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Covid Recovery & Blue Legends

I am recovering from Covid.

I spent 10 weeks in hospital, was on a Ventilator and had a Tracheostomy. During this time, it was very traumatic for my family, and they tried everything to try and get a response or reaction from me through nurse-aided video calls. My son, through Twitter, got a short video message from Barry Horne which is one of the only things I can remember from my 5 weeks in ICU.

After I eventually came home, I was unaware when I answered the phone it was Graeme Stuart, acting as an Everton Ambassador, and I enjoyed speaking with him about his important contributions to Everton's survival.

But I must save my special thanks to our one and only "Great Nev". Again through Twitter, he phoned me and chatted for 30 minutes. He offered encouraging words and disclosed he was positive about the Blues future. He took time out of his day to speak to me even though it was actually his daughter's birthday.

I thank all 3 and it illustrates that we are all in the "Blue Family".
Anthony Ormesher     Posted 28/05/2021 at

Just like the girl in Dr No... no, no

Carlo Ancelotti being totally humiliated by Pep Guardiola made for a very uncomfortable watch. I felt like I was watching a rerun of the Larry Holmes v Mohammed Ali fight. A great man and champion was being battered into submission by the new Champion.

Like Ali, Carlo once had all the tools and players required to take him to the top of his profession, but it is Pep who carries all the guns now. All that remained was for Pep to turn to the referee, just as Holmes had done, and plead with him to put a stop to it.

The superstars are no longer around to assist Carlo. He has to reinvent himself and succeed with lesser lights... He can't and won't do it.

I often see people posting on this and other forums about "The Haters" – I wonder what (if anything) goes through the minds of people who use this sort of rhetoric? I think it says more about them than anybody else.

I don't think it's possible to hate Carlo Ancelotti. He is a champion. A charming man who always carries himself with dignity... However, a growing number are starting to hate the fact that this old warrior is manager of our club. I don't feel lucky at all that he is Everton manager. I feel nothing but frustration and sadness.

He`s finished as a top manager; he has been finished for some time. His ideas and his tactics belong to a bygone era. The Bayern Munich players knew it when they went to the club's hierarchy to have him ousted... and I suspect the entire Everton squad know it by now too. How else can we explain the total lack of conviction in their play? They may have been delighted when he arrived, but they clearly don't believe in him anymore.

We all reach the top of our particular mountain at some stage of our lives. Carlo has reached his and has long since been on the way down. He has cost us this season. He simply couldn't seize the moment. I cringe when I hear people ask whether any of our players would get into the Top 4 teams. It's an utterly pointless question considering we just finished outside the Top 9. To finish 10th with this group of players is very poor indeed. The season has been an unmitigated disaster.

Yeah, we've had a few highs. We've thrown a few monkeys off our back, but the opposition didn't half help by being in such awful form themselves. I'd like a team who could beat them when they were firing on all cylinders. Overall, our season was a nightmare. Even when we won, we generally won by spoiling the game.

Carlo's claim that we could not open up and play, even against inferior opposition, was total bollocks. An insult to the intelligence of any football fan. "I`m not magician" ... What was all that about? You need to be a magician to play a bit of footy against Burnley, Brighton, Sheffield United? That's not what this great club is all about.

It's always difficult for sportsmen and celebrities to know when to bow out. If somebody is still prepared to pay them, it's even more difficult for them not to stick around. I'm reminded of those cringe-worthy fights over in The States where you see two fat arl boxers stumble around the ring hoping they have "just one more" in them.

I remember watching a Bond movie as a youngster with a permanent hard-on. When Ursula Andress stepped out of the sea in that white bikini, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Years later, I read she turned down a lucrative glamour role because she wanted to be remembered as this goddess. She is.

Joe Calzaghie knew it; AP McCoy knew it; Sir Alex Ferguson knew it. They all retired without tarnishing their reputations. The time comes when this champion has to accept he has reached the top of his particular mountain and the only way is down.

Take the knock, Carlo, lad. Go now. The longer your stay, the messier it's going to get.


Darren Hind     Posted 25/05/2021 at

The emperor’s new cloak

I believe Farhad Moshiri once wrote to the Arsenal board expressing concerns about the road the club was taking, and this showed a bit of foresight considering the way the Gunners have slowly fallen from grace.

Everton fell from grace a long time ago, many years before our newest owner got on board. But, after spending a lot of money, and sacking many managers, Farhad has never changed the guard.

I’d love Moshiri to meet some knowledgeable fans and explain what he wants for Everton, which could also help our fans ascertain if our owner knows anything about football, and also question him on why he hasn’t changed much at the very top of a football club that hasn’t won anything for 26 years now – nearly double the longest period the club had ever gone before in our illustrious history – not taking world wars into account.


Tony  Abrahams     Posted 23/05/2021 at

A big dilemma

During half time in last night's game against Wolves, I looked down and realised that I had socks on in exactly the right proportions of colours that Wolves play in.

As you all know, soon after half time, we scored and subsequently won the game.

I feel like a fool...If only I had known that the ultimate power rests with me, and that our club could have avoided some of the ignominies of the past 35 years!

My real problem is, what shall I do when we play the shite? There is no way I am buying red socks.

Concerned.
Tim Kelly     Posted 20/05/2021 at

If you know your history .... 350+ EFC appearances

With the football so stupefying against Wolves, I was distracted by the Sky commentators stating that it was Seamus’s 350th appearance for the Blues and that he was the 25th man to achieve this honour.

So I started to list who the other 24 might be.

I was born in 1970 so my knowledge is restricted to players from the late 70s onwards plus absolute club legends whose names defy history. Anyway, I got 13 of the 24 so just over half marks.

I was disappointed to miss 3 players from my lifetime. The other 8 that I missed were predominantly from the 50s so I imagine there are a few on here who could recite those names without batting an eyelid. Although there is just one name that goes back to the 1800s!

How many can you name? The details are listed here if you want to see for yourself.

Have fun!


Jon Harding     Posted 20/05/2021 at

Football Cultures Engulf

Not a sexy headline admittedly, but germane to where football always has been and where we’ve now been belatedly, at Everton, for decades.

I started supporting Everton when we were amongst the few teams with more Championship trophies than all but three or four other clubs, with whom we were level. To this day, no club has won more points in England’s top division than Everton. They were my local team. I was engulfed by them.

I’m now 66. When I was in my early and mid-teens, I was buoyant with our School of Science success. Our football culture suggested, wrongly as it happened, that it’d last more than a year or two. Then there was a 14-year hiatus until Howard Kendall delivered the only other worthwhile team to celebrate in my lifetime. I was 30 then, and optimistic. Our football culture made the world of football take notice at the time – until Heysel, days later.

Heysel was a disaster for progression, for every English club, but none more than us as a young team of Champions with plenty in the tank. We conspicuously failed to deal well with the ramifications of Heysel. Our squad disintegrated instantly, to be supplanted with lesser but, courtesy of those at the top of our club, expensive players.

Despite this we were just about included amongst the five elite clubs (the others were Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool and Man Utd) to set-up the Premier League – when modern-day football allegedly began. Alone among the other five, we’ve staggeringly failed to become adequate ever since. The Premier League culture has engulfed and by-passed us from the outset.

Everton is not a psychological enigma, as the media seem to regard us with understandable reason given our mundanity for decades. It is a football club, despite the huge inadequacies of those in charge. It has vast numbers of dedicated, knowing, fans.

Our greatest but perhaps worst quality is surely stoic, fundamentally silent endurance though, in the face of an enduring culture whilst we’ve suffered 30 years of stagnation and hopelessness.

Is there anyone in the boardroom or above minded to at last grasp this nettle of engulfing culture, strangle it, burn it to dust, and then scatter the dust into some hellish vortex?

Please!

Don Alexander     Posted 18/05/2021 at

The Everton Squad, 2021-22

A lot of debate is underway on recent ToffeeWeb threads about our squad’s ability, hunger, and that favoured word: ‘deadwood’. We will finish this season where we belong and I am in the Stan Schofield, Thomas Richards school of asking: Why, with what we have at our disposal, were we expecting to reach the moon in one full season with Carlo Ancelotti at the helm?

We need to move players on, of that there is no doubt. But, instead of replacing the likes of Sigurdsson, Iwobi and Gomes, could they not become squad players with better quality around them? I feel three quality signings could help us greatly without the need for wholesale squad changes.

We have 24 players currently registered in the first-team squad and eight out on loan, according to the official Everton website, a total of 32 – not including any up-and-coming Academy players.

Marcel Brands has indicated he is happy with two players for each position plus an extra goalkeeper. So potentially we will be saying goodbye to nine players just to get down to these numbers.

That bit is the easy part. Due to contracts running down, it is likely to be
King, Bernard, Bolasie, Tosun, Kenny, Walcott, Besic, Delph? – and finally Kean (for different reasons to the others). Getting any fee for most of them is another matter altogether...

That leaves us with:
Pickford
Olsen
Virginia
Holgate
Keane
Digne
Mina
Nkounkou
Branthwaite
Godfrey
Coleman
Allan
Sigurdsson
Doucouré
Gomes
Gbamin
Davies
Richarlison
Calvert-Lewin
Iwobi
Rodriguez
Simms
Gordon

So, to improve the squad, we need to move some of these 23 players on and bring in better quality as replacements.

The goalkeeper likely to move on is Olsen, due mainly to non-football reasons. His replacement needs to either put pressure on Pickford or be better than him long-term. Since Olsen has been signed, Pickford has upped his game out of necessity. I am not including goalkeepers in my replacement numbers due to the situation surrounding Olsen being for non-football reasons.

We are short of both a right-back and a left-back. Nkounkou is not yet ready and Coleman is not getting any younger. Branthwaite is likely to go out on loan again next season. This gives us with the two berths in the denfending part of the squad to enable the two players for every position that Brands wats.

So, with goalkeepers and defenders, that takes up 11 of a 23-man squad. Leaving us with 12 for midfielders and forwards. Of that 12, Simms and Gordon look the most likely to go out on loan again, giving us the ability to bring another two players in.

One seems likely to be a right-sided midfielder and the other a forward. Meaning four fresh faces in the squad with only a fee for Kean to help pay for them. So any transfer budget from Moshiri will be most welcome.

What is most apparent, to get anywhere near the level we want to be at, is that three of these four new faces need to be better than what we already have. Digne being the exception at left-back, where suitable cover is required rather than quality. No lack of ability from Coleman, just that time waiteth for no man.

The problem with Sigurdsson has mainly been the fee we paid for him; he was never a £40-million player. Had we paid around the £20 - £25 million mark, would we be so critical of him? The same applies to Iwobi and Gomes, halve their fees and you have decent squad back-up. So maybe not so much the player but the fee paid. Of the three of them, only Iwobi has me tearing my hair out as a player who is playing well within his ability.

If we do secure European qualification, then the 23 players Brands indicates he is happy with as a squad number will need to be increased to 25. That would give us a total of six new additions, seven if you include the goalkeeper situation. If four of those seven could walk straight into the team on a regular basis, that is what is behind my thinking of not loosing the likes of Sigurdsson and Gomes; they know how the club and Ancelotti work behind the scenes and in game preparation. And, as we found out in the Koeman era, having one set of players getting you into Europe then signing a new set of players who walk straight into the team does nothing for team morale.

Derek Wadeson     Posted 10/05/2021 at

Our Speedo Mick

Just watched a heartbreaking newsreel shown this morning by BBC's Breakfast on Speedo Mick and his difficulties during lockdown.

He said, just because someone is smiling, joking and saying everything is fine doesn't mean they are. He suggested he was having suicidal thoughts until his brother stepped in. His brother knew something wasn't right.

It upset me that this ordinary Evertonian, who had achieved extraordinary feats, achieved a place in the national heart and has still so much to offer, was in this awful place. My heart goes out to him.

But it's not just Mick. It's a reminder that, in these days, unprecedented in our lifetime, we need to watch out for each other even if we are saying everything is fine.

Take care guys, take care Mick.


John Burns     Posted 04/05/2021 at

Everton v Rangers 1963

Wondering why the British Championship home match against Glasgow Rangers was on 3 December when the match programme says 2 December 1963?


Stephen Docherty     Posted 16/05/2020 at 00:19:02

The greatest day in the history of Everton Football Club

I am just wondering, where were you 35 years ago right now? To start the ball rolling, I was in Dover harbour trying to get on a ferry. Just to add to it, so we’re a lot of other Blues.
Ian Smitham     Posted 14/05/2020 at 22:55:44

Goals for and against

With a very limited idea of how this summer transfer window will play out, I thought it would be interesting to think about how far we are in goals for and against from realising our ambitions.

Firstly, our realistic immediate ambitions are becoming top 6 and even sneaking top 4 (I'll ignore the cups).

So how many goals does it take to get there? Well, a quick bit of research based on the last few Premier League seasons suggests you need 30+ goal difference for top 4 and 20+ goal difference for top 6. And a bit of luck too, because even those goal differences won't always get you there.

In that same period, our average goal difference correlates well to our league placing.

It looks like this:

2014-15: 11th place 48/50 (-2)
2015-16: 11th place 59/54 (+4)
2016-17: 7th place 62/44 (+18)
2017-18: 8th place 44/58 (-14)
2018-19: 8th place 54/46 (+8)

So to turn our usual mid-table mediocrity into something enjoyable, we need (to state the obvious) to score more and concede fewer.

The thing is, to keep pace with the teams above us, we don't need to be that much meaner defensively. It varies quite a bit but 40 goals against is not unusual for top 6 and not unheard of for top 4. High 30s is quite common for top 4.

By a quirk of stats, Arsenal have finished with 51 goals conceded for 3 seasons on the bounce and made top 6.

Quality defenders make a difference but defending to me is also about team cohesion, organisation, leadership and team spirit.

Scoring goals relies on these things too, but it's also where the quality really counts. In our side, we have just two regular scorers in Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison. Walcott and Sigurdsson have scored big goal hauls in the past but those days appear to have gone. Who else?

Our creative players are not goalscorer:

● Iwobi (1 in 10 for Premier League goals)
● Bernard (1 in 11 for Premier League goals)

And the two we're counting on for centre-midfield next season:

● Gomes (no more than 3 a season)
● Gbamin (about 1 a season)

Digne and Mina chip in a bit (Mina should score more) but we're way off top 6 and particularly top 4 unless we can add about 20 more goals.

How do we solve this?

Option 1: Play Kean alongside Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison. It depends on how we set up but personally I don't think this looks particularly well-balanced or effective. One of Kean or Calvert-Lewin is more likely.

Option 2. Rehabilitate Sigurdsson. Hmmm... Maybe with Gbamin and GGomes behind him, it could work. It's not an attractive option, unfortunately.

Option 3. Buy a right-winger who scores a lot.

Option 4. Buy a box-to-box midfielder who scores a lot.

Option 5. Buy another centre-forward who scores more than Calvert-Lewin.

Option 6. Develop younger players.

The trouble with options 3, 4 or 5 is the expense. Most players in those categories will generally have better options than Everton unless there's some weirdness or baggage or they're coming from a weaker league. We can probably afford one such player, eg, Neres or Malcom for right-winger but that won't leave much spare. Seems to me to further reinforce the idea of picking up young talent and nurturing it. And also working with the likes of Gordon, Simms, Dobbin and Cannon.

But, if we're going to progress, we need at least 20 more goals from somewhere.

Robert  Tressell     Posted 08/05/2020 at 16:27:50

Unsworth and Ablett

I thought to ask fellow Blues this question about these two former players:

I have always wondered if we played Unsworth and Ablett in their best positions?

I could be wrong, but I recall that Unsworth broke into the team as a centre-back?
And he acquitted himself well during that initial period. Was he moved to the left because we lost Andy Hinchcliffe, and that there was a surfeit of centre-backs?

Likewise for Ablett. I was under the impression that he was playing more as a centre-back while he was at Liverpool, and was also doing that when we first bought him.

Can any fans can shed more light or thoughts on this?

Terence Leong     Posted 01/05/2020 at 07:21:22

Watching the Blues from afar

As the season winds to a close and things are a bit quiet, I thought I would compare notes with fellow blues in the USA.

Since I came over to Florida and only get back once or twice a year, I have had to rely on televised football (I refuse to call it soccer) to watch my beloved Blues and rely on ToffeeWeb and friends back home to keep me up to date with things.

I have majored on Dish network, ESPN+ and NBC Sports Gold thus far.

For the upcoming season and friendlies, I am about to review other options as Dish is starting to lose its value for money tag and everyone seems to be "cutting the cord"... I just wonder how other Blues over in the good old US of A get their fix?

Does anyone have an informed opinion of FuBo, Hulu, Sling, YoutubeTV, InfinityTV etc.


Jay Harris     Posted 31/05/2019 at 19:24:27

The best deal ever

In the interests of debate, I would suggest that signing Seamus Coleman from Sligo was the best piece of business in the history of football. He cost about £60k and, at his peak, I would suggest he was worth 50 times that.

What makes it so much better than that for me is that he is Irish. I saw him at Sligo as a kid, and knew he was special.

He got lots of stick on here and in my evangelizing of him some thought I was related to him. If we ever did a better deal, I would like to hear about it.

Also, I was mightily upset when the lamentable Martinez sold Duffy. Now I know, no matter how much it upset me, we may have made worse sales, but what beats that?
Andy Crooks     Posted 29/05/2019 at 20:36:07

Top 6 squad players

Okay... I'm having some withdrawal symptoms from the season ending. It's hard to let go, especially as we were in the best run of form that I can remember for the last couple of years.

Looking at the teams above us, are there any players from those with more to offer, that find it hard to nail down a place and that would consider coming over to our 'project'?

Shaqiri... who would have him? Is Sane out of our league? How about Mahrez? Don't these players want to play more often? Let's face it, wages don't seem to be a problem. Of course, the lack of European football is.

Man Utd have a few such as Lingard that might be persuaded. Or do we always have to look abroad for the bargains?

Are we still at the level of Welbeck and hoping he stays fit? We won't get Aubameyang or Lacazette, I guess we have to find our own. I just think there are good players out there we should or could coax that are yet to hit their peak.

David Pearl     Posted 25/05/2019 at 23:14:14

How well are we doing?

I came across an interesting newspaper article this week... while some of you will have read it and hopefully Paul the Esk will in due course provide his forensic analysis, I thought I'd share some of the findings with those who have not seen it and which I present without further comment. The article shows a club-by-club breakdown of the Premier League accounts for 2017-18 and I place the Everton figures alongside those of the clubs we say we should be challenging.

Everton made a loss of £13m against a turnover of £189m.
Man City: £10m profit against £500m
Liverpool: £125m profit /£455m
Chelsea: £30m profit / £448m
Spurs: £139m profit / £381m
Arsenal: £70m profit / £403m
Man Utd: £26m profit / £590m.

Everton made £43m from its commercial activities excluding tv income.
Man City: £232m
Liverpool: £154m
Chelsea: £170m
Spurs: £109m
Arsenal: £133m
Man Utd: £276m

Everton received £16m in matchday/gate income.
Man City: £57m
Liverpool: £81m
Chelsea: £74m
Spurs: £71m
Arsenal: £57m
Man Utd: £110m

Everton paid 77% of its total turnover in staff wages. (Only Crystal Palace with 78% was higher). The highest paid non-player received a salary of £927,000.
Man City: 52% / £5.4m to "key management personnel" - so no individual figure.
Liverpool: 58% / £1.3m
Chelsea: 55% / £244,000
Spurs: 39% / £3m
Arsenal: 60% / £2.7m
Man Utd: 50% / £4.1m (unclear if this is one individual or a group).

Gerard McKean     Posted 24/05/2019 at 16:30:26

Is Bernard good enough?

Is Bernard good enough? It is a question that will cause a bit of a hoo-hah, but I feel it needs some discussion and debate.

I look at our set-up and compare what we have to what Man City and Liverpool have in those wide positions. I look on with envy at the productivity of their wide men and then look at Bernard’s return in comparison.

It is incredibly difficult to find the heart to criticise the little fellow; it is a rare treat to watch a player in our blue shirt with such skill and confidence on the ball – someone who is improving from his acclimatization to the Premier League. On top of that, he is a player who has improved the defensive side of his game markedly in the last few months. He plays well with Digne and can feed Digne balls to cross with his composure on the ball. It is clear he contributes to the team.

His stats, though, are plainly not good enough. 34 games: 1 goal & 3 assists.

Man City have Sane and Sterling:

  • Sane — 31 games: 10 goals & 10 assists
  • Sterling – 34 games: 17 goals & 10 assists

Liverpool have Mane and Salah

  • Mane – 36 games: 22 goals & 1 assist
  • Salah – 38 games: 22 goals & 8 assists

I know systems and roles can be different but the undercurrent is there: Bernard has to be more productive... there has to be more end product. To get into the top 4 or 6, we need more from him — a lot more. Dominic Calvert-Lewin comes in for a lot of stick for his lack of goals, but the sublimely skilled Bernard seems to be teflon- coated because he is so easy on the eye. I have confidence that he can do more; Silva will be all over him to find more end product.

With his incremental improvement over the last few months, I am backing him to push on and have a great season. Goals and assists from Bernard will take us further up the table; it is a big season coming up for him. Another 1-goal season will not be tolerated... a player of his quality should be looking for 10 at least.

Tony  Everan     Posted 22/05/2019 at 10:31:54

Who was the best player signed from a relegated club?

Scarred as I still am from having watched the entire spine of Wigan's relegated team play for us (and yes, I did try to support them whilst the four were with us.... well, maybe apart from "The Rock" Alcatraz) and looking at the TW "Rumour" column currently featuring the likes of Lössl and Mitrovic, I just wonder if anyone can remember a signing from a relegated club who, within a season or two, was a regular selection for a top six club such as we (allegedly) still aspire to be?
Don Alexander     Posted 18/05/2019 at 00:54:14

New kits 19 / 20

So another season comes to an end and but for an extra three pts we might have made it into the European places, but I have this nagging question at the back of my mind.

What are our new kits going to look like?

Normally by now their have been 1 or 2 leaked pics, but nothing ! Past years we have worn the new kit on the last game of the season but this year all the attention seems to have been switched to the new ground.

C'mon, Everton, give us a peek and give us something to be proud of. Oh, and while we are on the subject I hope they are not going to upset us like our loveable neighbours have done to their own fans with the leaked images of the 3rd team shirt with the blue Liverbird!

Maybe they have finally seen the light – and, yes, it's blue !
Simon Smith     Posted 13/05/2019 at 18:05:58

Who is the best, Ronaldo or Messi?

Watching Barcelona getting beat on Tuesday has brought up a question I have often thought about: would you pick Ronaldo or Messi in their prime to play for us?

The last 10 years have been dominated by two football greats: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Even though both players have scooped every individual award over the past decade, there can be only one, but which of them is it?

Messi and Ronaldo differ mostly in their style. Ronaldo is like a machine with great physical abilities and a huge amount of talent but I think Messi is a greater natural talent. He is a virtuoso and his dribbling is considered to be the best, he also passes and shoots with amazing precision.

Messi has won more titles since he plays for a better team, not because he is a better player than Ronaldo. For example, Messi has played with Xavi Hernandez and Andrés Iniesta, two of the best midfielders of our era.

The part that puts Ronaldo ahead in my opinion is his international career. Messi has never won an international trophy. He lost finals in both the Copa America (the South America championship) and the World Cup. Meanwhile, Ronaldo led his Portugal side to win the 2016 European Championship.

His three World Cup trophies fixed Pele’s stature as the best player ever and Diego Maradona winning it for Argentina in 1986 puts him before Messi. I put Messi on a par with Cruyff in the '70s as he was considered the best but Holland never won anything with him playing.

I think Messi is a better team player and more talented but I personally feel Ronaldo is more complete with a better international career.

Paul Baxter     Posted 09/05/2019 at 12:31:48

Siren “spells danger”

Well the title is a bit of a rework of the Billy Ocean hit, Red Light Spells Danger, the explanation is for readers not of a certain vintage.

When I first heard the siren coming out of my TV, I can say it certainly got my attention as I tried to work out what was happening. Slowly, the cogs moved into gear and I realised this was deliberate and a part of the match build-up. My initial reaction was — this seems to work. I rather like the idea. Not usually prone to rushing into instant decisions, I have listened to and reflected on this new pre-match item. I have mentioned it to a few friends who are impressed. I am now happy to come well and truly off the fence.

Whoever thought of this idea is a genius and deserves an award of serious standing. My feeling is that the siren provokes serious levels of emotion and I imagine these will be different according to the individual. Nevertheless emotions will be stirred. No bad thing as the kick-off looms. My own interpretation is that this is a message to the opposition: you are now in a place where deep down you really don’t want to be and what happens next is going to be exceptionally uncomfortable. There is an overwhelming emotion working against you and your best outcome will be to leave unscathed to fight another day but winning is not an option. What a message/emotion to transmit! The “bear pit” that is uniquely Goodison only adds to the atmosphere.

And yet I feel that we could possibly make more of this fantastic idea while also recognising that sometimes “less can be more” and possibly how things are at the moment is where we should stay. Anyway, here goes with my thoughts that I would like to put out there for consideration.

I think the siren should last a little longer for maximum effect; I feel at the moment it has not got the time to fully raise the emotions, temperature, atmosphere and send the right message.

Could it be used for a second time as the players are shaking hands? That would have some effect but would it contravene Premier League Rules?

Could it play a bigger role in the immediate pre-match moment, before the Z-Cars music is played? I was thinking along the lines of a table in the centre of the pitch with a large obvious button that can be pressed by a fan, personality, dignitary, or prize winner — you get the idea.

Would it be possible to get hold of an actual siren that could be manually operated for an individual to crank up — even if it is actually not making the sound? Kind of visual effect?

How about the siren sound being linked to the big screens for further effect?

I would welcome ideas from ToffeeWebbers. Could they be passed on to the club by someone from the ToffeeWeb hierarchy if it is felt we are onto something?

Many clubs have pre-match rituals. The Premier League is worldwide but we could maybe have some further distinction alongside the Z-Cars theme with our rituals?

Did I say earlier “less can sometimes be more”?

Well, there are my thoughts; I would be interested in the views of my fellow Evertonians.


Barry Metcalfe     Posted 07/05/2019 at 09:40:51

Mike Trebilcock at the train station in 1966

After the FA Cup win 1966, I was very depressed as I hadn't got in to Wembley. Not only that but all the cafes with TVs were full of Sheffield Wednesday fans. I ended up getting a bus to the next town and watched the second half through a TV shop window (No sound).

After an overnight stay, my wife and I went to the train station to go home. As we entered the platform, we suddenly found we were either side of Mike Trebilcock who was holding the FA Cup! In front of us were press photographers snapping away with their cameras, we couldn't believe our luck! Also, we were allowed to hold the Cup.

Then, to our surprise, we were on the same train as the Everton team taking the Cup home. This incident lifted my downer but I just went straight home on arriving at Lime Street.

Unfortunately, we never did see that photo. Can anyone out there help to find it for us? Now living in injury time!
William Maher     Posted 06/05/2019 at 18:39:57

Lies, damn lies and statistics

I like stats, I like numbers, I like manipulating numbers to demonstrate an argument or point of view. So I thought I would share some with my ToffeeWeb family.

In the last 10 games, we have achieved 20 points out of a possible 30:

We have scored 16 goals and conceded 5.We have kept clean sheets in 8 out of those 10 games.

We have taken 10 points out of a possible 12 from the "supposed" top 6.

We have taken 10 points from a possible 18 from the "rest". So room for improvement there, I would say.

Anyway, here is the interesting thing: If we had performed the whole season as we have in the last 10 games, this would be the situation.

We would have 76 points.

We would have scored 60 goals.

We would have conceded 19. This would be the best defensive record in the league.

We would be in 3rd position.

Yes we need a striker, yes, we should have done better against Newcastle, Fulham and Crystal Palace... but, if we had have done better, the goals scored and the points total in my "full season" projection would be even better.

So, is Marco Silva on the right track? My answer to that question is Yes. If, and only if, he gets us playing consistently to the standard we have played in the last 10 games.

Food for thought and optimism...
Andy Osborne     Posted 04/05/2019 at 18:24:02

Dedication

Just to let you know that a large group of dedicated Everton fans from Norway will be at Goodison Park on Friday to see the game against Burnley, this being their annual trip together which happens once a season, although I know many of them are there for quite a few games!

The trip was booked a while ago, and nearly half of them had to re-book flights when the game was moved from Saturday to Friday, which meant they would arrive too late for kick-off. Then, as they had got all that sorted, SAS airlines went on strike which meant quite a few of them had to start from scratch again.

Some of them have a day's drive to get to an airport that can get them to the game, and have to fly all over Europe to other airports to get connecting flights!

Unluckily, not all of them could find a route. But, talk about dedication to your team... Give them a good welcome; even better – buy them a pint! Have a great trip, Lads (and Lasses)!
Tony Cheek     Posted 01/05/2019 at 19:09:48

Sometimes in football you have to score goals

"Sometimes in football, you have to score goals" — Thierry Henry once said, in a moment of transcendental clarity. It is stating the obvious, to say the least, and it's an achievement doing everything else perfect, but it's the goals that count.

At the time of writing, AFC Bournemouth, Leicester City and Watford have scored more goals than us this season. Crystal Palace have outscored us 29/22 on away goals. It is clear that we need a more clinical goalscorer, with the pace and confidence to score away from home too.

Importantly, Dominic Calvert-Lewin should not be vilified for his lack of goals because he contributes like a trojan to the team. If he can add the Drogba-style finishing prowess to his game, he will become a top player. We need to help him get there, opportunities for him will be ever-present.

The need for goals though is there for all to see. The games against Fulham and Crystal Palace recently bring it into sharp focus. Getting the right man in, though, is far from straightforward.

The game has changed. It is not about an old fashioned centre-forward anymore. Take a look at Gonzalo Higuain, a world-class centre-forward struggling in the Premier League. Lacking a bit of pace and mobility, he looks average over here. Defenders can take care of him.

To try and find a 'type' of player that would fit the bill, the missing link, I have looked at this season's top scorers list. Aguero, Kane, and Vardy I think would score 20+ for us. All killer players, there is no loss of focus with these 3 when it comes to scoring a goal. It is the kill of a predator on a weaker beast, an act of nature.

Even at 32, Vardy on a 2-year contract would be interesting. Not as a direct replacement, but to act as a bridge and a foil, sharing games while Calvert-Lewin improves.

If not, can Mr Brands find us the right man?
Tony Everan     Posted 01/05/2019 at 10:51:43

The Young Ones...

Close season means we all start playing Fantasy Football in our head, in forums and in the pub. Who to buy, who to sell, and so on. However, I wonder who do people expect to come through from our Under-23s or below to have an impact on the squad?

Our new Director of Football, Marcel Brands, made clear that this is viewed as a clear long-term strategic goal of the club, and in recent years we have done well.

Tom Davies, Mason Holgate, Beni Baningime, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and Jonjoe Kenny are all first-team squad regulars. Ademola Lookman we also hope/expect will add to that list. But who from the current ranks will make that step up?

Kieran Dowell seems the most likely. While Antonee Robinson also gets mentioned. Other than that, I am pretty clueless as to the real development potential in our ranks.

Josh Bowler was signed from QPR for a significant fee. Will he make the breakthrough?

Conor Grant is a bit of a veteran in the Under-23s and has been talked highly of. Will he do it or move on?

Matty Foulds was talked of a lot when he signed; how has he developed? Will he bolster our defense?

Harry Charsley? Calum Connolly? Joe Williams? Nathangelo Markelo? Anthony Evans? Mateusz Hewlett?

Anyone got any opinions? Any hidden gems? Or are they set for Leagues One or Two (in itself, a great achievement for our academy to produce so many professionals), or shall we consider anyone when making our summer shopping plans?


Fran Mitchell     Posted 25/05/2018 at 16:17:12

Everton are in the market for an attacking playmaker – Who could we sign?

With Wayne Rooney following the natural progression of past-their-prime footballers and looking to join the MLS, Everton may be in the market for a new attacking playmaker in the summer transfer window. Last year’s £23.6 million signing Davy Klaassen only played seven Premier League games at Goodison Park, and it is likely that the club will try to offload the Dutch flop. Gylfi Siggurdsson’s Everton career has also been underwhelming, and the Toffees desperately need to get it right with their next acquisition for the role. Who could the new manager look to bring in?

Anderson Talisca

Reports from Sport Witness suggest that Everton may be about to tussle with Roma for the signature of Brazilian playmaker Anderson Talisca. The Benfica man is currently on loan at Cenk Tosun’s old home, Besiktas, who have the option to buy. If the Vodafone Park club decide not to take the player, it is understood that the Portuguese giants will look elsewhere to cash in on the 24-year-old.

Talisca has been enjoying a strong season in the Turkish Super Lig for the 2016-17 champions and has notched 19 goals and five assists in 46 appearances for Senol Gunes’s side. The tricky attacker has drawn comparisons with Paris Saint-Germain sharpshooter Neymar, along with legendary Brazilian 1999 Ballon d’Or winner Rivaldo.

Talisca hasn’t made Tite’s squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer, but he has played for the national squad at U20 and U23 level. The Brazil squad contains a number of high-quality attackers and, as of the 19 May, Tite’s men are 9/2 with the bookmaker Betway to win their sixth trophy at the ultimate tournament. The only way for the Feira de Santana-born player to break into the Canarinho side will surely be to start playing in a more prestigious league, and a move to Everton could suit the youngster. There is no doubt that the lure of Champions League football at Roma will also be tempting, and the Toffees will have to be ready to part with a hefty sum to secure the Brazilian’s services.

Talisca would certainly represent an attractive signing for Everton; if the player can continue his upward trajectory in the English top flight, he could bring about an incisive edge that the Toffees have been lacking in recent years.

Manuel Lanzini

A less risky option would be to go for a player who is already well-established in the paramount English division. There are rumours circulating that Everton may try to snatch Argentine playmaker Manuel Lanzini from Premier League rivals West Ham. The 25-year-old has made 62 appearances for the Irons since joining in 2015 and has notched 13 goals in that time. There is a feeling that Lanzini has not yet reached his full potential; after struggling in an underperforming West Ham side for the last two campaigns, he may be desperate to reinvigorate his career elsewhere.

Everton were linked with Lanzini last summer when they were preparing for the loss of Ross Barkley, but the Hammers held firm on one of their key players. After the departure of David Moyes from the London Stadium, there may be big changes at the club who spent most of the 2017-18 campaign battling relegation.

If the Goodison Park outfit want to secure the services of Lanzini, they will have to move fast. Reports suggest that Liverpool are also interested in signing the playmaker as a long-term replacement for Philippe Coutinho. In another possible twist, Manuel Pellegrini may take over as West Ham manager. If this comes to fruition, it is thought that Lanzini will want to stay and play under the South American former Manchester City manager. Lanzini is likely to join up with Argentina for the World Cup and, if he impresses there, his stock will go up further.

Once again, it could be a summer of major changes at Everton as they seek to mount a challenge to the established Premier League elite. A top quality attacking playmaker should be at the top of the new manager’s shopping list, and these two players could help boost the Toffees’ top six hopes.


Gary McCarty     Posted 21/05/2018 at

The exuberance of youth

After the dust has settled on what has been an important few days in Everton's history — finally getting rid of Sam Allardyce from our club — we as Evertonians have the opportunity to look forward with optimism about our future under a new manager, with a new Director of Football already in place, and a new board at the helm.

With this in mind, it got me thinking about the future and the generation of kids that we seem have been buying over the last few years and whether folks had a view on who would be the next breakout star into the first team? I was never a fan of the recruitment policy of Steve Walsh (if 'policy' was even the right word!) but some very vaunted youngsters were acquired by Everton over the last couple of years and I'd love to know what's happened to a number of them and what everyone's view is on their potential to make it into the first team in the next season or two.

We have been crying out for years for a decent replacement for Leighton Baines to challenge him and eventually take over from him — and he isn't getting any younger. We bought that Lewis Gibson kid from Newcastle who I've not heard about since — how is he doing? Why has he never been mentioned as a potential replacement for Baines? Garbutt was mentioned loads, but we never hear about Gibson.

There was also Josh Bowler (QPR) and Dennis Adeniran (Fulham) who were bought in the last 12 months, among many others. Does anyone have a view on how these kids are doing and whether any of them may make the grade?


Andrew Bentley     Posted 17/05/2018 at 17:21:30

Tosun in 'interesting' company...

I see both Arsenals Özil and Man City's Gündogan are in trouble here in Germany for posing with the Turkish President Erdogan. But our newest recruit, Cenk Tosun, was also seen posing with the politician whom some see as a dictator – who doesn't care about freedom of speech or freedom of press or human rights.

Obviously Tosun can't get in trouble with the German National team, but is it okay for an EFC Representative to pose with that guy? I for one would prefer our club's representatives keep away from politics – especially if they are being used for propaganda. Let's stick to football and get that right.
Kevin O'Regan     Posted 15/05/2018 at 15:20:05

A Good Move?

I hope all the fans of the proposed new Everton stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock read Arsene Wenger's words in The Guardian yesterday:

"Highbury had a special spirit. The Emirates was like buying a new house, it took us a while to feel at home there. It's a fantastic stadium but there was something special at Highbury that you could never recreate."

Arsenal had to move to accommodate growing fan numbers... Do we?


Maurice Reid     Posted 13/05/2018 at 08:09:47

The clear-out: easier said than done

It has been mentioned many a time this season how our squad is unbalanced, poor in quality and in need of a complete rebuild.

This however is easier said than done, a complete clear-out can have many a negative impact: need to sign too many players can lead to complacency and buying whoever is available, unbalanced squads with no chemistry, being over-charged as people know were desperate, failure to fill certain positions. It also has the problem of actually selling our current players,many on big contracts that few teams will be willing to match.

So in our current squad, including loans and youth near the first team:

Pickford, Roubles, Stekelenberg

Baines, Coleman, Martina, Holgate, Williams, Jagielka, Mori, Keane, Foulds, Kenny, Robinson, Galloway, Pennington

Gueye, Schneiderlin, Davies, Besic, McCarthey, Baningime, Williams, Bowler

Rooney, Sigurdsson, Klassen, Vlasic, Dowell, Grant

Tosun, Lewin, Lookman, Bolasie, Walcott, Sandro, Mirallas, Niasse, Henry.

The scary things when looking at the squad liat, minus Walcott, Pickford,Coleman and maybe Sigurdsson, the case could be made for any of the above to be sold off and there woud be little grief. Tosun and Gueye may well be considered worth keeping, while youth like Baningime, Davies, Lookman, Kenny, Holgate, Lewin, and Dowell have probably done enough to get a chance. The rest however, dispensable (some other young lads like Vlasic, Henry, Grant also may deserve a chance as they have yet to be given one, neither here nor elsewhere)

So that leaves by my count 18 dispensible first team squad members. 18 is a lot of players, so who to keep and who to let go? And how many is too many?

Roubles: probably wants to go.
Stek: just a disaster waiting to happen, has to go.

That leaves us needing 2 back-up keepers.

Williams: not good enough, time to go.
Baines: needs to be phased out, but worth a place in squad.
Jags: worth keeping one more season.
Martina: just not very good.
Mori: never really a PL player, probably thrive on the continant, one player we may actually get decent money for.
Keane: not good enough, but worth keeping, could improve.
Galloway: never lived up to his promise. Championship/league 1 beckons.
Pennington: not PL standard.

That means 5 defenders moved on, with at least 3 (2 cb and 1 lwb) needed. Total: 7 out, 5 in.

Schneiderlin: public enemy no1 for much of this season. Just awful form for a talented player. Sell while still has value.
McCarthey: crocked. Sell.
Besic: let boro keep him, not good enough for what we want.

That is 3 out, but with Gueye, Baningime, and Davies, no need to sign a repacment for all. Maybe one in. Total 10 out, 6 in.

Rooney: too big a wage, too big an influence, not good enough. USA beckons.
Klassen: live in hope? Maybe a new manager will utilize, maybe not.
Vlasic: worth keeping. Got potential.

2 sold, with hopefully 1 top quality replacement. Total 12 out, 7 in.

Sandro: back to spain. Hopefully make a small profit.
Niasse: we all like you, but sorry, got to go.
Bolasie: difficult due to wages and we wont want to make a huge loss. A season on the bench beckons.
Mirrallas: gone and forgotton.

3 out, and need to sign at least 1 top quality, fast, direct and effective forward.

Total 15 out, 8 in.

A big ask, but doable, and should balance the squad somewhat.


Fran Mitchell     Posted 09/05/2018 at 15:07:47

You're NOT going to believe THIS!

I understand that during the summer, newspapers (certainly the tabloids) get desperate (well..even MORE desperate) for football stories.

However it isn’t really a problem for them, as they can/do/will simply invent a load of space-filler shite and Bob’s your new £35m Brazilian striker.

What does fascinate me is how many (each summer) on TW are prepared to take what is so obviously pure invention and..run with it.

Simon Happy: “I’m not saying I believe it but he is a 20 goal striker.”

Bill Nark: “Only for a Brazilian side”

Simon: “They won the league 4 years ago”

Ted: “Yeah but they haven’t…”

And we’re off (could be a 300er!) based on complete bollocks.

Yeah I know - summer, but summer no reason to just give up on reason/logic/sense (and think of your health).

"So what's your point?"

This is basically just a gentle reminder to take with a (HUUUUGE!) pinch of salt, 99.9% of everything Everton-related you’re going to see/read in the next two months.

Because one thing FOR SURE is that 99.9% of everything written will be completely invented shite, written for the sole reason of filling a blank space in a paper and maybe flogging a few extra copies to the hard of thinking.

Tips?

Anything that says “Koeman/Moshiri SAID..” (or stated) might be worth reading (as in might be true) but I wouldn’t set too much (any!) store by..

"A source revealed."

"An insider revealed."

"Is thought to be.."

"Could be on his way to.."

"Might be moving to.."

"Could be interested in a move to.."

"Is believed to be.."

"..has been mooted."

Etc etc etc.

This stuff is written in such a way as to actually point out "I'M A LIE, I'VE BEEN INVENTED!" and you'd have to be blind no to see it.

Also keep in mind that pure invention based on nothing is allowed by the press as there’s no comeback - none!

If a paper says “Gerrard will start next season in Everton’s midfield!”, when that DOESN'T happen, guess what?

Nothing…apart from a lot of very angry gullible dupes threatening to burn season-tickets and shrieking “Fuck off Everton, I’m finished…” etc rage.

Up to each individual of course, I'm not telling anyone what to believe.

Just what will be..unbelievable.

Puts flip-flops and Eric Morecambe-style shorts on, sits in pub garden while my 15 kids run wild.

Eugene Ruane     Posted 22/05/2017 at 15:36:05

What does Alisher Usmanov's failure to take over Arsenal mean for Everton?

It has been reported in the Guardian and other news outlets that Stan Kroenke has knocked back Usmanov's $1.3 billion attempt to take over Arsenal. Given the ties between Usmanov and Moshiri, could it mean that Everton is in line to be the next club purchased as a toy for a billionaire foreign owner?

Does it even matter if he spends millions and millions and Everton becomes a perennial top four and title contender as well as a CL participant? Would Evertonians trade a traditional love for local lads for squad after squad of "mercenaries" since that is what has happened at the Manchester, Chelsea, and Liverpool clubs?

I know I have asked everything in question form. I had to since I do not have the answers. I suspect if this scenario becomes a reality that it will deeply divide the fan base. Well, at least until the winning and trophy and title counts start increasing, I bet.

I wonder where Usmanov and Moshiri will each sit at the game?


Jim Hardin     Posted 20/05/2017 at 01:17:58

Rare Everton memorabilia in auction

Adam Partridge Auctioneers of Liverpool has rare and early Everton memorabilia coming up for sale 7th June 2017. To include the following items:

An early season ticket for 1910-1911.
A 1897 gold end-of-season medallion.
A rare 1907 supporter pin badge showing the team.
A quantity of early postcards showing a team photo.
We also have a quantity of signed match shirts.

These rare items very rarely come to the open market.
Rowena  Turner     Posted 19/05/2017 at 20:41:17

U23 Player of the Year

I see the only player from Everton to be nominated for the U23 Player of the year is 'Liam Walsh'.

Surely if he's the best in that league then he must be knocking on the first team door. I know he's suffered a few injuries but he's yet to even make the bench.

Anyway, good luck to the lad. Full list of nominees are:

Mason Mount (Chelsea), Liam Walsh (Everton), Axel Tuanzebe (Manchester United), Todd Cantwell (Norwich City), Josh Sims (Southampton), Joel Asoro (Sunderland), Oliver McBurnie (Swansea City), Domingos Quina (West Ham United), Marcus Browne (West Ham United), Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Ben Woodburn (Liverpool)

..had to be 2 from that lot and will be no surprise if one of them steals it.
Liam Reilly     Posted 19/05/2017 at 17:12:43

U23s - Contract Review

I was looking, like thousands of other Evertonians, at the pictures of our incredible U23s lifting the Premier League Trophy and it got me thinking. What will become of this golden generation?

I decided to look over the contract situation for each of the young lads involved and was really impressed with how well the club has handled their contract situations collectively.

We all know about Tom Davies's and Dominic Calvert-Lewin's new contracts, but quietly the club has got several of the promising youngsters to sign contract extensions within the last 12 months or so.

Kieran Dowell signed last summer for a further 3 years to 2019, while Matthew Pennington, Jonjoe Kenny, Harry Charsley and Joe Williams also have signed extensions since.

Williams is contracted now until 2020, while the others mentioned are here till 2019, which is also the cut-off point for Bassala Sambou, Callum Connolly, Liam Walsh and Matty Foulds.

The much improved Beni Baningime has 1 year left to run, as does Morgan Feeney – and you would imagine that their contracts would be extended within the next 6 months or so.

David Henen is, perhaps, the only player whose 2018 contract will be allowed to expire.

This summer, the contracts run down on both goalkeepers, Mateus Hewelt, and Louis Gray and on Calum Dyson, who was voted Young Player of the Year on loan at Grimsby Town in League Two and may be itching to move on for first-team football at a lower level.

Also, Gethin Jones and Anthony Evans are still without a new contract for next season, but all-in-all I think we, as fans, should take our hats off to the club for keeping an eye on the contracts of this incredible crop of youngsters. We really are putting ourselves in a position to take advantage.

They probably won't all make it in the Premier League, but it is encouraging to know that those that do will be given the opportunity to do so at Everton.


Alasdair Mackay     Posted 09/05/2017 at 12:23:12

The 7th-best team finish 7th

I just watched Chelsea beat Middlesbrough 3-0 tonight. How many of our team would get in theirs? Maybe Lukaku who would be surrounded by better players... maybe not. In fact, I doubt that any of our team would get into any of the sides above us. We do not have good enough players; we do not pay the wages required, and do not pay the money to buy them.

Whether or not Koeman gets the best from what we have is open to debate but, it seems to me that we are where we should be. Our lack of real quality means that we have a negative mindset – protecting the back four, going away to nick a goal, and lacking belief. On another thread, Darren Hind suggested that the tide was turning (against Ronald Koeman, I presume) but he has finished 7th with a squad that, in my view, are well short of doing any better. He has adapted the tactics with what he has.

I doubt we will spend big in the summer and I see the way forward as hoping a couple of young lads will make it big, plus unearthing a gem in the transfer market. I believe that our expectations are higher than that of our new owner. I think that Koeman will keep us ticking over until we get a new ground. To get beyond that, we need luck with injuries, luck in the transfer window, and the spirit that Leicester had. Other than that, we need money... a lot of money.


Andy Crooks     Posted 08/05/2017 at 23:55:58

Goals alone do not an idol make

Evertonians young and old alike have made idols over the years of a select group of centre-forwards who have demonstrated their unique qualities, which, more often than not, included scoring goals in abundance. Some, but not all, have been part of trophy-winning sides which further enhanced their status amongst us.

We can all instantly reel off the names of this illustrious group – Dean, Lawton, Hickson, Young, Royle, Latchford, Sharp, Ferguson, Angell... (well, er, maybe not that one!)

Although a major pre-requisite to becoming an enduring idol, the ability to score a shedload of goals is not the sole requirement to achieve this distinguished honour. Bravery, hard work, commitment, never-say-die attitude, ability to build a natural ongoing affinity with the supporters, selflessness, embracing the team ethic and, perhaps most of all, possessing the realisation that playing for the greatest club on earth is not a stepping stone to the promised land, but the pinnacle of your career – are all essential contributory factors fundamental to being considered as counting towards becoming one of the chosen few.

It is crystal clear that Romelu Lukaku will, sadly, never become or even compete to become part of this exclusive group. He won't even get close. He has been afforded ample opportunity over an extended period to take up the mantle of the Chosen One, endear himself to thousands of young Evertonians, become part of the family, one of our own, only to return the honour with his now customary displays of inflated ego, arrogance, apathy and self-importance both on and off the pitch.

That's why, when he does go – and the sooner he does the better, he will be easily forgotten and erased from the memory as a passing fancy, a flash in the pan, becoming another of those who failed to seize the Holy Grail of idolatry from the Goodison faithful.


Frank Mullin     Posted 07/05/2017 at 15:42:34

Buy or Scout to bridge the gap?

The result against Chelsea and other results against the top six teams have shown us to be too slow, not technical enough. We can't break down technically good teams (apart from odd results); players lack ambition and the courage to attack and boss the better teams.

Is this season starting to show the widening of the gulf in class between the top six and the rest? Increases in revenue for the top four, plus the Champions League means the current best players will only play for clubs playing in the Champions League. (Yes, Leicester City are the exception but this will only happen now and again as the gulf between the top 6 is getting wider in terms of prize money and the spin-offs.)

Everton easily deal with teams below them with comfort, but I can't see Everton in the next 3 years or so competing with the top six. Even if a new stadium is built tomorrow, it's still going to take 2 or 3 years before it can be filled, before Everton have the pulling power to buy 3 or 4 world class players in the £50 to 60 million range... not at the moment, unless teams are regularly in the Champions League (not the qualifiers but the league stage) they are not interested.

Everton's current crop of players in the over-25 age bracket are never going to get us continually competing for Champions League places. We have an excellent youth academy – surely this is the only way for us now to bridge the gap?

We need to put big money into scouting, use that money to set up a top scout in each of the better-playing countries who scouts that country every day of the week. Buy the occasional player to keep us in the top ten for the next couple of years until the stadium is built, then hopefully the team has developed enough to attract the best players.

With a new stadium, full of Evertonians who will raise the roof and make it the worst place for visiting teams to come, top class players and youth players will all want to be a part of that.
Phillip Warrington     Posted 01/05/2017 at 11:04:51

In Support of David Moyes

The fume about Moyes? I get it.

I get it because I spent long portions of that first Martinez season berating Moyesy, laughing at him and revelling in the fact we had Martinez instead of him. But the amount of abuse that he was on the receiving end of never felt right. We're a proud club with dignity and the amount of abuse we threw his way never felt right to me. We like to think there's an Everton way of doing things and that wasn't it.

I admit that by his 10th season I'd had enough of him – I was bored of functional 2-0 wins against the Fulhams and Swanseas of this world. How we longed for some of those types of results last season!

And he got things wrong – in retrospect his "knife to a gunfight" line stinks but it wasn't deemed half as contemptible at the time he said it as it is now. Ironically because Martinez gave us our ambition back.

Let's remember how the general consensus amongst all of us was "you can't blame him" when he left for United. I remember feeling real sadness that he'd gone because – and this might take some getting your head round – what characterised him in his first 6 or 7 years was his positivity. Yes, David Moyes' positivity, it's not necessarily an oxymoron. 4th, Champions League, Europe, Arteta as number 10 and starting seasons with the intention of winning the league. It didn't happen but his intent was one of ambition and he did make great strides initially.

Look, it didn't work out, it went stale and he's made mistakes in the media since. But I think he's a good man with values. He's a hard man. He doesn't stand any shit. And this time around, with some serious money in his back pocket...

I don't know, it's not an easy argument to make but somehow I could always envisage an open top bus parade around the city with Moyes at the helm more than I could Martinez. As I'm writing this I know I'm aware I'm leaving myself open to some easy criticisms.

Maybe it's just a hunch. But go back in time and remember that David Moyes sold us a dream that was rooted in sustainability and integrity. He didn't fulfil it. But I think I'd be up for giving him another chance. We all deserve those don't we?


Jon Sellick     Posted 26/05/2016 at 20:22:37

Our Touchline Commandant

Big names, lesser names, old names and some we've never heard of. Plenty of managerial speculation lending the space between season's end and the Euros a high level of excitement and expectation.

Yet very little thought has gone toward members of our own coaching staff and whereas I'm not advocating even an assistant managerial position for any former player – I know little of their ability or desire to take this on – there is surely a more visible hands-on role for one former player to take on match days.

The general touchline fashion of managers is to sit in their Recaro seats, controlled, dispassionate and pensive to events as they unfold. The exceptions in Mourinho, Guardiola or Simeone embody the passion and belief, the expectations placed from the coaching staff onto their players that make their teams winners... No-one is allowed to mention Pardew. Just don't.

And more likely, the next Everton manager will be a foreigner, an outsider, his assistant too. And that is okay. Fine by me. I just don't need any Martinez PR type bollocks to show he "understands the fans, gets the club" nonsense. And though the talismanic managerial appointment is a thing of the past, there can still be a role to bridge the gap that separates the coaching staff and the fans by making sure the players play for the fans, the club, however you wish to define it. But meaningfully so. Not the kissy-kissy badge shenanigans players think is good enough.

So my suggestion, were we given a sit-down and notebook-in-hand type manager, is let the touchline be prowled by someone forever looking shackled, desperate to act, not sat passive on the bench with no purpose or influence. I don't know about you, but if during some of the insipid performances at Goodison this last season Big Dunc was up and animated on the touchline, it would have done more to spark life into the players than any phenomenal team talk, not least because the crowd would be on their feet with him, fully behind his intent, and what player couldn't respond to that?

The Premier League isn't a place for nicely-nice performances when you're underachieving, and if other teams will come to Goodison with a nasty streak to steal points, Big Dunc should serve as reminder should anyone care to forget it. This icon, this totem of passion and heart sat passively on the bench allows for the expectation of heated battle reduce to a lukewarm surrender. He should be a touchline commandant, enforcer of attitude, the crude reminder of everything demanded by those who sit in the stands.

Just think of Mirallas 'on-it' for every game or the defence not dozing off. It couldn't possibly fail.
Nick Entwistle     Posted 26/05/2016 at 10:12:04

Stadium discussion

All this talk of a new manager seems to be the immediate priority, but it is drowning out the bigger issue – a potential decision on the stadium and it's site.

I live in East London and walked along the canal and right past the Olympic Stadium this morning on my way in. It is really impressive. It made me think of Old Trafford and the Emirates and Wembley – that type of impressive. Then I thought about the Riverside and realised that football stadiums are one of the few examples where it isn't just about the location.

The stadium itself needs to be intimidating and have grandeur. If financially this can be achieved to a greater degree next to the Showcase on the East Lancs Road, then so be it. I would rather have a site and a building that intimidates away teams as they drive up and impresses new signings as they arrive for talks.

I'd love it if this could be achieved on the Docks, but, to me, the stadium itself is more important than where it is!
Alasdair Mackay     Posted 26/05/2016 at 10:29:10

The one and only manager that can take us to the top

I have been following Everton for about 40 years and we've been through plenty of ups and downs over the years. Truth be told, I think we've been through more downs than ups. I've been reading nearly every Everton-related article when I have had a chance.

But as they say, 'Once you start supporting Everton, you fall in love with them!'

The few times that I've been proud with the words 'Nil Satis Nisi Optimum' on the emblem (that everyone SHOULD know what it means!),was in the '80s and the last match against Norwich when Unsworth and Royle were in ciharge.

Now, in my opinion on who Everton should appoint as a manager, Eddie Howe is my choice. I've seen all of the rumours and studied them as if the choice was in my own hands. Some people think that if you appoint Howe, you won't attract any big-name players so do you think that by appointing another manager that has been rumoured to join Everton, more star players will want to join Everton?

I think that if we appoint Howe and bring the right players and experienced players like Rooney as a leader (if he's available), with the players that are coming through, and the experienced players that we already have, we can form a good team that we can be proud of.

I hope that next season we'll be a better one.

Up the Toffees!!
Stephen Muscat     Posted 24/05/2016 at 17:25:53

Challenges facing the new manager

Well the season is now over and we need a new manager. I’ve been thinking about the challenges whomever takes up the challenge of managing the greatest football club on earth.

Reconnecting with the fans

Despite all the bad results and performances I reckon that if Martinez hadn’t ‘lost’ the fans the board would have bought his 2 semi finals and on the cusp of achieving our phenomenal potential rhetoric. A key lesson for the new manager is that he will need to treat the fans with (not just match going ones) with some honesty and integrity in his media engagements (learning from errors will help too).

In all fairness the players need to reconnect with the fans as a number of these haven’t displayed the minimum requirement of putting in a shift on match-days (especially during the last 2 months of the season). In addition, some may need reminding when speaking to the media that they are employed by Everton Football Club first and its fans will be able to access the interviews including their context. Making noises about other clubs only serves to create rifts with the fans (perhaps a code of conduct may be needed? – lets face it most of us have to sign up to one irrespective of the industry that we work in!).

Rebuild team spirit

Recent performances have also highlighted that the players are either playing for themselves or have formed cliques, which doesn’t help team spirt that the club used to be famous for. Whilst you don’t have to be best buddies with all of your teammates you need to have some professional respect and want to work together (e.g. work back when we lose possession).

Get more leaders

While we have a number of experienced players within the squad very few of them can be described as leaders – how often do you see the likes of Jagielka, Baines, or Barry organising or cajoling the team (or pointing and shouting as it used to be called under Captain Pip)? To my mind we’ve got too many nice or selfish players who don’t take a lead on the field (can’t comment on the dressing room or training ground) and we need to get some in who have that winning mentality and won’t accept sloppy standards from those around them – think of Souuthall, Ratcliffe, Reid and Gray from the mid-eighties team.
Some may already be at the club and a new manager may be just what they need to bring those qualities to the fore. Personally I think we need to buy in those qualities in a few key positions – Goalkeeper, Centre Half and Centre Mid basically the spine of the team.

Improve fitness

Over the course of the season it was apparent that a number of players were shot around the 60 minute mark so its no surprise that we conceded a number of late goals because concentration tends to fade when players are tired. Luckily as a number of players aren’t on international duty this summer, a new manager and a number of promising youngsters knocking on the door will be the motivation to work on their fitness during the off-season. Either way the new manager will need to have a plan to improve the fitness of the squad if only to compete in the league as a number of clubs will have taken note of Leicester’s title win and will seek to replicate their energetic approach.

Manage the ‘star’ players

Rightly or wrongly we have a small number of ‘star’ players who are ripe for headlines moving them on this summer. The job of the new manager will be to either convince them to give us one more year or work out disruptive influences and get the best price for them (while also having a replacement lined up either through the ranks or externally). I would probably move Lukaku and Mirallas on as they are disruptive influences albeit we need to have excellent replacements lined up.

Clear out the dead wood

One way or another there are going to be big changes to the squad with Howard, Hibbert, Osman, Pienaar and Gibson’s contracts coming to an end. I think that a few other players should also be let go as they are either not good enough or ar ein a positon where we are over stocked (such as left back). Those ripe for leaving in my opinion are McGeady, McAleny, Oviedo, Kone and McCarthy (sorry I don’t see the value of a defensive midfielder with no positional sense who doesn’t add anything offensively).

New Goalkeeper

Unfortunately this season has proved that Robles will never be a top goalkeeper, therefore, we need to find one to fill the void since Howard’s demise. The new signing will need to be a leader as well as dominate the penalty area (being a good shot stopper is a minimum requirement). The iinly problem is that the very top keepers won’t be interested (e.g.Neuer) but I think that Butland or Forster would be very good options.

Integrate the next generation

The club has a number of very promising youngsters on its books who are on the cusp of the first team the challenge I think is to integrate them into the first team whilst not damaging their development. I think that in the majority of cases we should be looking to send them on loan to championship teams to test their mettle and gain experience – mainly the young defenders.

All in all there are more than a few challenges for the new manager to get his teeth into (not all of them bad) but the opportunity is there to build on a talented group of players and achieve something that goodison hasn’t seen in decades.


Selby Wells     Posted 23/05/2016 at 20:44:04

Losing the dressing room

Interesting that Sky Sports are quoting Lukaku as saying what many on here speculated, in that Martinez lost the dressing room over the last few weeks of the season:

Quoted in the Echo, Lukaku said: "The team did not perform at all. We won two of our last 11 games. When things are broken between the manager and the players, it becomes difficult."

There's really no excuse here; with an FA Cup final on offer, this should have been dealt with by the board prior to the semi-final.

We're too sentimental as a club and we can only hope that the next Manager ditches this family, "People's Club" nonsense, because ultimately it's all about results and trophies and not about being nice.


Liam Reilly     Posted 23/05/2016 at 160523

Referees?!?

Amongst the furore of us trying to remove Roberto Martinez from our beloved club, I myself lost sight of all the terrible refereeing we had to endure during the season. I was reminded of this watching the FA Cup Final yesterday.

A string of terrible decisions by Mark Clattenburg (admittedly not one of our favourites match officials) probably cost Crystal Palace the game. The fact that they we're playing Manchester United reinforces my theory of bigger teams getting better treatment from the referees.

Two questions: are these referees ever made accountable for bad game-changing decisions? And why do WE always get them?!

It could be my paranoia but that probably comes from supporting the best club in the world for 58 years!


Terry McLavey     Posted 22/05/2016 at 17:38:36

Dutch Courage

If we end up with Frank De Boer, the door to Dutch talent will be open.

If I had to choose five signings for the summer, they would all be Dutch:

  • Wijnaldum (Newcastle - LM/CM/CAM)
    At 25 years old, he's the right age to add some experience, as well as skills and hard working attitude.
  • Cillesen/Zoet (Ajax/PSV - GK)
    Both around the 25 year old mark, good leaders from the back & a lot better than we have already. Cillesen at Ajax with FDB.
  • Bazoer (Ajax - CM)
    18 years old - very young, but adds the creative edge that we quite frankly, do not have, in the midfield. He is big and strong too, so won't have trouble adapting to the BPL. Also at Ajax with FDB.
  • Janssen (AZ - ST)
    Absolute class! 21 years old. Already in the Dutch national team. He is left footed, but is ambidextrous, like Ross. Good in the air, good with the ball at his feet, can hold it up, run, dribble... And the man can finish! I'd choose him over Rom anyday, Janssen's attitude is top class, works hard on the pitch, both on attack and puts in a shift in defense.
  • Van Dijk (Southampton - CB)
    A bully of a defender - 24 years old. Good with the ball, a pity we missed out on him at the beginning of the season. Other than him, someone like Dragovic or Shawcross (with a bit of work), are perfect to replace Jags.

Other than Van Dijk, who has just signed a new long term deal, I think we could get all of the above as a start.

Go look at some YouTube videos and statistics, class players! Netherlands and Belgium are where to look!
Gareth Clark     Posted 21/05/2016 at 15:10:46

Déjà... Blue?

I was thinking about the situation at Everton. Currently on paper Everton sit, managerless and mid-table. We have finished mid-table for the last two years. Some of our better player are subject to transfer speculation, and have been for some time. Lukaku looks set to leave (if his dad is to be believed), Stones has been touted around by the press and to media for various moves over the last 12 months. Funes Mori's agent has chirped up. Everton have announced that the plans for a new ground that were being worked on, now are not. Yet, we Blues are a happy bunch at the moment: talk of a big transfer kitty from Mr Moshiri; talk of us going out to get a top end manager. A winner – Mourinho, Koeman, De Boer... Rumours that Peel Holdings and Everton could work together on a new docklands project that would be bigger and better than what we had originally planned for the Kings Dock. As an aside, I personally was wondering about incorporating the original name of our club in the stadium name. St Domingos arena anyone? If yer know yer 'istory and all that. We have been linked with players. Our crop of youngsters have been talked up of late, some vision for the future eh? But.... It's season ticket time boys 'n' girls. I have been following Everton for a while, longer than some, fewer than some, 30-odd years since I was a little lad. Here is the thing: it wouldn't be the first time that there were rumours at the time when season ticket renewal came about, would it? We have certainly had our fair share of spurious links with never-to-be transfers. A certain Riquelme for example, amongst others. New ground, you say? Yes, there have been soundbytes from the council, from the mayor too. Now if I said the words 'ring-fenced' and started talking about Destination Kirkby, Kings Dock I imagine a few might recall similar talk. Has Mr Moshiri just witnessed first hand a Boys Pen special? Has Bill just fed us all a line again, and we swallowed it? Now I might be naive, I might be a huge optimist, or just plain delusional BUT... I think there will be a big appointment. I think there will be a new ground. I would just like to know what you fine folks think, if just to have that little doubt erased.
Dominic Tonge     Posted 21/05/2016 at 14:18:56

Players, positions and shortages

With all the hype surrounding a new manager and ground I find it hard to escape the idea we have reached a point where there is a huge need to overhaul our playing squad.

I'm of the opinion this is not a daunting task as this rebuild period looks to be coinciding with an emergence of young players ready for the first team.

Most top managers challenging for the top of the Premier League work on the basis of two players for each position:

Goalkeepers:
New Player / New Player

Right Back:
Coleman / Kenny or Connolly

Left Back:
Baines / Garbutt

Centre half:
Funes Mori / Galloway
Stones / Jags

Centre mid:
Barry / McCarthy
Davies / Besic

Attacking midfield / Number 10:
Barkley / Dowell

Right Winger:
Deulofeu / New Player

Left Winger:
New Player / Mirallas

Striker:
Lukaku / New Player

Players to leave:
Howard
Robles
Hibbert
Oviedo
Cleverley
Niasse
McGeady
Koné
Pienaar
Gibson
Osman
Lennon
Mattioni
Henen

A number of these players are out of contract. Some need to be offloaded (even on free transfers, eg, McGeady).

The players to leave are simply not good enough.

On central defence, I'd say we need to find Jagielka's replacement. We'd also need to replace those players who want to leave (Lukaku, Stones and Mirallas??)

It's a huge job ahead, but I'd question any manager happy to retain any player on my 'players to leave' list as they're simply not good enough...


Winston Williamson     Posted 20/05/2016 at 19:35:23

Some different transfer options

As an ex-Club volunteer, Disability team skipper, fan and scout, I speak from the heart about Everton... so here are some players who I believe would make the squad better or whom we could potentially develop:

Goalkeepers
Tim Krul (Newcastle) – International, great feet, good mover, calm
Tom Heaton (Burnley) – International, great stopper & loud communicator
Ivan Vargic (HNK Rijeka) – Great Shot stopper, very good kicker

Defenders
Charlie Daniels (Bournemouth) – Great personality, top defender and can push Baines forward
Paul Dummett (Newcastle) – International, great work ethic, very underrated
Marcin Wasilewski (Leicester) – Presence, underrated & strong
Jazz Richards (Fulham) – Quick, observant, hungry international
Fran Acerbi (Sassuolo) – at 28 a late developer but wonderful defensive brain

Midfielders
Alex Pritchard (West Brom) – Great from dead ball, good communicator,
Will Hughes (Derby) – 7/10 every week, strong, good in the tackle and a little bit unorthodox
Riccy Montolivo (AC Milan) – Leader, good tackler, experienced
Hakan Calhanoglu (Bayer Leverkusen) – Still only 22, great movement, great dribbler
Callum O'Dowda (Oxford) –  Spoken highly about amongst coaches, one for the future

Strikers
Seb Haller (Utrecht) – Great scoring record, affordable, different to what we have
Filip Kostic (VfB Stuttgart) – Great ability, good pass, hungry to succeed
Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen) – exceptional talent, watch him in the Euros

Check these players out!


Aaron Evans     Posted 20/05/2016 at

Should they stay... or should they go?

Indulge me .... the new Everton manager has arrived (whether that be Mr J Mourinho or Mr M Mouse) and obviously they have rung me for my sage advice on the existing squad before he gets spending on new additions (which will obviously be another phone call I’ll have to take).

It’s all subjective ... and as the title suggests it will cause many a clash ... but this is what I’d say.

Already departed – Howard.

Without a doubt should go – Hibbert, Kone, Gibson, McGeady, Osman and Pienaar.

Dubious about and could go if the right offer came – Robles, Funes Mori (his agent is already talking moves and I can’t quite trust him as a player), Garbutt, Mattioni, Mirallas, McAleny, Niasse (surely must be better than what we’ve seen - if not, wtf?!), Rodriguez, Oviedo, Cleverley and Lennon.

Keep – Baines, Jagielka, Coleman, Browning, Pennington, Galloway, Deulofeu, Tarashaj and Besic.

For me, I’d sell McCarthy and Barry if the right offers came in – but would also be happy if they stayed. Barry was very good all season but is getting long in the tooth and James runs around a lot, tackles, but doesn’t really create much.

Let go if mega money is offered and their attitude is set on seeking pastures new – Lukaku.

Try to keep despite any huge offers – Barkley (but tell him to put the gym weights down for a while and get back to being a potential demigod) and Stones (with the right coach he will be everything we thought he’d be before his confidence ebbed away). But, if they truly want away - then get every last penny we can for them.

Keep, develop and merge into the first team squad – as youngsters must be given a chance - Holgate, Foulds, Davies, Ledson, Kenny, Dowell and Henen.

Potentially a heck of a lot of changes. Alongside a new owner, a new manager and hopefully a new dockside stadium.

I'll get me coat...

Jim Potter     Posted 20/05/2016 at 13:56:57

Leicester – One-off or the shape of the future?

Something different has been going on in the last three years in the Premier League. Many Evertonians have recognised that the old order was finding it increasingly difficult to assert its dominance and this led to many of us believing that we had a real chance to crash the top-four cartel this year. Hence frustration and anger as we have seen.

The received wisdom was that there were teams with loads of cash and they were inevitably going to stay out in front and we had somehow to sneak up on the rails into 4th or 5th whilst they were distracted by the Champions’ League and managerial changes. You could argue that Leicester have done just that.

I think that we are witnessing a longer-term change driven by two factors.

The increased amount of cash generated by TV has already had an effect and the quality of many clubs’ recruitment processes, in identifying unlikely, but relatively cheaper players from abroad, has done a great deal to level the playing field. It is also possible that teams have been setting their stalls out to be hard to beat, conscious as they are since the latest Sky deal was agreed that dropping out of the Premier League before next seasons riches' impact would be terminal for their top-tier ambitions.

Two years ago, at the end of the 2013-14 season, we finished fifth with 72 points. The four teams above finished on 86, 84, 82 and 79 points. That year, Leicester’s 81 points would have got them fourth. This year, 72 points would have seen us finish second. In that season there were 1052 goals scored and 302 games were won. This season only 1026 goals were scored and 274 games were won. That season the 17th club amassed 33 points, this season it was 37. There were more draws.

On this evidence, I have been lazy and not done the analysis for previous years, with the extra cash, the average quality of the players that the Premier League attracts has risen and should rise further if they are following the money, although prices will be inflated anyway. I can’t see any of the usual suspects being able to do a Real Madrid and attract a functioning team of Galacticos that will dominate.

What does all this mean for the Blues? Well, we ought to be able to recruit at the top end of the mid-range teams, the difference will be the tactical approach and understanding of the manager. Like it or not, all of the successful ones start with setting up a team that is difficult to beat. The better managers send out a team set up in that way but recruit players who can meet that need but who can also change the game on their own within the framework. The best managers are able to do all that and change the shape of the team on the pitch and through substitutions to secure points under pressure or to pursue draws from losing positions or wins from parity.

Rafa anyone?


Peter Lee     Posted 18/05/2016 at 00:08:18

Would Spurs have won the Premier League with Frank de Boer?

The 2015-16 season of the Premier League will always be remembered for what has been labelled ‘the greatest achievement in English football history’ when Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City charges ran away with the title. For all the clubs who consider themselves bigger than the Foxes this triumph represented a massive missed opportunity. In the end, only Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side were still in the hunt for the trophy before it went to the King Power Stadium, Andrea Bocelli serenade and all. But 2016 could have been the year Spurs won the Premier League under Frank de Boer if a comparison between the statistics of Pochettino and Ronald Koeman’s time at Southampton are anything to go by.

In 2014, De Boer looked destined for Spurs after winning four league titles in a row with his first managerial gig at Ajax. The Dutchman unknowingly damaged his chances of landing the job when he irked the Spurs board by publicly revealing the interest in him from White Hart Lane which in turn opened the way for Pochettino with his Premier League experience to pip him to the position.

Pochettino v Koeman

Pochettino had just steered Southampton to their highest ever league finish (8th) and points total (56) after a season and a half in charge. The Saints boasted a talented team with the likes of Schneiderlin, Lambert, Lallana, Shaw, Clyne, Chambers and Lovren all within its ranks. The Argentine left Southampton with a win ratio of 38.33% during his tenure.

Ronald Koeman filled the gap left by Pochettino after three years in charge of Feyenoord where he had patched up some of the damage done to his managerial reputation following disastrous stints at Valencia and AZ Alkmaar. He faced an exodus of star players on arrival leading to a load of laughs when he tweeted “Ready for #training!” and a picture of an empty training ground on the first day of pre-season. But even with the departures of Lambert, Shaw, Lallana, Lovren, and Chambers, Koeman managed to soundly recruit and then against the odds bettered Pochettino’s previous season finishing higher (7th) and also setting a new record points tally (60) for the club.

This season, Koeman’s Southampton again lost key players in Schneiderlin and Clyne but have repeated the previous year’s performance, sitting 7th on 60 points with a game still to go. After two seasons in charge, Ronald Koeman’s win ratio at Southampton is 47.78% – which is 9.45% better than Pochettino’s record at the club. Statistically, it can be argued that Koeman is the better manager and even Southampton fans will tell you they wouldn’t swap the Dutchman for the Argentine now.

Koeman v De Boer

Frank de Boer and Ronald Koeman both managed title challengers in the Dutch Eredivisie with Ajax and Feyenoord respectively between the 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons. Big-spending PSV Eindhoven made it a three-horse race during this period. In these three campaigns, Koeman’s Feyenoord finished second and six points behind winners Ajax; then third and seven points behind winners Ajax; and finally, second again four points behind winners Ajax.

In league encounters between the two sides, De Boer’s Ajax gained the better of Koeman three times, with Feyenoord managing just one win and two draws. Both clubs performed disappointingly in the domestic cups and European competitions over the course of the three seasons. The general Dutch consensus seems to have always been that Frank de Boer is a manager with greater potential than Koeman and performances during this three year spell in the Dutch league seemingly back that belief up.

So here is the twisted logic: Koeman is statistically better than Pochettino by 9.45% when weighing up their consecutive spells at Southampton. This means that maybe Koeman could have done better than Pochettino at Spurs as he did with the Saints, converting his better win ratio which would have resulted in gaining an extra 7 points this season. That would still be three points behind Leicester. But if - as the Dutch evidence suggests – Frank de Boer is even better than Koeman, then could he have squeezed the extra points needed to be champions? Did Spurs unknowingly throw away a Premier League title when they chose Pochettino over De Boer?

And, if it’s not clear by now, Everton should definitely go and put “The Farmer” to work.


Robbie Muldoon     Posted 13/05/2016 at 17:45:25

Leading Everton to the brink

Seven names I personally think we should be looking at to succeed Roberto Martinez.

As an ex-Club volunteer, Disability team skipper, fan and scout I speak from the heart about and to the people behind the scenes at the Club with great fondness and respect.

For me it’s not about a name or reputation. We really have to be different when picking the next gaffer.

The Evertonian: Eddie Howe – Great motivator, does well on a budget and can coach wonderfully. Full-blooded and passionate, for me a long shot but of Moyes tenure ilk.

The Believer: Marc Wilmots – Works well with quite big names, a motivator and has that Belgian connection. A little unorthodox but deserves a chance in my opinion to be on the shortlist

The Mini Pep: Albert Celades – Born of the Barca way, an unknown to many but he has worked so well with youth groups. Can he step up? He is of great age and for me deserves a chance to be shortlisted

The impulse: Roger Schmidt – Done well over the last few years and would work well again under a tight budget. He is lively and has a great percentage of winning games, for me not media darling enough but deserving of a shout.

The Wild Card: Eusebio Di Francesco – Led a smaller team to a great position in Italy. At 46 he’s of great age to want to have a longer tenure. Passionate as any Italian, I think he deserves a mention

The Challenger: Luis Miquel Ramis – The Youth Coach at Real Madrid, tough-tackling in his day and tough-talking as a manager, different option but why not?

The Inspiration: Henrik Larsson – Superb impactful coach with great pedigree as a player. Well-travelled and good with young players. Would need a Dunc or Rhino with him but would love to impress.


Aaron Evans     Posted 12/05/2016 at

In defence of Roberto Martinez

The calls for Martinez to be fired – or was it burned at the stake? – reached a hysterical fever pitch before the club acted. And while fans’ anger, frustration and disappointment are understandable, it’s worth keeping a couple of facts in mind. Martinez is actually a more successful manager than some of those routinely pitched to replace him: Moyes Redux, Mark Hughes, Sean Dyche and Nigel Pearson.

In fact, Moyes went through 11 seasons and his teams’ average performance – and average is the right word – was 8th. So this season under Martinez, described as “disastrous” “horrific” “embarrassing” and so on by so many fans, would actually count as just a little under par in Moyesworld.

Moyes produced mediocrity at every level and the club and fans were patient with him for 11 years – in fact he would arguably be manager still if he had not been tempted away to Manchester United. Yet along came a manager who wanted his teams to play attacking, attractive, entertaining football, who brought exciting, talented players to the club, and we all lost patience very quickly.

Why were people so frustrated? It may be because our expectations have been raised by Martinez himself, who had us playing a higher standard of football in his first season than Moyes had in the previous 11. Somewhere along the line he lost the players and it has been clear for several weeks that they had stopped playing for him.

I just hope that Martinez is replaced by a manager who believes in the same attacking philosophy as Martinez and not someone who simply wants to make us more difficult to beat – and harder to watch.


Peter Fearon     Posted 12/05/2016 at 19:19:24

I feel compelled to write

I have never engaged in fan websites in terms of writing my opinion, I have simply read with interest the opinion of others. However today I feel compelled to "put pen to paper".

At 44 I remember the good old pre-Premier League days when football was a level playing field. A time when teams were mainly filled with local players, and players that had come through their academies. Yes, the bigger clubs had some foreign players but they were few and far between and, to be honest, even that was fair because they became bigger clubs because their local players made them the bigger clubs, or their scouting systems did.

Today, however, it's all about money and that's why I write.

Now, before I get into my point, I realise that the Leicester achievement nullifies some of my argument so I ask that we park this as a one-off, freak achievement – which right now it is, but let's hope it's not and they continue to do well.

For years I have argued with my dark side friends about buying power, wages, money spent on players, etc, and my argument has been how can we compete and yet we have still finished higher in the league on occasions. The point being, though, it has all been about money.

All this time I had dreamed about someone taking over Everton or investment coming in to the club so we can compete, and listening to Roberto Martinez recently it appears that's where we are. But does it feel like that?

When Chelsea came into money I was excited to see what happened and whom they bought, never mind the Chelsea fans. Same with Man City and even Spurs when they sold Bale.

Do you have that feeling now as a Blue? Does it feel that we are linked with players, that we have money, that there is a new future and new hope ahead? I checked the bbc.co.uk/sport gossip column today and it's like we don't exist.

Here we are, supposed to be a big-ish club, whose manager must surely be on the brink of being sacked and there isn't even any real (solid) speculation over this. What I am saying here is it does't feel like there has been any change, any investment and there is a clear lack of excitement about he future.

Who is to blame?

I don't hate Roberto Martinez, but he must shoulder a lot of the blame and so must the Board, the players, the commercial department... the club is just silent. It's like we have no goals, no ambition, no desire to rock the boat or speak above our station.

We should have done what Leicester did this season while all the "big clubs" had a wobble but the club culture/mentality will never allow that to happen.

So What Next?

I believe the club needs a complete overhaul, and I think this comes from the manager. Yes, Martinez is uber-positive in his language but there is just something about him that you don't believe it. We need someone strong, someone young, someone who hates losing. Is that Pellegrini? No. Please don't let it be him next.

We need a Pochettino-type who is young, strong, ambitious who can give us some sort of identity.

The club needs someone to raise the profile of the club, the performance of the players and the spirit of the fans. Please, God, we don't keep Martinez but the next appointment needs to be right.


Paul Harrison     Posted 11/05/2016 at 09:54:43

Lap of dishonour

Next Saturday will be my 40th year of watching us at Goodison Park. I can't remember when laps of appreciation started after the final home game. Did they happen in the 70s?

They've always followed the same pattern. But for the first time ever, I'm unsure how it'll pan out on Saturday. If Martinez is still there, the atmosphere will be poisonous. Surely none of the players will feel comfortable being applauded for the drivel they've served up this season?

And as the dressing room is clearly in open revolt against Martinez's methods, it seems to me that – unless we have a sacking in the next 5 days – we should all just pack up and go home as soon as the final whistle is blown.

Otherwise, it will feel like civil war and the resulting bad blood will reek between now and next August. So come on, Mr Moshiri – sort this one out between now and Friday.
Max Levy     Posted 08/05/2016 at 20:12:46

Our pride, our spirit, our grit, our chemistry

Where's it all gone? Our pride, our team spirit, our grit, our chemistry... these are the basics we expect from our team and fans, especially in our home and fortress, Goodison Park.

It really hurts me that Goodison is not the place it used to be; it's the opposition who have these basics nowadays.

Bainsey is correct that there's no chemistry in the team, or any chemistry between the team and the crowd. It's never been as bad as this in my mind, even in the dark days of relegation. Something has gone, we have to get it back, especially at Goodison.

We have to rid of Roberto Martinez and the Belgian duo who are nothing but trouble. Goodison Park, the fans, and the team are everything.
Sean Purcell     Posted 07/05/2016 at 22:57:53

A Clean Slate

Even the most ardent of Roberto Martinez supporters must surely have run out of patience. The manager's days are undoubtedly numbered.There is no way back, it is as simple as that. No excuses, nothing left to discuss. He should do the honourable thing and hand his resignation in poste haste.

I am not jumping on the bandwagon; I have questioned his judgement for many months, long before the present decline. His vastly overrated opinions of Messrs Barkley, Stones, McCarthy, Besic and Cleverley, plus the signing of Niasse, after selling a far superior all round honest, hard working player in Naismith, created doubts which sadly have materialised. Baines was correct: there is no chemistry in the team. More pertinently, tactically we are naçeve.

This Everton squad has no heart nor guts. We have become pathetic pushovers. If Lukaku wants away, let him go. Sadly, Barry is too old. The supporters need to get wise to what is apparent on the park and disregard the 'Hype' surrounding our so called 'Stars'. They are simply imposters, who flatter to deceive.

Any new manager should start with a clean slate, put the lot of them up for sale. Why not give youth a chance, while also signing some proven performers. The first priority, a solid reliable traditional centre-half. The only current player I would be anxious to retain would be Coleman.

Stones will never make a centre-half, when does he ever get first to any ball in the air? He could be tried in midfield, I believe he possesses the ability to make that transition.

I would sell Barkley tomorrow to the highest bidder. Rooney gave him an attacking midfield masterclass in the semi. If only Man Utd would give him back to us in a swap deal. If there was any chance, then we ought to welcome him back with open arms and build the team around him.


Phil Lewis     Posted 07/05/2016 at 23:25:00

Martinez's confidence in his position is alarming

Roberto Martinez has recently come out fighting against a back drop of discontent regarding his position.

Fans, media and hopefully the board have now got to a stage where all parties have had enough of the Spaniard. His stubbornness regarding formation and tactics have long been found out. Post match comments are now on YouTube under the 'comedy section', and he recently took a swipe at new Champions Leicester saying that his Goodison outfit would never play like them under his tenure. Too right Bobby, they are champions, something we will never be with you at the helm.

What alarms is his confidence regarding his future at the club. Even though we have endured the worst home top flight points tally in our proud history, Martinez has recently hinted at transfer targets and today stated in the Echo that his position is 'as strong as ever'.

This means one of two things. Either he is past the point of reason and he has serious mental problems OR more worryingly, Bill Kenwright has convinced our new Billionaire and the rest of the board that the current manager is the right man for the job and he is actually staying.

The manager is a worry, but the board seem to be the real problem again. Martinez for all his faults comes across as a nice guy. He deserves to be backed or sacked by the club at the end of the season at the very latest.

We have had comments on ToffeeWeb regarding Martinez betting to be sacked. Comments on horrible possible appointments like O'Neill and Moyes. Pie-in-the-sky comments regarding appointments such as Mourinho, Löw and even Simone (I wish!).

But has anyone contemplated that this current board of directors may just be contemplating Martinez IS the right man for the job and that he will be given multi millions to spend and lead us into next season?

The mind boggles...


Phil Jeffries     Posted 07/05/2016 at 04:07:49

Realistic transfer targets for next season

Who would we be able to sign, whether Martinez stays, compared to if someone like hopefully Koeman or Pellegrini comes in?

Who do we need/want to sign? What positions need to be reinforced or improved completely?
Gareth Clark     Posted 06/05/2016 at 12:12:33

Out of the woods

Nadir, Darkest before the dawn. Strength through adversity. Light at the end of the tunnel. Ahh Everton, it's the hope that kills ya.

Bright, bright sunshiny day...

New dawns, well we've heard it all before haven't we? Let me start with a couple of predictions: firstly Martinez will leave Everton by the end of the season by mutual consent. Secondly, Bill Kenwright will step down, be thanked for his service to our great club later this year or by this time next season, while Moshiri appoints his men onto the board and throughout the club during this summer and beyond. I'm not in the know, these are predictions based on reading from trusted Evertonians, observations concerning the behavior of our manager and the clubs silence. I could be wrong but then there's always hope.

There's something happening here...

I've said before, I hadn't posted on this site since the Walter Smith years. This is a great site, it's part of me, there's not a day gone by I haven't read it and as many of the fine postings as I can. I stopped posting because during the time of Smith and Kenwright's takeover Everton seemed to me at least, listless, in a ambitionless, wilderness of under-achievement and mediocrity.

Yes, our chairmen had steadied the ship which was sinking under Johnson, but he didn't have the leadership or financial clout to get it sailing again. There were many who warned on this site and others were this was all going and they have my deepest respect for speaking up instead of staying silent.

Moyes did a tremendous job of salvaging and transforming us from a team fighting against relegation to one gently, politely tapping on the glass ceiling. But without investment we were never going to smash through it. There wasn't much we could do but witness the lowering of expectations, a sickness that has blighted the club for over two decades now. But as true supporters we stuck by the club and still do but it was increasingly becoming unrecognisable.

I could see were Kenwright was going with appointing Martinez, although he wasn't my choice but his first season was promising, maybe he was an inspired appointment. I read the posters from the Christmas period of the second season, the utterly baffling decisions made by the manager during the summer and after the first home game against Watford, I was utterly convinced he had to go. But not just Martinez, Kenwright's time was up to. Hence posting again.

My voice is irrelevant and unimportant but there was so many posters on this site, who shared deep misgivings and concern about were our club was heading, that as an Evertonian and from a family who has supported this club going back to my great grandfather, I had to speak up. In short, we've had one lost generation of Evertonians who have never witnessed success, we simply can't afford another. I wasn't prepared to stay silent, I have children now too.

Turn, Turn, Turn...

Back to nadir, the derby for me and the subsequent semi final was the blackest week in Everton's history that I can remember. It's been discussed at length and there's nothing I can add besides to me it's a low ebb. I would suggest to you all though, it was necessary. The death of a dream perhaps for one man. A rebirth through death for others. An end that functions as a forge to determine change. That everything that is about to transpire couldn't have happened without it's long drawn out conclusion. It was an end of an era.

I'm not suggesting to you we are about to pass through the Elysian gates, with a Moshiri appointed Mourinho backed with riches winning titles and silverware. No, what I am suggesting to you is that there is change at hand. Change, which is the only inevitability in life besides death and taxes. And that change, has promise and were there's promise there is hope.

Jack Mason     Posted 06/05/2016 at 11:18:55

Pardon this quick rant on the PR disaster that is Everton.

Back him or sack him. This all seems a needless torture of the supporters. Creates a big dumb public relations mess. And the season ticket renewal issues! It’s the punishingly continuous uncertainty that is fueling the dissent further. A night like this across the park combined with the last couple of weeks on and off the pitch has just poured more salty misery on the whole damn thing.

I’ve NEVER seen an organization with more self-inflicted wounds related to its shocking lack of transparency and communication with its core audience/fan base than Everton. And maybe if they’d won ANYTHING of significance in TWO decades, they might be excused of it.

But the BALLS of THIS club, Everton – which has (likely) finished bottom half of the league in consecutive seasons, displayed embarrassing effort in ALL the most important matches this season, and won 4 (while the season still mattered) home games – to say that YOU, the hopelessly-devoted Evertonian, don’t merit the basic courtesy of transparency and clarity! It borders on the sadistic to specialize far more in the creation and export of elective affliction of harm to one’s supporters than in the creation of a winning football club.

And though Roberto Martinez can’t manage this team and SHOULD’VE been booted AGES ago, he is by most accounts a kind and (mostly) sincere gentleman. The club’s inaction has needlessly taken a steel boot to a man who no longer deserves to be employed, but certainly merits basic respect from his employers.

We all read about Mr Moshiri’s intellect, acumen, and positive intent. And he may feel hard done-by to be harshly criticized before he has made his first move of significance. But the PR disaster the club continues to perpetuate in his presence does nothing but spawn increasing doubts about all those positive qualities we were assured of in our savior, Mr Moshiri.

Needless. All so needless. About as needless as Bill Kenwright’s continued presence at the club, I reckon. Take a gun to the current head of stubborn loyalty to the mediocre status quo and be born again to the audacity to expect greatness again. That is the Everton I want.


Rob Vera     Posted 06/05/2016 at 01:42:23

Martin O'Neill - Bookies favourite to be next Everton manager

ToffeeWeb readers may well have come across stories circulating on the web, that Martin O'Neill is the bookies favourite for the Everton job (assuming Roberto Martinez is leaving) Obviously a fair amount of money has gone on this bet – his odds have come down from 40/1 to nearly evens.

My initial thoughts were this would be a disaster for our club. I've never liked the guy. The results he had at Villa (3 successive top 6 positions) were helped massively by being bank rolled by Randy Lerner. David Moyes achieved as much around the same time with Everton without anywhere near the same investment.

Also, he was recently sacked by Sunderland after less than a season, when it became clear he was taking them down to the Championship. Would other fans be as anti the idea of O'Neill as I am? Personally, I'd rather keep Martinez!!
Colin O'Keeffe     Posted 05/05/2016 at 13:33:00

What is the truth?

I think it is fair to say that a majority of posters on ToffeeWeb would like Martinez gone. However, is this the view of most Evertonians? Are we a loud minority encouraging each other and just getting angrier and angrier?

I have tried to think back to the Walter Smith days, an era in which I could afford to travel over for many games each season. I expect there was a good deal of negativity towards him on this site but I was unaware of it and supported him right to the end. I know many contributors on here are match goers but is there a difference in mindset between the armchair fan and the match goer?I find it hard to understand how anyone can defend him though I respect the efforts of the brave few on here who give it a go.

Also, I have been to one game this season so I will not have the brass neck to lecture Evertonians on what protest would get him out, or not buying season tickets or flying planes over. I admire those who protest and I would if I could. What is the majority view and, if most fans want him gone, how can this be achieved?

To me, it seems that Martinez will stay as long as it remains comfortable for Kenwright to keep him here. How to make Bill uncomfortable, that is the question, if a majority of Evertonians want him gone.
Andy Crooks     Posted 01/05/2016 at 13:47:17

Joey's free!

Anyone else thinking of bringing Joseph Barton back home?

I think hed be an excellent squad player.


Colin Glassar     Posted 27/05/2015 at

Looking forwards (silly season begins)

Thought I'd get the first of these ilk of articles in for the summer in a bid to have something to get excited about. Even if it is the sort of excitement usually reserved for Football Manager-playing schoolboys, if it distracts me from the painful drudgery of last season then I'm all for it. Most of the transfer targets I'm going to suggest are picked up lazily from tabloid nonsense or are my own daydreamings and, as such, all of them are total speculation...

So here we go. Martinez has said a couple of times that we will be looking for mainly 3 or 4 players to come in this season and has also said what positions a couple of them will be. A number 10, a centre back and a wide player. We can speculate on the 4th but I reckon most probably a CF or possibly even another MC. I reckon that we will have around 20m to spend if none of our big assets get sold.

No 10

We have been crying out for more creativity in the middle for a while and given Barkley's depressing efforts this season we cannot wait for him to live up to the media hype.

Will Hughes - A livewire and recent mainstay of the U21 international team. with Derby failing to get promoted he will almost certainly head to the Premier League this summer. Looks to possess creativity and good technique but will be overpriced most likely at 10-15m which is a lot for someone yet to perform consistently at a higher level.

Nabil Fekir - High quality player who would provide goals and assists. Sadly an excellent season with Lyon has probably garnered him admirers with deeper pockets than us who will be able to pay his 15m+ price tag.

Georginio Wijnaldum - Has been in excellent form for PSV for a few seasons with pace, trickery and the ability to spot a pass. Could likely be much sought after this summer. Would be a coup if we got him and possibly cost 10m+

Gregoire Defrel - A less glamourous option but someone we've been linked to a few times. Similar remit, young, fast and with a few tricks ups his sleeve. Possibly more of a winger than a central player.

Gerard Deulofeu - Martinez distanced himself from this move recently due to Barcelona's embargo but it would still be popular for many blues. If it did happen I'd like to see him more as a second striker no.10 than a winger as it would give him more freedom and his defensive work is poor. At 8-10m would surely be good business for the future.

Centre back

Ideally a left sided one as both Jagielka and Stones are right footed. Again we conceded from a diagonal ball against Spurs and someone dominant in the air would be high up my list.

Virgil van Dijk - The young dutchman stands at 6 ft 4 so certainly is a physical specimen. he is comfortable on the ball though still untested at a higher level. If available for 8m or so i think he would be a great purchase and would add a lot at set pieces from both ends. Also left footed.

Nicolas N'Koulou - A more experienced option and probably the better footballer. Would come cheaper too and would be an easy first choice if he were not a tad on the small side at 5ft 11. Having said that he has a great leap and is very decent in the air. Possibly available for 6m.

Jonny Evans - Not my cup of tea but a very experienced player who is only just coming into his peak years as a defender. Our Manchester United rejects have done pretty well for the most part though the idea remains a bit unsavoury. Tyler Blackett has also been linked on loan which seems even less inviting.

Micah Richards - Once looked like the great young hope but failed to deliver. Amazingly he's only 26 and has his best years ahead of him presumably in the Premiership where he is tipped to return to. Would be able to fill in at RB too and might be a decent option to back up Stones and Jagielka.

Kara Mbodj - Another giant at almost 6ft 4 and has been in top form in the Belgian league though I'm not sure how much that impresses. Is quite highly thought of and we have been linked a few times with a 5m move.

 

A winger

Right or left? Possibly both. Pienaar looks to be fairly spent and McGeady has impressed few. Mirallas seems our only true wide player and he may not even last the summer.

Aaron Lennon - Surprised a lot of us with his impressive work ethic and would probably be a no-brainer were it not for the likelihood of Levy shafting us for money when we have so little to spend. Hopefully he seems impressed enough by us to hold out and force Levy's hand...unlikely.

Bakary Sako - Has done very well for Wolves in the championship this year and has a scoring rate for the last three seasons of 1 in 3 which is very tidy. He has the pace and physique to makes things happen and is also out of contract this summer though reportedly looking for 50-60k. Might just be worth it.

Nolito - Memorably tore us apart in a pre-season friendly a few years ago and has impressed a lot of people for Celta Vigo since then. Would probably be highly sought after and too expensive at 15m+.

Adnan Januzaj - The mercurial young Belgian may be out on loan next season and i would be tempted ONLY if we could secure a reasonable purchase price otherwise i don't really see the point and it may well turn into another Atsu. Although i rate Adnan higher than the young Ghana winger.

Rafa Silva - Seen almost nothing of this Portuguese kid but we have been linked with him and watched him a few times and apparently he's pretty handy. If he's as good as his namesake David then he might be worth the reported 10m price tag.

Other positions

Tom Cleverley will continue to get linked and people would probably be more in favour of it now than they were a couple of months ago as his form has picked up alot since Sherwood came in. Personally i could do without him and think I would prefer to take Sergi Roberto on loan from Barcelona. He will not make it there but has more attacking flair from defensive midfield than Cleverley and would give us a different option from McCarthy, Barry and Besic.

Goalkeeper is another position we have been linked with others in and the targets have reportedly included Nyland, Heaton from Burnley, David Marshall and Fabricio Agosto from Deportivo. I don't have 100% faith in Howard and he has had some poor moments this year but for me we have bigger worries still and I'd like to see Robles given more chances before we splash on a new keeper.

Finally a new striker. I don't think we have the spare cash to make a proper striker signing though the likes of Javier Hernandez could be tempting. Much more likely is that we get someone on loan unless perhaps we can persuade Danny Ings to come to Goodison who i think would do a good job as a support to or possible replacement for Lukaku.

So a quick round-up of some of the people we have been linked to. No doubt the list will be totally different from the one sat inside Martinez's highly guarded transfer HQ bunker but from what he's said the positions should be pretty similar.

If I were to have my imaginary 20m to spend I'd go for:

Deulofeu - 9m
Lennon - 6m
N'Koulou - 5m
Ings - Free
Sergi Roberto - loan

Highly, highly speculative i know but i reckon a lot of people would be happy with that and it might even see us sneak into the top ten next season!

Please don't bother to tell me I'm playing FM and wasting everyone's time as I already know and don't care. Please do bother to give up some of the ridiculous rumours you've heard and who you'd like to come in to perk this team up.


Sam Hoare     Posted 26/05/2015 at 13:10:08

The Bird Is Blue

I wasn't feeling very happy as I edged my car towards the exit of the Stanley Park car park after the Sunderland home game.

Then I spotted something which cheered me up. On the back of the car in front was a Liver Bird, in Royal Blue. Below it was the legend "The Bird is Blue."

I'm guessing this has been discussed on TW in the past, but isn't it time we reclaimed our share of the Liver Bird? The symbol of our city has been hijacked by the Dark Side. Many people, even some Scousers, will think that the bird is the symbol of the RS.

I've got a Liverpool Echo T-shirt commemorating our wonderful 1985 season. There's a blue Liver Bird (in this case used as a symbol of the newspaper) on the front of it and I've never given it a second thought it looks great.

It's time to end this red monopoly of the city of Liverpool's symbol. Let's start using the image on Everton merchandise. The RS will hate it!
Steve Higgins     Posted 18/05/2015 at 22:28:23

Martinez: Stay or Go?

[Editor's Note: This has been moved here from the Matchday thread]

The fans who think RM should go have set out their reasons on numerous occasions. reasons such as in their opinion, poor team selection, too slow style of play, strange formations, poor transfer market dealings, frequent contrary comments by the manager.

In other words they have set out the evidence and expressed an opinion.

The response in the main from those who want RM to stay is generally to make some sort of direct personal attack, or a more subtle negative generalisation about the poster who has criticised RM. In other words no football related reasons are used to support RMs tenure.

How about the supporters of RM actually setting out some reasons why they think hes a good manager? Such as what hes good at and why hes better than others at whatever it maybe.

This reminds me of the pro- and anti-Moyes argument except the pro Moyes fans used to set out an argument why they thought he should stay (pragmatism, got results, exceeded expectations in league position, good transfer dealings) whilst those who thought he should go often just used to say he was ginger, dour and loved by BK, in other words, no football related reasons.

So come on Martinez fans lets here your argument for him staying. I cant think of any, but presumably there must be some otherwise youd want him gone too.
Andy Walker     Posted 17/05/2015 at

The apathy and discontent that comes from punching above our weight

Tomorrow sees the 30th anniversary of our only European triumph and today marks the 49th anniversary of the great comeback against Sheffield Wednesday which secured the first post-war FA Cup triumph for the club; next year it will be the 50th anniversary.

As many may know, I enjoy reading and sometimes writing about Evertons glorious past, but am I the only one who is now getting a little tired of reading about what happened 10, 20, 30... years ago?

The local media and the club are constantly printing pieces relating to how well we have done in previous years, but the problem is that each year that passes sees the club move further away from that glorious past.

I want to read about new triumphs, new stars in the making, but most of all I want to see the return of ambition to the club, a team that wants to win, wants to push the boundaries, wants to entertain the supporters at every opportunity.

Im sick and tired of aimless football on the pitch and fed up being told how we are punching above our weight and top 8 is about as good as it gets. Obviously there is a lot of truth in the fact that points cost money and we dont have enough money to obtain too many points. Even in the mostly barren last couple of decades we had players who the fans could get excited about, Ferguson, Cahill, Arteta et al.

Who in the team at this moment in time carries the torch for the fans? Discontent will over time turn to apathy and apathy is about the most dangerous thing that can happen to a clubs supporters as it means they will no longer go out of their way to get down to Goodison, they will sit silently watching the action unfold when the team might give a little extra when given raucous support. Its about time the club and its players, created new memories, not necessarily trophy winning memories but memories that will re-ignite many supporters enthusiasm for the club and the game.
Patrick Murphy     Posted 14/05/2015 at

Birthday Poem

In recognition of a his birthday, here's a little poem (with a nod to the Fab Four):

It was 70 years ago today,
That a fiery redhead came out to play.
He always played the game with style,
And was guaranteed to raise a smile,
So let us hear it once again,
From way back in the Boys Pen,
Who's the greatest of them all?
Little curly Alan Ball!


Frank Mullin     Posted 12/05/2015 at 09:30:39

Cojones grandes

Spanish football is facing a permanent strike over the cash advantage gained by Real and Barca from negotiating their own TV rights.

According to a man-in-the-know on Al Jazeera these two clubs rake in 140m per season, compared to the next best Sevilla's total of $17-$18m. A ratio he said was 1:7.

According to him the PL ratio is 1:1.6 from bottom to top.

However, as I've moaned on these pages more than enough over the last ten years that the top 4 CL qualification stifles the competitive nature of the domestic league, only propping up the clubs vital to the PL brand in keeping them top, what are the chances of clubs growing a pair as they did in '92 and challenge the system?

Mike Ashley is roundly criticised for lack of ambition, but he knows like we all do no one is breaking the top 4 so why throw Spurs/Liverpool types of cash and bankrupt the club, whether or not FFP would allow it. All the chairman are businessmen, even BK, surely they know things need to change as all the other clubs are in the lower tier of a two tier league.

So what would it look like? If clubs demanded a redistribution of CL places to the champions, winners of domestic cups and (if fair-play can give a Europa league place, why not...) the best spend/points ratio.

Having the strongest English representation in Europe is a false argument. The same 4 teams are separate to English football and only represent themselves and when Europe is detrimental to the competitive nature of the domestic scene it is wrong. Simply wrong.

So what I'm asking is, is there an appetite from the chairman in the 'world's greatest league' to follow the Spanish example, to take stance and save football, or do we continue to wear a collective pair of damp trousers from pissing in the wind?
Nick Entwistle     Posted 07/05/2015 at 11:54:11

This Summer

This summer is massive. Whatever your opinion is of Kenwright, of Martinez or this current crop of players, we have come to a crossroads. We either need to refresh, rebuild and apply ourselves like a team and Club who want to go places, or if we dont we carry on making do, we find ourselves in a similar position to as we are now this time in 12 months.

This manager needs backing, he has the lure to attract big name players as he has done, for which he deserves praise but he also needs to realise some of the mistakes he has made too. Alcaraz, McGeady, Kone to name but three. Roberto has been too stubborn this season, he has refused to adapt or to change, to admit his faults (nobody would blame him for doing so). He has stuck with his favourites and stuck with tactics at times when we just needed something different.

His motivational speeches need to stop, Im all for being positive but that man takes the biscuit and it doesnt wash with our fans. In his first season he got away with it because everything we did as a Club seemed to work out, it turned to gold, but this season and in numerous transfer windows in recent years, weve been found out. Out with the dead wood and in with the new. Build an Everton we want to see, a vibrant force in this League and a team who CAN compete consistently. Will we ever get that under Kenwrights stewardship, I very much have my doubts.

Whilst many have gone before me in criticising Bill and this Board and the way things operate at EFC, I felt compelled to write something here, you only get 120 characters to have your say on Twitter so Ive had to get this down in an article albeit a lengthy one. I love the Club and I always will, and I am not just saying this because weve had a poor season, but the older I am getting and the more I am giving to Everton in terms of time, patience and money, I just dont feel like I am getting it back in return. It starts from the top to the bottom and a lot of it is leaving me disgruntled.

As family values of a Football Club go and in the community we could not be any better, but in terms of our commercial performance, our partnerships and retail arrangements, our financial transparency and openness to fans we are piss poor. We always seem streets behind everyone else, even as a brand, on social media and the way we market ourselves, I honestly feel like I could do a better job myself! I might sound overly critical here but a lot of these thoughts have been brimming for a while now. I havent written anything for a couple of months but I cant help but have a say on all of this, its sort of been building up.

Im worried that we will never kick on, Im worried that younger lads like me will never taste silverware again and I worry that unless we actually take a few chances in how we operate or apply ourselves we will always be left wondering what if. Lets live life on the edge a little, try something new or maybe take a gamble from time to time we are too set in our ways, we play everything safe and carry the plucky and simple tag in everything we do. Premier League football is such a big business these days, but it appears to me that our current owners are just happy to exist in this League because whilst we are in this League the money will continue to roll in. The Television money is ridiculous, but why are we always left selling players, loaning players, and making do with Goodison Park how it is?

These are just a handful of things you could ask of the Club, I know anyone reading this will probably have many more, and it all makes for one big frustrating situation we find ourselves in. Its a balancing act between staying loyal to the Club, continuing to support the players and the manager which I always will but also having lots of other annoyances in the back of your mind, questions that never get answered and theories about how and where the Club is going. Our fans battle it out amongst themselves because we cant rely on anyone to give us answers, the Club arent interested and the press certainly arent too.

Who can you trust? The answer is nobody. Make of it what you will, form your own opinions and make a stand for what you believe. We are all part of this Club supposedly one big family but theres certainly a few dodgy members of that family that will continue to be questioned and for the sake of all Evertonians sanity it is about time we had some answers.


Mark Finnegan     Posted 05/05/2015 at

The Everton Commercial Promotion Scandal

I'd like to know who is in charge of Commercial Promotions at Everton FC? In fact, what I'd really like to do is to apply for his job.

It sickens me to walk through my city and see the number of people walking around in red shirts as opposed to blue. Walk into any sports shop in and around Liverpool and try to buy an Everton Shirt, an Everton scarf, and Everton mug... in fact, try to buy an Everton anything you won't be able to!!!

The reason for this is because some genius at Everton thinks it's a good idea to only sell our merchandise from the two club shops. It's absolute madness personified; no wonder our revenue from outside sources is miles behind everyone else.

We have a Club Shop in Liverpool 1... Have you been there lately? .... Only one changing room says it all; then walk past the far bigger Liverpool Shop, with their large screens showing highlights of various games to their Norwegian and Irish daytrippers... but hell, it doesn't matter because some brain box at Everton was satisfied that the address was Everton 2, Liverpool 1 .... pathetic.

Walk through the ever-expanding Liverpool Airport Shop and it's the same story again: the place is filled with Liverpool shirts, books, scarves, calandars, mugs, hats etc .... Don't expect to see anything to do with Everton though.

After the last World Cup, Tim Howard was the talk of the USA, feted by the President himself. Could you imagine the Liverpool or Man Utd publicity machine getting hold of that one? Any thought of the Obamas being pictured in Everton shirts? Not a chance!!!

That's because there's an idiot at Everton who is doing a very poor job and losing my Club a fortune every week.

For heaven's sake... pull your finger out!!!


Steve Chesters     Posted 04/05/2015 at 09:46:48

Beaten by the Better Side

Aston Villa were brilliant and we were beaten by the better side. We do not have a divine right to win every game and the haul of points we have achieved in the past couple of months is better than virtually every other team!

Considering the injuries and poor start to the season, I find the talk of getting rid of Martinez dross in the extreme. We played extra fixtures with a very small squad which was soon depleted further by injuries we could not cope with adequately.

Money is the obstacle between us hitting the heights and treading water. We tactically hammered a very rich Man Utd side last week and this is our first loss for quite a while.

Martinez is not far away from having a decent side if he is allowed to keep our better players and add three new players which must include a real playmaker. But all this is down to the board who hold the purse strings.

Stop this hate campaign against Martinez and get behind him and the team. Aston Villa played really well and Benteke is currently the best striker in the league. Give credit to the team who outplayed us today.

Trevor Lynes     Posted 02/05/2015 at

Free love

Jagielka said he expects this to be a busy summer, transfer wise. Mr Martinez has said we should expect some new faces (I paraphrase). We all know we are not going to be splashing the cash like Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City etc, but there will be a lot of quality players available on free transfers*, and surely even we can afford free? Right?

For example, striker-wise, Luis Adriano or Danny Ings would both be good signings...

At centre-back, Ron Vlaar, Chiellini, Terry, [*coughs*] Wes Brown, all available, as is Rio Ferdinand (again yes I know, old and past it)

Any way.... Freebies abound. Heres a few, although I admit Dani Alvez is a bit of a stretch.

Carlos Zambrano (Eintracht)
Adama Traore (Barcelona)
Van Der Vaart (Hamburg)
Noble (West Ham)
Reid (?? might have resigned)
Pandev (Galatasary)
Abate (Milan)
Vlaar (Aston Villa)
Mbia (Seville)
Barton (looks he is a blue, and um....)
Maxi Pereira (Benfica)
Toulalan (Monaco)
Rabiot (PSG .... again yes I know...)
Gignac (Marseille.... well its out in December like but perhaps a cheeky bid)
Fabian Schar (Basel)
Ayew (not really news this one.... )
Konoplyanka (Dnipro)
Delph (Aston Villa)
Yarmolenko (spelling laaaad, Kiev- hes none too shabby I heard)
Did I mention Dani Alvez? Oh okay, erm...
Johnson (Liverpool)
Suso (Liverpool)
Arteta (Again!)
Uchida (Schalke)
Giovinco (Juventus)
Kabul (Spurs... although Daniel Levy would still squeeze a few mill out of us)
Milner (Man City)
De Jong (ex-Man City, now Milan)
Lichtsteiner (Juventus)
Drogba (Chelsea)
Klaas jan Huntelaar (I can just see the headlines now... 'Klaasy Toffees rout Liverpool')
Ivanovic (Chelsea)

These are just some of the talent on offer, and there is a few names in there I would be really happy if we got. Free love anyone?

Dominic Tonge     Posted 01/05/2015 at 14:02:30

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