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Everton can win the Premier League

by   |   15/07/2014  Comments (80)  jump

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

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

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

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

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

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Karl Masters
1 Posted 15/07/2014 at 22:46:26
You never know. Thirty years ago nobody, including us, saw the great 84-85 season coming.

Incidentally, looking back seasons ending in a 5 do seem to produce excitement. 74-75 we came very close to winning the League, only missing it by three points, and really should have done it, 84-85 say no more, 94-95 we won the FA Cup and 04-05 we rose from 17th the season before to take 4th and a tilt at the Champions League.

Here's hoping!

Patrick Murphy
2 Posted 15/07/2014 at 22:50:38
It won't be through lack of effort on the managers and players behalf but considering that Arsenal, Chelsea and United have added substantially to their squads and Man C and the Dark Side have to be considered as challengers for the title it is very very unlikely that we will overcome all of them this season.

We would have to fire on all cylinders throughout the campaign and not be hampered by long runs in any of the cup competitions or injuries to key players, not impossible but improbable. A top six place would seem the best we can hope for plus a real tilt at one of the cup competitions.

Colin Glassar
3 Posted 15/07/2014 at 22:57:39
Totally agree, Karl. The people who are writing us off, the same ones who confidently predicted a relegation fight last summer, need to get a grip. For those of us who have reached the top of the mountain and seen the other side know, that in football anything is possible.
Phil Walling
4 Posted 15/07/2014 at 23:12:07
In your dreams, Andy!
Ste Traverse
5 Posted 15/07/2014 at 23:20:28
Our first choice side can beat anyone in the Premier League; however, we haven't got the squad depth to mount a title challenge.

I don't see us even coming close to winning the Premier League as long as that twat has his vice-like grip on the club. We'll never have the money.

Rob Halligan
6 Posted 15/07/2014 at 23:24:08
As Jimmy Greaves used to say, "Its a funny old game"!
Mike Green
7 Posted 15/07/2014 at 23:41:03
Anythings possible Andy but Fred being top scorer in the World Cup – come on!

I think we can have a good crack at a cup but we simply don't have the depth of quality or firepower to challenge for the league. Plus every side will be on to us now, make it very difficult for us to break them down... so things, along with a European competition to boot, are about to get that little bit harder.

Kevin Tully
8 Posted 16/07/2014 at 00:05:57
Something Lukaku said last season struck a chord with me. When the possibility of winning the League was pointed out to Jagielka, he apparently pissed himself laughing.

Martinez has put up a blank canvas at Finch Farm for this very reason, who has the desire to go on and win something?

I think we need to see the back of a few more of the old guard. They are too scarred and scared by the past to do themselves justice. Good players, but some are seriously lacking self- belief. It's so apparent when we take the lead against a Chelsea or Man Utd away from home, you can smell their fear.

Raymond Fox
9 Posted 16/07/2014 at 00:01:59
Give over, Andy, are you after winning the most barmy prediction of the year prize?

I'll tell you what: I'll run backwards, naked from Lands End to John O'Groats if it happens.
Love it to come to pass, it would be fantastic, but I'm afraid you're in 'the realms of fantasy'.

Graham Mockford
10 Posted 16/07/2014 at 00:51:15

22 Premier League winners:

Man Utd 13
Chelsea 3
Arsenal 3
Man City 2
Blackburn Rvrs 1

Notice the common denominator? All those sides were unencumbered by financial constraints and could assemble high-quality squads.

We have as much chance of winning it as me pulling Miss World. You have to take a shot though.

Derek Thomas
11 Posted 16/07/2014 at 01:53:58
'Can' is not the same as 'might'... is not the same as 'should'... is not the same as 'could' – and don't even start me on 'will'.

There aren't enough planets in the Solar System to give the sort of alignment of all the factors required to make this come true. Yes, in some section of the Multiverse, it can, will and does happen; but, as it is, we're short of enough alignment to get 4th.

Julian Wait
12 Posted 16/07/2014 at 02:03:18
Karl #1, "You never know. Thirty years ago nobody, including us, saw the great 84-85 season coming".

Forgive me for boasting but I have placed one bet in my life, outside of the Grand National. After the 1984 FA Cup Win, I placed a ٣ bet on Everton to win the title in 84-85, before a ball was kicked (I can't recall but I think it was even before the Charity Shield match). I think the odds were 6/1, and I used the 㿏 winnings to travel to Rotterdam for the CWC final (I as student at the time).

Maybe I should place a bet again; kickstarter fundraiser anyone? :-)

David Ellis
13 Posted 16/07/2014 at 02:08:27
Andy – of course we can win the league... it's just very very unlikely.
Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 16/07/2014 at 02:12:32
Andy, that's the stuff that dreams are made of.
Darryl Ritchie
15 Posted 16/07/2014 at 02:28:53
There's the "glass half-full" mob; and there's the "glass half-empty" bunch.

And then there's Andy. One of the glass overflowing crowd. Admittedly, not a very large crowd. Optimism is, I think, a good thing, but, by being overly optimistic, you are setting goals for the club that are unreachable in our present situation.

I'm sure that Roberto and company will give it a go though. It should be fun to watch. Just temper your enthusiasm with a dash of reality.

James Stewart
16 Posted 16/07/2014 at 03:20:06
@8 — I think you are spot on with that comment. Give me Stones over Jagielka every time.
Darren Hind
17 Posted 16/07/2014 at 05:57:42
Good post

I 'm sure you are aware of the odds on this happening Andy, but, if we don't believe it's POSSIBLE, what would be the point?

As Matt Traynor pointed out yesterday, we need a couple of teams to be below par just to have a crack at top four. You're hoping for half a dozen... but it can happen. How many teams did we see underperform in the World Cup?

While others are talking up the opposition, I'm hanging my hopes on the belief that the Redshite's poorer players will be exposed without Suarez to paper over the cracks and that Van Gaal will not be able to sufficiently reverse Man Utd's slide. I am convinced we will finish above those two no matter how much they spend.

I know you don't believe we will win the title, Andy, but the fact that we have supporters who believe we can, restores a lot of my faith in the game.

Anthony Hughes
18 Posted 16/07/2014 at 07:53:48
Nice to dream but, to even get involved in the battle for 4th place, we need to seriously strengthen the squad with quality and quantity. We ran out of steam last season due to our squad size and, with the Europa League coming up, we looking at a whole load more games.
Paul Andrews
19 Posted 16/07/2014 at 09:30:11
Steady on, lads. You are getting a little carried away suggesting we can win the league.

What is the old saying... "Build him up so you can knock him down"?

Colin Glassar
20 Posted 16/07/2014 at 09:34:50
We have Gibson, Kone, Traore, Oviedo, Pienaar, Alcaraz and Hibbert all coming back from injury.
Jim Lloyd
21 Posted 16/07/2014 at 09:17:41
It's possible but I don't think it's likely. We'll have to wait to see who comes in to strengthen the squad, as things then might change considerably. As it is now, with the squad we have, I think we will do well to finish in the top six.

Yes, it's true that Spurs have spent loads of money and not seen a good return for it... yet. Man Utd aren't guaranteed to become the force again that they have been since the start of the Premier League but they will be spending possibly more than 𧴜 million to begin to put things right under their new manager.

I don't think it's a matter of talking up the opposition. The biggest factor in winning the league is, in my view, down to two major factors. One, the quality of a club's squad; and two, how the manager motivates and uses the players.

We have a manager who is a brilliant motivator and, most of the time, has them playing to tactics to get the best out of our players and get results and I wouldn't change him for anyone.

Kevin Tully yesterday posted about a reality check and came in for some criticism but I think he was generally right, Some of our players would not get into any of the top four or five teams. That doesn't mean they are poor players, it means that those clubs have, or will buy, better players and more of them.

If we get, when we get, our additions to the squad, I think we will at least do as well as last year in our football but I don't see a great chance of us getting higher than 6th all the same. There is a chance and it happens occasionally but, as Graham in 10 has pointed out, the odds of anyone who hasn't spent megamoney winning the league, are remote.

So it's possible but remote. It seems to have become a new mantra but it has always been the case, that the whole is greater than the parts and I think we proved it last season. I think we will be better than last season but the likelihood is... so will the competition.

My hopes for next season are to see us attract more good young players wanting to play for our club, to have good cup runs and to challenge for the top four places. More than anything, I want to see us winning a trophy and I think we will have more chance of a cup final victory than than winning the league.

Anthony Hughes
22 Posted 16/07/2014 at 09:57:49
We do have those players to come back Colin, but Traore isn't our player, Hibbo and Alcaraz hardly inspire, Pienaar has been on a downward spiral for a while now, the jury's out on Kone, who knows how long Gibson will be fit for... so that leaves Oviedo as the only real quality out of that bunch.
Colin Glassar
23 Posted 16/07/2014 at 10:12:17
It was tongue-in-cheek, Anthony... but at the same time they are bodies who can come on and do a job as they are all good pros. With the likes of Duffy and some of the younger lads pushing to break into the first team, competition for places should be stronger than last season. Plus, aren't we supposed to be buying 4 new players and a couple more loaners?
Raymond Fox
24 Posted 16/07/2014 at 09:49:07
Our odds to win the prem average 125/1, the 1st 6 places will in the bookies eyes be the usual big spending clubs. They think in 8th position will be Southampton @500/1,
9th Newcastle @ 1000/1 and then its 2000/1 and bigger the rest.

Really we should be proud of what we achieve in the league each year on the pittance that is spent on players, it's nothing short of amazing! The clubs that regularly finish below us must wonder how the hell we do it, we have not a god-given right to finish 7th even, in this league... never mind win it.

Okay, we are not winning any trophies, which would be great, but we are very competitive each year, much more competitive than our spending warrants.

Let's enjoy the ride.

Trevor Lynes
25 Posted 16/07/2014 at 10:57:46
Ludicrous! Talk is of EFC only having about 㿀 million for our transfer budget despite finishing 5th, being the 20th most valuable club in the world, having regular gates of 35,000 plus and having one of the cheapest and smallest squads in the Premier League.

I despair as I watch not only our supposed top 4 competitors but clubs like Newcastle and West Ham spending big money whilst we Â’fiddle as Rome burnsÂ’.

This article is as ridiculous and unrealistic as any I have read.

Anthony Hughes
26 Posted 16/07/2014 at 11:00:53
Apologies Colin for not spotting the tongue-in-cheek. Hopefully the extra bodies we bring in will be of sufficient quality to keep us in touch with the leading teams. It would be a shame after such a good season not to try and push on.
Ernie Baywood
27 Posted 16/07/2014 at 11:12:11
I didn't think we'd challenge for 4th last year (I also didn't think we'd drop right away as some suggested).

History tells us that the winners this year will likely have been thereabouts last year. So, yes we're a pretty long shot.

But would you say we can get off to a good start with these tough fixtures in the first two or so months? I think we can and, if we do, people will start talking about us as challengers.

Dan Nulty
28 Posted 16/07/2014 at 11:38:17
I love the enthusiasm, Andy. A few decent signings and I might start to believe. I honestly look at the Premier League and can't believe how poor the standard is; there is certainly no way we will finish outside the top 7 and I can't see anyone from below that getting anywhere near. Three poor sides coming up; Swansea, Villa and West Brom will definitely struggle also.

So the question is: How will we compare to the other 6 clubs at the top? There is no reason in my view we can't finish above Man Utd, Spurs and Liverpool this year. I think, unless Man Utd sign a few more players, they still aren't good enough to beat us. Liverpool will miss Suarez and I can't see them finishing above us this year. Spurs are the ones I would fear most; if Pochewhatsit can get them working as hard as the Saints did, then they have the extra quality the Saints didn't that could finally see them trouble the top 3. I can't see Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal losing too many games given the signings they have made and the quality they already have.

Bring it on though, I say.

Daniel A Johnson
29 Posted 16/07/2014 at 12:27:57
We would need:

1) To remain injury free all season – not very likely;

2) Bring our "A" game to every match – we have too many off matches, eg, Southampton away;

3) Have a large slice of luck – we are Everton!

The team with the best squad will always win the league, which is why Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City will inherit the top 3. Then you have Man Utd, Liverpool and Spurs chasing 4th.

So our chances of top 4 are slim at best. Our failure to capitalise on the demise of Man Utd, Spurs sacking AVB and Arsenal's mid-season collapse blew our last big chance.

Bill Griffiths
30 Posted 16/07/2014 at 13:27:10
I certainly don't think we can win the title and I think in all probability we may finish a couple of places lower this season. If we do, I hope the fans don't start getting on Roberto's back. He's come here with a long term plan and probably has overachieved in this his first year.

Given our European involvement, I think it likely we may struggle to reach last season's position, though it's not impossible. However, going forward, I certainly believe Roberto can build a team to at least qualify for the Champions League and even win the title.

Karl Masters
31 Posted 16/07/2014 at 13:46:37
Thirty years ago we went 7th to 1st in one season and that's a feat Liverpool almost managed last season while Man Utd did the reverse.

So 5th to 1st is not completely outrageous. Of course it's not likely, but in football you never do know for sure.

Matthew Roberts
32 Posted 16/07/2014 at 13:48:48
I get what you’re saying, Andy, but I think, when we put our footballing heads on, this is mostly just a dream; however, Liverpool last year were predicting themselves outside the top 4 and mounted a challenge and I’m not sure we are so far behind them if we get ourselves a decent striker.

Not sure where all this negativity is coming from on other articles; every year, the bookies put us in for 7th and technically, with our financial constraints, we should be there or even lower, but every year we seem to be 5th or 6th.

We have that something money can’t buy — The Everton way! Let’s remember — we are the School of Science! — and I hear we re-opened it last year!

Paul Ferry
33 Posted 16/07/2014 at 15:19:03
You gotta love the sheer range of diversity on ToffeeWeb. It’s what makes it what is is -– oh, and by the way, on that score, welcome back Phil Walling who I thought had said that he had left these shores for good but nice to see him bouncing back.

This article is called ’Everton can win the Premier League’. The one before this is called ’Time for a Reality Check!’

It will be interesting to compare the comments of various posters on both threads: how will those folks slating Kev Tully for his dire negativity handle these bright clouds?

For what it’s worth, and as much as I have always respected and listened carefully to what Andy has to say, I think that ’reality check’ (as Kev Tully intended it, as taking stock of where we are now and where we ought to be by September-2) is nearer the mark.

Only 31 days to go and counting.

Jay Harris
34 Posted 16/07/2014 at 16:15:16

I think your post lost all credibility when you said you backed Fred to be the leading scorer at the World Cup.

I will go on record as saying we will never win the Premier League as long as Kenwright and his cronies are in charge.

Pre-season has already started and we are minus Lukaku and Deulofeu and have signed exactly who? Now I know the window is open until 2 September but, the longer we leave new additions, the more difficult it will be to get a flying start which is what we need if we are to challenge for the top 4.

There is no point holding on to what we did in 84-85 because times were totally different. We now have six money laden teams to compete with so my only question is: "Where's the money, Bill?"

Anthony Hughes
35 Posted 16/07/2014 at 16:30:43
It's nice that Roberto has come here with a long term plan but realistically if we want trophies and Champions League places on a regular basis then his plan is going to have to involve financial investment of at least 㿊 million each and every season to assist his long term scheme.
Dan Nulty
36 Posted 16/07/2014 at 16:39:13
Anthony, that 㿊 million is there with the extra TV money, be interesting to see if it is invested. Bill has a chance to silence his doubters once and for all now... hope he takes it!
Chris James
37 Posted 16/07/2014 at 16:47:48
I think we need to buy a decent striker before we can feel sure of winning our first match, never mind taking the league! ;-)
Gavin Ramejkis
38 Posted 16/07/2014 at 17:23:34
Dan #36, more likely to see it vanish into "other operating costs" into BVI shaped blackhole to appease his paymasters
Paul Ferry
39 Posted 16/07/2014 at 17:19:22
An utterly invalid comparison this one (as much as I loved living through and still cherish that magical season): Karl Masters
- 31 - "Thirty years ago we went 7th to 1st in one season and that’s a feat Liverpool almost managed last season while Man Utd did the reverse.So 5th to 1st is not completely outrageous. Of course it’s not likely, but in football you never do know for sure."

Utterly invalid! Why? Erm, it’s a very different world now. Back in halcyon days ’84 we did not have Sky & the Premier League and clubs with funds to waste massively higher than say the team who finished 5th last season.

It was a more level playing field in the days when Kev Tully donned his new romantic garb and Ipswich Town could finish 2nd in the league. The bridge from 5th to 1st was, ugh, bridgeable in ’84 but thirty years later is is ugh a bridge too far.

Dan Parker
40 Posted 16/07/2014 at 18:22:31
That’s the heart speaking before the head. You need a 30-goal-a-season striker to win the Premier League.
Patrick Murphy
41 Posted 16/07/2014 at 18:22:04

Is BVI the synonym for Bill's Various Interests? :)

James Hughes
42 Posted 16/07/2014 at 18:25:25
Paul F, yes it was a more level playing field in the 70s & 80s and they were good times (despite some of the football).

These days, as each season starts I can’t help myself and think ’Yes, this year is our year’; I will live in hope.

I know it will probably not happen.

Still struggling with the fact that Man Utd will get 㿷M per season just for a kit deal, that being almost as much as our annual revenue – makes a playing field into mission impossible (probably).

Raymond Fox
43 Posted 16/07/2014 at 18:57:46
I suppose there never was or ever will be a perfect level playing field in league football

Its fair to say we win our league every year if you put the 6 big spenders in their own mini league.
We could always club in and buy a trophy to present to ourselves when we finish 'the best of the rest' each year!

Ok, perhaps not.

Danny Kewley
44 Posted 16/07/2014 at 19:14:40
Andy totally agree mate. All this bollocks every year of we might just finish in the top 8 has got to stop.
We really can finish as winners if not at least in the top 4.
Under Bobby and with fingers crossed we get a couple of good signings we can do it______ Why?
Because we are Everton and we play good football.
Kunal Desai
45 Posted 16/07/2014 at 19:43:00
Surely we should be able to walk before we can run right? So if we cannot walk (finish top 4) how on earth can we run???
Danny Kewley
46 Posted 16/07/2014 at 19:53:35
Kunai, you make a sound point, mate, but let’s go on a run, buddy, and fuck walking.
Mike Allison
47 Posted 16/07/2014 at 20:20:59
They can still only put 11 on the field though right Paul?

And we can put 11 out as well.

They haven’t changed that...yet.

It’s a little bit like Pascal’s wager. You might as well believe, because you lose nothing by doing so. Failing to believe brings its own misery.

Let’s just believe anyway.

Patrick Murphy
48 Posted 16/07/2014 at 20:30:09
Whilst we all realise the pitfalls of the suggestion that our team will become the Champions at the end of the 2014-15 campaign, we all know of at least one club whose fans, despite the evidence to the contrary go into every season with the firm belief that they will see their team win the League, bravado maybe, blind loyalty perhaps self-delusion almost certainly but that shouldn't mean that we as Evertonians can't dream about such things, at least until the first round of PL fixtures have taken place.
Andy Crooks
49 Posted 16/07/2014 at 20:01:51
Over the many years I have posted on ToffeeWeb my name has been a byword for negativity, glass totally empty curmudgeonlyness. It is so refreshing to suddenly be seen as optimistic. The way I see it is if you can't have belief in July then it's never going to happen.

Under the later Moyes era I'd have been right with Kevin Tully but, new era new optimism.

Mike Childs
50 Posted 16/07/2014 at 20:35:13
As long as we can get a decent striker there isn’t any reason in my mind why we can’t win the PL. The ReDshites are buying quantity not quality, The Gooners are overloading their midfield, United are getting turned down by those who want to plat CL and City it seems to me are standing still.

We have a young gifted manager who people want to play for and we have a solid starting XI if we sign the right striker. Who in the world would have thought RS was a Creasehead slip away from winning it all last year?

Yes it’s a big dream but it’s not an impossbility

Mike Childs
51 Posted 16/07/2014 at 20:57:45
An FWI: I have been watching highlights of James Rodriguez this afternoon ( EST zone) my only regret is that I don’t have a billion dollars to buy him for Everton and pay his wages. Easily the best all around player in the world. Messi and Rinaldo may score more goals but th skid does it all including playing defense.
Ian Bennett
52 Posted 16/07/2014 at 21:22:23
The phrase not a snow balls springs to mind.

However, it is interesting looking around to see the under dogs that have won. AZ, Twente, Lille, Atletico, Montpellier, Wolfsburg and Boavista have all won their leagues, displacing the giants before them. C'mon you Blue boys.

John Crawley
53 Posted 16/07/2014 at 21:27:45
Karl "Thirty years ago nobody, including us, saw the great 84-85 season coming." Find that a very strange comment - you must of been a real pessimist back then. We had just come off a great run in the last half of the season and won the FA Cup. Then we went to the Charity Shield and Bracewell fitted in along side Peter Reid like they had played together for years. We outplayed Liverpool (Champions) to secure victory. I didn't know a single blue mate of mine who didn't think we had a fantastic chance of winning the league!

We aren't the same at the minute, we'll have to see what signings we make and how we gel together. When we're good enough to win the league you'll know deep down in your gut.

Darren Hind
54 Posted 16/07/2014 at 21:43:04
I think Karl was talking about the begining of 84 John. You're right too of course, we had been fantastic in the second half of 83/84 season, but the transformation had been staggering. Could anyone have really seen our period of success coming before inchy 's goal kept us in the cup at Oxford?

Remember Goodison Rd had been awash with Kendal out leaflets the season before.

James Marshall
55 Posted 16/07/2014 at 21:48:37
I haven't (F)read the thread, but I enjoyed the OP a lot. Nice one Andy.

The one thing that springs to mind is that although on some levels I agree, money isn't everything, what it does buy you is depth to your squad - something we're sorely lacking. Also, we don't even have Fred up front, we have...errr...who do we have? Kone? Naismith? Much like Brazil we lack depth, in fact much like Brazil we lack a goal scoring first 11, so there are parallels to be drawn for certain.

Our first 11 at time of writing is crying out for a striker (much like Brazil), and until we address that very pertinent point, we won't be winning any league title any time soon as far as I see it.

Also, since we're drawing on the World Cupas our point of reference, can I just say that if Jagielka plays anything like he did for England, we might be in the market for a decent centre-half as well. Distin won't go on forever and Stones is (although clearly talented) not ready to play every game for a full season.

I admire your optimism, Andy, but I just don't see it happening. Even more so given that Arsenal, Chelsea, the RS, City, and Utd (complete with a very smart new manager) have all strengthened greatly already. What have we got compared with last season? Well we're light a striker, a tricky young winger down and with more games to play in Europe, I for one sadly don't see us getting into the Champions League, let alone winning the title.

Patrick Murphy
56 Posted 16/07/2014 at 22:09:12
Karl is correct it wasn't until the end of October 1984 when Evertonians believed they had a team capable of winning the title and even then following Grimsby's win in the League Cup and a couple of dodgy results in the league during December and the added loss of Adrian Heath, the fans thought that we might just not have what it took to win the thing but an unbeaten run in all competitions that lasted from Christmas to the Saturday before the ECWC final proved the doubters wrong and it was only victory at Leicester, Southampton and particularly at WHL in early April that Evertonians were sure that Everton would become Champions in 1985.
John Crawley
57 Posted 16/07/2014 at 22:24:57
Darren, Yes beginning of 84 I would agree. Patrick you must of been a pessimist back then because after the Charity Shield performance I was convinced we were going to win the league!
Patrick Murphy
58 Posted 16/07/2014 at 22:40:50
John you must have been the supreme optimist back then as well - I think we were all quietly confident but given the decade or so of near misses and the all-conquering team from across the way it served us well not to be too optimistic just in case. We were always worried that the other lot would somehow steal our thunder and of course look what happened the following season when we had a world-class striker in the team only to lose our world class goalkeeper. Very enjoyable times nonetheless and I was lucky to see most of the games away from Goodison too.

Rob Halligan
59 Posted 16/07/2014 at 23:03:57
Back in the '70s & '80s, money was not a major factor either, although it helped. The likes of Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal were no major threat, and as for Man City, what a joke they were!!
One of our best moves was promoting Colin Harvey to first team coach. His promotion was a major factor in helping the club to the success we had.
David Hayes
60 Posted 16/07/2014 at 23:14:05
Sit back and enjoy the ride, Last season gave us some awesome displays despite the logical preconceptions, when it clicked we where superb and got the deserved results. Still refusing to lie down when going behind and getting results.

When it was dire and disjointed, we still got some points and wins, that's the difference that a few quality moments from quality players gives you.

Nothing has changed. We all doubted this time last year and how wonderful it was for the first time in my long memory to watch our beloved team without fear and dread and just admiring the skill and pace. It's going to get even better. Sit back and enjoy the ride...

Mike Gwyer
61 Posted 17/07/2014 at 00:22:16

Another season and really I can't wait. For me though winning the EPL is one big fucking ask.

I'm looking no further than the men in black, they have a far bigger say these days making a lot of decisions that just beggar fucking belief. Then we have the Sky 4, you know the teams Sky like to promote, the same teams almost every day from transfers to what they eat and who their players are shagging - unfortunately, Everton are not one of these teams. Will we get the same "decisions" from the men in black as the rs, United or the Arse? Not a fucking hope. Rest assured, Everton will see many valuable points pissed away on numerous dubious decisions!!!!! So Andy, that one big ask of winning the EPL just gets a lot harder.

But you know what, RM has put Everton where we are and rest assured we will be heard - 3000 blues at every away game and boy you just know that the Sky 4 teams hate playing at Goodison. Sky, BT & their rs pundits can keep their love-in but I'm sure they know that Everton will put a right fucking hole in the Sky premier league table. Game on!!!!

Karl Masters
62 Posted 17/07/2014 at 01:25:35
Paul Ferry, John Crawley etc. of course we were optimistic in 1984, but it wasn't till we won at Anfield and hammered Manure 5-0 in late October that any of us really thought we might win the League.

That is borne out by their crowds we had in early games at Goodison and after getting done 4-1 by Spurs at Goodison on the opening day and then losing to WBA many Evertonians were saying the FA Cup win was irrelevant and a relegation struggle could be on the cards!

Of course, the world and football have changed a lot since then, but Everton didnt really have much money then either if truth be told. In the early eighties, much as today it was Man Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs and ManCity throwing money around to buy players. Then, as now, we sold to buy. 1983, Steven and Harper in, McMahon and Borrows out. Do you remember how the Club could only just scrape together enough to buy Peter Reid for 㿨k from Bolton?

Compared to those days we are rolling in it! We only made one signing in the Summer of 84, Bracewell , paid for by the Cup run. Van den Hauwe arrived in September for 㿼k and again we had to scrape around for that.

Then, as now, it took the Manager moulding a team based on the basics of sound tactics, great team spirit and self belief to be successful. Money never will be everything. Peter Reid said at the te that 90 % of football is about what goes on inside your head. So true and although the odds are against us financially these days, we have a brilliant motivator in charge of the team and who knows what he might achieve. If we can't dream or have some sort of belief in July before a ball has even been kicked perhaps we should all give up!

Geoffrey Caveney
63 Posted 17/07/2014 at 01:36:56
From an American perspective, it is obscene the extent of the imbalance between the 6 billionaires' teams and the rest of the league. Those 6 are all in the top 13 of Forbes' most valuable football clubs, and we and the rest are nowhere near them. If an American sports league had only 3 teams win titles over a 16-year period like Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea from 1995-96 to 2010-11, the public would not tolerate it, the league would have to break the teams up to restore balance.

In this context Everton has not done badly. I believe we are the only club outside the richest 6 that has won an FA Cup or league title in the Premier era and is still in the Premier League. Compare us to Spurs, who are one of the rich 6 and still haven't won either during that time! The RS with all their money have only won 2 FA Cups and no titles in that time.

I wonder when some billionaire will realize Everton would be an excellent investment...

Derek Thomas
64 Posted 17/07/2014 at 02:48:24

It was The School of Science that re-opened last year at Finch Farm... not Hogwarts. And itÂ’s the Premier League, not Quidditch... but if Dumbledor can find some cash, maybe Prof Roberto, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts master can cast his spell... who knows?

David Ellis
65 Posted 17/07/2014 at 03:43:39
John Crawley - 53 - too right. After the Charity Shield (and also calendar year 1984 having the same points as Liverpool), I thought we could challenge strongly for the title – particularly with the arrival of Bracewell...

But in January '84 we thought we would do well to survive. A total transformation in a matter of weeks in early 1984.

Karl Masters
66 Posted 17/07/2014 at 06:07:46
A transformation brought about by a change of attitude amongst the players and a lack of fear of other teams, David.

Can you see a parallel with now in that respect? Last season a lot of the fear went out of our game.

There is still a way to go but had we taken maximum points from our encounters with City and Liverpool last season its a fact that we would have won the league. So really out season came down to four matches, two of which we could have won at Goodison and you can see its not as far away as you might think.

How we do in games against the other teams in the top six will determine out season. Self belief will be everything, not how much money has been spent.

Darren Hind
67 Posted 17/07/2014 at 06:44:17
I can remember Reidy tussling for the ball with first 1, then 2, then a 3rd Liverpool player just in front of the dug-out at Anfield. He managed to foul all three of them. Mordor exploded with rage. The players were screaming, Their bench was howling in indignation. The kop was a mass of screaming outrage, They were used to seeing "soft" Everton role over. They were European Champs FFS... you can't dare do that!

Reidy swaggered away eyeballing everything in Red he didn't have to say a word, his entire demeanor sneered "Fuck you, Fuck you and Fuck him too."

We'd had the teams before, now we had the attitude.

Paul Andrews
68 Posted 17/07/2014 at 07:14:11
Hairs on the back of the neck stuff there Darren.

That was the start of the "we are Everton" mentality of the '80s.
It doesn't guarantee trophies, but without that spirit it guarantees you won't win trophies.

Phil Walling
69 Posted 17/07/2014 at 07:19:48
Only twenty teams in the Prem and the bookies have us at 125/1!

That's how likely it is!

Jim Potter
70 Posted 17/07/2014 at 06:57:27
If last season did not instill a sense of optimism in you - then you are bereft of the stuff.

BobbyÂ’s Â’visionÂ’ (to me) is all about how to do the impossible on a limited budget. ItÂ’s about breaking down the establishment and the mental barriers that constrain us as being Â’also ransÂ’. Well, he started it all off pretty damn well last year - Introducing a new exciting way of playing coupled with a very positive mind set - resulting in a record points haul for us in the PL.

That was achieved in a season - and with a squad he had inherited from a ginger surrender monkey who loved to doff his cap to the gentry.

Revolutions donÂ’t happen overnight.

Are the odds massively against us? Yes. Are the chances of major trophies remote? Yes. Should we therefore lay down and let the billionaires walk all over us? Bollocks to that.

The transfer window is open for some time yet. Do we want the players in yesterday - of course - but we have constraints that others do not. IÂ’m sure that come the end of that window we will be in a healthier position to meet the demands of the season.

Andy - you keep on believing and being positive mate.

Some of you need to adopt BobbyÂ’s mantra of Â’no fearÂ’; grow a pair; laugh in the face of Kopshites; enjoy the sunshine; think positive thoughts and smile occasionally.

New beginnings, new mindset.

The sky is the limit. And the sky is BLUE and WHITE.

Fuck Â’em all - weÂ’re Everton and weÂ’re going places! COYB!

John Crawley
71 Posted 17/07/2014 at 08:09:35
Patrick – yes always been on the optimistic side! Darren great description of Peter Reid at Anfield, that's the attitude you need if you're going to win the league. No doubt about it in terms of belief Andy Gray and Reid played a big part.

Another crucial factor was we had shown we could compete with Liverpool both in the derby at Goodison in 84 and then the Charity Shield. I think those games gave us a lot of belief. Football can change quickly, a few signings can make all the difference.

We will have to wait and see what happens in the transfer market but right now I haven't got that same feeling I had in summer of '84 when I knew we were going to win it!

Dan Nulty
72 Posted 17/07/2014 at 12:58:32
I had a dream last night we signed the lead singer of Keane for 㿀 million from the the scum at Old Trafford as a striker. Hoping it was prophetic that we will be spending a large figure on a striker and not that we will be signing Will Keane from them!

I'm thinking so much about who we are going to sign that I'm even dreaming about it now. Get a move on Bobby!!!

Simon George
73 Posted 17/07/2014 at 16:01:40
As much as I love the optimism... you can't be serious?

I think we took a few people by surprise last year, just the same as Liverpool sneaked up on the pack and almost won it by no one seeing them coming.

I think this year we'll struggle to maintain the form of last year unless we do something very special in the transfer window; very much as we did last year in the last few minutes.

However, it doesn't bode too well so far as we haven't made much strides to improve the squad so far and there has been a lot of talk using youth next year; you cant help but read into that as: we don't have much money and don't expect too many incoming players.

Paul Livesey
74 Posted 19/07/2014 at 08:48:31
Damn right they can. it just needs a change of mindset with fans and players. I believe that this season we are going for the league. We may not end up with it, but sure as anything that will be the message from the boss at Finch Farm. 28 days and counting.
Jimmy Hill
75 Posted 20/07/2014 at 05:36:35
Atletico Madrid?
MIke McLean
77 Posted 26/07/2014 at 10:49:05
"Everton can win The Premier League."

No, we canÂ’t.

However, if they can produce entertaining football and have an "up and at Â’em" approach, thatÂ’ll be fine.

No-one benefits from delusions of grandeur, least of all Bobby who will come in for the chorus of criticism when said delusions are proved to be such.

Mark Tanton
78 Posted 26/07/2014 at 11:11:15
One thing about the top four – they don't like it up 'em.
Eric Holland
79 Posted 26/07/2014 at 11:21:26
@ Jimmy 75

Too right, mate.

If you had said last year the Spanish league would have been won by any other team than Barca or RM you would have been taken away by the men in white coats...

Kev Johnson
80 Posted 26/07/2014 at 11:20:32
Raymond (9) - I have to admit I'm torn. I'd love us to win the league, of course I would. But 600 miles of looking at your arse would be 600 miles too many.

Talking of which (well, sort of), who does, Mark (78), who does? On second thoughts, don't answer that.

Winning the league aside, I do agree with Andy's original comment that there is no one for us to fear. On our day we can beat anyone. It's all about consistency. Oh, and getting lucky when we need it. A good knack to have that. If there's a player out there called Nick Knack, we should defo snap him up


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