interchanges players, the squad becomes even bigger!

We have seen Mirallas play the striker role to great effect; it's options, and options Martinez are ready to use.

Now, I'm not going to get all gooey-eyed after one good result but I'll look at the cold hard facts. We dominated every game bar the Chelsea one. Our manager is going to give our youth a proper run. We're trying to play good possession football. Our squad has improved with money in the bank.

I'm sorry but I'm just loving the new regime. Yes, it will take time but it's time I'm willing to give due to the fact our last manager had 11 years. I honestly believe if Martinez gets 11 years at Everton, we will become the new Dortmund. COYB.
Sean McKenna     Posted 15/09/2013 at 04:48:11   Comments (138)

Cheers, Vic!

The boy who became a beast left the club with exactly zero fanfare, due in part to the sale of The Big Wig and the capture of three exciting first team players. I have found it weird how there has been no farewell interview from a player who, for good or for bad, played for Everton Football Club for eight seasons and was with us as a boy before that.

I genuinely think that Big Vic was stymied by never being given the confidence that he was the best young striker and then the best senior striker at the club. Various players were trumpeted by Moyes ahead of Victor, like Vaughan, and Baxter, yet Vic was seen as a man and not spoken of in such glowing terms.

Then he was stifled by a succession of bigger named but less committed first-team signings like Yakubu, Saha and Jelavic. I don't think Victor was ever brilliant for us but definitely on occasions he was excellent and would, and still could, be amazing — if he learned how to finish.

As with all ex-players of our club, he should be welcomed back with grace when he returns and I am sure he will be. He was an enigma for so long; I really hope he finds some form at West Brom, and finds the confidence that was sadly lacking at Everton.

The silence surrounding his move I like to think is because the lad didn't want to leave and is too choked to talk about it; that may be wrong and there are politics involved. Either way, Victor Chinedu Anichebe served our club for 10 years and played over 130 games for us. I say cheers Victor and good luck.

Ray Williams     Posted 12/09/2013 at 00:34:12   Comments (38)

Hoodwinked Again!

What a great transfer window we had!

McCarthy, Barry, Lukaku... and getting loads a money for Fellaini and Anichebe... or was it?!

We all came away from that horrible last transfer window night, ecstatic, over the moon; we couldn’t believe what we had managed to do in the last 15 mins. Since then, nothing but "What a transfer window!" "Everton came out on top", "Bill Kenwright, a magician, best negotiator," etc etc etc…

In the cold light of day, we had a nett transfer budget of –£13M, yes, MINUS £13M. We received for Fellaini & Anichebe £34M and spent on McCarthy £13M, Kone £6M and Robles £2M. I’ve just gone through all Premier League clubs' transfer budgets and, guess what, only Spurs also had a negative nett transfer spend – mind you, they spent £104M and got in £107M, so a nett of –£3M.

No other club got in more than it spent. Yes, a number of other clubs spent less than us: Newcastle £2M, Hull £11M, Fulham £9M, Stoke £5M... but they were still nett spenders. Those clubs we consider our rivals, let's say, completely outspent us big time: Liverpool +£15M, Swansea +£20M, Southampton +£38M, WBA +£9M. And let’s not get near last years Top 4 — they left us for dead with positive nett spends of £32M, £86M, £30M, and £60M.

We just can't go on forever with Bill “working magic” at the transfer window, hoping we “outperform” ourselves. Next year, our income generator will be Ross Barkley, with Lukaku buggering off back to Chelsea, and Bill & Co will recycle 60% of it back to Martinez and use the rest and the extra Sky money to underpin our daily existence, paying down debt, paying spiralling wages, maintaining Goodison Park. Our cycle will continue as normal and once again we will just have enough in the team to outperform ourselves again, and hopefully find our next “gem” that the fat cats can buy.

We have been hoodwinked again... but, like the rest of the thousands of Evertonians, I just live in this fantasy world where we dream of getting into the Champions League or the Europa League or winning a domestic cup.

It's all an illusion – let's wake up!!!
Mike Oates     Posted 11/09/2013 at 22:22:09   Comments (71)

A Chant for Baines

All we need is a chant for Baines. He deserves one and is arguably our best player.

To All You Need Is Love by The Beatles:

All y'need is Baines, de-de de-de-de,
All y'need is Baines, de-de de-de-de,
All y'need is Baaiinnes!! Baines...
Baines is all y'need....

Just canvassing. I gather this topic has been exhaustively explored, but I don't hear any chants from the terraces for him... never.

Let's sort this once and for all.

Mike Casey     Posted 08/09/2013 at 17:43:28   Comments (42)

Gem Stones

I don't see much talk about John Stones but to me I think we have a real gem. For England youngsters and pre-season I think he is really coming on. Last night again, although admittedly against a weak Moldovian team, he looked really comfortable on the ball, has great athleticism and a strong tackle.

Together with Seamus we have potentially two great right-sided backs, so Stones may therefore have to shine at centre back and ultimately replace Sylvain – I certainly think he is capable.

The future is bright!
Tim O'Connell     Posted 06/09/2013 at 19:38:38   Comments (107)

What's happened to Vellios?

The buzz at the moment is all about Lukaku (who I can't wait to see in action) and the kid from Barcelona from an attacking perspective. In addition to that, there is obviously Kone and Jelavic.

But what's happened to Vellios?

I for one can only remember good things when I have seen him play (albeit as an armchair supporter last season due to kids) — and he increased the handsomeness of the side by 80%.

Senor Roberto knows a thing or two so we've gotta trust him but he seems to have all the right attributes and in every first team appearance he made an impact.

He doesn't seem to be even be making the subs bench at the minute. With Anichebe gone, surely that moves him up the pecking order and we should see more of him this season?

Has he discovered a love for shandy maybe? Or have I got this all wrong?

Scott Flaherty     Posted 06/09/2013 at 12:56:56   Comments (53)

Reasons to be cheerful

I know that the current transfer window has probably been spoken about by every Blue everywhere for the last couple of days. I for one just wanted to come on Toffeeweb and express my delight for a change. Now the doom and gloom that usually surrounded us after previous transfer deadline day has turned to positive vibes throughout, a nice refreshing change, there will always be someone somewhere to put a negative spin on things but let me list my reasons why it's now time for a smile:

1. Lukaku — Wow, is all I can say! I don’t think I have been as excited about a player since we signed... well, Gary Lineker.

2. Midfield depth — McCarthy and Barry coming in will certainly lighten the reliance of Gibson, also freeing up super Kev to work his magic again. With the added bonus of Del boy, and Osman, Pienaar, and Heitinga on the bench there is sufficient strength in depth.

3. Robles, Alcaraz & Kone — Now it appears that the jury is already out on Kone, but let's be fair — he's played three games and two as a sub. For me he has always looked lively and a threat; let's just hope he can find the onion bag rather than Row Z. Robles for me is a great Number 2 keeper, I also think next season he could push Howard for the Number 1 spot. Alcaraz is another good squad player; more strength in depth.

4. £6 Million for Victor — Anyone actually think we would ever get anything like that for our whinging, ground punching "super sub" — although hats off to his nice comments about Everton, I hope it works out for him.

5. Roberto Martinez — For me, the guy has filled me with more confidence in a few months than Moyes did in 11 years. I'm not taking away what DM did for us... but he was never one to fill us with confidence ahead of a big game or a transfer window. Martinez has ticked all the boxes for me; let's hope now the results start to pick up (remember, we still haven't lost: glass half-full and all that).

6. Super Leighton Baines — This is probably the best "signing" we have made all summer. Holding on to our star man... good work, Roberto! Now reward him with a nice big fat contract.

So, my fellow Blues, I am walking around with a smile on my face and optimism in my heart. Challenge for the top 4, a cup final and a win... or am I setting myself up for a fall? Time will tell.

For now, COYB... IRWT... FTRS.

Mikey Cummins     Posted 04/09/2013 at 14:37:16   Comments (52)

Going Forward with Roberto

With respect to the Moyes debate... Moyes obviously overachieved with us, and resurrected us as a top 6/7 club. There is no doubt about that. It's there statistically, and has led to him getting the Manchester United job.

But, I think we need to be patient with Martinez. I don't think he can improve us honestly in terms of league position. Spurs have had an insanely good transfer window, and Arsenal will re-emerge as a top top club imo, given their solid financial structure which will enable a big transfer a year. We've also got Liverpool vastly outspending us, not to mention an improving Swansea and Southampton on our heels.

I think Martinez needs to bring in a new style of football, whilst retaining our strengths (I think he needs to find a mix between ball retainment and direct football imo... Moyes managed that well last season, but a settled passing style was too infrequent during the rest of his tenure). And most importantly, I think Martinez needs to bring youth in, and reconstitute the squad.

It will take time, and we need patience, and I think perhaps we should judge Martinez on what he achieves in terms of cups, than the league finishes. We won't get top four without a buyer, but we have a core group who can win a cup. Personally, I want us to put real teams out in the Capital One Cup and go for that, as the most obvious route for silverware.
Jim Knightley     Posted 03/09/2013 at    Comments (84)

Nobody's Investing in Football Clubs These Days

The BBC report that Sheffield United owner Kevin McCabe has revealed that the club's new co-owner is Saudi Arabian Prince Abdullah bin Mosaad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

Given that Everton's net spend this transfer window would appears to be in favour of coffers coming into the Club generated by the sale of Fellaini and Anichebe, will Everton ever be in a position to find 'new' money that is not related to player trading? The current modus operandi of the board appears to be buying / developing players that then go on to generate finance for the Club to ensure that it keeps operating.

The article on the BBC website suggests that, after 6 years of searching for investment, Sheffield United have finally found their man. Over at Everton, Bill Kenwright and Co continue in there fruitless (to date) search and we have the prospect of Ross Barkley probably becoming the next sacrificial lamb on the production line.

Peter Laing     Posted 03/09/2013 at 13:37:04   Comments (38)

Well done, Everton...

I think — regardless of the abuse I am likely to get — that for once Everton have done well in the transfer department during the summer window.

I think to rinse Man Utd of nearly £30M for our curly haired friend is a stroke of genius (other blues must be surprised with that fee).

I also believe Kone is a 15-goal-a-season striker but needs a bit of time following what we are led to believe was weeks of sitting on the couch during Ramadan.

Even the loan of Gareth Barry is a good bit of business. There's no doubt that the Will 'o the Wisp lookalike is a bit drab (or crab) but he brings in the experience that our younger players will need during the season.

Add to that the Lukaku loan (where did that come from???) — he proved last season he can get 10-15 goals — then it could prove to be a very shrewd summer from our beloved club. What they need now is for the supporters to get behind the team and not slate them before they even have the chance to shine.


Kev Quilliam     Posted 03/09/2013 at 13:02:57   Comments (37)

Hopes, fears and reality

Tonight there cannot be an Evertonian who hasn't looked at every possible scenario and come up with what would make tomorrow a good day. In an ideal world, Moyes would be told to fuck off, Baines and Fellaini would stay, and Kenwright would stand by his promise to Roberto Martinez by providing him with some Sky TV money to strengthen his squad.

In reality, Fellaini will go for less than we hope and we will approach the deadline desperate for a replacement. Daniel Levy has shown what a professional can do and has made the sale of Gareth Bale a plus for Spurs. Sadly, we have Kenwright whose friendship with Moyes will endure any amount of disrespect.

I hope that, if Fellaini goes, a contingency plan that has been ready for some time will spring into action and that Everton will be a stronger squad by Tuesday. I fear that it will be a day of near misses and that Roberto will be led to believe that the board have tried their best... but money will be available in January.

In reality, I expect Fellaini to go and Barry and McCarthy to come in. That I am afraid will be as good as it gets. If Baines goes too, then I believe we can only be weaker by Tuesday...

Whatever happens, I feel that Kenwright has made us look like a second-rate club, the future of which is dependent on the whim of David Moyes and Manchester United. It doesn't have to be like this. Spurs don't look weak and Levy has very clearly pointed the finger at Bale. Time for strong leadership.

Andy Crooks     Posted 02/09/2013 at 00:42:39   Comments (15)

Yellow Card for Seamus?

In my notes on the game yesterday, I had Seamus Coleman down for getting a yellow card with his 'professional' foul on Kim. It happened around 21 mins down the Everton left side, but none of the match reports I have checked on line show it.

The only yellow card listed was that complete nonsense incident, with Barkley presumably booked for dissent, after daring to put in a perfect slide tackle.

Michael Kenrick     Posted 01/09/2013 at 17:46:29   Comments (7)

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