It's Not THAT Bad

Jay Wood 03/07/2020 230comments  |  Jump to last

On the Leicester City matchday thread, there were some gnarled Gordian Knot-esque posts critical of the criticism some players draw. There was also criticism of our Italian manager.

In all my time on ToffeeWeb, there has never been one single player who has escaped criticism. Not one.

The suggestion that the academy boys are singled out for special criticism whilst expensive foreign players are exempt and excused is simply not true.


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Now clearly, for some individuals, the very mention of a particular player's name DOES set off a trigger. These individuals are totally, but totally, incapable of acknowledging any good in anything they do.

The reverse of the same coin is that every single player also has his defenders who are equally incapable of seeing any fault in whatever the player does.

Indeed, there are individual posters who sit in both camps. They cannot see any good in particular players whilst only praising and defending other players, no matter how poorly they may play. And all players do play poorly at times.

You can say the same of any given manager, director of football, auxiliary coaches, the owner, the CEO and very much, of course, Mr Bill Kenwright.

Take Carlo Ancelotti at the moment and the notion being propagated by some that the team is playing the equivalent of alehouse football.


This was the Premier League table after game 15, Marco Silva's last game in charge, the 5-2 humiliation at Anfield:

Premier League Table Under Silva

We sat in the bottom 3 below the likes of Bournemouth, Aston Villa, West Ham United and Brighton.

We had lost 9 of our 15 games from an exceedingly benevolent opening list of fixtures.

We had the 4th worst defence in the Premier League after Southampton (skewed by the huge outlier of the 9-0 home defeat to Leicester City), Norwich City and Watford with a –11 goal difference.

We looked like conceding from any and every corner and free-kick.

In most games, we could count our attempts on goal without using all the digits on one hand.

For all Silva's time with us, we learnt that conceding the first goal most times led to a defeat, NEVER a recovery and victory.

In the 3 Premier League games, plus the League Cup quarter-final defeat to Leicester City following Silva's sacking, Duncan Ferguson roused the team and first showed us that the team WAS capable with the right tactics. Carlo Ancelotti has built on that.

This is the list of games under Carlo:

Burnley (H): 1-0 - one team played to nick the game, the other team played to win it and duly did so with a wonderful diving header from Calvert-Lewin, a player liberated and encouraged by Carlo. 21 shots to Burnley's 6.

Newcastle Utd (A): 1-2 - immediately achieved only our 2nd away win of the season in Carlo's 1st away trip in a totally dominant display with a Calvert-Lewin double. 22 shots.

Manchester City (A): 2-1 - always a challenge, but competed throughout, losing narrowly. City 16 shots, Everton 7.

Liverpool (A, FA Cup): 1-0 - a disaster. Personally, the most painful defeat I've experienced as a Blue. A game that should have been put to bed in the first half ending in embarrassing defeat with a totally tepid second-half performance. Liverpool 12 shots, Everton 11.

Brighton (H): 1-0 - again Everton dominant for long spells without the reward other than Richarlison's superb finish. Everton 14 shots.

West Ham Utd (A): 1-1 - a more bitty performance, but still matching the home side for shots. West Ham 12 shots, Everton 11.

Newcastle Utd (H): 2-2 - totally, totally, TOTALLY dominant with some sumptuous football, but contrived to throw away the win deep into injury time. Everton 17 shots (8 on target), Newcastle 9 (3 on target).

Watford (A): 2-3 - 2-0 down after 42 minutes, level by the interval thanks to Mina's double, down to 10 men with Delph's sending off with 20 minutes to go, side superbly reshuffled by Carlo, then Theo's winner deep into injury time. First time in yonks Everton have come back to win a game from losing 2-0, never mind just a single goal. Watford 11 shots, Everton 12.

Crystal Palace (H): 3-1 - dominant first half, wobbled a bit until Richarlison's superb solo run then Calvert-Lewin made things comfortable for us. Everton 14 shots, 8 on target.

Arsenal (A): 3-2 - flying start with a Calvert-Lewin goal in the opening minute, Everton contrived to allow Arsenal back into it with lax defending particularly from Sidibé. Even so, it was Arsenal desperately hanging on at the end to claim the points. Arsenal 9 shots, Everton 17 - 5 on target.

Manchester Utd (H): 1-1 - a see-saw match which again saw Everton off to a flier when Calvert-Lewin chased down De Gea's clearance. Robbed of a winner at the end when Calvert-Lewin's goal was ruled out with Sigurdsson lying in an offside position. Everton 16 shots, Man Utd 14.

Chelsea (A): 4-0 - the meekest most insipid performance on Carlo's watch. A pitiful 3 shots, the only time other than away to Man City that Everton recorded less than double-figure shots on the opponent's goal in a game.

And then... the Coronavirus pandemic suspended football for 3 months. On return to training, a spate of injuries were recorded and some were quick to attribute this to Ancelotti's laid-back training sessions. In truth, Theo Walcott required stomach surgery and only Delph remains on the injured list. Gomes has played all 3 games since the restart. Mina missed just two games and returned in the third.

Since football returned, nearly every game in every league has been a pale shadow of the norm. Some teams have really struggled. Not Carlo Ancelotti's Everton. They look well-drilled, fit, and resilient.

Interestingly, Carlo has not radically rotated his squad, nor fully availed himself of the increased quota of subs allowed. The team has looked fit and strong for the full 90 minutes of all games and no player has incurred a stress injury.

Liverpool (H): 0-0 - a largely dour affair in which the Premier League's runaway leaders never seriously threatened our goal. We most certainly threatened theirs and could have won. Everton 8 shots, Liverpool 10.

Norwich City (A): 0-1 - less than 72 hours later, travelling and playing the same day to Norwich, a rusty first half gave way to a more fluent and dominant second half as Everton won for the 3rd time on the road under Carlo Ancelotti, whereas away wins have long been like hen's teeth for the Blues. Everton 12 shots.

Leicester City (H): 2-1 - very quickly 2-0 up and in cruise control for all Leicester's possession. Largely poor second half, but such is the newfound organization and resilience in a previously porous Everton under Carlo, the Foxes could not penetrate the Blue's defensive lines to great effect. Everton 7 shots, Leicester 15.

Take another look at the Premier League table following Silva's last game in charge. Compare it to the following form table of Premier League games solely under Carlo Ancelotti:

PL Form Table Under Ancelotti

Liverpool way out in front, followed by Manchester City on 28 points, Manchester United on 27, then Wolves and Everton on 25. We are 2 points better off than Arsenal, 3 points clear of Chelsea, and 6 points above Spurs.

All the managers of those respective clubs are being praised for 'turning around' the fortunes of their clubs.

But some on ToffeeWeb – going back to the opening theme of my post – will not, CAN not give credit to Carlo for achieving so much in so short a time with the same players that had us in a relegation scrap before he arrived. He hasn't even signed a player yet!

Maybe, just maybe, Carol Ancelotti is not a busted flush as some wish to portray him as. And maybe, just maybe, players some posters like to praise or flay are not quite as good – or as bad – as they believe.

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Reader Comments (230)

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Eddie Dunn
1 Posted 03/07/2020 at 20:24:54
Very interesting, Jay. I think we would all be happy if we sat 5th in the table next season.
Kevin Prytherch
2 Posted 03/07/2020 at 20:43:47
Good article, highlights exactly the progress we’ve made under Ancelotti in terms of results.

However, I do disagree that local lads don’t get more stick. There have been countless games under Silva where the whole team have been crap and the first thing a lot of posters have wrote is that DCL, or Holgate, or Davies etc are “Championship standard at best”, whilst ignoring the rest of the players. I think it’s no coincidence that two of Davies better performances have occurred without the crowd on his back.

Howard Sykes
3 Posted 03/07/2020 at 20:47:32
All done with the same squad and no new transfers in.
Jay Harris
4 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:07:40
Well said, Jay.

I cannot understand ANY Evertonian complaining about Ancelotti.

The man has a better pedigree than any previous manager and it is obvious to a blind man that, even working with what he has inherited, he has improved the players and the results.

Most supporters would agree that we do not have a top 6 squad based on previous experience but Carlo has them in the top 5 on current form.

Patience and full support are necessary if we are to break the glass ceiling but I for one believe we finally have the right man in charge.

Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:10:32
Thank you for that, Jay. I try to judge the players on how they perform in each game but admit I am not very forgiving of their mistakes. I've seen simply too many.

However, the thrust of your piece is to demonstrate what Carlo Ancelotti has achieved with this rabble, and you make it hard to deny the impact he has had (although I have a feeling that at least one person won't let this pass without his customary challenge).

The football is not easy on the eye by any means. But it's getting results – of that there is no doubt. The critic in me says the results could have been even better, but he's doing it with mostly the same bunch who were so dismal under Marco Silva. Establishing cause and effect can rarely be as easy as this.

Martin Nicholls
6 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:11:58
Good article, Jay, and one which is realistic about where we are at the moment.

I think Kevin might be right about the level of criticism of local players here on ToffeeWeb but, from where I sit, I've seen no evidence of it at Goodison Park (or indeed at away games).

Tony Everan
7 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:13:06
Good article, Jay, it will get us talking,

Carlo and his team have changed the mood at the club. With the same players. He has made us hard to beat and the players look like they are a team and are working for reach other.

Carlo is laying the foundations in terms of discipline and attitude. All good teams bar none are built on an organised defence. Carlo is getting there; for years I haven't been this optimistic. I suppose that Tottenham on Monday, then Wolves away will tell us more. Those games will probably highlight the fact that we are missing our ‘Gana‘ midfielder. This position will be addressed.

I have to agree with Ed that our young lads do generally come in for more criticism than expensive senior players. During the Silva low period, I have never seen a young player work so hard and give so much to the team as Calvert-Lewin did. Most criticism of him at that time was unfair.

Another case in point was the first half against Norwich. Gomes was just as bad as Davies was if not worse during that period and Davies got 90% of the flak. I was pleased for him that he performed well when he can on against Leicester. He didn't let the disappointment get to him and came back strong.

That attitude shows a inner steel and mental strength. He is in there fighting for his place still, he's one of us and good luck to him.

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:27:46
Very good post, Jay, with the most obvious thing being that Ancelotti, after seeing us outclassed at Chelsea, has tightened us right up.

I've only had one criticism of Ancelotti, that he's sometimes slow to react (Chelsea & Norwich being my examples), but he definitely reacted against Leicester.

I was that impressed, I called it a victory for Ancelotti because of the way he changed formations twice, before he finally locked our opponents out – something I've very rarely seen in all my years watching Everton.

Patrick McFarlane
9 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:36:19
I can understand the frustration of some Evertonians about the style of football we have been served up in the last few years but, apart from the brief spell under Silva and almost a full season of Martinez, we haven't seen consistently the type of aggressive football that we yearn to see, for a very long time.

Kendall and Royle both identified that a solid defence is the best way to keep the points tally ticking over, but, once their teams gained confidence the more expansive football followed naturally.

I believe that Ancelotti is cut from the same cloth, he understands that there is little scope for experimentation and, regardless of the staff he has available to him, results remain all-important.

He is being as pragmatic as David Moyes ever was, but I'm confident that he's also more adventurous than the Scotsman and hopefully we will see that at some point during the next season. The longer that Ancelotti remains at Everton, the better our fortunes will be – something that I couldn't say about Allardyce.

Chris Williams
10 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:50:28
Agreed Jay,

If it can’t be silky soccer, at least let it be efficient, organised and effective.

It’s a long time since we’ve had either, even in an environment that is far from the norm.

I doubt we’ll get into Europe, but with a patchy squad, even if everybody was fit, I’m not that arsed, especially since there’s no guarantees that we’ll see the norm any time soon.

We’re all in a different world now.

Neil Copeland
11 Posted 03/07/2020 at 21:50:46
Great post, Jay, thanks.

I think that something else Carlo does well is when he talks about the excitement of potential Europa League qualification. He is driving the team forward, unlike previous managers who shied away from setting targets other than finishing 8th. No ambition will yield a poor outcome and Carlo understands this and the need to challenge the players.

John Keating
12 Posted 03/07/2020 at 22:02:39
Good article, Jay, and everything put in perspective. The manager can only play with what he has. I have no doubt, as John Pierce put in another thread, that our play will evolve as Ancelotti brings in other players.

All clubs have their whipping boys, it's always been like that. That includes Everton. Unfortunately some people have set their stalls out slagging players, and the manager, from day one, in fact before day one in some instances, and regardless will not change.

Paul Birmingham
13 Posted 03/07/2020 at 22:23:14
Thanks, Jay, for a fair and well-pitched post. In essence, it sums up Everton 2020, and the great potential to be untapped.

The Best Buy in my book in years, is Carlo Ancelotti, as he reads and sees the game as like a player on the pitch.

With a few decent buys, I sense Everton can start making some good news and consistently, soon.

If, we can beat Spurs, it makes the run-in, very interesting. Let's see.

Great weekend all, and stay safe.

“What's Our Name?”

Darren Hind
14 Posted 03/07/2020 at 22:27:58
Ill-informed drivel.

Numerous ex-players, including all-time greats, have spoken about the "special treatment" given to academy and local boys at this club. That may not reach the fan boy websites from which people living in South America seem to glean all their knowledge, but it is none the less real.

Regular match goers who post on here are aware of it and often speak about it. It even spills on to these pages. Anyone who thinks Calvert-Lewin or Tom Davies have not faced disproportionate abuse on these pages is either in denial or has not visited the live forum.

It is so apparent to one particular American poster that he has accused us of "eating our own"... You see, he participates in the live forum. You don't. I guess that's why he knows and you don't.

When Dominic Calvert- Lewin was labouring as a lone striker for the clueless Silva, he got more stick on these pages than the entire squad put together. Tom Davies has recently taken that mantle

Sticking your fingers in your ears and saying it doesn't happen because you don't know about it, won't wash with those who know different.

As for these current form snapshot leagues, they make me cringe.

We used to do this when I was in my teens, Billy Bingham would come out well if you chose the right window... But even as dreamy young wide-eyed teenagers, we still knew we were shite.

Maybe Conor is right. If Marco Silva is now the bar, we are well and truly fucked.

Brent Stephens
15 Posted 03/07/2020 at 22:48:46
“Numerous ex-players including all time greats have spoken about the "special treatment" given to academy and local boys at this club. That may not reach the fan boy websites from which people living in South America seem to glean all their knowledge, but it is none the less real.“

Darren, I assume you are referring to Jay? Correct me if I’m wrong? Who was it?

If it was Jay, what are the fan boy websites he uses?

And how do you know that’s the only place he gleans his knowledge from?

Don’t deflect, as you accuse others of doing. Can you answer those questions?

Darren Hind
16 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:40:22
Brent Stephens

Deflect? Not when I can confront.

Let me make something clear for the benefit of people who don't have anything to contribute except maybe a little stirring.

Jay Wood is my favourite regular poster on this site. I love that he gives it out without bleating about what comes back.

He and his have been through the mill recently, I have felt for them – beyond football argument... So do I take it easy on him? ... Do I fuck! That would be just disrespectful.

Do I test the waters by pressing all the buttons? Yeah... That's exactly what I have done.

Any more questions you think I may want to dodge?

Mike Gaynes
17 Posted 03/07/2020 at 23:43:29
Darren, I knew you'd come through!

Patrick #9, great post. You summed it up nicely. Likewise John at #12 and Jay at #4.

I like Carlo because I like winning, simple as that.

Brent Stephens
18 Posted 03/07/2020 at 00:00:54
Darren, you didn't explicitly answer my first question but I guess that the answer was that your comment was directed at Jay. Thank you.

So, the second question I asked you. If it was Jay, what are the fan boy websites you say he uses? Just interested, you understand.

Darren Hind
19 Posted 04/07/2020 at 00:03:02
Night all. Anybody rememeber the compete gobshite who claimed he watched Wales win in the World Cup... only to realise he had already posted to tell us he missed it?
Sukhdev Sohal
20 Posted 04/07/2020 at 00:11:01
I haven't heard one true Everton fan slag off Ancelotti at all. Don't make things up.
Darren Hind
21 Posted 04/07/2020 at 00:18:05
Except me, Sukhdev???

I love this club, mate. I just don't like it any more.

Bill Watson
22 Posted 03/07/2020 at 00:45:57
After the ineptness of Martinez, Koeman and Silva and the years of dross we've had to put up with on the pitch Carlo is like a breath of fresh air.

At last, we have a manager who can, somehow, squeeze some decent results from a side with no natural ball winner, no pace in midfield and wide players who rarely deliver a telling cross. The improvement in Calvert-Lewin and Holgate is little short of remarkable and, hopefully, Carlo can find a position to bring the best out of Davies.

What he's achieved with the unbalanced mish-mash of a squad he inherited is little short of remarkable. Sure, we'll have some setbacks but, for the first time in years, I feel we have a manager who can move us forward.

Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 04/07/2020 at 01:17:28
Well said, Bill.
Bill Watson
24 Posted 04/07/2020 at 01:33:21

Oops, should have proofread it first. It's little short of remarkable I didn't! lol

Kieran Kinsella
25 Posted 04/07/2020 at 01:54:48
Per Isaac Newton, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So, if some posters act like anyone homebred is beyond reproach, others will focus on slagging off those players.

Beyond that, homegrown players are generally not as good as the other players. That's why we keep having to sign other players as the homegrown ones aren't good enough.

“Oh no,” you cry, “he will show how good he is if he has an extended run in the team. If we sell him we will regret it.” The same refrain we heard about Daniel Fox, Liam Walsh, Luke Garbutt, Conor McAleny, Shane Duffy, Richard Dunne, JP Kissock, Francis Jeffers, Chris Long, Peter Clarke, George Green, Jake Bidwell, Joe Williams, Jamie Milligan, Victor Anichebe, Nick Chadwick, Phil Jevons, Tony Grant, Adam Forshaw, Jack Rodwell, Patrick Boyle, etc etc – some of whom went on to have okay careers... none of whom went onto have tremendous success that left any of us regretting their loss.

Hibbert and Osman were adequate. Davies may be adequate one day but is currently inadequate. Calvert-Lewin and Holgate aren't even homegrown but, for what it's worth, they have reached adequacy in the last six months.

Rooney was good, no-one slagged off his ability. He left for a big fee, and we got that fee because there was no doubting his quality. He was a one-off.

Derek Thomas
26 Posted 04/07/2020 at 02:00:31
Okay, I'm convinced... but imagine what we'd be like if we had a midfield?

It's all about perception... or is it confirmation bias? At one stage, people were saying, "Look, we could go 5th if this, that or the other happens."

What we have here is a reverse footballing Rene Descartes... we seem to bottle potential 6 points therefore we are crap.

But isn't that the perennial Everton cry: coulda, woulda, shoulda? Aka, "We're only 3 players off being a very good side" & "One day,, somebody is going to get a real pasting."

Carlo has got a tune out of them so fairplay to him. Now he and Brands have to replace average with better... until that average is higher, then replace them with better... etc.

John Pierce
27 Posted 04/07/2020 at 05:33:40
‪Looking at European qualification, everybody in the top half has to play each other, it’s quite incredible. If we put a decent run together it’s very much there for us. ‬
Danny Broderick
28 Posted 04/07/2020 at 06:40:51
Kieran (25),

Rooney wasn't good – he was world class, exceptional. He went on to become the record goalscorer for England and Manchester United ffs!

Leon Osman was an excellent player. A quick glance at Wikipedia says he played 352 games for us in a team regularly finishing in the top 6 in England, scoring 43 goals along the way. Not a bad goal scoring ratio for a midfielder. Oh, and he played for England also.

Tony Hibbert played 265 games for us. Not at the same level as Osman, but he was a good, solid Premier League defender in a team regularly finishing in the top 6.

Calvert-Lewin and Holgate have become ‘adequate' in your view. This beggars belief. One is the hottest young English centre-half in the league, linked with Man City; and the other is the hottest young English striker in the league, tipped to break into the England squad. He's scored 15 goals this season so far, in a team which was crap before Ancelloti took over.

Your post confirms that our young players are judged unfairly just with the language you use.

Danny Broderick
29 Posted 04/07/2020 at 06:45:47
Things are clearly looking up. Our defence has been impeccable since the enforced break due to Covid-19. We've got Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are looking like a cracking partnership up front. Even when they are not scoring, they work their socks off and help the midfield out.

Our biggest area of concern is midfield – but, even if we don't have the desired quality, the shape of the team has been excellent, especially bearing in mind the quality of opposition in Liverpool and Leicester City. The lads in midfield have looked really fit and have worked their socks off.

We are beginning to see Ancelotti's imprint on this team, and we are beginning to shift some of the deadwood. If we can bring in a couple of midfielders, we'll be even stronger next season. The optimism is coming back...

Jerome Shields
30 Posted 04/07/2020 at 06:56:01
Everton have improved because the powers that be have brought in the correct calibre of manager for a Premier League Club that wants to win something. Ancelotti has a consistent record of being able to manage at that level with consistent success in different countries.

He achieves this by ensuring that players are coached properly in how to play in position within his overall adaptive tactics throughout a game, which are tailored according to the opposition and the ability of the players at his disposal.

For to be successful, a club has to have the correct calibre of team manager, but also needs the correct calibre of backroom staff, club management and players. Ancelotti has addressed the backroom structure and will address player calibre in future transfer windows, but this still leaves issues with a club management who have been unsuccessful and often downright bad over these past 20 years.

In my opinion, until all these areas are addressed, particularly the role of club chairman, consistent success will still be elusive. A team that win something always, in my experience in team games, has to have the calibre of chairman as well as team manager to be consistently successful and challenge. The right calibre of team manager may be able to pull off one success, but not consistent success.

All opinions on ToffeeWeb are valued, because we all want Everton to be a consistent success. These opinions may vary in the level of calibre of criticism, because none of us are Ancelotti or close to it.

Steve Shave
31 Posted 04/07/2020 at 07:52:24
Thanks for posting that, Jay. I agree entirely with the message you were trying to convey. We as supporters of our great club can often be so entitled, we can't always see when we have something worth holding onto and celebrating.

True, I haven't heard too much Carlo criticism on here but I do think some have failed to grasp the extent to which Carlo has turned things around in such a short space of time. We must hold on to the positives; I for one am very optimistic about next season, especially so if we sign two quality players for centre-midfield and right-midfield.

Darren, I am a relatively new poster on this site so excuse me if I don't know the history between some of the posters but your initial post did seem unnecessarily antagonistic towards the article writer. Jay was after all merely trying to round the troops and I, for one, feel better for reading it.

Steve Brown
32 Posted 04/07/2020 at 08:18:15
It isn't a question of whether all players get criticism; it's a question of whether they should. As a principle, I don't like criticism of the younger players, regardless of whether they developed in the Academy or they were bought for a fee. They are developing their game, developing their confidence and the crowd getting on their back never helps. So why do it?

A seasoned pro who joins a club after a large transfer fee and earns a high salary is expected to be capable, motivated and experienced. A role model and a leader in the dressing room and on the pitch. If they do not step up to that minimum expectation – Mirallas, Delph, Williams, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Walcott to name but a few – then they deserve all the criticism they get.

It is the misfortune of our young Academy players like Kenny, Holgate, Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies that they have reached the first team squad when it was full of such terrible pros. It's to their huge credit that they came out of the other side as good players and even better pros.

Steve Brown
33 Posted 04/07/2020 at 08:21:12
And we are not playing ale house football, we are playing winning football under a manager who is a proven winner. If Everton had won one of the trophies Carlo has accumulated as a manager, we'd be reminiscing about it over a pint for the next 20 years.
Bill Gienapp
34 Posted 04/07/2020 at 09:30:02
The stats Jay lays out are exactly why I don't buy this silly argument that Ancelotti is essentially just doing the same job Allardyce did 2 years ago.

While the football hasn't been particularly pretty, we are solid in attack, and scoring goals at a reasonable rate. Under Allardyce, we'd be lucky to produce a shot on target every other game. We finished the season with virtually every offensive statistic in the crapper.

We had 21 shots in Carlo's first game – I'm not sure we had 21 shots in Allardyce's entire tenure.

Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 04/07/2020 at 10:31:56
Jay, you are correct it's not that bad, but it could be better!! I'm definitely not complaining, as I stated I couldn't see where the points we've now got were coming from – and that was after the Liverpool game!!

Carlo was left with a poor squad, hardly any central midfield, so I'm happy with the safety now achieved.

Carlo needs a lot more time to get squad he needs and then he can be judged on what he achieves. Only with time and his own squad will we see how good he is with Everton. Forget his past managerial honours, it's what he achieves here that counts.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
36 Posted 04/07/2020 at 10:46:38
And please let us not forget that, between the Silva 18th place with 14 points from 15 matches and Ancelotti 5th place with 25 points from 14 matches, there was Ferguson 7th place with 5 points from 3 matches.

Credit to the big man. He stopped the slide and dealt with part of the problem so Ancelotti could deal with other problems. Ferguson restored the pride, the passion and the confidence.

Derek Knox
37 Posted 04/07/2020 at 11:08:00
Dave @35, the thing is, if Carlo can do this with a let's face it a mixture of The Good, The Bad and The downright coyote Ugly, what can he achieve once we get some players in of his choice?

As far as the other points in this thread are concerned, I am somewhat ambivalent. Yes we should, and in the main do support the players, but there are times when these highly paid individuals are just not producing, or are even seen to produce.

That does tend to percolate one's urine, at the best of times, but Carlo's hands are tied in the short term, by inheriting the squad he has now. Gladly there are some contracts due to expire, and the Deadwood Stage may yet still come over that hill, but I do believe and that we have a decent nucleus to build on.

I'm not sure whether qualifying for the Euro places will help or hinder the recruitment of quality, given Carlo's status and reputation in World Football. It would obviously be a bonus, if we did, but I am fairly confident that, come the start of next season, whenever that will be, we will be a lot better prepared and managed than we were at the start of this season.

Paul Tran
38 Posted 04/07/2020 at 11:39:19
I'm not interested in comparing anyone with Silva, Allardyce or Koeman. They weren't good enough.

Every good team I've seen has been based on a good defence. You don't lose, you get confidence and momentum.

The really good or great teams build on that by balancing that with fast flowing, attacking football. I can't recall many who have done that consistently within six months.

I don't need to be a fanboy for this. I rely on 50 years of watching footy.

We can do plenty better. More men in their box. More support for Calvert-Lewin when it's lauched at him. More instinctively looking forward when receiving the ball.

There's a massive space between the views that Carlo is a genius and a coward. I'm sure I'm not the only one in that space.

Like Carlo telling a striker to stay near the penalty box, sometimes the obvious stares you in the face so much that many don't notice it. I'm seeing green shoots here. What they'll turn into, who knows, but you don't have to be a worshipper to notice and acknowledge them.

Len Hawkins
39 Posted 04/07/2020 at 11:44:46
I remember Howard Kendall signing and although we knew all about him at Preston it took what seemed like an age to settle in and become the Best English Player never to play for England. I certainly don't remember him being singled out for abuse, and social media was a telephone call or a telegram but usually a letter.

I often knock Davies, I'll admit the second half vs Leicester he ran his socks off, for his distribution and seeming inability to find a team mate with an easy pass.

Now we have another in Iwobi after a good game against Norwich he reverted to type vs Leicester although he was up against Chillwell but his passing was back to it's frustrating best or worst. I cannot get to grips with players who simply cannot pass playing in midfield of all places.

As for Carlo Ancelotti, I think we have won the lottery with him and I can't wait for the time he has the right players playing the system that has brought him so much success but, unfortunately, I and everyone else will have to wait.

Danny ONeill
40 Posted 04/07/2020 at 11:54:03
Thanks, Jay, really good perspective and analysis.

I said on the live forum how refreshing it is to have a manager who sets up tactically for individual games based on the opposition. And, when he makes substitutions, it is with the intent of effecting the game, as opposed to the "It's the time we always make token substitutions" approach we have broadly become accustomed to.

Will he always call it right? No, but who does? However, his track record and performances at Everton to date suggest he will get it right more than he get's it wrong.

And I appreciate that good teams don't worry about the opposition, they let the opponents worry about them (ie, Liverpool, Man City). I am sure that is where Carlo would want to be and where he wants us to be, but right now he can only go with the players he has at his disposal.

With regards to player criticism, you are right, there are scapegoats out there and we all have our views; most are guilty as everyone and can't be swayed on certain players.

I try my best, but being honest, I do not rate Michael Keane in terms of where I want Everton to be or even for where we are now. But, credit where due, if he plays well, he deserves to be praised, as he should be for his performance against Leicester.

Tony Hill
41 Posted 04/07/2020 at 12:00:41
I think Monday will be a big test for us, a side under Ancelotti. We need to win it and I wouldn't expect us to win it if we were under any recent manager.

If he pulls this one out of the bag playing away against a Mourinho side coming off a bad defeat, then I will happily join those who say that our currently dreary football is tactically astute. If we manage to win playing more exciting football, then Hallelujah.

Martin Mason
42 Posted 04/07/2020 at 12:57:57
Len @39,

I disagree with you on Iwobi's performance against Leicester. He defended exceptionally well moving between right midfield and full-back allowing Coleman to move inside to become an extra central defender. He had few attacking options as the tactics were undeniably to defend that side which we did well. The couple of times he got forward he struggled to get past Chilwell but who doesn't?

He was always thinking only of not getting caught upfield. He isn't pretty on the eye but he can be very effective, absolutely not that bad. In the end, he was taken off not because he did anything wrong but because we changed tactics.

Stephen Vincent
43 Posted 04/07/2020 at 13:15:27
I think Ancelotti is a pragmatist, pure and simple. If you don't concede goals you always have a chance of winning. Therefore Carlo has started work with the defence.

I can't be the only one who thinks that the difference in our defending pre and post lockdown is startling. During the close season, I expect serious work to start on midfield but due to lack of quality will take longer than the 6 months it has taken to sort the defence. Possibly a totally new 4 with the current incumbents as back up.

Whatever happens at the end of this season, I expect us to be far more expansive and entertaining next term. But I don't think we could have expected much better in the short-term given the assets available.

Tony Everan
44 Posted 04/07/2020 at 13:21:36
Also to be taken into account when calmly discussing unfair criticism is the bodily function of venting one's spleen.

We are all desperately wanting our Blues to win and do well every week. Then when things go pear-shaped, in the heat of the moment, or aftermath we want to blow off the steam. Most of the time that's all it is, hot air.

Then things die down until the next game. For better or worse, that's part of football. Players will get told to take no notice of the mostly drivel on the internet, "Just get your head down, work hard and be the best you can be."

The Kipling poem citing success and failure both being imposters should be read by all our young lads. There's an underlying truth to it.

Jason Li
45 Posted 04/07/2020 at 13:33:23
Jerome (30)... exactly.

Coming into the Sky TV era, even when Blackburn bought the league a few years after the launch of an era, Everton was a big club and very desirable to manage, with money and very decent players.

It's only because the Chairman didn't want a more knowledgeable manager deciding on players coming in and having a say in the boardroom. How else can you explain why no top manager whose won league titles in other leagues were invited to manage Everton, even if we have to pay a bit more to get us in the Champions League?

I believe the Chairman and board over many seasons believed that they knew a lot more than most successful managers, and can guide up-and-coming managers to coach players they decided on. As a kid seeing this happen to the club, it stopped me going to matches and just watching MotD or watching in the pub as a teased fan by my friends who support other teams, as I knew that the board were delaying our chances of competing for trophies by their experiments with managers that top clubs like Borussia Dortmund, Bayern, Juve, both Milans, Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool and so on would never ever invite to interview.

Definitely not for the managers job for several years knowing they would have mathematically, statistically, close to 0% chance of winning a decent trophy over three years. But our board were happy to keep repeating this, over and over.

At least Moshiri knows now, if you want spectacular Steve Jobs/Jeff Bezos type results like in the business world applied to football, we must always have a winning football intelligent manager in place with the credentials like Ancelotti.

Plus, we may pay an extra £5-6 million annually for a top manager, but we'll earn millions more on average over many seasons by winning the odd league trophy and European trophy, and build more fans worldwide. We simply can't return to the Marco Silva and Martinez type of experiments again!

Darren Hind
46 Posted 04/07/2020 at 13:36:24
Post #25:

"Homegrown players are generally not as good as other players. That's why we keep having to sign other players, as homegrown ones aren't good enough."

If there was any lingering doubts that a section of our fan base has a prejudice against Academy boys, that sentence right there puts them firmly to bed. It also demonstrates incredibly poor judgement.

If Duncan Ferguson was to lead a team of current players Rhino has supplied or is currently working with, against a Best XI selected from the many chinless wonders Moshiri bought, who would your money be on? I reckon Rhino's boys would fucking murder them.

Even if you don't agree, you only need look at the nucleus of the team we could put out to see how important the academy is.

Jonjoe Kenny and Beni Baningime may not be getting a game now... but they will. Young Anthony Gordon has stepped up and joined dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate and Tom Davies as a first teamer.

The sheer anger and hatred which rained down from the stand when Ross Barkley misplaced a pass would make my blood run cold. He was another academy boy they said "wasn't good enough"... "Good riddance" they said.

Last time I saw Barkley play, he was so vastly superior to the incredibly expensive internationals in our ranks, he was taunting the fucking life out of them.

Half a billion pounds spent on players not good enough, perennial failures. Yet Davies only has to warm up to send Goodison (and the TW live forum) into complete meltdown.

Paul Tran
47 Posted 04/07/2020 at 14:14:01
Some on the forum, Darren. Some.
Sean Kelly
48 Posted 04/07/2020 at 14:31:18
Jesus, Darren, that lie down you had didn't do you much good.

I respect your views on Davies but I don't see it your way. Too often he drifts off in games and I wonder does he have the mental stamina for 90 minutes? More importantly, does he have it for successive games?

I couldn't care less where they come from as long as they perform at their utmost for the full 90 on a weekly basis. If players regularly go missing in games then we cant afford that luxury.

The abuse is often over the top but supporters demanding more from players goes with the territory. They either suck it up and improve or buckle.

I know when you read this you will probably be looking for that rocket launcher that red shithead had. I will be donning me tin hat and be hiding behind the sofa. Opinions eh?

Kevin Molloy
49 Posted 04/07/2020 at 14:39:07
I really hope fans from other clubs don't come on here seeing comparisons between Carlo Ancelotti and Sam Allardyce. Cos that is just crazy crazy talk.

The great thing Carlo has done is empowered the locals. Keane, Holgate, Coleman, Davies, Calvert-Lewin and Gordon are all flying under his guidance.

Paul Tran
50 Posted 04/07/2020 at 14:52:09
It's absolute nonsense, Kevin. My wife compares me to George Clooney, she says I look nothing like him.

Carlo's nothing like Allardyce.

Jerome Shields
51 Posted 04/07/2020 at 15:54:57
Addition #30

The reason that the Chairman is likely to stay is his ability and percieved experience dealing with regulatory bodies, which Moshiri and his mate probably feel they would have problems with. Unfortunately, our Chairman – like many ToffeeWebbers – will stick his oar into other areas as well.

I see that Zouma is very enthusiastic about Everton; when he was with us, there wasn't a squeak out of him.

Jamie Crowley
52 Posted 04/07/2020 at 16:02:27
I do believe the criticism of the local players and homegrown kids is brutal at times, and far worse than other players. I've been told that's not the case by some folks who actually live in Liverpool.

My comments regarding that dynamic come from my experiences on the Live Forum. Having thought about this, I take that Live Forum experience and extend it to be a barometer of how “locals” “treat” the homegrown players.

Frankly, it gives me a window to look into, but not the entire picture. I can't know, I'm not there.

I can say, with certainty, on the Live Forum when my boy with the bouncy hair makes a minor mistake, it's like someone yelled, “JUMP!” And the hounds of hell come out and just rip the kid to shreds. It happens.

Regarding Carlo? I love him. Absolutely love the guy. He represents us well, he's pragmatic but somehow we seem to manage double-digit shots per game, when we go forward, we do so with real intent, etc. There's so many reasons, for me, to love the guy. He's truly going to take us to the next level, I firmly believe it's not “if” but “when”.

Kieran Kinsella
53 Posted 04/07/2020 at 16:32:23
Rhino's boys would murder Moshiri's best?

You're talking out of your hind, as always.

Jay Wood

54 Posted 04/07/2020 at 16:38:25
You are very easy to read, Darren.

Not as in ‘easy on the eye'.

But rather, ‘so easily predictable'.

You don't debate. You bait.

You don't offer insight. You incite.

You position yourself as a Seer others should venerate, whilst you sneer and denigrate those who deviate just a smidgen from your parable.

Humility is an alien concept to you. Your default starting position is to humiliate ‘the other'.

You brazenly resort to lying, distortion and fabrication, attributing to others words and thoughts they have not expressed.

So busy are you throwing mud at others, you neglect to wash and sanitize your hands before hitting the keyboard so your posts are always soiled.

Now to address your post @ 14.

Evidently one theme of my opening post, reinforced across several paragraphs, was clearly too nuanced for a reactionary such as yourself.

I did not and do not deny that academy/young players receive unmerited criticism. Nor did I attempt to quantify how much they are criticised in comparison to ‘expensive foreign imports'.

Any (honest) long-term follower of TW who may read my posts will know that I constantly and consistently defend young players from what I perceive as unfair criticism.

I have done so in defence of Jonjoe Kenny, Mason Holgate, John Stones, Gerard Deulofeu, Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, to name a few from recent years.

The premise that I challenge – and it is YOUR premise, Darren – is that ONLY young players get criticised whilst expensive foreign players are exempt and excused is simply not true.

Comically, in making that claim in the Leicester match day thread, you yourself undermine your own premise in post 92 when you state:

‘People seem to spend long periods defending Kean for being not so. Iwobi for being Iwoeful. Gomes for being Gormless... but they are all foreign or internationals who cost £30M.'

Right there, from your own keyboard, you have evidence of expensive foreign imports ALSO getting lambasted. And don't try and claim it is only you with the ‘honesty and courage to tell-it-as-it-is'. We all read TW. As I correctly stated, there has never been one single Everton player exempt from criticism. Not one.

Again, from your own keyboard, the expensive foreign players Kouma and Mina are static lighthouses. Schneiderlin is ‘Sliderlin'. Gana Gueye nothing more than a tackling machine. Lukaku ‘is lazy, self-centred, scuffs shots and has a 50p head'. And more besides.

You then double up on your dumbness by berating me for not joining the Live Forum on match day, as if it were some great bastion of deeper knowledge I am not aware of.

Now, without wishing to denigrate those who do avail themselves of the Live Forum because for some – such as the ‘merican you reference, Jamie Crowley – it is their favourite feature of TW, I will tell you exactly why I side-step the Live Forum.

It's not for me.

On matchday, I am interested in one thing and one thing only: the game.

The wife, the dog even, know better than to approach me for a couple of hours when a game is on. I engross myself entirely in the play. I am not in the least bit interested in the knee-jerk and often extreme reactions of the live forum. Even here on the main forum, I will only post a comment during the half-time interval and at the final whistle. Never during the game.

Again, with no intention to denigrate those who do embrace the Live Forum, it is my belief that, unless you have X-Men-like attributes and the independent rotating eyes of a chameleon you cannot possibly simultaneously pay 100% attention to the game AND read AND type AND engage in back and forth with other posters live.

Furthermore, the Live Forum attracts many a name that you ONLY see in the live forum, not here on the main forum. I don't begrudge anybody their opinion. I perfectly understand how people make outbursts in the Live Forum provoked by events in a live game. By its very nature it IS instantly reactionary.

So to be 100% clear, I am well aware of the Live Forum and its discourse. Sometimes – not always – long after the final whistle I may take a quick scan of the Live Forum. It never lasts a minute or two because it is very quickly apparent I haven't missed an awful lot.

But you will NEVER see me on the Live Forum during a game because my focus is 100% on the action. I have absolutely ZERO interest in being distracted from that by following the reactionary Life Forum.

I would add it makes your position and referenced premise all the more perverse and comical to me that it was inspired by the growlings of (some!) on the Live Forum. Bizarre. You denigrate those on the Live Forum for expressing their distaste for Tom Davies. And now you denigrate me for ‘not being informed' of the musings on the Life Forum which you sneer at.

But then rationale, consistency and logic have never been your bedfellows, have they, Darren?

As for you taking umbrage at the comparative league standings this season on Silva's watch compared to Ancelotti, given your frequent bleats about statistics I wouldn't expect anything else from you, Darren.

Dunno why, but I believe such a comparison is more legitimate than the fuckwittery of your ‘only-I'm-right-ism'.

You have long displayed a duplicity and hypocrisy on stats, using them when they are convenient to you. Denigrating them when they undermine your stated position, as now.

As for your reply to Brent @16 in which you anoint yourself as being ‘respectful' towards me, just how far up yourself are you Darren? Totally delusional.

Unintentionally, your response to me affirms one of the points I was making. How some names trigger a reaction from certain posters. That also extends to TW posters. I've evidently long been a splinter under your fingernail, Darren.

Quite frankly, given the tone and nature of your posts, I am more than happy to be diametrically opposed to you as is possible.

In closing, Darren, take another peep back at the Leicester match-day thread and the post @ 210 by your old buddy Casho who knows you well:

‘You see Dazza. This is why I love you. I log onto TW in the hope of seeing a little raw passion and there you are. In full flight. A load of shite like. but what a magnificent rant.'

‘A load of shite like' nicely covers it. Only for me ‘Casho' is being too generous about ‘Dazza'.

What you regular express does not constitute ‘raw passion'. It is a very deliberate and ugly personal attack on posters who have done nothing more than have the temerity to express an opinion different to your own.

All of us have an ego. Yours is that of a super-narcissist who cannot contemplate the possibility of ever being wrong on anything.

Increasingly it seems, you are becoming an ever-more grotesque parody of yourself.

Don Alexander
55 Posted 04/07/2020 at 16:55:23
Have I missed something?

Sad to see the great Sir Everton Weekes has died aged 95. His dad in Barbados gave him our name because, way back in 1925, he was a true Toffee!

Alan J Thompson
56 Posted 04/07/2020 at 17:00:10
The criticism of players, whatever their origins, that annoys me the most is that he gets caught in possession or misplaces a lot of passes with no word on what those playing with him (the name doesn't matter) are doing to make themselves available to receive the ball — with the biggest shirker, IMO, having just left.

I really don't see that Ancelotti should come in for any criticism at this time as he's barely had half an uninterrupted season.

Ryan Holroyd
57 Posted 04/07/2020 at 17:13:24
If people are giving Ancelotti stick already, then what is the point?
Daniel A Johnson
58 Posted 04/07/2020 at 17:33:08
Yet another discussion has derailed and turned into the Darren Hind show. My only advice to everyone on here is to ignore the spiteful moron.

If he's ignored, his baiting will serve no purpose and we can get back to discussing EFC rather than replying to his inciteful comments.

Kieran Kinsella
59 Posted 04/07/2020 at 17:34:35
Comparisons made with Sam, though misplaced, aren't a bad thing if viewed in context.

Both men realized the relegation danger, the limitations of the squad, and chose a pragmatic and effective approach. Initially, most were quite content with Sam in terms of results.

However, whereas Sam's entire career was built on fireman rescue boring football, Carlo has presided over magnificent attractive winning sides. So, given time and resources, I'm sure Carlo will change the way we play... whereas I'm not sure Sam had that in his arsenal.

Gerry Quinn
60 Posted 04/07/2020 at 18:07:56
Jay - You should be Prime Minister!!!!!!!!!!!!

Loved every minute of that essay at 54...

Tony Hill
61 Posted 04/07/2020 at 18:17:23
We have seen glimpses of what might be produced with Ancelotti: in the Newcastle home game, as Jay rightly notes in the main piece, and in the first goal on Wednesday which, in its way, was a thing of beauty. Those are the things which a great manager should produce; certainly a great Everton manager.

As people said after the Leicester game, Gordon and Digne could be the beginning of something special – the type of partnership we must create throughout the team. They both look like proper Everton players and Digne must not be allowed to leave.

Big Sam never got to manage AC Milan and Real Madrid (no doubt to their regret), but now Carlo has to do something he's never done before: spin straw into gold. I think that's a big reason why he took on the job. I certainly hope so.

Darren Hind
62 Posted 04/07/2020 at 18:21:44
You do make me smile Mr Woods

Your ill informed drivel is called out and your pride is hurt so much you post possibly the longest post I have ever seen on TW.

You could have saved yourself at least 20 minutes of that post if you hadn't spent so long defending a charge that wasn't levelled at you.

I did not, as you falsely claim, "berate you" for not going on the live forum. I merely pointed out that another poster who does knows more about what goes on in there than you do. You do understand that? It's one of the reasons I called your claims ill-informed.

The number of matches you have attended since you first started posting on here can be counted on one hand. Fair enough, you don't live here but, if you don't go to matches and you don't go on the live forum, how do you know anything about who takes the most abuse?

Jamie is not the only one who visits the live forum and witnesses the local boys take more stick. I simply used his quote, because it's very telling.
There are the numerous match goers and ex-players who testify to this disturbing practice of young academy boys taking a disproportionate amount of stick. Among them would be some regulars on here – Steve Ferns to name one. Are they all lying?

Who are you to come on here and announce to the world that These claims are "simply not true"?

As somebody who watches the matches alone and who doesn't do live forums, you don't get to hear anyone's comments during a game... You are probably the least qualified person on this site to tell the rest of us how it REALLY is.

I know how much you like people to compliment your posts and I have long experience of how incensed you become when flaws in your argument are exposed – the sheer length of your response demonstrates that – but, until you can come up with something a little more convincing, I stand by my original observation. The sermon you gave to people who know more about the subject than you do is and was ill-informed drivel.

Oh and for the record, I don't recall saying I was right. I simply pointed out that you were wrong... I guess that's the bit that upset you most.

John McFarlane Snr
63 Posted 04/07/2020 at 18:34:44
Hi Darren and Jay,

I have often wondered what occurs on the live forums, and without wishing to appear disrespectful, I will continue to attend home games and to listen to Radio Merseyside for away games. I trust that you both accept that there is no offence intended.

Mike Gaynes
64 Posted 04/07/2020 at 18:36:13
Jamie, I would posit that the reason you and I and other Yanks enjoy the Live Forum is that it's our only chance to watch the game in the company of others, even virtually. Our UK friends have (in normal times) the chance to go to the game at Goodison or watch it in the pub, or even at home, with friends. And when Davies or Iwobi makes a bad play, they have the chance to reflexively yell "You stupid fuck!" surrounded by others and get an instant response and debate going. It's so much fun.

However, guys like you and I and Steven and Tim and Jay -- along with UK refugees like Paul Columb -- are watching the game alone in the living room, where yelling at the screen gets no response except strange looks from the wife. The Live Forum is the only chance we get to interact with other fans in real time.

The key is to not take any of those instantaneous outbursts too seriously. I've been guilty of that more than a few times over the years, which has produced some intense online arguments with a few genuine jerks (we both know who they are). In the pub, those comments would be forgotten in a moment. On the Live Forum, they live forever.

That said, I do enjoy occasionally prodding certain Forum obsessions to get a reaction. Like Darren with Davies. Colin with Iwobi. Various people with Pickford. You with Sidibé. That's fun too.

Chris Williams
65 Posted 04/07/2020 at 18:41:29

I’m glad you’re now back in the position of getting quizzical looks from your wife!

Bill Gall
66 Posted 04/07/2020 at 18:42:38
It is human nature for people to be critical as no manager is 100% perfect. Some supporters will be reserved, waiting to see how a new manager makes out; other supporters may feel that with his reputation a new manager deserves critisism if in their opinion he is making mistakes.

My take on Ancelotti is he is playing to get a result from every game, regardless of what other people may think of his tactics, with a group of players he was only introduced to in December and, with the pandemic, he has had very limited time to work with them.

I never expected him to produce a top 6 side in the time he has, but expected him to steady the team and start playing as a team, and give them confidence, and so far he has achieved this.

He is clearly planning for the future, and planning a style of play that most of the present players are comfortable with and future signings will fit in and strengthen the team.

The team across the park have just won the league with a manager who has been with them either 3-4 seasons; we have had a proven tactician as a manager for 6 months. He is fully aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the players he has but has had to use certain players to get results; these players don't deserve criticism, they deserve encouragement.

Gavin McGarvey
67 Posted 04/07/2020 at 18:43:10
Kieran, I think Sam had it in him for an entertaining side in the sense that Bolton with Okocha etc... weren't as terrible as some other sides at the time. Personally, I thought Moyes's later sides were easier on the eye than his Bolton side (though admittedly that's not saying a great deal).

I think Ancelotti is a class above most of the managers we've had since I've been supporting. He doesn't really seem to make mistakes as such, and that's not something we could say about Sam, Silva, Koeman, Martinez or Moyes. It would be interesting to compare his time in charge with Kendall and Royle when he finishes at the club. I would imagine he will be somewhere between the two.

Touching on the question of whether the homegrown players get more stick than the foreign imports, on the whole, I would say they do. That being said, they come to club in different ways, and with different levels of expectation. A fair amount of the time, we're happy that foreign players can lace their boots and kick a ball, as we have bought a few who weren't the best players in the world.

Basically, foreign players are a gamble. On the other hand, there is a special affection for local boys who do well even if they do come in for a bit more stick. Also, we tend to buy in forwards and wingers where there is more leeway imo in terms of performance, and opinions are much more subjective.

Finally, regarding whether things are bad at the minute. Well, the football itself is soulless and it stinks. If people had paid to go along to watch it, all the stadiums would be filled with boos. Nevertheless, we're winning our games, and we have a great manager, and the semblance of a decent team in there (as someone once put it to me), so let's not give up on next season just yet. COYB.

Mike Gaynes
68 Posted 04/07/2020 at 18:44:32
Thanks, Chris. Those looks are already turning dismissive. But I'm good with that!
Tony Hill
69 Posted 04/07/2020 at 18:48:40
Mike Gaynes, rumours in the Echo that we're interested in Weston McKennie?
Jamie Crowley
70 Posted 04/07/2020 at 18:59:13
Tony - is that true? Is the Echo reporting we have interest in McKennie??

If so, I'd be absolutely over the moon.

Jamie Crowley
71 Posted 04/07/2020 at 19:05:51
Mike @ 64 -

That is very, very accurate and true. If it weren't for the Live Forum, I'd be in Lynch's Irish Pub, with maybe one other Blue on a good day, surrounded by the bandwagon jumping horde of “name a big side FC” supporters. It'd be a nightmare.

The Live Forum also allows me to type in all caps, a no-no here. ;0)

Tony Hill
72 Posted 04/07/2020 at 19:06:40
Yup, Jamie. I don't know much about him though I've tried to follow Schalke with Kenny being there.
Jamie Crowley
73 Posted 04/07/2020 at 19:13:11
Tony, I don't meet to highjack your post to Mike, but I had to inquire.

I love Weston McKennie. Absolutely love the kid. He has an engine that literally never quits. He's very rough and needs polishing and time to develop. He might get a bit of the Tom Davies treatment to try to connect the dots on this post – he's still a bit raw.

But he's one of my favorite up-and-coming young American players. He and Josh Sargent.

But I like Weston for his footballing ability, whereas I pull for Sargent admittedly because of that wild red hair – any Ginny that puts it in the back of the net has a big soft spot in my heart. No clue why, just is my way.

Mike will be able to give a much better analysis about Weston. Whereas from me all I can tell you is he's a play-ah, and I really like the kid.

Tony Hill
74 Posted 04/07/2020 at 19:15:55
Thanks Jamie. That's great to hear. Young and energetic – McKennie, not you.
Jamie Crowley
75 Posted 04/07/2020 at 19:16:36
Gingy... there's far too many grammatical errors in that post. The New England 'play-ah' was intentional.
Derek Knox
76 Posted 04/07/2020 at 19:18:50
Jamie C, how are you, mate? Good I hope, yes I saw that on Newsnow Everton the other day, but until it was confirmed, as with The Red Echo, I put little credence to their stories, until it either happens or is corroborated by a more trustworthy source.

Basically they are saying (allegedly) that, he could be made available to us for £22.5M, but in reality it could be less, as Schalke could be interested in retaining Jonjoe Kenny as part of the deal.

This is all subject to both verification, and the position of Jonjoe himself, whether he would be amenable to it.

Right, having got all that out of the way, I for one know very little about the lad, as I'm sure many other TW'ers don't either. Hopefully you, or Mike G, or any US-based Blue, can enlighten us, as I'm sure you will have seen most of the US Internationals that he has played in.

John Keating
77 Posted 04/07/2020 at 20:11:17
I remember Derek Temple getting awful stick from the crowd in his heyday simply because he jumped over a couple of leg-breaking tackles. It wasn't just the one game, he got it almost every week after that, regardless how he played.

Personally, I think if a player does not give 100%, and let's be honest, everyone can tell when that's the case, then they get what they deserve, regardless if he's a local or not.

What I find a bit distasteful is those who are waiting with baited breath game after game for a player to make a mistake and then go for the throat. Even if that player has an okay game, they still can't seem to give him a break.

Similarly with the manager. Ancelotti can only work with what he has inherited until he can start with some of his own players; can he not be given just a little slack?

We could hammer Spurs on Monday and the anti-Ancelotti brigade would complain with the style of football or something else. We could get hammered by Spurs and they'd be made up as it proves what they've been telling us since before he signed on... he's not good enough for us.

Listening to those who know everything, you'd think, apart from a few seasons under Catterick and Kendall, we'd had an endless list of top-class Cup-winning managers.

John Daley
78 Posted 04/07/2020 at 20:50:22
The fact Silva hopelessly underachieved with an expensive (but haphazardly assembled) squad doesn't mean Ancelotti is automatically excelling by wringing a few improved performances out of them. He's basically achieved results that are on par with what could reasonably be expected of an Everton manager of recent(ish) least one who isn't a weirdly stubborn, myopic, narcissist, whose Cluedo cause of death could read ‘head shoved up own arse, in the technical area, by Phil or Sophie'.

A mixture of draws and narrow victories over Burnley, Newcastle, Brighton, Watford, Crystal Palace, Norwich and Leicester. Draws, defeats and a twatting against City, the RS, Arsenal, Man United and Chelsea.

There's nothing really earth-shattering or out of the ordinary there. It's been a solid start. Very solid, but unspectacular.

He's tightened things up and focused on basics that were naively neglected previously, but he hasn't done so to the detriment of all but the bare modicum of attacking intent as Allardyce was want to do. Which again, is what you would rightfully expect of a manager of vast experience, most of it amongst the elite. He was always unlikely to come in, close his eyes to glaring deficiencies, and somehow contrive to make things fucking worse.

However, adding a sheen of slight respectability to a shit-show of a season isn't the reason why he was brought in. What he's being paid mega-bucks for, or deserving of premature plaudits like ‘best buy in years' and ‘we won the lottery with him'.

The pressure-free, post-Silva, petering out of this campaign can't be imbued with such substance, when any stutter, slippage or shortcoming can still be instantly palmed off onto the shoulders of his inutile predecessor.

Ancelotti's real job starts pre-season when it is hoped his name, reputation, previous success and plans for the future will act as a siren-call to players of a higher standard. Then, with his own stamp on the squad, following a full summer to impart his ideas and the mitigation of taking over mid-season removed from the table, we might start to get an indication of how much of an improvement the man's influence has wrought.

Mike Gaynes
79 Posted 04/07/2020 at 21:12:06
Hiya, DK... Jamie pretty well sums it up for me. As I mentioned above, in addition to his ferocity and nonstop engine, McKennie is an aggressive passer with a nose for goal (unlike Gomes for example). He'd slot in very nicely at #8 for us -- given half a season of patience for Carlo to polish his rough spots. He played last season as an emergency right back for Schalke, so he hasn't had enough minutes at his natural midfield position to read the game well. But his instincts are great and Goodison would absolutely love him.

Jamie, I'm reserving judgement on Josh Sargent. He has pace, strength, aggression and a good touch on the ball... but, to my eyes, he has no finisher's instinct at all. Part of that may be the crappy Bremen attack (Davy Klaassen is their best midfielder, which says a lot) and part of it is probably just because he's 20, but I saw Brian McBride at 20 and he was much more advanced than Sargent. Just have to wait and see.

David Cash
80 Posted 04/07/2020 at 21:24:13

I find it staggering that a seemingly intelligent guy like you would go to such extraordinary lengths in order to save face and win an argument. Some of those posts you referred to in your attempt to discredit Dazza's observation are clearly years old.

I have no interest in joining the silly argument between you and Dazza, so I would appreciate you not dragging me into it. Rather than read your interpretation of the comment I posted. I will clarify for you.

I like this manager. By telling Dazza he was talking shite, I was using the kind of rhetoric friends all over the world use to each other. If you don't get that. I will explain. I was telling him that disagreed.

As for being generous, I'm not prone to generosity when engaging in banter with friends. I know many Evertonians and I can tell you Dazza is as passionate as any. More so in most cases. That doesn't mean I share his deep-rooted suspicions concerning anyone who isn't an Evertonian.

I would normally skate through a thread like this without commenting. However, seeing as you decided to use my little bit of banter as a weapon to support your argument. I will give an opinion.

I think you"ve been legitimately called out for talking with great authority about something you know very little about and the fury you unleashed in that incredibly angry reposte would suggest you know it.

I have no doubt you will come roaring back once you have found some old posts you believe will support your opinion. All I ask of you Jay, is that you leave me out of it.

Derek Knox
81 Posted 04/07/2020 at 21:41:21
Thanks Mike G, always interesting to get a review from someone who has seen him play fairly regularly. We certainly need our midfield bolstering but, if he is still learning, so to speak, is the Premier League the ideal place to learn?
Mark Murphy
82 Posted 04/07/2020 at 21:43:02
There are Evertonians negative about Carlo Ancelotti managing Everton? Seriously?

Fuck me – the world's gone mad! Seriously!

No debate, no argument, no question – they are fucking mental!

Jamie Crowley
83 Posted 04/07/2020 at 21:55:44
DK @76 -

Hello Derek! Things are great here on a 4th holiday.

If there's any link at all with McKennie, I'm excited. I really think he's a stupendous buy at his age, and he really has a shit-ton of potential.

What I'd hate to see is Jonjoe Kenny staying in Germany to massage a deal for McKennie. I personally want Kenny back next season, Sidibé not signed after his loan, and Jonjoe taking the reigns from Seamus gradually as the season progresses.

But Weston signing with Everton would be simply fantastic. Us Americans haven't had an outfield Blue since Landon Donovan's loan, I believe? I do have to admit Yanks in the squad make me happy.


Colin Glassar
84 Posted 04/07/2020 at 21:57:30
I think Carlo has been great. The football always hasn't but that's down to having poor midfield players, not the manager.

I've seen Carlo make tactical tweaks normally to great effect. Just imagine what he could do with players who are strong mentally as well as physically.

My disdain for one or two players is well known and I hope Carlo can weed them out. With Ancelotti, we are on good hands.

Kieran Kinsella
86 Posted 04/07/2020 at 22:07:49

I couldn't stand Landon as the poster boy living here in the US but I was pleasantly surprised by his impact. My fav was Brian McBride who was here all too briefly. Joe-Max Moore, like Niasse, had his moments.

Jeff Armstrong
87 Posted 04/07/2020 at 22:08:04
Jamie #83,

Wasn't Antonee Robinson a USA outfield Blue?

Tony Hill
88 Posted 04/07/2020 at 22:09:25
Mark @82, there is a confusion in this debate about Ancelotti. No-one who knows anything about football denies that he has managed very good teams to success, repeatedly.

The present question is whether he can do any better than a fairly lengthy list of well-meaning sorts who have tried and failed to manage Everton. Some logicians think that his history of achievement elsewhere means that whatever he does with us is, therefore, likely to bring success. Contestable, I submit.

One man's madness is another man's sanity, no?

Kieran Kinsella
89 Posted 04/07/2020 at 22:09:35

Did he even get a game!

Jamie Crowley
90 Posted 04/07/2020 at 22:11:07
Jeff yes! But see Kieran’s comment above!

Dude never played. Basically he was a Wigan player!

Drew O'Neall
91 Posted 04/07/2020 at 22:11:07
John @ 78

Glad to see you back and how do I subscribe to your newsletter?

Jamie Crowley
92 Posted 04/07/2020 at 22:14:07
If there really is a John Daley newsletter, someone enlighten us. I’d sign up for that in a New York minute.
Steve Oshaugh
93 Posted 04/07/2020 at 22:22:33
Mark @82... lol - I was surprised too. It really does beggar belief.

We have a much tighter defence than previously and the transformation in Calvert-Lewin is remarkable. We struggle in midfield and that can hopefully be solved with a few transfers.

Gomes is a talent but needs these (largely inconsequential) games to get back on track after the injury. Other than that, the cupboard is not bare but half-full.

As for the style of play, a lot of Liverpool fans agree that their style of football this season is much less pleasing on the eye than the previous season but they don't seem to care... I'm not sure why we do, to be honest. As far as I can see, only Man City play attractive football all the time.

Jerome Shields
94 Posted 04/07/2020 at 22:33:21
Janson #45,

Many Everton Supporters have followed a similar journey, including myself. Ancelotti knows where the control lies to achieve success and will demand it. His structural changes at Finch Farm have this objective.

It will be Ancelotti and Brands who will determine transfer policy and contracts. The commercial side of the Club will languish but, with the new stadium development, will come under closer scrutiny by Moshiri & Co.

There have been a lot of obvious false dawns at Everton but, under Ancelotti, it looks more likely that Everton's time has come to seriously challenge over the next two seasons.

Jack Convery
95 Posted 04/07/2020 at 22:50:51
As F1 returned today I will compare Carlo's achievements so far to driving the current Williams F1 car to actually compete further up the grid, despite its weaknesses. ps: The Williams Car is usually right at the back these days.

Carlo is a World Class Manager – the Real Deal. Let's all be grateful. We have stolen a March on Spurs and Arsenal by getting him. The board finally got it right. Get him the players he wants and we all win!

Tom Bowers
96 Posted 04/07/2020 at 22:55:12
The midfield need a big improvement, no doubt about that.

Maybe Gbamin returning next season might be of help but it just seems he may be another sick-note kind of player and we have had a few of them over the years.

We may still have a youngster or two who may break into the starting eleven down the line and young Gordon seems to have an inside track at the moment. If Carlo cannot get things going at Goodison, I don't know who can.

I am not sure the likes of Sigurdsson, Walcott or Moise Kean will be part of Carlo's future plans when the new season starts. We need more goals and too much is left in the hands of Richarlison.

Robert Tressell
97 Posted 04/07/2020 at 22:57:48
Is Gbamin really expected to play next season? It all looked over for him.

On related note Rabiot seems to be cementing his place at Juve...

Mike Gaynes
98 Posted 04/07/2020 at 23:20:40
Robert, that reportedly was Carlo's comment in the press conference the other day. I was stunned to read it. Delighted, but stunned.

I can hardly imagine Gbamin would even be running before the end of the year. But maybe he has better surgeons than I do!!

Jay Wood

99 Posted 04/07/2020 at 23:24:25
Darren @ 62.

Phtt! And you accuse me of posting ill-informed drivel?

As if further evidence of your narcissism was needed.

You? Impacting on me?

You occupy an infinitesimally small part of my life, Darren. The fleeting nip of a gnat bite registers more than anything and everything you spout.

Find someone else willing to pamper and stroke your simultaneously inflated and fragile ego.

I'll call it again.

NPD. Narcissistic Personality Order.

Look it up.

Suits, you sir.

Jay Wood

100 Posted 04/07/2020 at 23:26:09
David @ 80.


Wrong on so many counts.

Nothing more to be said.

Brian Murray
101 Posted 05/07/2020 at 00:42:02
A lot on here seem to pinpoint exactly our weaknesses, especially midfield, then in the same breadth give Gomes a walkover saying needs time after horrific injury.

Newsflash: he went missing quite a lot before the injury. If he could control and stamp any sort of authority on a match, he would still be at the Nou Camp. I'm sure Carlo knows all this in the days of reckoning in the summer. Coyb

Derek Thomas
102 Posted 05/07/2020 at 01:27:29
Inutile – I hereby declare John Daley as this week's winning contestant of 'The Word of the Week'... I shall endeavour to work it in to a sentence asap.
Ian Riley
103 Posted 05/07/2020 at 01:50:03
You can't please everyone! World class manager for the first time in my time supporting Everton. Look at the squad. Not a medal between them! That's our problem. Spent over £300 million without players who can show a medal.

The manager can and has managed world-class players. The manager is implementing methods that top players take on more quickly on to the pitch. If the club want Carlo to succeed, our next two signings must be medal winners.

Players who bring a winner's mentality change the belief at the club with expectations changing. Top clubs have top managers with one aim. Success!!

It's up to the board now to provide Carlo with the tools. This current squad is 6th to 10th place in the Premier League. Champions League places need more with consistency. We have improved but two or more additions will hopefully push us on.

Mike Gaynes
104 Posted 05/07/2020 at 02:39:51
Derek #102, just make sure you use it correctly.

We don't want any Inutile Dysfunction, now do we?

Gavin Johnson
105 Posted 05/07/2020 at 02:51:27
Ian, at the top of my head Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, Digne, Gomes, Bernard, Delph, Mina, Walcott, Iwobi and Moise Kean have all won cups between them so it's not as bad as you suggest.

Yeah, we've only got Delph who's won the Premier League with a club, but winning silverware isn't an alien concept for a large portion of our key players, and whatever you think of the aforementioned players, I don't think it's an accident that, apart from Theo, all of those signings were made by Marcel Brands. He is buying more winners than Steve Walsh who was overpaying millions on the likes of Sigurdsson and Bolasie who hadn't won a trophy between them.

I was already aware that we'd be in the mix for the Champions League places on the form since Ancelotti took over. You can tell he's a world class manager and I have strong expectations that we can grab 4th spot if Moshiri backs him and we can bring in three or four quality first teamers he wants.

At the same time, he's not beyond reproach and he was rightly slaughtered for playing the 4-4-2 when we didn't counter Chelsea having an extra man in midfield in the away fixture.

Don Alexander
106 Posted 05/07/2020 at 02:59:40
Dazza vs Jay is always priceless comedy to many TW fans. The absurd vs self-evident pomposity is a perfect mix for laugh out loud comedy. I urge both participants to continue.
Laurie Hartley
107 Posted 05/07/2020 at 04:10:09
Mark @ 82 - was it you who called out the emperor for having no clothes on?
Gavin Johnson
108 Posted 05/07/2020 at 04:34:58
Don, I know. It's comedy gold.
John Boon
109 Posted 05/07/2020 at 05:58:57
To Jay and Darren.

Vanity, conceit, pride, assurance, presumption, arrogance, insolence, over-confidence, haughtiness, ostentation, boastfulness, bombastic, affectedness, pretentious, pompous, self-centred, ostentatious... and even "hifalutin"

All these words are assigned to individuals who must be considered as "Egotistic". You both very adequately fit all of those descriptors. You both have very valid points about some relevant issues concerning Everton.

There are also many responses where you both choose to rant about totally unimportant drivel. You both seem to have clearly decided many posts ago that you will almost never agree with whatever the other has the "nerve" to print on TW.

At times it can get tiresome and your huge egos must drive you to constantly post on TW. However, having put forward my sincere point of view, I must say that I enjoy the regular banter that you have decided to put in print. It is what makes ToffeeWeb such a great site for all Evertonians, and it is blatantly obvious that you are both have something in common. You are both insane, fanatical Evertonians.

I am certainly not the prodigious writer that you both seem to be. However, we do have something in common. I am also an insane fanatical Evertonian. I must be insane because I have continued to watch this frustrating team since my first game against Burnley in 1947.

I will continue to read your TW posts and I hope you continue to disagree. It just wouldn't be the same if you decided on a truce. Peace and many more arguments between both of you.

Derek Moore
110 Posted 05/07/2020 at 07:19:56
Might as well weigh in here. I don't always agree with Mr Hind's views, but I appreciate the concise way he makes an argument, his willingness to cite evidence to back his views, and his no bullshit language.

Jay Wood, with all due respect, comes across as a bit of a know-it-all. I respect his passion for Everton greatly, but his seeming unwillingness to accept that any view other than his own may have more merit is a characteristic that annoys me greatly.

If you slid over to my table for a pint and a chat on things Everton, I would politely excuse myself and head to the bandit, Jay. Whereas with Darren, I could see myself having a few jars and joshing. Darren seems quite happy to express his view rather than trying to force you to accept that view is correct. Jay's verbose writing style doesn't help either.

So many great blues have departed these pages, from Tony Marsh all the way to Ken Buckley. I'd love to know how many just left through ToffeeWeb fatigue.

There are great posters here still but I hope these one poster vs another style wars don't push them out as well. I always look for the Rings, both MacFarlanes, Mr Hind, Sam Hoare, Robert Tressell and a few others like Messrs Glassar and Daley. The foreign blues are always worth a read, two of my favourites here are Mike G and Jamie C, and I also appreciate the opinion of the likes of Kase Chow.

Lyndon might have the better writing style but Mr Kenrick's take it or leave it views are more to my taste as well. Early on in my days on this site, I actually wondered if Mr Hind and Mr Kenrick were one and the same due to both men not being afraid to voice the unpopular.

But I have to confess, every time I log on, seeing the latest iteration of Jay vs Darren is starting to get very old for me. I'd be very surprised if I was the only one who felt this way. I urge both gentlemen to take a step back and genuinely acknowledge their respective role in winding the other up and having enough respect for each other to de-escalate things from here.

Paul Tran
111 Posted 05/07/2020 at 07:44:22
There's been plenty of debate on here over the years regarding local lads vs expensive imports. I've never seen the sense in it myself, they're all Everton players; praise them when they play well, criticise them when they play poorly. But all my life, I've noticed that the local lads tend to get more stick and more vitriol.

I've got a take on this, which I hope doesn't upset my fellow Scousers too much.

When I was at school, I was quite shy (that's changed!), had very long hair and was academically bright. I got picked on, sneered at, "Think yer clever, do yer?" It carried on for a couple of years, until I chinned one of them.

I left school, worked, ended up on the dole, so did my A-levels and ended up in Portsmouth doing a degree. Most people were happy for me, but there was a vocal minority, "Why don't you stay here, what's wrong with Liverpool, d'yer think yer better than us?"

It was only a minority, but it was vocal and it hit home. Some people just can't accept 'one of their own' – 'doing well' whatever that means. An outsider can come in and it's okay because they're 'different'.

I like the fact that Tom Davies looks like he does, goes on an InterRail rather than Magaluf. Maybe that's part of it too? More than anything else, I love the fact that he rises above the venom spouted at him.

There's sometimes a tendency to talk up young players too quickly, too soon. That's often followed by the vitriol.

I love my city, all the help I got off people when I was younger. I won't forget the miserable, negative, spiteful fuckers who resented me rather than make their lives better. They motivated me and I'm grateful.

The young local lads want nothing more than to be brilliant for their team, our team. Praise them, criticise them constructively. Don't drive them away.

John Keating
112 Posted 05/07/2020 at 08:07:09

Do you not think this thing with locals vs outsiders is a bit of a ToffeeWeb / social media phenomena?

Maybe I'm missing something, age, hearing, but what I read on here doesn't quite jibe with what I hear at the ground.

For sure, players get stick during the match but personally I don't see or hear it any worse for Davies or Schneiderlin.

I think we are less tolerant these days but then I think that it is seen throughout society in general.

Maybe, especially the older ones, notice it more as we've seen a higher percentage of local lads play for us. However, look at some of the fantastic articles the Heritage lads put up week after week, the Club have always had more than their fair share of non-scousers.

I think I've noticed a dramatic increase in stick for players from the early 90s. I think it was hard for the average British supporter to see and the diving and playacting from the likes of Klinsmann and the Chelsea imports. We had it before but not on that scale.

Anyway, I do think there is a difference between here and the ground.

Derek Moore
113 Posted 05/07/2020 at 08:10:38
I forgot to include you Paul Tran in my list of favourite contributors. Post #111 is terrific, one of the best I've read here for a long while.

I'm not even a "true" scouser, my mam and dad having left with me in the womb. But I spent nearly 3 years there in my early twenties, and I've been back for briefer visits half a dozen times.

Your post reminded me so much of chats with the arl fella when I was a kid. He so obviously missed Liverpool, I often used to grill him on why he ended up leaving. I must have been almost a grown man before he gave me the genuine explanation.

Basically, Maggie Thatcher and that jealousy of others' success too many Liverpudlians seem to have was the whole of it. My Dad didn't want me and my brother growing up there, because as he's often told me, "Too many in Liverpool want to knock your head off so they can feel taller."

In the 3 years I was in L8 and L15, I saw enough of it to know he was largely right. Jamie's succinct point about Evertonians eating their own doesn't just apply to football either.

You take the good with the bad, and there's far more to love about Liverpool than not. But it's far from perfect, and acknowledging so is both fair and reasonable.

David Cash
114 Posted 05/07/2020 at 08:10:58

I'm not Darren. I will not indulge you by entering into a keyboard bashing competition with you. I asked you not to misrepresent me or use my posts as a weapon to score a silly point. You respond by telling me I am talking gibberish. Nice.

Darren probably thinks he has caught and bowled you, but it is by your own petard you have been hoisted. Your bruised ego is of your own making.

After speaking with such authority about crowd reaction to certain players, you scored an own goal by revealing you block out everything to watch every game alone.

There isn't one among us who hasn't scored an OG, most of us just laugh them off, but the malice and anger with which you have responded reveals both the size and the fragility of your ego. I suspect a lot of posters would have had a rye smile on their faces reading you telling somebody else they had NPD.

You two clearly enjoy your battles and, judging by the reaction, so do other posters. But I ask you once again – politely. Please, leave me out of it. I am not your enemy.

Eddie Dunn
115 Posted 05/07/2020 at 08:20:36
Darren and Mike G, at the match I would often say "For fuck's sake" or "Jesus!", "You gobshite!" etc, etc. The words come out, sometimes loudly or quietly, and then are gone on the wind. The intended target will not hear them but, once that player (or coach) does something good, those words are forgotten, gone off in the ether.

On the Live Forum, those reactions are captured in pixels and preserved for all to see, at least for a few hours. Most of the stuff on the Live Forum is reactive rubbish. It is a useful place to vent your spleen, much of it is pure frustration or pure joy.

As for local lads getting more stick, I would suggest that Schneiderlin, Pickford and Keane have had just as much as Davies. I think that, post-Rooney, our hopes for our academicians have been unfairly inflated. We are unlikely to see his like again.

Barkley was the nearest to that standard, and yet the flaws in his game frustrated us. I see him now doing well with Chelsea. The other day, I watched him dither and fail to lay a pass off, before shooting to score and cover his error. He is still the same lad and I have heard (even on TV) Chelsea moans and groans when he makes the wrong pass.

However, for a younger player, the crowd reaction can be destructive. Barkley was always the player we knew could do something. He got more stick at Goodison because he was one of the few players who could make things happen.

At Chelsea, he has many more teammates who can also beat a man and score a goal. His errors can be forgiven as someone else might make up for them. During his time with us, his wrong pass or bad decision would be far more important.

As for Tom Davies, when he broke into the side, he looked great. Potential always gets people excited. Now we have seen more of him, it is clear that he is not as good as Rooney or Barkley. He is a decent player, who might still become a good player. Most criticism of him is not because he is local, it's because we would all like a local hero.

His problem is consistency. Osman was inconsistent until his late 20s. He got loads of stick from the stands and on ToffeeWeb. He became a super player. He had no pace and was not the strongest and couldn't tackle. He still made the England team, so Tom could still make the grade.

Tony Abrahams
116 Posted 05/07/2020 at 08:29:04
I sit by my son and my brother, one hates Tom Davies, the other detests Calvert-Lewin.

Sometimes it's funny, especially when one of them does something good, but I'm glad they've both got thick skin, because the Everton crowd can be ruthless at times, and it's definitely not helped by possibly 30% of the crowd never having witnessed Everton ever winning a trophy – although that's not an excuse I can give to my older sibling, who is absolutely unmerciful in criticising young Dominic.

The best bit is when I read ToffeeWeb and, although I find match reports a bit boring, I scan for the stick that I know the editor is going to also give to Calvert-Lewin, and shake my head because he's got the same name as my brother!

Sam Hoare
117 Posted 05/07/2020 at 08:37:59
I have a lot of time for the opinions of both Mr Hind and Mr Woods. Both can be prone to taking disagreement badly, but the same is very true of me too (and possibly a lot on here).

As for Ancelloti, it's early days. I would have preferred Arteta given the choice but have been very pleasantly surprised by Carlo's seeming affinity for the club and desire to really make a project here. It's not something he's done since his long stint at Milan and that went well.

His results have been very solid. And I will take narrow wins and some scrappy draws all day long. The Chelsea game was the only game that really concerned me. Crucially, he seems to be getting better performances out of a few players.

What worries me is that the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and especially Man Utd seem to be hitting their stride. I expect all three to get more points next season. This season was a real opportunity... a shame my man Silva was not up to it.

Darren Hind
118 Posted 05/07/2020 at 09:00:15
Derek @110,

What a start to the day you have given me. I would pay good money to see Michael's face when he reads you thought he and I are the same person.

Anyway, I hear you. I don't wish to be a sideshow for those who enjoy my battles with Mr Wood and I don't wish to piss off people like yourself who don't. I will as you request take a step back. There are better ways of responding than the way I did.

I get so annoyed when I hear people tell me how lucky we are to have Carlo here. I look at what we are being served up and I don't feel very lucky. I also look at the wages he is getting whilst being seemingly unaccountable and I ask myself "Who really is the lucky one here?"

I will take a leaf out of Conor's book. He's right when he says criticism of Ancelotti is just too difficult for some to accept. I should have known better. I have been here before. So I will join him and take a break from TW also.

I hope for all our sakes that our fears and suspicions are proved to be unfounded. It would be nice to come back here and talk about real success. Snapshots and carefully selected stats of results gained in this manner is not something I feel ready to celebrate.

Until we are mixing it with the big boys and or playing decent football, it is (for me at least) really THAT bad.

Jim Jennings
119 Posted 05/07/2020 at 09:12:13
I enjoy the back and forth between Darren Hind and Jay Wood. It is more often funny than it is informative, but it does add something to these pages e.g. one calling the other narcissistic, with no sense or irony, does make me laugh.

I can understand why other, more prolific posters than I, get annoyed when it seems to derail a thread. I wonder though if their respective styles, which are brusque (Mr Hind) and verbose (Mr Wood) is what rubs some people up the wrong way, more than the content.

It does however get petty at times e.g. one continuously spelling the other’s name wrong, but both are clearly passionate Blues and for me, that’s what matters most. Mind you, he has mistook me for Jim Bennings so maybe it’s not intentional.

I am not from Liverpool. I live on the continent and my pilgrimages to EFC games are on average 1-2 per year, less so the last 2-3 seasons for personal reasons. I don’t contribute to the Live Forum (I find the idea odd - why spend your time venting there, rather than watching the game and forming an opinion based on actually observing and not getting side tracked).

So for some (one?), that probably makes me ill informed. However I don’t agree that our young / home grown players are singled out for special abuse. As others have said, Pickford, Keane, Schneiderin etc take as much as DCL, Davies, Holgate etc have done. If one player is getting it continuously, it’s probably an indicator that their play is more frustrating on an ongoing basis.

I really don’t get why anyone would think a ToffeeWeb Live Forum is representative of the fan base. I would wager most clubs have a similar forum. It serves its purpose in the same way as Twitter does where these days anyone can log in and vent without fear of reprisal. It should be taken for what it is and no more than that.

Tony Abrahams
120 Posted 05/07/2020 at 09:14:10
What a start to a Sunday morning this is when one of my favourite names without a face, has decided he's taking a break.

Darren reminds me of the Evertonians I used to remember as a child, when "Nothing but the Best" had some meaning.

So I can only pray that Carlo Ancellotti proves him wrong. I'm sure if he did, then Darren would be as happy as anyone, and it's about time an Everton manager finally proved him wrong. 🤞

Dan Nulty
121 Posted 05/07/2020 at 09:14:47
Stephen Vincent @43. Agree with your thoughts. I'd add that 'next term' will only be a few weeks after the end of this term so I'm not expecting a dramatic change in that time either. Unless we pull off some miraculous signings for midfield anyway.

I think pragmatist play in line for next season too. If it means top 6 form then that is fine by me. We need European football to attract good players and sponsorship. Better steadying the ship after the awful stuff we have had for the last 4 seasons. I just hope we stop these goal kicks where the centre back stands next to the keeper. Not going to end well that.

Jim Jennings
122 Posted 05/07/2020 at 09:27:36
Re Weston McKennie,

I’ve seen him up close in action a few times over the last couple of years. He does have a great engine, he’s a grafter, very combative, a big unit, shows some leadership but he could never be described as a cultured, ball playing midfielder. He won’t sit deep and dictate the play. If he has an eye for goal, he’s been keeping that eye mostly closed.

At the risk of upsetting our US based Blues, I hope we don’t sign him on the basis that he is not better than what we have. The only way I could see it working is if it’s part of an exchange deal for Kenny. But Schalke are skint. If they are going to sell the family silver, I would guess they want cash.

He has however been played all over the place the last two seasons. Perhaps he will develop with a better team in his natural position. I can see him ending up somewhere like Hertha Berlin. Or a bottom half premier league club. I don’t think he’s at the level (yet) that EFC aspires to. But you never know, Carlo might see him as the Gattuso to Gomes’ Pirlo...

Derek Thomas
123 Posted 05/07/2020 at 09:30:41
Derek @110;

So much for Degsy solidarity, not so much as a 'kin mention.

You're dead to me.

[Flounces off to sulk.]

Brent Stephens
124 Posted 05/07/2020 at 09:42:26
Jim #119 "I find the idea odd - why spend your time venting [on the Live Forum], rather than watching the game and forming an opinion based on actually observing and not getting side tracked".

Jim, you don't have to stop watching - you can just press the speech button on your phone, say what you want without missing any of the action, and hit the post button. Or just dictate and get your spouse to post it. Or don't even dictate - they tell you what you should be thinking and saying, anyway.

Re the "main" spat on this thread - contrary views are fine; it's the personal insults that demean the poster. ToffeeWeb isn't a pub; we've never even met most people on TW; we don't know how they'd react to personal insults, as you might in a pub; and even in a pub, there are various "sets" of drinkers that I (and probably others) know who wouldn't even speak to their mates in the bar the way some speak on here.

TW Conditions of Use: "You agree not to denigrate other website users or contributors, no matter how much you may disagree with their freely expressed views and opinions".

Jeff Armstrong
125 Posted 05/07/2020 at 09:43:41
Dan #121,

Spot on that regarding goal kicks. I hope Ancelotti was watching Palace and Sakho yesterday, ridiculous, pointless tactic, what baffled me was why Woy, 200 years in the game, would now start employing it!

Mind you, David Squires in his Guardian cartoon pieces (hilarious footy comic strips) does portray him as a young fashionista.

Tony Hill
126 Posted 05/07/2020 at 10:06:45
People like Darren Hind prevent this site from becoming bland. I hope he comes back soon.
Derek Moore
127 Posted 05/07/2020 at 10:09:14
Sorry DT - #123 - we'll become a voting bloc from now on if you'll resurrect me from the grave!

Appreciate your maturity and classiness Mr Hind (#118), and pleased that my bizarro theory on you and Kenrick brought out a chuckle. That tally is now at Mr Hind about 13 000, and Mr Moore 1 so it's nice to be on the board.

And Brent (#124) I've certainly no problem with posters holding contrary views. It's when those posters seem to occupy every substantial thread largely covering the same ground they had already covered in previous posts that I get a little tired of it. And as I alluded to, I wonder how many other great posters we used to have here have walked away because of such shenanigans? What we've got here is pretty great, I just would like to see it stay that way.

Your final point quoting the conditions of use was a salient one.

Just wondering when was the last time I got to use the word salient in the right context in the course of a discussion. I have to start the ball rolling on the Degsy solidarity and agree with DT here though, it's certainly no inutile!

Paul Tran
128 Posted 05/07/2020 at 10:13:57
John #112, thanks for your response. My experience was from the early-mid 1980s. Other people I know of my age had similar experience.

That attitude was lampooned by Harry Enfield's 'Scousers' and, more subtly, in The Royle Family. No social media in those days.

I recognise a lot of that attitude in some of the criticism of Barkley (who I and Chelsea friends found/find frustrating) and Davies.

Only a minority, but a vocal one that can make a difference to young people. Hopefully with Tom, it will be a positive, character-building one.

Paul Tran
129 Posted 05/07/2020 at 10:21:54
Derek #113, thanks for your response and kind comments. There's a fine line between character-building and 'knocking people's heads off'. I found the attitude motivating and it helped me, but not everyone takes it the same way. Those who slate the person and not his specific errors show more of themselves than anyone else.
Brent Stephens
130 Posted 05/07/2020 at 10:26:25
Circumlocution rules, okay.

Derek #127 "I've certainly no problem with posters holding contrary views. It's when those posters seem to occupy every substantial thread largely covering the same ground they had already covered in previous posts that I get a little tired of it."


"And as I alluded to, I wonder how many other great posters we used to have here have walked away because of such shenanigans?"

Also agreed.

Danny ONeill
131 Posted 05/07/2020 at 10:28:09
Well, this one got tasty and went off on a few tangents!! To respond to a couple of posters:

Always beware the vocal minority Paul Tran, in all walks of life. Like you, I by no means wish to insult fellow scousers, but I get your point and sentiment about Liverpool and its character. As I've said on a previous thread, the civic pride that makes us special and what we are rightly proud of is also something that can hold us back on occasion.

My experience was slightly different but similar in ways. I too was quite academic as a kid and spent my formative years living in the bubble of the British Army of the Rhine community in Germany. On completion of my father's service, we returned to Liverpool and I have to admit, it was a tough, somewhat intimidating environment. As an "outsider", I was treated with a lot of suspicion and had to "toughen up" to be accepted. It probably cost me in terms of exam results because, to be part of the in crowd, you couldn't be seen to be too clever!

McKennie: As some on here are aware, due to my childhood, I follow the Bundesliga and in particular, Schalke 04, my German club. I've watched him a few times, including live this season. I agree with others on here, he wouldn't improve what we have, in my opinion.

For Darren: I just want to be clear. I think we are lucky to have someone like Ancelotti being given the opportunity to make Everton successful. It is, however, too early to be judging someone who only got appointed in December. With the Covid-19 shutdown, he has effectively only been at the helm for little over 3 months. And, largely living with the tools he inherited. He isn't and won't be immune to criticism; however, let's judge him when he's had the opportunity to build and shape his own team over time.

Best wishes all. A typically fiery and informed ToffeeWeb debate amongst passionate Evertonians, whatever your views may be!!

Derek Moore
132 Posted 05/07/2020 at 10:30:57
"Circumlocution" – yeah, that leaves 'salient' pretty much in the dirt.

If DT agrees, then I think we have a tie between that and 'inutile'.

@ Paul Tran. My dad has often told me: "Forget New York – Liverpool is the toughest city on the earth. You can make it there, you can make it truly anywhere."

But he would hasten to add that being so tough brings a cost of its own. Plenty of people that would have succeeded elsewhere never made it out to discover that themselves. And that's a tragedy in itself.

Tony Abrahams
133 Posted 05/07/2020 at 10:37:41
PT, last sentence of post 129 is a really good observation mate. The thread is getting better, full of wisdom. Nothing wrong with slagging the manager but, in the sprint to get to the front of the queue, get your breath back before you post, good point Danny!

Same with your arl fella, Derek. Liverpool can be a hard place growing up, but putting the boot on the other foot, I've heard it's produced more self-made millionaires than anywhere else in this country... but I've never checked to see if this is true, or the shout came about because of a professional scouser!

Jim Jennings
134 Posted 05/07/2020 at 10:50:17
Brent #124

Thanks for the reply and for sharing that. I wasn't aware that's how it worked. Still, the Live Forum just isn't for me in the same way engaging with everyone venting within earshot of me at the stadium isn't for me.

Re the Terms of Use, well I'm not sure that “denigrate” paragraph holds much authority when this website has an editor who seems to enjoy constantly sniping at an octogenarian poster because his inoffensive style rubs him up the wrong way.

Paul Tran
135 Posted 05/07/2020 at 10:52:13
Tony #133, I always chuckle when people tell me Liverpool is a 'socialist' city. It's always struck me as a spiky, contrarian city with a dollop of warmth. And that adds up to it being the ideal place for creative entrepreneurs.
Danny ONeill
136 Posted 05/07/2020 at 11:21:15
Paul, Liverpool isn't the socialist city it gets labelled. Don't get me wrong, I have family members who vote Labour because they always have. One even confessed to only having voted Tory once in their life because their Union instructed them to do so. That's not having an opinion or vote, it's conforming to dictatorship!! The narrative also isn't helped when every senior Trade Union leader seems to have a Scouse accent!!!

Leading to Tony's post, I too haven't done the research, but I would wager that Liverpool and the Merseyside region has provided a disproportionate percentage of successful entrepreneurs to the business world and arts relative to its population size. That's because of our individuality, our creativeness and willingness to challenge, not because we are a collective of anti-establishment socialist revolutionaries; in my humble and slightly biased opinion anyway!!

Paul Tran
137 Posted 05/07/2020 at 11:48:23
Danny, I was actually agreeing with Tony and, in turn, you!
Mike Corcoran
138 Posted 05/07/2020 at 11:52:46
Carlo is averaging just under 2 points per game with an inherited squad of midfield dysfunctionality. That'll do for now. Looking forward to next season.

The bit of Merseyside I bubble in, by the way, is left-leaning, humorous and caring!

Danny ONeill
139 Posted 05/07/2020 at 12:07:36
And I with you, Paul! Sorry if it didn't come across that way.
Ian Bennett
140 Posted 05/07/2020 at 12:23:31
More worrying is what state football finances will be to address an overall weak squad. And give Carlo the tools he needs without selling the family silver.

Gary Neville made a point that the top 6 have drawn down on hundreds of millions of debt to bridge the gap, whilst Everton have deferred 50% of wages. So that has to mean limited transfer spend.

You do wonder how we can possibly be signing players, when the existing squad haven't been fully paid. Perhaps it's a timing thing on getting merit and TV payments out the Premier League and clarification of Financial Fair Play.

Laurie Hartley
141 Posted 05/07/2020 at 12:25:19
On the question of where we are setting the bar – I think Ancelotti has already set it for us over the course of his time in football. My hope is he will produce more of the same over the next 3 or 4 years.

While reading about his career, I came across this quote of his which I thought was very interesting:-

"If you're organised, even an ordinary player can do very well because he'll have options and he'll know where they are and how to find them. But when you get to the final third, everything changes. That's where you need creativity and freedom because, without it, you only have sterile possession. Especially if your opponent's defence is organised and has been paying attention."

My conclusion – playmaker incoming in the next transfer window.

Andrew Keatley
142 Posted 05/07/2020 at 12:33:43
Lots of very interesting posts on here, but, for me, Eddie Dunn (115) hits an elusive nail on the head when it comes to young homegrown players.
Tony Abrahams
143 Posted 05/07/2020 at 12:34:30
My conclusion is, we have finally got a real football man at the helm, Laurie. A man who has done almost everything as both a player and a manager, kept his ego intact, and continued to learn along the way.

My greatest wish is that, after managing all these great players, great clubs and great teams, Carlo Ancelotti, has decided he wants to build his own team once again, rather than just overseeing the inflated egos.

Jerome Shields
144 Posted 05/07/2020 at 12:36:57
Sam #117,

I watched highlights of Arsenal against Wolves. Whilst Arsenal look a good footballing side, I wonder how they would be under real pressure. I think after a while this will become apparent. I prefer a manager whose under pressure team come up smelling of roses.

Initially, I did think of Ancelotti as a mercenary type manager, but have realised he is definitely not. I am glad Man Utd and Arsenal have gone the way they have in their selection of managers. I feel in Everton's case, 'been there, done that. '

Everton should have had a blood and guts manager like Ancelotti years ago. Some have mistaken this as Big Sam's second coming. . . It never was nor will be.

Big Sam is in Dubai, sunning his ass. . . Thank you, Everton.

David Thomas
145 Posted 05/07/2020 at 12:45:26

Darren is one of those fans who believes in “Nothing but the best” yet has constantly said he wanted Ferguson as manager instead of Ancellotti?

Derek Moore
146 Posted 05/07/2020 at 12:55:43
David (#145),

I posted earlier that I don't always agree with Darren Hind's views but admired his brevity, sharp wit and willingness to use evidence to back up his opinion.

As this thread displays, Darren certainly doesn't need anyone fighting his battles for him! But he also mentioned on here that he's taking a break for a bit as well. In view of that, I hope he won't mind too much if I attempt to speak for him?

Darren rallied for Ferguson over Ancelotti for a few reasons. Firstly, every time this club has ever won anything, it's with an Evertonian pulling the strings as manager (and effectively as director of football as well). We've never imported an outsider and won so much as a raffle.

Secondly, it was Ferguson who turned a team at its very lowest ebb, after a hiding from our neighbours, to a quite remarkable change in performance with the same personnel and fuck all time to implement tactical changes.

And thirdly, Dunc's love and passion for the club is unquestioned, whereas the cynical would wonder why Ancellotti finds himself here at all? The logic being that, when you've done everything everywhere at football, how do you find yourself at the perennially underachieving second team of quite a small city? (The logical answer being one final payday, or similar.)

For what it's worth, I disagree with many of Darren's points. If Ancelotti wanted a final payday, then the Middle East or the Orient would seem an easier route to riches than the seemingly perpetual dysfunction of Goodison Park.

But, as I said, I find myself in the odd position of giving a voice to the suddenly voiceless Darren Hind.

Apologies to Darren if I've substantially misrepresented him here, but reading his posts for months I believe I'm largely correct.

John McFarlane Snr
147 Posted 05/07/2020 at 13:14:45
Hi Jim [134] forgive me if I'm being presumptuous, but I feel that I measure up to the octogenarian you refer to in your post. It's true that Michael Kenrick has at times addressed me in what I consider an unacceptable manner.

I've tried to respond with dignity but, at the end of the day, it's his finger on the 'delete button' which he has exercised on more than one occasion. I have no idea what caused the ill-feeling he obviously has toward me, but no doubt he will deny any that such ill-feeling exists.

Regarding the serial posts that are featured on the various threads, if I couldn't get my point of view across in at the most, four posts I would 'Abandon Ship', because as I have stated on a number of occasions, I refuse to engage in what I term as a 'Slanging Matches'.

Colin Glassar
148 Posted 05/07/2020 at 13:15:09
Derek 110, thanks for that mate. As I get older, the passion diminishes, so I no longer get into long-winded discussions to prove my superior prose and intelligence. I now prefer shallow and facetious one-liners. Sometimes less is more effective.
Joe McMahon
149 Posted 05/07/2020 at 13:18:04
Derek, I've always thought the Everton link was coincidental more than anything.

In the 90s Howard Kendall Mk 2 of 3 didn't achieve anything, Colin Harvey was unlucky but won nothing. Neither SAF, Pep or Wenger played for Man Utd, Man City or Arsenal.

Since Royle, I thought our best chance of silverware was Martinez, but again it didn't happen.

Ray Robinson
150 Posted 05/07/2020 at 13:20:53
Nobody questions Darren's passion and ability to articulate ideas but it is his tendency to prematurely judge, unwillingness to actually engage in reasoned debate, and his quite frankly arrogant and patronising attitude to others that can grate. So, while provoking considerable interest on threads, it can at the same time, in my case, lead to ToffeeWeb fatigue.

I doubt whether he'll be away for long though.

For what it's worth, I actually share his view that what Ancelotti has achieved previously counts for nothing at Everton. He still has to prove himself here in this basket case of a club.

Where we differ, though, is that I'm confident Ancelotti was the correct appointment and that he will succeed. But I'm not going to judge until he's had a full season here and we've brought in some of his "own" players.

You've got to have an optimistic outlook surely? Otherwise, why bother to continue to invest so much time and emotion in following the club?

Joe McMahon
151 Posted 05/07/2020 at 13:29:51
Ray, agreed. It would take even Klopp a long time inheriting this midfield and squad and lack of winning mentality.
Tony Abrahams
152 Posted 05/07/2020 at 13:31:40
True David, I find most things in life can be contradictory but I was thinking about my childhood. Liverpool were winning everything, but Evertonians always seemed to have that bit of defiance about themselves, always wanting more... until the very dark days of Kendall, when I think that loads began to just give up.

Darren has been right about the manager so many times, but I know who 99% of us would sooner have in charge. I just hope the majority are right for once.

Actually, maybe twice... because it was apparent to me that loads of people didn't want Marco Silva... oh and Roberto Martinez... and don't forget fuckin Sam fathead Allardyce — even if I personally thought Koeman was as bad as all of them put together!

Joe McMahon
153 Posted 05/07/2020 at 13:44:56
Tony, yup Koeman along with Walsh was far worse, leaving a catalogue of a disaster for others to pick up the pieces.
Steve Brown
154 Posted 05/07/2020 at 13:52:53
Tony @ 152, Darren has been right in his criticism of our past managers. I think he is wrong on Ancelotti, or rather I pray he is, as I don't know where we go next if a manager of his pedigree can't improve us.
Stephen Vincent
155 Posted 05/07/2020 at 13:56:15
Tony (143), well said, my thoughts and wishes succinctly put. If he does succeed, it will undoubtedly be his greatest achievement.

The huge irony is that, having wasted the majority of almost £500M in the transfer market since Moshiri took over, we at last have someone who could use it wisely and attract players who could take us to Champions League nirvana, but very little of it is left and Financial Fair Play is now taking its toll!

Kevin Molloy
156 Posted 05/07/2020 at 14:27:23

Koeman very nearly finished us, and if he had, he wouldn't have lost an hours sleep over it. I remember an article by Mark O'Brien where he likened Koeman's pitch-line persona to a bloke waiting for the RAC. He did not give a rat's arse from start to finish.

Jamie Crowley
157 Posted 05/07/2020 at 14:32:19
What a read this thread is.

Quickly on Weston McKennie, as a few have pointed out, he would not improve our team today.

My point, and I think Mike Gaynes would agree, he’s an investment that has large potential to improve our team moving forward.

This kid is developing at a blinding pace.

Buy early. But cheap. Reap the benefits of doing so.

John Pierce
158 Posted 05/07/2020 at 15:04:23
Ancelotti has the pedigree and record which gives him the leeway to do what he wants.

So far, the points totals have been extremely good without the usual caveats of spending time with the squad and bring in his own players. He's winning enough games and assessing a squad at the same time. Is it that hard, messers Koeman, Martinez and Silva???

If, next season, that doesn't come with a level of flair and creativity on the pitch, Evertonians of all hues will let him know; we are not daft.

His recent predecessors have been flawed from the very start, so the criticism which has ultimately undermined them, vindicated. Carlo is living in the here and now and his pronouncements are about competing at the top end – not some bullshit about 'a project' and 'taking time to build'. In a sector where the situation is fluid and can turn on its head, your competitors are always moving forward.

As for the thread ruined by the leading protagonists, sadly I find it all very predictable. Anything either poster has to say is eroded by their entrenched positions and their intransigence when countered. If either for once showed some flexibility in their arguments, it would be great to interact with them. However, the same staid responses come, whatever the topic. Swerve.

Back to the topic, it's far from bad and the fixtures left for the pack we are embroiled in are quite interesting. Many of the games will involve each other.

Put together 5-7 points in the next three games and we will have a real chance.

Andrew Keatley
159 Posted 05/07/2020 at 15:20:51
Jamie (157) - “Buy early. Buy cheap.” That’s what we did with Holgate, Calvert-Lewin and Branthwaite. Buying a largely unproven 21-year-old from the Bundesliga for £20+ million does not follow your own advice. But maybe the fact that he is American has slightly distracted you.
Derek Moore
160 Posted 05/07/2020 at 15:33:24
No disrespect intended, Andrew (#159).

Schalke are brassic and we have leverage vis a vis Jonjoe Kenny. Your figure of £20 million or more doesn't really correspond to any of the information I've found regarding his market value and, in this Covid-affected world, the market is likely to be dramatically different anyway.

And secondly, you wrote "Buying a largely unproven 21-year-old from the Bundesliga for £20+ million does not follow your own advice."

May I ask where you stand then on the acquisition of Moise Kean or Iwobi? Do you believe in Brands's ability to do the job he's allegedly employed to do or not?

Is Jamie vs Andrew part of the Darren vs Jay undercard? I don't peruse these pages as thoroughly as others but, with a rare few days off, I'm spending more time here than I normally would. Is there some history between you two, as to my eye your comment seemed rather snide and unhelpful. Many apologies if this was not your intention or I'm otherwise mistaken.

Mike Gaynes
161 Posted 05/07/2020 at 15:50:53
PT #111, terrific post as usual, and your recollections of those locals trying to pull you back from success are fascinating, but I will require a translation of "an InterRail rather than Magaluf."

Eddie #115 and Tony #116, interesting perspective. For me personally, not being a Merseysider, it's utterly irrelevant where a player is from. Both Davies and Barkley, for example, gave me magical moments on the occasion of my first trip to Goodison -- the former with a 1st-minute goal and the latter with a lovely assist -- but I haven't held back on my subsequent criticism of either. When I howled at the TV over Barkley so often wasting his superior talent, or when I screamed at Davies earlier this season for costing us games with idiotic plays, I considered neither their Merseyside origins nor those golden memories. History wasn't relevant.

Jim #122 and Danny #131, thanks for your informed perspectives on McKennie. Jim, the idea of Gattuso/Pirlo for him and Gomes is an interesting comparison. But if you haven't seen him recently, McKennie has in fact developed an ability to find the net, with three goals since the restart:

3:15 here:

2:09 here:

Jamie #157 and Danny, you may be right, but I think he does improve us a bit right now. He's already a slightly better player than either Davies or Delph at this point, and he's in an inferior side to ours. I think he'd slot right in.

Laurie #141, great catch on that quote, and I devoutly hope your reading is correct!

And to John Sr., Ray R. and others, if there are posters whose views don't interest me, I use the scroll button on my mouse and scoot right past 'em. I hope neither of you will allow "TW Fatigue" to set in just because two people insist on going at it. Your own contributions are too valuable and enjoyable to contemplate your abandoning this forum.

Andrew Keatley
162 Posted 05/07/2020 at 15:56:03
Derek (160) – I have no idea what figure Schalke would actually sell at, but I recently read an article suggesting they were looking for €25 million. But my point was chiefly about the “Buy cheap. Buy early” philosophy – and how buying McKennie now would probably not prove cheap, and also – with him turning 22 quite soon – not that early either. Having said that, if he goes on to be worth £50 million in a couple of seasons time, then perhaps his quoted price now will seem cheap then.

As for Kean and Iwobi, both have obviously had frustrating first seasons. I've been a dissenter when it comes to Kean – I don't see much all-round ability at all – whereas Iwobi is a talented footballer who, if he adds a bit more grit, desire and determination, I think could do relatively well here.

I don't know about Brands. It's hard to know which of the acquisitions are his primary targets, and which (perhaps like Iwobi) are pragmatic reactions to attracting players who a) are prepared to come here, b) are in our price range, and c) are not going to get the fans shrugging their shoulders and saying “who?”

ps: There's no history between Jamie C and I – that I know of anyway! There are lots of people and comments on here that I have challenged, and I think what I said to Jamie C is a fair challenge.

Alan J Thompson
163 Posted 05/07/2020 at 15:56:31
I find it interesting to see who from which clique defends which of the windbags who both usually end up attacking the man rather than the ball.

Mike Gaynes
164 Posted 05/07/2020 at 15:57:25
Andrew #159, not to speak for my fellow Yank, Jamie, but on my own behalf, I plead guilty to your charge. As I posted when first bringing up McKennie's name, I would be flag-wavingly ecstatic to see this particular American in our shirt.

And Jim #119, my own apologies, as I too have sometimes mistaken you for Jim Bennings. I remember the confusion here years ago when both Jay Wood and Jay Woods were posting, and sometimes debating each other, before their geographic locations (Brazil and Latvia respectively) were added to their handles. Maybe you could add a middle initial?

Derek Moore
165 Posted 05/07/2020 at 16:08:43
Thanks for the prompt response Andrew (#162) and let me apologise again for any inference that was incorrect. I've literally only just discovered that Mr Kenrick seems to have little time for the – in my view – eminently reasonable John MacFarlane. I'm seeing subtexts and snide remarks everywhere now, a sure sign I'm spending too much time here!

I found your take on Brands in particular both intriguing and - from my end - hard to fault.

I didn't mind the Kean acquisition at the time, even if it has borne little fruit. I feel McKennie would adjust to the top flight – and as importantly, the UK itself – far more quickly than Moise. As such, a price of around €20 millon (£18 million) for him would be reasonable. Having adjusted to football and life in Germany so quickly, I feel is a reasonable sign of adjusting to life in the north-west as well.

Stands more chance than say, Ian Rush to Juve. ("It was like living in a foreign country" still cracks me up!)

Paul Tran
166 Posted 05/07/2020 at 16:16:50
Mike #111, a couple of years ago, just after Tom made his debut, there was a story about the holiday that he and two of his under-23 team mates took.

Magaluf is an example of a bog-standard Spanish summer beach holiday that many young lads would take. Tom and his mates did an InterRail, a month-long rail pass around Europe, where you go where you please and find accommodation as and where you go.

Derek Moore
167 Posted 05/07/2020 at 16:23:17
@ Mike G re: Magaluf and InterRail

An InterRail is the young person equivalent of an adventure, a pass to go round Europe, as far or not so far as you like, as long as it's within a month. You just take the train to where you want to look at and then find a place to crash. When you've seen enough of it, you just get back on the train and get to the next place that interests you.

Magaluf is virtually the opposite, a Spanish resort beach town built entirely around cheap booze, food and lodgings. It's like any other tourist trap with some sun and a beach.

Edit – Sorry, just saw Paul answered your query!

Jamie Crowley
168 Posted 05/07/2020 at 16:30:55
But maybe the fact that he is American has slightly distracted you.

Andrew - admittedly, yes. It has, and it always will. Nationalist flaw.

Derek Moore -

Is Jamie vs Andrew part of the Darren vs Jay undercard?

No. Andrew can speak for himself, but for me no. I honestly forget about arguments about 2 minutes after they happen. I’m the oldest of 6, and a Father of 5. If I held grudges, I’d be fucked.

There’s a few disagreements I remember with certain posters, but it’s a massive rarity for me. And I’ve never held any grudges. I think some people can be buttheads, but so can I. If anything when I’ve had a hearty TW throw down with posters, I’ve been by and large in the wrong. If I get sick of the convo, I simply excuse myself from it.

Drama is a bitch-queen to be ignored.

Jamie Crowley
169 Posted 05/07/2020 at 16:43:06
Time to preach.

There’s a few posts regarding Michael’s approach to certain posters, as well as Michael’s approach in general.

When you visit someone and you’re under their roof, you play by their rules. Their house, their rules. You don’t walk into someone’s house, march into their bedroom, and shit on their pillow.

Michael, not speaking for him mind and I’d also point out I’m 99% sure I drive him fucking nuts, can do whatever he damn well pleases. If you don’t like it, go to one of the fluffy Everton sites where every player is wonderful and we all shit blue rainbows.

Or, show some ingenuity and drive, and start your own damn site. Good luck with that.


Gavin Johnson
170 Posted 05/07/2020 at 16:44:14
Just on the subject of the Live Forum. One poster remarked that he didn't understand why people go on there in the middle of a live game and I have to agree. I gave my season ticket up last year but still go to a handful of home fixtures but would never dream of sitting there typing and taking my attention away from the game. I might post something on the match thread at half time or after a goal.

So, just out of interest, are there people sitting at Goodison typing on the Live Forum?? I'm genuinely interested and that's in no way deriding other people's choices in how to enjoy the game. It just isn't mine personally.

Derek Moore
171 Posted 05/07/2020 at 16:45:40
Jamie (#169),

I apologised to Andrew in an earlier post, and I'll do so to you in this one. I've been here long and often enough to know most of the active posters names and recall the likes of Ken Buckley. But I don't come here often enough to know all the ins and outs of who is arguing with whom and for what reason. Once again, my apologies.

And as a point of interest, "I've never held any grudges". I didn't post this missive to question your integrity, but an Irish American from Boston who doesn't hold grudges is a rare creature indeed. Years ago, I was in the US and was it Boon(?) broke the baseball team's heart? It's not my sport so further apologies if I'm not recalling this correctly. But I was in New York when that happened and then went to Boston the following week before heading back to New Zealand. If you're being accurate, then I believe you're the only Bostonian to not hold a grudge, I've never seen a city so devastated by a sporting loss.

I also understand that was the start of a pretty good run for Boston baseball. Here's hoping that 5-2 calamity with Silva is Everton's version of the same.

ps: - Michael is the fire, and Lyndon is the ice. And as I said earlier, I've always preferred Michael's "take it or leave it" approach, even if Lyndon is the superior wordsmith. Somewhere on this incredibly diverse thread it was pointed out that some players just piss Evertonians off, often without any rationality whatsoever. It's not so odd that this site features some posters who do the same to their fellow TWebbers.

I totally agree that it's the house that Michael built, and so he writes the rules. But trying to get along better with our peers isn't the most unreasonable goal to have right now.

There's too much division everywhere, I'd hate to see that reflected more generally here. Which is pretty much the reason for my burst of posting activity today. It feels like we're trying to get along and that's all you can ask.

Jamie Crowley
172 Posted 05/07/2020 at 16:46:20

People inside Goodison post on the Live Forum. It happens frequently-ish.

Jamie Crowley
173 Posted 05/07/2020 at 16:52:04
Derek Moore -

I didn't take any of your comments that way at all. I was simply spouting off.

The baseball:


“Aaron FUCKING Boone” in New England. And yes, the dude broke my heart many, many years ago. But choking was the Sox way for 86 years, so I half expected it.

Since my lifelong dry spell ended in 2004, my 16-year-old son has seen the Red Sox win the World Series four times. And yes, that makes me a bit sick to my stomach.

I don't talk about my first sports love often here on these pages any longer - the ownership group is the Enemy, and my personal sports world is a schizophrenic mess. But loyalty dictates I put my head down and keep moving forward. ;0)

Mike Gaynes
174 Posted 05/07/2020 at 16:54:41
Thanks, Paul and Derek! I am now a bit more educated about European travel than I was a few minutes ago.

Jamie, re: "...go to one of the fluffy Everton sites where every player is wonderful and we all shit blue rainbows."

Links, please?

Derek Moore
175 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:00:09
@ Mike G -

My pleasure. I'm learning a few facts here myself today as well, Jamie has just educated me on a baseball player with the unlikely middle name of "fucking"....

Paul Tran
176 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:03:36
Derek, that's nothing. Not that long ago, Celtic had a player called Scheidt. Apparently he was as well.

Got permission to have his first name on the back of his shirt.

Jamie Crowley
177 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:07:46
Derek Moore
178 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:11:50
"Not that long ago Celtic, had a player called Scheidt..."

As everybody knows, Wikipedia is useful and you can find just about anything you want on it. But all the facts that will never make it to Wikipedia or similar are to be found right here.

I'm with Jamie. UTTW.

Brent Stephens
179 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:12:00
Paul #178 - first name Stacker? I think I remember him.
Paul Tran
180 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:14:31
I think it was Rafael, Brent.
Mike Gaynes
181 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:15:08
Sounds X-rated, Jamie.
Jim Jennings
182 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:18:31
Hi John, #147,

You're correct, it was indeed you I was referring to when mentioning the editor and the octogenarian.

Hi Mike, #161 and #164,

Apologies, you're right about McKennie's goals and, to my shame, I watched two of those games live and had forgotten about them. Old age setting in or getting lost in the deluge of goals going in the other end for Schalke. I still don't see him as an improvement on what we already have and not at the prices being quoted. He is, however, playing in a side that have been rotten since Christmas.

The confusion over my name is understandable. I raised it in my original post relative to Darren because I recall him, as one poster above puts it, playing the man rather than the ball, when he wrongly assumed I was Jim Bennings. And referred back to something said years ago as if that discredited the point I was making, eg, “Well, you wanted to move to Kirkby, therefore you know fuck all about who would have made a good replacement for Baines.” (That type of argument, not what was actually said...)

I'm happy to have my name edited to make things easier. Perhaps adding a GER such as BRZ or LTV for the two Woodies.

Brent Stephens
183 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:25:29
Paul, I was being mischievous. You need to say it all aloud.
Andrew Keatley
184 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:27:29
Brent (181) - Well played, sir.
Rob Halligan
185 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:30:55
Brent, what about Stefan Kuntz, the German international. You'd think he would change his name, wouldn't you. I mean, come on, who likes being called Stefan!!
Derek Moore
186 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:36:29
@Brent 186.

I thought the lads name was Reeksov? Or was that a nickname for him?

@ Anyone trying to watch Shite-Villa

I think there's been custodial sentences that seemed to pass more quickly than this game. I'm surprised how lethargic the shite look, I really thought they'd want this record points total for Klopps LinkedIn if nothing else.
If the Villans get something from this it'll be a handy point for them, especially with Watford getting rolled yesterday.

Fair play to Peps team, they look like they want to score double figures every time they go out there, and they've much less motivation to play hard than even the shite do.

Brent Stephens
187 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:37:06
“who likes being called Stefan”.

Stephens is only slightly better, Rob.

Paul Tran
188 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:38:12
I did work it out, Brent. Stacker's got a brother called Loadsa.

Rob, back in Euro96, during the England v Germany semi-final, a linesman's flag deprived us of the best back-page headline ever:

'England beaten by German Kuntz'

Brent Stephens
189 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:40:30
Derek, not sure I like that but I’ll hold my nose.
Derek Moore
190 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:43:17
Fetch these men their coats...!

I understand that the Germans were reprimanded at the end of that fateful game where we missed the headline. Something to do with Stefan trying to swap shirts with the linesman at full time.

Rob Halligan
191 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:48:02
Classic, Paul. Doubt it would have been allowed to be published though.

The third or fourth edition of Baddiel and Skinners " Football's coming home" were all the German fans had Kuntz on the back of their shirts still makes me laugh

What a shower of Kuntz!

Peter Mills
192 Posted 05/07/2020 at 17:51:24
It’s never a good idea to be too attached to your own opinion.
Paul Tran
193 Posted 05/07/2020 at 18:13:17
It would have been a statement of fact, Rob.

And it would have saved us poor souls at Wembley that night the agony of Anderton hitting the post, Gazza not reaching that cross and that bloody shootout!

James Flynn
194 Posted 05/07/2020 at 18:24:26
Jamie was too young to live it, but likely raised on Bucky "Fucking" Dent.
Ray Roche
195 Posted 05/07/2020 at 18:27:56
Mike @176

In addition to Davies's InterRail adventure' Tom also went on a backpacking trip around Australia, staying in hostels, roughing it with like-minded young people. I'd say he's got his feet firmly planted. An admirable young man.

John McFarlane Snr
196 Posted 05/07/2020 at 19:07:08
Hi Mike [161],

I have no intention of leaving ToffeeWeb voluntarily, I enjoy the interaction too much to walk away. I have flitted on and off this site for a number of years, but more regularly in the last four years or so.

I don't want it to sound as though I'm blowing my own trumpet but, following my seven weeks stay in Southport hospital in 2018, I invited ToffeeWebers to join me in the Central Hotel, Liverpool, to celebrate my 80th birthday, and to show my appreciation of the good wishes that were relayed to me by my daughter, Nicki, and also to put faces to names.

I was surprised to learn that it was the first ever ToffeeWeb get-together. Since then there have been another three, one of which you attended. I thereby made new friends, and if it wasn't for this horrible Covid-19, I'm certain that the friendship would be renewed, with the possibility of gaining new friends.

So if you witness an absence of posts bearing my name, it will be either Michael Kenrick or Father Time, who has pressed the delete button.

Hi Jamie [171],

You're absolutely correct in stating that when you visit someone's house you play by their rules, and you don't do the things you describe colourfully. On the other hand, when you invite someone into your house, which in effect is exactly Michael does, you are not expected to verbally abuse/insult them, just because you don't agree with their opinion. I believe that there are other, more respectful ways, to deal with the situation.

Jamie Crowley
197 Posted 05/07/2020 at 19:18:23
James Flynn,

That game was an afternoon game I believe? I was young. I had CCD that day (it's like Catholic school for kids in public schools over here) after school, and did NOT want to go. My Mom made me.

I was so pissed she wouldn't let me skip CCD and watch the game. Furious. I'm almost sure it was the Bucky Fuckin' Dent game this happened? My memory is foggy over the years. Frankly, there were so many heart aches, they're all just an amalgam now.

Bucky Fucking Dent. It's like a fly ball out in 99% of games. Blamed my Mum.

The Mon-stah giveth, and the Mon-stah fahkin' taketh.

In New England, "that" middle name can be uttered by a 5-year-old, and no-one would blink.

Jamie Crowley
198 Posted 05/07/2020 at 19:20:12
John Snr -

That's a good point. One I'd not contemplated.

I'd still side with Michael, but your point is a good one and valid.

Tony Abrahams
199 Posted 05/07/2020 at 19:20:43
I know what you're saying, John Mc but, to be fair to Michael, he his also prepared to take a bit of stick back. It's not as if it's just one way traffic because he holds the buzzer, so he does get my respect for this.👏
John Keating
200 Posted 05/07/2020 at 19:41:23
John Mc,

I think you'll find MK is far more civilised in his criticism than one or two others who really can be abusive and insulting.

Maybe that's down to their apparent Personality Disorder? I don't know.

There are, I believe, contributors who have been warned in the past about their keyboard warrior efforts and unfortunately continued.

John Pierce
201 Posted 05/07/2020 at 19:42:10
The posters who give it and can take it, but also revise their opinions are the ones who enhance the site.

The ones who set up a trench and then move not one inch, well just like many battles in WW I, fight to barely move the needle. They change no-one's minds.

Michael ain't that guy.

Derek Moore
202 Posted 05/07/2020 at 19:51:17
"The posters who give it & can take it, but also revise there opinions are the ones who enhance the site."

So very true. The most destructive users are the ones who seem to think everybody else has an opinion but they alone are the sole owners of facts.

Mike Gaynes
203 Posted 05/07/2020 at 20:12:54
Jamie, I was so tempted to bring up Bucky Dent (whom I met a couple of times in Chicago) to tease you further, but I resisted.

John Sr Father Time hitting the delete button... seems like something of a contradiction in terms but I like the elegance of the thought. Let's hope he holds off on both of us for quite some time to come.

Mike Gaynes
204 Posted 05/07/2020 at 20:14:36
Rob #188, you cracked me up. Again.
Jay Wood

205 Posted 05/07/2020 at 20:20:17
David @ 114.

Let me do you the courtesy of a more fulsome answer as to the chronology, creation and content of my lead post and subsequent posts.

As is often the case on many threads some sub-themes evolved on the Leicester match day thread, two of those being the question of criticism aimed at young players on TW and the quality of the football under Ancelotti.

My lead post in this thread started off as a post on that thread. I realised it was evolving into a longer post, so I completed and submitted it as a article to the editors. Whether it saw the light of day or not was left to them. They published it.

The article did not name a single TW poster. It was not written as taking aim at any particular poster, because in the Leicester match day thread several different posters had commented on the two themes I cover.

I did the research on results and the comparative league tables under Silva and Ancelotti. I list the games played under Carlo with the result, our shots per game and my own personal recall of the performances in each match.

As the closing paragraph of my article demonstrates, I don’t get strident or evangelical on either issue. I wrote:

“Maybe, just maybe, Carol Ancelotti is not a busted flush as some wish to portray him as. And maybe, just maybe, players some posters like to praise or flay are not quite as good – or as bad – as they believe.”

Pretty neutral, wouldn't you say?

Your good buddy ‘Dazza’ took exception to my piece. Ironically, in doing so he affirmed one of the things I opined: that for some a name can be the trigger of seething hostility (or blind support). In this case for ‘Dazza’ it was a poster. Me.

He came flying in with both feet off the ground, studs showing. His opening words set the tone:

‘Ill-informed drivel.’

Really? Did my article deserve the personal insults and scathing scorn ‘Dazza’ responded with?

What followed were formulaic traits ‘Dazza’ is given to using. He has monikers for different posters he likes to use, designed to belittle the author to invalidate their opinion without actually engaging in it. The one he applies to me is that I’m a statto who only gleans my knowledge from ‘fan boy websites.’ He gets that in in his 2nd paragraph.

He then completely misconstrues – as you have also done in your two posts to me – what I actually said (and know and believe) about criticism of young players at Everton.

What I actually wrote was:

‘The suggestion that the academy boys are singled out for special criticism whilst expensive foreign players are exempt and excused is simply not true.’ (my emphasis)

Evidently the above sentence and how the two clauses are linked is too nuanced for those hellbent on being abusive, looking to distort my words on semantics.

I know full well young players get unfairly criticised on TW (and beyond). More honest posters who may read my posts know full well I defend them all the time. But you – by your own admission an infrequent visitor to the site – and ‘Dazza’ persist in claiming:

• I deny young Everton players get criticised
• I know nothing about the subject
• That I have no awareness of other supporters’ views on the subject
• That somehow my choice of not logging on to the Live Forum, preferring to focus exclusively on the game, makes me ‘more ignorant’

Your buddy ‘Dazza’ persistently plays dirty on TW. He consistently attacks the poster, not their opinions. He clutches at so many straw men arguments he could construct a whole village of traditional English cottages. He even acknowledges this in this very thread.

When ‘Dazza’ is challenged by another poster (Brent Stephens), not me, he is very explicit in what he has done in his reply to Brent @ 16. ‘I confront…I test the waters…I press the buttons’. In other words, his intent is to antagonise. Laughingly, he considers this as ‘respectful’. He even writes: ‘Jay Wood is my favourite regular poster on this site. I love that he gives it out without bleating about what comes back.’

And that is true. I have never complained, and never will, about any post or poster to the editors. If somebody gets personal as is often ‘Dazza’s’ starting position, I deal directly with the poster myself. So ‘Dazza’ knows full well when trying it on with me he is tweaking the tail of the tiger who will snarl and claw back at him. I will be Peter Reid on Brian Marwood for his studs up challenge on me.

As for you David and ‘Dazza’ claiming I was angry in being ‘called out’…Gibberish, as I said. Perversely, the fact that I replied to him is presented as evidence of this. That’s convenient…for him. On that logic I should forgo my right of reply to his provocative, antagonistic original post.

Believe me, I didn’t and don’t feel anger at all. I can do angry. But ‘Dazza’s’ charges were so limp wristed and inaccurate there was nothing to get worked up about. I was very controlled, very deliberate in my choice of words and structure of my response. I chose to turn the spotlight back on ‘Dazza’ and his gratuitous personal insults and obnoxious manner which is his default position.

I’ll write again what I have previously said about ‘Dazza’. How he conducts himself on TW, how he addresses people, is the equivalent of walking into an unfamiliar Liverpool pub where he is not known, nor does he know the locals; pissing and spitting in their beer; pouring it over their heads; sticking his thumbs into his waistband and asking: ‘Worraya gonna do about it?’ Then waking up next morning in casualty, all innocent, casting himself as the victim, asking ‘what did I do wrong?’

As in this thread, ‘Dazza’ and I are often likened to each other. We are not. We are very, very different.

I have never made claims for myself that my opinion is the only valid one. ‘Dazza’ does.

I have never made claims for myself that my intelligence and insight on any given subject is superior to others. ‘Dazza’ does.

My starting position is never to gratuitously denigrate and attack the person. ‘Dazza’ does.

I’m not given to ‘I-told-you-so-ism’. ‘Dazza’ does, often when it is not even the case.

I’m not so invested in my opinion that I will resort to lying and fabrication to defend it. ‘Dazza’ does.

As I’ve already acknowledged, we all have an ego. Contrary to what you state my ego is nowhere near as inflated, or as fragile, as your ‘Dazza’ who, like it or not, persistently does display classic NPD behaviour IMO.

But maybe there is hope for him. In his last post @ 118 he concedes: ‘There are better ways of responding than the way I did.’

‘Dazza’ has much to contribute to TW. He has great wit. A great turn of phrase. A deep knowledge and passion for Everton.

He is also deliberately personally abusive, provocative and obnoxious when it is not merited, too often, playing the man and not the ball.

Finally, ironically, if ‘Dazza’ did but realise it, he and I actually have many similar opinions. Not least, on the young players. Want evidence?

Check out the Could John Stones Return to Everton? thread and my post @ 105, written just 5 days ago in which I credit Darren with sharing the same view as myself about John Stone.

No grudge bearing from me then. I genuinely largely ignore ‘Dazza’. But if he wants to play dirty with me as he attempts in this thread, he’ll get some back. And he knows it.

Oh and David. Do feel free any time you like to comment on the actual content of the lead article in this thread, rather than only the vaudeville side show your boy 'Dazza' launched.

Paul Ferry
206 Posted 05/07/2020 at 20:30:14
Au contraire Paul Tran. I looked down on you at the time for going to a Poly!

ToffeeWebbers, I can indeed confirm that Mr. Tran had long shaggy hair back in the day, always to be seen parading through Crosby streets in his denim uniform and 'suedies' - think brown mixed!

Very glad to hear that life had worked out well for you PT! You, Sam Hoare, Southport Brent, and Crosby Pete are my go-to voices of reason on here.

Come back Darren, please!

John McFarlane Snr
207 Posted 05/07/2020 at 20:36:01
Hi Tony [202] Michael Kenrick has every right to answer a disrespectful post in like manner, but I would challenge anyone on this site, to point to a post from me that falls under that category. I have posted earlier, possibly on this thread, that the two principles that I have valued all my life are, "Do as you would be done by" and "Manners maketh the man" I can honestly say that any of my posts that may have caused offence have not been for that specific purpose.

Hi Jamie [201] I forgot to mention that although it wasn't directly addressed to me, I believe it was implied that I was regarded as a 'Snowflake' and not being familiar with the modern vocabulary I assumed it wasn't a compliment. However because it sounds like such a pleasant name, do you think I'd be accepted on one of the "Flufffy Everton" sites you referred to? The last sentence was my feeble attempt at humour, and there was definitely no offence intended.

Jamie Crowley
208 Posted 05/07/2020 at 20:40:03
Jay Wood -

This thread has morphed into some Side Show Bob thing.

Apologies for my part in that. I do love a good sidebar.

Davies is a player. He will be a valuable part of this squad for the foreseeable future. I can see him having a very long and prosperous career at Everton.

Carlo is a master for me. I really believe he's "getting" the Club, loves the challenge, he's doing what he loves best - coaching and not just buying success, and he will turn Everton into a force to be reckoned with.

Finally, all this nastiness. Everyone just apologize and move on FFS. We're all on the same team here. Debate is a gift from God. Snarkiness is the twisting of banter and debate by dark forces.

Hyperbole? Yes. And yes, I'm guilty of being an absolute twat myself here on TW. But if I can offer one suggestion, everyone bury the freaking hatchet and move on. Everyone's human. We have opinions, we lose our shit, we say things we wish we could take back, we back ourselves into corners. Screw it. It happens. Turn the page.

And scroll. I'll guarantee I trigger a lot of people here. Some dipshit, verbose American acting like he's been along on the ride for a lifetime. Easily annoying as fuck. Scroll past. Simple.

Everton 3, Spurs 1.

Jamie Crowley
209 Posted 05/07/2020 at 20:41:49
John -

I posted just as you did, and missed your comment.

Yes, you'd be welcome at

And yes, that was very funny John. Well played.

Dan Nulty
210 Posted 05/07/2020 at 20:48:15
Genuinely can't believe this is still going on having not logged in since this morning.

Some of you on here need to take a bit of a step back and have a think about what is important in life.

What isn't important is that everyone agrees with you. It is OK to have different opinions. We all see things differently. I love how passionate you all are about the club but ultimately, we all support the same team and it really is not worth falling out about. At the end of the day, no matter what opinions we have about each player's performance we all want them to do well and be the best they can be.

I've dug out Davies a few times as he gives the ball away far too often, I still believe he can turn into a top player. Nothing would make me happier than if he, Gordon and the rest of the young lads helped turn us into a title winning side. I'm not sure they will yet given performances/consistency but no one would be happier than if they did.


Kieran Kinsella
211 Posted 05/07/2020 at 21:11:37
Michael Kenrick gets annoyed when people hijack threads to talk about the RS. Similarly, I get frustrated when participants decide to hijack threads and make it about themselves.

To be clear I’m not talking about say Jamie who has asides about his life that are relevant to his fan experience. I’m talking about “I hate you, this is why I’m morally superior to you” in nine volumes. Exchange emails and have it out in private.

John McFarlane Snr
212 Posted 05/07/2020 at 22:03:22
Hi all, this will be my final post on this thread, I was moved to state my case when it was mentioned by another contributor, that I had been treated unfairly. I would like to thank those who supported me, and I would say to everyone that as far as I'm concerned the subject is a closed book. As some have pointed out, we are all Evertonian's hoping for the same things, I intend to continue posting, I believe I'm a fair minded man and I hold no grudges. There are more important things to discuss, and I hope to be a part of those discussions.
Mark Andersson
213 Posted 05/07/2020 at 22:51:51
WOW & wowza..

Take a bow Jay Wood @ 54.. simply the best post I have read on any topic...

I had to skip the rest of the comments to say well done...

I look forward to Hinds response or nonsense.

Brian Williams
214 Posted 05/07/2020 at 22:59:53
Mark. If you'd have read on, you'd have seen it.
David Cash
215 Posted 05/07/2020 at 23:25:26
Dear me Jay.

I was kinda hoping you would respect my request and leave me out of this.

I have to ask: Why don't you just type "Who me?" and have done with it? Save yourself all that hassle. Do you really think people are that gullible? Please ditch the hollier-than'thou routine. I was not born yesterday.

There are very few people who criticise Ancelotti on here. There are even fewer who complain about the treatment academy players receive. As far as I know, there is only one poster who does both.
Your foolish denial (before you were accused ) that you did not target an individual poster in your article will fool no regular visitor to this site.

Take a step back Jay. Do you really believe you are not guilty of all the things you accuse Darren of?

Let me offer you some advice; intead of mentally cultivating this image you believe posters on this site have of you. Go back over this thread. Read what they actually say about you. They don't (as you would like to believe ) see you as this fair-minded paragon of virtue. They see you as an overbearing bore who will never use one word when twenty will do.

If all that sounds like a biased defence of my mate I'm sorry. It is. Seems you took your character assassination to the wrong place.

In posts 206 & 54 you use about 2,000 words, Jay. Where do you find the time ?

Andrew Keatley
216 Posted 05/07/2020 at 00:52:35
David (215) - I don't really want to get in the middle of your contretemps-a-trois with Darren and Jay, but I assume that Jay's post at 205 is making reference to the toing and froing between myself and Darren regarding the relative merits (and treatment) of Tom Davies in the Leicester match thread that MK wrote. (In a way I feel like the unknowing Igor in respect of the creation of this particular Frankenstein's Monster of a thread...)

I just want to say that I often enjoy Darren's posts - and the same goes for Jay's posts. I find that it's quite hard to track people on ToffeeWeb – there must be a few hundred of us who post semi-regularly – so the people who are most prolific are generally the ones who are easiest to notice.

Because Darren is one of those bold and regular contributors, I was aware that he has taken it on himself to be the self-appointed Protector-in-Chief of our academy players. So, after he'd commented that "By the time the final whistle went, he (Tom Davies) was head and shoulders above everyone else on that pitch", I commented that Tom Davies had done well in the game but that his assertion "was just silly". I thought it was overkill; that he was grandstanding about his academy boy in a manner that seemed excessive.

Anyway, I found myself in Darren's crosshairs, he chased me with his angry front-footed logic across a 200-post thread, and here we are now. Some people cannot walk away from being challenged, and although Darren says he is taking a break from ToffeeWeb, I fully expect him to be back on here in days and sticking to his guns as ever before. And I hope he is. I'll just be that much more wary of getting in those darn crosshairs... and maybe you'll manage to stay out of Jay's.

Gavin Johnson
217 Posted 06/07/2020 at 01:06:14
Jay, I can't believe you're still commenting. Emperor and clothes springs to mind on this occasion.

Darren likes to argue about arguing and all the points you make in your 2000+ word are spot on. But, as someone else pointed out, you have scored an own goal in one of your earlier comments so just own it and move on, you're just making yourself look ridiculous now.

Brian Wilkinson
218 Posted 06/07/2020 at 01:40:01
John @212, unless I have missed something, I have never read any of your posts that have offended or disrespected others, always seen you as the perfect gentleman.

I can also say I have also found Mike and Lyndon to be very helpful and have done a fantastic job on here during lockdown, along with other posters and their contributions.

So I have no idea what has happened. As Evertonians, we should be sticking together, by all means have differing viewpoints, but we cannot always be right. People see things differently, there is no right or wrong, just good honest opinions of how we are feeling at the time.

For my penny's worth, I think Carlo is putting us in the right direction, without even spending a penny on any players. Before he moves us forward, he has some players to get off the payroll, and let's not forget some of these players now playing and getting results, are the same players who have downed tools on our past four Managers. That shows what Carlo has already achieved at Everton.

Once he is able to bring some of his own signings in will be the time to see if he can take Everton to the next level and pass judgement on him.

For now though, I am more than happy that he can get a tune out of our midfield, already seems to have got the defence sorted out He's not a top class manager for nothing, he knows he needs to strengthen in midfield and I'm pretty sure he will address this, when the transfer window opens.

For now though, let's stick together and get behind the club.

Derek Thomas
219 Posted 06/07/2020 at 01:42:06
Derek M. @171; Irish Alzheimer's – you forget everything except the grudges.
Derek Moore
220 Posted 06/07/2020 at 04:13:58
@ Derek Thomas 171 - Borrowing that one for my collection, Degsy solidarity lives!

@ 215 & 217 – Gavin and David – It's unreal really isn't it. Some people seem to have this mental block where they simply must have the last word, it's beyond them to simply let something go without retort.

To see someone so passionate, articulate and intelligent making a show of themselves in this way is embarrassing and more than a little sad.

Darren Hind has seemingly played a blinder here – he's wound up Jay like a clock toy, and now that clock toy just keeps walking into the wall again and again and again.

My final advice to Jay would be this: when you're in a hole stop digging. And you're very much in the hole, sir.

Jim Harrison
221 Posted 06/07/2020 at 09:01:29
Right, so, Carlo has improved results but the football isn't as pretty as it could be. Which is not surprising given we need a better midfielder.

Local lads get shit on the Live Forum, but not as much shit as some make out they get.

Is that about the sum of it?

Bill Fairfield
222 Posted 06/07/2020 at 10:44:00
Good post, Jay, an eye-opener for some, I think.
Jerome Shields
223 Posted 06/07/2020 at 12:30:16
John Snr # 212

Well said, but really you should not have been put in this position that you felt you had to.

David Cash
224 Posted 06/07/2020 at 18:48:21

Derek 220

Absolutely. Never in my life have I seen someone go to such extraordinary lengths to demonstrate how unruffled they were

Woe betide any gnat who dares to have a fleeting nip.

I wonder if he who should not be named has seen it yet ?

Annika Herbert
225 Posted 06/07/2020 at 19:12:11
Well said Derek @220!
Barry Rathbone
226 Posted 06/07/2020 at 20:55:14
Is merely existing in the division without the sniff of a trophy "bad"? Not if you're Bournemouth etc, but as a writer once said "ay, there's the rub" - we are Everton Football Club
Darren Hind
227 Posted 07/07/2020 at 13:37:44
I'm sorry. I know I said I would not be posting for a while, but having just read read Jay Wood's hate filled post. I feel compelled exercise my right to reply.

I would start by pointing out that his protest that his article "was not written as taking aim at any particular poster" is (imo) just plain deceitful. It is abundantly clear he was taking aim and it was abundantly clear who his target was.
While a couple of others responded. Only one person complained about the treatment our academy boys receive. Only one person attacked the brand of football we were playing and only one person branded our tactics as "Alehouse"
The deceit lies beneath the language He uses. instead of manning up and naming his target, he talks about "some individuals" or "The notion being propagated".
He accuses, but he does it from behind the couch.

I have no objection to Jay Wood being critical of my comments, but by claiming he was not taking aim at any particular poster he sounded like the kid with jam and cream all over his kite telling his mam he didn't eat the cake - Only in Jays case, he denied the accusation before it was made.

While I'm here I'm more than happy to step into the confessional box and admit my sins. Unlike some. I'm not oblivious to them. Some of my responses are well OTT. However rarely, if ever do I seek out an individual. I`m not saying its right, but any offence I have caused has nearly always been done in retaliation. It never ceases to amaze me how some go looking for confrontation and want to scream the house down when they find it.

When you submit an article on a website such as this. You put yourself up for all sorts of responses. It's great when it is well received, but you have to accept that it is there to be shot at.

Was it harsh to call this particular article "ill-informed drivel"?

Ill- informed ? I think the spectacular OG proved to us all that the guy who was telling us how it REALLY is, actually didnt/doesnt have a scooby what he was talking about.

Drivel ? Well that's a matter of opinion I guess. Comments would suggest some people obviously bought into the snapshot of the current form table and want to believe it is not THAT bad. I disagree. I think it is. I think recent results have masked our problems.
Last night I watched the biggest shit show since...Since shit was invented. I asked myself how bad it has to get before we acknowledge we are a damned unpretty watch. Unnecessarily so

I don't mind a bit of hostility. It kinda makes the world go round.
I believe all's fair in love and war too, But I'm old school. I think you should all shake hands after the battle and go for a bevy. I'm was concerned that I can effect a poster to a degree where he can cast up NUMEROUS comments I have made going back years.

I've given my response. I'll now get back to that break I said I was taking

David Cash
228 Posted 07/07/2020 at 19:34:21
Pleased you logged in and exercised your right to respond Dazza

A very revealing thread. One which reminded me why I don't and wont, post very often on websites
John Keating
229 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:16:13
Hopefully that's the end of the thread and people take a really long break.
David Thomas
230 Posted 07/07/2020 at 22:33:55
Well that was another thread ruined by the usual suspects.
Don Alexander
231 Posted 09/07/2020 at 00:55:28
Now that Jay has evidently allowed Dazza to have the last word (and that's crucial in terms of trying to preserve even one iota of personal credibility) I'd just like to say that in our heads we tend towards Jay's opinion as true, loyal, somewhat Roundhead fans seeking a future of fabulous debauchery in 90 minutes of football by enduring decade after decade of turgid football in the interim.

Dazza though seeks to appeal to the Cavalier element that may be amongst us. Throw caution to the winds, damn the consequences, just go for it, whatever the consequences and re-establish our glory of distant times past (with an only modestly wealthy billionaire, in football terms, being the guv'nor, who's massively aware of those consequences to his personal wealth being the fulcrum of the Roundhead point).

Who knows what path Everton will follow (and I hope I get a bit of credit for not yet excoriating that greedy, useless leech Kenwright in this post!) but, to Dazza and Jay (or to Jay and Dazza if the former offends) maybe you both need to know that the Civil War has been over for centuries.

We, on TW, are 100% loyal like you both are, to Everton.

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