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November 2015 Archive   |   Submit a topic

The manager

Hello Evertonians! I am a Finnish EFC supporter and wanted to know your honest thoughts on Roberto Martinez. Personally I have lost a bit of faith in him since the 13-14 season. That season, the potential of the team was fully maximised. There was structured defending, fantastic attacking displays on a regular basis, and true spine when needed, winning us points in tight places like Cardiff at home or both the Swansea and the West Ham fixtures, United and away... and so on.

Last season was obviously very disappointing. There was small glimpses of good attacking play, but definitely not regularly. The defending as a team was atrocious at times, and more annoyingly, at times when one goal for or against would change the outcome of the game. We shipped so many easy goals, and then we pulled small comebacks that weren't enough to save shit, ending up losing by one goal/drawing. Do you follow me?

Anyway, last season made me seriously doubt Roberto's ability to motivate, his authority and his ability to organize the defense. There has been talk about him simply taking over a good defensive unit created by Moyes, which I don't think is far from the truth. Roberto isn't a guy who when leading at the 80 min would be like "you'd better keep this up or I'll batter you" he's more like "oh lads I hope we can keep this up. If not, I can always look the reporter in the eyes with my innocent puppy eyes and tell the world we deserved more". Sorry for the bad expression. Just trying to make a point clear. But honestly, he's too nice. Has no authority over the players.

At least David Moyes had the authority to make the players work their socks off and grind out results occasionally, a talent severely downshifted under Martinez. The Bournemouth game shows this so well. We let Bournemouth come into the game, and once again showed naivety and lack of character beyond belief.

You might argue that it was the ref's fault (a bit of truth in that), but for fuck sake to first lose the two goal lead and then lose the lead again in that way. It had me seething. Shaking by anger. I'm not saying these kinds of things never happened under Moyes, because it did at some point every season, but at least not regularly! The team had a mental presence, drive and will to work that made EFC arguably the most over-achieving team compared to e.g. it's financial funds in the Premier league during David's reign. It had steel.

This team has so much talent, but so much naivety, and I blame it very much on Martinez. He's a confidence manager, a guy who is always there to lift you up. He never gives you a good kick in the ass, which sometimes is needed. In Wigan's dressing room, there was not that much to be positive about, as it was simply not a very good Premier League side, so his approach fitted ever so well there. But guys like Lukaku, Barkley, Deulofeu, Stones etc need to get toughened up, which is not happening atm. It did under Moyes. Even the more experienced players like Jagielka and Barry have become surprisingly inconsistent. I believe they would also need some hard times in the dressing room.

To finish it up, I think that if Roberto doesn't change, we're gonna keep on winning at home by three-four goals after splendid performances, and the next week get a draw or lose after dull/unbalanced/ straight out atrocious performances. He has got my weak trust so far, but if we don't finish in the top 8, he is finished for me.

Hannes Eerola     Posted 30/11/2015 at 23:16:21


Why is the atmosphere so shit at Goodison?

Fair enough, it picks up in a close encounter like any other game but the reality is a default dull.

I don't live in the area but have a season ticket and go to most away games which have a significantly better atmosphere...

Matt Correal     Posted 26/11/2015 at 21:20:47

A little bit of history!

I just thought some may be interested in having a look at something I came across on YouTube while doing a bit of research into the history of Liverpool the city, that is!

Take a look at the following YouTube video, found by typing in the searchbox 'Liverpool Police Recruitment Film circa 1950':

The whole thing is very much worth a watch (about 35 minutes) but otherwise take it forward to 17 minutes. At this point it shows policing of a game at Goodison Park. The old façade can be seen in all its glory why did they ever knock it down? I'd forgotten how classy it used to be.

It then shows the team running onto the pitch. I don't recognise anybody because it's a bit before my time but it must have been around the time we came up to the First Division. It then goes to Anfield at which point you can fast forward it but you can see the stand is almost empty at kick off time.

It's worth a look.
Dave Roberts     Posted 17/11/2015 at 11:55:30

Breaking the mould

This season has now reached a crucial stage; before the start of the season, many of the Everton faithful (myself included) were worried about the tough opposition we were facing in the opening 10 fixtures.

Many people feared we would be languishing in the relegation zone after the first 10 games. Thankfully, these fears did not come to pass. I think its fair to say we haven't covered ourselves in glory thus far, or disgraced ourselves; we've been a mixed bag.

There's been a couple of outstanding performances so far e.g Southampton and Chelsea games. There was the no-show against Man Utd at Goodison. But for the most part, we've been reasonably competitive without really putting together a consistent run of wins. We currently have 17 points on the board after 12 games played, having already played the so-called top teams.

These next 7 games, I feel, are going to be crucial to where we are heading this season; there are 21 points to be gained and now is the time to start making a real impact in the league, before the halfway point. The opposition is:

Aston Villa (h)
Bournemouth (a)
Crystal Palace (h)
Norwich (a)
Leicester (h)
Newcastle (a)
Stoke (h)

This is a very kind looking fixture list... but there are of course, no easy games. I think anything over 30 points (after 19 games) will represent a decent (or good, depending on how many points over 30 are gained) first half to the season. Anything under 30 points, would be a little disappointing.

This season (or any other season for that matter) isn't all about the league though; the Premier League is awash with money and higher up our team finishes, the more money is gained. Its also a true indicator of how good (compared to the rest) our team is, because its played over 38 games... But, it's also been 21 years of hurt since Dave Watson lifted the FA Cup.

It only occurred to me the other day that Martinez could achieve something very unique by winning a trophy. That is because he would become the first Everton manager that isn't an ex-player to win a trophy. All our trophy winning managers played for Everton:

Harry Catterick:
2 Division 1 Championships
1 FA Cup
2 Charity Shields

Howard Kendall
2 Division 1 Championships
1 FA Cup
1 UEFA Cup Winners Cup
3 Charity Shields

Colin Harvey
1 Charity Shield

Joe Royle
1 FA Cup
1 Charity Shield

This I find astonishing! We must be the only club in the country to have this unique bit of history. Oh and before some 'Everton know it all' try's to throw the name: Thomas H McIntosh into the mix, I would just like to point out he was secretary not manager. Everton were actually one of the last league teams to appoint a manager. Before this, the team selection was made by coaches and boardroom members. Theo Kelly was actually our first ever manager in 1939.

Anyway, here's hoping Martinez can, at the very least, achieve a points total over 60 points (that would represent progress in my opinion) by the seasons end. But most importantly (for me anyway) end the 21 years of hurt by breaking the Everton tradition by becoming the first manager - who didn't play for Everton - to win silverware.

Come on, Bobby, break the mould.

Mark Frere     Posted 08/11/2015 at 18:25:25

Would Evertonians ever accept Mourinho as manager?

This is just a question from an American Blue to life-long Evertonians on Merseyside:

If Everton ever had the opportunity to hire Jose Mourinho as manager, would Evertonians accept it if it meant we had a better chance to finish Top 4, make a run in the Champions League, and compete for league titles?

Or is Mourinho too deeply hated, a persona non grata forever?

I ask because when I raised the question on the Everton USA Facebook group, I got total rejection of the very thought of considering the idea. I just wonder if local Evertonians feel the same, or not?
Geoffrey Caveney     Posted 07/11/2015 at 23:20:40

Money can buy you... 'love'?

So news from all different sources is now gathering about a possible new owner, some saying the one from Sporting KC and others talking about a Russian business. We've all been in this situation before as a blue by being told news about new owners or a new stadium but nothing ever comes of it and we're left with Bill Kenwright once again. This one is slightly different though, right?

A fundraising page has been created asking toffees to donate to raise enough money for a banner saying 'Thanks for everything, Bill' over Goodison Park in an upcoming home game; however, rumours have also been spread about a Russian business man telling a taxi man in the city to 'expect a new owner' in '3 weeks'. Knowing our track record for rumours about owners and stadiums, I'm not expecting much in 3 weeks, but I will be looking at the possibilities of what could happen and look at the 'why it's bad' side of the argument.

We have a solid fan-base so that'd be guaranteed income for the Russian business man if he were to become our new owner. He'd probably fire most of the board and cancel the Kitbag deal, which I'm sure we all hate, but let's look at the history of OUR club and why this wouldn't be as good as it sounds.

Our owners have never really been businessmen. Bill Kenwright runs our club as a non-profit scheme and does all he can to ensure the best stability for our fan-base, and most importantly, he's a Blue. This businessman that we are linked with is most likely not a Blue, so he will be looking to make a profit on OUR club. This would mean worldwide merchandise retailing, more friendlies abroad, and possibly the new stadium we've all been hoping for.

What it also means though is plastic fans becoming 'Evertonians' which'd be a nightmare for me being a Toffee from the south of England, so I'd always get it from supporters of local clubs saying I 'only support Everton for the money' which I clearly don't! I've collected the shirts since the age of 7 and in the last 5 years have travelled up to Goodison 7 times (including the 4-1 win over Wolfsburg, our first European game in over 5 years). That's 4,900 miles there and back, and a lot of money spent on fuel! I definitely deem myself a proper fan, and who wouldn't when you're in my situation and put in a lot of effort into a club miles away from home... Those who understand need no explanation, those who don't understand don't matter!

What I mean by this is there will be fans who deem themselves 'chosen' when they really aren't. I sort of like the way we grind it out most seasons pushing for the top 5 or 6 and don't want us to become another club with loads of money who practically buys the league. Our fan-base would become unstable and the businessman would leave and we'd dwindle into another Pompey or Leeds.

Yet I feel the time is about right for change and we deserve a trophy after the 20 years without but multiple years of great football under Moyes and 'that' season with Martinez. Let's not get carried away again though, this may be just another false rumour! NSNO.
Daniel O'Sullivan     Posted 04/11/2015 at 19:16:20

Culture of blame vs Culture of not taking responsibility

The statement from Tim Howard this week in the Echo (Tim Howard says criticism of him comes from a "blame culture") got me thinking... Yes, I agree to an extent that we live in a culture of blame. But thats not the whole story.

In fact, in many ways over the past 20 years, life has changed completely mostly due to life in the fast lane of the Internet.

Corruption is being laid bare, companies and individuals are becoming more transparent, and the spotlight is on those in positions of power and leadership.

In nearly all cases, when the sun shines in, you can see the dirt. Thats life, Tim. Youre a public persona, earning big money; if you claim a role of leadership in the dressing room, then you need to do the same on the pitch.

Even if youre not captain, youve been around long enough yourself to know your job. And no, the fans are not fools. We may not be managers, not professional keepers, but we do know a thing or two about football (on the whole).

Fact is: the goal area is yours to manage and control; be in charge, take responsibility and ownership. Yes, leadership means ownership and taking responsibility and that brings me to my second point.

If we have a 'culture of blame', then I beg the question: Is this not down to the fact that so many of our leaders and role models and those in charge run away from taking responsibility when the chips are down?

Yes, it is a team sport; yes, the defence could have done better on those two crosses at Arsenal, but YOU Tim, did not do YOUR job. You did not take responsibility and seem to be willing to continue like that. Just say "It was crap... should have done better." Work hard and get better. Honesty and taking responsibility go a long way to making a good leader.
Otherwise, arrogance and unwillingness to listen and learn will come back and bite you very very hard. Just ask Jose Mourinho over at Stamford Bridge.

Time now to stand up straight and be honest. That's where respect starts.
Kevin O'Regan     Posted 03/11/2015 at 13:21:15

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