Give me £200m, and I'll give you 7th!

by   |   16/08/2017  226 Comments  [Jump to last]

The title of this post is a little tongue-in-cheek, but it does have a ring of truth about it. I have read numerous posts, and listened to many commentators and pundits who have us down for a "Magnificent 7th" finish in the Premier League.

Seriously? Do you think the new majority shareholder will be happy with that sort of return? As of today, we will have spent nearly £150m, by the end of the window, I expect that figure to be nearing £200! This type of spend is on a par with any of the usual big spenders – who all pay massively inflated transfer fees anyway.

No, I'm sorry, if we do not challenge the usual suspects and match them on their grounds where we have historically struggled, then the manager and players will have failed. To challenge the Sky-invented "Top 6" is our target, and if you can do that, there is no reason you cannot challenge for the title itself.

What's the excuse this time?

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 16/08/2017 at 18:33:16
Kev, remember we haven't actually "spent" anything yet.

That £150m is not "net" spend... it's more like £40m because the sales of Lukaku, Geri and Cleverley have us roughly breaking even, that is until we sign the check for Gylfi. And the clubs we're chasing have outspent us on a net basis (except Spurs).

I wouldn't speculate on what "return" would make Moshiri happy, but I suspect he knows that challenging for a title is more than a one-window endeavor.

Dean Adams
2 Posted 16/08/2017 at 18:42:41
Next season will be our assault on the summit. This season will be about winning games and challenging in trophies that we have failed to win in the past.
Brent Stephens
3 Posted 16/08/2017 at 18:45:53
Kevin, sounds a bit of a provocative Talking Point that you've initiated - you end with "what's the excuse this time?"!

You cheeky chappy! Anyway, Mike's point about our net spend viz-a-viz other clubs is well made.

Chris Williams
4 Posted 16/08/2017 at 18:51:19

There was an excellent exchange about net spend maybe a week ago on here. It featured yet another excellent article from the Guardian about the irrelevance of net spend and how the way Accounts treat transfer spending and amortise the fees over the duration of a player's contract.

I can't recall the thread it was on but hopefully someone can recall it and maybe reintroduce it here.

Very informative and helpful.

Personally, I think more as a supporter than an accountant and if I see a decent improvement in the squad by the end of the window with an overall improvement in quality, numbers and balance then that will do for me. Whether that results in an improvement in the table we'll see over the season, but still a bit to do before the end of the month, in and out I suspect.

But at least we seem to be giving ourselves a better chance of competing.

Brian Williams
5 Posted 16/08/2017 at 18:55:19
5th this season, 4th next season.
Colin Glassar
6 Posted 16/08/2017 at 18:55:21
I think we'll be challenging for 7th, 6th and 5th with the likes of Arsenal, Spurs and the rs. I can see top 4 just eluding us this season.

Top 6 and a cup final would be signs of progress.

Chris Williams
7 Posted 16/08/2017 at 19:05:48
Colin, on balance I think that's a realistic expectation. We are giving ourselves the chance to compete for trophies again, and it's not cut and dried that the so called top 6 have got themselves sorted out yet. A few of them seem to have some unresolved issues as yet, and so do we.

As Mike says this is not a one season job.

Darren Hind
8 Posted 16/08/2017 at 19:09:13
A flimsy argument, Mike.

For years, Evertonians have been complaining about the amount of money spent by Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd, Spurs, but they fail to register the amounts that come back. When you deal in this bracket there is always another side – players don't just come, they go and the average fan doesn't give a flying fuck about net spend.

Nobody cares how much the above clubs have recouped with the transfers of players like Bale, Suarez, Ronaldo, Luiz etc. They judge a manager on whether he can make the most of what he has been given. There is little sympathy afforded to those who spend fortunes and fail to deliver success.

Like Pellegrini, Mancini, Rodgers, Moyes, and all the others who have spent big, Koeman will be judged on what he has bought, not what the club have recouped. He shouted to be backed and he has been royally backed.

We hear claims... lots of claims that Koeman will have us "dining at football's top table". It's party time for his supporters with all these thrilling buys. This is the "most excited some have them have been for years"...

Kevin has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons and judging by the sparse response so far ... The pigeons appear to have scattered.

Kevin Tully
9 Posted 16/08/2017 at 19:09:18
I think the old 'net spend' argument has to be put into context, lads.

If you sell 5 players for £100m and replace them with 5 for a similar amount, then yes, the 'net spend' is a valid point. But, if you sell Messi for £500m then replace him with 10 X £50m players, improving every other position across the pitch, then it doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

Stop looking for excuses!!! (It's contagious)

Lev Vellene
10 Posted 16/08/2017 at 19:18:45
Kevin, yes AND no! I believe Moshiri is an astute business person, and he'll have a "plan" in place for whatever Everton FC is to do from now, before he even bought into the costly part of the idea!

And let us not forget that Leicester did what no-one ever thought could happen! (or, if you go back long enough, Swansea and Wimbledon did the same...)

James Morgan
11 Posted 16/08/2017 at 19:22:23
Kevin, I agree completely.
The bottom line is "how much have you spent to revitalise your squad?"
Maybe the accountants care about net spend but as a supporter you should be asking big things of your club if they spend say £150m, regardless if they bring in £100m.
John G Davies
12 Posted 16/08/2017 at 19:26:23
Good article Kevin.

Breaking into the top 6 in Koemans second season would be progress, I would expect to break into top 4 next season.

I have ordered a tuxedo for my fine dining experience anyways.

Don Alexander
13 Posted 16/08/2017 at 19:29:10
To me, Dean at #2 has it bang on. When Koeman was appointed with a 3 year contract the bottom line was qualification for the CL by the end of it. That said, I think Mr M will be disappointed if we end up only 7th this season. Can't imagine how that'll be received on Planet Hind either!
Brian Harrison
14 Posted 16/08/2017 at 19:37:22
I do think that what has to be considered is how do you attract the quality of players to take you from 7th to 1st. Our record compared to the 6 clubs that finished above us last season doesnt compare over the last 25 years. So the only way to compete is to be absolutely brilliant in spotting talent before it has blossomed into attracting the bigger clubs, or having a great academy that produces great young talent.
Maybe thats why Moshiri appointed Walsh who has a record for spotting the talent early, and Unsworth is doing a great job with the under 23 group. The only other way to compete was to do what Chelsea and City did that is buy the very best players and pay them a lot more than the other clubs. Although the FFP seems to have closed the door on that route.

So to try and quantify what is improvement this year is very difficult, I guess we can all say win a trophy but the 6 above us will be doing same with much bigger budgets.

Chris Williams
15 Posted 16/08/2017 at 19:41:14
I think Darren has a point about the backing RK has had. We've had an unprecedented turnover of players since the corresponding window last year. So far 13 out and 15 in over the year and we're not yet finished. Never seen anything like it in over 60 years of watching.

Net spend is pretty much irrelevant in that context because if we haven't improved the overall quality and competitiveness then we're pretty much buggered.

I think we have personally, from our 'best team since the 80s'. Whether we have improved enough is a relative judgement. We should have done, provided we finish the window as promised with some decent attacking recruits.

The rest is management. I would expect quantitative improvement and competing for 5-7 th and for cups as Colin suggests. Top 4 the following season as RK has promised.

Whether we can also expect qualitative improvement too remains to be seen.

Ian Bennett
16 Posted 16/08/2017 at 19:44:37
Of course net spend matters. The top 4 have strengthened already strong squads with a net spend of £100m+.

We've sold our best player, and at the time of writing £7m to the good. We are still noses pushed up against the glass when Chelsea, United and City can spend £100m net every window.

Will be interesting to see what we can still get in and who leaves. It will tell us if we are best of the rest or genuinely going toe to toe with the top 6. For me we are well behind the top 6, the fire power of Arsenal is a good gauge of the gap.

Ciarán McGlone
17 Posted 16/08/2017 at 19:52:55
Net spend is a thinly veiled way of justifying little end product.
Mike Gaynes
18 Posted 16/08/2017 at 19:54:06
Chris #4, actually I'm firmly in your corner... I view this club's transfers purely as a fan looking for better results, not as financial instruments. I was just answering Kev's point about spending and expectations, which may or may not be related.

Kev #9, that definitely applies IF you've "improved every other position across the pitch"... but we haven't. We're stronger in some areas, but massively weaker up top (at this moment, although I still expect another addition), and overall I don't know if we've improved ourselves more than the teams we're chasing. Sandro is talented but he ain't Morata, Rom or Lacazette by a long shot.

Darren #8, I wasn't making an argument, I was stating a fact. Kev was positing Moshiri's possible views of his business investment, and I simply pointed out that investment until today was breakeven. But I don't believe that spend correlates to success... I agree that a manager is judged by how he produces from what he has been given. As to the rest of your post, I know you love to do this fanciful fandango about "lots of claims" from "Koeman supporters" and blah blah blah, but you've never read a word from me about the "top table". I believe that while this club is now deeper and more capable of a deep run in the Europa, the talent level of our first 11 is still the 7th-best in the Prem and that's where I continue to predict we will finish. (Reserving the right to upgrade that prediction if we add a game-changing striker.)

Amit Vithlani
19 Posted 16/08/2017 at 19:57:59
Whether you look at this as a supporter or an accountant, no one would be happy if you sold some valuable players in your squad and replaced them with less able performers.

So net spend is not a good yardstick as it could ignore the fact that the manager traded off good players for bad ones. Whats more, if the players brought in are then sold at a loss, then that is bad management on any level.

Koeman has been backed. It is perplexing that he and Walsh have not landed a replacement for Lukaku of equal calibre.

If they do bring a quality replacement in before the deadline, I wager we will do better than last season and the money he has spent will be forgotten.

If they don't, I can't see us scoring that many. That will require a strong defence to keep us in the hunt. Which won't be pretty.

Sorry for the overly long post.

Darren Hind
20 Posted 17/08/2017 at 05:32:51
Well, well, well.

I can honestly say I expected to come home this morning and find a thread bursting with confidence and bullish belief. I mean, Isn't Koeman this world-renowned name who will attract top stars? A Football Icon? somebody who Everton were extremely lucky to have got?

I always feel ToffeeWeb provides a very good insight into the general feelings of the fan base, a kind of opinion poll, only more reliable.

Koeman's supporters are constantly complaining about criticism of their man. They will defend the worst tactical decisions. because he is "big enough" to put them right. They will back the manager over arguments that he has ill-treated players all day long. They will tell you "he has a plan". They will make the most bizarre claims that those who won't accept his crass, second-rate management, "hate" a guy they have never met. They will even excuse the dreaded Zombie football we are forced to endure. Surely they believe he is taking us to the promised land??? Na.

It would appear that, after being backed in a way no Everton manager has ever been backed before, Koeman is being damned by the faintest of praise.

I know the thread probably still has legs and the cavalry may still arrive, but it would appear to me that those who come on here almost daily boasting about his standing in the game and feverishly defending him against all criticism are reluctant to stick their necks out and say what it is that has gotten them all so "excited". Only one has dared to suggest he can achieve what the much maligned Moyes and Martinez achieved on a relative shoestring ?

Kevin asked "What's your excuses this time?" but if you don't have expectations, you don't need excuses – I learned that one from Moyes.

This club needs a leader who can inspire confidence and genuine belief; brittle bravado will not crack the glass ceiling.

What is it with us? why do we have a disproportionately large percentage of supporters who are happy to just get by with the promise of Jam tomorrow?

Jamie Crowley
21 Posted 17/08/2017 at 05:59:05
What was Leicester's net spend two seasons ago?

Do we not have one of the most prolific strikers / goal scorers in English history "back home" now? The all-time leading goal scorer for one of those really big clubs just down the road from you fine folks which will go unnamed?

Did we not just make our record signing today with the Viking Messi?

Win now. Why the fuck not?

Christ above I've always said that Evertonians are like "proper English Scousers". England was mired in a ridiculous hierarchical system for centuries. People knew their place. Christmas or Boxing Day? Labour or Tory? Royalty or Commoner? Everyone knew where they were in the hierarchical structure. To go outside of it was taboo. Those sick of it moved to America to improve their lives. England eventually caught up, but old habits die hard.

It's as if Everton know their station - where they belong and where they are supposed to finish and they accept it. Mired in 1800s England. It's the way things are, right?

Seriously... fuck that.

It's time the Toffee Lady walked right the fuck into the ballroom and owned the place.

I mean no offense. My patience is wearing really thin with Everton. I want results.

Perhaps I'm finally making the transition to Bitter Blue?

John G Davies
22 Posted 17/08/2017 at 06:28:16

Just in from a good night at the casino so feeling positive.

I reckon we will win the league in the next 3 years, the CL in the next 4.
The Grand National and Derby should be in our sights as well as the boat race.

I start EVERY season thinking we will win a trophy. That hasn't changed.
At the same time I understand the reality that to do that you have to get past some very strong squads, that have been assembled spending more money than we have year in year out for many a season. Not just the one season like us.
It can be done but will need patience.

Anthony Hughes
23 Posted 17/08/2017 at 06:59:56
With the amount of quality players brought in then for me we should be looking at a title challenge. Does anybody think that the 6 clubs who finished above us will not be trying to win the league? No thought not and we should set our stall out to do the same. Enough of the low expecations.
Phil Williams
24 Posted 17/08/2017 at 07:56:29
Mike 18
" I believe that while this club is now deeper and more capable of a deep run in the Europa, the talent level of our first 11 is still the 7th-best in the Prem and that's where I continue to predict we will finish. (Reserving the right to upgrade that prediction if we add a game-changing striker.)"

Absolutely hit the nail on the head with this comment Mike. That is not to say that paper talent will translate to on field results though. I cannot see us finishing lower than 7th, but I can foresee a situation where we finish above it if a half decent striker is signed.

James Watts
25 Posted 17/08/2017 at 08:10:09
As others have said, net spend is not an accurate yardstick. And not just because its inaccurate to measure spend in that way, which has been explained numerous times.

We've strengthened every position except three in my opinion, striker, left back and right back (but with Coleman to come back we should be ok there).

The striker will make or break our season. Get someone decent and we should be in the mix for top 6 pushing into top 4. Get that wrong and 7th is where we will be.

It's then down to Koeman to sort out his tactics, which hopefully he'll do. Just to annoy and shut Darren up for a while if nothing else.

David Nicholls
26 Posted 17/08/2017 at 09:02:23
I think 7th would be acceptable providing we finish closer to 6th than last year, make the semis in the Europa, win either the league or FA cup and win a derby match.
Danny Broderick
27 Posted 17/08/2017 at 09:06:58
If we can get a striker in, we will be well placed to improve on last season's 7th place finish. Rome wasn't built in a day. Koeman inherited some crap from Martinez, and they were only 70% fit this time last year. He's got rid of the dross and is re-shaping the squad. The whole squad is now looking leaner, younger, more physical and better organised. Get that striker in and watch us go!
Dave Wilson
28 Posted 17/08/2017 at 09:14:28
It doesn't make any sense to argue that these other clubs have been spending money like this for years, most of the players they spent it on have now gone. It's about here and it's about now. Managers all over the world can only dream about the sort of money that has been made available to Koeman and he will be judged accordingly.

I worry that he has not used the money wisely. I can't help looking down rather than up, IMO. Our battle with West Ham and Leicester will be much closer fought than any possible battle with the clubs who finished above us last season.

David Ellis
29 Posted 17/08/2017 at 09:16:19
The accurate yard stick is not net spend but the salaries bill (or total club revenue)...and we are comfortably 7th on that measure - with finally and at long last a bit of daylight between us and the teams below us.

But still a huge gap between us and Spurs. This year is about closing that gap on and off the pitch (which means a top 6 placing a good showing in Europe and a decent domestic cup run). More than that would be out performing our financial status.

Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 17/08/2017 at 09:25:26
David (26), David I think it is all or nothing in The Europa League, we will not make a lot of money if we get to the semi final, but it will drain any chance we have of getting in the top four of the league. Win it and it will be a great season, fail and it will have messed the whole season up because it will drain us the further we go.
Sam Hoare
31 Posted 17/08/2017 at 09:31:37
Darren@20, if your man Unsworth were to come in would you be suggesting that he should get top 4 and if he hasn't then he has failed and should be got fired?
Anthony Hughes
32 Posted 17/08/2017 at 09:43:37
If we finish below 7th does Koeman get the bullet?
Chris Williams
33 Posted 17/08/2017 at 09:58:14
I think most Evertonians, from whichever country or culture, are hedging their bets a bit about what progress looks like from now on. Certainly those with any experience of the clubs history, particularly the last 25 years. It has fuck all to do with perceived historical character traits, or the Pilgrim Fathers or anything to do with it.

Gross mismanagement of the club and negative management of expectations over a prolonged period have made us strangers to optimism. The fact that this has coincided with an explosion of wealth in the PL and its attendant bedfellow, greed has made it incredibly difficult to break into the perceived magic circle. And they protect their status jealously.

We have been too long in the wasteland, spectres at the feast, seeking crumbs from the rich mans table and we have been brainwashed into a collective inferiority complex. We are plucky little Everton and its a bastard to get that monkey off our back.

So where are we? We moved up to 7th with a huge gap beneath us. There is a big gap to 6th. But it is a start .

We have cleared out the stables with 13 out in the last 12 months, many of whom stunk the place out for years. We've brought in 15 over the same period. A major investment. We are short of goals by the look of it still but we expect that to be resolved. We are short of cohesion too but that will come too. Some players look short of form, but form can be temporary.

Not all of these signings will work I guess, although we have limited experience of such an influx. Injuries are still damaging us, with Coleman especially and Bolasie, hurting us.

But are we stronger? Yes I think so.

Will we get more points?Yes I think so

What about the character of the players? Stronger, I think. Plenty of captains/leaders in the squad. Plenty of PL experience too.

What about the style of football? I don't know but I might be prepared to postpone style for a season as long as progress is visible, measurable, tangible. And we see silverware.

I could accept a Roundhead 5th and a cup win as long as next year a Cavalier emerges like a butterfly from its chrysalis when we finish top 3 in style.

Is it possible? Yes it is.

With Gods help and the Mersey don't rise.

John G Davies
34 Posted 17/08/2017 at 09:59:14


Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 17/08/2017 at 10:18:23
Imagine Lukaku, playing with these players behind him now, he'd score thirty easily!?

Net spend? We've got to balance the books, otherwise we won't last 5 minutes, but Koeman knows his job, top 4 by the end of his contract, or he will probably be on his way.

Me? I'd prefer to watch my sons celebrate some fucking silverware!

Brian Williams
36 Posted 17/08/2017 at 10:20:35
Chris Gould
37 Posted 17/08/2017 at 10:34:22
If Liverpool lose Coutinho and fail to get Van Dijk, our first 11 at the very least are equal to them. If we buy a decent striker we surpass them.
Arsenal lack guts and Chelsea are unsure of themselves. Spurs' wage structure is undoubtedly upsetting their players.
Bollocks to 7th.
Derek Thomas
38 Posted 17/08/2017 at 10:51:08
If we're still not ripping up trees (even smallish ones) by Feb, it will take a braver (and richer) man than me to make the decision whether to give Koeman 2 more windows to spunk money at CL qualification.
Laurie Hartley
39 Posted 17/08/2017 at 11:32:34
£200 million is £200 million whatever way you look at it.

If RK blows it the leader won't balk at spending another £6million to pay him off.

Sam Hoare
40 Posted 17/08/2017 at 11:44:47
"I could accept a Roundhead 5th and a cup win as long as next year a Cavalier emerges like a butterfly from its chrysalis when we finish top 3 in style."

You would 'accept' 5th and a cup win?!

Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing a different game altogether. To my eye the 6 teams that finished above us are still stronger than us on paper (a few of them comfortably so) and are not bedding in as many new players as we are. I don't even think Siggurdsson would get into most those teams starting XI for certain.

We were a LONG way behind them last season and one of our rivals have taken our best player.

5th and a cup win would be an impressive achievement.

Jim Knightley
41 Posted 17/08/2017 at 11:46:07
Kevin et al -

We've lost by far our most effective attacker in Lukaku, who has strengthened the club who finished above us in the league. Our best attacking midfielder is set to depart the club. We've lost arguably our best player in their position - Coleman, for the best part of next season.

The teams above us, all of whom have more quality in the first 11 and strength in depth, have spent money. United have added a tried and tested DM they needed to give freedom to Pogba and others - they've added our 25 a season striker, and a promising CB (at present unproven and in my opinion, a lesser player than Keane). We only finished so close to them last season because they gave up on the league.

Arsenal have lost no one significant yet - they've added the left back we were desperate to acquire and a very good striker who will add goals to their game.

City have brought incredibly - they are on a different planet to us. What I would give for one of their attacking stars to build our team around...

Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool's business has been belated, but all three were comfortably better than us last season, and boost extra quality. Spurs' first 11 is on a different level, and they will buy a right back to replace Walker, and possibly add Barkley to their ranks. They've been head and shoulders above us of late for a reason. They are better defensively and far better offensively.

Chelsea have lost Matic, but signed a more athletic replacement. Costa will be gone but Morata has come in, and he has a far bigger ceiling. Rudiger has been added and more are to come.

Liverpool look the most vulnerable, because of the Coutinho situation. He is their heartbeat, and his loss will be as big as our loss of Lukaku. But they've added an excellent attacking midfielder in Salah, a decent left back in Robertson, and I'd expect them to add one big centre back signing, and at least one central midfielder, before the window shuts.

So Kevin - look at the context and look at what we've lost. To merely point to a gross spend fixture is to simplify the argument to a ridiculous extent. Our competitors are also investing and were much better to begin with. Most of them are used to juggling European football and the league - we are not. We will find next season alot harder going with Thursday night football, and the extra tiredness that comes with it, along with less time to prepare for weekend games.

Our signings are also, in the main, for the future rather than the now. 9 of the 12 we've signed are 24 years old or younger - the majority are 21 or under. We are also investing in the now, but more prominently we are investing in the future. I see us becoming a force in 2-3 seasons, when younger buys, and our excellent youth squads, mature and when we've had longer to address clear weaknesses in the squad.

We've also lost personnel - Lukaku and the likely departure of Ross are most obvious, but no Deulofeu, Barry, and the absence of Bolasie, Coleman, and Mori through injury lessens the squad. We haven't added that much depth in view of these losses, although we are boasted by the emergence of youngsters (Davies, Lookman, Holgate, Lewin) ahead of a trying Europa campaign.

My prediction is seventh, because we are not as good as those above us. I think we could finish higher, depending on the form of others (Liverpool look most vulnerable), but we also face challenges from below - Leicester, without the burden of European football, will challenge. Their form under Shakespeare is much improved and they possess real quality in Mahrez and Vardy. West Ham have brought well, and their attacking unit looks much better this season, although they need a change in management. Bournemouth have invested well too and are on the up. We should and must finish above all these teams, but let's not ignore those vying for European football with us.

I see the real challenge elsewhere - it must be in the cups and in Europe. I don't think we have the quality, week in week out, to win enough games to make top 4 - there is a reason that so few teams have broken the stranglehold of the top six on the UCL places (3 in 20 years?). Our lack is especially obvious in attack - the teams above us are all clearly better. But we do have the quality to go all the way in a cup. The Europa is an odd competition - in 2015-6 Liverpool had to play Dortmund and Sevilla in the semis and final - two Champions League quality teams. Last year - United had to get past the likes of Vigo and Ajax to win the trophy - teams we are arguably better than, and more than capable of beating. That trophy is a way into the UCL, and a means of raising our profile. We must also improve our output in the domestic cups - we are well placed for a run at either, and we must not surrender meekly. A team like us should not have gone so long without a trophy,

I will not judge us harshly this season if we finish seventh - I will judge us harshly if we fail in cup competitions. We need to progress this season but progress takes different forms and we are not an isolated case - most teams in this league are progressing, off the back of record TV deals. The picture is alot brighter now though and we must move forward - if we don't, the buck stops at Koeman. But I think it's important not to make ridiculous assertions - We simply do not have the quality of many of those above us.

Roberto Birquet
42 Posted 17/08/2017 at 11:51:31
Some seem to be deliberately obtuse on the net spend idea. We have in reality so far spent £40 million. The rest has been wheeler dealing.

Ask yourself this. Would Everton look a more frightening side a team more likely to get into the Top 4 if Lukaku had signed a new deal with us and was leading the line?

We still need a striker. Look at the strikers that the Top Six and compared that with us. I reckon it will be another year before Everton are really mentioned in the same breath as the Top Six.

Roberto Birquet
43 Posted 17/08/2017 at 11:55:00
£200 million is £200 million whatever way you look at it.

Brexit means Brexit.

Any other meaningless equivalencies out there?

Chris Williams
44 Posted 17/08/2017 at 12:00:44

It certainly would, even if achieved with ugly football.

Henrik Lyngsie
45 Posted 17/08/2017 at 12:03:49
I would be happy if we were getting closer to the top 4. Being in the mix for fourth the whole way through the season. If we then end up 6 I think it is fine. Combined with a good European run with at least a QF. I think it is important we get European experience as well as better ranking for future seedings.
And finally to see a team in progress with a lot of the younger players fully integrated.
Don Alexander
46 Posted 17/08/2017 at 13:50:39
Darren (#20), I'll bite, but where do I start in response?

I believe most fans are hoping for an improved season and with the new signings are, at worst, cautiously confident it'll be delivered.

Koeman was one of the best footballers in his position that Europe has ever produced, not only by what I saw but also by his unarguable achievements. What's “a football icon” got to do with it?

I agree that TW is a reliable barometer of (mainly middle-aged – I suspect) fans' feelings. The consensus of many, and even those who provide you with a modicum of support, is that you are absurdly obsessive in your incessant damn-Koeman-whatever invective. That said, the mundane quality of football has been acknowledged by me and a good number of those you seem to condemn because they “come on here almost daily” (That'd never do would it??!!!!) and bizarrely accuse of “boasting” and “feverishly defending” him. Further, what has “gotten me all so excited” (but the reality is that I'm actually “reasonably encouraged”), is progress up the league to actual European qualification despite having spent a pittance in comparison with just about everyone above and immediately below us in the league.

Your last paragraph is beyond parody. On every level we're doing way better than “getting by”. “Jam tomorrow” to me means trophies and it's the fervent hope of every football fan, but just a few get to taste it today.

I do agree though that it's a crying shame that Mr Moshiri was unable to find a manager who in the first of his three years would transform the ordinary, failing squad we had into the likes of Real Madrid as we charged up the league, but there it is. To twist a Trekkie quote, “It's progress Darren, but not as we know it!”

Speaking of which, does the Enterprise ever visit wherever you are in the universe?

Kevin Tully
47 Posted 17/08/2017 at 14:02:54
I hope the manager isn't looking a 7th position as a 'par' finish. I know most of the players won't be happy with 7th, either. I am 100% certain Moshiri and his team won't be content to finish 7th. Taking that into consideration, it's even more strange the majority of our fans would say 7th is about right. Didn't Leicester give any Blues some encouragement that it's possible to actually win this League? It's only 2 seasons ago!

According to many, the six teams above us are just better. We may as well just concede that now, and not hope to emulate the mighty Burnley, who were 3 up a half time at Stamford Bridge.

We can make excuses all day long - in work, in life, in any given sport. It's the easy way out. We've been doing it for so long, it's a natural response for some Evertonians. Those days are gone. it is time to put some real expectations on the shoulders of players who sign £100, or £150k a week contracts at our club. Danny Rose at the might Spurs was moaning 'cos he's only getting £65K a week! We'll be hearing why we can't expect anything for another 22 years in a minute. What's "A good Cup run?" It's another let-off. A Cup win I can live with.

I hope the like of Rooney isn't on board with some of you. In fact, I know he isn't, he won't be settling for 7th.

Don Alexander
48 Posted 17/08/2017 at 14:30:43
Quite agree Kevin. The likes of Leicester showed that "knowing your place" is for the bin nowadays but the new regime have been open in wanting a sustainably successful CL-playing club for more years than one. The signings this summer exemplify this and, with good management and enterprise by hard-nut winning players, we'll surely end up higher than seventh.
Paul Tran
49 Posted 17/08/2017 at 15:39:40
As far as I'm concerned, Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool are vulnerable. And who knows what's happening at Chelsea? Can Guardiola's set up last a whole season?

Koeman has virtually got 'his' team, so there's no excuse for a decent challenge.

I always expect top six, my idea of success is a cup and/or CL spot. Seventh place and no cup run with the same lumpen, moribund football will see him heading towards the door.

Phil Walling
50 Posted 17/08/2017 at 15:59:52
NEXT season is the big one. It always is !
Tony Marsh
51 Posted 17/08/2017 at 16:02:42
I don't see improvement on 7th place without two more strikers coming in. We are now top heavy with midfielders and still have Bolasie to come back who doesn't score goals.

This squad, with Lukaku, would've made top 4 no doubt about it. Buy as many players as you like at least one of them must score at least 15 goals a season or it is pointless. If Sigurdsson can get maybe 10.

Where are the other goals coming from? Calvert Lewin? I don't think so...

Jim Knightley
52 Posted 17/08/2017 at 16:07:36
The Leicester win is the 1000/1 exception not the rule. If we had our squad and money 2 years ago, we could have made top four. But everything has changed again, prompted by the good managerial appointments and extreme investment in the big sides.

The point is not to set our sights on 7th as the goal - the goal is always to win every game. The point is to not throw the toys out the pan if we come seventh, providing we progress (by winning a cup for example). We need some realism - bringing up Leicester is not realism. There is a reason so few teams have breached top 4 and more importantly why so few have done it consistently. We need to built for that consistency - to pave the way for a future where we consistently challenge at the top end.

We could have been more short term in our dealings this summer- but we decided otherwise in the main. Heaton didn't come in - but pickford, whose ceiling is higher but in the interim he will make more mistakes Numerous youth buys, and in particular the recent investment in Lookman and Onyekuru illustrate our desire to target the future - which is the only way we can progress and breach the gap.

It is a strategy which will not come to fruition this season, but which will in the seasons to come. Hopefully we will have enough to finish higher in the league, but if we finish behind teams with bigger squads and better players (in the main) I won't be calling for Koeman's head if we are moving in the right direction. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Roberto Birquet
53 Posted 17/08/2017 at 16:11:58
Arsenal vulnerable? Their third choice striker has just turned us down becoming our first choice striker. Now we are linked with their 4th choice striker.

We are still some way off. Another CB and a striker, then the return of some pace: Coleman and Bolaise, and we'll be quite close. But even that and I would look at 6th this season as good progress and fifth as excellent progress

Mike Gaynes
54 Posted 17/08/2017 at 16:36:41
Jim #41, excellent summary.

Kev #47, time to replace your reading glasses, mate. Did you see anywhere in my post that I'd be "content" with 7th? Or that anybody connected with the club would be happy with it? A prediction does not constitute an endorsement. But like Jim, I'll be far more disappointed with another year of poor Cup performances or a quick exit from Europe than I will be with another 7th. We now have the depth to compete in the Cups and should do much better.

Paul #49, I don't think he has "his" team yet. More moves to come, including in this window. As things stand now, I look at our talent and I don't see enough for a CL place. Yet.

Don #48, Leicester was a one-off, a wondrous confluence of magical circumstances like Rovers in '95. Of course the same thing could happen for us, but it's a pretty rare phenomenon and requires playing over your head. Remember both Leicester and Rovers came back the following season with essentially the same sides and immediately crashed and burned.

And Darren, I can't imagine how far off the deep end you're going to go with your Keoman routine if we get one point from our next four league games (a distinct possibility) and find ourselves sitting in 17th a month from now.

Dave Ganley
55 Posted 17/08/2017 at 17:03:41
Kevin, totally agree with you. I've said on other posts that we should be aiming high, Darren Hind says exactly the same thing. We, as Evertonians have been brow beaten over the years to accept that punching above our weight is acceptable and we should be happy with the plucky Everton tag. Well I'm not and never have been. We should be challenging for trophies, we should be going toe to toe with RS, Citeh and United et al at their grounds. We shouldn't be going there frightened to death and happy to grind out a draw.

I am a big advocate of Koeman and what he's been doing. He's got rid of the deadwood for most part, he's getting rid of the loser mentality at last, he's getting in players who, imo, are winners, who will go to the likes of the khazi across the park and OT etc and have a go and actually win at these places.

With all this though comes expectation. I expect us to compete, I expect us to challenge for trophies and I expect us to be there or there abouts come May. He is getting the squad he wants so I don't expect excuses come the end of the season, I expect us to be among the top 4 where we should be. Let's judge on a full season though and not after just half a dozen games. I expect significant change this season for the better.

Steve Hogan
56 Posted 17/08/2017 at 17:22:15
Don Alexander (46) Perfect response to Darren. The only problem I have with Darren, is that is hatred/obsession with Koeman, overshadows EVERYTHING he comments on.

God forbid we should have a relatively successful season, I wonder what he would find to write about, seriously. I often wonder did Koeman run over his cat at any time in the last 13 months of his tenure, simply because he has had a downer on him from practically day one.

Dermot Byrne
57 Posted 17/08/2017 at 17:44:42
I think on TW there is always someone who hates the current manager.

I forget their names now but there is now TW tradition of someone interpreting all events on the planet as the managers fault. Then a load of us try and point out it is unreasonable. This then causes a kind of Trumpesque reaction and any optimism is almost branded Fake News !

It is great fun and though I cannot remember the names of the previous ones, I do know there is an institution that aids slow recovery situated near Greasby. You place is booked Darren!

Paul Tran
58 Posted 17/08/2017 at 17:50:28
Roberto, Arsenal are treading water. They're years ahead of us in terms of serious investment. They have a higher and more expensive level of under-performing players than we had. They have a complacent management structure that lets their coach get away with murder. I think they're vulnerable to any up and coming team that's seriously tough and ambitious.

Mike, fair enough, except I didn't say we were ready for CL, but that I would consider qualification and/or a cup win as my measure of success. Doesn't mean I'll be calling for Koeman's head if we don't get it, but I refuse to get excited at any Everton team finishing in the top six and not winning anything.

John G Davies
59 Posted 17/08/2017 at 17:53:29
I agree.
Arsenal are a team we can finish higher than.
I would put them from over the park in the same bracket.
Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 17/08/2017 at 17:56:43
The EPL, is like the English national team, its vastly over-rated, because of how well it's been marketed down the years. Ofcourse there are some good teams, but the quality has been drifting for years, and I don't think there are that many special teams in this league?

Leicester's achievement was brilliant, but they had been working towards this from the previous January, and had good form throughout the Callander year, before they became champions.

I'm not sure we are ready for this just yet, simply because we have got a nearly new team, but once we get past September I will expect performances to really improve.

I loved Koeman's response during the Wayne Rooney, press conference. It's about Wayne today, is what he said, but ofcourse it's about pressure, and I embrace pressure, so it's possibly why he's changed the squad so dramatically in such a short space of tim?

He joined Everton, they was a squad without a winning mentality, so although the football looks awful at the minute, the manager still deserves a bit of time!

Ajay Gopal
61 Posted 17/08/2017 at 18:06:28
Thought provoking post, Kevin, good one!

For God's sake, I have been optimistic about the season when we had just signed James Beattie, Simon Davies, Per Kroldrup, Marcus Bent! If we can't be optimistic after signing Pickford, Keane, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Sandro, Klaassen, then I don't know when we can be!

For me, I would be disappointed if we finished anywhere below 5th and made at least 1 good Cup run (Semis of Europa/FA/League Cup).

Sam Hoare
62 Posted 17/08/2017 at 18:21:51
Burnley beat Chelsea therefore we should come in the top 4? It's a league!!

No-one is suggesting that we go into any game waving the white flag. We should be aiming to beat everyone. Win everything.

But a quick look at the comparative resources will show you that if we do win everything it would be very against the odds. Leicester was a fairytale that had not happened before in the PL and probably won't happen again for a long time. If you go around expecting fairytales you're gonna be in trouble!

I'm not saying that we should aim at 7th. Of course not. But if that's what we get then I'd think it's about right given the relative squad strengths.

Ian Jones
63 Posted 17/08/2017 at 19:20:47
So when Everton get 4th place in Ronald Koeman's last season which is the end of his 3rd year at the club, what's the betting

a) England will only be allocated 3 places in Champions League.
b) Ronald Koeman will have received an ultimatum at the end of his 2nd year, having finished 6th in league and lost all 3 cup competitions. Sign an extension to your contract or we will sack you - none of which happen :)
b) Ronald goes off to Barcelona at the end of 3rd year and takes half the team with him.

Darren Hind
64 Posted 17/08/2017 at 19:26:21
The claim that I, Peter Larkin, or Ciaran or anybody else "hates" the manager is probably the most empty, vacuous, excuse for not having a decent answer I have heard from any football fan let alone Evertonians. Do you people actually understand the concept of hate, or are you using in in a way a five-year-old would use it in the classroom? FFS – try to get you head around the stupidity of the claim.

Koeman is the manager of the club I love. He has been in charge for coming up to 50 games and, to these eyes, the overwhelming majority (95%) of these games, we have witnessed turgid uninspiring purposeless shit, played at a pace which would put a glass eye to sleep. I hate what he is doing to this club and I hate that so many people excuse it... but if he was to fuck off tomorrow, I would not give him a second thought. He would no longer be dragging the reputation of this club through the gutter.

I experienced one of my lowest ever moments last season. I was having a beer with Chelsea fans after the game. One of them said to me "Fuck me, mate, how do you suffer that every week? You should change your name from Everton to fucking Mogadon!"

For once in my life, I was speechless. Talk about the truth hurting. It felt like a dagger, not that he said it, but because the chavy fucker was bang on the money. I've suffered similar taunts from RS. Presenters of football programmes shuffle us to the back of the queue virtually every week. We were so bad last season, we failed to register attempts on goal in the majority of our games away. Only some mighty performances from Lukaku lifted the gloom for most of the games at home.

Let me spell this out for those daft enough to make these ludicrous statements. I do not hate Koeman.... did you hear that? And I would be staggered to hear that Ciaran or Peter did either... but I despise what he is doing to this club. I despise that he has drained my team of soul. I despise that we play to stadiums so quiet, you can hear the players talking. I despise that he has taken the joy out of our club .

If Koeman was to leave tomorrow, I would shake his hand, pack his bags, drive him to the airport, buy him a bevvy and wish him all the very best and I would mean it.

Rhino would not be my first choice, but I would welcome his appointment like I'd welcome a new born to the family. Would he finish seventh? Probably, but I wouldn't care. I would not give a flying fuck. Joy and passion would be invited back into the Old Lady and that for me, would be a monumental step in the right direction.

I can see reasoned arguments being put up by those desperately trying to prove that we shouldn't expect big improvements, but I don't buy them. The first rule of sport is not to magnify the size of your task by bigging up the opposition. Those talking up the opposition to the point here they don't believe we can overcome them are simply hiding behind the same couch as Koeman.

I'm with Paul T, Chris and others who believe those above us are vulnerable. No more excuses.

No ale for me tonight; I'm working. Let's hope I won't be driven to it on the way home...

Ian Jones
65 Posted 17/08/2017 at 19:41:58
Hi Darren. I get the reasons you don't particularly like our manager, and that's fair enough, but out of interest, in a perfect world, if all managers were free and money was no object, who would be your choice?
Sam Hoare
66 Posted 17/08/2017 at 19:45:23
Darren, you say that you don't buy the arguments that we shouldn't expect big improvements but then say that Unsworth (the only manager I can recall you suggesting as an alternative) would probably come 7th!

Is that not agreeing that getting much higher than that would be extremely difficult with this squad?

If you are talking about expecting more in terms of philosophy and style then that's something I can understand and agree with but I can't agree with those intimating that a failure to reach the top 4 would constitute failure. And I don't see that as making excuses I see it as simple realism. I'm not a fan of Koeman necessarily but I think any manager would struggle to close the gap that still exists. I'd actually be pretty happy to see Unsworth in the seat but it seems unfair to place a burden of expectation on Koeman in terms of results that I and you would not place on Rhino.

Stan Schofield
67 Posted 17/08/2017 at 19:59:12
I can't really understand the focus on whether we'll finish 7th again, or whether we'll compete with the 'top 6'. Season before last, Leicester and Southampton finished top-6, so it's easily feasible we'll break into the top-6.

For me, in addition to quality of player and the need to gel as a team, we need a winning mentality. We've been lacking a winning mentality for a long time, but the recent signings have a good likelihood of providing just that.

Regarding quality of player, we've got a good squad, the recent signings are good, but at the same time we've lost good players. Several more signings should strengthen us further, to a point where we can say we've improved (on paper) even with the loss of Lukaku and Barkley.

Regarding gelling as a team, it's of course too early to judge, but if Koeman has a plan (which we can only assume he does), then there's every likelihood we will gel, at which point we can expect not only better results but also better football (despite some of the dire stuff we've suffered).

So, rather than trying to figure out precisely where we'll finish (which we can't predict anyway), I prefer to think in terms of likely improvement, firstly in results and secondly in quality of football. And there's good reason to believe there will be improvement. If there is, a high finishing position should follow.

I have hope (like we all have) plus a 'reasonable expectation' of improving over last season. The likely winning mentality should, for example, see an improvement in away results.

Gary Edwards
68 Posted 17/08/2017 at 20:04:55
City and Utd will occupy 2 of the top 4 spots absolutely no doubt about it as both have deep squads full of quality players.

Chelsea have lost key players and not really replaced them. Decisions are being made outside of Conte's control and he seemingly is not happy. They have the CL this season and injuries to a couple of key players could see them 'struggle' to make the top 4. They need to bring in 3 or 4 decent players to maintain standards and I don't see them doing that.

Arsenal - no CL but Europa Cup. Sanchez looks like he's gone, the Ox too (possibly), brought in a good LWB and a decent CF but defence looks iffy we could have them.

Spuds stood still and though they may bring in one or two before the t/f deadline they will be squad players. Again a couple of key injuries e.g. Loris and they may struggle to make top 4 . they will finish above us.

The Dark Side done very little in the t/f market and now will lose Cuntinho with very little time to replace him. I think they were banking on VVD to improve their shaky defence but looks like that won't happen. They will be stretched by their CL commitments. We could also have them.

If we get in a good CF and a decent CB we could achieve 5th, 4th with luck. If we don't get either 7th is the least we should expect.

Don Alexander
69 Posted 17/08/2017 at 22:13:51
Darren, your assertion that you merely hate and despise what Koeman does, but not him personally, says it all. Surprised so few felt the same way about Hitler on that basis. Whatever!

The fact is, from what we all read on TW, that virtually nobody has ever said that they're delighted with the quality of football CONSISTENTLY played last season despite the fact we improved by four places. On the contrary actually, but most of us have matured sufficiently not to quickly throw the teddy out the pram once a new manager is appointed. I also have to say any fan such as you who considers success to be immaterial as long as "joy and passion" are apparent is another weird concept to me.

Most realise that what we all seek, namely consistently good to excellent play but WITH success, will only come about with a significantly different plan to what went before, and that three seasons to achieve it will be but a short time to wait. Two would be better though!

Andy Crooks
70 Posted 17/08/2017 at 22:19:35
Darren, no one is suggesting that you or Ciaran or anyone hate Koeman. I will stand by a comment I made recently; I expect us to challenge for the top four this season. If, by Christmas, we are playing poor, dour football, I will revise my views. I retain faith in Koeman, I have no doubt that this is his season.

Darren you will, in my view, be proven wrong and you will be happy to be so. The idea, however, that Koeman is above criticism, is ridiculous and I don't see anyone making it.

Darren Hind
71 Posted 17/08/2017 at 23:46:52

Not true; Ciaran gave an opinion about the standard of play after the last match and was almost instantly dismissed as a Koeman "hater". I've been called it twice on this thread alone. And although I don't visit the Live Forum often, I see poor old Peter seems to be accused of it regularly

No complaints: I see both Ciaran and Peter as free thinkers with minds of their own. All's fair. I personally make an effort not to respond to people trying to run with the pack. I admire the free thinkers who know shite when they see it and will not be concerned about upsetting others by calling it.

This thread has been an eye opener for me, The self-proclaimed optimists have commented on other threads, but they have been conspicuous by their absence on this one. I suspect that the only thing "fake" is the optimism of those who claim they have it in abundance

Kudos to the Trans, The Goulds and of course the Tullys, Andy, they have nailed their colours and not taken refuge behind the couch. If they are wrong, so be it... we're all wrong sometimes.

But it's nice to see proper Evertonians having the courage of their convictions.

Darren Hind
72 Posted 17/08/2017 at 23:57:12
Oh and Sam @ 66

No mate, I would expect Rhino to finish to 7th with Koeman's players. I would expect an awful lot more if he had spent 200m quid.

Brent Stephens
73 Posted 18/08/2017 at 00:05:06
Darren, get on the thread for tonight's game and give Koeman some credit. Go on!
Don Alexander
74 Posted 18/08/2017 at 01:09:16
Darren, all anyone can do as a fan is comment on what Everton employees DO or, on a lesser level perhaps, SAY. On this and so many other threads all you've ever emphasised is that you HATE/DESPISE (your words, see above) EVERYTHING that Koeman does. Logically therefore I and others conclude that you hate Koeman, because he can only be judged by his actions and words.

You effectively now saying "No I don't, but yeah I do!" (see above #64) makes you sound like a plonker. In describing your contributions so many TW'ers use words like "ridiculous" after all. Just saying!

Better (not great!!!!!) performance tonight though, in our fourth successive competitive win with no goals conceded eh?

What say you?

Jim Jennings
75 Posted 18/08/2017 at 01:18:01
Darren #72,

You say "I would expect Rhino to finish to 7th with Koeman's players. I would expect an awful lot more if he had spent 200m quid."

Genuine question. Do you mean £200m on top of the £200m that Koeman's players presumably already cost? Doesn't that prove Sam's point that "getting much higher than that (7th) would be extremely difficult with this squad?"

I'm not sure the relative lack of comment from those that oppose your view is such an eye-opener. It's probably more a reflection of others' attention being on two much more interesting threads from the last 24 hours – the match itself and the record signing – plus the fact that much of this thread is a regurgitation of other recent threads.

Pete Clarke
76 Posted 18/08/2017 at 02:31:59
Hello Fellow blues.

There is a lot of change going on at Everton which is mostly positive. If we can just forgot about trophies and concentrate on winning EVERY battle we go into then the success will come.

The next few games will be a reasonable indicator of Koeman's gameplan. His tactics have so far been questionable but he has to start earning his wages against the phoney Sky luvvies.


Laurie Hartley
77 Posted 17/08/2017 at 02:44:16
In my opinion hate is a word that should be used very sparingly. Darren I love your passion for Everton - you come across as being as one eyed about the club as me.

I find some of your arguments and comments both compelling and hard to dispute. The only thing I would suggest to you is that you give patience a go for this season.

It seems to me Moshiri has an agenda to get us back to the top of the pile. Based on his track record in business it appears to me he is a winner who will change things quickly if he doesn't think things are going according to his agenda.

The pulling of his shares from Arsenal to purchase his stake in Everton and the timing of the sacking of Martinez is evidence of this to me. Therefore, I reckon Koeman has got this season to get us into the top 5. If he doesn't he will know what's coming down.

Knowing this I feel Koeman will win ugly if that is what it takes.

To digress slightly - One game that sticks in my mind from my teenage years was in 1963. I was at Goodison to see Everton play the great Inter Milan team managed by Herrera. Our team included my favourite Everton player of all time Tony Kay.

That Everton team new how to score goals but no matter how hard we tried we just couldn't break them down. I just couldn't figure it out at the time. They drew with us 0-0 at Goodison and beat us in the return at the San Siro 1-0. (You might have been there?)

The lesson I learn't from that game was that winners, first and foremost, keep clean sheets.

I fell for the five card trick in Martinez first season when he had us playing Sin Miedo football. I thought this is it - we are back. How wrong I was. I can remember having an exchange on hear with Tony Abrahams about our weakness in defense.

I likened us to a boxer with a glass jaw. It's a terrible thing to see a classy boxer fight a good fight only to be stopped with one punch. There is something terribly sad about it when it happens. Metaphorically speaking, that is what was happening to us under Martinez.

It seems to me Koeman's approach is diametrically opposed to RM's - he is strengthening us from the back. My hope is that the flair will follow later in the season. I caught a glimpse of what might be with Rooney's goal against Stoke. We will see.

In the meantime I would rip your arm off if you offered me 4 clean sheets in the next four games.

Jay Harris
78 Posted 18/08/2017 at 02:46:58
4 games five goals none concede.

Pattern of play beginning to emerge with short sharp passing improving every game.

Personally I see a lot of progress and look forward to our new CF.

Sam Hoare
80 Posted 18/08/2017 at 07:43:25
Darren@72 you think we have spent poorly then?

Who do you think Rhino might have bought? Given that the manager would be working with Walsh on targets I wonder how different the players would be.

So if at the beginning of the Summer Rhino was to get the same money to spend as Koeman (whilst losing his best player) where would you expect him to come?

I suspect that the things you say about perceived lack of passion and optimism in the football (something I feel too) colours the expectations that you are placing on the manager. That if Rhino or another manager you approved of was in the same position you would be more understanding of the difficulty in overhauling teams that have been outspending us for the last decade. Hopeful that it was possible but understanding that it would be very hard to bridge that gap in one Summer of spending where attracting genuine top 4 players is almost impossible due to lack of CL.

Stan Schofield
81 Posted 18/08/2017 at 10:01:21
When I watching the game last night, after about 10min, I was thinking, wow, this is good! And that went on for the remainder of the 1st half. The goals were the 'icing on the cake', and it was great to see Gana score (he's obviously been desperate to do so!) and Keane get his first.

One of the things we've lacked is a cold 'winning mentality', where we're hard to score against, and opportunistic going forward. That's what was apparent last night. And arguably apparent in the previous three competitive games. All clean sheets.

If we can maintain the attitude of treating every team with respect but no fear, whether they be Barca or a pub team, and aim to win, then we've cracked it. The skill is there, and finally (on last night's evidence) we can see high quality football and intense pressing, which we haven't really seen to that level.

The game against City will no doubt be a test of how the approach can work against a top side.

Ray Robinson
82 Posted 18/08/2017 at 10:35:20
Good post Sam #80. I would add, if Unsworth had been given 𧶀m to spend, how would he have managed to spend it? Koeman, like him or not (and we know that Darren doesn't), clearly has a certain reputation which was instrumental in attracting certain players. It doesn't make him a better manager but it does open up the range of higher quality players who are willing to sign.
Andy Crooks
83 Posted 18/08/2017 at 13:25:33
Darren, I know what it is like not to run with the pack. When I thought it was time for Moyes to go Michael and Lyndon removed a huge amount of vitriol directed at me (not at my request, because I believe this site thrives on robust debate).

However, my argument against you is about timing. I believe that you do not recognize that time is needed. I know and acknowledge the signs have not been good. We are dour, yes I accept that. We are pretty one dimensional right now. BUT, I see green shoots, improvement with each game. Darren it will be fine.

Craig Walker
84 Posted 18/08/2017 at 13:55:06
I think Kevin is right that Moshiri won't be happy with a 7th placed finish and will it really be progress to finish where Moyes had us finishing consistently after smashing our transfer record several times in pre-season? The unfortunate thing is that, deep down I can't see us getting anything higher than 7th (or 6th at a push). Maybe that's the pessimist in me who has seen too many false dawns plus my late dad's words that "Everton will always let you down" ingrained in me. I think we are still behind Chelsea, both Manchester clubs, Arsenal, Spurs and the RS. I also think a run in the Europa League will hinder us by playing on Thursdays and Sundays. I know I gave him a fair amount of stick and we'll never know but it would have been interesting to see what Lukaku could have done with the likes of Sigurdsson and Rooney providing more of a service. I expect we'll be difficult to beat at home but will still struggle away from Goodison. Man City away should give us a better idea but I don't see us getting anywhere near a top 4 finish without a world class striker and a better partner for Keane, at the very least and a hope that some of the teams above us implode. If we had this squad and Lukaku, two seasons ago then it could have been very interesting because every team that season struggled with the exception of Leicester and Spurs.

I still think it is an exciting time to be a Blue though. The squad is improving significantly and the Bramley Moore stadium is our chance to get back where we belong. We're even getting favourable coverage in the media these days.

Graham Mockford
85 Posted 18/08/2017 at 14:03:59
Darren (#64)

"We were so bad last season we failed to register attempts in the majority of our games away"

I don't even have to check the actual statistics to know that statement is false.

And if I did consider someone to be a 'chavy fucker', whatever that epithet may entail, I probably wouldn't have a drink with them.

Tony Abrahams
86 Posted 18/08/2017 at 14:07:09
I can't remember that debate Laurie, was I praising Roberto's defensive knowledge? But I remember last night, and some of it was very good.

We had width, which I love, we kept the ball moving, but only at times, and we introduced a few quick interchanging passes, but again only at times.

If Rooney would have clipped the ball over the keepers near post, then I would have been much happier, but I like the way we kept switching the play to stretch Haduk, and not just with the long diagonal pass.

I only like that pass when it's really on, and I thought we used it too many times last night, but at least we really moved our opponents around for once last night?

Second half was fucking rubbish though, and showed us how much we have got to learn, if we are going to become "true professionals"!

Finally Laurie, I loved reading what you wrote and how you felt about Milan in 1963, football like life, is all about being educated mate!

Steavey Buckley
87 Posted 18/08/2017 at 14:29:14
The big problem with Everton in the past when there was no shareholder to guarantee the cost of transfers, Everton missed out on some bargains such as Evans formerly of Manchester United and Forster and Van Dijk formerly of Celtic and Butland formerly of Birmingham, who all went for 㾶 million each or even lower. Now, these players are way over their original transfer prices.

But when Everton gained a wealthy backer and shareholder and the TV money has shot up, 㿞 million is needed to buy a very good player, when the same player could have been had for say 㾶 million in the past. Yes, in the current market, 𧶀 million is needed to rebuild any team that has aspirations for the top 4 that may finish 7th.

John Crawley
88 Posted 18/08/2017 at 15:22:53
Sam 80 - question for you on Koeman's transfer policy as I know you follow a lot of football. As far as I can see it's overwhelming based on buying players tried in the Premiership. Does such a strategy make it possible for us to gain enough of a competitive edge to finish above last years top 6?
Kristian Boyce
89 Posted 18/08/2017 at 15:53:30
The problem is that £200m was needed to bridge to gap from our 7th position last year to a top 4 this year. While we have done that, the others have invested as well, so in reality, we need another £100-150m invested to get us closer.
Darren Hind
90 Posted 18/08/2017 at 16:10:44

I just like free thinkers. I don't care what side of the fence they are on. I will debate and respond to people whose arguments I respect all day long.
I wouldn't be arsed responding to some of the amateur psychoanalysts who say you "hate" the manager because you hate the job he is doing. It's a depressingly stupid argument – I hate what my Mrs does to the finances every day, but I still dearly love the old girl.

How the fuck do you reason with people who say "You only say our football's crap because you hate the manager"?

I take on board your point about my patience. It's a valid one... but I have a very real fear that I may not witness this club win another thing. That fear grows for me (and many other blues of a certain age) with every passing season,

I could find some solace in watching us play the game with style and artistry. I get no pleasure watching the tackling machines. They're ten a penny. That's why there is absolutely no danger of any of the big boys coming in for ours... but I when I see artists like Baines roll back the clock as he did last night, my spirits lift.

The patience argument is a curious one; I must admit it baffles me. There are a few on here, quite a few, who will tell you this has been a terrific window and will become even better if we sign a striker. They are happy to declare the window a success before the new arrivals have gotten mud on their boots. Yet if you criticise a manager who has overseen nearly 50 games, you are judging him too soon... WTF is that all about?

Sam Hoare
91 Posted 18/08/2017 at 16:45:28
John@88 In short, no, I don't think it does. Not yet. I think what we have seen this Summer (and last) is a very sensible, low-risk approach to transfers, concentrating on players with Premier League experience who have already proven to a degree that they can handle it but hopefully have a room to go.

Those last three words might be the most important though. In Pickford and Keane we have paid big not just for what they bring now but what they'll be in a few years time, which is hopefully England internationals. Bar Rooney and freebie Martina we have mostly gone for young players with much room to improve and that aspect of the transfer policy I approve strongly of.

Personally if we wanted to see quicker chances of making ground on the top 6 then I would have been looking at the most talented players from around Europe who could be persuaded to join a team more likely to give them minutes (and in some cases bigger wages) than the top teams. I would have had a crack at some of Milan's signings (in particualr Andre Silva and Frank Kessie) I would have gone for Dolberg and done my best to outbid the RS for Salah (the type of player I think we are screaming out for). I basically would have done the whole thing like it was a game of Football Manager probably which is why its very lucky that i'm not our manager! Because I guess the reality is that being a 'wonderkid' in Europe does not often cut you out for the PL.

I'm not over the moon at how we have spent our money this Summer but I can see the method in it (so long as we get a good striker!). I don't think that the teams who have similar-ish resources to us (West Ham, Stoke, Soton etc) have bought any better than we have and I approve of the efforts being made to bolster the U23s. There seems to me a strategy for the short term that is based more on attrition, solidity and organisation (which is why Siggurddson is crucial coz he'll help us nick one from set pieces) and also a strategy for the longer term which is based more on pace and flair (which is why the likes of Lookman, Onyeruku, Donkor and Josh Bowler have been bought in).

So in summary, its not how i'd do it personally and i'm not sure its the best way to try and overtake our rivals, but there is a sensible logic at play which is part of a longer term plan. I think. Just get that striker!!

Tony Abrahams
92 Posted 18/08/2017 at 17:57:47
Darren, I really agree with your sentiments, because I also think that if we are not going to win anything then at least they should entertain us.

I honestly don't think about Everton, winning for me, but I've got two sons, who must have 30 years, of going the match between them and they have seen us win fucking nowt. Take in the other two kids who I used to travel all over the country with and it goes up to about 65 years between the four of them with a solitary losing final to show for it.

These four have been fucking everywhere, and we all have great memories that will last us all forever, but please Everton, just give them the absolute joy of a cup!

Back to Koeman, Darren, I understand fully the reasons why you don't like him, but to go on about 50 games, when his actions have shown us that he couldn't wait to change around a squad that he just didn't fancy, and I just think he should be given just a little bit of time?

Will he succeed? I fucking hope so, and for your sake a lot more than my own mate, because as you have just said, you just want to see the toffees win some silverware, and hopefully celebrate like a fucking kid!!

Paul Tran
93 Posted 18/08/2017 at 18:17:25
Yesterday's game and many of the comments on here were both interesting. An excellent first half with Gueye and Schneiderlin playing well together, a bit of proper zip and purpose throughout the team and Pickford and Keane providing much needed assurance. When you have mobility in front, there's no problem playing 'two defensive midfielders'.

Second half was poor. The zip went with Schneiderlin and Klaassen's departure. Lookman and Rooney looked knackered and the purpose disappeared from the team. Ultimately I was disappointed with 2-0 in the end, and I'm glad Koeman was too

I was chuckling to myself, thinking of Darren's 'tackling machine' jibes. Klaassen played with intelligence, a significant part in both goals and was met with the usual 'what does he do?' nonsense. People on the forum were asking for Basic, who duly came on, clattered into someone unnecessarily, then ruined a counter-attack by shanking his pass into the Main Stand. Folks, if we're going to progess, we need to replace cartoon character 'busy' players with intelligent ones.

A lot to like last night. Still need a quality striker as a focal point. I'd play Lookman again from the start. Let him create havoc and make mistakes the 'tackling machines' can mop up.

I'm already dreaming of us getting a free kick 25 yards out on Monday, Sigurdsson coming on as sub and curling the free kick in the net with his first touch. Can't wait!

John G Davies
94 Posted 18/08/2017 at 18:27:01
Paul, I agree with most of your post.

One point though re Schneiderlin and Gana. They played more as a 6 and an 8 last night rather than two defensive midfielders shielding the back four, with Gana the box to box midfielder.

This is the point I made in a post yesterday morning. I think 6-8-10 is the way forward for us in most games.

Darren Hind
95 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:04:42

They don't impress me, they both spend too much time on their arses to ever be of any significance going forward. Sliderlin (as Saints fans called him) was at it again last night. No need. Gana is no David Silva either although I think he may offer something going forward against lesser opposition such as last night's.

The one thing we can all be certain about is the manager will not send them into a Premier League game to out-football the footballers. The are what they are, perfect for Koeman's favoured of see-if-you-can-break-us-down style.

They have played on the toes of the back 4/5 to such an extent since they got here, they have often looked part of a back seven (always?).

Playing with width was a refreshing change last night, but we will be as narrow as a pipe cleaner when the Premier League games come around again

John G Davies
96 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:13:21
Was Gana's goal significant?
Graham Mockford
97 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:29:01
Well I guess you see what you want to see.

Most impartial observers would have seen Schneiderlin as the outstanding player of the first half who controlled the game and Gana have his normal industrious effective game plus scoring a well taken goal.

Maybe I'm just not free thinking enough.

John G Davies
98 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:34:12

Your missing out.
Get your grass skirt on and go fly a kite.

Denver Daniels
99 Posted 18/08/2017 at 19:55:56
If we are to bridge the gap to the top 6 we need to be beating them at home and picking up points at their places.

Our record against the teams below us has always been solid enough. We need to rid ourselves of the inferiority complex and go toe-to-toe with the big boys.

Andy Crooks
100 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:00:07
Darren, you will see us win a trophy, I guarantee it. If all else fails,I will get my boots out of the garage, contact Koeman and tell him his search for a striker is over.
Paul Tran
101 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:12:24
Darren, your main point is counter-intuitive. Schneiderlin and Gana may well struggle against City and an in-form Chelsea, but they'll be fine against everyone else. I'd love us to go to City and outplay them, but if we consistently beat the teams below us, it won't matter. For those two to be really effective, we need width and that's where I share your fears.
Brian Harrison
102 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:16:12

I agree that we have got into a mindset of our 2 holding midfielders being reluctant to join the attack. But this just doesn't happen under Koeman it also happened under RM. I was encouraged to see Gana get forward on many occasions last night.

I disagree with you slightly over our widemen, I would like our front 3 to play a bit narrower at times a bit like Klopp has his front 3. How you can get any linkup play when we play 2 wide players and 1 up front each at least 20 yards from one another I don't know. With no Lukaku we will need our front 6 to score a lot more goals than the previous seasons. Again to do that they all need to be encouraged to get in the box as often as possible.

So yes there are things I would like RK to change, but by nature I think he errs on caution and I hope with the addition of Sigurdsson he will become a little more expansive in his approach. Maybe we cant get into the top 4 yet but lets be a bit more adventurous while trying. As the saying goes faint heart never won fair lady, I guess I am really showing my age with that quote.

Don Alexander
103 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:19:05
Bloody hell Paul (#93), I see your still not being deigned an accredited optimist by the self-proclaimed free-thinking one, even after that contribution.

Never mind. I fully agree with you by the way.

Paul Tran
104 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:24:52
Don, you'll have to ask the philosopher Hind about that, but I always prefer my optimism to have a bit of evidence behind it.
Darren Hind
105 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:34:57
Schneiderlin has played professional football for well over a decade and, despite playing much of that in lesser leagues, he has not quite managed to average two goals a season.

Gana has played professional football for about eight years and he just about betters an average of one goal a season.

To put in into perspective, Seamus Coleman (a defender) has scored more than both of them. Jagielka (another defender) has scored more than both of them put together. Leighton Baines... Na, forget it.

One of them scored last night and the other one (despite earning a needless booking) deserves rave reviews because, for the first time this season, he managed to string a few passes together - for 45 minutes.

Forget the quality of the opposition. After last night, These two are practically Alexandre Del Piero and Michel Platini.

John G Davies
107 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:41:15
Crap this lad.
Look at his goal total.

John G Davies
108 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:43:17
What about his mate next to him.
One goal every fourteen games?
Absolute shite.

John G Davies
109 Posted 18/08/2017 at 20:46:08
Too put it into perspective, Derek Mountfield scored more Everton goals in one season than Peter Reid scored in his Everton career.
Tony Abrahams
110 Posted 18/08/2017 at 21:02:42
Didn't think Schniederlin, was that good last night, he was just better than he's been before. I watched him twice, check back, when he had the pitch in-front of him, and there was a time that in the game when he actually reminded me of Lee Carsley.

Maybe playing under orders? But the lad can't win, if getting booked for throwing in a tackle, in the middle of the pitch is called needless, but that's football, you can't please everyone. Stay on yer feet lad, or why didn't you fucking slide, and get there first, you little shithouse!!

Dave Abrahams
111 Posted 18/08/2017 at 21:15:38
Tony ( 110), I might be wrong but I thought the tackle was on the lad who had hurt Schneiderlin earlier in the game, so a bit of revenge, hence the needless booking.

He did nothing special but as you say he was better than he has been, and some of the long passes looked good but I don't think one of them left Lookman with a clear path ahead of him, and for a couple he had to leap up and chest them down resulting in him being well marked when he eventually got the ball under control.

Schneiderlin is a good player but is taking time to get into his stride this season.

Paul Tran
112 Posted 18/08/2017 at 21:18:56
Darren, I never thought you'd join the growing school of one-eyed, selective, barely meaningful statistics. Please leave it, your arguments are too good for that shite.
Darren Hind
113 Posted 18/08/2017 at 21:32:47
Difficult Paul

Especially when people try to make foolish comparisons between Reid and Koeman's tackling machines.

You will remember The Lineker cup final goal, You'll also remember his goal to make it 0-2 at Anfield, the goal Sharpie scored at Anfield, the Brilliant diving header Andy Gary scored against Sunderland. I could go on all night because Peter Reid was a brilliant footballer who created so many goals. More than Schneiderlin and Gana put together.

But you are right. I hate stats too, that's why I wont mention the fact that, with 33 goals in his career, despite being crippled with injuries for much of it. Reidy also scored as many as those two have mustered between them.

Tony Abrahams
114 Posted 18/08/2017 at 21:38:00
The best long pass last night was off the goalie, I thought Dave, although Ashley Williams, really surprised me with a really great 40 yarder straight in front of Lookman, in the first half.

Think the switch looks great, but it's not always effective, because it's usually played too late, and it's also a very dangerous pass, if it gets intercepted?

Never realised that Schniederlin was getting his own back, but if referees are inconsistent in England, then it's a lot worse in European football. As soon as that fella never got booked for his foul on Rooney, I said to the fella next to me that it wouldn't be long before someone was booked for a lot less?

I thought Baines won the ball, but Darren's right, because if you don't stay on your feet now, the ref usually gives a foul even when you cleanly win the ball.

Graham Mockford
115 Posted 18/08/2017 at 21:47:57
Most sides play two holding midfielders. Their role is to prevent the opposition creating.

Goalscoring is mainly left to others. Last three PL winners

Chelsea Kante 1 Matic 1
Leicester Kante 1 Drinkwater 1
Chelsea Ramires 2 Matic 1

By all means criticise a player for the things they are meant to primarily do in a team but for Gana and Schneiderlin goalscoring is not what they are there for.

Peter Reid at the peak of his powers scored 2 goals in a Championship winning team. Quite rightly no one would use goalscoring as a way to assess his ability as a player or his influence on a team.

Well maybe the odd free thinker might.

Paul Tran
117 Posted 18/08/2017 at 21:50:34
Darren, I know you like the last word, so I won't mention the fact that it wasn't Reidy's goals that was significant, – it was the fact that, week-in & week-out, he led the battle as if his life depended on it, as well as being an under-rated footballer. You didn't need nonsense stats to see it those days, you just watched the match.
Tony Abrahams
118 Posted 18/08/2017 at 21:53:53
The brilliant diving header Andy Gray scored against Sunderland, was my favourite ever, Everton team goal!

The way Reid went pass the Sunderland player, like he wasn't there, and hit a cross 18inches off the turf, for the bravest centre forward I ever saw, to bullet home was the equilizer, but we all knew the game was won from the moment that goal went in!

I think I thought it was the day that I knew my team would be champions, and I'm goin to bed now to sleep on the memory.

Just when he looks like he's fucked, Darren usually comes back with an ace, and it's what makes ToffeeWeb so addictive at times. Goodnight everyone!

Jim Knightley
119 Posted 18/08/2017 at 22:01:18
Darren ffs - why is it always you dominating these threads, with simplistic retorts that are lazy and nonsensical.

Why are you criticising DMs... for not scoring goals?! they are defensive midfielders ffs!
Last season Chelsea won the league.. Kante played 35 times and scored 1 goal. His usual partner was Matic, who played 35 times, and scored one goal.
The season before Leicester won the league. Kante scored 1 goal in 37 appearances. Drinkwater played next to him, and managed 2 goals in 35 appearances.
I just wrote this and have noted Graham's post. But it's worth reiterating.

I don't know if you are troll, or if you are just a little slow. But the nature of your comments and attacks are so often exaggerated beyond belief, and out of canter with any sense of context or reality. This is another great example. There are 44 references to you in this form - does that not tell you something?

You constant negativity, complaining, and general inability to make an argument, or accept clearly wrong statements, are ruining ToffeeWeb for me. I know that before long you will rear your head and complain about something. It would be ok if it was less sensible and well argued, but it's so often not.

So for shame Koeman - for shame for following the 2 defensive midfield strategy that has won the league for the last two seasons. For shame in trying to make a team lacking in top attacking players defensively solid.

Ian Jones
120 Posted 18/08/2017 at 22:19:11
I am just trying to understand the comparison between Reid's 33 goals in an approximate 20 year career and the number of goals scored by Schneiderlin and Gana who have many years left in their career. I may be missing the point...
John G Davies
121 Posted 18/08/2017 at 22:24:40
Peter Reid created Sharpies goal at Anfield?


Graham Mockford
122 Posted 18/08/2017 at 22:33:37
John #121

Of course, it was the killer 5 yard backward pass to Gary Stevens


Graham Mockford
123 Posted 18/08/2017 at 22:35:28
Mind you the guy in the glasses celebrating on the pitch always makes me laugh
Laurie Hartley
124 Posted 18/08/2017 at 22:53:17
Tony # 86 - "was I praising Roberto's defensive knowledge?" I like your sense of humour Tony.

Actually we were lamenting how we could be losing and drawing games from seemingly winning positions. It was doing my head in.

Anyway back to this debate. In the 60's, like many of us, I was brought up watching great football produced by footballing royalty. I hope your kids experience something similar in their lifetime.

However, at the risk of getting flayed alive, while all that was going on (two league titles and an FA Cup) there was a bunch of scrubbers across the park doing quite well also - managed by a dour Scottish coal miners son.

I thought it was ugly but it was certainly effective. It took me about 20 years to figure that one out after they had pushed aside all before them.

Off on a tangent for a minute - they had a headless chicken who the manager just wouldn't drop. Callaghan was his name.

So after a 55 year education I have decided that in football winning comes first and if you can't win try very hard not to loose.

In conclusion - If we are not winning home and away on a regular basis by January I'll be after him also. But in the meantime I want to see what he can produce with his £200m worth.

Don Alexander
125 Posted 18/08/2017 at 23:01:36
Ian (#120), don't even try mate! Our resident "free-thinker" has spoken, so it is so, regardless.

Lord only knows what he'll say if Gana and Schneids amass 549 games for us between them but only score 39 goals combined. The last pair of midfield duffers to do that were a pair of nobodies called, er, Kendall and Harvey.

But, like you, what do I know?

Brent Stephens
126 Posted 18/08/2017 at 23:44:59
"Darren, I never thought you'd join the growing school of one-eyed, selective, barely meaningful statistics".

Post of the thread.

Darren, my friend, your posts are now embarrassing (for you). Laughable (for us). The most enjoyable part of TW at present. Please keep posting!

Dan Davies
127 Posted 19/08/2017 at 00:17:02
Got to disagree Brent. It's definitely not the most enjoyable part of TW.

Well said Jim Knightley.

What was this thread about again?

Kevin Tully
128 Posted 19/08/2017 at 00:45:10
Everyone wants to point out the positives of who were up against - fair about the actual state of play?

Spurs - Wembley, Champions League, no new signings. Players not happy with wages.

The Shite - Injuries already, trouble in the camp, best player wants out. Shite defence.

Chelsea - Shambles. Basket case.

Pep man city - Guardiola has to win the League. Too much pressure. Paying £50m fog Stones means we can't compete? Really?

Arsenal - Europa League team.- same as us.

Mourinho Utd - All about the manager. If they thrive, they'll run away with the title. fine. 3 places left Losi g run. The fans wil turn on him.

We can win it. The whole thing.

Laurie Hartley
129 Posted 19/08/2017 at 00:53:12
Kevin # 128 - now that's the kind of optimism I like.

Your all in - good on you.

Don Alexander
131 Posted 19/08/2017 at 01:15:16
If we can quickly gel and throw off the mental shackles weighing us down from our EPL history you're quite right Kevin.

I just hope though that if this season ends up reflecting the expenditure of United, City, Chelsea and whoever else, and we thereby only advance to fifth, or at worst sixth, we don't all have a collective "free-thinking (from logic that is)" tantrum and turn on those patently seeking and spending far more than Leicester in our bid for take-off in season 2018/19 and beyond. That season is the real deal as spelt out by Messrs Moshiri and Koeman from the outset. Anything else is a bonus, and I for one fully accept that.

Koeman may deserve to be toast if we fail but a modicum, and that's all it is given our PL experience - a modicum, of patience is required.

Well done on instigating this thread by the way! Thanks.

Paul Ferry
135 Posted 19/08/2017 at 05:51:10
Tony Abrahams 92.

First off mate, what a great family you have raised. I know, I know, they have seen us win nothing but they will and Dad will always come to mind.

I also agree with you about 50 games and window closed there may be real reason to be hung-ho about this season.

Darren is a true blue. Lives and breathes the club. Celebrating success! Ask Darren about the Sunday night after the '95 final when Dave Watson brought the cup 'home' to Boundary Road in Kirkdale and DH got his hands on it.

I don't always agree with Darren. I don't right now on Koeman. But he lives and dies blue. I shake my head now and then at what he writes - sometimes wince - but to section Darren to some sort of nutty ward is pathetic.

There's a somewhat unsettling herd/gang mentality on this thread. Someone even counted mentions of Darren on it.

Sam Hoare, to name one, makes great points here; Darren in his blue view does too.


Darren Hind
137 Posted 18/08/2017 at 06:16:20
I did not come on here to criticise Gana and Schneiderlin for not scoring goals (I did not think anybody need reminding of that).

Here's what I say in my first reference to them – which was a response to Paul T btw.

"They are what they are, perfect for Koeman's see-if-you-can-break-us-down style."

"They have played on the toes of the back 4/5 to such an extent since they got here. They have often look part of a back seven (always?)

Is any of that even contestable??? Well, you would think, but some people can't help themselves. They will be back within minutes trying to change the argument into one about the first 45 minutes of the game against Split – "Well, I guess you see what you want to see."

Then we get daft comparisons to all-time greats. I regret putting up the stats; as pit ointed out, is not normally my style, but how else do you show people who regularly use stats, how ridiculous their comparison is?

I paid three or four people a compliment by calling them "free thinkers" ... Why? Because I believe they are. They don't blindly follow this manager, no matter what. People like Andy Crooks, Tony, Dave A, Paul T, KT who penned the OP, Chris Gould and a few others are all supporters of this manager, but all are on here challenging him. All see his faults and all think we are entitled to expect more this season.

Maybe I shouldn't have paid them that compliment, because 1-2 have clearly taken exception to it which is evidenced by their constant reference to it. Anyway.

I laugh when people put up a counter argument claiming Chelsea and Leicester used the same tactics to win the league. If you can't see the difference between how Leicester played and how Chelsea played and how we deploy our defensive midfielders, there is little I can say to assist. Kante is streets ahead of our two – he doesn't just win the ball, he uses it superbly when once he has.

The point I made to Paul T is a simple one. Our two defensive midfielders are not my cup of tea, fine readers of the game and very strong at destroying opposition attacks, but I prefer to see a little more guile, a little more style, brains over lung-bursting effort, a modicum of creativity.

"There are 44 references to you on this thread – Does that not tell you something?"

To be honest, I had no idea that was the case, but I can't do anything about that. I'm staggered that somebody would take the time out to count them. Looking back, many of them are agreeing with me, some challenge me. Many are just back-and-forth conversations with posters who address me and who I enjoy debating with. A handful are from people who are trying to settle old scores – I won't be responding to them.

What I do know is that all have a free will. They have the choice to address me or not. I guess some choose to do so because they feel I have something to say; some of them tell me I put together strong arguments. Perhaps they are just slow too.

Darren Hind
138 Posted 19/08/2017 at 06:40:26
in His OP, KT asks. "Whats your excuse this time?" – It wasn't a challenge to see how many you could come up with.

I see I have upset a few with my posts – it's funny how most of the calls to shut me down are from people who constantly take the time and trouble to pen a long post telling me they don't take my posts seriously.

You win. I've made my last post about Koeman. I will simply observe Koeman related threads in future, see how many responses the excuse-makers will generate with their pearls of wisdom.

John G Davies
139 Posted 19/08/2017 at 07:34:06
"You win. I've made my last post about Koeman"

Not a chance of that happening.

Obviously there is a case for suggesting you have seen evidence of the team Koeman is developing, a team that will be successful, and it gives you a cop out for not praising him in the future.

Darren Hind
140 Posted 19/08/2017 at 08:31:05
Don't worry John. I will post on this site as long as my posts are published. You will get your opportunity to say "I told you so". I should have said I won't post on Koeman related threads.

There is an absurdity to people making a thread about one person by coming back repeatedly to complain that the thread being dominated by that one person. While I enjoy the debate with some, I have to accept that my views are antagonistic to others. Don't really care about that... but

I owe it to the two guys who put so much into this site to put a stop to it now.

John G Davies
141 Posted 19/08/2017 at 08:39:33
There you go.
Took you all of two hours to change your mind 😁

I agree Darren, anyone who makes any thread about one person is being foolish in the extreme.

Colin Glassar
142 Posted 19/08/2017 at 08:41:22
Despite disagreeing with you on a lot of things Darren I do look forward to hearing your points of view, however misguided.

The whole point of a site like this is to encourage healthy debate and to give voice to a wide a voice possible to the Everton community.

So, despite your negativity, and miserability, I hope you continue to expresss your views on here Daza.

Graham Mockford
143 Posted 19/08/2017 at 08:49:45
"I did not come on here to criticise Gana and Schneiderlin for not scoring goals (I did not think anybody need reminding of that)"

Well, apart from post #105 that is...

Tony Abrahams
144 Posted 19/08/2017 at 09:24:54
Graham, Darren to be fair did say that we don't need reminding of that though in brackets, and I can't believe you put that Sharp Goal, on ToffeeWeb, just after I said I was going to bed.

I always love that celebration, off a few of the arl Campfield lads on the pitch, but the fella in the bins, also wins it everytime for me, along with "THE EVERTONIANS HAVE GONE BESERK" of-course!

I think a few fella's have gone berserk on Darren, during this thread, but that's what happens when you don't run with the crowd I suppose, but Darren, is good for ToffeeWeb, imo, and if you don't agree with him, just tell him!! Haha!

Darren, do us a favour mate, introduce a bit of light heartedness, onto these pages, please... And give us your top six games, of all time that you have witnessed during your long stint as a true Evertonian. Mike was surprised you had seen a thousand games, but obviously wasn't aware of the sums, the passion, and the real lengths that people will go to, to watch the team we all love.

That's if you have got time Darren, because I love a trip down memory lane, with people who have seen a loads.

Graham Mockford
145 Posted 19/08/2017 at 09:40:16

Undoubtedly my favourite goal ever. Saw it from the other end in the corner of the Kop with about 500 other Evertonians. Happy days

Tony Abrahams
146 Posted 19/08/2017 at 09:56:58
Graham, I was in the same part of the ground that day and would love to see the footage, because I would be putting a nought on your figures there mate?

Remember the murder, in the middle of the "B.O KOP" at the end. It went on for about ten minutes it seemed and then everyone just got off, probably because the fight was just too hard for everyone who was in the middle of it?

No-one was going to win because the numbers were just to big, and because nobody was taking a backward step, the fella's at the front must have just run out of steam.

Hopefully a bit like this thread Graham, I've run out of steam now, I'm just hoping for a trip down memory lane!

Paul Tran
147 Posted 19/08/2017 at 10:56:59
You're right, Tony. I was in the Kop that day and it was thousands rather than hundreds

Here's my top six, purely personal, in no particular order:

Spurs away, 1985
The game that pretty much clinched the title. I was in the Paxton end with a Spurs mate, watching a great winning ugly display. Brilliant goal by Tricky, followed by the best save I've ever seen from Nev, right in front of us. It was great watching the Blues filling the whole away end and make so much noise. At least a dozen people told me they were gonna kill me after the game, none of them tried.

Liverpool home, FA Cup, 1981
Our mate Clive Thomas waited till all players were on the pitch before making his entrance. Hate spewed from us all. A bizarre Avi Cohen own goal saw John Bailey put his arms around Thomas, begging him to allow the goal. He did and the St End sang 'Avi's got no foreskin'. Then Varadi scored and ran to the Enclosure when a pie from the RS hit him full in the face. We beat them!

Chelsea home, 1978
A season of great attacking football finished with a 6-0 mauling of Chelsea. Bob Latchford need two to get his 30 goals. With minutes left he needed one, he was about to score it, but Mick Lyons got there first and was booed!. Bob got it with a last minute penalty. Bedlam! It was the nearest we'd got to a trophy in years!

Moenchengladbach home, 1971
My first European game. Morrissey scored after 20 seconds. The noise! Ended up in a shoot out. Big Joe missed the first and we still won it!

Sunderland home, 1985
Got in late and we were one down. Gray finished off a great move with a diving header, quickly followed by another one, then Bracewell hit a 40 yard pass that Tricky took with one touch, beat his man and smashed it home. My mates at Portsmouth Poly told me we were just a pressing machine, that game was the case for the defence.

Bayern, home 1985
The real final. A display of ugly cussedness, topped by a fine goal from Tricky. Amazing atmosphere, ١ to get in the St End. Got the overnight train back to London with ESCLA and had a few breakfast pints in Smithfields before heading back to Portsmouth.

It was hard keeping it to six. I'm looking forward to hearing loads of these!

Tony Abrahams
148 Posted 19/08/2017 at 14:23:50
Brilliant Paul, especially Big Nevs save, and I'm already reminiscing because I went to four of those great games.

Perhaps Lyndon or Michael, can give this its own personal thread, and I don't mind either if Phil, wants to stretch it to seven!

John G Davies
149 Posted 19/08/2017 at 14:33:03
From Falcos header Paul?
Point blank range and a bullet header if I remember it right.
Great days.
Tony Abrahams
150 Posted 19/08/2017 at 14:51:11
Come on John G, you must have had loads of great days following the toffs, give us your EVERTON SIX!

Maybe five John, because I can't see many missing out the Munich game, if they were lucky enough to be there, on a night when the Goodison roar, was heard by picton clock!

Paul Tran
151 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:01:36
Thats right, John. Wasn't long after they'd pulled one back. The whole of the Paxton End leapt up and I was the only one staying on my feet. They couldn't believe he stopped it. If anyone hasn't seen it, check it out on YouTube. I still don't know how he got it.

Chris Leyland
152 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:04:09
My top 6:
Bayern Munich 3-1 home in 85 - no words needed. I also got a letter in the Footy Echo the following week about Bayern Manager Udo Lattek's 'sour grape'' comments about Andy Gray and was made up about that too.

Norwich away 87 - 1-0 Psycho Pat and we won the league again - my first away game without a 'responsible adult'

QPR home 85 -queued up for hours to get into the Street End with my dad (God rest his soul). Just before we got in, a police horse kicked him in the shin and he was in agony throughout the match but didn't want to miss the trophy.

2-0 at Anfield 86 in the Kop end. Thousands of us in there and it all went mad when Rats scored.

Man City 4-0 86 -Lineker scored a hattrick and jumped on the fence at the Street end where I hugged him. It was on the Mid-week match highlights on telly.

Lastly 2-0 v Fiorentina 2008. We absolutely battered them after losing the first leg 2-0. Lost on pens but a magnificent team effort.

John G Davies
153 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:04:50
1, Bayern Munich. Could not be any other

2, Watford FA Cup Final. The long wait for a trophy was over.

3, Rapid Vienna. Started the trip knowing we would win so no nerves. Just three days on the ale in Amsterdam then onto the day of the game and rotten again before and after.

4,Wimbledon game. A week of no sleep. 2-0 down and came back to save ourselves
Sat in the stand and cried like a baby on the whistle .Then, after Walton Road straight onto The Wine Lodge to dance the night away.

5, Any game when we beat the devils club.

6, Let me have a think about the other one Tony

Chris Leyland
154 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:08:25
John (153) the Wimbledon game. It was the first game I took my then girlfriend (now my wife of 21 years to). She turned round time at 0-2 and said . "Why is everyone crying. What's the big fuss?"
John G Davies
155 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:10:07
After 21 years I'll bet she knows now Chris.
Chris Leyland
156 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:12:59
To be honest - she is lucky to have made it down the aisle at all after that!
Brent Stephens
157 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:15:41
Chris, you should have told her they were crying over her beauty.
Paul Tran
158 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:17:31
I'm taking a seventh, the semi final against Southampton at Highbury. Coach down to London, knowing we'd get Watford or Plymouth in the final.

Can't remember much about the game, but the tension was unbearable. Into extra time and in the last minute, Inchy nodded it home. Then the whistle blew and we were all running around the Highbury pitch. We got split up in the melee. The Soton fans came on the pitch and pleasantries were engaged.

The funny thing was, the day after, I popped round to one of my mates to watch the highlights on TV. We're all sitting there watching it, and at the end my mate Ian's on camera lamping a Southampton fan. His old fella went mad and Ian ran out the house crapping himself!

I could have put the Watford final, the four day binge that was Rotterdam and Wembley, or the 1995 final when I won a hospitality day from the Evening Standard!

Chris Williams
159 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:46:58
Can I have a play? Plenty of great stuff here, much from later times so I'll go back a bit further and get a bit more personal too.

Feb 1954 v Blackburn 1-1 Hickson
My first game and I can't remember the goal. It was for my 6th birthday. I remember the occasion,the noise and the smells, ciggies mainly and the gents open to the rain. Old second division, we got promoted that season and pipped Blackburn by 1 point! I remember the end of season do at our house in Walton andRS got relegated too. Must have made an impression because I'm still going.

Jan 1960 v Notts F. 6-1
Tommy Rings debut and he was brilliant. So was Bobby Collins that day. Ring got 10 and Collins 9 in the People next morning. It pissed down from memory.

April 1960 v Blackpool 4-0
One of the greatest goals I've ever seen. One of Vernons 2 that day. Skill, arrogance everything that was great about him.

Oct 1962 v Dunfermline 1-0 ICFC
Terrible game, filthy against Jock Steins first team. What makes it stick in the memory is that it was at the height of the Cuba Missile Crisis and we could all have been blown up. Strange atmosphere. Typical Everton, the season we win the league and nuclear war a possibility !

May 1963 v Fulham 4-1
We win the league, Vernon hat trick, scream my head off and can't speak for several days. I was 15 and life couldn't get better. Vernon turned it on when he felt like.

Aug 1966 v Liverpool 3-1
Mar 1967 v Liverpool 1-0 FA cup

The first was Balls Derby debut and he scored 2 and became an instant hero Sandy Brown got the other.

The second , in the same season, was the night match simultaneously broadcast at Anfield, so watched by 100,000 in both venues. Ball again! No wonder he was revered.

I can still recall the emotion of it and the pictures in my minds eye. You never forget your first heroes!

John G Davies
160 Posted 19/08/2017 at 15:50:29
You don't Chris.
Alan Ball my all time great. What a player.
He was everything I would want in an Everton player.
Steve Brown
161 Posted 19/08/2017 at 16:18:58
Interesting debate, but the assertion that 'net spend' is not a factor is surely wrong. The Abu Dhabi United Group took over City in 2008, following which they invested heavily year on year before the introduction of FFP rules. Their league positions in the four year that followed were 10th, 5th, 3rd and 1st. So how long will it take Everton to achieve regular top 3 finishes given they have to generate commercial revenue to invest to the same level City did? My guess is 3-5 years.

And I am certainly not saying that as a Koeman lover. The last manager I got excited about was Joe Royle!

Chris Williams
162 Posted 19/08/2017 at 16:20:26

It doesn't diminish all the matches mentioned by the other contributors at all and most of them I can recall well, having been there. You can add the Kanchelskis Derby and Rooneys first goal against the unbeaten Arsenal team. Or the great Royle and King goals against Liverpool as well, always sweet to score against them.

My son has seen us win one trophy in his time so far and next is taking his son to the match. My dad took me to my first games and so it continues.

A whole generation has never seen a trophy yet, but they will have their heroes too.that never changes

Although our great teams tend to be once a generation and then they suddenly peter out with no real longevity

My wish is for my son and grandson to see us winning stuff and pass it on, and I'm hoping for a trophy too before I peg out!

Maybe on the docks, but hopefully before

Steve Brown
163 Posted 19/08/2017 at 16:21:57
But fair play to Darren for stimulating a debate. I always enjoy reading his posts even when I don't agree.
Colin Glassar
164 Posted 19/08/2017 at 17:32:28
Darren, FYI we are currently 11th. Any comment?
Peter Warren
165 Posted 19/08/2017 at 17:34:17
Greatest games I've been to are: Wimbledon 94 (3-2), Spurs semi final 95 (4-1), Kanchelskis double at RS season after (3-1) (96 I think?), Utd 1-0 home Ferguson (2005?); and struggling after that, probably 3-3 at home against the RS.

Graham Mockford
166 Posted 19/08/2017 at 17:38:26
Peter Warren

That's genuinely one of the saddest posts I've ever read. Anyone who was around in the 60s or 80s probably didn't realise how lucky they were at the time.

Mike Gaynes
167 Posted 19/08/2017 at 17:47:49
Paul #147 and #158, Chris L #152, John G #153, Chris W #159, those memories are gifts, and for me they're lovely glimpses of a history I know little about. Many thanks for sharing.
Colin Glassar
168 Posted 19/08/2017 at 17:51:27
Agreed Graham. We were happy and didn't know it.
John G Davies
169 Posted 19/08/2017 at 17:58:40
Mike 167,

After a night on the large whites in Charlotte Street many who were there know little about it.
(Google Yates Wine Lodge)

Chris Williams
170 Posted 19/08/2017 at 18:18:33
I used to drink in Yates in Moorfields, from time to time.

One night we were coming out, refreshed, and we were accosted by a gent who skipped past us gracefully, whilst waving his arms at us.

My mate said he probably thought he was a matador who was making a few passes at us bulls. It said much that we clearly understood his situation. I just nodded in agreement and we continued on our way.

John G Davies
171 Posted 19/08/2017 at 18:57:53

When we won the cup in 66 some of the lads who drank in Moorfields got a donkey from who knows where. Painted it blue and white and brought it into Moorfields wine lodge.
Racking my brains to remember the lads names but struggling.
Dave Abrahams will know.

Chris Williams
172 Posted 19/08/2017 at 19:18:29

What was the donkeys name?

Actually I think I heard that story being told down the years.

I was at Wembley that day, and I remember being a bit conflicted because Dylan and the Band were live on the Odeon London Road that very night. Got booed all night from what I read about the concert. Not enough Blues there!

We were lucky that day for sure when you rewatch it. Didn't have that on my list amazingly.

Dave'syour man for stuff like that alright.

Dave Abrahams
173 Posted 19/08/2017 at 19:36:54
John G (171) and Chris (172), Cairnsie ( Jackie Hamilton), Denny and Frankie Dutton were three of the lads who not only got the donkey but painted it Blue and White and led it into Yates Wine Lodge, I think it was the night after we won the cup, but I believe even the Red fans applauded the stunt.

The Duttons were well known and were involved in lots of unbelievable stunts over the years along with Jackie Hamilton, who me and my mate Jimmy Dunne ( RIP) met in Cheapside police station one morning, all up for being drunk and disorderly ( so the bizzies said) and we became friends ever after, Jackie was funny on and off the stage and a good Blue.

John Owens
174 Posted 19/08/2017 at 19:42:51
Trying to pick out the top 6 moments after 50 years of watching is so difficult but here goes!

First match at Goodison lost to Spurs in 1967. Never saw a thing but loved every minute!

Walking back to lime street to get the train home after clinching the title in 1970! Such a fantastic game

Beating Bayern Munich in 1985 at goodison

Beating ManU 5 0 in 1985

The semifinal and final in 1995! The atmosphere of the semi was just unbelievable and then to go on and win was the icing on the cake

Best goal was Sir Trev against Sunderland in '85

Best moment was Sheedy's twice taken penalty against Ipswich - not sure if that was 84 85 or 86 (too much sun in Orlando )

Off so see Orlando v Columbus Crew later so that's a first MLS game for me!

Paul Smith
175 Posted 19/08/2017 at 19:58:53
To think that for years all we were missing was investment and now we finally have it equates to no improvement in our league postion is
'Everton that' as the saying goes.
John G Davies
176 Posted 19/08/2017 at 19:59:20

Cairnsie was one of the funniest I ever met.

You probably know the one we're a lot of the lads from town were extras in a war film being shot around Liverpool.
They had to be thin as they were playing pows.
John sneaked himself on but had a bit of a belly on him.
The director shouted "cut look at the size of him, he can't be a prisoner of war"
The bold Cairnsie quick as a flash came back "I only got captured yesterday"

Jimmy Dunne a great man as well
Olympic boxer I recall.
Joe Currans mate Dave?

Brian Williams
177 Posted 19/08/2017 at 20:05:38
John (#174).

T'was a free kick, not a penalty.

Dave Abrahams
178 Posted 19/08/2017 at 20:18:30
John G (176), yes a good one that, I'm smiling now thinking about the morning we met in the police cell, what a laugh we had, about eight of us, all threw together, Cainsie got it all going, asking us ' whose goin' give a song' he got it going, then the jokes. I could go on but this fella, Tommy Collins ( it was his 65th. Conviction that morning, for drunkeness) summed it up outside when we had all been found guilty he said ' What a cracking morning we've had, and only got fined ten bob, it was cheaper and better than the Empire'. He wasn't far wrong, really enjoyed myself.
Brent Stephens
179 Posted 19/08/2017 at 20:23:14
John #176 that's an absolute cracker. Only got captured yesterday!
John G Davies
180 Posted 19/08/2017 at 20:36:23
Not the nicest of places to meet Dave in the bowels of the main bridewell but worth it by the sounds of it.
Paul Tran
181 Posted 19/08/2017 at 20:44:37
Mike #167, you should be able to get the highlights/goals of these games on YouTube, though not the stories that go with the games, which for me are a priceless reminder of how lucky I am to have had all these experiences.
Raymond Fox
182 Posted 19/08/2017 at 21:23:10
Depends who we sign before the window ends. f we can sign at least one class striker, not a make weight a 12 to 15 goal player + another good versatile defender, we can trouble the top 6 maybe the top 4 with a following wind.

As it stands, 7th it is, because we are not good enough yet at the back and we certainly don't carry enough threat up front.

Darren, stop dragging out that old chestnut that Koeman has spent 𧶀m so that makes us a 𧶀m better team. He's lost a 㿷m player in Lukaku, which given the choice I'm sure he would have preferred to keep, you can't just pretend that doesn't count!

Tony Abrahams
183 Posted 19/08/2017 at 21:28:35
Sometimes a trip down memory lane is what's needed, especially for us toffees, who haven't had that much to cheer since the greatest Evertonian of our time took over the reigns!

Still waiting for Darren, but my own have all been mentioned I think except for the Andy king derby match, were a drunken Dave, nearly threw me out the glawdys st stand, and into the crowd below!

I've always loved the FA Cup aswell, and one of my favourite games came when Everton scored two late goals to knock out Swindon, after a replay. Or the Ipswich game, when we beat them 2-1, a couple of weeks after they had murdered us 4-0. Maybe the Gosling winner against the other crowd? Simply because I'd been waiting for a last minute winner against them bastards for 35 fucking years!

Let's hope the good times are coming back, like I knew they was after the 1984 Milk Cup final, and if Peter Reid, could really finish, we wouldn't have lost the replay at Main Rd! But although it was hard to take, I could handle it, simply because I knew it wouldn't be long before I saw my team go and win a few cups themselves.

I didn't have to wait long, and although I've seen so many better games of football, I think that day at Wembley, against Watford, was one of the happiest days of my life!

Tony Hill
184 Posted 19/08/2017 at 21:48:56
I think most of us recognise that the next signing is the critical one. I assume that we will indeed get a striker before the window closes. I am unconvinced that we have planned beyond Giroud but if we can secure a proper player up front then we have a real chance this season.

Always providing, of course, that we have the steel. I am starting to think that we do.

Stan Schofield
185 Posted 19/08/2017 at 22:01:07
Graham@166: I was born in 1954, and went to my first match in 61-62 aged 7. We last won a trophy in 95, when I was 41. So, at that stage in 34 years of watching Everton, I witnessed 8 trophies (4 titles, 3 FA cups, 1 cup winners cup). That's a trophy roughly every 4 years.

If I'm being honest, I don't FEEL lucky, although I know I am. To me, not winning trophies and not playing great football is an aberration, an exception to what Everton is. The last two decades or so has been un-Everton, and what's now happening is hopefully a return to 'normality', to the normal state of affairs.

It made me laugh last year when a red, aged 17, asked me why Koeman would join Everton. I told him about the history, subsequent lack of investment, and current situation, and said when I was his age I'd seen two titles and an FA cup.

Your younger years no doubt shape your expectations. I want Everton to be successful now, of course for me, but also for the younger supporters to experience the thrill of success and great football, to have the neck hairs stand up when Goodison (or the new stadium) roars.

Graham Mockford
186 Posted 19/08/2017 at 22:04:16
For me

77 Bob Latchford last minute equaliser in the first League Cup replay

83 Graeme Sharp Spurs home

84 Alan Irvine Stoke away FA Cup 3rd Round

84 Adrian Heath vs Southampton FA Cup semi final

95 Amokachi vs Spurs FA Cup semi final 2nd goal

Graham Mockford
187 Posted 19/08/2017 at 22:09:24

If the referee had spotted Hansen handling on the line we wouldn't have gone to Maine Road.

Cheating bastards

Tony Abrahams
188 Posted 19/08/2017 at 22:23:05
Maybe Graham, but I still thought that Southall, was our mom, at Wembley that day.

Wasn't so sure when we signed him but this Jordan Pickford, is also giving me real hope. The save he made low down to his left the other night was top drawer, it definitely saved us at a time when we had stopped playing, and how much more confident do you feel when you know that we've got a top keeper.

Tony Hill
189 Posted 19/08/2017 at 22:44:45
The key game in the shift of fortunes between us and the RS was the 1971 semi-final. It's been talked about on here before but you could feel the axis moving and it's never really turned again in our favour, 1984-1987 notwithstanding. But there will come another game like that and it will turn again. I think, in my more optimistic moments, that it may not be too far away.

I want to echo Chris (159) about the 1960 Forest game. Ring was startling that day and for most of the rest of his short time with us. Also, less happily, Colin Harvey's debut in the 0-0 v Inter Milan in 1963 was another game which has stayed with me.

Finally, I'd say the most stunning individual performance I've seen was the young Rooney in another 0-0 against Bolton at Goodison. He missed a hatful but I've never been so dazzled, he was bursting with talent. It would be lovely if he could help to bring us something 15 years on.

Dennis Ng
190 Posted 19/08/2017 at 23:04:13
If we're only looking at the final standing as a benchmark of progress, we're shortsighted. Club above us have had a yearly net spend outpacing us by hundreds of millions (or billions). City spent ~200m NET just in 1 window and let's not forget how much more they spent over the years. Chelsea, United, and to a lesser degree Arsenal and Spurs all did that.

I would rate improvement similar to how Colin has put it. Challenge for top 4 and a chance to win trophies. However, let's not kid ourselves and say we're satisfied with 7th or 6th or 5th. We want UCL within a few years. I would say, last year, we're 15 points from 4th. If we can reduce that margin by 5-10 points, that would be acceptable progress and if we make it to top 4, marvelous.

The fact that the Moshiri revolution really only started in this window should not be lost to anyone and that we can hope for a lot but should temper our expectations to more realistic levels.

Don Alexander
191 Posted 19/08/2017 at 23:21:21
The reality is exactly that Dennis, but it is crucial that we really, really try to get at least fourth by the end of next season, and then qualify for the (money from) the CL group matches, because Mr Moshiri patently hasn't got the enormous wealth of Arsenal, Spurs, City and Chelsea and won't, I hope, follow the pillaging tactics of the Glazers on their own fans.

Maybe our youth set-up and recent, as yet unseen, signings will supply what we need but if qualification takes more than two years will he have sufficient funds to continue major spending on the squad - hence the pressure on Koeman to deliver?

Colin Glassar
192 Posted 19/08/2017 at 23:54:42
The Sandy Brown own goal in the 1970-71(?) derby was the turning point, imo, Tony. I was only a kid at the time but I'm still traumatised by it.
Tony Hill
193 Posted 20/08/2017 at 00:22:41
Yes, that was a bad moment and one of the great own goals, Colin, but we won the return Anfield derby 2-0. The 1971 semi-final was pivotal - Ball put us ahead but Labone got injured and we somehow lost our nerve, the winning goal would not have happened if Brian had still been there. Even though the RS went on, thank God, to lose to Arsenal in the final, there was something about that game that marked our decline.

Anyway, that was 46 years ago, fuck it and fuck them. I sense a new age. I think. Possibly.

Dennis Ng
194 Posted 20/08/2017 at 00:44:57
Don, we agree on the way we see it. It seems to me that I am the most optimistic about our squad by far, even without the fabled #9 coming in. Calvert-Lewin, Lookman and Sandro are players I think everyone is seriously underestimating. Because of the style we used to play, perhaps people don't see us overcoming the loss of big muscle goals.

Of course, a seasoned and high performing #9 addition will provide those 3 with valuable mentoring and experience, but I wouldn't rule out those 3 turning a few heads as the season progresses. Pity Sandro might not play at Man City but I'm really excited with all 3 of our forwards.

John Owens
195 Posted 20/08/2017 at 04:46:40
Thanks for putting me straight on the speedy free kick Brian! It was still a fantastic moment! I think we won the replay with a penalty by Sharpy!! Went to see Orlando play Columbus Crew this evening! Quite enjoyed it.

Finished 1 1 with a red card decision following a video review! Now there's an idea!! Right decision too.

Laurie Hartley
196 Posted 20/08/2017 at 05:48:07
As I emigrated to the land down under in 1973 my most memorable games occurred in the sixties.

Three stick out in my mind two of which are often mentioned:

Everton 1 V Spurs 0 - to more or less clinch the title 1962/ 3 season - watched from Bullens Rd terraces directly in line with Young as he hung in the air.

Liverpool 0 - Everton 4 - when because of injury everyone reckoned we would get hammered. Andy Rankin produced the finest save I have ever seen in front of the Kop watched from Anfield Road Terraces

But there is one that nobody mentions but brings back very happy memories for me:

FA cup 3rd replay at Hillsborough on January 13th 1965.
Sheffield Wednesday 0 - Everton 3 - Harvey, Pickering, and Temple. Watched from behind one of the goals.

Sagged off school in the afternoon and picked up by my dad (God Bless him), Brian Roland's, and I think Jackie Cummings another steel erector from Birkenhead. All former patrons of the Charlotte and Moorfields establishments.

Off across the pennines in Brian's Ford Zephr (honest) and we hammered them. On the way back we saw a light on in a pub so the "elders" decided to stop.

When we went in the place was heaving with Evertonians watching the replay. It turned out the landlord was a blue.

Don't remember much after that - perhaps by some strange twist of fate one of you were there?

Looking back over the years I realise that now when I think of Everton my thoughts usually turn to my dad Len.

He always used to say right up to the time he passed away - "Laurie, we will be great again". We will fellas - you wait and see.

Ed Fitzgerald
197 Posted 20/08/2017 at 07:27:02
An interesting thread I don't think it's unreasonable to expect improvement from last season given that the manager has had more time and has had some money to reinvest with perhaps more to follow. Personally the thing I am craving for most is an improvement in the quality of football in terms of entertainment. Any assault on the top 4 or 5, I think is beyond Everton for now. Thursday night was a vast improvement but it's only a start. I'm not convinced by Koeman on any level and this notion he has been a great player therefore will be a great manager defies any logical examination.

I'm currently on holiday in sunny Greece and have been reading a brilliant book called soccernomics I can heartily recommend it although it might upset some of the Koeman acolytes on here with its analysis of how to conduct transfer business and how to build a culture of success. Regardless it should compulsory reading for any football fan.

The thing I have enjoyed most on this thread is the people reminsicising about their past favourite games, here are mine

My nan ran a pub in Melling and the regulars knew I was football mad . For my birthday one of the regulars took to me to Goodison for my sixth birthday in Aprl 1968 we beat Arsenal 2-0 with Joe Royle getting both - my first game and I was hooked for life

The Andy King Derby - in the Street end with load of red neck mates who were convinced we would get battered. Then off into to town to Eric's to watch my favourite punk band at the time Penetration. And to cap it off I pulled a cracking looking girl - heady days indeed

August 1986 Everton 2 - 0 Forest, First game I ever took my son too. He was three at the time, (two belters from Sheedy ) I never though at the time we would still be waiting 30 years later for another title winning side

Spurs 1-4 Everton 1995 - A great day when we turned the odds upside down. It was a feverish atmosphere inside and outside the ground. I can remember carrying my lad on my shoulders down our street and he was nearly 12!

That's enough nostalgia it's about time Everton gave some of the younger generation (those under thirty) something to celebrate I.e beating the RS, winning a cup etc

Darren Hind
198 Posted 20/08/2017 at 08:04:55
Wembley 95

The Manc's throwing everything at us. They didn't deserve to equalise, but the pressure was reaching breaking point and we we're bracing ourselves for the seemingly inevitable. Dying minutes, a cross came in and we all held our breath. Out came the big fella, cool as you like and took it with one hand. The crescendo of yeeeesssss as he looked round Wembley arrogantly broke Manc hearts. We knew then, our wait for a trophy was over

Stamford Bridge 87 (I think)

What a dump of a ground it was back then. We were drenched and the Chelsea fans on either side of us were giving us dogs abuse. Alan Harper silenced them with a screamer. Evertonians really did go beserk.

Semi final Villa Park (against Luton)

Had been working in Northampton so was travelling from the opposite direction to the lads. I had arranged to meet them at 1.00, but due to train times I got to Birmingham well early, about 9-00. I decided to have a walk around. I heard a laughter coming from an ale house and decided to chance my arm and knock on the window to see if I could get a bevy. To my absolute astonishment, My mate opened the door. He didn't see anything unusual and just said "I`mjust getting the ale in what do you want ?" . . . .I couldn't believe it. " WHAT DO I FUCKING WANT ??? THERE HAS TO BE TEN THOUSAND ALEHOUSE IN THIS CITY, HOW DID YOU HAPPEN TO BE IN THE ONE I JUST KNOCKED ON ???? AT NINE OCLOCK IN THE MORNING ??? . . DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE CHANCES OF THAT HAPPENING ????" . . ."I'll get you a bottle of Newcy brown the largers piss"
In truth we should have been out by the time Sheedy buried the free kick.
Luton had been the better team. but we ended up back in that ale house until Sunday.

Highbury 1969

My first trip to the smoke for a league game. Don't remember much about the game, Just remember being in awe at how many Evertonians were there. I'd seen a cup final, but I wasn't expecting this sort of a turn out for a league game. I just remember so many singing "we're gonna win the league" before we even scored. The season had only just started, but there was an unshakable belief amongst the ranks. Halcyon days.

Plymouth (sometime in the seventies)

What a hostile place that was. We were directed to their side by a bizzie with a warped sense of humour and found ourselves in among the angriest crowd I've ever come across. They hated us before a ball was kicked. Luckily we were not wearing colours, so we were able to stay anonymous. Plymouth were really up for it and went for us, so it came as considerable relief when I somebody tapped in the rebound (got a feeling it was Jim Pearson)after Martin Dobbo had a shot saved after a great run. We didn't dare celebrate, we just gave each other knowing looks. Then came the only goal I wish Everton had never scored. Mick Lyons for reason known only to himself burst down the left wing and buried a left footer from and acute angle. We couldn't control ourselves. we all jumped up and our cover was blown.
The natives went fucking crazy. Punches, kicks, missiles were raining down on us. The only thing that saved us that day was that so many of them were trying to get at us they were getting in each others way.
The bizzies eventually fished us out and although one mate had his jaw broken, the rest of us escaped with no more than cuts, bruises and brown bills.
The driver of the van was the only one amongst us who could drive at the time. He was a bit of a womaniser (understatement ) and while we were down below he decided to use his charms on an incredibly fit St Johns Ambulance worker. He cracked it, worse still she was coming off duty. He decided a night with her was preferable to a long long drive home with us. He gave us with an apologetic shrug of the shoulders and fucked off her.
No one was really angry with him, we were more jealous then anything else, we were selfish young lads and knew deep down we'd have made the same choice. . .bastard didn't come home for weeks.
It took us two days to hitch home, but that's another story, One for when the most-fun-at-an -away- match thread comes around.

Stan Schofield
199 Posted 20/08/2017 at 08:31:26
Colin@192: It was 69-70 when Sandy Brown scored an own goal with a spectacular header at Goodison, when we lost 0-3. But we outplayed them later in the season at Anfield, won 2-0 (Whittle scoring, I recall), and of course went on to win the league.

I think the turning point downwards was the sale of Alan Ball to Arsenal in 1971, breaking up the best midfield in the world at the time. Don't know whether that was a cause or just a symptom of a problem, but there seemed to be a problem at Everton at that time.

Tony Abrahams
200 Posted 20/08/2017 at 09:00:42
That would be a great thread that Darren, on the road with Everton, has given us all some manic moments, with many times, the only bad part of the day being the actual game itself!

Tony Abrahams
201 Posted 20/08/2017 at 09:13:03
Tony Hill, I'm glad you brought up that Rooney performance against Bolton mate. For some reason I backed him for an hat-trick that day, (I always do mad bets around the Xmas time) and I'm sure if he would have got one, then the rest would have followed and I'd have won a right few quid that day.

The kid was simply fucking outstanding, and it's still to this day the finest individual performance I have ever witnessed off an Everton outfield player. Me Dar, reckons when Moyes got interviewed after the game, he listened to what the interviewer said, and then replied but he never scored though?

Maybe Moyes, had a way of keeping the kids feet on the floor??? but the fastest I saw Ivan Campo, run all afternoon, was at the final whistle to grab Rooney, and put his arm round him, simply because the kid was that good.

I saw Rooney's mum and dad either after that game, or another one we played a couple of days later, and was genuinely thinking about telling them to get right home to make a couple more kids!

Dave Abrahams
202 Posted 20/08/2017 at 09:13:42
Tony (183), not guilty to being drunk at that game, drunk with joy at the goal maybe. I never got drunk before a game because what was the point, you missed everything going on.

Got a Liverpool fan a couple of weeks later in the Goblin, a pub off Islington, I said I had to get to Kings Drive the next day but didn't know where it was, this fella said hang on I know where it is, but had to give up and I said it's okay I know where it is: Right behind Ray Clemence in the back of Liverpool's net, he didn't like it but had to take it.

Tony Abrahams
203 Posted 20/08/2017 at 09:34:46
Deffo bevied Dave, my memory only stopped working when I started getting drunk myself!

You was out that day, been to see me uncle James for some reason, and I didn't even think I was gonna get the match. I remember swearing under my breadth thinking you weren't coming home for me and the roads getting to the ground were pretty empty we left that late.

You nearly threw me out the stands, when King scored and I remember this fella was sitting with his head bowed crying at the end, and you put your hand on his head ready to take the piss out of a Liverpudlian, when the fella looked up, and had a blue scarf in his hand!

I wish I could remember last week so well, but even the game gets sketchy for me nowadays!

John G Davies
204 Posted 20/08/2017 at 10:20:46
It would be a good thread Tony.
Just remembered the trips to London away games. Two hours in the train now. Used to get on a Crown coach on a Friday night and get there around 6am.
Happy days.
What about the longest it took you to get to a game?
Mine would be Bayern semi.
Took us over a day to get there. Train, boat, train.
Twat of a match but a great trip.
Mike Galley
205 Posted 20/08/2017 at 10:33:59
Loving these memories. Hope you don't mind if I join in?
1). At home to Forest in, I think, 1977. We got beat 3-1 but it was my first ever time at Goodison with dad. Never forget the noise, colours, atmosphere in the gladwys street that day. I was lucky enough to have him with me at the Stoke game, complaining about everything from the quality of the Spellow bitter to the quality of our play!!
2) Southampton 1984 semi-final. No explanation needed if you where there. At not quite 14 years of age I had already given up on ever seeing us win something. Again with dad, so no pitch invasion for me that day!!
3) 1984 charity shield against them. 1st time I ever saw us beat them live ( my first derby was the 5-0 at Goodison) so I'm making no excuses for how much I celebrated that day. Remember dad telling me that Bracewell was going to be a player!!!
4) anfield for the sharp derby.1984. Not just because it was them , but because I think it was the first time that I realised that this team could be a bit special!
5) 1995 FA cup final. It was a trophy obviously, but I think that's the only time I've ever cried at the end of an EFC game. It had been a long, hard season in the middle of a long, hard decade in our history. We seemed to be the butt of every football fans jokes in them days, so it was nice to put a collective two fingers up to everyone.
There's my 5 but , like all of us, I could come up with 50 games if asked!!!!
Tony Abrahams
206 Posted 20/08/2017 at 11:23:11
Mine was 4 days John G! Went to Thailand to watch the toffees, and although Bangkok was brilliant, especially at night, we had flew to Koh Samui for a few days before Everton's first game.

Took me a day to acclimatise, and I wanted to get a flight back to Bangkok, because Samui was too quiet? Glad I gave it a bit of time though, because it was the most relaxing, peaceful, and chilled place I have ever been to, so I stayed a few more days and got back to Bangkok, for the second game, and had to miss the full moon party to go the match.

That's how much I must love the toffees though, because I went to Bangkok, to watch a shitty pre-season game, when I could have been raving on a beach all night!

Denis Richardson
207 Posted 20/08/2017 at 13:01:57
First of all, transfer spend is irrelevant and it's mostly swings and roundabouts. Secondly every single club in the league has bucket loads of money.

If you want to truly judge clubs on spending ability, look at their wage bills and not transfer spend. Ours is no where near the likes of the Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. That already places us 6th and Spurs have a much much better squad than us!

The players we're buying now will help us close the gap to the other clubs but if anyone really thinks we're going to challenge the top 4 this season, they'll be very disappointed. It's simply not going to happen, unless we either have a Leicester type season and/or one of more of the clubs above us have a shit season.

Chances are one maybe two clubs above us will have an off season, but not three.

We'll be doing very well to finish top 6. Forget about top 4.

Dave Abrahams
208 Posted 20/08/2017 at 13:21:52
Tony (203), again no, it was a 3-00pm. kick off, doubt very much if I had a glass of bitter.

Two fella's came into the match late with one ticket between them, I let them crush in with us. Turned out they were Red fans, at the end one of them shook my hand and said the best team won, the one was upset, saying ' you think you've won the World Cup the way you are celebrating' : ' it's better than the World Cup mate and you haven't thanked me for the seat yet'. His mate just shrugged his shoulders and winked at me, letting me know his mate was a bad loser.

So not bevvied in the afternoon but I bet I made up for it in the night.

John G Davies
209 Posted 20/08/2017 at 13:45:35
Hopefully a few drinks in Patpong made up for it Tony.
Tony Abrahams
210 Posted 20/08/2017 at 14:20:47
We had a ball after the match John G, but my memory isn't what it used to be anymore!
Jay Wood
211 Posted 20/08/2017 at 15:09:30
John G. and Tony . Longest time to get to a match?

How about 11 days?!

I was on a Kibbutz in Israel as the 1984-85 season was reaching it's climax. In those days I'd listen to the game on BBC World Service on a shortwave tranny and catch up on the scraps of any highlights Israeli TV showed

Just to put things in context, April 1985 was an incredible month!

April 3 A Spurs (our only serious rivals for the title) 2 2-1
April 6 H Sunderland w 4-1
April 10 A (CWC S/F) Bayern Munich d 0-0
April 13 N (FA Cup S/F) Luton w 2-1
April 16 H WBA w 4-1
April 20 A Stoke w 2-0
April 24 H (CWC S/F) Bayern Munich w 3-1
April 27 H Norwich w 3-0

Add to that the early fixtures of May:

May 4 A Sheff Wed w 1-0
May 6 H QPR w 2-0 (clinched the title, with 5 games still to play!!!)
May 8 H WHU w 3-0
May 11 A Forest l 0-1 (WHAT???!!! We LOST a game???!!!)
May 15 N (CWC final) Rapid Vienna w 3-1
May 18 N (FA Cup final) Man Utd l 0-1 (a game too far)

When you look at how congested that fixture list was. How intense and important every game was, it highlights just how good that team was.

As for my marathon journey to a match, I remember listening to the FA Cup semi-final vs Luton there in Israel, us getting pounded and thinking: "We're going out here." Then Sheedy popped up with a late, late injury time equaliser and you just KNEW this team would go on to win.

11 days later was THE game at Goodison vs Bayern Munich, listening nervously to the game, hearing the roar of the crowd over the commentary 3,000 miles away.

The very next day I wrote by snail ail to a mate in Holland (no internet in those days!): "I don't care how, but get me tickets to the CWC final in Rotterdam. I'm on me way."

On Sunday May 5 I set off by bus from near the Sea of Galilee to the seaport of Haifa where I boarded a ferry to Athens in Greece. The next day May 6, still on board, somewhere in the Med near Cyprus, I listened on the faithful tranny as Everton clinched the title with a home win over QPR.

On Wednesday May 8, the ferry arrived in Athens where I booked a bus to Brussels - nearest possible destination to Holland in the time available to me. Spent 3 days in Athens until the bus set off on Saturday May 11, zig-zagging its way through Europe for the next 4 days.

Arrived Brussels latish evening on Tuesday May 14 and caught a train to the nearest station to where my mate lived in Holland, arriving around 2am in the morning on May 15, the day of the final in Rotterdam.

Being pumped up and in need of stretching me legs after so long stuck on a bus and train, I WALKED the 20kms to me mate's house - backpack n' all - arriving around 6am in the morning.

Hearty breakfast and kip followed before later that arvo we caught a combo of bus and train to Rotterdam.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

11 days and 3,000 miles. All for a game of footy.

Barkin' we Blues.

Colin Glassar
213 Posted 20/08/2017 at 15:14:07
Stan, Tony, thanks for clearing up the Sandy Brown OG. I remember watching it on motd (b&w) and thinking "oh shit".

I was taunted in school for about a week at least by my rs (divvies all of them) mates. They were obnoxious even back then.

John G Davies
214 Posted 20/08/2017 at 15:22:57

Thats the winner, nobody will beat that.
Fantastic effort mate. 👍

Dave Abrahams
215 Posted 20/08/2017 at 16:01:37
Jay (211), as John G says, that will take some beating, well done, from your posts it's easy to see you love the Blues, that epic journey more than proves it.

One of the games you mention in the run up to Rotterdam was the Notts Forest game away, we hadn't lost for twenty six games previous to that, it is the only game my wife has ever been to and the only one she is ever likely to, pure jinx.

Geoff Lambert
216 Posted 20/08/2017 at 16:12:04
Everton just gone down to 3/1 to sign Costa!!!!!
Mike Gaynes
217 Posted 20/08/2017 at 16:21:35
Yep, Jay's the winner (mazel tov!) but Darren's Plymouth story is a close second. And Tony and Dave are priceless.
Tony Abrahams
218 Posted 20/08/2017 at 17:23:13
Dave, she was jinxed the day she met you!

Brilliant Jay, although knowing how mad some Evertonians are, I'm not giving you first prize just yet mate!

Munich, was the special game, but any time I think about Rotterdam, I still get shivers going right threw me. Coming out the stadium, everyone singing "our song-- We shall not be moved" (no one sings it better than us) is a moment I will never ever forget!

Colin Glassar
219 Posted 20/08/2017 at 18:16:20
Luxury Jay! I once windsurfed across the Atlantic, on a broken board without a sail! I had to fight off whales, sharks and pirates and had to catch seagulls with my mouth. Took me thirteen months to make it to Liverpool where I died of dehydration just before kickoff.

Now that's dedication.

Darren Hind
220 Posted 20/08/2017 at 18:31:36
What about the shortest trip?

I had rellies over from Wexford for the derby at the Old Lady (card-carrying RS). They wanted to see Modor so reluctantly I picked them up early Saturday morning to take them up there.

No way was I letting them get away with just that, Once the had bought all their badgers and anthem sheets I took them to the old lady. We were going up. Bullens when the niece shouted, "Stop!!! There is something in that doorway."

I got out and approached this figure, it was a man and he was lying down but he was moving. When I got nearer he turned over... it was Ginger Parker! He wasn't alone, Captain Morgan was with him.

I knew Ginger only lived down Scottie so I told him to get in the car and I would take him home. "What time is it?" he asked. I told him it was around quarter to ten... "Na, it's not worth it," he said. "Jill opens at half-ten" – fuck knows who Jill was. But she undoubtedly had he name over one of the establishments around the ground.

I saw Ginger literally bouncing off walls outside Roker Park once, I asked him how the fuck he got there... classic comedy; He had the most vacant look on his face and just said "what???" I guess it was a stupid question, How or when didn't matter to people like Ginger, those people only knew why.

Dave Abrahams
221 Posted 20/08/2017 at 18:54:15
Darren (220), Ginger was a class Evertonian, a legend but he didn't know it, he must have berated every winger who took a corner at the The Park End, with his shirt unbuttoned all the way down his belly, hail rain or snow, one lovely Bluenose who absolutely hated every Liverpudlian in the world. I bet he is still giving them loads wherever he is, wouldn't mind betting he's been barred out of Heaven a few times.
Dave Abrahams
222 Posted 20/08/2017 at 19:08:46
Tony (218), we were doing fine, then you came and the whole house and everyone in it was jinxed.
Graham Mockford
223 Posted 20/08/2017 at 19:28:36
I can't beat Jays epic journey but I did once get sacked for going on an Everton away trip.

When we drew UCD in the first round of the ECWC in 84 my only option was phoning in sick to get the time to travel.

Great trip but on the way back there was some kerfuffle on the ferry and it turned back. When we finally got back to Liverpool I was eager to get off quick to get back to work. Unfortunately I was captured on the Granada Reports cameras getting off, which of course my boss watched.

Andy Crooks
224 Posted 20/08/2017 at 19:48:50
For me it was a win over Forest in the late sixties. Nothing special about the game other than it was the first time I was at Goodison park. My dad took me, we stayed in Blackpool and everything was new and special.
I can remember every single minute but nothing, nothing ever, can match the moment when our team walked out. It was, and I guess will always be, as good as it gets.
Dave Abrahams
225 Posted 20/08/2017 at 20:32:03
Andy (224), with you there Andy, my first senior game at Goodison Park, running up the steps of the boys pen and gazing at the whole scene, pure magic, 13th March 1948, I was seven, we got beat 2-0 by Arsenal but just to be there was brilliant, never ever forgot that day even if I don't remember anything of the game, couldn't wait to get back, a fortnight later, another defeat 1-0 to Stoke City, but the bug had struck and I'm delighted it did.
Jay Wood
226 Posted 20/08/2017 at 20:45:46
Dave @ 215:

"...the Notts Forest game away, we hadn't lost for twenty six games previous to that, it is the only game my wife has ever been to and the only one she is ever likely to, pure jinx."

And you're still together, Dave? Very forgiving man you, fellah!

Tony @ 218::

"...knowing how mad some Evertonians are, I'm not giving you first prize just yet mate!"

Nor am I Tony. I'm waiting to be trumped by the tale of a hitherto unknown 'Deep Blue' Apollo astronaut returning from a voyage from the dark side of the moon to see the Blues against the dark side in a Mersey Derby.

Tony Abrahams
227 Posted 20/08/2017 at 21:53:24
jay, I loved yer story mate, the 20 km walk with your rucksack, at two o'clock in the morning is brilliant, and I'm sure if you was a kopite, they would make a film over a story like your's, BUT you don't need me to tell you how fucking mad some Evertonian's are though...and don't let Dave kid you either Jay, he's the jinx mate, you only have to read about his first two trips to Goodison, to realise that!
Laurie Hartley
228 Posted 20/08/2017 at 23:39:44
Jay your trip is like Dixie's record - I doubt if it will ever be broken.

What a great thread - we go from tearing strips off each other to all our yesterdays. Everton will do that to you.

Don Alexander
229 Posted 20/08/2017 at 23:42:56
Fair comment Tony (#227) but the Koppites have never had a "The Golden Vision" programme, and nor has anyone else!
David Ellis
230 Posted 21/08/2017 at 02:58:49
Here are mine
1973 - My first game - it was at Anfield. A 0-0 draw. Never seen a derby live since...too stressful. Had tickets in 1979? when we lost 5-0 but fortunately I had a migraine and missed it (pre-match stress!! - or premonition).

1984 - Highbury FA Cup Semi Final - took my Arsenal fan mate to the game. Not sure it was a great game but the first time I felt we had won an important game when it really mattered against a good team (Southampton finished 2nd that year - I think we scrambled to 9th). Heath scores the winner in extra time. A bit "afters" after the match with Southampton fans in the tube!

1985 - Sunderland at home. Took two mates from Yorkshire to the game along with my Dad. They were hugely impressed as we steam rollered them 4-1. Bracewell's pass to Steven - just a classic performance, probably the best Everton performance I have ever witnessed.

2009 FA Cup semi final - flew from Hong Kong just for the match, spent one night in the UK and then flew back. Good decision! We won the penalty shoot out and my son then aged 5 became convinced we were the best team in the country.

David Ellis
231 Posted 21/08/2017 at 03:00:14
Colin 219 - you were lucky. But you tell the young people of today
Tony Abrahams
232 Posted 21/08/2017 at 08:40:35
Scarred for life after that 5-0 defeat David, which was definitely in the 80's. I think,I was the first in Goodison, that day, and ever since I just hate going through the turnstile, any earlier than 15 minutes before kick-off.

Thinking now, the only other time I've ever been in really early, was when the men with white coats were above us in Bucharest, and we conceded five again.

I was just a kid starting in the seniors when Liverpool destroyed us, and for years everyone used to try and wind me up and said I stayed off school all week. I never I was there first thing on the Monday morning, but I could never tell any of those fuckers about my alibi though.

Going into school that horrible morning, the first door I went through and someone had drawn a little , down the side of push, so it now said fucking Rush. Never told none of them bastards though, I never give the other crowd an inch!

Dave Wilson
234 Posted 21/08/2017 at 12:21:09
Dave (#220),

Ginger was well known amongst RS.

My brother, a kopite, told me even when they were given all of Park End for the derby, he would still be in there shouting abuse at them.

He told me about a time when he was walking up the steps from under the terrace and a couple of hundred reds were chanting "Fuck off Parker" . He turned around and shouted "You fuck off, I live here" then turned around again, dropped his pants and mooned the lot of them.

Apparently even the Kopites fell about laughing.

Jay Wood
235 Posted 21/08/2017 at 15:27:31
Forgot to add, like Graham at 223 I also got sacked once for following the Blues.

It was for the 1977 League Cup final against Villa. I was working 'down sarf' at the time - not London itself - and pitched up at Wembley without a ticket but squeezed in with mates I met up with in the usual 'inventive' way.

My God, what a tedious game THAT was! With the replay in Hillsborough 4 days later, me and the lads stayed together, me without a thought about getting back to work for the Monday, and queued all night outside Goodison on the Tuesday with thousands off other Blues to ensure I got a ticket.

Another frigging draw. By the time I showed up for work the following week, the gaffer was waiting for me and dismissed me on the spot.

Dunno how he guessed where I'd been.

Perhaps it was the blue and white dyed hair, half n' half, that gave it away.

I wish I was joking, but I'm not!

What Everton does to yer, eh?

Dennis Ng
236 Posted 22/08/2017 at 20:37:57
If no one mentioned this yet City spent 200m just on their defence. And they might not even be champions!

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