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Reasons To Be Cheerful BMD

I thought I’d done with this after last year's lockdown marathon, a 9-month therapy session basically. This will be my last go, I promise.

The new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock changes a lot of things, resets a lot of dynamics, gives hope, restores optimism in a bleak time, locally and all over the place. Can’t be ignored really.

Okay, this isn’t great poetry, but that wasn’t really the point. It’s personal, for sure, and looks at the past. Goodison memories from 1954 to 1970, through the two most evocative things: Everton and music. And to the future, but I’ve got more past than future these days, and it reflects that.

And also our duty of care to our legacy and to L4.

Reasons To Be Cheerful BMD

Down on the river
Thought makes me shiver
Three generations
Feelings of pride
Watching by the Mersey
In my Bob Latchford jersey
Singing 'Royal Blue Mersey'
Warm inside

Ground at Bramley-Moore
Hear the faithful roar
Fitting stage for Everton
Sun going down
Sitting out al fresco
Pissing off UNESCO
Helping city heritage
Cakewalking back to town

Take care of L4
Nothing matters more
Club in the community
Make us proud
The People’s Club
Community hub
Nothing but the best
Say it loud

Going with my dad
Going with my lads
Going with my grandson
Going with my mates
My dad with his dad
Watching great, good, bad
Lifted over turnstiles
Standing on crates

Great history and dreams
Great memories and teams
Thanks for the memories
Goodison nights
History in the making
Opportunities for taking
Records for breaking
Afternoon delights

Floodlights gleaming
Blue people dreaming
Reflections in the Mersey
Everton Sunset is fine
Blue anthems sung
At the top of our lungs
Heard in New Brighton
Everton Sunset is mine

Go back in time
To the start of my time
Monochrome memories
When I was a lad
Back in League 2
Austerity then too
No shortage of heroes
When I went with my dad

I loved the sounds and the smells
The noise and the yells
I kept asking questions
And made the men smile
Hooked from the start
Captured my heart
My 6th birthday gift led to
Lifetime's joy and trials

Blackburn Rovers '54
Davy scored: 1-1 draw
Tommy, Jimmy, Eddie, Ted
Back to League One
Jack, Harry, Peter, John
Tommy, Wally, Cyril, Don
High jinks, family party
Liverpool gone

Sixteen Tons, Blue Suede Shoes
Doris Day, Singing The Blues
Johnny Ray, Frankie Laine
Jailhouse Rock
Lose to Spurs 10-4
Ian Buchan out the door
Harris B, Harris J
Carey in – a shock.

Jerry Lee, Hoots Mon
Conway Twitty, Da doo Ron Ron
Perry Como, Balls Of Fire
Rock Island Line
Bobby Collins, Alex P
Labone, Eddie, Derek T
Mick Meagan, Wiggy, Albert D
Some weak sunshine

Russ Conway, Shadows, Brenda Lee
Buddy Holly, RIP
Lonnie, Adam, Cliff, Roy
Browns, Marcels
John Moores on the scene
A technicolour dream
Tommy, Micky, Jimmy, Roy
Davy gone, bloody hell!

Cathy's Clown, Won’t You Stay
Dustman, Apache, Brother Ray
Drifters, Timing, Jimmy Jones
Save The Last Dance
Billy Bingham, Gordon West
George Thomson, then the best
Alex – Golden Vision
Sublimely takes his chance

Wooden Heart, Latest Flame
Del Shannon, Helen make a name
Stranger On The Shore, BBC
Acker Bilk
Taxi called, Harry in
Mixed feelings, heads spin
Moggsy, Dennis S arrive
Steel and silk

B Bumble, Ray Charles
Locomotion, Telstar
Local group: The Beatles
Granada TV
Boxing Day, freeze sets in
Tony Kay, Scottie check-in
Big backlog to slog through
Champions, Vernon 3

Merseybeat sweeps the land
Fab Four lead the band
Searchers, Blue Jeans, Fourmost
Gerry, Billy J
Andy Rankin, Heslop, Brown
Hat-trick, Big Fred hits town
Match-fixing – Tony Kay,
Stitch up stinks to this day

Caroline, RSG
Tamla, Kinks, Stones, feeling free
Manfreds, Animals, Rising Sun
Sandy Shaw
Inter lock us out
Colin Harvey stands out
Team, changes, up and down
Third, wanting more

Hollies, Byrds, Ken Dodd
Righteous, Otis, Stax, Mods
Dylan, electric, How Does It Feel
Rolling Stone
Vernon injured, Young’s feet
Fred, 37, can’t be beat,
Wright, Harvey, in Parker, Roy out
Fourth, poor at home

Not unusual, Otis Blue
Spencer, Small Faces, Who
Reach Out, F-F-F-Fade Away
Good Vibrations
Ray Wilson, John Hurst thrive
Big Joe, Husband arrive
Mike T and Temple, win from 2 down
Cup excitations

Sound of Silence, Cream
California Dreams
Sam and Dave, Ike and Tina
A Girl Like You
Ball and Kendall make 3
Young and Scott set free
Angell, Fred, Shirley too
Joe, Jimmy, goals in Blue

Pepper, Love, Doors
Procul Harum, Flowers, War
Need Love, Hello-Goodbye
Otis Rest In Peace
Joe, Alan, Jimmy score
Wembley loss: cheated, raw
Progress, jigsaw building
Piece by piece

Fairport, Joni, Band
Tull, Creedence Rock the land
Troubled Water, Astral Weeks
Love In Vain
Trinity lead the team
Joe, Jimmy, John make us dream
Roger, Keith, Alan in the mix
Champions again

Should have ruled for years
All ended in tears
Ball sold, players knackered
Harry gets ill
Conveyor belt dries up
Poor signings stacked up
Rotten form, angry crowd
Bitter pill

That’s it for me

Chris Williams     Posted 28/03/2021 at

The sad demise of the greedy footballer

A wonderful post from Dave Abrahams on the FA Cup Quarterfinal game thread, along with the news of the sad death of Frank Worthington, has got me thinking about coaching.

Dave reminisced about street football and used a phrase that I had never heard but got the meaning of: "The Danny and the Dribbler". I guess many of us played street football and learned an entirely different set of skills.

What we all did was play alongside a greedy bastard. Someone who would play a one-two (wall pass) with a lamp post rather than pass the ball. Some of them had a load of skill, amazing control, dropped the shoulder, wriggled and doubled back to beat the same man again. Frustrating and annoying as fuck to play with or against.

I don't know if they had pace because pace didn't matter in street football. There was no space to run quickly and no falling over either because there was only concrete to land on.

Some of the very best of those greedy bastards made careers from it. George Best drove Paddy Crerand and his teammates nuts with his unwillingness to pass. But it was Best and Matthews, and many of the players mentioned in the tributes to Frank Worthington, who got supporters on their feet.

This really isn't a nostalgic look at the good old days. I think recent posts have raised concerns about modern coaching and the lack of joy for kids playing. I have walked past kids' games and heard coaches screaming "Hold your shape!" – whatever the fuck that means. So many talentless dads sucking the very life out of the greatest game.

I remember fondly the guy who "ran" our team when I was a kid. No, he didn't coach, he "ran" the team. Before the game, he went round us all and told us who we would be that day. “You are Banks, you're Asparukov, You're Albert, Summerbee, Ball, Best..." etc. We were most of us shite but who cared. We were star-struck and played with joy.

There was little power and even less pace. One or two lads got a chance but they were the last of the spindl- legged greedy bastards. Is there room now for a player who, when no-one makes themselves available, will try to dribble past three defenders?

More to the point, is there room now for a greedy player who will do the same when he has two or three options? No chance!

There used to be loads of them. Jimmy Johnston, Willy Henderson, Charlie Cook, Peter Barnes, Best, Bowles and so many more. With the exception of Best, I doubt any of them would get a second glance from a scout now.

Football changed fundamentally when England failed to qualify for several World Cups after 1970. Failings in facilities and coaching were identified and a lot of good was done. 50 years on, what have we got now?

Rewards are beyond what we ever imagined and it seems to me that so many kids are sold the notion of entitlement. Talent, hard work, and a lot of luck will get some kids up there. It won't for others – no matter what.

How about having fun, having mates, feeling dizzy with the excitement of match-day and being a greedy bastard?

Andy Crooks     Posted 24/03/2021 at


Definition: “great energy, strength, concentration, vehemence, etc., as of activity, thought, or feeling”

It's a term that we hear more and more of each season. All managers now are praising or complaining about “intensity”. Why is it so often elusive to decades of Everton teams? Its regular elusiveness at Everton is central to the years of blight.

How do teams like Fulham turn up with double the amount of intensity to us? What's going on? Is it that the players signed are aging, have niggling injuries, just too slow and not capable of it? Or is it training, diet, lifestyle deficiencies? (Or are other teams having just-legal caffeine cocktails half-an-hour before kick-off?)

I wrote this article because I think this quality is absolutely central to our progression. Any signings that we make (it should really go without saying) have to have an abundance of quality but equally they also have to bring intensity to the table. It has to be in their physiology and in their mental make-up too. They have to be physically resilient to achieve it every week.

The importance of finding intensity cannot be overlooked in terms of getting to the promised land of the Top 4. Additionally, it is needed to keep teams like Fulham, Leeds Utd, Southampton, Newcastle Utd, Burnley, etc (and likely Norwich City next season) at bay. We can't afford to go into next season (or any future season) with a slow midfield, that is slower to the loose ball, slower at pressing, and doesn't drive forward at pace.

We have to find two midfielders with the desire and intensity of Ben Godfrey. As well as a right-back and a right-sided forward with the same. All preferably (roughly) under 25 with resilience and burning ambition.

The two or three signings that Carlo alluded to is not enough. I would say without doubt three or four are needed, especially if Moise Kean is sold, and relying on Gbamin is far too much of a gamble.

I will defer to our esteemed ToffeeWeb scouts to throw three or four names into the ring.

Tony  Everan     Posted 18/03/2021 at

Does Carlo expect too much?

There is a lot of goodwill towards Carlo Ancelloti from Evertonians and beyond. His record is superb, his demeanour impeccable, and his standing in the game beyond reproach. It has been argued on this site that he has taken over esablished teams, fine-tuned a bit, and had success. Everton is a new challenge, not fine-tuning but building. Time will tell if he can do it.

I hope and believe he will but I can see why some have doubts. The road has been pretty rocky so far and a good deal of faith is required. In my view, any manager of a top-6 club would be looking over his shoulder after the performances and/or results against Leeds, West Ham, Newcastle, Fulham and Burnley. Frankly, they were abject efforts from which we deserved nothing. I am convinced that a journeyman coach, like Moyes for example, would have had a much better points haul from those fixtures.

Against that, we have a win over Chelsea, victory at Anfield, 4 points taken from Leicester City and magnificent efforts against Man Utd and Spurs. Results which I believe a journeyman coach, say Moyes for example, would not have achieved.

Why should this be so? Why have Fulham and Burnley come to Goodison Park and thoroughly outplayed us? Come to our ground apparently confident they could outplay us? Why did Sean Dyche and Scott Parker believe that their players had the technique, skill and confidence to come and set about us?

Perhaps their limited coaching experience makes what they see in training look good. Maybe they see that, outside of Man City, there is, especially this season, not that much between many teams. When one looks at the calibre of player that Carlo has coached in the past, it is likely that the last year has been an eye-opening experience. I think that Carlo has little confidence in this squad and has managed it accordingly.

I tend to take the view that, overall, this might be a sound enough approach. It does at least suggest that Carlo has a long-term strategy and aspires to the very highest standards; it seems to me that is something that a journeyman coach is not able, or is not afforded time, to do.

I bow to no-one in how pissed-off I get after some of our desperate shows. After calming down, I try to take the view that these are stumbling blocks on a road to great times.

Also, what else is there to do other than believe? Carlo Ancelotti may well be Mr Moshiri's last throw. There is no Plan B now. We'll know soon enough if Carlo gets a squad he trusts.

Andy Crooks     Posted 15/03/2021 at

Where will Everton Finish?

How high in the league will Everton finish? We are unlikely to finish in the top three but finishing in the top six is within our means. Set out below are the remaining fixtures for the teams currently in positions four to ten.

So although not listing the fixtures for both Manchester clubs and Leicester it does show the top ten games they can influence.

Everton have to play 6 games against current top 10 clubs
Chelsea 5 games
West Ham 4 games
Tottenham 6 games
Liverpool 3 games
Aston Villa 8 games
Arsenal 4 games

Where will Everton finish?

I will leave it up to you as individuals to decide if playing the teams around us makes our fixtures easier or harder. Go through the lists and add up the total points you think each team will achieve and then you will have your predicated Everton finish for the season. At the end are the current positions and points achieved to date for each team

11 Remaining fixtures for Everton:

Everton v Burnley
Everton v Crystal Palace
Brighton v Everton
Everton v Tottenham
Arsenal v Everton
Everton v Aston Villa
West Ham v Everton
Everton v Sheffield United
Everton v Wolves
Man City v Everton
(Aston Villa v Everton TBC)

10 Remaining fixtures for Chelsea
Leeds v Chelsea
Chelsea v West Brom
Crystal Palace v Chelsea
Chelsea v Brighton
West Ham v Chelsea
Chelsea v Fulham
Man City v Chelsea
Chelsea v Arsenal
Chelsea v Leicester
Aston Villa v Chelsea

11 Remaining fixtures for West Ham:

Manchester United v West Ham
West Ham v Arsenal
Wolves v West Ham
West Ham v Leicester
Newcastle v West Ham
West Ham v Chelsea
Burnley v West Ham
West Ham v Everton
Brighton v West Ham
West Brom v West Ham
West Ham v Southampton

11 Remaining fixtures for Tottenham:

Arsenal v Tottenham
Aston Villa v Tottenham
Newcastle v Tottenham
Tottenham v Manchester United
Everton v Tottenham
Tottenham v Sheffield United
Leeds v Tottenham
Tottenham v Wolves
Tottenham v Aston Villa
Leicester v Tottenham
(Fulham v Tottenham TBC)

10 Remaining fixtures for Liverpool:

Wolves v Liverpool
Arsenal v Liverpool
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Leeds v Liverpool
Liverpool v Newcastle
Manchester United v Liverpool
Liverpool v Southampton
West Brom v Liverpool
Burnley v Liverpool
Liverpool v Crystal Palace

12 Remaining fixtures for Aston Villa:

Newcastle v Aston Villa
Aston Villa v Tottenham
Aston Villa v Fulham
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Aston Villa v Man City
Aston Villa v West Brom
Everton v Aston Villa
Aston Villa v Manchester United
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa
Tottenham v Aston Villa
Aston Villa v Chelsea
(Aston Villa v Everton TBC)

11 Remaining Fixtures for Arsenal:

Arsenal v Tottenham
West Ham v Arsenal
Arsenal v Liverpool
Sheffield Utd v Arsenal
Arsenal v Fulham
Arsenal v Everton
Newcastle v Arsenal
Arsenal v West Brom
Chelsea v Arsenal
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Arsenal v Brighton

Manchester City - Played 29 Points 68
Manchester United - Played 28 Points 54
Leicester City - Played 28 Points 53
Chelsea - Played 28 Points 50
West Ham - Played 27 Points 48
Everton - Played 27 Points 46
Tottenham - Played 27 Points 45
Liverpool - Played 28 Points 43
Aston Villa - Played 26 Points 40
Arsenal - Played 27 Points 38

For what it’s worth here is my top 10 league Table at the end of the season:

1) Manchester City 81 points
2) Manchester Utd 71 points
3) Chelsea 70 points
4) Leicester City 69 points
5) Liverpool 67 points
6) Everton 66 points
7) West Ham 65 points
8) Tottenham 64 points
9) Arsenal 63 points
10) Aston Villa 53 points

Derek Wadeson     Posted 11/03/2021 at

How good are we really? Not great.

This is a follow up to a previous Talking Point: “How good are we really?

I often read that Everton are progressing this season. I am not convinced that we are actually progressing because we have, generally, looked woeful. I have a feeling that we have been lucky this season and that our current points tally is deceptive. I believe that our progress this season has been grossly overstated.

To get a better idea of our “progress” this season, I have been looking at actual points (PTS) and expected points (xPTS) for the current and previous seasons (source:

2020/2021 (after 27 games)
46 PTS (6th), 34.62 xPTS (12th; 48.72 points projected)

47 PTS (11th), 52.69 xPTS (9th)

54 PTS (8th), 55.54 xPTS (9th)

49 PTS (8th), 47 xPTS (10th)

61 PTS (7th), 55.78 xPTS (7th)

47 PTS (11th), 52.69 xPTS (9th)

47 PTS (11th), 50.91 xPTS (8th)

My take from the above is that we have been lucky this season and that we are not, at this stage, genuinely progressing under Ancelotti.

Joshua McGreen     Posted 09/03/2021 at

How good are we really?

“The table never lies” – so goes the old expression and, generally, I don’t believe that it does. Over a whole season, the "luck”, poor refereeing decisions, and injuries tend to even out. Except that this season, I’m not totally convinced – at least not so far.

Ancelotti is doing what all good managers do – generally getting the best out of the players at his disposal, just like Dyche and Allardyce tend to do with their teams (no direct comparison of playing styles intended, by the way!). However, the Southampton victory, whilst a welcome relief, was for me a little disturbing in the manner in which it was achieved. But for the early goal, that game could easily have seen another Newcastle or Fulham outcome.

Yes, we were clearly the better side and, had the second goal not been ruled out (correctly), we might have cruised it 3-0 or 4-0 – but, for all that, they missed an absolute sitter and Pickford made a great stop right at the death. We didn't drop points, I know, but it shouldn’t have been so close. It all highlights the fine margins between success and failure.

I can’t really think of a match this season, with the exception, arguably, of Burnley away and Newcastle away (dubious game-changing penalty) when we have come away with less than we deserved. In games against Chelsea, Arsenal, Fulham away, last night, Southampton, we could have easily tossed away points; but for a very debatable late VAR decision, we would have lost at home to Liverpool. No, I think it's fair to say we've had the rub of the green so far this season.

So how good are we? Well, with the acquisition of Allan, Doucouré, Godfrey and James, much better than last season when we ended up looking like this season’s relegation candidates – but it's still hard work, determination, good organisation, and defence that has got us to where we are – potentially up to 4th on Thursday. But can we sustain it? Personally, I think that we are still overall inferior to Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs and Leicester City, which leads me to believe that 7th is our current “default” position.

There’s still a lot of work to do if we are to establish ourselves as a regular top team. Margins are tight and only some more productive recruitment will consolidate what we are achieving. Let’s look forward with optimism whilst at the same time not delude ourselves meanwhile.

Ray Robinson     Posted 02/03/2021 at

Covid-19 Free Zone

I think we need a Covid-19 Free Zone, full of fun, anecdotes, jokes and general silliness to give ToffeeWebbers some uplifting respite

This is not to underplay the seriousness of what is happening all around us, but I came across an old TW thread yesterday whilst looking at famous Everton fans. It made me laugh out loud. I told my wife the brief anecdote and she was laughing her head off too. It changed the mood in the house. To get a bit of laughter into the system is really good for mental health, I reckon.

It made me think we need a thread that captures that for the next 2 or 3 months. Maybe Lyndon or Michael could tag it on the homepage? Over the last few weeks, a good few posters have been posting up great jokes, rhymes and anecdotes. I thought it would be a treasure trove to have them in an accessible place.

To kick it off, the anecdote I was referring to was on an old thread about the renowned author Bill Bryson and his visit to Merseyside and to Goodison Park.

[John Hughes posted in Oct 2016]:

Going back to Notes from a Small Island: his recollection of buying his wife a crucifix from a jewellers in Church Street was hilarious. "No problem, Sir," said the young lady in her thick Liverpudlian tones. "We have plain ones, or would you like one with a little man on?" Brilliant.

PS; read the whole thread, it is pure gold

Tony  Everan     Posted 29/03/2020 at 14:27:19


Absolutely devastated.

“You will never believe who was born on your birthday.” My wife said.

During this coronavirus pandemic, we all had to look for things that occupied our time and my wife decided to browse “the years”.

Immediately I knew something was wrong.

What’s the worst thing possible? Judas? Hitler? Thatcher? I said, “Jurgen Klopp?”

“You’re nearly there.”

I said the dreaded words… “Shankly”.

She smiled in that way all wives smile when they’ve got one over you. I couldn’t believe it.

There was an inquest and when it was confirmed I phoned up my Kopite dad to confer.

“You’re in good company” he said.

I told him I wanted to kill myself.

Fucking ‘ell!

What’s the worst person who could share the same birthday as you?

Mine’s, fucking Bill Shankly – the 2nd September.

I wish I was born on the 3rd of September.

I’m 49 and have just found out that Bill Shankly was born on the same day as me – please kill me… or share the pain.

What’s the worst person to share your birthday?

Mark Cuddy     Posted 28/03/2020 at 20:32:49

A Soldier's Song

I'm trying to help search for an old Everton song that was set to the Irish National Anthem, A Soldier's Song:

It was from the pubs and travelling to the away grounds rather than from the match itself, and would date back to the '60s.

The original version started "Soldiers are we whose lives are pledged to Ireland, we have come from the land beyond the wave". Would anybody remember an Everton take on this?
Derek Turnbull     Posted 17/03/2020 at 08:52:53

Your greatest moment

In this time of gloom, I have been trying to think of something to post to bring a smile.

What is your greatest moment as an Evertonian? Mine is easy. I was living in Glasgow. Everton were playing Wimbledon, and we were relegated, there was no doubt. I had turned the radio off.

I went over to to to my local grocer, Masud, to buy a bottle of cheap Scotch. He came round the counter shouting "My friend, my friend, you are saved!!" I hugged him, as seemed appropriate, given his new interest in my spiritual well-being. Then he described what had unfolded. Joy, pure joy. More hugging...

To me, that moment beat them all.
Andy Crooks     Posted 15/03/2020 at 21:33:24

On the throwing of toilet paper, cushions, darts, coins etc

Oh for the good old carefree days when we could throw toilet rolls at the likes of Pat Jennings and Gordon Banks with gay abandon. I wonder what happened to them all?
Alan McGuffog     Posted 10/03/2020 at

Atkinson – yet again!

This is part of my post on 2 March, VAR the Truth:

'In 2011, Atkinson sends Rodwell off for a perfect tackle on Suarez. Not only is there no action taken against Suarez, the prick Atkinson has been allowed to referee 4 more derby games since which have been littered with dodgy decisions.

You would think, after all the Clattenburg injustice, Poll injustice, or as far back as that other corrupt prick, Clive Thomas, the club would have something to say.

With Moss, the villain of yesterday with the red-card trigger happy Manchester born Kavanagh, Atkinson and others knocking about the club should be doing everything they can to ensure we have an impartial ref for the Goodison derby. But no doubt they will say nothing.

The FA have been taking the piss out of Everton for years and the club have allowed it.

And here we go again: Atkinson is announced as referee for the Goodison derby onf Monday. Out of all the refs the FA could select, and after the Man Utd fiasco, it's that biased twat yet again.

No conspiracy? ... My arse!
Jim Wilson     Posted 11/03/2020 at 20:59:53

Coronavirus: Restrictions on sport

The government are meeting with many sports authorities on Monday to discus what steps to take, should – as if seems likely – the coronavirus epidemic becomes more widespread. Some of the many suggestions being put forward include banning over 70s from attending sporting events, to playing games behind closed doors.

This has already happened in Italy and, as this virus spreads, it also brings into question whether the 2020 Olympics in Japan will go ahead. And whether the European Championship will take place. It seems the Premier league would favour a behind closed door games than a complete postponement.

I think people's health overrides any sporting event and I am sure these decisions will be taken with this in mind. So this weekend may be our last chance to watch live Premier League games. There is talk of letting both the BBC and ITV cover games as well as Sky if a complete ban on fans attending games is what the authorities decide.

Brian Harrison     Posted 07/03/2020 at 11:43:16

Everton Anthem

Look, I know that every pissed/socially relaxed Blue has "A Brilliant Idea", so here's another....

To Audrae Mae's Version of Bob Dylan's “Forever Young”, used in "Sons Of Anarchy".

For Everton

May Gods Acre keep you always
May Your wishes all come true
May You always stand by other Blues
And they will stand by You
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung

May you play for Everton
May you play for Everton

May you grow up to be righteous
Only grow up to be Blue
May you always know & tell the truth
And surrounding yourself with Blues
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong

May you play for Everton
May you play for Everton

May your feet always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
May "Z Cars" always be sung

May you play for Everton
May you play for Everton


May you play for Everton

Alexander Murphy     Posted 05/03/2020 at 23:01:07

Who do we piss off at the FA?

I am not a conspiracy theorist but today’s news that Carlo Ancelotti is the first manager to be shown the red card is the straw that has broken my camel’s back!

Last year we had Omar Nasser being the first player to be suspended for diving after the fact! I am sure others of you can find similar firsts going all the way back to 1985 when we are the first English team to be banned from Europe thanks to friggin' Thatcher!

But who is the person who has incurred so much wrath from the football gods?Thinking back I have the answer! It is Sir John Moores! The same bloke who has a university named after him! He was the first “sugar daddy of football”!

How the FA must have hated him! Using all his Littlewoods money to make us the best!So there you go, I have found the answer and don’t expect anything to change soon! Especially if MegaFon get more involved!

David Cooper     Posted 02/03/2020 at 21:37:32

The Truth about VAR

VAR we were told was brought in to help the referee and spot bad decisions etc. But all it is used for is to give corrupt officials the chance to change a game the way they want, usually for the well-in teams.

There is no way on earth that late goal we scored against Man Utd would have been disallowed if it had been Man Utd or Liverpool or Arsenal scoring it against us. No way.

No one can tell me the game isn't rigged. The game is corrupt from top to bottom with favours, well-in officials, referees from Manchester refereeing Man Utd games, and of course money doing the talking.

And VAR is just another tool for the corrupt FA.

Man Utd never looked back when they agreed to play in the club World Cup. Now it's the same with Liverpool.

You only have to look at the Liverpool -Man City game at Anfield earlier this season to know what the directive is for this season.

How many extra points have Liverpool gained this season compared to the points we have lost due to ridiculous decisions made by the VAR official? And decisions can help you win trophies, Milk Cup Final 1984, FA Cup Semi-Final1977?

Yesterday was just another example of the corrupt system we have. It was a fair goal, everyone knows that, and if it wasn't a goal, it was a penalty to us.

Following on from all the hideous decisions we have suffered over the years, many at the hands of Liverpool, it really is time Everton went ballistic with the FA about what's going on.

In 2011 Atkinson sends Rodwell off for a perfect tackle on Suarez. Not only is there no action taken against Suarez, the prick Atkinson has been allowed to referee 4 more derby games since which have been littered with dodgy decisions.

I remember around that time Carragher deliberately taking out Pienaar early on in a derby. Definite sending off. No action taken

You would think after all the Clattenburg injustice, Poll injustice, or as far back as that other corrupt prick, Thomas, the club would have something to say.

With Moss, the villain of yesterday with the red card trigger happy Manchester born Kavanagh, Atkinson and others knocking about the club should be doing everything they can to ensure we have an impartial ref for the Goodison derby. But no doubt they will say nothing.

The FA have been taking the piss out of Everton for years and the club have allowed it.

The FA failed miserably to redress the injustice inflicted on Everton after Heysel, it may be 35 years late, but it's time the club woke up and got wise to the blatant corruption that is going on.

Because of VAR live games have become hideous events. VAR should be used to correct blatant mistakes, nothing else.

Here's just five of the most obvious bad decisions in derby games.

Jim Wilson     Posted 02/03/2020 at 15:30:44

The common denominator

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was struggling to score and Richarlison was sulking as he seemed to be our only hope of a goal. Tom Davies was out of the side and in poor form.

What happened next was a change in manager. Duncan Ferguson came in and implemented 4-4-2 and indeed many posters on this site had been imploring Silva to do this in spite of others holding the belief that it was far too antiquated to succeed in the modern game.

They were wrong. The change in formation gave Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison the foil that they needed and it turned out that they actually blended together very well. Holgate is of course totally different to our other centre-backs and Duncan gave him a chance which was taken almost ravenously. Mason Holgate not only took responsibility, he relished it and was quite happy to order more experienced colleagues around.

Tom Davies showed what he can do yesterday. It seemed to me that he was unsure of his role in the first half but was told to push forward at half-time and his passing was the best I have seen from him.

These four can be the backbone of our team going forward. Catterick’s great side was based on young players with West, Labone, Wilson, Brown and Morrissey as the experienced players to nurse them along. Kendall’s side had Reid and Gray. Carlo has the four young players plus Digne and Gomes, assuming they can get match fit again. Add in Kenny and that makes seven, leaving us to acquire a centre-back and two wide midfielders plus ideally a dominant central midfielder who would improve so many of the others at a stroke.

Get a midfield which can create but also win the ball and protect the defence and I think the defence and Pickford will settle down. It was hairy in the first half yesterday because their midfield was cutting through ours and so our defence naturally became edgy.

The common denominator in our great sides has been youth supported by a bit of experience, and we are not far short, with others possibly coming through shortly in Gordon, Kean, Gibson and maybe even Simms.

In Carlo, I think we have the man to achieve success, aided by Brands who has a few big name players to jettison in the close season.

Dave Williams     Posted 02/03/2020 at 15:08:44

Missed Penalties

The recent post about Alan Balls missed penalty against Ipswich back in 1969 shows how trophy success can hang on the thread. Those fortunate to have been in Goodison Park during the 1968-69 season witnessed the finest football side since the war in the opinion of the Chairman of Wolves and the FA, John Ireland. Yet the team didn't win any trophy or qualify for any European competition.

When Alan Ball missed a late penalty against Ipswich, the point dropped was a result of one of the most bizarre refereeing decisions ever. The goal that was allowed by Maurice Fussey was punched into the Gwladys Street goal by Ray Crawford and seen by everyone in the ground, even Gordon West stood on his line awaiting whistle, given Crawford was 15 yards offside when he punched the ball into the net.

All the other teams chasing the top spot won that day. And when Alan Ball left the pitch that afternoon, he faced a 2-week suspension. My only good memory of the game was winning the Golden Goal, scored by Sandy Brown with a 20-yard grass-cutter!
The Blues' form held up and, after defeating Man Utd at Old Trafford in the FA Cup 6th Round in March, they were well placed to win a trophy.

Sadly they produced their worst their performance of the season in the FA Cup Semi-Final at Villa Park against Man City, who they had beaten home and away earlier in the season. City were the reigning League Champions at the time. The next game for the Blues was a Saturday night affair against Chelsea which they lost 2-1.

From there, form tailed off which meant they finished 4th, behind 3rd placed Liverpool, who claimed a place in the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup under their rule of one place per city, meaning Everton lost out, allowing Newcastle an entry despite finishing 6th in the league.

It was always accepted that the fast interplaying style of Everton in 1968-69 wasn't quite matched when they won the league the following season. That year, an inspired opening to the season was concluded by Alan Whittle showing the killer goalscoring instinct in a final run of 11 games that brought the League title home to Goodison Park.

Peter Fisher     Posted 05/03/2019 at 20:03:29

Our responsibility

After the derby, it seems a good time to mention the responsibility we as fans have.
The impact that the amazing atmosphere had on Sunday can’t be taken lightly. From before a ball was kicked, we were up for it and the team responded by giving us a performance that was 100%.

That atmosphere has been missing too many times over the last few seasons and is non-existent for some games. We hardly ever raise the atmosphere against lower opposition with long flat periods in games while we sit on phones or chat with our mates.

The Goodison atmosphere can be formidable for visiting teams and their supporters. It gives our lads a lift and the more intense the support, the more focused and intense the players are.

It’s no good raising the atmosphere for a few teams, we need to make Goodison Park a place no team wants to come to again. We as fans have that responsibility – it’s our job to make away teams feel intimidated to make sure they are not thinking about their game and to instill the intensity in our team.

The 12th man is us and too many times we have let the team down over the last few seasons – it’s time we stepped up and had a look at ourselves and what we can bring to the team.
Peter Rogers     Posted 04/03/2019 at 10:57:54

We disappoint me!

I'm sorry to say this but I am referring to a segment of our own fanbase. (Great way to start by getting everyone onside, eh?) Here is where our fickle minority have an impact.

ToffeeWeb has been running a poll for the last week or so as to whether Sam Allerdyce should remain at the end of his 18 month contract. Not only does the prospect of another year petrify me personally but the question pertains to renewal of the contract after that!

We have had two wins at home to a weak Brighton and away to a struggling Stoke. Both of these teams were down to ten men, the former for the last ten minutes and the latter for over an hour and yet we barely scraped a 2-1 win there!

All of the luck that went against us before Allerdyce joined has largely been going for us since he arrived. Liverpool should've been 4 or 5-0 up when we got the accurate penalty to get a 1-1 draw. Newcastle hit the woodwork twice when we beat them 0-1 in the next game and that was the pattern of Allerdyce's tenure thus far for me. Just about getting points courtesy of luck. He has the audacity to try to take credit for the West Ham 4-0 win, to blame the players for losses and take solitary credit for wins. He offends me utterly as our manager.

So why is the title We Disappoint Me and how does that relate to the poll? Because this couple of very narrow wins has caused the poll that was fluttering around 96%-4% and 95%-5% to now sit solidly at 93%-7%

A minute change you might say and still overwhelming support for him not seeing 2019/20 onwards with us but I wonder what is in the heads of those few hundred who have switched so readily on such meagre evidence.

God forbid if we actually finished in 7th place, some people on here would be calling for him to be knighted and it sickens me. Just for total transparency, I, for one, am not a fan!

Lee Mandaracas     Posted 20/03/2018 at 15:40:00

Much for Big Sam to ponder

A season that promised so much has failed to live up to expectations for Everton and any chance of threatening to break into the top six has long since passed.

Last summer’s spending spree seemed to herald a new era at Goodison Park but, with a managerial change in November last year, it has been very much a case of one step forward and two back.

Sam Allardyce has steadied the ship and three wins from five has ended any talk of relegation, but there are clearly issues that need to be addressed as thoughts turn to next season’s challenge.

It seems as though spending £150m on recruitment is not enough for success these days and, as politicians clash over bookmaker shirt sponsorship, it seems as though the Toffees, who recently announced SportPesa as their new shirt sponsor, will have to find more money in the summer to solve a number of problems.

Big Sam will doubtless start from the back and the centre half position needs work in the off-season, with Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka not getting any younger.

Michael Keane arrived to much fanfare but has failed to hit the heights while the jury is still out on Ramiro Funes Mori.

The Blues shipped 50 goals in their first 31 games this season and that is not something you normally associate with an Allardyce side.

Leighton Baines has never let anyone down in his 11 seasons at the club but is also the wrong side of 30, while Séamus Coleman will need to prove himself after his injury absence but has the class and work ethic to get back to his best.

Goals have been hard to come by, especially away from home with just 12 on the road all season, and it is a collective failing of the attacking players and cannot be levelled at just the strikers.

Romelu Lukaku’s goals were always going to be hard to replace and it is telling that Wayne Rooney leads the goalscoring charts with just 10.

The former England captain has played with passion and no little skill but Allardyce has made it clear that he does not want to partner Rooney with Gylfi Sigurdsson, and it is open to question whether the current set-up is getting the best out of the Iceland international.

He will surely be persevered with as he has obvious class but other big-name players might be on their way at the end of the season.  

Strikers feed off the midfielders and Morgan Schneiderlin has failed to make much of an impact despite having plenty of top-flight experience, and it seems inevitable that Allardyce will look to strengthen his midfield ranks at the end of the campaign.

Cenk Tosun has started to find his feet and the net after his winter arrival but the fans are crying out for a 20-goal man up front.

It is not all doom and gloom at Everton, however, and, with the upheaval of Ronald Koeman’s departure, it always seemed as though the remainder of the campaign would be about consolidation.

That will not be enough next season and it looks set to be a busy summer for the veteran coach as he plots a way back to the right end of the table.

Gary McCarty     Posted 20/03/2018 at

The Special One

I know were not encouraged to talk about the other lot on these pages, but at a time when our current manager is under intense scrutiny, and largely unwanted by the vast majority of our fans, I had a wry smile once again at 'Jose' and his gameplan on Saturday.

Once again, he was quite prepared to change the playing style of his team to nullify the opposition, and in the process, totally isolate Saleh and Co, in a style not seen this season.

How many managers would have the audacity to happily concede possession at home, in the knowledge that his forwards would bully the opposition centre-backs into submission, by the use of the long ball?

James Pearce, self-confessed Liverpool fan and Liverpool Echo reds correspondent, claimed rather sheepishly after the defeat, 'that Mourhino would never be suited to be manager of Liverpool'.

I pointed out the fact that whilst Mourhino had been collecting trophies for fun, at various clubs over the last 15 years, Liverpool had one solitary League Cup win in the last 12 years!!

I never did receive a reply.

I guess the point I'm making is that, whilst Everton aren't really in a position at the moment to attract a manager of the calibre of Mourhino, we must select a young forward-thinking candidate whose prepared to challenge the status quo, and bring a new dimension to the club.

That's the real challenge ahead for Moshiri.
Steve Hogan     Posted 12/03/2018 at 12:02:13

More than a spat

I've always thought that ex-Liverpool players have an unhealthy representation on all football programmes - and frankly I'm sick of seeing them.

Having watched Jamie Carragher spit at a 14 year old girl because her dad was gently teasing him over United's 2-1 win I find too much.

No insults. No swearing. Just "2-1 Jamie lad. Hard luck" is what I saw on the clip that I watched. He didn't have to roll down his window. He didn't have to engage with the family. And he certainly didn't have to gob all over a kid.

This guy's a role model? For who? The BNP?

I've written to Sky saying that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable and he should go. Carragher was way over the top and should now pay the price for his stupidity.

And if there's once less kopite on TV - happy days.
Jim Potter     Posted 12/03/2018 at 08:22:43

Liverpool Judies

That Bramley-Moore dock has been chosen for our potential new home, is amazing. A new Iconic landmark, on the Liverpool Waterfront, and it will ours. As many will know, the Sea Shanty Liverpool Judies, mentions the dock in the song.

It kept playing in my mind. I decided to try and write, adapt some relevant verses to the tune. This is the result. Fellow Blues have told me I should send it to you. A lot of verses I know... well, we're Everton, aren’t we.

Stanley Park, Priory Road, then to Anfield we went
Where we won our first title and up went the rent
With Mere Green in our pocket, across the Park we did go
And the rest, well it's History, as all Toffees know

And It's Goooo! Go Toffees Go, To the banks of the Mersey
There's going to be a show

The emotions you feel when you watch the Blues play
There not manufactured, we were all born that way
The highs and the lows, the trouble and the strife
Were the People's Club, welcome, to the rest of your life


Most years in the top fight's one record we claim
“The School of Science”, is our famous nick name
With Prince Rupert's Tower, displayed on our crest
“Nil Satis Nisi Optimum”, Nothing but the best.


The last of the Corinthians once famously said
Just one Evertonian's worth 20 in red
The Great Ball of Fire he too made a claim
Once touched by the Toffees, nothings ever the same


There are so many hero's, let's mention a few
The Cannonball Kid, The Holy Trinity too
Big Dunc, The Golden Vision, the great Dixie Dean
Sharp, Reid, Gray and Ratcliffe all graced Kendall's team


There's those who both managed and played in Royal Blue
Royle, Harvey, Kendall, and Billy Bingham too
All played for the Catt, of whom little is heard
Not a media favourite, no credit when deserved


Great Goodison Nights, in our folklore are set
The game against Munich, probably our best yet
As we bombed the Germans, we'll never forget
How the Gwladys Street End, Sucked the goals in the Net


Now our Grand Old Lady, is showing her age
The time it has come for a new modern stage
We'll still have fond memories, of our favourite stars
Proudly running out to the theme from 'Z-Cars'


And next we'll be heading to Bramley Moore Dock
And all Evertonian's to the Pier Head will flock
The site has been chosen, once the plans are Approved
Eighteen Ninety-Two, the last time we've been moved


Good Health to all Toffees, where err you may be
Born into the Family, that is EFC
As for the Kopites, you bitter red bores
It's not just the City, the Liver Birds aren't yours

Geoffrey Cadman     Posted 09/03/2018 at 12:36:27

Nil Satis

My First memory of Everton is from the 1952-53 season and I've seen a few ups and downs; my sister goes back to the 1940s. When we chatted last weekend , we agreed that for the first time as Evertonians, we are not upset when the side loses. We've come to expect abject, disorganised, leaderless surrender.

We seem to have lost our 'soul'. Koeman's style was cold and he clearly saw us as simply a jumping-off place to the big European post. Allardyce was never a suitable fit for 'The School of Science' – I remember him as a player and a manager.

Joe Royle and David Unsworth, real Evertonians, have left in despair , Moshiri is a business man - but what does he know about football?

We badly need leadership in the Boardroom and on the field from men who love the club and have a long term investment in it... remember the days of 'The People's Club'? We need that spirit back again – and soon.

We could start by abandoning the new stadium and investing in Goodison Park – our roots and traditions – and build from there. My fear is that, otherwise, we will go in the same direction as owners of other nearby fancy stadiums – Wigan, Bolton Wanderers and Leeds – ie, down!
Maurice Reid     Posted 05/03/2018 at 14:17:16

My Dilemma

I was brought up in Dublin and, back in the late 70s, the time came to nail my colours to the mask and to choose a team. To this day, I don't know why exactly I was drawn towards Everton as opposed to the usual suspects of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and, at the time, Leeds United, but drawn I was and Everton I chose.

Back then, we had some quality players like: Mick Lyons, Davie Thomas, Andy King, Duncan McKenzie and Bob Latchford. One of my earliest memories is the League Cup Final in 1977 against Aston Villa. It wasn't shown live in Dublin but my father let me stay up late to watch the highlights and how I wept when we went down 3-2 in extra time.

My dad liked football but wasn't passionate about it so didn't support any team particularly; but I recall him comforting me that night by explaining how the players would be feeling a lot worse than me at the time. Maybe that was the case; it was a different game then.

Since then (apart from a brief interlude in the 80s and one day out in 1995), I've shed a mountain of tears and often rage over this club but that has now turned to a sense of apathy because, now matter how much things change with this club, things stay the same. This brings me to my point.

My own boys will shortly be of the age to choose their team and I as their father obviously will have an influence on that by which team I choose to take them to see across the water.

A friend of mine had a similar decision to make a couple of years back and brought his son to Goodison Park; the lad is now an avid supporter but he's often left in tears by what he sees on the field – the ritual Arsenal spanking at Goodison earlier in the season as an example. The lad then has to face his friends and foes in school on the Monday.

This is seriously hard on the dad and I'll be brutally honest here, I don't want to see my kids in tears watching the perpetual decline of this club and so I find myself at a crossroads as to which club to take them to see in England.

It'll not be Liverpool (if I've any say in the matter)... but, if I'm honest, I'm not sure it'll be Everton either.

Liam Reilly     Posted 05/03/2018 at 10:01:03

The Cure

It is customary now to preface any comments with a disclaimer. So, I never wanted Allardyce, I thought it was a panic appointment but I was prepared to give him a chance. I expected harsh medicine and dour football as he weaved his malevolent magic. He has done it before with lesser teams, therefore I was content to see him do what he does.

In return for dull uninspiring football we would become solid at the back, hard to beat and a team that no one likes to play against. We would move up the table with the foundations laid for better times next season. Sadly, the sacrifices have been made but the rewards have not been forthcoming. Sam’s medicine has not worked,; the patient rallied briefly but is once more at deaths door. Why did it work for lesser teams and, apart from a brief placebo effect, fail miserably for us?

We are not hard to beat, we are a shambles in defence and no one fears us. Is there a referee in the land who dreads Everton? Did anyone ever imagine that Allardyce would manage a team that are spineless? As we are bullied from pillar to post, Sam Allardyce stands on the sideline like some demented apothecary, utterly bewildered that his toxic medicine is failing before his eyes. The patient is unresponsive and the coach’s response is to increase the dose. He has no choice because Sam Allardyce has never had a Plan B.

I am thankful that, during Sam’s placebo period, we gathered some fortuitous points because this is one patient incapable of raging against the dying of the light. In my view David Unsworth has developed young players who are indeed up for the fight. Sadly, however, just when I believe we were turning the corner, a different treatment was introduced.

In the eighties, the stars aligned, circumstances combined, the right coach and players, perhaps with a great deal of luck, blended perfectly and something special happened. It happened at Leicester recently too. It is happening at Everton right now ... but in reverse. I believe we have a malign combination which has been inadvertently assembled. We have a poisonous mixture of nice guys, has-beens and some who really do not care. There are too few who are hurt as much as the supporters. They are too rich to really, really hurt. Add this mix to a coach who has seen his outdated methods work before and clings to the belief that they will work again and this is where we are.

In my view, there is no hope for this squad, whatever they are like as individual players. They are a failed team beyond any quick cure. We must limp along to safety while planning ahead. A new coach, and what a crucial appointment this is, must implement surgery. We are going to take a big loss on some players but there are few worth saving. Time to rip it up and start again.

Andy Crooks     Posted 04/03/2018 at 12:59:18

Our Everton

I have a fondness of Everton due to my 11-year-old son, Thomas, supporting them from the age of 5. We have travelled to watch them in numerous places over the country and have some wonderful memories. Roberto Martinez had the best win-per-game ratio and played exciting attacking football. We managed a 5th-place finish under his leadership.

Everton, undoubtedly have ambition under the guidance of the new owner, Farhad Moshiri. We have some quality players now, particularly in Sigurdsson, Tosun, Walcott and Pickford. Reliable, quality players like Gueye, Coleman and Bolasie. Youngsters for the future in Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman and Holgate. We have to be patient and employ a young dynamic manager who will get the best out of these players. Sam Allardyce's predictable, defensive, percentage football is not what the great Toffee fans deserve. They need a manager capable of unleashing these players and addressing our weaknesses.

On watching our performance against Burnley, both centre-backs are slow and have poor positioning. We desperately need at least one world-class centre-back. Mason Holgate has got the potential to be great under the right manager.

Most great teams have fast, quality wingbacks. We have Seamus Coleman but we need a similar player on the left side. Martina is reliable but he is no Coleman. With managers on our radar such as Fonseca, Simone and Enrique, it shows you our ambition. Remember Manchester City's transition took several years and just look at them now. We are in the process of planning for a fabulous new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock; we need a new manager on the horizon who can get that extra speed, commitment and belief out of our existing players and a few quality players in to improve our weak areas.

A few years from now, I believe Everton will be a vastly improved team and we will just look back at 2018 as a disappointing period of uncertainty in this great club's history. All you wonderful toffee supporters, wishing you all the luck and happiness possible for the future.
George Gray     Posted 04/03/2018 at 09:00:09

Bricks and Mortar

In the days just before the Coleman injury and the nonsense with Lukaku's contract my daily Everton time was spent contemplating Bramley Moore Dock.

I remember my Dad used to park outside it when he would take me and my sisters down to the Sunday market as kids, and I remember always being struck by the enormous brick pillars that stand, grandiose over the entrance. I haven't been in the 25+ years since, but the memory is still quite sharp, and always has been.

It got my thinking about how great it would be if the club retained them as part of the new stadium design, and then I did a bit of research and found out that these pillars, along with 2 other buildings in the complex at Bramley Moore Dock, are actually listed - so the club (or anyone else for that matter) can't take them down.

This begs the question - how will the club incorporate these older buildings into the new design for our new home? And, perhaps more pertinently, what does this restriction mean for the stadium design in general?

I started google imaging a number of brick-based stadiums. I know LucasOil Field in Indianapolis has been mentioned - and that is an impressive arena. Also - the Rangers stadium - Ibrox. That is older, but even the modern extensions have been based around the main brick stand that we all see whenever there is a reporter outside on the TV.

At this point I should confess to knowing very little about the intricacies of construction and the materials it takes to build a large stadium - but the elephant in the room is the presence of our billionaire owner's access to the steel industry. Does this mean that we will end up with a steel-based construction that deliberately contrasts itself to the 19th century brick around it. Something like the images we are seeing of the new Chelsea ground, or the Bird's Nest in China.

Perhaps the answer is a happy medium - something like SafeCo Field (home of the Seattle Mariners baseball team), which is built of modern materials, but maintains the look of the older buildings that are nearby.

Side-bar: Seattle, as a city, actually really reminds me of Liverpool. Has anyone been and felt the same?

Anyway - I just thought I would start a discussion about the overall look of the new stadium, what fans are expecting and what they would like to see. Nothing to do with capacity or number of corporate boxes, or even the presence of a dreaded running track. Just the architectural aesthetics and how we get it to match the listed buildings around the site.

Looking forward to sparking a positive discussion about something we can all get excited about.
Alasdair Mackay     Posted 27/03/2017 at 11:49:59

Who's in for a prediction?

Just going through the fixture lists of the top 7 as it stands now, who is up for a prediction of the season placings and points?

Let me start. It'd be good to catch up for a beer before a game when I'm over from Oz in September.

Chelski		95Spurs		87Citeh		82RS		75Manure		73The Blues	69The Arse	67

A bit of fun but get's away from the Rom and Ross media crap!
Bob Parrington     Posted 22/03/2017 at 10:48:53

Summer 2017 Transfer Window

Ronald Koeman said that it will take - amongst many other things - several transfer windows for the "Everton Project" to get to the level of success he wants.
The changes to the playing staff that he's made so far are very encouraging and there are more improvements expected in the Summer and beyond.
At the end of the Summer transfer window, Everton will have to officially register their squad of 25 or fewer aged-over-21 players eligible for Premier League fixtures of which no more than 17 can be "non-homegrown" players.
At the end of RK's second Everton transfer window, in January, the club registered a squad of just 21 aged-over-21 players for the Premier League (of which 11 are non-homegrown): Baines (HG), Barkley (HG), Barry (HG), Besic, Bolasie, Coleman, Funes Mori, Garbutt (HG), Gueye, Jagielka (HG), Kone, Lennon (HG), Lukaku (HG), McCarthy (HG), Mirallas, Pennington (HG), Robles, Schneiderlin, Stekelenburg, Valencia and Williams (HG). [The annotation (HG) means "homegrown" player.]
We also have 7 aged-over-21 players out on loan until the end of the season: Browning (HG), Cleverley (HG), Deulofeu, McAleny (HG), McGeady, Niasse and Rodriguez. Of these, only Browning seems likely to have a future at Everton.
Then there are 6 players who will become classified as aged-over-21 this Summer: Byrne (HG), Duffus C (HG), Grant (HG), Gray (HG), Jones G (HG) and Tarashaj. It's a moot point as to whether any of these will break through to the first-team squad - let alone be retained.
Other players - such as Calvert-Lewin, Davies, Holgate, Lookman, etc. - are (and still will be this Summer) classified as under-21, so won't have to be registered in the Premier League squad although they will all be eligible to play.
So, as it stands, there will be 34 aged-over-21 players - and that's not counting for any additional incoming transfers - who will have to reduced to a squad of 25 or fewer registered aged-over-21 Premier League players by the end of the Summer transfer window.
The question is which of these 34 players will be transferred out permanently, which will be loaned out next season, which will be released (free transfers) and which will be retained but omitted from the registered first-team squad and therefore only eligible for our U23 side.
I imagine that Garbutt, Jagielka, Kone, Lennon and Valencia are the likeliest departures from the current squad, while there remain question marks over the contracts for Barkley and Lukaku.
It will be very interesting to see how big a turnaround is carried out by Ronald Koeman and Steve Walsh this Summer.
Robert Claxson     Posted 18/03/2017 at 22:02:51


Whether the Belgium lump stays or not, a striker has been needed for quite a while as we all know. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is now fit, so surely, seeing as we bought him and he has already been picked (the game he was injured), he should be ahead of Valencia on the bench or even start. Only 20 years old, he might surprise us.

I also reckon someone is gonna pick Chris Woods up, the Kiwi playing for Leeds who is on 25 goals (3 were in the EFL Cup). He scores all kinds and yeah, yeah, it's the Championship blah blah, but have a look on YouTube. He knocks them in from outside the box and great with his head.

He is a strapping 6ft-3in and I would be happy if we snapped him up. He is 25 and I wonder what he will go for? £20 mill would be reasonable. But what do I know...
Gary Russell     Posted 17/03/2017 at 13:41:51

50 years since the great Cup derby

The weekend just gone saw the 50-year anniversary of one of the greatest Merseyside derby events there's ever been, with a massive crowd of 64,851 at Goodison Park to watch Alan Ball scoring the winner, putting us thorough to the 6th Round of the FA Cup in 1967.

One of the great undertakings was at Anfield though where large screens were erected for another 40,149 fans to watch the match projected via close-circuit TV from each side of the ground.

Now apparently Anfield had an away end for the match for the many Blues who missed out on a home ticket, and the delighted Evertonians there crafted a new song to I saw the Light, no more darkness no more night, a Hank Williams song made known by Grandma in the Beverley Hillbillies. The words were something about it being dark at Anfield and light at Goodison, would anyone here who went to Anfield that night remember our song and how it went?

David Shaw     Posted 13/03/2017 at 10:50:50

Everton's Commitment of Care

I read a sad article in The Guardian today about Stan Bowles, who's suffering from full onset Alzheimer's:

An afternoon with Stan Bowles: the twinkle is still there but the memories are gone

It went on to cite how the game as a whole fails to care for its former players, those who had careers before the riches of today meant that they'd be set for life.

In the midst of the story, though, it was lovely to see this quote:

'Alex Young, who died last week from a short illness after suffering from dementia, had better luck having played for Everton who operate... "a role-model system for former players".'

We all have criticisms about the way the club is run. But one area where Everton are beyond reproach is their sense of responsibility to their former players and the wider community through EitC. It's one of the things that makes us very special.

Robin Cannon     Posted 08/03/2017 at 17:20:02

Mejor amiga

Following Jim Keoghan's piece on the comparisons between Mike Walker and Roberto Martinez, I started to think about our two most recent departures from the office at Goodison. David Moyes left the club with supporters grateful for his contribution but aware that a change could bring a little excitement as stability grew into stagnation. His decision to elope down the M62 was seen as a good fit for everyone. In March 2014 as Goodison rocked to a comfortable win over his meek Manchester United side, leading to his quick dismissal from that post, it looked like we had got the much better end of the stick. That stick has now become a rod for our own backs.

It is tricky in some ways to compare things such as win percentages with Martinez and Walker; as Jim shows, collective memories tend to reflect things better. Expectations have rightly increased. Circumstances around player sales have changed drastically. The entire Premier League landscape has shifted.

Even our campaigns under Moyes become difficult to pit statistically against the current term. There is no longer a breakaway top four, the financial gap is there but not quite the unassailable chasm it used to be. Yet if we are looking for comparisons based on the feeling of almost unequivocal discontent, we need look no further than the last manager who faced the sack from our club: Walter Smith.

We all know the story and we all know how it ends. We know that Smith, much like Martinez, came with a good reputation, albeit built on shaky foundations (for Martinez’s cup success read Scottish titles). We know that it ended with some disastrous results that left us teetering on the brink of survival.

Again, comparisons are tricky; Smith was haemorrhaged by the broken promises of Peter Johnson, his football was often lumpen and appalling to watch and he certainly did not possess the positivity of his Spanish successor. But these examples only add to the growing sense that something is desperately wrong at Goodison under Martinez.

Even before the arrival of Moshiri, our finances (and crucially assets on the field) are better than they have been for some time. Certainly better than in 2002. Reading the reports on Smith’s final game in charge – that ill-fated FA Cup quarter final against Middlesborough - make grim reading. Names like Nick Chadwick, Niclas Alexandersson, Steve Simenson, Paul Gascgoine, Jesper Blomqvist – the list goes on and provokes winces and painful memories.

Our current passing game is not the tika-taka dream we were led to believe it would be. And perhaps a bit of dour reflection on one our many, many poor displays would at least make a change from Martinez’s incessantly positive/unnervingly naive post-match interviews.

With our league campaign essentially over – the appalling display against Arsenal rubber-stamping this – we are left hanging on to the FA Cup to salvage something from another year of disappointment. I’ll leave you with these quotes from Phil McNulty after Walter Smith was finally cut loose. Perhaps Kenwright will once again put friendship to one side and say “adios” to the man in the Goodison hot-seat. Another bad performance on Sunday and an FA Cup exit would surely see to that.

"As always, results have been the judge of Smith, and most managers would have found it hard to survive such abject fare as that served up by Everton at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quater-final. Everton's fans have never warmed fully to Smith, and the under-current of disapproval for his regime has recently turned to open revolt.

Fans do not sack managers, but when the discontent becomes as poisonous as it has against Smith in recent days, it left Kenwright with no option but to sack his manager. It will have hurt Kenwright bitterly to have that conversation with his close friend, but he has taken the brave step and will hope fortune favours him."

Adam  McCulloch     Posted 25/03/2016 at 16:11:29

Let's not miss the boat

I can't help thinking that we are wasting a golden opportunity by not challenging for a top 4 place in the Premier League. We have a talented group of players which includes one of Europe's most prolific strikers in Lukaku. But the biggest reason why it is imperative to start challenging for the Champions League places (that is next season obviously) is because the so-called top sides are so poor at the moment.

There's no doubt that all the extra broadcasting revenue in the Premier League has evened up the 'playing field' because the likes of Watford and Crystal Palace can outspend most teams from the other leagues in Europe. This obviously doesn't include the elite clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, PSG, Juventus etc... But nevertheless, the lesser teams in the Premier League have a larger pool of better players to buy, which wasn't the case in the past.

I still feel that the 'playing field' isn't as even as some people may think; the openness of the league and the success of teams like Spurs and Leicester, is a result stemming from the demise of the Sky 4/5 clubs. Sir Alex, at Man Utd, left an aging squad behind that needed a major rebuilding job doing. Sadly (for them that is) Moyes and Van Gaal have made a right mess of that process. Van Gaal has spent countless millions on average players and therefore, they are a very average outfit.

Chelsea are also a shadow of their former selves; their form took a real nosedive after 'the special one' lost the respect of his players, starting with when he sacked the very popular female physio: Eva Carneiro. There's still some very good players at Chelsea but a rebuilding job will need doing. Same goes for Man City, they are the poorest they've been for many years.

Make no mistake about it though, these financial powerhouses will be back dominating the top 4 and winning the Premier League title – normal service will be resumed. These clubs can buy the elite players because they can pay them £200k a week... a luxury that a club like ours and the others don't have. This season was the perfect opportunity for us to take advantage of the openness of the Premier League. Instead, Spurs and Leicester have done that.

Have Leicester actually got a better squad of players than us? My opinion is no. What they are, is a very well-drilled organised unit... everything that we aren't. I think that is a reflection of the quality difference in Martinez and Ranieri.

We really need a competent manager in charge while the mega-rich clubs are still in transition. We have a quality squad of players and perhaps the likes of Lukuka and Stones would stick around for one more season to see if we can match their ambitions, with a new manager appointed. Many of the players (like us fans) will be bewildered with Martinez's naive tactics and will know there's no chance of progress under the current regime.

So, who should Moshiri appoint? I'm sure we all have our own preference, but mine would be Marcelo Bielsa. He's currently out of work and has (mostly) done a fantastic job wherever he's been. If you like the way Spurs play then you'll like the style of Bielsa, as Pochettinho is a disciple of his. I really think the Goodison crowd would appreciate his style of high intensity and pressing football.

We are not like West Ham fans who demand attractive football; we like to see lots of energy and commitment – that's what gets us excited. We can't afford to keep writing-off seasons and risk losing our best players every summer while the Premier League is so open. Let's not miss the boat.
Mark Frere     Posted 28/03/2016 at 17:26:11

What exactly is happening at Goodison?

There has been a lot of talk about the fans being a major reason for the pitiful home results this season. I'm a long way away, but I catch every match on the tube, and I can't help but notice that since midway through last season, Goodison has been a lot quieter. At times the only noise is from the away fans.

I'm not oblivious to the fact that the silence began about the same time Martinez's master plan for revolutionization of Everton football really started to take effect. People were/are just plain bored with Roberto's possession football. Not only is it boring, it's obviously not working. Not at home anyway.

It's obvious to the fans and it must be doubly so to the players. They push to make it work, and in doing so leave themselves vulnerable at the back. Add to that, the rearguard are lacking chemistry. They are all quality talent, but I don't think they play as cohesive unit. Whether we play two CBs, or three, it's edge of the seat stuff every time there's a cross or a corner. The Everton Achilles heel is common knowledge around the league.

The players get anxious, they get tight, they make mistakes they usually wouldn't make. The fans get restless, they get quiet. Instead of waiting in anticipation for the bit of magic that makes football a joy to watch, we wait for the inevitable bad pass or missed header, because with Martinez's system, there will be more than a few, and pray that the mistake doesn't end up in our net.

There is no joy at Goodison. The squad loses... they're not happy. When Everton lose, especially in the manner that they lose, WE the fans, are not happy. Some may boo because that's the only way to let their feelings be known.

There are some who say that booing isn't acceptable; we should be encouraging the players, not criticizing them.

Are the fans the reason for the terrible results at home? The supporters reactions aren't the disease, they're just a natural reaction to what's happening, or more precisely, what's not happening on the pitch.

It's up to Martinez to turn thing around on the field. To lay responsibility at the feet of fans who pay good money to watch the games, is not helping. It's making things a whole lot worse.

Darryl Ritchie     Posted 30/03/2016 at 05:57:35

Our new manager

There's been talk on here for a while with regard to who we should go for if Martinez is given the boot at the end of the season.

I just read the Mirror this morning and had to wonder if one of the stories in it might just be the little break in the grey clouds hanging over us.

Bilic will not be offered a new contract at West Ham Utd until January, as opposed to this summer's close season, in case he's a "one-season wonder".

Bilic appears to be a good fit for us in my opinion: he knows the club, has international experience, is fiery (and maybe a bit mad), and most important of all (at present), he's a defender with experience in DEFENDING.

Now I know that's not the be-all and end-all but I think he's proved that he recognizes and welcomes flare players too.. I don't need to say the name but I will: "Payet".

He's done wonders with The Hammers this season and he also proved recently at Goodison that he has a Plan B and is prepared to change things when things are going wrong. Two-nil down... win three-two!!

The West Ham chairman is quoted as having said that Bilic isn't really interested in big money, but more in a big project sort of thing.

With no disrespect to West Ham, I think ours would be a bigger project with the possibility of a new stadium on the horizon too, to rival WHU's move to theirs, and an effort to get us back to somewhere near our former glory.
Brian Williams     Posted 25/03/2016 at 10:03:50

Fact or fiction?

Why do people persist in making comments as “Fact” when they actually cannot confirm that the comment is indeed true? It's like the media with their “We can confirm Stones will be a Chelsea player by Friday” (Daily Mail). It is of course bollocks to sell a ruddy news paper... but it is used as “fact” by the radio, the TV and anyone else that is daft enough to believe the sh#te they print.

We have the “I heard from the steward next to me” scenarios, “Bill died three weeks ago” junk. Really? Seriously?

We have a recent article on TW where the poster states “We know one thing. Kenwright hired him, and continues to back him. That, like it or not is a fact.”

There's that word again. The only “fact” is that the nutter in charge hired RM or told someone else to hire him. We have no idea whether he still backs his choice, the Chairman is now just a figurehead, he has not got a means to force his will on the other board members. The Farhad fella is the guy that will make the decisions now...I don't know that for a “fact”, but it is safe to assume you ain't going to become a majority shareholder, spend millions, and leave it to others to control the fortunes of your investment?

Kenwright may be begging for them to keep RM, he could be raging and telling RM to win the cup or he'll hit him with a baseball bat OR he could be spaced out on whatever medication he's on!!

None of us are privy to the truths at our beloved Everton, we have no idea what passes between the manager and Billy Boy, or Farhad and the CEO etc etc
I certainly would never assume anything, I can guess that the Chairman took on RM because he thought he could get us into the Champions League... he talked a phenomenal game... there is no foundation that he was given the “MO” to “just avoid relegation”.

Some of us did not want a relegation manager. Doesn't make us football genii (someone check the spelling) it just means we are “nervous” fans.
Some thought after season one he was the right man. Doesn't mean they are stupid, they looked at a league position or a “fact”.

But here are a few “facts”.

  • We have a good team (not the best squad in 30 years etc) that appears to be underachieving.
  • We are in the bottom half of the table.
  • We have a shot at the cup....hurrrah!
  • We have a new owner and decision maker (he may make a decision to leave the decisions with someone else...who knows...we don't).
  • Some of us will be happy with the Cup and “give him a chance”.
  • Some of us will be happy with the Cup but “get rid of him anyway”.
  • Some of us want him shot, hung, drawn and forced to listen to PM's question times (actually that's not a fact...I lied).
  • We ain't set the world on fire under the previous owner of Everton FC (but don't state as facts that he didn't want us to win trophies).

Everyone gets an opinion, and I for one respect everyone's... but please, please stop stating “facts” that cannot be proved.


Ian Robert     Posted 25/03/2016 at 08:03:02

Niasse – where is he??

We recently spent £13 million pounds on a striker, Oumar Niasse... where is he?

Most other clubs put their new assets on show as soon as possible. We seem to be dragging our heels in this respect.

Is there something wrong with him? Is he sick?? Is he injured??? Or have we sold him without telling anyone???? Whatever the reason, we seem to have lost him on the EFC news, no mention of him anywhere.

Is EFC that strong we can afford to leave him off the team sheet? And if that is because he is not up to standard, why did we spend so much on him... and so late in the transfer window?

Alan 'Thommo' Thompson     Posted 24/03/2016 at 07:43:32

Tim, forgive them for they know not what they do

I find the chorus of ingratitude and dismissive criticism of Tim Howards contribution to Everton astonishing. We hear all the time that players should be more loyal to clubs and fans than they usually are but the reality is that many fans dont offer much loyalty either. Howard deserves to be defended.

In his first season, Tim Howard conceded 36 league goals, 14 fewer than his predecessor the previous season. Over the seasons since, he has regularly conceded fewer goals than all but the top four or five clubs. In 2007/8 for example, he conceded 33 goals. Only Man Utd, Chelsea Arsenal and Liverpools keepers did better. In 2011/12 he conceded 40, but that was still fewer than all but the top 2.

In 2013/14 he conceded fewer goals than the runners-up and in In 2012/13 he conceded fewer goals than the Premier League champions. Did he also have some poor performances? Yes. He is getting slower. He is 37. It is ridiculous, however to claim, as some have done, that he is a mediocrity or merely average. The whole world saw his record-breaking performance performance for the USA vs Portugal [ It was Belgium Ed]. That was not the work of a mediocrity.

There have been plenty of great performances for Everton over the years too. And one great goal! No matter how you cut up the numbers he has been statistically one of the top performing goalkeepers in the Premier League for most of a full decade.

Despite his recent form, I doubt he would have let in either of the goals which Arsenal scored on Saturday. So I for one, while accepting it is time for him to move on, thank him for the last ten years and wish him well. We should all hope his replacement does as well.
Peter Fearon     Posted 21/03/2016 at 20:14:25

Insulting and Embarrassing

As a lifelong supporter, I feel entitled to vent my anger and frustration over the past nearly three years.

On the credit side I've nothing but admiration for a genuine true Blue. Chairman, Bill Kenwright, isn't the wealthiest of such people in the Premier League but he's previously talked significant people onto the Board. None of them seemed keen too part with their dosh, but I assume their business acumen contributed something somewhere.

Bill's inertia and ducking of decision-making is legendary. He might have functioned with less caution in the works of theatre, but not at or about Everton. The ground issue may now get the impetus it needs from the new guy, Moshiri and his mate and fellow Board member he brought with him. Pray tell me what Robert Elstone is doing on the Board or couldn't they afford to sack him?

Anyway I'd also mention all the brilliant Community stuff the Club does for the disabled kids and beyond. Naismith before he left was a shining inspiration and example to all pro footballers with his generosity and caring attitude... I loved him and his approach.

On the down side, what credentials did Martinez have that persuaded Kenwright to recruit him? He's proved to be so out of his depth and clueless. If reaching the FA Cup semi-Final is so down to him, then so is the appalling state of affairs re our results and performances in the Premier League.

Unarguably we have a pretty good squad,with maybe three or four outstanding talents, complimented by the likes of Barry, Jagielka, Baines, Besic, Lennon et al. We have a manager who looked better than he was at the job in his first season because he inherited a Moyes-constructed defence. Moyes could stifle attacking talent by being in the same room, but he knew his onions about defence; sadly, for Martinez to have that talent in reverse is destined towards disaster.

Martinez has produced teams that can attack like Brazil at times, but defend like Hartlepool, and frankly for Hartlepool these days, read Everton I wouldn't want to insult Hartlepool!

After the World Cup, Howard, Jagielka and Baines looked shot, but Martinez didn't seem able or prepared to deal with that. Ultimately Howard just got worse, the other two mixed in reality. Baines's dead ball expertise long gone and after injury, Jagielka has struggled too.

No Manager worth his salt would have persevered with Howard he was so obviously past his best. When Martinez offered "It's his 300th Premier League appearance" as an explanation as to why he'd picked him yet again after a disastrous previous performance, I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

Barry on loan in his first season was tremendous, after he signed last season he was repeatedly dreadful, did he get dropped... No? He's been brilliant this, but he illustrates again Martinez ineptitude even cowardice before.

You could write a chapter alone about Alcaraz. He could NEVER be described as a footballer. He was without any shade of or kind of ability. Repeatedly on the bench, even starting on occasions, unbelievable blindness by Martinez.

The Mirallas penalty debacle when he grabbed the ball. No player would have done that if they had a modicum of respect for the Gaffer. I wonder how many of our players have?

I can't believe any other Premier League or even Championship club would not have sacked Martinez an age ago, but not Bill Kenwright.....inertia rules ain't that so Bill?

I trust the billionaire we've now got on the Board is as shrewd as he has to be to have such wealth and sees off the clueless, bumbling embarrassing clown we have in charge. The exaggerations at pre-match press conferences, the promises after, the excuses, the total bullshit and claptrap are offensive to fans. He has to go, and if he was the 'nice guy' others suggest, he'd do it honourably and walk today.

Ray Hughes     Posted 21/03/2016 at 10:50:40

Midfield dunces

All Evertonians have a right to be very disappointed by our underachieving season, as has been reported many times. When you look closer into the reasons, one thing that glares out to me is the lack of goals from our midfield.

How many goals have McCarthy, Barry, Cleverley, Deulofeu and Besic scored this season? Five between them, I think. The problem goes further because it has been the same for every one of the three seasons since Roberto Martinez has been in charge.

Why do these players get into scoring position (occasionally) and then pass or lose the ball? This has to be rectified if we are to the force everyone says we should be. To me, so much is put on Lukaku and he has delivered. Mirallas scores but does not play; Osman is also capable but he is down the pecking order, plus Martinez stopped him scoring.

One player who has really shone is Lennon; another is of course Barkley. But why have these two been scoring? The answer is simple – they have been given more freedom to roam around the field, from which we have seen the benefits. Martinez should let the midfielders have the same freedom; they know their jobs in midfield and when going forward... tell them they can shoot at least, or run into the box to pick up the scraps.

Come on, Blues, let's have our luvvie dovvie play but let these boys express themselves in the final third and hopefully we will all benefit. Eight defeats at home is absolute crap... so, in the final games, let's go for it. We cannot be worse than we are now. Go for it, Roberto, let the team express themselves in the final third for once and all.

Roy Clark     Posted 20/03/2016 at 06:27:34

Death By a Thousand Cuts

Excuse the corny headline, but that's what watching Everton feels like at the moment.

In a previous post, I stated that in every manager's tenure at a football club, he reaches and passes the 'point of no return' in the eyes of the fans. I think Martinez has long gone past that stage, and it's now getting embarrassing for him and the club.

After about 20 minutes of the Arsenal game, I just knew we would get absolutely nothing from it, nor did we deserve to.

It's now patently obvious, and to many fans, it has been for a long time, that this manager does not have the ability to take us forward. Today's game just about epitomised his reign so far: poor team tactics, even poorer substitutions, and a team quickly running out of faith in the manager.

Did anyone notice, around 5 minutes before the end, Seamus Coleman had absolutely no options available to him as he brought the ball forward, simply no-one made themselves available. Many of his team-mates had simply given up the ghost at that stage, and didn't really want to be there in all honesty. Coleman was furious.

And to think last week, Kenwright in true 'luvvie' fashion, with his arm wrapped around Moshiri, baulked at the idea that anyone should have the audacity to question the manager's performance this season. Unbelievable.

What was particularly galling as a spectator, was to see an Arsenal team, fresh from a midweek mauling at the Nou Camp, outplay us completely on the pitch, not only in a technical sense, but in speed of thought as well, we simply looked slow and ponderous in our build up play, as we have done all season.

I don't have a coaching badge, but the much maligned Wenger simply 'did a job on us', pushed three forward to press the Everton back four, and we never looked comfortable all afternoon.

That, coupled with a nervous Robles (who was brutally exposed throughout the game) but should have done better with both goals, made the game a recipe for disaster

I'm struggling to think of a player who came out of the afternoon with any credit, McCarthy and Cleverley were able runners, (so was Linford Christie) but that's all, it wasn't just an off day for them, their individual ability levels never once matched the 'one touch' football of their Arsenal counterparts, they never once came close all afternoon, again placing question marks over Martinez's insistence on two holding midfielders in the same team.

The 'Martinez effect', is now starting to materialise in the player's comments off the pitch, with Lukaku starting to make predictable comments to a foreign journal about the team 'underachieving' and his wish to be able to play Champions League football.

In all honesty, who can blame him, as one of the hottest properties in European football, why shouldn't he be entitled to think like that?

If you were an aspiring young footballer, would you put your trust and playing future in Martinez?

What is more alarming off the pitch, is that Kenwright has managed to influence the new majority shareholder (and effectively the owner) to promote the much-maligned Robert Elstone to the board of directors. So, are we to continue in the same 'jobs for the boys' fashion, and settle for mediocrity which has been our trademark for the last twenty years?

The season's end could yet see us win a trophy and in doing so, prolong the lifespan of the manager. I hope not, I just don't see any hard evidence that this manager is capable of change, or that he has the inner ability or acumen to do so.

Maybe he is beginning to realise as well that he is nearing the end of his Everton 'journey'? For the first time in a long long time,in his post match press conference, he was openly critical of the team at the end of today's game. No inane utterings of 'fine margins', 'phenomenal individual performances', 'fine moments', just the plain truth, and maybe the first signs of a manager running out of excuses.

Statistics don't lie, we have the worst home record in the Premier League, and all those at Goodison will have only seen four home league wins in fifteen months. Steve Mclaren got the sack from Newcastle for less.

There are just nine league games left. Roberto said, 'Judge me at the end of the season'. For many people, Roberto, they have already made their mind up.

Steve Hogan     Posted 19/03/2016 at 19:54:40

Transfers and the future

Hi all,

I am a young adult with Cerebral Palsy who played for EFC disabled teams for 10 years. I am a scout and C-certificate coach who has coached home and abroad so I have contacts all over. I do a lot of scouting.

I would love to see us go for something like this:

Tony Hibbert to be replaced by Wolves player Dominic Iorfa. The boy is quick, British and coachable. 6m

Darron Gibson to be replaced by Villa’s Jack Grealish. He has that bite we miss. Different and fun. 6m

John Stones to be replaced by Benfica’s Ricardo Pereira. Quick, young and will be a centre back in time. 8m

Aiden McGeady to be replaced by Bilbao’s Iker Muniain. Spend cash on this boy – he's loyal, a fan favourite and reliable. 16m

Leon Osman to be replaced by Pierre Holbjerg of Munich. He has something, big quality. Suits the Premier League. 8m

Steven Pienaar to be replaced by Thomas Vermaelen (loan). He knows the League, still a decent age and a leader. 4m

Tim Howard to be replaced by Dan Bentley Southend. Young, hungry, coachable, and British. 5m

Conor McAleny to be replaced by Lewis Cook of Leeds. Hungry, versatile, jas a bit of bite, and British. 8m

Kevin Mirallas and Arouna Kone to be replaced by Munir of Barca. He's got big friends in our group, young and versatile. 11m

Tyias Browning and Mason Holgate to the Championship; Matthew Pennigton and Gethin Jones to League One

Goalkeeper: Tonlga Zengin – good age and an international.
Centre Back: Craig Cathcart – good age and and international
Midfield Matt Ritchie – hungry and versatile  
Striker Alexandre Lacazette – good age and scores goals

Aaron Evans     Posted 16/03/2016 at

Is Roberto off the hook?

It was a great win against Chelsea, a fine performance by the players and a good show by the coach. A week ago, there was a tide turning against him. The national press and quite a few pundits seemed to be catching on to the despair that many of us felt. So, a win against Chelsea and he is safe; a good coach, the man to take us forward?

The win on Saturday was special, Lukaku's goal was special, the buzz since is just brilliant. But, it could have been different. We looked negative at times, we set up, in my view, to keep it tight and nick one. Now, that is fine but it was not the Martinez way. Has he changed?

I believe the way we set about Chelsea was fundamentally different to the way he has set about our Premier League campaign... THAT, was different and an example of what might have been. One game should not, for good or bad, decide the future of our coach.

The balance, it seems to me, is that he is very much on the hook until we get something resembling pragmatism and consistency.
Andy Crooks     Posted 14/03/2016 at 22:58:31

Finally all the pieces fit together

Watching the Blues for the longest while has seemed like either doing a jigsaw puzzle without the picture or doing the same puzzle with some of the pieces missing. In the first case it can be almost impossible to do and in the second incredibly frustrating.

But yesterday we had the picture and all the pieces and how great did that feel! I am finding it very difficult to watch the Blues these days just because it causes me so much anxiety and stress! Not sure how the 40,000- who were there in person handle it but I find it very difficult. But once Rom's genius put us 2 ahead and Costa departed, I felt great – even if I was screaming at RM to take Barry off after his 1st yellow. Watching the game again on the video was amazing! No worrie... just pure enjoyment.

Rom was the star but I thought everyone gave everything. There were some great performances but Seamus and Tom caught my eye. Seamus is one tough SOB! Never flinched in any challenge and summed up the team spirit that has been missing before. Cleverley seemed to have both speed and stamina to close down for the whole game, not just 75 minutes.

While some may criticise Barry for getting sent off, I loved the way he wound Costa up and never backed down. Maybe he needs a 2 game enforced rest which will give Mo a chance to impress but we will need him back.

Watford have just turned the Arse over! This weekend gets even better! Lastly what introduction for Mr Moshiri! Goodison rocking under lights! The Blues getting to Wembley! A wonder goal from Rom! Good to see BK at the game also. He surely deserves a few days like yesterday .

A performance like this next week against the Arse will make the next few weeks feel like summer is not far away!

David Cooper     Posted 13/03/2016 at 15:07:31

How good a CB is John Stones really?

John Stones has had a rather confusing season. He gets praise and accolades for his elegant play, with rumors taking him to City, United, Real, Barca etc. On the other hand, he has started to get on fans' nerves a bit, and has got some rough criticisms from old-school football personalities, who are expecting to see some actual defending merits from him.

First and foremost, I do think he is talented. He is very good in possession and has got agility and reasonably quick feet to match. When these attributes occasionally combine, e.g. when he makes a nice interception, bursts forward and hits the right pass, he really looks like a great young _player_. But while his attributes makes him a terrific player on paper, this season (at last) has made me doubt whether he really is a terrific young _centre-back_, and will ever be great in his role. This doubt originates from thoughtful consideration of what attributes/ aspects should be prioritised when determining how good a CB really is. I think that the perspective from which Stones's performances is being examined is really flawed on multiple fronts.

How many headers a match is he really winning for instance? I think that he is often wrong-positioned when the ball flies in, and his body stature isn't exactly something you shuffle attackers around with. This takes me to one-on-ones, and whether if he wins enough of them a game either. Don't think so. He has been praised for his interceptions though, and I have to admit it looks nice when he gets them right. But on the other hand, he makes far too many risky tackles and goes for risky interceptions. Hence, he is caught in awkward positions.

You could blame that on him being young and learning, but let's not be too Rio Ferdinand-ish. Comparing him to other top young centre-backs in Europe, for instance PSG's Marquinhos (13 days older than John) and Atletico Madrid's Jose Gimenez (8 months younger), you can conclude that the priorities in his game are not quite correct. The ones mentioned above are first and foremost getting praised for their agility, strength, tackling ability, decent pace, positional pace etc. Their "second-string" praise comes for what they do on the ball; in their cases their mature and risk-eliminating choice-making in possession. And lets bear in mind that Marquinhos and Gimenez play in responsible roles in teams superior to Everton. Due to their solid and utterly reliable displays, they don't need the classic mantra of "them being young and learning from their mistakes".

My "big point" with all this is that isn't the fact that these two talented young defenders are being primarily praised for their no-nonsense all-round defending and secondarily by their ability to be a safe part of their respective teams' build-up plays a sign? A sign that Stones really needs to stop playing Beckenbauer II (improve his occasionally shaky decision-making on the ball), and instead focus and improve on his all-around defending, which frankly put is very lacking for a _centre-back_ that is so highly rated. Otherwise he's definitely NOT, despite RM's hypnotising linguistics, going to be a world-class defender.
Hannes Eerola     Posted 11/03/2016 at 19:06:31

Howard vs Roberto

Currently there appears to be a majority of posters who would sack the manager. Not too many are constructive in naming and justifying a realistic alternative, but thats not my point.

What I would like to ask is this. If TW had existed from 1980, what might the posters reactions have been from about January 1983, 18 months into HKs first spell with us?

In his first season we finished 8th, scoring 56 goals and conceding 3 or more on 9 occasions.

The remainder of his second season, like that which had gone before, was pretty dire. It was difficult to see any plan or any reason to hope for success, although we did score 66 and conceded 3+ just 5 times. We were to finish 7th.

Disgruntlement was rife. We reached a point where the remainder of the 13,000 fans present at the end of the Coventry home game booed the team off after a 1-0 win (Sharp, pen). The cushions that you used to be able to hire in the stands were hurled in their hundreds onto the pitch.

The following season saw a few more personnel changes but we were still a long way from the team that everyone recalls as our finest of that era both in players and in style/effectiveness.

Things went downhill and folklore suggests that the lack of an equaliser at Oxford in the league-cup game on an awful night would have seen HK in a taxi. What a mistake that would have been eh?

We picked up from there. Older heads were added, younger ones became more savvy, a fighting spirit developed. We finished 7th again but we scored just 44 goals in a 42 game season, conceding 42. But we won the cup.

On the way to Wembley we crushed such giants as Stoke, Gillingham after two goalless draws, Shrewsbury, Notts County and Southampton.

The start of the 84-85 season didnt start well. 1-4 defeat at home to Spurs, 1-2 away to West Brom. We didnt really get going until October, part-into HKs fourth season with us. During that time we scraped past University College Dublin in the ECWC 1-0, a great stop from Neville preventing their equaliser at Goodison to prevent us going out.

Imagine this as a post on TW at that time;

Owen Goal: "Thats it, thats enough!! Weve had 3 years of this clown and hes taking us nowhere. Theres no shape, no plan and the players are clueless. He bought two crocks in Gray and Reid and cast-offs from Stoke, Sunderland and that lot across the park. If Carter cant see that its time to get Bobby Robson here and give him real money to spend then he should go as well. If we can be happy with a cup win against a poor Watford side then we are too easily satisfied!!"

I suspect that for most of the period I described few if any would have predicted what was to come and most TW threads would have had a similar balance to what we see today. Indeed, part of the magic of the 3 years of success that followed was the unexpected nature of it.

There is anger and frustration amongst the posts here much of the time. Perhaps people were less passionate then, though I dont think so, the letters column in the pink Echo certainly contained some critical stuff. The difference may well be that expectations are much higher, but I dont know why that should be so when compared to 30-odd years ago, and people want instant solutions.

Roberto Martinez was given an initial contract for 3 years. It was extended because the board felt they needed to secure his services. He has brought in and brought on a dozen players who others might not, he has built a squad that is worth 250m at least. I have been inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt for that reason alone, although his team selection for last Saturday and his failure to replace Aaron Lennon with someone to bottle up the left flank had me speechless and sure it was time to say goodbye.

Ive taken a bit of time to reflect though; he will certainly not turn us into relegation candidates and without that risk Im inclined to wait and see. He at least deserves the next 10-12 games to make his case.

I would suggest to all, although it would probably mean some pretty thinly populated threads for the rest of the season, that we give it a rest; he's not going anywhere until May at the earliest. Use your energy to get behind the team.

If we do feel the need to post how about focussing on players we could buy to move forward next season?
Peter Lee     Posted 11/03/2016 at 13:49:18

Prentice talk of Rafa in The Echo

This is the first time I have ever submitted an item of news, but I have got to get this one off my chest.

There have been, and still are, a lot of Evertonians who are not happy with the Liverpool Echo and the newspaper has undoubtedly favoured the other side for many years, but yesterday Dave Prentice hit a new low for me.

Is he trying to wind us up, is he totally unaware of previous history, or is he a closet red?

I am referring to his current assertion that Everton could be missing out on having the "Spanish Waiter" as our manager if he goes to Newcastle.

I have been going to Goodison since the 1950s, and the relationship between the two clubs hit a new low for me when Benitez called us 'a small club'. It could have easily been smoothed over if he, or LFC, had made an official statement attributing the remark to a language problem or some such excuse. But then we all know that Liverpool don't do apologies, yes?

Am I too old to be bearing grudges? Would any Evertonian want this man as our manager? As far as I am concerned it doesn't even bear thinking about.

Dave Horne     Posted 11/03/2016 at 09:35:20

Been here before

Should Martinez be sacked and, if so, when? I am now convinced that we are not going to improve enough under him to be any better than a very average team. One that will probably be very popular with many fans in the Premier League because we always make it easy for other teams to play against us.

Perhaps we should let history guide us. It is April 1961, we have a manager who has Everton playing attractive football especially at home (but only average away). We have a new owner, John Moores, determined to succeed. Johnny Carey has created a team that will finish the season in 5th place and is very popular with the fans. Moores then takes a very hard decision and sacks Carey (in the famous taxi).

His main reason was that he wanted the best for Everton and his judgement call was that Carey was not ruthless enough to create a title-winning side. He appoints Harry Catterick who was never as popular as Carey was with the players but who was a hard disciplinarian. Within two year,s Everton are on the way to being Champions.

The players were mainly the same except Stevens had replaced Collins (a hard working professional replacing a genius) and Tony Kay, a magnificent player but also a born winner, had been brought into midfield. Mr Moores had seen what was needed and acted immediately.

So, my call to Everton is to act soon regardless of the cup run. Carey's last game was a 4-0 win at Newcastle!
Thomas Rigby     Posted 08/03/2016 at 18:45:54

1986-87 – Miracle?

What Leicester City have done this season has been truly remarkable, sticking the proverbial two fingers upto the big clubs or Sky's so-called Big 4.

I've just recently watched a film/documentary on BT Sports 'I Believe In Miracles' about Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest about them winning the League Championship and the European Cup (twice) as they were known then.

In the 1984-85 season, we had style, finesse, we could mix it with the hardest teams, we had just about everything. The double over them across the park, the Bayern Munich semi-final only to be undone by the Mancs for the treble.

But here is my main point, the 1986-87 season, we were without Big Nev, Gary Stevens, Physco, Dave Watson struggled at first to take over crowd favourite Derek Mountfield, no first-choice midfield Reidy and Bracewell (long-term).

We signed Paul Power, the wrong side of 30, a one-club man, two untried and tested young players at that level, Kevin Langley and Neil Adams. Later in the season when Sharpy got an injury, we signed Wayne Clarke who chipped in with a few vital goals in the run-in, hardly another signing to set the world on fire at the time. I think that season Paul Power and Alan Harper played in every position apart from goal!

So... while what Leicester City are doing at the moment is great, I don't know if it's me with my blue-tinted glasses on, I'm being biased, miracle?
Pete  Laffey     Posted 08/03/2016 at 09:31:58


Is there a problem with heading in the Everton team? Does anyone have this seasons figures for the number of goals scored and conceded by Everton directly from headers, and for the number of goals scored and conceded by shots immediately following headers?

If an apparent deficiency can be shown in this area, would we think that is it through the inability or reluctance of players, or a tactical ploy? A number of goals have been conceded from aerial bombardment, but I dont see any of our own attackers with Tim Cahills ability in the air.
John Muskett     Posted 07/03/2016 at 15:26:57

Bargain buys

I read, with interest, the "worst Everton signings" thread. It started me thinking about the opposite point of view. Who was a real bargain buy?

The guy who cost peanuts and turned out to be a diamond in the rough? I disqualify the trophy winning 80's team as most of them would qualify. I am looking for the players in one of many dire sides we have had, players that gave us a little hope, a spark of light in the dark.

Andy King.... 'nuff said

Eamon O'Keefe... A non league buy, hard worker and scored some important goals

Imre Varadi.... I know he was nominated in the "worst" list, but I think he was worth every penny of what we paid for him, just to hear the Stoke match day announcer try to pronounce his name.."immer, er immer Verdi" much hilarity among the away fans.
Terry Underwood     Posted 06/03/2016 at 09:56:26

So you wanna be a wise-guy

I have just purchased Everton and I want my team to be up amongst the big boys in the Premier League. So, who are my rivals and what do I need to be able to compete?

In no particular order, Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and now (possibly) Tottenham. They split quite nicely into two geographical areas, North West and London. This is important as I will explain later.

These guys are all players at the top table because of one (or both) of two reasons, money and historical success. The former often attracts the latter but it can also work the other way around.

Man Utd and Liverpool are there based on success, (although Man Utd have the dosh) followed closely by Arsenal, some serious history there.

Then comes a group lead by Chelsea and includes Villa, Tottenham and those chancers Everton. All of these are on 28 or 24 trophies, with Chelsea having won two-thirds of their trophies since the money was thrown in from 2003 onwards. So Chelsea are the team that proves the money brings in the trophies.

That covers all of my main rivals, with the exception of Man City that are somewhat behind trophy- wise and (in my humble opinion) join Chelsea in money section.

So my newly purchased Everton can definitely match or better 3 of my 6 main rivals on the success stakes.

What about money? This is not just money in my back pocket, it's also the amount I can generate from my newly purchased club. That is going to mean match day revenues and marketing. The match day revenues are going to mean a new ground is required, and as quickly as possible. The spades are going to have to hit the dirt this year....anytime this year as it will take me two years to build (approx). So whilst I can spend big on players next year I know I need that stadium building immediately. The marketing side will only take off with success...catch 22 and largely beyond my control.

So I reckon that I can (or soon will) match the big boys on money as well.

What else do I need? I have the history, I have the money, they can see the new cathedral being built. But will they want to come? Here is the sticky bit people. I mentioned the geographical areas at the top. The North West is not as attractive to the imported stars. Money talks, look at Man City? They have a ridiculous pot of gold and I'm not sure we can compete there. Man Utd are very rich but are also very, very successful. Both these two have the facilities and money BUT they also use another weapon to attract the cream of the crop. They employ massive names for managers and this must help. Liverpool have not got the cash and do not have the managers, and we see they are in danger (great isn't it) of losing their position as on of the top table diners (I would suggest they already have). They cannot afford the shiny new stadium and they are slipping away.

Chelsea have used the money to great effect but surely them being in London helped? We may see West Ham use the new stadium and geographical location to their advantage very soon.

So the new Everton owner has to address the ground (TICK), he needs lot of money (from the reports we read he has TICK), he needs the club reputation (TICK), he cannot do anything about the location but he can go for the big named manager?

This is NOT a dig at the Spaniard, it is simply an observation that the North West clubs that are at the top table tend to employ the bigger named managers, it means they can attract the bigger players. It will be obvious as the this effect when Pep arrives next season... players from abroad will not be bothered as to where Manchester is!

My point is, how much of a splash will the new owner want to make? He could go for the brilliant manager (with an eye for new talent) that spends less and achieves great things OR he goes for a name that attracts the established players?

Just a thought, and I think it may be very interesting at the end of this season.
Ian Robert     Posted 04/03/2016 at 16:13:59

Club or Country?

I feel proud when an Everton player is selected to play for Ireland, North or South. Many years ago, I remember how exciting it was when Bob Latchford was picked for England. I actually saw him play an international game.

I'm watching the highlights of the England game tonight only to see Barkley. It seems to me that quite a few Evertonians have no interest in England and I wonder why this is. To me, and this might seem odd, I think of England as London and this is not how I used to feel. Watching Ball, Labone and many others getting caps was a thrill, it felt like an honour for our club.

What has changed? Is the Premier League so important that the fear of injury diminishes an international cap?
Andy Crooks     Posted 27/03/2015 at 22:39:24

We're number SIX

I was surprised to see the article in today's Daily Mail showing Everton placed number six in an evaluation of the leading clubs in England.

While realizing there are others above us, it made me wonder why the owners of the club have trouble finding a wealthy buyer while others below can.

I feel sure once this is in circulation, many Everton fans will want to add their own comments.

In my opinion, this statistical review surely adds emphasis to what many supporters have felt and said for many years and makes it harder for the Everton hierarchy to keep ducking the question of why others keep referring to Everton as a small club.
Eric Owen     Posted 26/03/2015 at 15:07:51

Looking For The Toffees

Excuse me for using ToffeeWeb to tout my wares, but my book Looking For The Toffees is published today in paperback (8.99 in all good bookshops... rather less on Amazon).

I've already had some lovely feedback via ToffeeWeb and in Amazon reviews, and also, gratifyingly, from quite a few of the 1977-78 players I tracked down before writing the book. Dave Thomas, bless him, actually calls me every few weeks for a chat... a situation that would have seemed as outlandish when he was scampering down our left wing as it might now for my sons to think of themselves one day befriending Kevin Mirallas or Leighton Baines.

Anyway, I'm delighted to report that Dave, despite problems with his eyes, is in great form and still playing golf off a handicap of nine. How we could do with a Thomas-Latchford combination now!

One other thing, unrelated to my book: I went to the Newcastle game with my two boys, and as their mum didn't fancy spending Mothers' Day on her own, she came with. She's not much of a football fan and it was her debut at Goodison Park.

It wasn't how she would have chosen to spend Mothers' Day, but naturally she loved it, and admitted to me later that the moment she enjoyed most was when, as we trailed happily away from the ground, a Newcastle fan passing in a car for some reason picked her out of the crowd and shouted "Scouse cunt!" She felt as if it was a rite of passage. Mind you, she was a bit offended when she told the story to her friend, who took issue with entirely the wrong part of the insult by protesting ... "but you're not Scouse!"

Whatever... she's part of the Evertonian sisterhood now. COYB!

Brian  Viner     Posted 26/03/2015 at 09:42:43

Ruthless at the top - Part 2

I posted an article in October where I gave my opinion that Martinez is not ruthless enough to make the big decisions and that I thought he was too nice. This was based on me questioning why he had given Gareth Barry and Tim Howard 3-year contracts.

I read my article, 'Ruthless at the top' again last week and reflected on my comments and wondered if the football side of my beloved Blues had improved? It certainly has not. Although I expect Everton to stay up with points to spare, next season we will see if Martinez has the brains and the balls to be success at Everton.

This is my 10-point plan for change.

1) Tim Howard should be sold and either Robles put in as No. 1 or buy a young goalkeeper such as Butland from Stoke City.

2) Gareth Barry is a squad player at best; personally, I would let him go and use his wages to purchase midfielder with potential.

3) The one-legged Alcaraz should be put out to live in a field with retired horses. More wages made available.

4) Go and buy Deulofeu from Barcelona; he is on loan at Sevilla but has massive potential. We could get him for 8 million he is a game changer on his day.

5) Buy Jordan Rhodes from Blackburn Rovers and pay the asking price of up to 10 million.

6) Buy Jack Rodwell back from Sunderland and play him in his natural position as a centre half; he will never be a centre midfield player (where Moyes played him). He was regarded as the next Rio Ferdinand: good on the ball, can play it out, good in the air, and fast on his feet.

7) Get rid of all the driftwood and free up the wages: Hibbert. Gibson he is good but always injured; McGeady does not do it consistently enough; Distin is too old; Pienaar has lost a yard of pace.

8) Browning and Garbutt to be given chance to prove themselves in first team.

9) Be more flexible when selecting formations: at home, I would go with 4-1-3-2 we are too predictable at the moment.

10) Practice defending at set pieces.

The new Sky contact Everton will be awash with money and we will be able to splash the cash. So here is my starting eleven for next season:

Butland; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka/Rodwell, Baines/Garbutt, McCarthy, Barkely, Mirallas, Lukaku, Rhodes, Deulofeu.

I still think Martinez is the man but next season his future will be decided by his signings and who he lets go.

Let's hope he gets it right. COYB

Steve Gaskell     Posted 25/03/2015 at 20:39:39

No talkers in the team?

Last Sunday, Darron Gibson gave an honest, frank and comprehensive interview to the Irish newspaper The Sunday Independent about his career to date.

He paints Everton in a very good light and he has a great respect for Roberto. However, what I found most interesting was towards the end of the article which stated:

Gibson has lost none of his ability, but all that he thought about and absorbed during his injury is also evident. He is talking more on the pitch, he says, not because anyone told him to, but because Everton need it.

"As a team, there's not that many talkers on the pitch. I've been out for so long, I'm just coming back, I want to try and do everything I can to stay in the team. But I think that's what we need at the minute. We need people to start talking and standing up and taking responsibility. No one's told me to do it, but I've come in and tried to be one of the leaders on the pitch."

Finally at last, some proof that there are no leaders at our club this season, either on or off the pitch. Where are all the senior players (including Jags)? In my time following Everton we have had inspirational captains, my favourites being Labone, Ball, Lyons, Ratcliffe, Watson, Ferguson and Stubbs. Those blokes would scream, cajole, encourage young players and put their bodies on the line.

In their eyes, it was definitely Nis satis nisi optimum!

Declan Burke     Posted 25/03/2015 at 14:39:37

Cost of the Europa League effort

Based on our 5th place last season, we received a merit award from the Premier League of 19.75M. What is our best possible finishing position this term? 12th? Last year, the club finishing 12th received 11.12M, nearly 9M less...

I guess we will discover that our European adventure has barely resulted in break even, let alone a profit. The Champions League is the only place to be. And to compete, you need to have a squad of players eminently larger, higher quality, and more expensive to acquire and develop than our own.
Peter Morris     Posted 23/03/2015 at 10:57:33

Pre-season starts now?

Maybe a slightly misleading title but basically I am wondering how people think we should approach the rest of the season. I am assuming that Roberto Martinez will be manager next season and, hopefully not being too presumptuous, that we will stay up.

So, there are a couple of ways that we could approach the rest of this season. We could stick with the current team/formula and try to restore some pride and finish as strongly as possible, after all each place is worth 1M. (Or is 1.5M now?)

Alternatively, we could take a longer term view and use the rest of this season as a starting point for next season. I don't mean that whole "Might as well play the U21 team, they couldn't do much worse than this lot" type malarky. What I mean is, trying out some new tactics and players. For example, I think this would be an ideal time to try out Baines in midfield with Garbutt as left-back. Robles could have an extended run in goal, and fringe players like Browning could get some extra game time.

It might be worth considering bring back some of the loan players (Kennedy and Long) and giving them some EPL game time. Hopefully trying these options out, especially in a competitive environment, will help us to develop new players and options for next season. It would also add a new dimension to a fairly flat end of season and, who knows, we might finish strongly anyway.

Ciaran Duffy     Posted 23/03/2015 at 02:46:55

Who takes the credit?

Im writing this before Ive seen the selected side to play QPR. That is important. My 13-year-old son has told me he wants me to pick the team from now on, as he trusts my judgement of players more than that of our manager.

Obviously, as a fan I dont get to know the niggling injuries, the mindset, concerns and general well-being of players. But I do see what they can and cant do on a football pitch. What is blindingly obvious, is that this entire squad of players cannot play at a sedentary pace, slowly drawing out the opposition before splitting them open with a killer pass. I say blindingly obvious. Not, it seems, to the manager.

The majority of our players are at their best playing at pace. Pressing deep. Putting the opponents onto their back foot. We have seen this in two recent games. Or, more accurately, one and two thirds of recent games.

Against Dynamo Kiev at home, we were awful for an hour. The crowd was on the team's back. There could be no doubt that what we were seeing was the final straw. This was not what Everton fans wanted. Then something happened. The players seemed to throw the managers book of style and tactics out of the window. For an hour we upped our game and looked like, well, Everton. We even finished the game playing 4-4-2. Then against Newcastle last week we actually started with two strikers, and played a more vibrant form of football.

The manager was interviewed and was delighted at the change in fortunes. But nobody asked him the $64,000 question: Does this not prove that your so called philosophy, playing slow passing football, is bollocks? Who instigated the change after half an hour against Kiev? Was it the manager? Or did one of the senior players think Sod this for a lark, lets attack them? In that 2 hours of football, we looked like an Everton side again. And then what happened?

We went to Kiev and played deep, on the back foot. We left out our best passer, Gibson and our most gifted defender, Stones. In addition, we resorted to the tried and failed method of one striker. What happened? We gave the ball away, imploded at the back and it was all back to the oh so familiar.

I dont go in for the Kevin Keegan, Well score 5 and let you score 4 school of kamikaze management. I agree that all good sides are built on a solid back line. But all good Everton sides have also been built on getting at the opposition. Give them something to think about at their end of the field. Have more than one striking option. Have players who can move the ball wide or hit team mates with passes quickly.

If we do this today at QPR. Will it be as a result of Martinezs genius, or despite it? Personally, Id pay for his taxi myself.

Martin Reppion     Posted 22/03/2015 at 14:36:27

Uncomfortable comparison

British-owned club in the North, have been in the Premier League for a good few years, had their previous manager for more than 5 years who had been somewhat successful... Thats pretty much where the comparisons stop.

They have done the double on us without conceding a goal, they have a relatively new stadium that is suitable for a capacity increase should they dream of having our fan base. We have a far superior history, much bigger fan base and have spent way beyond this team could imagine for our most expensive player.

Yet, we sit 11 points behind them in the league... Stoke City

They have a club that interacts with their fans (all away travel coaches paid for over the last two seasons).

But surely with our Spanish manager we could raid a Catalan club for a player? Deulofeu leaves... Bojan moves to the Potteries.

We have a goalkeeping nightmare (which i believe is the main on-field problem in our team)m they have Begovic. And today their second keeper, Jack Butland, signed a new 4-year contract (Roy Hodgson quotes, Englands 3rd-choice keeper).

All of these unpalatable facts are compounded by them being managed by an ex (all be it late in his career) Everton player.

I know all this because my granddad has been watching Stoke for over 70 years. The irony is Im not sure whos more confused about our predicament at the moment, me or him.

Would Mark Hughes be a bad choice?
Matthew Correal     Posted 20/03/2015 at 21:56:49

Hands Off Martinez - Let him finish what he began

Watching Evertons disappointing exit from the Europa League and reading the inevitable loud and vulgar calls for Roberto Martinez to be fired with a handful of games left in the season, my mind wandered back to an article on ToffeeWeb less than a year ago. It was about Martinez and Everton by someone who knows a good deal about football generally and Everton in particular.

The article spoke admiringly about the School of Science being restored under Martinez. Roberto was a man who knows the English game inside out. He had done superb businesssignificantly improving the squad he had inherited from David Moyes.

While Moyes had restored our pride, Martinez has restored our swagger, our belief that we can go head to head with and beat the best teams in the land, and our reputation for exciting football.

The article was written Lyndon Lloyd. While this has been a painfully disappointing season, I cannot believe that the manager who inspired that fulsome and well-deserved praise from Lyndon has, over the past 10 months, mysteriously become someone who is tactically naïve and inept, unable to coach the best out of his players, incapable of choosing a winning team and unable to discover adequate talent, all accusations that are being levelled at him today.

Last season ended with a record haul of 72 points which in any other season up to then would have put us in the Champions League. That was not the work of an inept manager working with second rate players using naïve tactics.

Martinez has to be given the time he needs to build a winning team. This season has been frustrating, discouraging, depressing. disillusioning all of those things and more and for a cascade of reasons. Some of the blame has to land on the managers shoulders but not all. He has a lot of work to do but the idea that he should be fired before the end of his second season is ridiculous on its face.

And for whom? Someone who just had a better-than-average season in the Championship? Please! Unless we could immediately hire a major figure in European football, a change in management now would be courting disaster and risks putting our progress back, not just one season, but many.

David Moyes had a moderately successful first season but the second full season in charge left us with our lowest points tally of 39 points and a scary 17th position, and with the squad riven by bitter dissension. He was given more than a decade to put things right and with Moyes, some of us have forgotten already I think, even the best was none too good. I am not suggesting that Martinez should be given as long as he was, but I do believe that this is a transitory setback and that he is capable of restoring his good reputation and ours next season.

Peter Fearon     Posted 21/03/2015 at 21:11:20

The ''Sunderland'' method

I live in Spain, so cannot participate directly, but I feel very strongly as a devoted "chosen" Evertonian that RM must go ASAP. What has happened to this team this season is unforgivable for all the reasons analysed on TW. This incompetent must go ASAP before it is too late.

Our next home game is against Southampton, so what about using the "Sunderland" method? If we are playing the usual crap with the usual crap player choice and are drawing or losing, then that the crowd leaves at half-time. Then maybe BK and the money men will have a rethink? Threaten their income and they will capitulate. Premier League survival is paramount.

Of course I hope the other Everton turn up against Southampton and we thrash them, but I am not optimistic... If we do win and also manage to secure survival, then he has to go anyway. This guy is a fraud and ignores the very basics of football as a game and has no emotional intelligence to admit his mistakes. A recipe for boring football and the ongoing decline of our great club.

Some nice big "Enough is Enough" or "Goodbye Roberto" signs would also be good at the next home game as the crowd leaves. Leave the rest to the media. All of these actions will add to the pressure on BK and his mates...

Goodbye, Roberto Martinez.

Paul Taylor     Posted 20/03/2015 at 15:12:56

Getting off the Barry Bandwagon

I have to say I get mystified by some Evertonians who jump on some of the most unjust bandwagons I have known. The most recent is Gareth Barry.

I can only recollect him having one poor home game and that was the derby when he appeared to get nervous on the ball, and I have my own theory why that was.

Ive watched most away games when he has in the main played quite well. In the Chelsea away game he actually played really well. He was back in defence sweeping up and building attacks all game, as he did in the Arsenal away game.

His problem is that he is expected to do too much and is not prepared to hide like some other players. There are times when he should let an opponent go past him rather than sticking a foot out but his commitment cant be faulted. His main weakness is pace but the manager does not set the team up to cover this. And his passing game is only following the instructions from the manager.

All season he has done exactly what the manager has asked, that is not his fault. He knits play together and has kept us going through very difficult times. I for one appreciate what he has done and recognise that he has put in 100% effort in every game and, while Gibson was injured, Im glad he has been there.

Recently, he was excellent in both Young Boys games and the Kiev game last week but there hasnt been a mention. I blame some parts of the local media for this who seem to like putting supporters on a bum steer. It is similar to Artetas last season, when he was also criticised unjustly and incessantly.

If you wont have it about Barry, watch some videos of the games and you might just have to reappraise a few things.
Jim Wilson     Posted 18/03/2015 at 13:26:37

Out of chaos comes order... hopefully!

This season has been arguably one of the most frustrating I have ever witnessed. Last season, we saw the reopening of the School of Science and we started to believe the glass ceiling was on its way to being smashed to pieces. The summer acquisition of Romelu Lukaku only added to the expectations amongst success starved Blues.

How could it go so wrong?

It's the unanswered question... so many theories. Let's see... poor pre-season, coming off the back of the World Cup. Key players being injured and criminally throwing away points from winning positions preventing us getting off to a flier. Throw in the Sammy Eto'o affair and the Mirallas penalty and we have some factors that have prevented us building any confidence and form.

Roberto Martinez must also take huge responsibility for playing players out of position and out of form. My personal gripe is to keep playing unbalanced sides.

So then, why have be consistently beaten sides in Europe. Especially beating Wolfburg twice and looking a different team?

It has been doing my head in and the Sunday evening I awoke with an absolutely nuts theory to our Jekyll and Hyde season.

This theory has been building in my unconscious since I was enthralled watching PSG outplay Chelsea with 10 men. The French side never resorted to pumping the ball forward. They passed and passed and moved with pace. The best sides all do this in Europe. Yes they scored two goals from corners and there is nothing wrong with crossing from corners when you have the talent to deliver quality, but overall it was their courage and belief in ball retention that stood out.

How does all this relate to Everton?

Well, I believe that is where Roberto Martinez wants to take Everton. Qualifying for the Europa League is a poisoned chalice for a club with Everton's resources. There are so many extra games that there is no way you can compete in it and challenge top four in the Premier League.

I believe Martinez looked at the situation and felt that this season the focus would be on winning the EL. His problem was that his players play 100-mph PL football that will just get picked off by quality European opposition.

Remember when Manchester United started in Europe after wiping the floor in England... they were often embarrassed. Manchester City with all their money haven't delivered. Why? The reason appears to me is that the PL is ridiculously overhyped football-wise. Loads of excitement but also loads of errors.

Has Martinez been imploring his players to maintain his philosophy with some resistance? Yes, that looks obvious. But with confidence and the return of key players he may just have prepared them for the run in?

Anyway, it's kept me up at night!

To all the Blues going to Kiev, do us proud; you are some our finest have a great trip.

Matt Woods     Posted 17/03/2015 at 07:17:52

Divided by club colours, United by a cause

The Blue Union and Newcastle United Supporters Trust took part in a collective action prior to this weekend's big game at Goodison Park. Both groups have worked tirelessly to promote the Football Supporters Federation's "20s plenty" campaign. A campaign that's designed to put affordable football on the agenda.

Ticket prices for Premier League match tickets have increased by 719% in the last 18 years. These increases have priced the younger generation out of games Increasing the average of a Premier League supporter to the mid 40s. Interestingly, whilst attendances are now at an all time high with Stadiums full to 95.7% of capacity, away attendances have decreased.

Sunday's game was the second in a reciprocal agreement that enabled travelling supporters to gain admittance to both grounds for the princely sum of 20. Our game at St James Park attracted very little or no publicity, maybe because it was played between the busy Christmas and New Year period.

In order to right the wrong, we decided to do a number of things to highlight this magnificent gesture. We leafleted outside the stadium prior to the game. We presented Robert Elstone with an Everton Retro shirt bearing "Kenwright" and the number "20" and also unfurled a banner saying: "THANKS EFC & NUFC 20's PLENTY FOR AWAY FANS."

Our actions were warmly received, outside and inside the ground, and when the banner was passed across from the Home Section to the Away Section, both sets of Supporters warmly applauded.

We have often been criticised for "moaning" and for been negative, for never recognising when the club's done something well. Our message is a simple one, we say well done to Bill Kenwright, the Board of Directors at both clubs and all those involved in making the reciprocal agreement happen. The 3,000 Evertonians who travelled up to St James Park in December and the 3,000 strong Toon Army who travelled to Goodison on Sunday are indebted to you.

Our call is for reciprocal agreements to become the norm, not the exception. We would urge Everton Football to pledge to support the principles of the FSFs campaign at the Premier League next week.

Dave  Kelly     Posted 16/03/2015 at 22:07:42

Naismith - saint or sinner?

I can't agree with the plaudits Naismith gets. Yes, he works hard and runs around but that is surely what everyone should do. The fact that Mirallas or Barkley don't seem to be able to do this does not, by default, make Naismith a good player.

His first touch is poor, his passing is atrocious and his awareness of others is lacking. Yes he might score the odd goal but that for me is not enough. In fact I would go as far as to say he is part of the problem of our unbalanced team.

He is a forward with a forwards instincts, hence his occasional goal and his ability to get into decent positions. BUT he is expected to play as a linking midfielder in the current system and is just incapable of that. His positional sense always has him looking forward and as a consequence he is easily played around and behind all the time. His natural desire then sees him running and putting the effort in, but in reality had he the right football brain he would not be in that situation in the first place.

Do I blame Naismith? no, I blame Martinez for putting an average square peg in a round hole and for not recognising it is not working. The 4-2-3-1 system we play requires the right balance in the '3', by playing Naismith who, IMO is no more than a backup striker, means the 2 others need to be both wide players and creative players all into one - and we don't possess that. In effect when we play Naismith, Berkley and Miralles (Lennon) we are effectively playing 4-2-4.

Once we lose the ball, and Naismith does that a lot, we are invariably left with too many players ahead of the ball and Barry gets exposed. Our 2 man midfield gets exposed and we are in danger.

Equally when you look at the attacking side of our game, when we have the ball either with the midfield 2 or the back 4, the current crop are always looking to get forward themselves rather than getting the ball to create chances for others. Does anyone think Naismith has the ability to get a ball in midfield and fashion an opportunity for Lukaku or anyone else? Could he thread passes down the sides of the centre halfs or over the top for him to run on to? So apart from his willingness to run and his instinct to get forward and score an occasional goal, is he worth his place.

I recognise Naismith is an honest hard working player, but we need quality not just runners. We should get runners by default and if some players cant do that then the manager must act, and it is at his door I lay the blame not Naismiths average ability.
Jim Hourigan     Posted 14/03/2015 at 16:12:19

Martinez and Moyes a comparison

As this season has staggered from defeat to false dawn to disappointing draw, we have started to get to know our new manager a little better. Reading some posts on here I was struck by the similarities and differences between our current coach and his predecessor. Indeed the contrast between the two is I think enlightening.

By far the most obvious difference between the two is their pronouncements to the press, Roberto with his fulsome praise, Moyes with his terse and understated cautious compliments. Moyes was roundly (and at times rightly) criticised for his occasional reining in of expectations. Perhaps it should be no surprise then that Roberto has been criticised for erring on the side of optimism. Damned if you do

While there had been much hand-wringing regarding their respective dealings with the press, the contrast in tactics between the two has for me been the most interesting. Moyess team was all about the wing play, getting Baines and Coleman forward, and crosses into the box. Martinezs Everton team, however, look to control the centre of the midfield and dominate possession in a way that Moyess teams never did. In my opinion, it is this change that promises (although not so much this season) the progression that so may of us long for.

Which brings us to the big B Boredom. Both managers teams have been accused of being boring. This is, lets be honest, unfair. Were Everton boring last night? Were Everton boring in the second leg against Fiorentina a few years ago? When your team is playing well and scoring goals its normally a good watch, if you enjoy watching toothless attack followed by disastrous defence, then your taste in football is a little peculiar to say the least. If were being honest, this is more about getting the team playing well, rather than anything to do with style. One of my friends didnt particularly enjoy watching us last season too slow for his taste; he preferred Moyess style of getting it down the wings etc Personally I quite like both, and though I have more memories of exciting games during Moyess time, there are 11 years to pick from.

I find it a little offensive the rewriting of history around Moyess teams, a fair assessment of their style of play was that they passed more as time went on, but also at the same time became more direct or defensive when personnel or circumstances dictated. Nobody enjoyed (I would imagine) watching us scrape a 1-0 win away to West Brom during a fallow period for the team, but in my opinion the value of that sort of result has been seen this season. Ironically the same people criticizing Martinez for failing to beat Hull away, were calling for Moyess head when he employed rather dour tactics to do just that.

If there is one area where the two come together, it is in their obstinacy. Due to my ignorance of all matters non-Everton in football, I had no idea how obstinate Martinez was there really is no telling him, it is quite flabbergasting. In comparison to him, Moyes seems like a flexible and imaginative coach ready to change his way of playing at the drop of a hat. Of course Moyes too was a man built from an intransigent mould: his persistence of 4-5-1 even when playing at home, the late substitutions all too often defensive, the reluctance to put on an extra striker when chasing the game, I am sure the archives of this site will bear out my memory of these frustrations. That being said, Martinez sticks to the same shape no matter the score and situation, and if he brings on an extra striker then it is to play in a wide position. If I feel there is one area Martinez needs to improve in, it is his ability to make substitutions that change the way we play.

Finally there is the propensity to attack. Neither to my mind are attack-minded coaches. Martinezs teams, for better or worse, play the same way all game. Which is irritating. Moyess teams tended to drop deep later in games and try to defend leads. Which was irritating. To be fair to Moyes, the fact his team would keep dropping back until they conceded was probably as planned for as Martinezs teams' tendency to start slowly and sluggishly this season. Only their most blinkered critics would accuse them of wanting their teams to play badly and lose or throw away winning positions.

Overall, Moyes is currently the better of the two coaches in my opinion, but Martinez is young and will change and improve. If we stick with him, then he will probably adapt and learn more; If he doesnt then we wont stick with him. Moyes talked about how he learnt a lot in his second season, and I imagine Martinez is learning a lot too. As a fan, the worst thing is I wanted to believe that things had really changed at the club and we could push on to more success with a possession-based game.

Unfortunately the reality is that our young manager is still learning and our young players too (hopefully). Whether he takes the right lessons from this season remains to be seen. Hell have to win a couple of games just to be here next season, so lets see if he does that first. COYB.

Gavin McGarvey     Posted 14/03/2015 at 11:35:10

The passing game

I agree fully with Martinez about the passing game while we have the ball, the opposition cannot score!! Where we disagree is where the passing should take place and that it should have an end product!!

You do not pass around in your own half, 20 yards from goal then when the opposition press either hoof it up field or give it to Howard to hoof away... and surprise, surprise we are now on the defense or conceding.

I was lucky to see the Blues play in the 60s with Ball, Kendall and Harvey, always an end product... and yes, we had our disappointments: the 1968 FA Cup Final... getting beat by Liverpool at Old Trafford in the 1971 FA Cup Semi-Final.

I watched the terrible games under Billy Bingham, Gordon Lee, Mike Walker... when the Gwaldys Street End was so empty we used to sit and play crib waiting for some action. Then the joy of the 80s, beating Liverpool at Anfield, thrashing Man Utd by 5... winning in Europe and always always a Blue.

The crap coming from Roberto Martinez on the field of play and from his own mouth are unbearably embarrassing and disrespectful to a club like Everton. He is showing all the abilities it takes to bring a club into a lower division.

He talks about the players being tired anyone with the least bit of football knowledge could see the problems pre-season: getting well beaten by teams, always conceding, unable to kill a game off... the pre-season sums up the season to date!!

I was never a fan or supporter of Moyes and would not like to see him back. We need to do something now; damage limitation is keeping us in the Premier League this season. We are so lucky that there are a few teams as bad as us but, for a fan paying good money, it is not acceptable.

The famous Oliver Cromwell quote (slightly amended) applies: "In the name of the fans go!"

Paul Kennedy     Posted 08/03/2015 at 16:36:31

The stats don't lie!

We all know that this season has been an unmitigated disaster, barring the Europa League, but why has the team played so poorly and for such a long period? Being a bit of an anorak, I have analysed the stats from the BBC website for the whole season to date to establish whether there are any clues as to why things have gone so horribly wrong.

The parameters used were goals scored, goals conceded, shots on target (for) and shots on target (against). I ignored total shots, because this does not reflect superiority in a match as they do not necessarily test the opposing keeper, and also possession stats for the same reason even though we are probably top of the league on that count.

Now for the interesting part. We are currently in 9th position for both goals scored (33) and total shots on target (114). If we divide the shots on target by the goals scored, (Ratio #1), we arrive at a value of 3.45, putting us in 12th position compared to the rest of the division which would imply our attackers lack clinical finishing. This is not surprising given the sudden shift in emphasis towards a defensive tactical approach by Roberto which has led to starvation of the front men and a greater tendency to snatch at the scraps of chances being offered. Man City lead the way with a ratio of 2.75 followed surprisingly by Stoke (2.76). Who would have thought that Stoke had the second most lethal attack force in the division? When they hit the target it usually end up in the net!

OK, our attack is not the greatest but its not the worst either. If we now look at the stats at the other end of the pitch, dividing total shots on target (against) by goals conceded (Ratio #2), we can gauge the efficacy of our final line of defence, the goalkeeper. The larger the value, the more effective the guy between the sticks is at saving goal attempts. Deflections will skew the results but if we assume all teams will suffer from these to a similar degree we can ignore them in the final calculation. Our current ratio is 2.44 (100/41) and wait for it that puts us in 20th position out of 20. Yes, plum last. Basically, there is a >40% chance of a team scoring when they have a shot on our goal, compared with ~25% for Man Utd who currently are the best shot stoppers. Interesting stuff indeed.

My final analysis was to compare Ratio #2 for Tim Howard and Joel Robles. For the 6 Premier League games that Joel stood in for Tim, his figure comes out as 3.67 (6 goals conceded from 22 shots on target), which places him in 5th position in the league. Not bad considering he had such a shaky start in the first few games when he was no doubt still rusty and attempting to forge an understanding with the defence. Tim, on the other hand, has conceded 35 goals from 78 attempts on target which equates to a 45% chance the opposition will score when a shot is on target.

Staggering figures really and food for thought. I wonder where we would be in the league if we had had Joel in goal all season?

Chad Earle     Posted 08/03/2015 at 13:39:48

Everton and the media

Most of us probably agree that the media is biased when it comes to footy, and Everton in particular. Seeing the absolute sorry state that we are now in and have been for months and still, spiralling down is shocking. It is really hard to not feel like they can't stand us as we all surf the web, watch the tele and read the papers.

So it struck me today that it's only about this week that they have started piping up and writing about how dire we have been for most of the season. Why has it taken them so long? I forget who it was a few months back who really ragged on Pardew and it was a bit of story.

As has been said on here many times these last few weeks, what clubs fans would put up with how this season has gone without some extreme organised ranting and raving publicly? The manager and our beloved, silent chairman are getting a free ride indeed.

Someone out there with an audience and a readership needs to come out and say what needs to be said. This seasons stats, points etc are an absolute disgrace and it is time for some truths to be really put out there. Maybe by saying something, it makes me think that it might help us get our act together these last 10 games... and survive. Or is it our blue paranoia?

Gary Russell     Posted 06/03/2015 at 12:49:14

Tumbleweed Moment

Lots of things have irked me this season, but the biggest gut wrencher was watching the QPR home game, and for the first time in my nearly 30 years, I felt that watching us had become so boring that I contemplated switching off. "Something isn't right here," I thought.

We had become so pedestrian, so lacklustre, so blase about the way we played. 5-yard pass here then back to Howard, up to Jagielka, across to Stones, then back to Howard. Now I'm all for playing football 'the right way' but what is the right way? Surely a winning way with attacking football is what we want to see, not football at testimonial pace or at a pace that a group of 70-year-old men could keep up with.

For me, I want to see us attack teams. Yes, we may lose games... but sure as much we will win more than we lose. We have a 28 million striker who I believe, if he gets the chances, ultimately will score plenty. He plays up top on his own with no-one within 30 yards of him, so what do we expect him to do? Yes, he should be doing better but, if holding the ball isn't one of his strengths, then why do we play that way?

We have Naismith (love him for what he does off the pitch, and his commitment is admirable) but which of the clubs we believe we should be challenging for Europe would have him in their starting eleven? Answer: none.

Martinez has really lost his way... or has actually honestly made me lose my way; we are Everton, we are the people, we deserve better!

Last night, watching us against the might that is Stoke City, again that tumbleweed moment: "This is utter tripe," I thought as Stones made a 35-yard backpass in around the 68th minute. Why, oh why, do we do this? No pace, no ideas and no class that's what we have at the minute.

Yes, the players have to shoulder blame, but the manager has to accept the majority; something isrn't right and surely as he stands there in the familiar pose, ignoring his entire coaching staff yet again, he has to come clean and admit "Sorry, but i have had it," because that's how I feel at the minute.

I love this club, but at the minute I feel cheated by everyone involved. Please, Blue Bill, give us some light, something to get us excited about as at the minute I dread each game and find it so hard to watch; my support will never waive but my patience has worn thin.

It shouldn't be this way. No other manager would manage to survive the run he has, and we are meant to be a big club, but are we really acting that way? We are going one way and that is mediocrity and I for one will not accept it; we are Everton!

Dan Charles     Posted 05/03/2015 at 10:38:20

Manager of Momentum?

Momentum is pretty much what the Manager of the Month award is given for... The word 'momentum' is also Roberto's go-to phrase when trying to describe what we need to achieve to get us out of the shit we are in.

It's rather interesting that the only time he's won Manager of the Month was with the miracle escape with Wigan in April 2012... I was surprised to see he didn't pick it up once last season, which had me thinking, although results were very good, did we ever really have any real momentum at any point?

Don't get me wrong our points tally was 'phenomenal'... but momentum? I'm not too sure...

Matthew Correal     Posted 04/03/2015 at 15:35:37

The Unpalatable Truth

WE ARE ALMOST DOWN! This is the unpalatable truth in my opinion, unless something drastically changes. The easy option is to change the manager; the new-face factor alone would probably get us the 4 or 5 wins we need in the league. But the catch is our chairman wont sack Martinez and he is about the only person around Goodison who is capable of appointing someone actually worse than Martinez to replace him.

Some say we will be okay as there are worse teams below us. But I cannot see that. If we cant beat Leicester at home, who is worse? And I am waiting for that weekend were we get beat and the teams below us all win, and experience tells me that will happen on at least a couple of occasions before the season ends. With teams like Burnley who can get a draw away to Chelsea coming to Goodison I struggle to see were our wins are coming from.

Problems for us started with the constant changing of the team, even before injuries kicked in, Crystal Palace at home being a good example. If Martinez had picked the same team as the one that hammered Wolfsburg, Im sure we would have won that game. And, with the ensuing injuries, no momentum in the league was built up. With the constant changes to the team and tactics, the structure and solidity of the team has fallen apart. Now we are left with a 4-3-3 formation that works fine against sub standard teams in Europe but is a disaster in the Premier League. Add to the mix certain players drained of confidence and lack of confidence in the manager and our situation is perilous. Further injuries to our essential players cant be ruled out either so we need to win the points sooner rather than later.

Coupled with the one-trick-pony Lukaku, who has to be facing goal in space otherwise he is useless, made worse by his lack of effort (his token trotting over to a defender who clears the ball before he is anywhere near is infuriating), the cant-be-arsed Mirallas who gets a game in case he might just score a rare spectacular goal but doesnt contribute anything to the general play, and the confidence-shot Ross Barkley, and you can see why we are treading water.

The blame for our troubles keeps being given to our centre midfield when it is clearly obvious it is what is in front of them that is the main problem. The immediate remedy for me is getting back to basics and a fomula that worked fine for the first half of last season. A flat back four a five man midfield with width and more use of Lennon and Kone instead of the uninterested Mirallas and Lukaku in the league.

And another unpalatable truth is that Martinez needs to be told reserve team only in Europa so the first team can prepare for the vital league games because, as sure as eggs are eggs, if this does not happen, we will not beat Newcastle after the midweek Europa League game and we will not beat QPR after the midweek away leg in the Europa League. People need to wake up to this reality. If we send our first team players all the way to the Ukraine in midweek, we have no chance of beating QPR on the Sunday. No chance at all. Our manager cannot handle 3 games in a week! He has shown that conclusively.

It is a drastic measure but this is were we are at and the first team has to be protected from unnecessary tinkering in the hope that we can win the Europa League game and the following Premier League game, which will not happen. I dont give a monkey's about the Europa League until we are safe in the Premier League and every sensible Evertonian I know thinks the same.

So someone within the club needs to spell a few things out to our manager. Kenwright wont do it as he will be in cloud-cuckooland thinking we will be in the Champions League next season and safe in the Premier League. What an idiot this bloke is. He has turned away everyone interested in buying the club and backs loses all the way. If it was not for him we would not be in this mess.

Back to the point. Surely the captain and senior players can have a word, and what about the Duncan Ferguson, who has seen this type of crisis before? The future of the club is more important than any individual's future so it is time for someone to stand up and be counted. If we are defeated at Stoke, there needs to be an immediate revolution at the club, with reality replacing fantasy and players and supporters all playing there part!

Ged Dwyer     Posted 02/03/2015 at 14:53:24

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