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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


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:

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

Lukaku / New Player

Players to leave:

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:

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

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

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

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 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

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