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July 2014 Archive   |   Submit a topic

Who’s back at Finch Farm

With just 10 days to our first pre-season game in the USA against Millinaros, I have been trying to work out who is back at Finch Farm. This who I think I have seen on the YouTube Everton channel:

Kean — looking interested!
Rodriguez — looking fit!

I reckon that makes 17…. Still to return:

Digne — injured

Rafa Benitez looks good in rain jacket and shorts! At least 3 coaches including Duncan Ferguson.
It’s always hard to read anything into these 7-minute clips but the practice was fast and purposeful. Couldn’t always say that last season!
David Cooper     Posted 15/07/2021 at

What's in it for Rafa?

Why? I suspect that there is not one Evertonian who looks at this appointment and pumps the air shouting, "Fucking Yes!"

So Rafa knows he is unwelcome. He doesn't care. Why? He doesn't need the money, so rule that out. Why? Something, deep inside him thinks that he can do something for our club. He has, somehow, convinced Mr Moshiri that he is the man. He is set up to fail, he will not have one minute's peace. He has not got one bit of leeway. He is fucked from day one.

Yet... this man doesn't get it. In the history of our club, no-one has walked into this. He actually wants the fucking job! Why?

The only possible reason is that, having more money than he can ever need, he must redeem himself, validate his reasons for being a coach and stick, really stick it up to the whole European elite.

I cannot accept that he is topping up his pension. He wants this. He must really want this. It will end in tears unless he gets lucky. Is it not about time we had a lucky coach? Black or white? Better than the grey that the utterly lamentable Ancelotti sold us.

Andy Crooks     Posted 01/07/2021 at

The A to Z of Everton

Whilst contemplating the close season and tired already of the speculation about who is going where I idled away some time picking Everton teams using only one surname letter. I thought it might amuse some of you to try over the break and see which letter yields the best team.

I have started with A which most of you will agree yields a pretty rubbish side but not much choice for this letter. Hopefully people will pick up the thread and take on this challenge

Everton A-Team (4-4-2):

Jim Arnold
Ray Atteveld
Antolin Alcatraz
Graham Allen
Gary Ablett
Niclas Alexandersson
Alan Ainscow
Mikael Arteta
Christian Atsu
Victor Anichebe
Daniel Amokachi

I tried to pick only players I remember seeing, so I have omitted anyone from the really olden days... Some letters will be impossible!

Alun Jones     Posted 31/07/2020 at 04:56:29

Prospects in this Transfer Window

With the news that Højbjerg prefers Tottenham over Everton, I wonder what supporters feel about Everton's prospects in the transfer window?

Of the 10 teams above us, 8 have owners who are richer than Farhad Moshiri, 4 have new grounds (Man City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal). Both Liverpool and Man Utd have redeveloped their grounds with plans for further development. Leicester and Wolves have done some redevelopment with plans for more improvements, and are building new training facilities.

Everton have a new training ground but an old stadium, with a new one waiting on planning approval and that will take 3 or 4 years to build.

Not all owners are willing to finance large sums for players, due mostly to the rules on Financial Fair Play (FFP). It seems the only advantage Everton may have is the reputation of our manager, Carlo Ancelotti.

We seem to be at a disadvantage when compared with the other clubs and their ability to bring in the quality players we need. If one of the top clubs also want the player we are after, we will be forced to pay higher contract fees on top of exorbitant transfer fees, or we will lose out.

With the financial odds stacked against us, and the financial impacts of Covid-19 seemingly still hanging like the other shoe waiting to drop, what do we as fans think our prospects will be in this transfer window?

Bill Gall     Posted 23/07/2020 at 20:06:23

Our Spongers XI

I've watched us this season, as ever, with increasing disappointment. We are rarely lifted out of our seat by creativity because more often it's anger/frustration that causes such a reaction.

And then, as fans down the years have done, comes the finger-pointing at players who visibly seem to not even try to win a match for us.

I therefore reflect on the huge number of uncommitted spongers we've fielded since the start of the Premier League.

Alex Nyarko is skipper, obviously.

In goal I have Stekelenburg. Okay, he's nearing the end of a moderate career but, ever since he got here, he's never impressed me as a trier.

Right-back is Marc Hottiger and left-back is Alessandro Pistone, perpetually injured until his contract was nearing its end whereupon he looked useful.

Centre backs; Slaven Bilic, who was brilliant for Croatia but rarely fit for us, he said, has to be partnered with Per Kroldrup, a player who achieved modest credibility as a top-league player either side of us signing him, where he was useless. (A centre-back not knowing how to head a ball, we were told, as if!)

In midfield, we have our skipper Nyarko, accompanied by Claus Thomsen for starters. On the wings, I'd have Shandy van der Meyde and Aiden McGeady.

Up front, given their proven abilities before signing for us and their abject failure to measure up for us as and when they didn't claim to be relentlessly injured or deservedly suspended, I have James Beattie and Duncan Ferguson.

Beattie because he seemed on arrival in an already dwindling career to realise that this was his last big contract, so why give a fuck?

And Ferguson because, when he rarely felt like it, he would terrorize any defence, provided he hadn't previously identified something in his personal life that meant more to him than putting a full shift in for us. Whereupon, he engineered a (regular) red card or reported a difficult-to-verify injury (he did this throughout his entire bog-standard career, except for his very rare brilliant matches, almost always against top opposition mind you, if anyone wants to check, hence my disdain of him as a man).

Admittedly choosing a manager for this shower would be difficult had we not had Walker, Smith, Martinez, Koeman, Allardyce and Silva to choose from.

Pick one from six, folks!
Don Alexander     Posted 22/07/2020 at 23:14:50

We the 'fans' are killing this club

We create our own reality. Okay, it is true that we are not a 'fashionable' club, and for some reason most commentators, pundits and referees dislike us; however, we as 'fans' seem to eat whatever 'they' say or even help 'them' when we also turn on our own players, Bill Kenwright, Big Dunc, Sigurdsson, Tom Davies, Pickford, etc...

How on earth is it going to get better when this negative nasty atmosphere is so obvious to all and sundry?

Do we think that any successful clubs have this amount of internal club division? We, the 'fans', are killing this club; we are victims with a victim mentality. Already, Carlo isn't good enough, Bill is cursed, best players are going... Gylfi, Tom, Bernard, Kean, etc... What a surprise then when we reap what we sow.

Leeds, the Red Shite, Man Utd, Man City, even Bournemouth are 'together'. Can we please give this manager, owner, staff etc our support? Good or bad, it's what we've got.

If you class yourself as a fan, then let's support Everton. Who knows, we could become better than all the rest. The real Dogs of War spirit.

No offence intended, just saying it really is gutting. This sick mentality is contagious. 'We', are doing exactly what the haters want at the moment, in my opinion.
Ricky Oak      Posted 18/07/2020 at

Mason Holgate, Everton Captain

'Where is the captain who sees it going wrong on the pitch and tells the players to change or help?' — A recent question in a post by Christine got me thinking…

How about a change of captain?

Seamus Coleman is a fantastic servant of the club and still doing a job; his desire and effort never falter. No Evertonian can help but admire him. The problem is, he is not really a leader, motivator, or organiser in terms of his personality. He is a bit more of a "keep quiet, try your hardest, and get on with it" type and expects the rest to follow suit.

I would like to see Mason Holgate be given the role of Everton Captain going forward… now is as good a time as any to make the change. He is the one player with the grit and determination and class to deserve it. He is combative and vocal. You can see it, he has that precious 'winning mentality' and there is an edge to him.

Other players will not want to cross Mason by shirking; he will let them have it if they even think it. I think he has these qualities now, but they will get better with experience and maturity.

Captains are basically chief motivators and organisers on the field. They have a presence that is a psychological boost to the team. I always think the central positions are best suited to this.

Mason Holgate is the type of player I think who would embrace and improve upon being given the armband and the responsibility. Other players would respond to it. He has just been given a long contract and is part of Everton Football Club for the long-term. He is one of a few players that the Carlo Ancelotti team will be built around.

Recent setbacks have not totally extinguished my optimism for the future. I am keeping the faith and I support Carlo Ancelotti 100% to make a difference next season.

You'd better believe it; times they are a changin' … and I think this change could be one of the building blocks to a better team. (Along with the crucial summer reinforcements to central midfield.)

Tony Everan     Posted 14/07/2020 at 10:25:46

Last Chance for Marcel Brands

Wolves 3 Everton 0... that’s right: Wolves 3 Everton 0 – could have been 8-0 and it would have been deserved. Two teams a year ago hoping to get onto Europe; Wolves did, we didn’t. Two teams this season hoping to break into the top 4, Wolves nearly are; Everton are nearly bottom 6.

Where’s it gone wrong for Everton? And why is it working for Wolves? It's easy: the answer is quality recruitment by Wolves and appointment of a quality manager who knows how to get the best out of his squad. His purchases are tailor-made for his playing style.

If you compare the last 3 seasons (2017-18, 2018-19 & 2019-20) of recruitment by each club:

Wolves have spent £142M and got quality – Jimenez - £30M, Neto - £9M, Cultrone - £17M. Dendoncker - £12M, Jota - £12M, Neves - £16M, Traore - £18M, Bolly - £10M, Moutinho - £18M. They have recouped £17M on a few sales, none of the above, for a net spend of £125M.

Everton have spent £390M — Gibson - £6M, Gomes - £22M, Kean - £28M, Iwobi - £35M, Gbamin - £25M, Delph - £10M, Mina - £27M, Digne - £18M, Richarlison - £40M, Klaassen - £24M, Pickford - £25M, Sigurdsson - £45M, Keane - £25M, Vlasic - £10M, Walcott - £20M, Tosun - £27M. They have recouped £190M on Lookman, Gueye, Lukaku, Vlasic, Klaassen, Deulofeu, Cleverley and Barkley (half of that on Lukaku!), for a net spend of £200M.

So, Everton have spent nearly double that of Wolves, and of that lot above, the only players certain of playing, week-in & week-out, are Richarlison, Digne, and possibly Pickford, Keane and maybe Gbamin if and when we see him. Most have been an absolute waste of money and will suck us dry still for a few more years.

This obviously is not all the work of Marcel Brands, who came in May 2018, but it’s up to him to sort the mess out. A number of questions need to be raised:

  • Who is finding the so-called talent?
  • What are they looking at?
  • What type of player are they looking for?
  • Where are the grafters, the workers, the runners, the energy lads... and, of course, the odd creative spark?

We seem to buy static, slow, fragile, injury-prone duds – to be brutal. Brands has been responsible for a net spend of £200M and has recouped £190M. So financially he’s okay, but for him finding a quality of player, fit for Premier League duty, he’s been found wanting. He’s taken a gamble with Mina, Kean and Iwobi, the latter two look completely lost whenever they’ve played. It’s a £65M gamble looking very dodgy at the moment.

With the mess we are in, I’m sure Ancelotti will want Brands to find him two or three experienced players – not 19- to 21-year-old potentials. His choice players will be 26- to 29-year-olds who have seen it, done it, and will not cave in under pressure. They will be fighters to the last cause. Not the type Brands normally has on his radar, but ones Ancelotti already knows, I’m sure.

Marcel – time to put your philosophy away, and deliver to Carlo the assets he needs to drag us away from this perennial mediocrity.

Mike Oates     Posted 13/07/2020 at 22:40:27

In Praise of Richarlison!

I am most likely very biased but is there a better attacking player anywhere in the Premier League than Richarlison?

I would not swap him for Salah, Jesus (comes very close), Auybamiyang, Jimenez or Vardi and Harry Kane. The goal he scored today was in a totally different class from any other goal scorer we have had since the days of Lineker and Sharp.

Richarlison is coming close to being an amazing all-round goalscorer. He has pace, strength, control, lethal in the air and on the ground, and is one tough cookie. He has been kicked all over the place since the Restart but recently looks like the only one who gives a damn.

The biggest problem that Ancelotti, Brands and Moshiri have is hanging onto him until we have enough decent players who can give more scoring chances than the crumbs he is currently feeding off. His goal today will be the highlight of MotD, appear in Goal of the Season, and convince many Champions League clubs that he is the one they need while we cannot even get close to the Europa League.

Dear old Marco Silva came in for some most deserved criticism but, without him being in charge, I don’t think we would have got anywhere near Richarlison. So a big “Thank You” to Marco... and then piss off!

I really hope we get to see Richarlison in an Everton shirt with half-a-dozen decent players around him before he goes — and he will go. So enjoy him while we can and pray that Carlo has some magic up his sleeves when the transfer window opens!

David Cooper     Posted 09/07/2020 at 22:07:50

Do or die

Senior midfield problems that won’t go away:

Sigurdsson – Not a midfielder

Iwobi – Not a midfielder

Bernard – Not influential

Gomes – Slow, no forward drive or dynamism

Walcott – Peripheral

All these players are nice boys; I wouldn’t mind playing against them at all. I’d know no-one was going to tackle me very often and I’d have a safe, nice, friendly game. I would be happy and confident before the game started.

With our senior midfield, there is no fear factor, no aggression, no trepidation from any opposition. They can be dominated, out-tackled and out-fought.

Where is the feistiness, the energy, the dynamism and drive to commit the opposition?

I am deliberately leaving Tom Davies and Anthony Gordon out of this because, with those two, who cost nothing, I can see a desire and they're often forward-thinking. These boys are junior members and deserve better support from their supposed peers. It’s time to blood the very promising Gordon more from now until the season’s end; he should have started against Tottenham.

Carlo already knows, and we already know, we are going nowhere fast until two quality midfielders come in. Last night's match shone a 500-megawatt spotlight on that fact. Other current players can respond very positively to the right quality additions (eg, Bruno Fernandes).

Keep an eye on our midfield transfer dealings... the success or failure of Carlo and the club over the next few seasons depends on them above all else.

The next 6 weeks is do or die time for Marcel Brands.

Tony  Everan     Posted 07/07/2020 at 12:26:21

Sliding Doors

I've just seen that Ralf Rangnick has been appointed as AC Milan's new manager, and it made me remember when he was interviewed for the Everton job in 2013, but how we elected for Roberto Martinez.

At that time, he was an experienced coach from the Bundesliga, but who had spent a couple of years on leave after 'burnout'.

It was around this time that Germany were dominating international football, and German coaches were in high demand, and a certain charismatic German was making his name at Dortmund.

Many Evertonians were excited at the idea, many treated him as some no-mark manager, who was not mentally wasn’t up to top-flight management, who is only interesting some for his nationality.

Everton appoint the young and exciting Martinez and Rangnick ends up at the Red Bull franchise Salzburg and Leipzig. In 2015, he becomes manager of the latter, who are then in the second division in Germany. He wins promotion, before moving to a Director of Football role, then returning as manager in 2018. In that time, RB Leipzig, through wise investment, and innovative tactics, have gone on to become a Champions Leave team with aspirations of pushing the established big teams.

Since stepping down at Leipzig, he's been linked to many top jobs, before finally agreeing with AC Milan.

All the while… well, no need to go over what has happened here again.

Football must be filled with these “Sliding Doors” moments but one wonders, if only...

Fran Mitchell     Posted 07/07/2020 at 11:35:29

Lukaku - Would you have him back?

Interesting to read he appears to have fallen out of the reckoning with Man U, and is now looking for another club. Whilst I doubt he would ever consider returning to Everton, would you have him back? He is expected to go for less than we paid for him but thats not the point is it?

He generated much heated discussion when he was here, had a reputation as a "lazy" luxury but he does know where the net is. People have complained bitterly that he has not been replaced and currently going into a third years since he left, he still hasn't.

His ego is the size of a planet but his ration is up there with the best.

Personally for me the answer is no, but we are desperate for a 30 goal a season front man. I doubt he would come, but I doubt we would want him?

Christine Foster     Posted 29/07/2019 at 17:49:18

Who would you choose?

Jump forward a few years and the grass is freshly cut, the pitch markings are drying in the sun, our new riverside stadium is full to bursting with anticipation of what will be, but who would you want to face as opposition to herald in the new era of our magnificent new home......?

You can pick any team, so who would it be to face the Mighty Blues on the Banks of the Royal Blue Mersey?
Simon Smith     Posted 29/07/2019 at 01:18:08

Bye Bye Buy Back

These clauses need more debating as to whether we should be getting involved with them. Whilst they can be a shot of adrenaline, I am concerned that they could hinder our progress in the long-term. As a case study, the Moise Kean reported conditions are as follows:

Moise Kean fee: £36M; Juve will have the option to buy him back for £55M.

So, if he is a resounding success after Marco Silva and his team put their life and soul into improving him... then we are forced to sell him to Juve after a few years when he is 22-23 and at the beginning of his prime years, and make only £19M.

Alternatively, if he fails to make the grade, we lose up to £36M... and Juve lose nothing.

The whole thing is a derivative of a loan deal, where we develop a player for Juventus. The backdrop will feel like a wasted effort for Marco and his team, and may even subconsciously dilute their enthusiasm to offer 100% to him from the off.

Also, the player always has his return to Juve at the back of his mind and does not commit to Everton with 100% heart and soul.

The whole development of his career can then be compromised because of these background issues that won't ever go away. Silently distracting attention and focus away from Everton FC.

I am not comfortable with us entering deals using this model; I think it could harm us long-term if fantastic young players we improve can be lost for the sake of £19M. We would be back to square one again with little or no gain for the club.

Sign great players, but not with these punitive buy-back clauses, it is short-sighted and detrimental to the club in the long term.

Buy Moise Kean outright or walk away.

Tony  Everan     Posted 28/07/2019 at 09:10:20

The Strange case of Yerry Mina

With the announcement today by Frank Lampard that he wants Zouma to remain at Chelsea this season, Everton's chances of signing him on a permanent basis seem's to be slipping away.

A shame really, as he had slowly got better and better as the season neared it's end and he secured a promising partnership with the ever improving Michael Keane.

So, what other options do Everton have with the new season shortly upon us?

Normally, with having spent around £23m just before the start of last season on our promising young centre half from Barca, you would expect him to step straight into the team, or would you?

For my money, he still remains something of an enigma, 12 months on and we have yet to see him put a 'run' together in the team.

Can he ever shake off the stigma of almost always being unavailable for selection through a series of injuries?

Is he just plain unlucky or just not physically up to the rigours of the Premiership.

Also, to my knowledge, he is not back training with the first team squad yet (due I presume to his recent international commitments), when really, he should be busting a gut to stake his claim in the Everton first team.

This means something of a dilemma for Brands and Silva, do they give up on Zouma and cast the net elsewhere, or play a waiting game for Zouma and hope the player informs Chelsea at this stage of his career, he wants first team football, and that is currently available at Everton.

Answers on a postcard please.

Steve Hogan     Posted 19/07/2019 at 16:55:31

Zonal marking and VAR

I was pondering Marco Silva's persistence with zonal marking when defending set pieces last season. In spite of all the stats suggesting it wasn’t working, and in the face of mounting criticism, he fundamentally stuck to this tactic.

I remember being struck by the quantity of VAR penalties given at the 2018 World Cup. Many of these were a result of defenders getting too tight to their opponents, pushing, pulling and in some cases wrestling them to the ground. These were offences that referees were reluctant to punish without VAR but found it easier to give with the VAR replay (England had at least two penalties from this route from memory).

It's clear that VAR will result in lots more penalties next season in the Premier League. However, the type described above become less of a possibility with zonal marking as fundamentally defenders defend space rather than the attacking players. Is it possible that, in sticking with and ultimately successfully implementing a zonal marking system, that Marco Silva was preparing the ground for VAR being introduced this season? Could this perhaps now give Everton a small advantage over opponents who mark man-to-man?

Keith  Dolan     Posted 03/07/2019 at 18:27:47

Everton – Looking Forward

I just received a glossy brochure from Everton in the mail today. I expect all season ticket holders did.

Page 1. Message to Evertonians from the new CEO - I take her message to be summed up as “good, open and regular communication is fundamental to success” with a promise to “keep [us] informed of the latest developments at [our] club”.

Page 3. A write-up on Brands and Silva which carries a commitment to youth development: “They are both determined to bring us the success we all crave. They have also placed emphasis on development of young talent. We are renowned for our world class academy and Marcel and Marco have a shared vision to utilise our productive and respected youth system as a key part of their strategy”.

Page 5. Stadium update. It doesn’t say anything more than what John Blaine has said recently. It gives a bit of spiel about work being done behind the scenes on design and funding.

Page 7. Everton leadership team. A profile of the Board members and Directors. It gives brief profiles on some of them. There’s also a hierarchy in the style of a family tree with Moshiri at the top as “major shareholder” and Bill Kenwright shown directly under him as Chairman. However, there’s no other mention of Uncle Bill.

Page 9. Other developments. This is a brief bit on The School, the Blue Base, update on Finch Farm which has had some work done to install a family lounge, and confirmation of relocation of club operations to the Liver Building.
Steve Ferns     Posted 28/07/2018 at 13:50:39

Best of Baines

After both the slow and frustrating pre-season coupled with the ever-growing consensus that Leighton's better days are now behind him. I thought we could do with some positive discussion.

So my question to you all is; what are your favourite Baines memories over the last 11 years?

One of the moments that stands out for me would be his two free kicks vs West Ham in 13-14 but, with such a long career with us and contributing so much over the years, I wanted open it up for discussion.

James Gardner     Posted 27/07/2018 at 18:19:14

Moving in the right direction

With the purchase of Richarlison, I have had a look at our squad and a few of the players we have been mentioned with and believe that my preferred line up would be:

Pickford GK (Stekelenburg)
Coleman RB (Kenny)
Holgate RCB (Keane)
Mina LCB* (Jagielka)
Digne LB* (Baines)
Gueye DM (Baningime)
Zaharia DM* (Schneiderlin)
Sigurdsson AM (Dowell)
Walcott RW. (Sandro)
Richarlison LW (Lookman)
Batshuayi CF* (Tosun)

* not signed

Other subs: Davis, Calvert-Lewin, Besic

For me, I would be very happy with that starting 11 – a lot more balanced than last season and a backup for each position plus two more squad players.
Peter Rogers     Posted 25/07/2018 at 19:24:01

'Fair Play'

I have just alighted on this small item in the Wrexham Advertiser issue of 8 January 1881.


Newtown White Stars v Wrexham – Cup Tie.

This match will be played today (Saturday) at the Recreation Ground, Rhosddu, kick off 2.30 pm. …

It is earnestly requested that the spectators refrain from all unnecessary shouting and that they will simply confine themselves to applauding the good points in the game that may occur on either side.

If only!

David Peate     Posted 24/07/2018 at 09:51:28

Pleasures, Pure and Guilty

With the season rapidly approaching, but a World Cup hangover for yours truly well in effect this morning, I turned my attention and thoughts to the coming season.

I was curious, what are you looking forward to seeing this coming season? Not only (but of course foremost) with Everton, but the League as a whole?

For me there are a few pleasures I'm anticipating, some pure, some guilty.

So here goes – Four Pure pleasures:

First, Everton as a whole and the team at large will be fascinating to watch. I hold no overly optimistic hopes of even cracking the top 6. But I am more excited for this season to start than many in recent memory as I can't wait to see HOW we play. I think the football is going to be so, so much better and with that anticipation, I am desperately looking forward to see how our style and approach evolve this season. I think we will improve measurably, and I can't wait to watch it all unfold.

Secondly, as Steve Ferns mentioned in another thread, I personally feel Tom Davies will explode under Marco Silva. I've always liked the kid immensely, and I believe Marco is going to mold this kid into one hell of a player. I'm really looking forward to seeing his progression this season.

Thirdly, I'm exceedingly interested to watch Seamus play, and whether Marco will give him the armband? I think it should be "Captain Seamus" this season. He's come back, seemingly stronger than ever, from the ghastly twig-breaker. Will he continue on as Superman? I think so. Is there any better pleasure as a Blue watching Seamus play? He's basically everything I want in a player. Love him to bits.

And finally, I think Gana will also flourish and I'm looking forward to watching him play - covering every single blade of grass, breaking up play, and anchoring our midfield from the back. He's another I believe is going to feature prominently under Silva. Could be wrong, just have a hunch. I really, really like watching this guy play. With a new coach that enjoyment will increase I believe.

On the wider, more nefarious front, there's guilty pleasures. I have three for 2018-2019.

Firstly, Mo Salah. I know he's the enemy, I know he's a danger, but my God I do love watching that guy play. I watch an awful lot of rs games - it's just too easy to do. Turn on the television, root like hell for whomever is playing them, and watch Mo ply his trade. It borders embarrassing, but I can't get enough of the guy.

Secondly, Fulham Football Club. Their owner, Shad Kahn, owns my local American football team here in Florida, the Jacksonville Jaguars. So I'd like to see him be moderately successful. What puts it over the top a bit and turns Fulham into one of my guilty pleasures, is their style of play. Now I'm no expert, but having watched their final playoff game against Villa, I absolutely loved their game. It's very, very pretty to watch. Throw in an American CB in Tim Ream, and I'll be hoping they stay up this year, playing lovely football. Will they be Ian Holloway's Blackpool, or will they stay up? And I can't get enough of Craven Cottage at Christmas time. I've missed it - one hell of a beautiful stadium when it's done up so quaintly around the Holidays. I'll enjoy Fulham this year - guilty as charged.

Thirdly, Burnley Football Club. My wife's team, I've always pulled for them a bit for domestic peace and tranquility. Will they repeat last year's "high" finish with European obligations? Also, it'll be nice to see one of the smaller clubs (are they small any longer?) compete in Europe, and how their fans will feel that joy of hosting some European Clubs with long and rich histories. I'll watch them with a lot of guilty happiness for their fans.

What are you thinking your 2018-2019 pleasures will be, Pure or Guilty ones? Not only for Everton but the League as a whole?

Genuinely curious.

Jamie Crowley     Posted 16/07/2018 at 18:03:53

Four weeks until kick-off

We are now 4 weeks away from the new season starting. I’m starting to feel concerned that we are going to be under-prepared for the season ahead. At the time of writing, we haven’t made any new signings. We are in the process of letting various players go. The new manager is currently in Austria with the squad putting them through their paces, but some of the players who played in the World Cup are not there (understandably).

So, basically, the new manager is working with a squad that will be very different from the squad that he picks to face Wolves on 10 August. I am expecting another 3 or 4 departures minimum, some of the young lads to either go out on loan or re-join the Under-23s, and maybe 2 or 3 arrivals.

With the timescales now involved, any new faces are probably going to have very little time to get used to the way we do things before the big kick-off. Our new players may not even speak English! If we buy Digne and Mina from Barcelona, for example, they will basically have a couple of weeks to change country, find a place to live, meet their new colleagues, get fit, and the kick off is almost an afterthought.

Why is it that we always seem to buy our players last minute? I can’t remember the last time we went into a season fully prepared with a settled squad in advance of the opening fixture. Even last year when we were splashing the cash, we were all crying out for a striker to replace Lukaku, and that of course never happened.

Brands and Silva will have to look at this in future, especially with the transfer window now closing on the eve of the season starting. We’ve fallen into a bad habit of not completing our transfers early. I can only think we are not as well prepared as we should be in terms of player recruitment. Either that, or we are having to sell to buy because we have no money to spend. Whatever it is, it’s not ideal.
Danny Broderick     Posted 13/07/2018 at 10:34:31

Everton's Transfer Policy Explained

Amongst the plethora of information about the new football season, this one at The Guardian seems to me to be the most pertinent. Despite, for the second year in a row, Everton supposedly having a “£100m warchest”, it’s clear that Everton have so far actually made money in this window. Compare and contrast with teams previously regarded as minnows, in Huddersfield and Bournemouth and the real picture begins to emerge.

Tonight sees the start of what will be my fiftieth season of following Everton. My view is that yet again, Everton’s policy remains as “sell to buy”. Whilst journalists continue to witter on about Everton’s £100m transfer spree, the truth is that Everton’s spend was entirely predicated around the certainty that Lukaku would be sold. Everton benefited hugely from the fact that several clubs wanted Lukaku and this, effectively, pushed the price up.

And so to yesterday’s pre-season Press Conference where Everton’s manager(what I would actually call spokesperson), Ronald Koeman used the platform to try to market Ross Barkley. It’s only my opinion but I believe that Everton have engineered a situation where they want to sell Barkley. This is a great shame as Barkley is one of the best players Everton have produced since Wayne Rooney. The problem now for Everton is twofold. Barkley is currently injured and this is exacerbated by the fact that there are far less suitors for Barkley than there were for Lukaku.

In the Press Conference, Koeman re-iterated that he wanted defensive cover for the injured Funes Mori as well as wanting to strengthen the midfield and attack. Koeman also pointed out that there was money available – “and said further spending was not dependent on money raised from Barkley.”

Let’s see what happens. My view is that Everton’s policy, as it has been for years, is to balance the books and that, until assets like Barkley are sold, there won’t be more money available for Koeman to spend.
Jonathan Tasker     Posted 27/07/2017 at 04:40:43

Is Koeman buying the players we need?

Some people seem desperate to give Koeman credit for signing players when the club were determined to get them before he had even arrived, Gana and Van Dijk being good examples.

99.9% of the time, a player will sign for the club who offer him the best deal. A manager who finished playing before they were born will not persuade a player to join if he has a better offer. A miserable tactician who struggles to hang on to the better players he has inherited certainly won't.

We need players who can score goals out of the blue, players with the pace and skill to get the crowd on their feet, talented individuals who can see a pass and intelligent movers who can anticipate it... Where are they? Are they even on Koeman's radar?

Why did we let WBA sign a player who will score more than anyone we have (despite playing for Tony Pulis) for a song? Why have we not tested Bournemouth's resolve with an offer for King?

If our defence was as "sorted" under Koeman as his supporters will have you believe, why has he felt the need to spend north of £100m on two centre halves, a goalie and a couple of tackling machines who barely venture over the half-way line?

Another thread has over two hundred posts about Martina, a journeyman right-back who came on a free... but where are our goals going to come from? Who will create them? Who will score them? Rooney? Really? I expect some magical moments from him, especially early season, but his legs have gone and they ain't coming back.

Koeman is beginning to look like the proverbial brothel goer with the tenner behind his ear. He has been handed one of the biggest war chests in world football, further boosted by the £80m we got for the striker he couldn't hold on to... and we have thus far spent an absolute pittance on a replacement.

According to most on here, he is building a fine house... let's hope he remembers to put the fucking roof on.

Darren Hind     Posted 19/07/2017 at

Momentum and the feelgood factor

Momentum! The feelgood factor! We have it or did we have it? I can remember meeting Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in Watford, I was there on work, when they were campaigning before a General Election. When they came into the hall, the atmosphere changed because they both entered with the confidence of people who knew they were going to win. They entered as 'New Labour', which was what the nation craved.

Last season, after the turn of the year, whenever Everton strode out at Goodison Park they, and we fans, had the same feeling. We had momentum, we had the feelgood factor, we were 'New Everton'. However, we never carried that feeling, that momentum, into away games. We never maintained the momentum or feelgood factor long enough to sustain a top 4 or 6 challenge; we reverted to 'Old Everton'.

This Summer, we have gained such momentum and such a feelgood factor in the early part of the transfer window (bringing in England's future No 1, a potential future England regular centre-back, a Dutch international and club captain, and a Spanish wonderkid), we are now 'New Everton' without doubt.

I am now concerned our momentum and the feelgood factor is starting to drain away. No disrespect is meant, but the Rooney return and Lukaku departure have split fans and, at the least, slowed our momentum. The Sigurdsson transfer saga is beginning to feel very 'Old Everton', with the potential to drag on until someone gazumps us or it fizzles out with no movement this window. The names we are now being linked with – Benteke, Bony, Martina – are most definitely 'Old Everton'.

My concern is we could end up entering what should be a hugely exciting season on a bit of a downer; and that is the last thing we need given we MUST qualify for the Europa League group stage and gain points in a tough set of opening Premier League fixtures. If we don't, we will spend another season battling for 'best of the rest' and celebrating not being beaten as badly as we thought we would, like 'New old Labour' under Corbyn.

Our season starts two weeks today; these next two weeks are vital to re-establish full momentum and the feelgood factor. How do we do that? Well, that is now down to Walsh, Koeman and Moshiri. Personally, I hope something materialises from Walsh's shopping trip in Italy, but my main hope is we don't let this opportunity pass us by to be spoken about as contenders and not also rans.

Carl Taylor     Posted 13/07/2017 at 09:48:46

Footy kits

Dear Everton

Will you please play in Royal Blue? This is our colour, not dark blue or light blue just royal blue and white.

Recent away kits such as Banana yellow, Grey, Black, why all these charges, why can we not have the Amber and royal Blue back a winning kit.

Too much change and too much profiteering. Can we just keep our traditional Royal Blue and white for home, and Amber and Royal Blue for away?
John Brooks     Posted 09/07/2017 at 15:24:19

Buying for the future, ensuring the Present

Many articles and comments have been written over the past two/ three weeks applauding Ronald Koeman and Steve Walsh for buying young "on the cusp" stars for both the first eleven and the U23's. The latest news that Rooney has signed and that Sigurdsson and Giroud are next appears to be not so popular. In my opinion these are actually very shrewd moves.

Signing so many new players and inter grating them into the club and Koeman's playing style will take a little time, and we have a very difficult sequence of games to start the season. If these players do not gell instantly and we make an indifferent start to the campaign the younger newcomers will be under intense scrutiny and we will need those with more Premier League experience to ensure they keep positive.

This is where Rooney, Siggurson, Williams etc will be invaluable. Their Premier League "know how" will help us through those first few fixtures and if we come out of that sequence with 10 or 12 points imagine the confidence that would bring. This to me is ensuring the present.

There also appears to be a clear message from the U23 signings ( four promising players bought specifically for the U23s) that they are going to be set- up to play in a similar manner to the first team so that a more natural progression can be made when these younger players begin to take over from the first eleven. No more playing promising centre halves at right or left back because the upcoming full backs are not good enough.

I hope that Kenny is given his chance whilst Seamus is out injured. Holgate is a talented defender but he is not a full back, which was evident in the England U21 games. He should be played as a central defender even if this means him going back into the U23s. We cannot loan him out when we hopefully have 60 plus games to play this season but we do need to develop him in his correct position.

Overall this is a great time to be an Evertonian we appear to have a proper thought through plan both for the short and long term, and I for one have never been this excited about the start of a new season but we do have to be patient whilst these new players bed in. They are all great signings, they will be great players for many years to come, the future is bright, the future is royal blue. COYB

Russell Smith     Posted 09/07/2017 at 08:58:43

Stadium update

The Daily Mail are reporting this:

Everton go big on stadium as leaked plans suggest it will have a bigger capacity than Anfield.

It's sounding really exciting. :)

Gordon Crawford     Posted 09/07/2017 at 00:59:40

The People's Captain

Over the past five years, Everton lost a pair of Tims: Tim Howard and Tim Cahill. From a skill standpoint, it was certainly time for these servants to find a new place to call home. But from a leadership standpoint – Everton have struggled to recover from their absences.

Yes, we have our share of steady, workman leaders (ie, Baines, Jags) – but we have missed the player who is willing to be the emotional leader of the team … and of the crowd.

We have missed the player who is willing to get a red card in the final minute of the final meaningless game of the season after an opposing player pushes a ball boy (see Tim Cahill grabbing Yohan Cabaye by the throat in 2012); we have even missed the guy who just never stops yelling throughout an entire match (see Tim Howard … every match). What these Tims sometimes lacked in skill, they regularly made up for with work, heart, and desire. They understood the power of the Goodison and the people's passion.

Naismith in his short tenure showed glimpses and you can see it at times in both Williams and Coleman when their tempers flair. We like a hard runner. A hard tackler. Someone who is pissed when we lose. Goodison is still searching for that pitch leader who really seems to give a shit.

Over the past few years, Everton has been collecting and producing more “Captains”. Ashley Williams (Wales/Swansea), Seamus Coleman (Ireland), Phil Jagielka (Everton), and now our new boys Davy Klassen (Ajax) and potentially our new/old boy - Wayne Rooney (England/Manchester United). Organizationally, it appears that Everton value leadership in players. Now, it is time for one (or more) of these men to step up.

It is my hope for this upcoming season that one of these captains (or anyone in the squad) will see the void and become the emotional leader that Everton needs and that Goodison deserves. The People's Captain.

Brad Benham     Posted 05/07/2017 at 17:52:15

Who was the greatest Premier League era Number 9?

It's been nice to see Kevin Campbell in the media a lot more in recent weeks, particularly talking about Everton. He also made a return to Goodison earlier this year, where he was quite rightly welcomed back like a true hero.

Kevin Campbell

For me, Kevin Campbell seemed to have been somewhat forgotten. He'd slipped into the shadows and only seemed to be talked about whenever there was an Anfield derby.

In contrast, Duncan Ferguson remains as popular as ever. He seems to revel in his status as a legend of the club. Legend for me is a word too often used and I believe a word too often misunderstood. However, in the truest sense of the word, it fits Ferguson more than any other. In football parlance, legend just means great. Whereas the dictionary definition has a mythical element to it, think more King Arthur than William the Conqueror.

William Ralph Dean is a legend as some much time has passed, that the numerous stories about him on and off the pitch can no longer be substantiated and some of the facts are more akin to legend now. Such as the motorcycle crash, the metal plate, the loss of a testicle during a game, the climbing trees in hospital, the jumping into the crowd to "sort out" a fan, and so on.

Ferguson was always stalked by rumours of his off-the-field antics. He also played in an era when the TV cameras where not so prevalent on the pitch as now. I recall him laying out an (Aston Villa?) centre-half in front of the Gwladys Street End whilst all the action was taking place in our own penalty area in front of the Park End.

Stuff like this can no longer be properly substantiated and so all these stories of Duncan fighting with players, fighting with policemen, trashing hotels, and all the other unsubstantiated rumours from the time, now pass into his legend.

There appears to be no sign that Duncan's star will ever wane, certainly not in the next decade or so, and perhaps his legend may even grow.

For me, Ferguson was a bright light in dark times; he scored some crucial goals. When all looked lost he carried us on his back and delivered the unimaginable. Ferguson's legend is really built on the fact that he delivered in the biggest games: in the derby, against Man Utd, and against other top sides. He was never one for scoring a couple of tap-ins against Bournemouth when we're already three-up.

I always felt let down by Ferguson, though. For me his career highlights, such as the goals against Liverpool, the double against Man Utd, and all those great headers hinted at what could be. But for me, it did not happen enough. For a player called "unplayable" by Alan Hansen – the first time I ever heard a commentator say that, although it seems to be said about everyone having a good game or good run of form now – he just did not deliver any sustained period of form.

Ferguson was brought back to Everton on a bumper contract and earned £8.5m on that contract alone. He scored 23 league goals in 5½seasons, and started just 52 games, although he made a whopping 71 substitute appearances, particularly as David Moyes found a new way to use him.

But was this enough? 60 league goals in 239 games, spanning 10 seasons. Does he really deserve the status as the biggest Everton hero this century?

Kevin Campbell played in a similar era, and their careers overlapped. Campbell came in the season Ferguson left for Newcastle and he rescued us from relegation with 9 goals in 7 games, and after that we pushed up the table with some increased stability. Campbell's stats are slightly better than Ferguson, scoring 45 league goals in 125 starts, with 20 substitute appearances.

So, of the two, who do you think is the greatest Everton Number 9 of the premier league era? [And please let's leave the big Belgian out of it, as he deliberately wore Number 10 anyway!]
Steve Ferns     Posted 04/07/2017 at 09:55:48

Light at the End of the Tunnel?

All of a sudden, there's a plan, that's pretty obvious. Where as before, it was plainly evident that a clear lack of funding was instrumental in almost everything the club attempted to do; in fact, it wasn't just stopping us moving forward, it was sending us into reverse, both on and off the pitch!!

Perhaps more importantly, there has been a massive change of culture within Goodison. How much of this is due to the influence of the'quiet man', Farhad Moshiri? Or has the injection of additional funding simply allowed the club to totally restructure its business plan accordingly.

Everton signing four, yes four players, before 4 July in any summer transfer window is practically unheard of, certainly in the last 25 years.

However, what I find even more encouraging, is the club's longer term strategy of recruiting some of Europe's best young talent and paying significant sums of money to do so; again, more evidence that our senior managerial staff are looking for long-term sustainability and not just buying 'ready made' established players.

More than ever, this new-found resolve from within the club, encourages me to believe that the Bramley-Moore stadium project WILL happen over the next four or five years, a move that will ensure the long term future of our club.

Like all organisations undergoing massive change, there will of course be setbacks along the way. Integrating five or six new players into a team at short notice, will take time, but what cannot be doubted is the manager's absolute determination to bring in technically superior players to what he inherited, and he ain't wasting any time in doing it!

On the subject of Koeman, clearly his influence as a top european player has been a factor in persuading players to come to Goodison, but his past history at clubs suggests he doesn't stick around longer than three to four years. In fairness, not many do these days... but success at Everton will, in some way, possibly be a factor in luring him elsewhere – that's a price we have to pay.

We are in for an interesting season, I think.

Steve Hogan     Posted 04/07/2017 at 07:13:31

Striking options

Our players are heading back to Finch Farm and will be joined by some exciting new signings bringing an air of optimism to us Evertonians. Our big concern now seems to be who will spearhead our attack with huge doubts as to whether Lukaku will still be around.

I believe he will leave which, for me, would be a huge disappointment as the idea of him being supported in attack by Sandro, Klaassen and any one of a huge list of possible targets would be quite the formidable attack.

I think their might be an outside chance Lukaku might be looking at some of our early signings and get excited by the prospect of continuing his development with Everton (the true Blues) and getting to the champions league on merit.

If, which is more likely from what the gossip columns are churning out Lukaku bids farewell for a guaranteed spot in the champions league I've been interested in who we might directly replace Lukaku with unless that is the intention for the Sandro signing.

Players such as Giroud, Iheanacho, Dembele, King, Rooney, Dolberg, Jørgensen, Muriel, Gray, Niang, Munir, Falcinelli, Ghezzal, Willian José, Nestorovski, Kachunga, Ciao Emerson, Helder Costa, Terrier are some names that have cropped up in the rumour room and I wondered who others believe would be the ideal option.

For me, I'm a big fan of Iheanacho as from his brief experience in the Premier League he has shown he knows how to find the net and has admirable qualities. I also think Dembele of Celtic would be an exciting option as his looks to have a knack of finding himself in the right place and hitting the target using a variety of ways.

These two would be my first choice as are not only realistic, they are up and coming with bags of potential and top current ability to cause fear in oppositions defences.

I rate the idea of Giroud as he has an excellent reputation already as a top striker in the premier league but find it hard to get excited about him, given he's deemed as not quite good enough for Arsenal, a potential rival to our goal of a Champions League place.

Would be interesting to hear who other toffees would like to see in our attack and if they'd prefer someone mentioned earlier or would like to bring a new name to the forum.
Martin Clark     Posted 03/07/2017 at 13:47:52

We Are Where We Are

It's rather ironic that, after decades without real investment in our club, the very time someone of real wealth comes along, virtually every other club in the Premier League is awash with money as well.

The recent frustrations with the lack of activity on the transfer front present the club with a two-fold problem: first, the transfer market is vastly inflated, with average players costing upwards of £20m; and secondly, we simply don't have the 'pulling power' of the recognised 'top four' in the Premier league, unpalatable as that fact is. We have simply slipped into the 'best of the rest' (some may argue we are not even that).

The likes of the much-vaunted Witsel are clearly attracted by the wages Everton can offer, but not with the current status of the club, and we have now reached the point where his agent has to make a choice between the package on offer in the Premier League, or less salary and a club who can offer the prospect of Champions League football

The start of the new season is now just two weeks away. I believe we will sign a number of players to improve the team and the squad before the deadline approaches, but it will take time for the new recruits to bed in. I think we could be in for some average results in August & September whilst Koeman gets his new team playing the way he wants, but we have to give him time to get it right; I hope the fans are patient...

Steve Hogan     Posted 31/07/2016 at 23:32:01

Martinez's parting gift

I, along with most Evertonians, was over the moon when Ronald Koeman took over as manager of Everton Football Club. Thoughts turned to Champions League football coming up shortly, big names being attracted with Farhad Moshiri’s millions, new dockside ground – all in the space of two years?

In reality, though, Martinez has left Koeman with an absolute disaster of a club. Departures of Howard, Hibbert, Osman & Pienaar; likely departures of Stones and Lukaku; the years telling on the likes of Jagielka, Kone, Gibson, Barry, Baines; and the absolute failure of McGeady, Robles, and Niasse. What’s left for Koeman to build on? – Coleman, Barkley, Mirallas, Funes Mori, Deulofeu, McCarthy and maybe Lennon and Besic.

Yes, we have potential coming through with Dowell, Galloway, and Davies, but at this stage it’s only potential. I just can’t see the likes of Pennington, Holgate, McAleny, Henen and Garbutt breaking through. So we are desperately short in all areas of the team: goalkeepers, right-back cover, centre-halves, midfield players – both defensive and creative, and worst of all, no 20-a-season goalscorers nor lots and lots of cover.

If Stones and Lukaku both get their wish to leave ASAP, what team are we likely to play against Spurs in 2 weeks/ time?

Coleman, Pennington, Funes Mori, Baines;
McCarthy, Barry;
Gibson, Lennon;
Deulofeu, Mirallas...

With a bench of Robles, Davies, Dowell, McGeady, Galloway, Besic, Kone. We couldn’t even beat Hull City with that squad.

We are short of quality and quantity to make any effective push for a top 6 place. Okay, we may get two or three new faces in but realistically we need Top 6 quality, Top 6 experience. I don’t see us being in a position to push for some sort of European places for a few years yet.

Martinez and his staff were clearly out of their depth, there was no planning at all for this season coming up, there were no adequate player turnover plans, and not even a pre-season planned. (How the hell can you accept two matches in 17 hours in the Dresden tournament?)

Koeman has walked into a nightmare scenario! But I have faith.
Mike Oates     Posted 29/07/2016 at 18:05:37

What is it with Everton and players from Russia?

What is it with the players we buy from Russia? I am aware of four:

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov. This is a player who cost £9 million, at the time our third most expensive signing. He has 46 caps for Russia, and made 59 appearances for us. Yet, apart from a few cameos, he spent most of the time running around looking lost, as if he didn't have a clue what to do. Over the time he was with us, he was selected less and less, until he was sold back to a Russian club complaining about Moyes's tactics.

Aiden McGeady. 85 caps for the Republic of Ireland, yet he has rarely shown any form for us. Last season, he was shipped out on loan to Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship, and by the end of the season he wasn't even making their bench. Now he's back with us missing sitters in pre-season friendlies.

Samuel Eto'o. A player of immense talent who only lasted a few months and left amid rumours of dressing room discontent. Interestingly one of his better games for us was against Krasnodar, away in Russia in the Europa League.

And now Oumar Niasse. £13.5 million, again our third highest fee, and a contract to June 2020, for a Russian league 'player of the year'. This has to be the biggest blunder of all. The chances of clawing much of that money back must be minimal.

So what is it with Everton and players from the Russian league? Is there a problem with scouting them properly? Come to think of it, can anyone think of any success stories in the Premier League who have come from Russia? Or is it just us?

Paul Newton     Posted 28/07/2016 at 13:20:48

Thoughts on a winter break

According to Richard Scudamore, the prospect of a winter break is on the horizon again. According to a poll on Talksport it seems to be a fairly even position across the fanbase at 47% for and 53% against. Personally I would not be a great supporter of a break but having given it some thought I do have a suggestion that would not be too disruptive, and may even add a bit of focus back to the early rounds of the FA cup.

My suggestion is we do away with FA Cup replays, they have already gone from the quarter finals onwards so why not remove them from the 3rd, 4th & 5th rounds as well? This would free up 3 midweeks 10 days after these rounds that are reserved for replays. If we then cancelled all matches between the 3rd and 4th Round that would leave two blank weekends, and use up one of the reserved replay midweeks. The other two could then be used to hold two full fixture lists.

As an example that would mean this season we would play the 3rd round on the weekend of 7th January and the 4th Round on the weekend of the 28th. The fixtures against Man City (14th) and Crystal Palace (21st) would be played on 7th/8th Feb and 28th Feb/1st March.

There may be other midweek options but this would seem to fit within the current restrictions of the need to accommodate International and European football.
while retaining the Christmas and New Year Fixtures. It may also give the FA Cup a bit more focus by starting and ending the winter break.

What does anybody else feel about the prospect or options for a winter break?

John Chambers     Posted 26/07/2016 at 21:27:08

What to expect from Dutch style at Goodison

As a long-time Everton fan in The Netherlands, I am thrilled at the prospect of the upcoming season with Ronald Koeman in charge. The Dutch philosophy of Total Football will work very well with the current Everton squad.

Essentially, what this means is that every player needs to know the skills required to play in all other positions. Here is how it will be different from what we have seen in the past:

Under Moyes's management, we were set up to not leak goals, and maintain defensive shape. No matter what you say about Moyes, he made sure we were not easy to beat, and we never lost games in the dying minutes. The problem was a lack of attacking creativity.

Martinez, on the other hand, gave us the opposite: lots more goals and excitement, but the lack of defense was woeful and losing defensive shape to give up last-minute goals was a regular occurrence.

Now we will see the Dutch style! The defense begins with pressing by the forwards. There is to be no lazy walking back to the halfway line. Opponents must be pressured into making rushed passes. Mirallas and Lennon will thrive with this philosophy; not so sure about Lukaku, as he will have to dramatically increase his off-the-ball work rate.

For the defense, they are never to break defensive formation. So say goodbye to Oviedo, Baines, and Coleman bombing up the wings to deliver crosses. Under Martinez, we have seen this strategy leaving us exposed at the back if we lose the ball. Also on defense, we must realize that the safest place to have the ball is outside of our own half. So there is to be no passing the ball back and forth between defenders – get the ball up to Barkley in midfield.

If Lukaku stays, you will see him smiling more often too, with more direct early balls in that allow him to do what he is best at. Baines and Coleman have proven ability to pick out a long pass, they will contribute to attack in this way. Finally, playing against your bitter rivals will be treated like playing in the cup final.
Greg Dijkman     Posted 25/07/2016 at 19:06:24

Where is my optimism?

As a 45-year-old man who has was born into a blue family and was privileged to watch our sides of the 80s start dominate English football (without a doubt in my mind, they would have gone to dominate European football if the ban on English clubs had not occurred), strangely I feel a lack of passion and hope for the first time in my life.

As a late teenager / early 20s man, I always felt "This will be our year." Instead, I experienced relegation battles and no resurgence.

Moyes stabilised us, he really did take us forward, maybe not in silverware but as a professional club. To be honest, I was a bit gutted when he left....

Enter Roberto... first season was superb. Hope, enthusiasm all looked great but we know where that went.

Koeman has arrived, for some reason he does not excite me. Maybe it is too many false dawns?! I read the reports on the Barnsley game and started to get drawn in... but it is Barnsley (no disrespect meant).

Maybe it's a good thing not to be excited but for me it is very unnerving. Leicester should give me more hope but for some reason, despite the new investment, I don't see anything changing.

I am normally a 'glass half-full' person and this is a depressing post. Restore my faith!!!
Phil Hoyle     Posted 24/07/2016 at 22:00:50

Don't Let's Kid Ourselves Here

As the final stretch of the transfer season approaches, and as the rumours themselves become more and more desperate, I, like many of you, spend a certain amount of time trying to look for hope for the next season. In reading the rumours, I also read the comments left, so as to see a little bit about what my fellow fans are thinking, and I am surprised by the oft-cited reaction concerning the ludicrous prices that are being bandied about; namely that of “…I don’t care, it is not coming out of my pocket…” or “…not my money…”
Well in fact, it is OUR money, it is YOUR money.

The money in football at the moment is obscene, but it is not invented money, it is not imaginary money that clubs derive from thin air; this money comes out of the pockets of consumers – not just fans, but all consumers. When we pay for a shirt, we pay directly into the football revenue stream; and likewise if we pay for a Sky subscription. However, even those of us who never go to the match, who never buy a shirt end up paying for this. We buy trainers made by companies who then pay millions to individual players to advertise said trainer, in fact, whenever we buy any product that is advertised through a football-related medium we are financially supporting football.

In the first quarter of 2015 Adidas generated over €4000 million in revenue – half of which was profit. (Yes – HALF!)

Adidas sponsored both Manchester United and Chelsea last year, who in turn paid silly money for players in both contracts and wages (not to mention the agent fees!!). That money came directly from the pockets of everyone who bought an Adidas product. (In some ways, this is even worse than buying a shirt from the club - because at least when you go to Everton 2 to buy a shirt YOU are choosing to hand over the money, when you buy an Adidas product, it is Adidas who choose to whom the money is given, not you.)

The bigger the football market becomes, the more people see it as a good channel in which to advertise. All of this is subject to market economics and thus prices continue to rise, and as clubs receive more and more money from more and various sources, they seek to maintain these streams by maintaining success; and so spend more and more money on players and wages etc. This 'market' is perpetuated by us – we read the online articles, we read the newspapers, we pay for Sky subscriptions. Each click, each sale contributes to the market size, and thus the wheel turns. For as long as we continue to lap up every word that is ever printed about football, (yes, I do appreciate the irony of raising this on a football fan website!) for as long as we continue to buy our beer in a Sky pub so we can watch the match…

Don’t lets kid ourselves here… WE are paying these players, this money IS coming out of our pockets!

Rupert Sullivan     Posted 22/07/2016 at 08:13:47

Ticket Availability, 2016-17

Does anyone know whether or not it is club policy to try to make the whole ground season-ticket holders only for the coming season?

I have a season-ticket in the Park End but like to take my son (non ticket-holder) and friends to occasional home matches. Looking at the season ticket availability plan, it looks as if there are only 200 or so restricted view seats left - and there are still over 3 weeks left until the season starts.

If so, unless Everton are holding certain seats back on a match by match basis, this means that there will be little or no ticket availability for ANY match during the season (unless the away club give up part of their allocation).

Can this be true? Will we really have about 36,000 season ticket holders?
Ray Robinson     Posted 19/07/2016 at 13:48:59

Squad Evaluation

Player Rating Legend

In top 5% of EPL players in their position
In top 20% of EPL players in their position
In top 80% of EPL players in their position ...and so on – lower % means a better player


Joel Robles – Fair to say if not pushing Tim Howard out of the Number One keeper's spot last season, he certainly nudged him out. Pulled of some memorable saves at times but was found wanting on a number of occasions; decent keeper though, and we should persevere unless a new Nev Southall can be unearthed – keep: 80%

Maarten Stekelenberg – I can't quite recall him but he must be reliable if Ronald has made a B-line for him; keep: 70%


Leighton Baines – probably still the best left fullback in the EPL when fit and allowed to play his best game. I totally disagree with criticism of him last season; he is a class act; Keep: 20%

Phil Jagielka – He has been a fantastic servant but, with his contract ending next year and being on the wrong end of 30, perhaps it is time to capitalize on his current market value and build a central defense for the future; Sell: 40%

Seamus Coleman – He definitely dropped off in form last season and while he did okay in the Euros, he was not outstanding. I'm sure he will return to his best under Ronald and with his contract tied up until 2019 we should certainly... Keep: 30%

John Stones – I was and probably still am a fan; he is so good on the ball in tight situations. Yes, he has been undone when trying too much and there are questions over his robustness. I have always felt his distribution going forward was rank average and was looking forward to seeing the results of Ronald's influence. Could he turn him into a modern day Franz Beckenbauer? Sadly he wants out and his current over-estimated market value means we should sell and invest in a more solid option. 50%

Ramiro Funes Mori – I have mixed feelings on him; he could be very good and very poor from game to game... sometimes in the same game. But I feel we should persevere with him. Argentina certainly rate the lad. Keep: 60%

Tyias Browning – I haven't seen enough of him to make a call but he certainly has the physique and looks reasonable on the ball. Keep: 100%

Luke Garbutt
We certainly need an understudy for Baines now that Oviedo baby has verified that it mustn't under any circumstances be him. We need an alternative and perhaps Luke can be our man. However, I must say from what I have seen of him I rate Galloway higher; sell if we get a decent offer. 100%

Brendan Galloway – was really impressive last season when filling in for the injured Bainsy. He looked really confident to me and it will be interesting to see how he develops especially with Luke Garbutt in competition; Keep: 80%

Jonjoe Kenny – looked dam impressive in his debut appearance against Norwich one for the future and you never know may end up pushing Shamus for his position by season end. Keep: 100%

Matthew Pennington – He did okay late last season when filling in for the brain explosion of Funes Mori. Too early to say how good he is and I must say he is taller at 6'-1" than he appears on TV. Worth persevering with and he is one that may really kick on under Ronald. Keep: 100%.


Darren Gibson – I can't believe we have extended his contract. On his day, he can be an effective EPL standard midfielder... but I would think nothing potentially more than this and, given his horrendous injury record, why, why, why... 80%

Aiden McGeady – He has to go; just not up to it. What was 'Brown Shoes' thinking! - Sell if we can find anyone that wants him: 100%

Bryan Oviedo – badly exposed on to many occasions last season and to be fair 'Brown Shoes' set him up to fail playing out of position at fullback. But I have seen enough of him to determine that he falls short of the quality we really need. Sell: 90%

Aaron Lennon – I wasn't a fan before he arrived at Goodison, but I must say he did really well when given a decent stint in the side. He did fade towards the end of the season but he wasn't on his 'Pat Malone' in that respect! He is handy squad player. Keep: 50%

Tom Cleverley – He is not top quality, it has to be said, but a decent squad player and worth his place in the squad. He is young and perhaps will improve in a more positive environment. Keep: 60%

James McCarthy – He turned in some energetic performances in his first season with us, winning the ball, inflicting plenty of biting tackles, and I thought really made a difference. Really faded last season: disciplinary issues, injuries and poor form brought him right back to the field, probably the Championship level field to be honest. This is the make-or-break season for him under Ronald. He really needs to be totally influential with his work rate because we know his distribution is ordinary at best. Keep, unless Stoke or someone stumps up some decent cash for him: 60%

Muhamed Besic – Far too inconsistent for me has showed some glimpses of class on the rare occasion. But has been shown up as totally inadequate on a few occasions as well. Realistically we just can't afford the luxury of another inconsistent performer. Sell: 90%

Gareth Barry – He really has been the consistent performer in our midfield for the last few seasons. He will obviously be up against it in terms of father time and all that but he does deserve at least this coming season. Keep: 50%

Ross Barkley – I just cannot agree with some of the shellacking he gets in the forums. Sure, he wasn't at his best last season but surely 'Brown Shoes' was a more than significant factor. He needs solid direction and I feel Ronald will provide this direction. A Must Keep: 30%

Tom Davies & Kieran Dowell were both super impressive in the last home game against Norwich. Exciting prospects need to be carefully handled. Must keeps: 100%


Arouna Kone – A Brown Shoes signing to the hilt; rank average... misses too many chances and is slow and predictable. Sell: 90%

Romelu Lukaku – still has all the finesse of a baby elephant and you can see why the special one just didn't rate him. But he is effective on his day especially when he can run on he the ball and batter defenders out of his way. It looks like his old man has quietened down a little and perhaps he is willing to work with Ronald to our benefit hopefully - keep 20%

Kevin Mirallas – again on his day, he can be very effective but has been inconsistent and cost us big time last season with his indiscipline. He is a real threat when in the right frame of mind. He must work on his defensive game; if he can do this, and he well may under Ronald, we will have a real player on our hands. Keep: 50%

Gerard Deulofeu – This kid could be anything. At times last season he was our only supply line to Lukaku. But he rarely lasted more than 60 minutes in a game and this he must work on. Keep: 60%

Conor McAleny – We haven't seen him for two seasons or is it three... unless he is showing something in preseason that we haven't seen to date. Sell: 100%

Oumar Niasse – must be given a chance. Keep: 90%


Of the 29 players assessed, we have approximately 30% of the squad that would rate in the top 50% or higher of EPL players. If we are serious about moving up the ladder and consistently challenging for trophies, we must take this percentage up considerably.

With Pienaar, Osman and Hibbert moving on, we do have readymade replacements in youngsters Davies, Dowell and Kenny so I'm not concerned at all with this. However, I'm for selling 2 defenders, 2 midfielders and 2 forwards from the squad and these places must be filled with quality or we will remain mid-table at best.

Michael Farrelly     Posted 16/07/2016 at 04:45:27

Boys of the Old Brigade

Would anybody know if Everton ever used to sing either of The Boys of the Old Brigade songs, and if so, what the Everton words were?

There are two songs under this name. The original was a British military song written in 1881 but was still a big song through to well after the Second World War. It is likely that the marching bands may have played it at Goodison Park before kick-off so our fans may have adopted it though that?

There are also a couple of references to the phrase "boys of the old brigade" in old Everton programmes and newspaper clippings, but they don't go on to mention if it was sung by our fans; it could still be an indirect reference, similar to how we now reference the Grand Old Team.

Where are the Boys of the Old Brigade?
Who fought with us side by side?
Shoulder to shoulder and blade by blade,
Fought till they fell and died.

Who so ready and undismayed?
Who so merry and true?
Where are the boys of the old brigade?
Where are the lads we knew?

Then steadily shoulder to shoulder,
Steadily blade by blade
Ready and strong, marching along,
Like the boys of the Old Brigade.

Peter Dawson - (The boys of) The Old Brigade on YouTube

Then there’s the Irish version which was only written in 1972 by Barry McGuigan’s Dad, Paddy. The lyrics and song structure lend heavily on the above but the tune within that same structure is quite different.

There have been a few spells in our support where Celtic (and Rangers) have influenced our own culture, eg, the Bobble Hats and the Celtic Rangers chant, so during those spells in the '70s and '80s, it would only seem natural that fans would also amend their songs to Everton words, at least in the pubs?

Oh, father why are you so sad,
On this bright Easter morn’
When Irish men are proud and glad
Of the land where they were born?

Oh, son, I see sad mem'ries view
Of far-off distant days
When, being just a boy like you
I joined the IRA.

Where are the lads that stood with me
When history was made?
A ghrá mo chroí, I long to see
The boys of the old brigade.

Barleycorn – Boys of the Old Brigade on YouTube

So what version, if any (or both???), did we do?
Derek Turnbull     Posted 14/07/2016 at 06:56:19

Everton History

As a fan of Everton and a history buff, it was interesting to discover the lads played Cricket (St Domingos) before forming a Football Team.

It has never mentioned in the History who the actual founding members of Everton were. W.J. Clarke, club secretary; W. Lowe; John Bentley; John Holding land owner

Does any other history buff know the founding members names? Fred Geary is listed as Everton's first great goalie.
Richard Jones     Posted 13/07/2016 at 15:33:33

Luxury squad players

With silly season starting to go into overdrive and tens of players being linked to Everton, we enter a new era of the club with a new owner, new manager, more money and bigger expectations. That in turn will inevitably make Koeman target better players and create a better, more balanced squad.

I had a proper look at the squad and I was thinking in my head what we need, who we need to sell etc. I'm not going to do a list of each player, but I think I will sum up quite differently to what I've heard and seen in my number of years on the website, and it relates to the title of this piece.

I was thinking who would be nailed-on starters, alongside any new players we may sign? I came up with Stones, Coleman, Barkley, Baines and Lukaku, but even Baines I was debating my mind. That might be a little harsh (might be working with loads of kopites who constantly criticise our squad) but that's genuinely what I think.

Of the other players in the squad, a lot divide opinion on this site for whatever reason. Look at our wingers. Deulofeu is undoubtedly talented but inconsistent, same with Mirallas... and Lennon I don't think is good enough to rely upon for a whole season. Basic and McCarthy are again inconsistent, although I believe Besic could be very important for us in the future. Jagielka has a question of age to be relied on and Funes Mori has had a mixed first season. There is undoubtedly deadwood to get rid of in the squad (Kone, McGeady etc).

The point of the article is we need a little bit of an overhaul in the team. We need to get players who we think "Yeah I'd start them every time". I have five such players on my list; people will undoubtedly have more, but I still think we need to buy 5/6 top quality players, maybe at least.

Now who's to say some of players I have mentioned, my so called "luxury squad players" can't come good under Koeman. I actually think McCarthy or Besic alongside a Witsel or Strootman would be a top-class and balanced midfield. I think Koeman likes Mirallas too. But I think our squad isn't as highly rated as people think and Koeman has a big summer of getting a bunch of top quality players as well as getting the best out of the current squad.

I'm really excited though, Koeman is very capable and I think he'll prove his worth in the transfer market.

But we need better players...
Ben Jones     Posted 09/07/2016 at 12:18:04

The Blue-Brick Road...

Well, guys and girls, here goes!

I just spent 30 mins in the company of an "Insider" through a business colleague neither of whom I will name. But, by the nature of who they are, I am repeating what I have been told this afternoon:

1) Farhad bought 49.9% for a reason (see #2)
2) Usmanov will be installed with 50.1%
3) David Dein will be voted onto the Everton Board of Directors
4) New stadium WILL be on the docks (Talks with Peel Holdings are ongoing) including a massive retail, residential & commercial centre.
5) The new owners WILL make Everton FC into a global brand

Items 2 & 3 will happen in November/December of this year!

Well, that's it!!!!!

I'm going for a beer or two...

Lee Whitehead     Posted 08/07/2016 at

A fan wrote to Everton asking why he should support them – and their response was brilliant

From Liverpool Echo 5th July 2016
A fan wrote to Everton asking why he should support them - and their response was brilliant

When a football fan wrote to all 92 English Football Clubs asking which of them he should support – I bet he didn't expect a reply THIS good.

Bosnian supporter Aldin Karabeg emailed every club in all of the top four tiers of English football asking for reasons why they deserve his support and posted his resulting responses on Reddit.

In fact, only 10 clubs actually replied to Aldin's message – and of course Everton were always going to be one of them. mCan't help but notice that Liverpool didn't reply – but Barnet and Cambridge did...

Anyway, out of the replies that Aldin did receive, the Blues' response was by far the best, and the most detailed.

Not only making reference to the club's famous motto, Everton went on to give Aldin numerous reasons to support the club and gave him a list of 'famous firsts' that belong to the Blues.

Have a look at the reply below, it is brilliant:

Thank you for writing to Everton Football Club.

Everton…… The best team in the world. Evertonians are born not made. You don't understand what it is to love Everton unless you actually do, they're more than just a football team.

The history of Everton Football Club is so much more than the players who have graced the hallowed Goodison Park turf.

There's more to Everton than the trophies in the cabinet; the Toffees have been constant innovators in the footballing world, ceaselessly striving to be the best, and the first to accomplish new feats, while establishing new norms. The Nil Satis Nisi Optimum ("Nothing but the best is good enough") motto could not be more appropriate.

From becoming one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888, right through to present day when we announced a new service which allows fans to purchase match tickets through text message, Everton have always been at the forefront of new ideas.

Did you know we were the first to wear numbers on our backs, the first to have a purpose-built football stadium, and the first go on an overseas tour?

Below is an extensive list of some of the significant landmarks that Everton Football Club has accomplished since its birth.

Founder members of the Football League in 1888

Founder members of the FA Premier League in 1992

First club to be presented with the League Championship trophy

First club to present medals for winning the Championship

First club to stage an FA Cup final 1894, Notts County v Bolton Wanderers

First club on Merseyside to win the FA Cup 1906

First club to go on an overseas football tour

First club to construct a purpose-built football stadium

First club to have a four-sided stadium with two-tier stands

First club to have a stadium with a three-tier stand

First club to issue a regular match programme for home fixtures

First club to have a player (William Ralph Dean) score 60 league goals

First club to wear numbered shirts from 1-11 (1933 FA Cup final)

First club to have a church attached to its stadium

First club to install dugouts

First club to install undersoil heating

First club to win a penalty shootout in the European Cup, 1970 v Borussia Moenchengladbach

First club to play 4,000 top-flight games

First club to amass 5,000 League points

First club to play 100 seasons in the top-flight

First club to stage a World Cup semi-final in Britain

First club to have the youngest Premiership goalscorer in two consecutive seasons with two different players

First club to break the £100,000 transfer threshold when Alan Ball moved from Blackpool for £110,000 in 1966.

First club to be featured in a TV game in August 1936 v Arsenal. Not live (pre-recorded).

First club to have scoreboard half-time/full-time facility

First club to have its own podcast

First club to have its own online social networking site.

First club to sell tickets via text message.

If you require any further help regarding this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

David Kenrick     Posted 05/07/2016 at 15:58:14

Trial by Social media

Being an occasional Twitter billy-goat, trip-trapping over the trolls under the bridge that stands between us normos and the glitzy world of celebrity, I was looking forward to following our new Manager and hopefully being rewarded with some gems like this one on his first day of training at Southampton when everyone had been sold to Liverpool:

Or even more mundane thoughts on team performances and you know, the usual day-to-day doings of the better-than-average Premier League manager.

I notice that our former manager isn’t present on Twitter. I suspect that the character restriction would have been too much for him to get his head around, brevity not being one of his strong points. However, the Koeman boys and Jan Kluitenberg (wearing a suspiciously white homage to the vomit-inducing “Spice Boys” suits worn by the knobheads at Wembley “back in the day” as his profile pic) are all on there and all ready to get down to work.

This is a brave new world, and I wonder how many Southampton fans used the platform to vent their ire directly at them as they all severed their ties. Looking back at Ronald’s tweets now is like looking at your new girlfriend’s Facebook page and seeing the pictures of her and her ex together, a strange feeling of jealously, and one where you’ll forever be checking that she’s smiling as much with you as she seemed to do with him. And tweets like this one won’t help:

Did you have fun with them did you? DID YOU?!!? More fun with them than you do with us? You look really happy to be there, maybe you’d like to be back there with them??.... Ahem.

Anyway, Ronald’s ready

Jan’s ready,

And Erwin doesn’t really say much.

Let’s get following Ronald’s Blue Army, COYB!
James Cuthbert     Posted 04/07/2016 at 09:55:29

Once a Blue, always a Blue

On the weekend of Wayne Rooney's intended reappearance in a Blue shirt I was thinking what would be a fitting way to greet him and not spoil Big Dunc's day.

I personally would like the supporters to come up with a song based on the theme "Once a Blue, always a Blue" not only to remind Rooney of the difference between him and Dunc but to remind our younger players, including John Stones, what it means to play for this club and supporters.

I would hope that the event is not turned into a "Rooney" hate show even though I think the guy has no class or scruples.

What do you think would be fitting for the occasion?

Jay Harris     Posted 31/07/2015 at 16:18:25

Celebrating our major trophies

From time to time, I go and see how the official Everton website looks, and today I noticed something that I hadn't spotted before. Included in the list of Major Honours is: First place in Second Division 1931.

Now, I'm interested to find out how many Toffeewebers think that it really should be included in the "major honours" list? Or is it more appropriate to be listed as one of the club's "other honours"?

Also, I think that list of Everton's major honours (lets say, represented with silhouettes of trophies and numbers within them) should have a place on the main website page (or in the page before the main page). Is this another failure of the club's marketing department? Or maybe it's possible that I'm somehow wrong to think this?

ps: And why didn't Everton win at least the Liverpool County Senior Cup last season? Put out the U21 team and win it!
Ognjen Mojovic     Posted 30/07/2015 at 17:28:53


So I had a few minutes to spare today and the need for a new 2015-16 Everton jersey. I went to the Official Club Website and had a good look around and had to admit that I liked some of the items. I was preparing to buy them online when it struck me that Everton has a commercial deal with Kitbag and I probably should go and look on there as well. The whole Kitbag deal has been discussed on these pages so I was interested in seeing the reality.

The reality is that... unless I am completely useless at navigating t'internet (and I'm generally not), the benefit to Everton FC of its commercial deal with Kitbag appears to be proportionate to the benefit of an ejector seat in a helicopter.

Kitbag has no 2015-16 Everton team stock on sale on their website. None. Zilch. Zippo.

Amazed, but not surprised, I went searching for what I could buy from Kitbag in the way of Everton kit from last year. Turns out that, if I'm not a) a baby; b) a child; c) a woman; d) a very small man.... then the answer is nothing.

Sure, if I wanted to get an Everton mug, mousepad, ball or personalised white tee-shirt, I'm quids in. Positively knee deep in souvenier shit that they can't flog. But, a matchday shirt for a grown man... nope.

There are 95 items related to EvertonFC on Kitbag (as compared to Man City 543 and Chelsea 488). When you navigate to the Football Kits page, we aren't even included on the list of teams. You need to drill down lower to even see that Kitbag sells our stuff.

The main point of this poorly formatted and badly syntaxed post is that it is just another piece of evidence that our Commercial team are inept. Posters from our Asian trip reported recently about the paucity of our commercial representation when compared with our opponents Arsenal. We are sponsored by a Far East beer company to the tune of less than 10% what Man Utd gain annually from their main sponsors. Kitbag couldn't even be arsed getting any of our new stock in... or, if they have, it's significantly delayed.

Without hiring staff with proper business and marketing expertise, we gain millions less income from commercial revenue streams than even those clubs in the lower sections of the Premier League.
Scott Montgomery     Posted 28/07/2015 at 16:55:46

Heitinga talking about Everton

John Heitinga has returned to Ajax where it looks he will not be in the starting 11, incidentally. I read a four-page interview with him over the weekend and he said some things about Everton.

To be fair to the lad, I could imagine that, from his perspective, he wasn't too happy about the way he left Everton and being on the bench in his last year or so. Even if this was the case, he didn't mention it in the interview and was very positive about the club.

He was thankful to have played for Everton. He called Moyes a magnificent person, a true people manager who was excellent at motivating players. The next bit surprised me the most. Under Martinez, Heitinga got only one league game before he was shipped off to Fulham. But Heitinga says he was most impressed by Martinez, and tips the reader to keep an eye on him as he will have a very successful training career for sure.

For reference, Johnny wasn't too happy with the training methods of Magath at Fulham, who he compared to a drill sergeant. He also was negative about his experience at Berlin where the coach was only concerned with statistics like the distance a player ran during the match. He wasn't positive about all his experiences abroad, but he was raving about Everton. Nice to read.
Erik Dols     Posted 27/07/2015 at 07:32:32

"Players in the shade'"

The recent Players in the Shade article had a couple of mentions of this match which has just been put onto the Everton Research data site. I thought it might jog a few memories.


October 24, 1957. The Liverpool Echo

Rangers Notes

Evertons first floodlit game against a Continental side, the forerunner of many to come in future seasons, provided some extremely entertaining football, and if most of it came from the visitors, that was of no great consequence. The main thing is that the spectators did not feel their evening wasted, despite Everton turning out a team containing five reserves and having to do a lot of abortive chasing of Red Shadows. It was a good thing for the home side that they were able to field their first team men at full back and centre half. Even such experienced players as Donovan, Tansey and Jones had their hands full against the speedy, tricky and constantly interchanging, Red Star inside forwards. The visitors tactical ideas have probably given Chief Coach Ian Buchan something to ponder over Centre forward Toplak, was rarely leader of the attack.

He held a roving commission, foraging part of his time as a deep-lying centre forward, taking excursions to the wing, having a go, at half back, sometimes even as a full back, and acting as a general factotum and instigator of a stream of attacks. Kostic had a somewhat similar mission, though he stuck more the middle of the field and sowed the seeds of damage from a less extensive area. His ball control was amazing as indeed, was that of practically all the visitors whether forwards or defenders. They could get Everton running the wrong way with almost effortless ease. Kostic was the nearest approach I have seen to Stefano or Puskas but it was Cokic who finished off the moves from the inside right perth. Cokic got all three Red Star goals, every one of them a beauty.

Defensive Tactics

The wingers were not as dangerous as I had expected while at full-back I was disappointed not to get another view of the veteran Stankovic, a brilliant defender. Although no announcement was made of the change, or of the one at outside left. Tomic came in for Stankovic who was not fit. The Yugoslavia defensive tactics were also somewhat different from our normal set-up, for the wing halves took it in turn to keep in line abreast with the two backs and centre half making a rearguard of four whenever there was any threat of danger. Ashworth got both Evertons goals the second a minute from the finish. Though in each case he had to thank Hickson for carving out the opening, Ashworth took the chances well particularly the first goal when he rammed the ball home down a very narrow angle after dribbling round the goalkeeper. Considering what they were up against the younger Evertonians brought into the side had no reason to be ashamed of their performance.

While wing halves King and Gannon had more on their plates than they could cope with they struck to their task with grim determination and Thomas was always pegging away hopefully until he was injured. Gauld took his place in the second half and contributed some lively runs. Evertons best shots there were few of note came from Jimmy Harris. It used to be said years ago that the Continentals were all right up to the penalty area but no good at shooting. Red Star proved that is not so in their case. Their shooting was strong and usually accurate. If they had regarded this less as an exhibition game and gone all out for goals, instead of demonstrating how clever they could be and how well they could dribble in confined space the result might have been very different. But, taken generally, it was a very satisfactory game all round, and the 32,405 spectators saw something to remember.

Old Colleagues

Manager Cliff Britton, whose Preston North End team on Saturday entertains that which he formerly managed at Goodison Park may have the two former Everton players, Mayers and Farrell in his attack depending on whether Tommy Thompson is able to play or not. At the moment Thompson is doubtful. A leg injury received a fortnight ago caused him to miss last weeks game at Sunderland and though he is making steady progress, he is not yet thoroughly right. Farrell deputized for him last week, and gave quite a useful display. Mayers has already played five games for Preston, three at outside right and two at outside left. He too, has been playing promisingly. Tom Finney absent on international duty last week will lead the attack. Fielding, Temple, and Meagan will all be fit for the visit to Preston, but Rea is doubtful. His instep is not yet right and rather than take any chances Everton could bring in King. Thomas injury last night was to a muscle behind the knee and he may need rest for some days.


October 24, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post

Everton 2, Red Star (Yugoslavia) 3
By Leslie Edwards

This was no match. It was an exhibition of the good things of football by Red Star. Red Star, who have yet to win their first League match of the season in seven starts. Red Star, the anything but Slavish artists with a football; men who recalled the traditional Scottish style, but with important extras tremendous speed, on occasion, and shooting so punchy and dangerous one wonders where they get the reputation for doing everything right in midfield and nothing right near goal. Some of their shots (and particularly the three with which inside-right Cokic got a wonderful hat-trick) were much too well hit, too well directed for Dunlop.

I would say that the allegation that there are no shooting Red Stars is one of the greatest fallacies of soccer. They surprised the travelling Yugoslav journalist who sat next to me by the venom and regularity of their drives. This dark-visaged gentleman vouchsafed the information that he cared for Everton as far back as 25 years ago meaning that he was one of their fans in Yugoslavia! I wish I could say I cared for Everton last night, but I cannot. And not only for the reason that their play was pedestriantly poor compared with the others. I had to give away one of the 10s 6d tickets, I kind friend obtained for me. No one wanted to pay 10 s 6d to see the mixed middling Everton X1 which took the fieldand I dont blame them.

Token Resistance

A match between two Red Stars at Goodison, would produce a record gate. The pity was that Everton were so weakened as to offer only token opposition, hard as they tried to match the brilliance of opponents who brought more than one breath of freshness into the stereotyped methods of which we see so much. They ankled the ball; they inched it here and there; they back-heeled it and then rolled it forwards though it were tried to the bottom of their boots; they always seemed to have time to do what they wanted-and space. But some of their movers were the closet combined operations we have seen on the ground since Hughie Gallacher was around. They passed Everton defenders as though they did not exist; the greatest artist of them all, the blonde Kostic took the crowds fancy from the start.

One wonders what a player like this might fetch in our market? He had size, power, wonderful control of the ball at speed or even when merely dawdling through and his second half, from a standing start (and with his back to goal) was quite the most captivating thing of a game full of Red Star captivations. That Dunlop sensed the move and flung himself to the goal angle to put the ball away for a corner was masterly. Though the margin, thanks to two goals to Young Ashworth (playing his first game for the Everton seniors) could not have been more narrow the effort Everton had to make compared with their strolling-player opponents was prodigious. Hickson had a hand in both Everton goals, the second of which came right at the end when everyone had seemed satisfied that Red Star would safely hold their 3-1 margin.

Remarkable Goals

They were all remarkable goals, Cokic (all the ics are pronounced as itches) got his first direct from a hugh clearance from hand by the all black Beara. The balls bound helped to beat Jones and Cokic instead of running the ball in half-volleyed it to the dismay of Dunlop. This goal came at five minutes. at the half-hour Hickson put up a lovely through pass for Ashworth to run on to, Beara came out Ashworth rounded him and with the goalkeeper far from home and the shooting aperture dreadfully narrow the youngster hit the cross-shot into an empty net. But five minutes before the interval a lovely down-the-middle move by Red Star produced a second for Cokic. Again he took it well. This time he damaged a shoulder. Jimmy Gauld replaced Thomas (who took a severe first-half knock close on the interval) but even Gaulds characteristically enlivening influence could not stave off that third and hat-trick goal by Cokic.

But it was the effervesced not, Kostic who more than once almost walked the ball single-handed through the entire Everton defence who made the score possible. He had weaved through to have his shot charged down when Cokic seized the ball and half-volleyed it home. It took some uncompromising defence by Tom Jones, who had to bear the severity of Red Stars fantastically good inside trio to prevent Kostic from sailing through to goals which would have brought down the house as many of the 32,405 people present would have liked to acclaim football of such standard from their own side. Perhaps the games greatest move was a Red Star one, second half, down the right wing which ended with the right-back. Tomic who is only 18 crossing a ball from which Kostic made a stunning hook shot which flew just wide of goal. What a goal that would have been!

Expert Tactics

If we could see this sort of football week by week we should never tire of it. It is useless saying that our football is the more direct; the more effective. The Yugoslavian principle is that it is better to arrive than to travel hopefully. They posses themselves of the ball and being experts at placing their body between it and the tackle they want an awful lot of dispossessing. To rate them properly one must forget their dismal League record this season and recall that they were champions the previous two seasons and European Cup semi-finalists a year ago. Most of them are students Beara is an electrician and not a ballet dancer, as he has often been described. Outside-right, Mitic is a journalist. He would be able to send home good reports of the team as a whole, despite the fact that Donovan did everything to get shackies on outside left Durkovic a reserve. If Red Star are bottom of the Yugoslav League table, one may well ask what sort of team leads? I would like to see them play, and so, I dont doubt would thousands who were captivated by Red Stars easy nonchalant, almost impudent football in so many department last night.

Bearas Class

Here is a team of eleven very good controllers of the ball big men, good sportsmen, good headers, good tacticians. It would be difficult to praise them too highly. Beara showed his class, it was Dunlop who was always in the greater peril. Ashworths second goal made by Hickson, made him leap for joy. Odd that both he and Thomas, both making their home debuts under lights should each score twice. But I fear Ashworth must now return to Central League football for further polish. King looked the best of the Reserves brought in, but with Meagan and company missing and Fielding out of the attack, Evertons progress was too laboured too obvious.

If I am not mistaken it would take a combined force of the best of Everton and Liverpool to match Red Star and make them knuckle down to their real game. A pity we could not have had a stronger Everton, I fear the 30,000 mark is not going to be topped often unless people can be sure when buying their stand tickets that the full might of Everton is almost certainly going to be on view.


October 24, 1957. The Liverpool Echo

Rangers Notes

Evertons first floodlit game against a Continental side, the forerunner of many to come in future seasons, provided some extremely entertaining football, and if most of it came from the visitors, that was of no great consequence. The main thing is that the spectators did not feel their evening wasted, despite Everton turning out a team containing five reserves and having to do a lot of abortive chasing of Red Shadows. It was a good thing for the home side that they were able to field their first team men at full back and centre half. Even such experienced players as Donovan, Tansey and Jones had their hands full against the speedy, tricky and constantly interchanging, Red Star inside forwards.

The visitors tactical ideas have probably given Chief Coach Ian Buchan something to ponder over Centre forward Toplak, was rarely leader of the attack. He held a roving commission, foraging part of his time as a deep-lying centre forward, taking excursions to the wing, having a go, at half back, sometimes even as a full back, and acting as a general factotum and instigator of a stream of attacks. Kostic had a somewhat similar mission, though he stuck more the middle of the field and sowed the seeds of damage from a less extensive area. His ball control was amazing as indeed, was that of practically all the visitors whether forwards or defenders. They could get Everton running the wrong way with almost effortless ease. Kostic was the nearest approach I have seen to Stefano or Puskas but it was Cokic who finished off the moves from the inside right perth. Cokic got all three Red Star goals, every one of them a beauty.

Defensive Tactics

The wingers were not as dangerous as I had expected while at full-back I was disappointed not to get another view of the veteran Stankovic, a brilliant defender. Although no announcement was made of the change, or of the one at outside left. Tomic came in for Stankovic who was not fit. The Yugoslavia defensive tactics were also somewhat different from our normal set-up, for the wing halves took it in turn to keep in line abreast with the two backs and centre half making a rearguard of four whenever there was any threat of danger. Ashworth got both Evertons goals the second a minute from the finish. Though in each case he had to thank Hickson for carving out the opening, Ashworth took the chances well particularly the first goal when he rammed the ball home down a very narrow angle after dribbling round the goalkeeper.

Considering what they were up against the younger Evertonians brought into the side had no reason to be ashamed of their performance. While wing halves King and Gannon had more on their plates than they could cope with they struck to their task with grim determination and Thomas was always pegging away hopefully until he was injured. Gauld took his place in the second half and contributed some lively runs. Evertons best shots there were few of note came from Jimmy Harris. It used to be said years ago that the Continentals were all right up to the penalty area but no good at shooting. Red Star proved that is not so in their case. Their shooting was strong and usually accurate.

If they had regarded this less as an exhibition game and gone all out for goals, instead of demonstrating how clever they could be and how well they could dribble in confined space the result might have been very different. But, taken generally, it was a very satisfactory game all round, and the 32,405 spectators saw something to remember.

Patrick Murphy     Posted 26/07/2015 at 21:20:16

First-team selection

There are a few doubtful ones (Stones and Mirallas) but our most likely first eleven going into the new season might look something like this:

Coleman Jagielka Stones Baines
Barry McCarthy
Mirallas Cleverley Deulofeu

Added to this, the bench might look something like this: Robles, Naismith, Osman, Besic, Barkley, Galloway, Oviedo.

The problem with this first team is as follows:

Firstly, there are three players who are nearly identical (Cleverley, Barry and McCarthy) and combined would contribute not more than 5-6 goals for the season. And as we learned last season, having so many defensive players has not stopped other teams scoring against us.

Secondly, this team has three players which do more harm than good to the team

  • Howard: He has been a good servant of the club but by sticking with him RM is putting more pressure on back four, meaning Baines and Coleman are unable get forward.
  • Barry: He's too slow for comfort, and should be used only when we have lead to preserve (if we score first); he stops the development of Barkley and Ledson. I would rather play Naismith.
  • Lukaku: 10 Premier League goals last season says it all. Having Kone as backup doesn't bring any competition. Add to that, he seems to be mostly disinterested. I would rather let him leave and replace him with Austin and Berahino.

Thirdly, Cleverley may turn out to be a decent player but he not a player who should be played in № 10 position and that is our problem no creativity. Now if we bring in a № 10 where does Martinez play Cleverley? And knowing Martinez, he would insist on playing Cleverley. I would rather play Barkley in that role and let him run at opposition defenders.

Last but not the least, where is our defensive cover? Not only at centre-back but at right back also? If Coleman gets injured, we only have Hibbert who, like Osman, has given his all for the club... but players like Sterling would run him ragged.

Amit Balaggan     Posted 25/07/2015 at 16:39:16

All dried up...

A number of supporters appear to be relatively happy with our squad going into the new season with quite a few also advocating the need for a creative midfielder.

However, one aspect has stood out in my mind since Fellaini left and that is: Where are the goals going to come from?

OK, we got Cleverley but I can't see him chipping in with more than an occasional one and Osman, who used to contribute a few, is now on his last legs. Ross Barkley is capable of the occasional cracker but has shown he is not to be relied on regularly for goals.

Apart from the big man who I don't rate that highly as a footballer anyway the only reliable goalscorers are Naismith and Mirallas and with one not considered up to standard and the other seemingly on his way (in his mind anyway) I am really starting to dread the new season.

Where do you guys see goals coming from or who should we try to get?
Jay Harris     Posted 24/07/2015 at 23:32:17

Everton players' valuations in the transfer market

As the John Stones transfer saga seems it could become a never-ending story for each transfer window in the coming years, I wonder how Evertonians would value our players if they were all available on the market at this moment? After all... you know every player has his price!

Here are my valuations, base on strength, age, British player, how much we spent to sign the player, comparisons in the transfer market, resale value, importance to our club, etc:

1. Robles £3m
2. Hibbert £500k
3. Baines £22m
4. Gibson £1.5m
5. Stones £45m
6. Jagielka £15m
7. McGeady £3m
8. Oviedo £5m
9. Kone £2m
10. Lukaku £38m
11. Mirallas £20m
14. Naismith £5m
15. Cleverley £8m
16. McCarthy £27m
17. Besic £8m
18. Barry £1m
19. Deulofeu £18m
20. Barkley £35m
21. Osman £2m
22. Pienaar £2m
23. Coleman £27m
24. Howard £2m
27. Browning £4m
29. Garbutt £8m
32. Galloway £6m

Those valuations are just personal view, don't take me too seriously!!
David Leung     Posted 24/07/2015 at 10:54:32

The Billionaire Delusion

Whenever we listen to any discussions regarding possible new owners at Everton, you can be sure the word 'billionaire' will appear in the piece. Whether it's the mainstream media, or just lads down the pub, the numbers quoted often escalate into absurd amounts; 150M to purchase the club... 250M on players....300M for a new stadium.

I've never understood this argument. Our major shareholders and Chairman haven't put a single penny into Everton FC in 16 years, yet any new owners would require a 700M war chest??

Don't get me wrong: I would love a billionaire owner to rescue us from the current business model of selling our stars to refresh our playing staff and hoping someone will build us a new stadium for nothing. Failing that, surely someone with a sound plan to take us forward and add a little investment would be better than nothing?

We know Mr Kenwright has no intention of ever giving up his position, and industry insider Joe Beardwood had this to say about how the club is currently perceived: "There has never been a business plan at Everton. A lot of emotion... a lot of good people." Also, whatever your thoughts are on Mr Elstone, our CEO, he can't do everything at the club.

This brings me to my main point: We are absolutely crying out for some fresh blood and new ideas on the Board of Directors at Everton FC. I would ask any supporter to come on here and defend the record of a certain Mr Robert Earl. When he came to join the Board, Bill had this to say about him: "I dont have to spell out the mans attributes. He is a visionary and his focus on branding and marketing is second to none." What a crock of shit that has turned out to be! He has no involvement at the club at all, and is a self-confessed Spurs supporter.

Why won't he sell his shareholding in the club? Apparently, he doesn't make a single penny out of his interest in EFC, plus he could walk away with an enormous profit. It would enable us to bring in someone who at least had a strategy to take us forward.

Admitting Walton Hall Park was 'probably' not going to materialise after all, only meant one thing. The Board and the CEO have ran out of ideas. Even if there was a major announcement tomorrow that Goodison Park was to be redeveloped, would you trust the current custodians to deliver such a project?

We don't require a billionaire, there is no necessity for hundreds of millions to be thrown at the club. There is no denying, however, we do need some fresh ideas someone to take this club of ours into the 21st century... that costs nothing.

Kevin Tully     Posted 22/07/2015 at 11:02:59

Turning point

I suppose some may say that every season is a turning point for Everton, but I wonder if we really have now reached a crisis point. In the next 4 weeks we are going to be tested about our ambition.

Can we demonstrate to Stones, to McCarthy, to Mirallas, to Coleman, to Barkley, to Lukaku that we will back their desire to play in Europe not in the Europa League but in the Champions League? As we all know that with the current squad we are still three real quality players from challenging for the Top 4 places. We need a centre half, a No 10 and a striker; conservative estimates: let's say 40-50m for all three.

Will Bill and Bob get their act together to splash the cash or will Chelsea, Man Utd, Spurs, and any number, of top European clubs come knocking on the door with mega bucks for our top players? If they do and Bill and Bob havent demonstrated that their ambitions will be met, then I can see our players one by one walking through the door.

If they do go and we get 70-80m, its far too late to rescues this season, and I fear that we will never convince other top players to join us whilst we linger in mid-low places.

Its up to you, Bill and Bob.

Mike Oates     Posted 21/07/2015 at 21:28:31

Why do we do it?

Why do we follow a sport which we know is unfairly run and regularly played by cheats? Where the top management are corrupt and not in any way interested in the paying public, who regularly put their hard-earned money into going to support their team!?

I need to elaborate: We start at the top with Sepp Blatter who everyone but a hermit knows and has known for many years is corrupt. Then you come down to the committees who regularly vote him back into the top job so they can carry on being corrupt.

Watch matches where teams and players cheat as in the France v Ireland World Cup game with a blatant case of cheating by a top footballer (who is now rewarded with the role of a pundit advising us on how the game should be played) and what do the offended football nation do? They accept a pay-off!!

Then we have the so-called Financial Fair Play rules and we hear of numerous clubs breaking these rules yet they continue to bring in new players, pushing up the market values all the time.

In other sports, players will declare a foul play; not in football they are taught how to go down with the slightest contact to try and get the other player booked or sent off. The Manager will come out and declare one week that his player had no option but, if it happens against them, the next week the opposition player is castigated and called a cheat, once more highlighting the double standards in the game.

Then we have referees who make the most appalling decisions but continue to operate week-in and week-out without any real redress; if we carried on like that in work we would be sacked.

Then we come down to the inequality of our own Premier League a league of which 6 clubs can buy and sell the rest. When a footballer vows his allegiance to a club, as in Delph with Aston Villa, but changes his mind the next week... would the club allow fans who purchased a season ticket to change their mind and get a refund?

We are told by panels of brain trusts during games their opinions on what teams are doing wrong; these same individuals have all been sacked as managers because they were not good enough Souness, Hoddle... God I hate to say it, even Peter Reid. There is no other industry were you can fail so badly let thousands down then get a higher paid job for your failure.

We build ourselves up pre-season then every Saturday just to have our weekends ruined...

So I ask the question: Why do we do it? Because we were born Evertonians.

Paul Kennedy     Posted 21/07/2015 at 10:31:37

Players in the Shade

We all started being an Evertonain at some point. For me it was when I was 7 or 8 years old in the mid-80s. My Dad was an Evertonian, like his father before him, so I was already a Blue. But it was my Uncle whom turned up one evening in September and took me to my first game.

But that wasn't 'my time' as a Blue. My era was the 1990s. I started not needing my Uncle to take me, and it became a must that, whenever we played at home, I had to be there.

We had some good players then, and some poor ones too. And we had the idols also, like Big Dunc.

I'd love to listen from all you Blues new and old, on the player you loved who didn't fall in to the Idol/Big name category. The guilty pleasure, if you like.

For me back then, it was Big Joe Parkinson. Don't know why, but I just thought he was the business. A 'Dog of War' more then part of the Holy Trinity, but to me, special all the same.
Steve Foster     Posted 20/07/2015 at 18:36:01

Being positive

Last season is dead and buried. What lies ahead? Well, our pre-season looks much better. One lesson learned by our coach. We have made two excellent signings. An England international who I believe will be superb for us and a young winger who could just be a really special player signed on the cheap. So far, so good.I hope and expect that there is more to come. We are not that far away.

We will sign a centre back and we will sign a playmaker. One more surprise signing on top of that and we have a decent squad. Last season, I had high expectation and posted that we could be Champions League contenders. This season, I expect little... yet, who knows? We have good young players and, if the coach can squeeze the very best from them, if Barkley comes good, then there is much to be positive about.

I agree with those who call for patience over transfers. The way forward requires guile, pragmatism and a bit of luck. Roberto Martinez is our coach so let us hope he is the right man. This is where we are.
Andy Crooks     Posted 16/07/2015 at 18:14:39

Sprending Spree?

  In Out Nett
Man United 289 51 238
Man City 238 48 193
Arsenal 148 40 108
West Ham 77 4 73
C Palace 59 1 58
Chelsea 236 180 56
Liverpool 211 158 53
Sunderland 51 22 29
Leicester 31 3 28
Aston Villa 35 8 27
Everton 66 42 24
Norwich 38 19 19
WBA 3 15 18
Swansea 54 36 18
Newcastle 54 38 16
Watford 12 2 10
Bournemouth 12 3 9
Stoke 18 22 -4
Tottenham 151 159 -8
Southampton 118 134 -16

The Table above is the transfer activity of the current Premier League clubs since July 1st 2013 shortly following Roberto Martinez's appointment as Everton boss. The table is as up to date as possible and all figures are rounded up or down to the nearest Million.

Obviously there are some undisclosed fees and fees yet to be set by tribunal to be accounted for, but it gives a flavour of the activity by all the clubs.

If the total spend - as some posters insist on using to beat Roberto over the head with - is used then Everton are the ninth highest spenders, however if the nett figure is used to assess Roberto then Everton find themselves in eleventh place in the money spent table.

Interesting to note that Spurs, Southampton and Stoke have all made a profit during the period and that includes Southampton's most recent addition from Feyenoord.

It is also noticeable that United and City are in a battle for supremacy, Arsenal are in third position whilst Chelsea and Liverpool are almost level pegging with each other in terms of nett spend although both are slightly behind Palace and even further behind West Ham.

Patrick Murphy     Posted 16/07/2015 at 03:41:25

Creative midfielder

I know that everyone is desperate to see us sign somebody with a bit of guile who can play behind the striker. Apart from Dimitri Payet, who has chosen West Ham, the only name I have heard from fans on TW has been Shinji Kagawa.

So, was wondering which players people would consider for the playmaker role in our squad. Obviously keeping mind the stature of our club and our financial situation.

Personally I would love Kagawa and I was a little bit disappointed to see Marco Van Ginkel move to Stoke on loan, as I thought he would be a good option and I think he will be one to watch this year in the PL.

Possibly, we could revive our interest in Adnan Januzaj to play in the hole, especially with all of the talent Man Utd are bringing in.
Danny Halsall     Posted 14/07/2015 at 11:56:44

Transfer Realism

Four weeks to kick-off and we see the sporadic and usually moronic, transfer speculation in the media.

The best policy is for clubs to have their trading done well before the season starts. What is the point of pre-season if players are sold or brought in after the work is done? Unfortunately that is not the way of the word, but we can hope.

Good early business from the manager. Getting in Tom Cleverley, presumably as a long-term replacement for the past sell-by date Barry and, sadly, never fit, Gibson, coupled with the deal for Deulofeu, was a good start. David Henen is one for the future. This leaves the holes that need filling, (attack, central defence and goalkeeper), to be dealt with.

Why we are still linked with every midfield player in Europe amazes me. Those mentioned plus Barkley, McCarthy, Osman, Besic, Mirallas etc must show the hacks something. But not being linked to countless strikers and experienced central defenders is worrying. I know Mr Martinez likes his passing game and would, therefore, be happy watching eleven midfielders playing keep-ball for 90 minutes. But that is never going to work. Even Barcelona have a striker or two on their books...

The good news appears to be that Aidan McGeady is attracting interest from elsewhere. I would like to see Bryan Oviedo given the chance to play some regular football elsewhere, not because I dont rate him, but because he is now third left back on the rank and we cant hold on to him and Luke Garbutt.

The bad news is that players like these and Arouna Kone wont generate much (if any) spending power. We may have to cash in an asset to get the funds to strengthen where we need it. Does one of McCarthy, Barkley or Mirallas equal the three players we still need to have a competitive squad? If it does, and if we can guarantee only one of them goes, that might prove good business.

What we cant afford to happen is a transfer deadline-day scramble disrupting the squad. The problems caused when Joleon Lescott wanted out are still in the memory.

It's up to the manager to control the comings and goings and not be led by them. A final-day merry-go-round usually results in paying too much for a replacement or a hole in the squad that cant be filled until next year.

Whatever happens between now and the end of August, I just hope we arent picked off as a selling club and that any departures are for the best interest of this team rather than for the whims of agents and so-called bigger clubs.

Martin Reppion     Posted 13/07/2015 at 13:35:09

FREE New Everton Shirts!

Some Blues may not be aware of this, but it rolled into Sunny Southampton today.

Carling are offering to swap any unwanted Premier League footy shirts with ex-players name on, for brand spanking new ones.


Ideal if your kids have ones they don't want.


Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Mark Riding     Posted 11/07/2015 at 19:30:08

Robin Van Persie?!

Here's one for discussion given the stories coming out of the press today that the magical RVP is available for a pittance... Should we be looking to bolster our universally accepted 'weak' striking numbers with what is a truly fantastic option?

Yes, he's getting towards the twilight of his career but he's not decrepit... being first choice for his (not so shite) country would suggest.

Yes, he's on big bucks but can't these things not be offset with signing-on fees and the like (and are 'world brand' Fenerbahce's finances really that much better than ours)?

Yes, he doesn't play much more than 20 'fit' games a season but he's good for 20 points a season (especially the 1st) and we have a promising centre-forward that needs to learn better technique (which he's the master of...)

He accepts his missus will be deciding his next move and she is settled in the area and has a kid in the Man City academy....

I just want to put it out there as a debate, cause I think it's worth a two-season punt... Go on, destroy me!
John Cotton     Posted 09/07/2015 at 19:07:15

Highly-valued Coleman

With almost 6,000 votes cast, Evertonians would place a high price on Seamus Coleman were any club to come knocking for the Irishman this summer if our latest poll is any indication.

It's not clear how much substance there was to the stories concerning Manchester United's supposed interest in the 26-year-old but we thought the topic would make a useful poll of our readers.

The overwhelming majority of respondents (76%) pegged his value to Everton at between 20m and 30m, with the largest segment (36%) opting for 25m.

In any case, media speculation has waned over the last couple of weeks and it looks as though Seamus will be staying put for the time being.

Full poll results
ToffeeWeb      Posted 09/07/2015 at

Central defensive backup?

I am getting increasingly concerned that we have little backup for our first-choice centre-backs, Phil Jagielka and John Stones. As far as I can ascertain, we have a 21-year-old and a 19-year-old that are mostly untried at this level.

So, if Jags and Stones get injured, we have a couple of inexperienced youngsters leading our central defense? This doesn't seem to be a big talking point, so perhaps I am missing something?

I'm hoping we do not go in to this season as unprepared as the last campaign. Can someone put my worried mind at rest?
Mark Pridgeon     Posted 08/07/2015 at

Green grass of home

We're looking for words to an old Everton song set to the Green Grass of Home.

There may have been a couple of versions of this. One of which was sung more on the train home from the aways in the early 70s and was a bit more X-rated as our our lads pulled in to Lime Street ready to try their luck in the nightclubs before no doubt opting for the chippy and then their wives as a last resort!

Also, we're still after the Everton versions of Keep Right On To The End Of The Road and Fine Girl You Are. Even if it's just a snippet of it you remember that would still help greatly.
David Shaw     Posted 07/07/2015 at 20:38:11

Not enough to strengthen yet

I just hope Roberto Martinez has got plans to sign at least three more players because Im struggling to really see how we have strengthened the squad so far.

With rumours of numerous players leaving, then a small injury crisis leaves us belly down again. Im not making out its the end of the transfer window or something; I merely state that we havent really done enough yet to suggest we have strengthened sufficiently.

We have lost Distin and Alcaraz no great loss, fair enough, but after last season you would be hoping we would sign players that would have made a big difference. Maybe we will yet, who knows... but, so far, we have signed:

A midfielder (Cleverley) who is very similar to what we tried and failed with last season.

Deulofeu, who we know can be exciting but who has a lot to prove and needs to be more productive than in his time at Seville. I like him but we need more goals out of him than the last spell he had here.

As for Henen?? Hes hardly classed as a first team member yet and will go out on loan so thats nothing to get excited about yet.

I will start to take us seriously if we went out and bought a lively, intelligent striker who has far more conviction than Lukaku, and a creative midfielder that can see a pass and is aware of the game around him.

We need a central defender also.
Jim Bennings     Posted 06/07/2015 at

Sky TV money

I'm interested to know exactly how much money Everton FC have been given from the TV rights?

It seems that a lot of lower Premier League teams are spending or at least bidding for much more expensive players than we are.

I understand that Tom Cleverley and Gerard Deulofeu are great buys but altogether, their fees still only amount to 4.3m.

Neil Thomas     Posted 06/07/2015 at 11:34:57

The Re-emergence of Ross Barkley

Picture this:

You're a young, hungry worker who's been talked up to be the next thing. You've seen those before you critisized then sold off. You head out to a lesser company who produce lower numbers; and flatter to deceive. Although they're happy to keep you on, you strive for more.

All of a sudden, a new lease of life is thrust upon you in the form of a new manager. He finally gives you the chance you've been craving; the company has been craving...

Fast forward 18 months and that company is now on your back, thinking they should bail out before they make more errors both financially and results based.

Relate this to our own Ross Barkley:

I remember vividly working that first day of Roberto's first season. I tapped my Sky Sports app to check the lineup and my heart leaped with joy to see 20 - Ross Barkley.

What happened to us lads? With the pace of Deulofeu and Mirallas he was unreal; the holder of the ball to release into the paths of Lukaku, Super Kev and Geri before getting into the box to pose a threat of his own.

Mark my words; this season is the season of Barkley. He is the man who can drive us on.

Arguably his best game last season was at home against QPR. Against a midfield of five he looked assured, composed, and skilful. He could pass the ball on to his forward and get into the box to pose a threat of his own.

Give him credit.

Love him; he's one of us.

This season, he will deliver.
Robert Leigh     Posted 05/07/2015 at 23:45:24

Would you have Fellaini back?

I would, and if he insisted on coming here as player power is in at the moment we could get him at a steal. He is still a good footballer, not just a lanky header of a player. He would play better in our team and is still young.

Emotions aside, I think it would give the players a boost. People's thoughts are naturally going to turn to how he won't suit the new style but he's a good player who can adapt and play a bit of nice togger.

One thing i would say is he must realise he's not the big Charlie he thinks he is and also not guaranteed his place. But at the right price...
Tony Doran     Posted 29/07/2014 at 08:48:35

Young Blues

I have noticed from comments in several recent threads that a lot of members seem to be of the opinion that from the friendlies played so far only Garbutt has the potential/ability to step up to first team level.

While I personally have not seen any of the games, my opinion is that it is a different matter throwing 6 or 7 of them in en bloc for a game rather than one or two stepping into the first XI.

I am sure that one or two others could make worthwhile contributions with 8 or 9 first teamers around them rather than several playing amongst squad players. Does anyone think the same?

Anyway, that's my thoughts on the matter and look forward to seeing who progresses through as the season goes on.
Bill Griffiths     Posted 28/07/2014 at 18:44:00

Lukaku A Statement of Intent!

The potential Lukaku signing got me thinking about the previous highly sought-after acquisitions Everton have made during my time as an Evertonian.

I dont mean purchases that turned out to be diamonds in the rough at the time of signing like Andy Gray, Peter Reid, Tim Cahill, and even Mikel Arteta.

Nor great players who transferred to Everton after their peak with another club like Peter Beardsley, Andrei Kanchelskis or Paul Gasgoine. What Im talking about are those players that any club would have in their side given the chance at the time of signing.

In my opinion Lukaku, at 21, is such a player.

My nominations over the decades since the 1960s would be Tony Kay and Alan Ball in the 1960s, Bob Latchford and Martin Dobson in the 70s, Gary Lineker and Trevor Steven in the 80s, Slaven Bilic in the 90s and Marouane Fellaini in the 2000s.

Im struggling somewhat to find standouts in the 1990s and 2000s, but would be interested to hear who fellow ToffeeWebbers would condsider equivalent purchases of this magnitude and potential impact over our recent history.
Steve Barr     Posted 27/07/2014 at 02:13:45

Strikers the key for Everton

In recent times, Everton have never had a striker who consistently scored goals for a long period of time. With a successful loan spell at Goodison Park, Romelu Lukaku proved that having a player who can score 15 to 20 goals a season can really help a team to achieve its ambitions.

Lukaku was a vital player in a great season for Everton but, as usual, due to our poor funds, he was only on loan. With Arouna Koné being injured for the majority of the season and another loaned player, Lacina Traoré, only featuring in one game, it was up to Lukaku to step up. In the current transfer window, Roberto Martinez needs to look for a striker who performs on a consistent basis.

The most recent Everton striker who did not perform consistently was Nikica Jelavic. When he arrived at Goodison Park in January 2012, he straight away proved to be a hit. He scored 11 goals from January to May in 2012 and was our league best goalscorer and also overall. Evertonians would have felt that we had finally found a great striker.

After that, Nikica only scored 5 more goals. With a record of 59 appearances and 16 goals, he fell down the pecking order to Victor Anichebe and loan star Romelu Lukaku. The lack of goals has held back Everton in recent years; if they want to succeed, they need to buy a consistent footballer.

With Diego Costa arriving at Stamford Bridge, this will see Romelu Lukaku drop the order at Stamford Bridge. Everton will have to go to the bank and give everything they have to Jose Mourinho if they want to buy last season's top goalscorer for the club. The 20-year-old who had been given the chance at the World Cup for Belgium, thanks to the injury of Aston Villas Christian Benteke, has been terribly under performing and in recent matches found himself among the substitutes. These bad performances could lower the asking price for the big Belgian.

Goals will be needed for the upcoming season for Everton; a striker who can score a great number of goals is sure to become a fan favourite at Goodison Park. An ideal striker would be footballer similar to Lukaku. Someone with a big build, great feet and can shoot. If we can not get Lukaku, and he goes to the likes of Spurs or Atletico Madrid, which he has been linked to, we should try and sign Wilfried Bony.

Wilfried, who plays for Swansea, has consistently proved himself that he can be a world class striker. Playing for Côte d'Ivoire in the World Cup, he showed that he has fantastic feet, a great first touch, and can put himself into a perfect position, with a magnificent shot on him.

If Everton want to pursue their Champions League ambitions, they need to buy either Romelu Lukaku or Wilfried Bony. If either of those are unavailable, someone identical to these players will be ideal. I would love to see Lukaku back at the club, wearing the royal blue jersey and scoring for fun for many years to come.

Connor Dineen     Posted 26/07/2014 at 00:24:02

Dont sell McCarthy to buy Lukakuright?

Yesterday an article in Here Is The City suggested that if Everton really wanted Lukaku, we should sell McCarthy to Man Utd for 25 million so we could make an offer Chelsea couldnt refuse of 30 million for Lukaku:

I polled NYC Evertonians on Facebook about this suggestion, and the response was 12-0 against the idea of selling McCarthy to buy Lukaku. I imagine the response on ToffeeWeb will be similar, but Im curious: would anybody make this deal?

Devils advocate: We have more good midfielders than good strikers. A world-class striker is a valuable commodity and very hard to obtain these days. With wins worth 3 points each, a team cannot be at the top of the league without being one of the top goal-scoring teams. (The Premier League champion has ranked 1st or 2nd in goals scored in 21 of the 22 seasons.) We could replace McCarthy more easily than we could find the equivalent of Lukaku.

That said, Im against the idea. Barry and McCarthy are a proven partnership that anchors our team in the middle of the field. They fit Robertos strategic style of play perfectly. Why sign Barry only to turn around and sell McCarthy?

Still, strikers are strikers and goals are goals, regardless of the style or the strategy.

Geoffrey Caveney     Posted 23/07/2014 at 14:05:00

Crowdfunder for Everton FC

Over the last 100 years or so, many people have talked about fans buying Everton Football Club but, to be honest, the logistics were unmanageable.

Now, however, websites like Crowdfunder would make such a buyout feasible. You could set up a Crowdfunder campaign to raise 300M, with say every 10 spent getting the investor one share in the club. If it fails, no-one loses anything; if it succeeds, I'd like to see Blue Bill argue his way out of selling to the fans.

All it really needs is a group of people prepared to take up the challenge who would instill enough confidence in the fanbase to make them part with their money. I would want to see a legal brain, a business brain and a PR brain at least.

Could Crowdfunder be a pathway to fan ownership of EFC?

Steve Pugh     Posted 19/07/2014 at 16:27:54

Only the three pre-season friendlies?

Just an observation I made today whilst watching Sky Sports news and noticed that West Brom have already played two friendlies and Newcastle one... it got me thinking that maybe we were starting a little later than everyone else, so I looked into it.

Whilst our pre-season games do start a little later than most, the main thing that stands out is the fact we only have three. A few teams have four but most teams have much more than that.

Has this been discussed before or are we awaiting more announcements? Or is it something new we are trying?

Either way, if were are using our friendlies this year to try out some youngsters, then I thought we would have had a few more than usual to give them game-time before the World Cup players come back for the final few games to really step it up.

Lewis  Abbott     Posted 16/07/2014 at 13:55:34

Everton can win the Premier League

I backed Fred to be the leading goalscorer at the World Cup. I appreciate that this admission might seriously undermine my credibility but I actually believe it was a sound wager. Fred was the leading scorer at the Confederations Cup, has a good scoring record for club and country, and looked a natural striker.

As it turned out, he looked as if he had never worn football boots in his life. Why? Well, the Brazil that looked good last year were a pragmatic side that could and would win looking bad. The Brazil in the World Cup were a pragmatic side which, in the face of patriotic fervour, decided that they had to be BRAZIL. Players, Neymar excluded, trying to score great goals. Fred didn't become shite, he became irrelevant.

So... what has that got to do with Everton winning the Premier League? Something, in my view. It has become an almost accepted fact that money buys prizes I disagree. I think that, this season, the title can be won with the following formula: Good coach, good system, good players, great team spirit, will and self belief.

Spurs showed that all the money in the world cannot buy the foregoing. Liverpool might demonstrate the same this year. Whereas Everton have it; we were a few silly results away from Champions League qualification last year. I have confidence that we will have a stronger squad this year.

There is not one 'great' side in the Premier League, not one side that a motivated, solid Evertonian dressing room should fear. Fred, in the right side and right system, would have scored goals. If all the cards fall right, Roberto can install the will. With a little luck, which has been thin on the ground in recent years, this can be our season.

Andy Crooks     Posted 15/07/2014 at 20:28:24

Time for a reality check!

I am a massive fan of Roberto Martinez and the positivity he brings to the club. By achieving a record Premier League points total last season, he has raised the bar and expectations of all Evertonians for this coming campaign. Even Leon Osman has stated the players are targeting a top 4 finish this term, but have we really got the players to achieve their target of Champions League football?

A quick glance through our current squad leaves me seriously underwhelmed to be quite honest. Ask yourself, how many Blues would be regular first team players for last season's top 4?

  • Howard No. Good shot stopper, but aren't they all?
  • Robles No. Not even close.
  • Hibbert No. Not sure another two year contract was warranted.
  • Alcaraz No. Muscle fatigue and age relegates this guy to the sub's bench. Good in the air and decent distribution. Would have liked to have seen him three or four years ago.
  • Baines Yes, but not on his World Cup showing, or the last 3 months of last season. Needs to find his best form.
  • Gibson No. Too slow & injury prone.
  • Jagielka No. Distribution awful, but good defender.
  • Distin No. A decent defender but this will be his last full season, you would have thought. Mistakes creeping into his game.
  • Stones Yes. Wouldn't be thrust straight in for the others as Roberto has done at Everton, but what a classy player. If he realises half of his potential, he will be a top International for a long time.
  • Oviedo No. There is a chance he could turn into something special, but needs to prove himself all over again coming back from that awful injury. Good luck Brian.
  • Coleman Yes. If he can replicate the form of last season he can prove to be one of the best goal-scoring right-back's in Europe, a very rare breed indeed.
  • McGeady No. A bit part player at the moment, fades in and out of games, not a 90-minute man.
  • Mirallas Possibly. Still not found any great consistency, tends to be a little selfish and can be prone to a tantrum. The raw ability and pace is there though.
  • Osman No. Always had the skill level but sadly not the upper body strength required to reach the next level. A diminishing talent.
  • McCarthy Yes. His best years are clearly ahead of him, needs to add a few goals when we are going for the kill, but that will come with time. A future Everton captain for me.
  • Barkley Yes, but he would be mostly used as a substitute at Chelsea or City. England's next big hope. Requires goals and assists this season to prove he can live up to the hype. The only way forward for Ross is to leave him in that final third leave the defensive midfield duties to those that play there!
  • Pienaar No. Past his best, poor goal return and slows play too much.
  • Barry Yes, but obviously not a regular at City or Chelsea, you would have thought. A great signing for us, so cool on the ball he makes every game look easy. Brings a calmness to our defence.
  • Koné No. Yet to see him play a few games to pass judgement. Double figures would be a great achievement at this stage of his career.
  • Naismith No. Doesn't posses the pace to worry Premier League defences; good movement around the box makes space for other players though.

So, if we do manage another 70-plus points this season, I think it's nothing short of miraculous with our current squad. We will make a few more signings before the window shuts, but we really do need that striker and another winger in at least. I have left the youth out for obvious reasons, but I am hopeful one or two will make the grade. Whatever happens, I am certain we will 'Punch above our weight' again!

Kevin Tully     Posted 14/07/2014 at 12:25:25

Alan Ball and the World Cup Final 1966

The England Team of 1966 had a very rare talent in Alan Ball. The deft back-heel and side flick, an innate ability to beat his man and create space. We would be looking at the 100 million price tag in today's silly money...

Having just watched a full replay of the 1966 World Cup Final, I came to the conclusion that England were not as technically gifted as the German side. So, in almost 50 years, nothing much has really changed for England. The Germans however have moved to a different level altogether.

I noticed in the '66 Final there was a lot of hoof-ball as players got behind the ball. Even Geoff Hurst's third goal came from a massive up-field punt from Bobby Moore. The game was played in a true old-fashioned sporting style and there was no going down in the box looking for a penalty. Sir Bobby Charlton had two real shouts but just got on with the game.

The referee was given a lot of respect that I was in awe. Even by 1966 standards Jack Charlton and Nobby Stiles were typical dinosaurs: no finesse, all blood and guts. Watching the game is like a history lesson from a bygone era. Unfortunately the England side is still caught in that time warp.

Adrian  Byrne     Posted 13/07/2014 at 07:47:21

Royston Drenthe

As always happens around this time of year, I find myself wondering who we will sign and how they will fit in and I cast my mind back to a few seasons ago when we signed Royston Drenthe.

He promised the world but failed to deliver and what a fall from grace this fella has had. From Real Madrid to being dumped by Reading in 3 short years, I have to wonder exactly what went wrong.

He had everything in his locker the times that I saw him and scored some decent goals too. He was quick and skillful and exactly the type of player we needed here, I thought he was a club legend in the making.

His attitude stunk the place out though and we got rid in the end, so I suppose that I am just wondering what goes on in the head of some players, all the talent in the world but a head full of nonsense. Did anybody from ToffeeWeb ever meet him?
Steve Crozzie     Posted 11/07/2014 at 19:43:01

Why the race for the top four will be tighter than ever

At the end of the 2013-14 Premier League season, 14 points separated seventh placed Manchester United from Arsene Wengers Arsenal, who eventually overcame Everton to take the final Champions League slot.

This season, some interesting managerial changes, and some shrewd player trading could make this the tightest battle for the top four since the Premier League began.

The Certainties

Reigning Premier League title holders Manchester City are a short price 1.04 with Betfair to reach the top four at the end of 2014-15 and as favourites to retain their title, its impossible to see Manuel Pellegrinis side dropping out of the Champions League slots.

The same could be said for Chelsea who, as their own manager said, were a team without a striker last season. Despite that considerable handicap, Jose Mourinhos men finished in third place and the acquisition of Diego Costa should make the London club the main challengers to Manchester Citys crown.

Two teams may therefore be guaranteed a top four place, but that leaves two further slots available with at least five clubs hunting them down.

The men in possession

When you make it into the Champions League, its much easier to stay there simply because the worlds best players are attracted by the prospect of playing in Europes elite competition. Would Alexis Sanchez have been quite as tempted by Arsenals overtures if he had to play in the far flung depths of the continent on a Thursday night?

Many would consider that Arsenal arent vulnerable but Sanchezs potential signing wont help address the Gunners main problem from last season. In six games against the top three sides, their defence went AWOL, particularly away from home where they conceded 17 times in three heavy defeats.

Elsewhere, Liverpools hopes of retaining top four status are likely to depend on how they replace Luis Suarez. Fans might like to play down his potential absence from the side but the Uruguayans potential move to Barcelona would take 30 league goals a season away with him.

The Challengers

Tottenhams players always claim they have top four aspirations but so far they have only delivered once on their promises. The appointment of Mauricio Pochettino may have been a shrewd one but after Gareth Bales departure led to an influx or largely ineffective players last summer, this looks like being another transitional campaign for the North London side.

Having finished a seemingly disastrous seventh in 2013-2014, Manchester United have changed their manager and invested heavily in their squad for next season. You can be sure that there will be further arrivals to complement Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera while the absence of European Football will surely benefit United as it did Liverpool in the previous campaign.

So that just leaves Everton: While Blues fans would have been pleased to see Gareth Barry sign up on a permanent basis, what does Roberto Martinez need to do to sustain a top four challenge next season?

With just Arouna Kone and Steven Naismith as recognised strikers on the books, clearly a striker is paramount and with the possibility of Romelu Lukaku returning to Goodison, there are many who feel that the manager has to stop relying on loan players to fill a permanent void. For every Lukaku giving 100% and making a positive impact on a clubs season, there is a Lacina Traore at the other end of the scale.

Ecuadors Enner Valencia is one candidate for Martinez to consider after a prolific start to 2014 culminated in three group goals in three group games at the World Cup. A striker is one solution but does Martinez need to address other areas of the squad if Everton are to hold on to a top four place once its destiny is in their hands?

ToffeeWeb      Posted 09/07/2014 at

Toffees soft in the centre

I don't think many supporters would disagree that we are in need of a top class centre forward.

Arguments rain in about the worth of Lukaku and there is doubt over his commitment to the Blues cause with his ego demanding to be with a Champions League club capable of winning titles which at this point in time rules us out.

So, what are the alternatives?

  1. Miss out on all our targets and promote youth Conor McAleny looked promising 2 years ago but IMO throwing him in the deep end would ruin his career and our chances of making the Champions League.
  2. Get an older more experienced striker, such as Eto'o or Demba Ba. Although we are reported to be in talks with Ba, I don't see him as a regular consistent leader of the line and for me Eto'o is like an aged Yakubu.
  3. Get a relatively unknown/untried striker. We have been linked with a number of these, the latest being Enner Valencia. This is a risk as anyone of quality will be expensive and the Prem is totally different from any other league.
  4. Look at other proven goalscorers. Loic Remy, Hernandez, Negredo and Wilfred Bony spring to mind and I have been disappointed that we have not been linked with any of these as for me they are the quality that we should be looking at if we have any ambition.
So over to you guys.

Assuming Lukaku is off the table, what do you think?
Jay Harris     Posted 08/07/2014 at 17:32:14

What has the World Cup shown us?

In my eyes, the World Cup has more or less mirrored last seasons Premier League in that the usual teams are still at the head of affairs, though not as strong as perhaps as they used to be.

I think this World Cup has shown that you can build a team around mostly average players, to challenge at the top... but to go that final bit extra, you really need either one or two superstars.

This leads me to believe that, if Roberto Martinez brings in a few decent players with the right qualities, and can also build on and improve our play tactically, then we could challenge for either the third or fourth Champions League spot.

However, I think it has also shown that, to succeed at the top level, you need either a couple of star players or maybe a single superstar. If we wish wish to challenge for the title, we will either need to sign one or two world class players or sign one and hope Ross develops into the player he has always promised to be.

Bill Griffiths     Posted 07/07/2014 at 12:16:41

Everton: Only Club with Titles in 5 Different Quarter-Centuries

Everton: Only Club with Titles in 5 Different Quarter-Centuries

Heres another talking point to appeal to potential new American supporters (such as myself) in the wake of Tim Howards World Cup heroics. Americans love champions, tradition, consistent success and statistics. Everton FC has all of these qualities in spades, and the following statistic proves it.

Everton is the only club that has won titles in the top English league in FIVE different quarter-centuries:

1876-1900: title in 1890-91

1901-1925: title in 1914-15

1926-1950: titles in 1927-28, 1931-32, 1938-39

1951-1975: titles in 1962-63 and 1969-70

1976-2000: titles in 1984-85 and 1986-87

The other top clubs have, at most, won titles in four different quarter-centuries:

Manchester United: No titles in 1876-1900 or 1926-1950

Liverpool: No titles in 1876-1900 or 2001-present

Arsenal: No titles in 1876-1900 or 1901-1925

And if you know the history, Its enough to make your heart go Woooooooaaaaaaarrrrrrr!!!

Lets win a title in a sixth quarter-century soon!

Geoffrey Caveney     Posted 06/07/2014 at 14:05:17

Leaving it Late?

We're into July now and we've made new no signings. That lot across the park have already signed three players. Anyone else getting slightly concerned?

Also, we've not even announced our pre-season fixtures yet apart from Ossie's testimonial and the game against Tranmere Rovers. Getting a bit late now isn't it?

Is this all as a result of the World Cup? Surely pre-season fixtures should have been scheduled by now?
Ray Robinson     Posted 04/07/2014 at 14:01:18

Are You Watching, Young Blues?

After a disastrous 11-month spell at Old Trafford, it's now being widely reported that Marouane Fellaini has been put up for sale by the new Man Utd manager, Louis van Gaal.

Van Gaal is being quoted as saying that Fellaini is 'Not a Utd type player.' Leighton Baines must be thinking how lucky he was not to commit to a move to Man Utd alongside the curly-haired Belgian.

I used to read some of the comments regarding Fellaini from Man Utd fans, and quite frankly, he became a laughing stock. Those glory-hunting fans turn on a player in an instant, you are not allowed a few poor games, or a settling-in period. (I suppose for 27.5M they are right to expect world class performances!) His price tag was not his fault though, and he certainly wasn't as effective playing in a deeper midfield role.

I hope that the likes of Ross Barkley, James McCarthy and John Stones are well aware of how your career can implode in such a short space of time. I would even point to Jack Rodwell, the forgotten man of Manchester City, and now he is available on a free transfer.

I hope Fellaini finds a new club that will give him the support to enable him to get his confidence back, but there are very few clubs like Everton out there. Players and managers alike should never take our support and immense loyalty for granted Evertonians make you great!

Kevin Tully     Posted 03/07/2014 at 12:36:38

Why do I still care?

It's 48 years since that first playtime at my first school in Rainhill. One end of the playground was shouting "Liverpool" and the other "Everton" I of course chose the wrong way to go but there's no turning back.

I've spent the last 30 years living and working in SE Asia so I should have got this out of my system by now; after all, I've always got the rugby league and the Saints to fall back on and they're going pretty well. (Remember, I am from the Rainhill borderlands after all...) But no, come the Monday after a loss, everyone knows to give me a wide berth; especially the Man Utd supporters who proliferate over here.

Why do I still care? Goodness only knows but care I do.

ToffeeWeb has a lot to answer for: just when the latest poor result or failure to get players makes me think I've had enough, the fun, sarcasm and caustic wit on the site rekindles the home-sickness and the love of Everton and Liverpool (the city, not the team of course).

I do have one abject apology to make: my wife didn't tell me everything before we married. I knew she was from a different religion and race (being Chinese Malaysian, that's pretty obvious) but she never told me she was a Liverpool supporter. For that, I beg forgiveness and would ask if anyone knows if this is grounds for divorce I mean, what's 25 years of marriage compared to 48 years of Everton? She even likes Gerrard, for goodness sake... Her whole family is the same. It puts me off heading up to Malaysia if only the food (and her cooking) wasn't so good!

I am enjoying Liverpool fans' complete and utter lack of appreciation of irony in their moaning about their "undeserved" punishment for the ratboy saga and they call us the 'Bitters' for the Heysel aftermath! I hate them. (But not the wife!)
Mike Murray     Posted 03/07/2014 at 03:36:55

They're Coming, Be Gentle

With the heroic exploits of Tim Howard, Evertonian and legend, I'm quite sure in the very near future there will be many, many more Americans on these beloved TW boards.

As an American, I can promise a few things: We love the prediction games here in the States, and I'm not exempt from that. Here's a few...

New American posters will be here professing their love for Everton because of Tim Howard. They'll state frankly that they weren't too sure about "soccer" and Timmy won them over. They now want a team to root for and Everton seemed the natural fit because it's Tim's Club team.

New American posters will be full of energy and bravado. They'll make silly claims and will, in a very delusional manner, think they have every right to have strong opinions about Everton Football Club. All this despite the fact they probably didn't even know Everton existed but for a matter of weeks ago.

New American posters will be very... American. The concept of a world outside their shores and a different way of looking at things outside their comfy little prism will be foreign. You might get a gun-toting Alabamian Republican in the mix...

New American posters will not have an appreciation or knowledge of the History of Everton Football Club.

Why do I mention all this?

We Americans are a very naïve bunch when it comes to things on the other side of the pond. When I first came to Everton 8 years ago, I was the single most naïve individual TW has ever seen. I still am in many ways. I still learn about our Club and frankly society in general "over there" every time I come on TW. It's a learning process that will never end.

I think we're about to get a fresh crop of naïve Americans into the fold.

Please be patient with them.

I want Everton to grow. I want Everton to have commercial success. I want to sign top players. I want us to succeed.

Surely in order to do this we must welcome newcomers. And for the lifetime Evertonian born and bred in Liverpool - I'd ask a massive amount of patience with the individuals who I believe will find TW and adopt Everton Football Club as theirs. You (we?) will need to be patient and also educate this influx of new fan into the Club.

They'll be so many stupid comments... so many silly things said...

But if we embrace this "new American fan" it will help grow the fan base, our global reach, and the Club as a whole.

Be gentle. They're coming... And they may sound a bit silly at first... Many won't be here for more than a few months as the fad passes; Americans can be incredible bandwagon jumpers.

But many will stay. And many will, over time, slit their wrists for a title.

And growing the Club will help in that regard a goal we all share surely.

Jamie Crowley     Posted 02/07/2014 at 16:34:44

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