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Talking Points

August 2015 Archive   |   Submit a topic

Why selling John Stones could be a positive move

Let me just preface this article by saying the decision to rebutt Chelsea's approach was the right one. It would have been a depressing turn of events to allow Chelsea's arrogant assumption they could bully us into getting what they wanted to play out.

However, I still believe at some time the ambitions of the player will mean a move becomes likely and the club's with money will keep on knocking. So maybe rather than being passive and waiting for that day to arrive we should now be proactively planning for it and doing it on our own terms.

This might be during the next window or at the end of the season, but whenever it is we need a plan. And maybe we need to think out of the box a little and maybe do something that might excite fans and energise the club.

So here's a little scenario I imagined: Let us say we go to Manchester United with a proposal, especially if they consider to struggle.

We value John Stones at 45m. We will take Wayne Rooney at 10m. We will also allocate a further 15m to settle his existing contract which allows us to give him a 100k pw four year deal. That leaves us 15m to buy a top quality replacement centre half.

I believe taking Rooney at an age he is still In his prime would be a huge shot in the arm for the club, gives us some creativity we are missing and I suspect if the personal finances work would have a very motivated player.

Now we will all have views on how best to invest 45m but my main point is that we must have a plan that does things on our terms. Don't let us be in the same position we have been this transfer window.


Graham Mockford     Posted 31/08/2015 at 16:45:50

No Mellowing for Mr Yellow

So, Gareth Barry has achieved the dubious record of being the Premier League player with most yellow cards, following his latest booking at Tottenham yesterday.

This got me to thinking that Barry shows no sign on mellowing, of perhaps using his experience to maybe be a bit less aggressive in breaking up play, instead of of "taking one for the team" which he's had to do rather a lot of in his anchor position. Hence the relentless totting up of cautions.

There can be no doubt that Gareth is a very accomplished player, and as good as anyone at reading the game and nullifying threats, but at 34, is it realistic to expect him to do this every game?

I cannot see that Barry will be phased out of Premier League games as Roberto thinks he is still too important to the defensive set-up, but maybe he should be rested for cup games and Besic or Cleverley given a run out?

Returning to my original point, is too much being asked of Gareth Barry at this stage of his career? The yellow card count would suggest that his former clubs also used him as a wrecking ball, when in fact he clearly has more to his game?
Murdo Laing     Posted 30/08/2015 at 10:14:27

Lead in my Pencil

I approached this season lacking my usual cocky "This is the year we will finish 4th, lads" bravado. And certainly the first few games in the Premier League of "The Good" (Southampton), "The Bad" (Watford) and "The Ugly" (well, okay... Manchester City wasn't ugly but it was an example of where we sit in the Premier League pecking order) meant this season seemed to be going the same way as last, with the occasional short burst of fizz but ultimately flattering to deceive and ending in disappointment (a feeling 'er indoors is all too familiar with).

What a difference a brilliant night out in Barnsley makes (there's a sentence that I never thought I would write). Yes, the first half was abysmally abysmal and my half-time mood was moribund. But what a second 75 minutes! I was literally drooling over what I was witnessing. Seriously, there were pools of slobber collecting on my keypad. (Not an uncommon occurrence, it must be said.)

The five goals (That's FIVE goals) were just reward for Roberto's gung-ho formation after the break. And reflecting on the evening, I think that Everton might just have the most potent "fast break" counter attacking team in the League.

What a forward line, in no particular order: Mirallas, Deulofeu, Lukaku, Barkley and AN Other (Naismith on the occasion with a really well taken header). Add to that quintet Coleman and Oviedo marauding down the wings as well; if that doesn't place lead in your pencil, I don't know what will.

Now I know that it was only lovely little Barnsley we beat, and our defence was less convincing than my attempt to sneak into Emmanuelle as a spotty 15-year-old, but I really hope that Robbie continues in this up-and-at-'em "you score three then we'll score four" style. We may not win more games but, boy, will it be exciting to watch.

If only we could have signed Yarmolenko as the AN Other, I think I would literally explode with excitement (but not actually).

So to the Lane, where we shall see if Robbie has seen the future (at Barnsley) or reverts to Plan A. I know what I want. The team selection will reveal all. COYB.
Alun Willis     Posted 29/08/2015 at 15:07:23

Media double standard on Mourinho

Jose had a press conference today where he was asked about Stones and said that he "does not speak about players from other teams."

Did anyone in the media ask Jose what he has been doing when it comes to John Stones all summer? No.

Yet Chelsea, through Mourinho, made public their interest in Stones in July. He talked about Stones in a press conference.

"We made a bid [on Stones] because we like the player." That is what he said.

That is what started this whole thing with Martinez reacting in anger at Mourinho (and then Terry, Cahill, and every other big media or Chelsea sycophant) publicly encouraging Stones.

When will someone stand up and say that this guy is toxic?


Adam  Trotario     Posted 28/08/2015 at 18:42:25

An Alternative to Salary Caps

This is probably a daft idea, but having read so many calls on so many forum threads calling for a salary cap set me thinking. First, let me state that I dont see how a salary cap could work in football. Who would set the limit?

For me the answer is not a salary cap, but a squad size cap. Imagine if a Sky Four club could only hold 24 (okay choose a different number if you want) professional contracts for a season. They could play a youth player in case of injuries (or to promote them for experience). But there could be no more hoovering up of young talent and sending them out on loan. They would have to let a lot of their players go. They would still be able to offer the best contracts and still be able to attract the best players, but they would not be able to hoard them. No buy-back clauses could be written into a contract either; you cant stop gentlemens agreements but you can make them non-enforceable.

Any additional players would have to be on youth contracts which could be held at a rate affordable for all clubs within the division (with strict controls on additional payments). Young players would then base their decision on where to develop their career on who has the best set-up and which clubs are most successful in achieving professional contracts once they graduate. There would also have to be significant fees for signing another clubs youth club graduates.

I suspect that this would incentivise the rich clubs to offer lucrative short-term contracts and allow the second tier of clubs to offer longer less lucrative ones. Less lucrative but not necessarily less attractive, especially for players entering their late careers. I also suspect that this would have the effect of spreading the talent around the division far more effectively than any salary cap.

Now the big question is: how would this affect Everton?

Terry Murphy     Posted 27/08/2015 at 23:58:17

Transfers?!

So Igor Surkis and Andriy Yarmolenko have come out and publicly stated that the player will stay at Dynamo Kyiv to help with their Champions League campaign. Bernard is nowhere near close to leaving Shaktar, with the club themselves denying that the Brazilian will leave this summer.

Ramiro Funes Mori seems no closer to securing a work permit in a deal that looks more and more like it is going to go tits up. We have no left back. We only have 2 senior centre backs. We have a desperate lack of depth in the squad and no back-up for Lukaku. All of this added to the fact that there is now only 4 days of the window left leaves me with an extremely negative view of our prospects for the season.

Apart from Arsenal (who have only brought in 1 player) Everton have been the most inactive club with 4 signings. That may seem a lot, but we have let go of Distin and Alcaraz. The 4 players we have brought in are Deulofeu, Cleverly, Henen and Mason Holgate, so only 2 senior players! We have spent 4.25 million, which is an absolute disgrace in the current EPL climate.

I suppose all of the above just sounds like a lot of ranting about things that 90% of people on here already know. My question is, what are we going to do? I am sat in my living room as I write this looking on SSN and the net for some indication of movement in the market and I can find nothing. We don't seem to have any real targets, so I am starting to panic. To be honest wanted to ask people if they are feeling the same way and if they are, what do you expect to see from Everton before the 6pm deadline on Tuesday.

With all of the additional revenue that the EPL has been enjoying recently that fact that a club as big as ours is so far behind is mind-blowing. God help us all if we remain quiet and expect a season that follows the same trends as 2014-15.
Danny Halsall     Posted 27/08/2015 at 20:46:34

Part 2. Support the Reasons. Oppose the Methods

Some of you will have read my article from a week or so ago entitled Support the Reasons, Oppose the methods. There was a considerable difference of opinion between those who agreed and disagreed with me. I remain firm in my stance that there is a better way to demonstrate displeasure and improve matters.

In the comments to the post, I explained that I had, subsequent to my article, emailed Robert Elstone to suggest and offer of a conduit between club and fans. The email was penned in about 5 minutes and I didnt give it much thought during writing or indeed afterwards. I have copied the email below:


From: James Cadwaladr
Sent: 18 August 2015 15:51
Subject: An Offer of Support - In Strict Confidence and Good Faith.
Importance: High

Dear Mr Elstone,

As you are no doubt aware, there is growing unrest amongst the supporters of Everton Football Club. As a well educated, intelligent and level headed person I am able combine my love of the club with a rationality and sanity that is able to understand both the executive and supporter pressures. As such I wish to offer a level of support to the club, however I must first set out my intentions and beliefs

I neither support nor oppose the board of Directors of Everton Football Club. I am a supporter of genuinely neutral apathy.
I oppose the current fan protests and the supporter groups responsible.
I believe that engagement rather than disengagement is the solution on both parts.
I wish to stop the protests, and endeavour to help make all parties content.
I believe that the club executives and some decisions made have been poor and frustrating for fans.
I have worked within Sports Media, in a commercial role. For a supplier of the club no less.
I genuinely believe I have the credibility, to assist the Football Club moving forward.
I wish to volunteer my help as a genuine conduit between the club and fans.

I believe that both the club and its fans can help and I wish to engage with you to consider my assistance and perhaps the creation of a syndicate of fans (not previous Fans Forums) those who can provide valuable support and assistance to the club in an array of guises, stop the protests and allow all parties to move forward as one.

Should you or any of your colleagues wish to have an initial conversation to discuss I would be delighted to do so. Of course I shall be more than happy to sign any non-disclosure agreements as required.

Finally, should the rumours regarding our Chairman be true, please pass on my warmest respect, regards and best wishes.

Best regards

James Cadwaladr
Like I say, I didnt give the email much thought afterwards and I did not expect for one minute a reply. So please imagine my surprise when I received an email from Richard Kenyon, Director Marketing and Communications earlier today suggesting we "have a call to discuss some of the items you mention in your email."

Is the club listening? Who knows. However this is a very important time for the club and I intend to have a conversation and see where it leads to. This article may lead to another bun fight and I hope it doesnt. I intend to try and foster sensible communication. Please feel free to offer suggestions and questions.
James Cadwaladr     Posted 27/08/2015 at 15:13:05

Supporting John Stones

These last few days have been surprising and confusing in equal measures. I was 100% sure that Everton were going to keep Stones this transfer window and that John Stones would never even dream of handing in a transfer request. To say I was surprised and confused that he handed in the request is putting it lightly. Add to that small list the word 'disappointed' and you've just about got there.

However, that disappointment was eradicated by the news yesterday that my wife is going to have a baby girl. I'm so very happy! I guess what I'm trying to say is that whilst I was disappointed, there are far more important things in this world than expressing such vitriol and hatred at a young football player whom we still have on our books. Some of the stories, posts and all around abuse has gone FAR too far already and I fear it will only get worse. This is a young man who we want to keep, not turn away.

The rumours of him being in tears in a service station on the way home from the game and the idiotic and recorded abuse many of us will have seen calling him a 'rat' needs to be stopped. The only way of doing that though is for us all to be the bigger person and stop before expressing hatred for a young man playing a game (albeit one we all love) and 'having a word' with those around us who need to be reigned in.

John Stones is a wonderful young footballer and I hope he continues with us throughout this season at least. I hope that the real Everton fans step up and offer the boy some true support irregardless of how "disappointed" "confused" and "surprised" he's made us feel.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum. And that goes for us fans too.
Matt Lavery     Posted 27/08/2015 at 09:19:54

Why Stones is not going anywhere

I am convinced Stones is not going anywhere. The factors that make me believe that are the manager's constant replies that he is not for sale.

His post-match interview after Barnsley was class. Can you imagine, with the discontent from the Everton fan base, the banner(s), the club's skid-marked underwear on full display the last month in the media, how it would look? Bobby would look ludicrous and no-one would blame him if he resigned.

Also, the board must be sitting uncomfortably and scared of a very serious meltdown and large-scale revolt from the fans. If the board do sell (surely they do hold some common sense between them?), then money can buy most things and will show us that this board has one thing only in their plan. And that one thing won't be putting Everton's best interests for the future paramount to all else.

I also think that most of the country would like to see us give the finger to Chelsea and let the values of what sport used to be win for once.
Gary Russell     Posted 27/08/2015 at 02:05:08

Royal Blue Jersey?

Is it just me? I know I am an old fart when it comes to my footie. I like to see them kick off at 3pm on a Saturday. I like 4-4-2. I like centre-backs that attack the ball in the air. But what I like most of all is seeing my team turn out in the royal blue shirt that everyone knows is Everton Football Club.

Dont get me wrong; I dont expect Chelsea to change their kit when we play at Stamford Bridge. I understand the need for a change of kit when there is a colour clash and the tradition in football is that it is the away team that change. But why do we need to change at all when we play a side whose kit is red and white stripes with black shorts is beyond me? Why we need two different change kits is also beyond reason.

Of course there is a reason: greed. The commercial divisions decide to have different change kits so that the kiddie pester factor increases their income. It gives nothing to tradition, necessity or reality.

In the current Premier League season, there are only seven teams we could conceivably have a clash with. Of these, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Man City, we could play in our normal kit without much confusion, but if we have to change we can. The other 12 clubs play in Red, White, Yellow or Black and White stripes.

So why all the variety of non traditional colours and fancy patterns? If we change at all, the colours that kept us going for many years: Yellow shirts, Navy shorts would suffice. I am sure modern versions of this could be produced.

So heres the rub. Show the commercial vultures the contempt they deserve. Dont buy the Olive Green/Black kit. If you wear a replica shirt, turn up in blue home and away. Make them realise that it matters. Or as I said... is it just me?

Martin Reppion     Posted 21/08/2015 at 13:04:58

Support for Bill Kenwright over his illness

There has been much talk recently about Bill Kenwright and his absence from many of the games towards the end of last season and so far this season

Back in July 2015, in an interview with Newcastles Evening Chronicle, Bill Kenwright said 'he was determined to recover after missing some of the Blues games towards the end of last term due to a debilitating condition' but also indicated that he was 'on the right side of the grass', which is positive.

We all know that our Chairman would attend games if he was fit and able.

From a fan's point of view, I imagine most of us on here would be interested to know what condition he is suffering from. Illness is such a personal thing and I am sure if Bill Kenwright wanted to disclose more details, he would have done by now.

Putting any personal feelings people may have towards Bill Kenwright and his Chairmanship aside, I believe we all hope that he is not seriously ill and that whatever condition he has can be cured, improved or managed without any long-term implications, and that he can soon be back watching Everton.

Debilitating illnesses can be stressful, and I expect the last thing he needs right now is the protests and the flying of banners across stadiums telling the Board to go.

Whilst everyone is entitled to their opinion about Bill Kenwright and the role he is playing at our club and therefore have the right to protest, how about Everton fans arranging a banner to be flown across Goodison Park and Liverpool as a whole with a "Get Well Bill" message? That would at least demonstrate to Bill Kenwright, the Board, management, players and all the staff connected with the club that Everton fans care about him as a person and wish him well.

It would also result in great positive PR for the club and show to the outside world that despite some divisions in opinion about how Everton is run, Everton fans are a class act.


Ian Jones     Posted 20/08/2015 at 10:03:29

An Open letter To Mr William Kenwright CBE

Dear Bill,

I am sure every Blue on the planet wishes you a speedy recovery if the rumours of a recent illness you may be suffering from are true. Get well soon!

As we all get a little older, we start to think of our legacy and how people will remember us, good or bad. There has never been any doubt that your Evertonian credentials stand up with the best of them out there. Hopefully, we can have a great 2015-16 season.

The reason for this letter is to inform you that the fanbase are becoming extremely restless with the lack of progress during your 16-year tenure as Chairman of this great club. You successfully steered us through some rough waters in your early years as Chairman, but I am sure you are aware of the rumblings of discontent.

My proposal is a simple one. It is that the current majority shareholders put their shares up for sale, at cost price, plus an acceptable rate of commercial interest over the time those shares have been held.

In return for those shares, any purchaser has to guarantee the building of a top class, quality stadium that future generations of Blues can enjoy. I believe you won't even have to request planning permission for any new stadium to be built on Stanley Park!

I can only imagine how much joy that sort of legacy would give fanatical Evertonians such as yourself & Mr Woods.

You would both be remembered as the men who stopped the rot; unfortunately, we cannot go on hoping for donations as a way forward for our club.

I hope these thoughts are passed on to your private office for consideration.

Yours sincerely, an Everton season ticket holder.



Kevin Tully     Posted 17/08/2015 at 13:24:32

An open letter to John Stones

Dear John,

Well never meet and Ive never played football above Sunday morning pub stuff so youve no need to listen to me. My only qualification for what I have to say is as a life-long sport fan and (cards on table) Evertonian.

You will be getting loads of advice about your career and future at the moment: where you can go to earn more money, win more medals and get great acclaim and prestige. So heres my bit.

Since I travelled to watch you play at Fulham in a terrible League Cup game a couple of years ago I have been telling anyone whod listen that I saw, on that night, desite the teams insipid display, the future England captain. My description of a right-sided Kevin Ratcliffe was intended as the highest praise I could think of. Comparisons with a young Rio Ferdinand were also made, but he wasnt in Ratters class. Nothing Ive seen since has changed that view.

All sorts of rumours abound now. You are going to Chelsea next week. You are going to Barcelona next year. These moves will bring you fame, wealth and medals beyond what you might expect to achieve at Everton. Having said that, Ratcliffe won 2 league titles, the FA cup, 4 Charity Shields and a European Cup Winners Cup. (You may have to ask your dad what that was.)

What would you get if you stayed at Everton? Wealth? Well you probably already earn more each week more than any of your former school mates will earn in a year. With a little financial management you will never be short of all the material things you could want. Medals? The tide can turn, Everton may build a team around you that can challenge for cups and one day even more. You will at least play every game you are fit to play. Im not sure this would happen at a mega rich club with a huge squad to keep happy.

Then there is fame. Yes, you could be recognised by more people if you played at a fashionable and more successful club. But... Stay at Everton for another year, you will be a hero. Stay for the length of your contract, you will be a legend. Stay beyond that and future generations may talk of you in the hushed tones reserved for Alex Young, Dixie Dean or the Holy Trinity of Kendall, Harvey and Ball and there is no praise higher to an Evertonian.

So there you have it. You can go wherever you want. Earn sums I cant even imagine. Be another mercenary galactic. Or do what we all dream of as a kid. Play football for a living, be a hero for club and country. Either way. Good luck.

Martin Reppion     Posted 17/08/2015 at 09:53:48

Class. Sheer class.

Our young striker showed class on and off the field yesterday.

During the warm up Rom hit a stray shot into the crowd which hit a middle- aged lady. Did he turn to the likes of Ross Barkley and laugh?

No. He spun away and looked embarrassed before immediately running to the stand, climbing over the barrier, and climbing the stairs to present the lady with is training top, giving her a "proper" big hug and shaking hands with the guy she was with.

Hats off to the Southampton fans for clapping him all the way too.

That action made me even more proud than the teams performance yesterday.

If Carling did centre forwards....

Brian Williams     Posted 16/08/2015 at 06:33:29

Bill`s paltry bank account

This is a list of the Premier League's richest owners from today's papers (translated from a Norwegian newspaper):

1) Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Manchester City 25,800M
2) Roman Abramovich, Chelsea 6,400M
3) Joe Lewis, Tottenham 6,300M
4) Stan Kroenke, Arsenal 5,100M
5) Mike Ashley, Newcastle 4,500M
6) The Glazer-family, Manchester United 3,800M
7) Ellis Short. Sunderland 3,100M
8) Katharina Liebherr, Southampton 2,400M
9) Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, Leicester 1,800M
10) John Henry, Liverpool 1,300M
11) The Coates-family, Stoke 1,200M
12) David Sullivan, West Ham 1,100M
13) Randy Lerner, Aston Villa 800M
14) Giampaolo Pozzo, Watford 150M
15) Maksim Demin, Bournemouth 130M
16) Jeremy Pearce, West Bromwich 65M
17) Steve Parish, Crystal Palace 58.1M
18) Bill Kenwright, Everton 42.6M
19) The Morgan-family, Swansea 41.3M
20) Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones, Norwich 29.7M

The list is showing the real difference between Man City and the rest - not even Chelsea are anywhere near them. The next big gap is between Aston Villa and Watford. This actually clearly indicates how much Money the likes of Leicester, Southampton, Stoke, West Ham, Sunderland and Villa really have compared to us. We know Liverpool and Newcastle have money available, but we tend to forget that clubs as mentioned above have just as much. These are clubs we are beating year after year, however as we know these days, they can easily catch up with us over a summer with some hectic transfer activity.

The point is, with the current ownership, we will be experiencing the ups and downs from season to season again and again. This can only be changed with a new mega-rich owner arriving some way or another. When we have our best squad, we need to hold on to our best players and have the option of making the last required 3-4 transfers.

Håvard Sletvold     Posted 13/08/2015 at 150813

Has Kenwright given up?

The storm clouds are gathering around Goodison. The fans are certainly not happy, booing the team's performance after 45 minutes of the new season. The fans are dissatisfied with the signings so far and the amount of money spent, compared to every other club.

The silence from the board, and the chairman in particular who is normally so vociferous when things are going well, is mystifying.

Similarly with the ground move. Two attempts have failed and we have been told by the CEO that the Walton move is unaffordable. So what is the position now on moving to a new stadium. Nobody knows!

At the Annual General Meeting two years ago, in response to demands from shareholders, the chairman agreed to have such meetings annually and be open to questions. Last season, the meeting didn't take place, and I believe none has so far been scheduled for this year.... The chairman seems to have gone to ground.

All this makes me believe he has given up trying to run a successful club, given up looking for investment, given up the search for new owners, but is hanging on to power for as long as possible for reasons best known to himself.
Clive Rogers     Posted 11/08/2015 at 10:18:28

talkSPORT discussing Everton this week

updated talkSPORT have given more time than usual this week with Stan Collymore responding to requests from Evertonians on Twitter to discuss the lack of signings at the club this summer and the boardroom situation in general.

The final hour of "Kick Off" from 9pm onwards on Monday was devoted to the Blues you can listen to the recordings here.

Further calls were taken during the Drive Time show on Wednesday, with one in particular from Joe Jennings that drew a particularly strong reaction on social media. SOS1878 have made a recording of that call available here.

ToffeeWeb      Posted 10/08/2015 at

Those first ten games....

A lot has been made and commented on the fact that we've been handed a rough first ten fixtures of the season - Spurs, Man City, Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Southampton (plus a visit to Swansea who are looking like no mugs either).

I'm canvassing opinions here, but what would in your mind constitute a "good" start to the season after those first ten games?

Personally, given the strength of the opposition, our early-season malaise, the injury curse, and the uncertainty of the transfer window/what new signings we may get, I'd be happy enough with mid-table by the end of October. 14 or so points (let's say four wins, two draws) would be enough for that. Not exactly ambitious I know, but that is the reality of where we currently are at. The fixture list from October - December does give us an opportunity to start looking upwards from there.

Anything less than ten points will see us hovering in or near the relegation places, and if the heat isn't on Roberto and the board already it likely will be if that's the case.

So.... what's the points tally by the end of October that we should be aiming for / you would be happy with?

Craig Fletcher     Posted 10/08/2015 at 02:16:43

Next three weeks vital for Martinez

As I sat and watched Match of the Day last night (8/8/15) I couldn't help but sit there and feel quite angry as I watched the highlights of Norwich v Crystal Palace. No, not because a Palace win had ruined my accumulator or because Norwich are my second team. iIt was because I just watched a vibrant looking Palace win 3-1, and Yohan Cabaye had just sealed the win for them. "Fucking hell, Cabaye would've been perfect for us, what's he doing at Palace?!" i uttered to myself.

Next up was highlights of Everton v Watford, "For fucks sake, same old crap as last season". A double Jack Daniels and Coke helped calm me down a bit though. But the next day I watched Arsenal vs West Ham, home banker this, I thought. But I sat and watched as Dimitri Payet ran the show for West Ham and looked exactly what Everton have been crying out for a creative, attacking midfielder, "For fuck's sake, how did West Ham get him? He looks superb!" I said out loud.

Yes, I swear a lot, especially when it concerns Everton. Because there were two players who have joined mid-table clubs who have the ability to change games, would have been great for Everton and didn't even cost that much. Payet cost around 11 million and Cabaye cost 13 million, hardly huge fees in today's world.

It brings me to the questions anyway: why wasn't Martinez in for these players? Where is the creative no.10/attacking midfielder we so desperately need? It was obvious for the majority of last season we needed a game changing player and it was obvious again against Watford.

Our manager has had sufficent time to find these players yet there has been no signs he has found any; teams like Palace, West Ham and Swansea can, so why cant we? I feel the next few weeks could determine Martinez's future at the club: sign the players we need or the buck stops with him as far as I'm concerned.

And don't bring up that old chestnut "weve got no money" we, and the rest of the Premier League have never been richer. If the board are giving the manager no money to spend then I suppose that is a different kettle of fish and needs its own questions answered. But I know one thing for sure, unless we have those three signings Martinez says we need, and they are good enough quality, then I suspect there will be a lot more swearing from me and the Goodison crowd concerning the manager's position in the not too distant future.
Chris Sillett     Posted 09/08/2015 at 18:26:30

Please sell John Stones ASAP

I didn't think I would be writing this but enough is enough. Forget about the lack of morality that Chelsea have shown in his pursuit. Forget about being labelled a "selling club". Forget about the dreams of building a team around him. Please take the 30 million when it is offered and run.

In the short-term, 30 million will go much further in making Everton into a competitive team NOW than thinking "long-term". Let's face it, there is no long term in the Premier League; it's all about the next match, the next 5 and 10 matches and the desperate need to WIN!

No matter how good we think John Stones is, he is not going to win us any matches. Nor do I think, in his current state of mind, he is going to save us from losing any. So please cash in ASAP and buy someone who can help us win (or compete) in a few of the next 5 matches.

Replace him short-term with Tyas Browning and find some big, ugly 6'-4" man-mountain to win some headers in our own box. Maybe even buy someone who is not so composed, elegant and wants to play the ball out from the back, but will get the ball safely into our opponent's half with a lot less touches.

How good will John Stones become if he plays in a team with better players around him? The only way to find out is to let him go to a team which has better players around him, with all due respect to Jags et al.

We all know JS is going to be gone before August 31st, so please let him go NOW and not when there is only 5 minutes left on the transfer deadline clock!
David Cooper     Posted 09/08/2015 at 04:46:03

Patience (is a virtue)

Well, the new season is nigh. I think that it is probably fair to say that many fans will have been be tossing and turning in their sleep.

9 players out injured before we have even kicked a ball!

One of these is our only real effective attacker with no decent backup. Another is our Barcelona whizzkid who might hold one of the keys to unlocking proverbially parked buses.

While we have some decent players in MF, we are still missing that magic No 10. Sure, we have a solid back line but the constant Chelsea tap-ups are unsettling especially for a team without good cover at CB.

As if that's not enough, we have arguably the toughest set of opening fixtures of any team in the Premier League.

If you are like me, you are trawling the web for transfer news and getting frustrated at the multitude of rumours and lack of substance. So, it is no wonder that everyone is getting edgy. However, I think that we all need to take a collective deep breath (me included) and look at the bigger picture.

Firstly, much as some people would like to, we cannot blame the manager for injuries. All teams have them to some extent (eg currently Bale, Ronaldo and Pepe are doubtful for Real).

Secondly, we cannot blame the manager and the club for trying to get the best value from the transfer window. Actually, it is a pet hate of mine, how late this window goes.

I cannot see any benefit for having it run til September 2 and it is basically destabalising for clubs, players and fans once the season starts. We know that the club has limited funds, so it makes sense for them to squeeze as much value as they can from those funds.

Obviously, we can only judge the transfer window activity AFTER the window closes. In the meantime, I think we need to be patient with the team and, for the moment, the club and manager.

If things don't go well in the opening game, I could see things getting ugly with further pressure being put on the team, club and manager. That in turn could affect team performance and force the club into hasty (yeah I know) transfers to appease fans.

So, my message is to keep the faith, be patient and get behind our team, especially over the next few weeks. Maybe we can reappraise the situation on September 3.
Ciaran Duff     Posted 07/08/2015 at 08:49:58

Jealous?

Given the current panic around new signings for the new season and all of the talk regarding West Ham, Stoke, Bournemouth, etc improving and leaving us behind in the transfer market, it got me thinking: "What signings have been made by other teams in the league this year that I am jealous of?" And the answer? Well not very many, if I am honest.

I had a look on transfermarkt, which had a (not very good) list of all of the transfers from all of the Premier League clubs so far and below are the signings that make me green, as well as a select few "big signings" that I am not too fussed we missed out on. Here goes:

Jealous

Petr Cech I think we will all agree on this one, a proven top quality Premier League goalkeeper. Given last year we had the poorest first choice keeper in the league statistically this one at 10m would have been a great signing. However, to caveat all of the above, it was well publicised that Cech wanted to stay in London so we were never a viable option.

Asmir Begovic Basically just see above. A top quality 'keeper younger than Cech who chose the bright lights of London and Chelsea's bench for what seems like greed. Maybe we can come back for him next year when Mourinho revolves the door. You can also add Sergio Romero to this argument.

Fabian Delph This guy is a personal favourite of mine and has been for a while. A good technical footballer who is full of energy and offers a threat going forward as well as a solid option going the other way. I suspect his release clause was for champions league clubs only so he would have cost us a lot more than the 8m he cost City. Same as Begovic, maybe we can get him on he cheap next year when/if City ruin his career.

Toby Alderweireld Had a very good season for Saints last year, but given he has chosen to go to Spurs and London (which seems to be a genuine disadvantage to us in the transfer market) I would say we would have had no chance in signing him. Also may be too good to be a 3rd choice which is ideally what we need.

Danny Ings Possibly because I am thinking of him as a free but a young mobile English striker who could have offered good competition to Lukaku. May end up costing 10m + though, which may be money spent better elsewhere.

Joe Gomez I watched a bit of the England youth games when Ledson and Kenny were involved last year and this kid stood out then. But gutted he has chosen to go to the dark side. That said, we seem to have a good batch of young defenders already and need a proven defender rather than a prospect.

Andre Ayew A top class player (it seems) on a free. Did get outshone by Atsu in the African nations though so I think the jury is still out on whether he will do well in the Prem.

Dimitri Payet I wrote a comment a while back where I tried to pick out potential no.10s/ creative players we could be after and he was right near the top of the pile due to his incredible assist record in France. More of a winger than a no.10 though and we have already bought a winger this summer.

Angelo Ogbonna Purely because it seems we lost out on him.

Not so Jealous

Raheem Sterling 49m?! Need I say any this else.

Christian Benteke 32.5m for someone who has show himself to be a very streaky striker, does not count as home grown (our Rom does) and has the whole team built around him a Villa.

Georgio Wijnaldum Won the Dutch player of the year but doesn't seem like the type of player we need. He sounds like a Barkley type player, albeit a bit more mature but not what we need, not a schemer.

Younes Kaboul Seems like a cheap price for a experienced Premier League CB, however, there is a reason Spurs want rid of him. He seems to have an attitude problem and also has a mistake in him. Too inconsistent to be relied upon.

As you can see not loads of players that we could of realistically signed that I am jealous about and only a small selection of the transfers that have gone through. I have faith in Bobby and Bill to get a proper 10 in and am very happy with the business so far. Now just for those other three..!


Michael Ward     Posted 06/08/2015 at 13:59:20

We will know on Saturday

Ten games, the end of October, Christmas. How long should Roberto get? What will it take for Bill to act? I suggest we will know after the Watford game. It's not a must win game, a defeat is okay under the right circumstances.

We will know by team selection. We will see the tactics. Will it be insipid, pointless passing. Will we close down? Will we defend solidly? Will there be passion? Will there be any sign of guile or innovation? Will there be positive substitutions if required?

We can be unlucky losers to Watford or lucky winners. But we should know what is in store. We will know if there is a plan or is it to be more of the same. A big day for our club.
Andy Crooks     Posted 06/08/2015 at 00:43:12

Season 2015/19 - WWWWWW, LLLLLL or DDDDDD?

This is just thinking out...quiet (random thoughts, brain droppings, killing time).But is there a way we could be successful next (this coming) season?

This has been on my mind since Sunday.

Obviously, immediately after the game, I thought 'no fucking chance' and after a couple of days (calmer) reflection, I still couldn't see a way.

But now I think there might (only might) be a way.

A way at least to avoid a repeat of last season.

However it would mean being incredibly brave and using (for want of a better word) 'surprise'.

It seems to be accepted that one of the main reasons we were so ineffective last year is that we had been 'sussed' - that teams had figured us out and knew how to play us.

Though I think there was (much) more to it than this, what is beyond dispute is that we were 100 times easier to figure out (and beat) last season, than we were the season before.

On Sunday imo, it was the same as (the worst of) last year.

It went/goes..

Pass.....pass.... .pass.....pass.....pass....pass-pass-pass...pass...pass...pass...pass-pass...passpasspass....PASSPASS...give the fucking ball away...........chase....chase....chase...chase....chase-chase....CHASE... etc.

(and by the way, their chasing was twice as..um..'chasey' as ours)

If we do nothing different from last season, we are probably goosed, though to exactly what degree, will probably depend (basically) on how other sides perform and our injuries (or lack of them).

My feeling is the only chance we have of 'success' is to (suddenly) be the 1950s Wolves side.

To play a fast-paced, muscular, long ball percentage game.

Now many (ahem, 'purists') didn't like it back then and I personally don't feel comfortable with it now, but it would completely surprise teams playing us and increase our chances of putting the ball into the net.

It is also obvious (to Lenny fucking Peters) that we don't have the players to be able to compete on level terms with the big-spenders at the game they play (passing the ball with touch and pace)

From what I've seen in the last 12 months, the most dangerous we've looked is actually from a punt upfield and a defended headed ball dropping just outside the opposition's box.

Of course some might say 'oh you can't expect them to change the whole system and expect results' but the players seemed to do exactly this last season (see Utd) and it worked very well.

So maybe our best chance of success next season is actually... mutiny!

For the likes of Osman (or whoever) to effectively be the manager.

I'm kidding.......a bit....ish.

We can (and do) argue about the best way forward, but I think we all know/agree is that more of the same won't do (and we have to keep reminding ourselves that no matter who or what we'd like, we have the players/team we have and have to play to their 'strengths').

A quote popular and much used on TW is the one often attributed to Einstein that states 'the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results'

A great quote no doubt but one that (it seems) is as likely to have come from Benjamin Franklin or Mark Twain or from Rita Mae Brown's novel 'Sudden Death.'

However there is a (definitely) Einstein quote that also seems apt in so many Everton ways (in fact re being an Evertonian, I'd even apply it to myself).

"He who joyfully marches to music rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him a spinal cord would surely suffice"

It was part of an an anti-war sentiment, but I have a feeling if 'Einy' saw me in mid-January, standing shivering in the pissing sleet, shoveling cold curry and chips into my face on Supper Bar Island, he wouldn't change a word (especially if we got tonked by Palace and he saw me 2 weeks later in Woolton, waiting for an 81 to Bootle Strand).

So mugs away and....up the Toffees!!
Eugene Ruane     Posted 04/08/2015 at 11:46:27

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