We are in the midst of a defining season in Premier League history. Looking at the Premier League table, the top two look to be on a different planet from everyone else. It's going to be a season when our league becomes more like the Spanish League than ever before.

A few seasons ago, I thought that the standard was getting better, that the big money coming from the TV companies was enabling the mid-ranked clubs to hoover-up quality foreigners to the detriment of the European teams and duly closing the gap between our top 6 and the rest. This season, though, we witness Sheffield Utd and Leicester City, among others, showing signs that something has changed.

Indeed it has. The standard has dropped. Liverpool and Man City are now far better than Spurs, Man Utd, Chelsea or Arsenal.

Through good coaching, big spending, and top scouting – as well as domination of the top two places – these two teams now attract better players with the chance to win silverware. The usual top teams have struggled with their own problems. New coaches, transfer bans, poor recruitment etc has left the door ajar for other clubs to step into the top Champions League and the Europa League places.

Of the usurpers, I consider only Leicester City will last the course. I think Chelsea will slump at some point and I think this season is the best chance we have had in years to gatecrash the party. Arsenal, Spurs and Man Utd are as ordinary as us. We are only 3 points behind Arsenal in 6th, which is staggering when we consider the start we have had and the pressure the manager has been under.

It is conceivable that we could still get into the Europa League positions. This is despite obvious tactical errors and a fair amount of bad luck. This situation only magnifies the mistakes in recruitment from the (much discussed) failure to replace Lukaku and the loss of Gueye.

I think that, if we had tried again for Giroud or approached Lorente, we would be sitting pretty in the top four. But it's been very galling and absolutely terrible recruitment from Brands and his backer.

Next season, Man Utd, Arsenal and Spurs may be rocking again. Chelsea will be past their ban and Leicester City might be in the Champion's League. We will have missed our best opportunity in years and may have to wait another decade for a similar chance.


Reader Comments (105)

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Clive Rogers
1 Posted 10/11/2019 at 22:32:40
Couldn’t agree more. We are now seen as a mid table or even lower mid table club and are unable to attract top players, even if we could afford them. The same goes for top managers. When you consider the players brought in from abroad, they were largely unknown. Our policy is to recruit younger players with potential, but this is enforced as many players wouldn’t come to us. The fact is that we are now seen as a smaller club after twenty years of stagnation and decline. I have read several times on TW in the last two season that we should get Vardy from Leicester. This is living in the past. Why would Vardy want to leave Leicester to come to us?
Paul Birmingham
2 Posted 10/11/2019 at 23:29:13
Eddie, you’ve honestly nailed, the status quo, in the EPL, including the seemingly perpetual demise of Everton Football Club.

Its numbing for the spirit and soul, but we love Everton.

A 25 year gap in a trophy, will nail it to history, that we, are and many won’t like, a prisoner of football history.

I’m as gutted as we all are, at the manner of our steady decline, despite the fact of the Farhad massive backing and take over in 02.2016.

Are we better than before, the take over?

That’s down to accountancy and interpretation on the off and on field measures. The on field measures are legendary, for the wrong reasons.

I love Everton, support Everton, and like all have put them first above all of my life, bar the family.

The flicker of those old days now moves fast, and I have to say, that now, and not because of this season, which hasn’t, helped, I don’t expect any more from Everton.

I’ll never give up, but it’s as simple as backing the wrong horse - the team, there’s no sign what so ever despite flushes of success in the U23,18,17 teams. Which raises the point, of what are they achieving, when most of the youth policy doesn’t deliver. Marcel Brands, supposed to be a Stella youth developer in football. There’s a couple of years to go, there.

As a football force, we are sadly no longer, nor have we been for donkies years.

The root cause as many of the old guard on TW, knows started with events in 1985, but also terminal bad and naive management of the club, since, has speeded up the erosion of all good things Everton Football Club.


So now to beat Norwich, and raise he’ll and get a result in 3.5 weeks at our old ground.

That would genuinely provide some solace.

Once Upon A Time in Anfield..

Eddie Dunn
3 Posted 11/11/2019 at 07:54:39
The irony is though Clive and Paul, that this season more than last the so-called big six have had more problems than before and Spurs, Arsenal and Man Utd have all faltered. I think they will continue to do so, for the rest of the season at least and we should be at the forefront of those usurping their places.
The fickle media are slowly thinking of new darlings. However instead of "plucky Everton" the somewhat patronising tag, we are regularly reminded of how much money we have spent. "Wasteful Everton" would sum-up the way we are now considered.
eanwhile Leicester march onwards, admired partly because they won the title a few years back, partly because of sympathy for their tragic owners, and of couse they are managed by good old Brendan, who really should have won the title with their beloved Reds.
There will be more twists and turns in the race for the Euro places but we look unlikely to be a part of it in the season of opportunity. Instead it will be last years' rivals for 7th who take it.
Jim Bennings
4 Posted 11/11/2019 at 08:31:44
There’s nothing new in us failing to capitalise.

When we could have faved Millwall in the FA Cup Semi Final we got shellacked 3-0 at home to Wigan in the Quarter’s.

We’ve had numerous chance to “do a Leicester “ but we have never had the bottle when it’s mattered.

One thing about Everton Football Club is that it’s done failure far more than success, right down to the pathetic Merseyside Derby record that’s gone on for a decade.

Now Liverpool are virtually unbeatable we probably won’t see a derby win for a record number of years.

The hopes of seeing a top four finish or a trophy are even more remote sadly.

Derek Thomas
5 Posted 11/11/2019 at 08:55:44
All true Eddie, but I've recently come to the conclusion that, baring a major meltdown, Silva, for a number of reasons, isn't going anywhere until June...if then.

And if he's not going anywhere, then neither are we, except slightly further up the boring bit of mid table.

Jim Bennings
6 Posted 11/11/2019 at 09:11:17
As Clough once said.

Nobody remembers a team that finished mid table.

Frankly it has started feeling over the last four years or so that we are becoming the modern day Coventry City.

Coventry spent the vast majority of their time in the top flight in mid table achieving very little and captured very little interest until eventually going down.

Joe McMahon
7 Posted 11/11/2019 at 09:12:20
Jim, it could be an essay title for students:
What is the purpose of Everton Football Club, discuss.
Kevin Prytherch
8 Posted 11/11/2019 at 09:18:26
I disagree that the standard has dropped. I think that Leicester and Chelsea (albeit forced), along with Liverpool and Spurs to some extent, have realised that you don’t always need to buy expensive foreign talent when, often, talent of at least the same quality is available on your doorstep.
Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 11/11/2019 at 09:19:01
I understand perfectly the views of those above and can’t argue too much with what they say, however I believe much better days are not far away.

Moshiri, has done what he was sent here to do, badly let down initially by Koeman and Walsh, I, for one haven’t give up on Brands, his summer recruitment didn’t turn out the way I believe it was planned, we might learn more about that in the future.

I think and have reason to believe that Mr. Usmanov will start taking and making his presence felt very soon and that and his wealth, whether you want it or not, will have a defining moment in the well being of Everton FC.

Jim Bennings
10 Posted 11/11/2019 at 09:24:02
Dave

To be honest, I don’t think having more money to spend will necessarily do any good to Everton.

We’ve just splashed endless amounts on overpriced players that haven’t moved us forward any more than say signing the same type of players Burnley or Wolves would have signed.

I’d start to curb spending now and just go back to really good scouting of one or two really class players per summer.

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 11/11/2019 at 09:36:54
Jim (10), yes very true, but I believe if, Usmanov comes, he will add more than money, he will go for winners on and off the field and will bring a strength and professionalism to the club lacking since John Moores left the club. We are still a big club but have been led by amateurs for far too long, times, I believe are changing, we the fans haven’t really changed, still has good as any set of fans in the country and better than a lot of them.

We have been in purgatory for the last thirty years or more, loads of young fans have seen us win nothing, but are still heavily backing the Blues, better days beckon, it will be extra special to them and very welcome to all of us. Not hope this time but belief.

Joe McMahon
12 Posted 11/11/2019 at 09:39:51
Jim, Harsh on Wolves.
They have bought well, a good squad with pace. Apart from Digne, Richie and Gomes much stronger than Everton. (will may never know about Moise Keen). They also have a very good manager. Everton haven't had one since Joe Royle.
Brian Harrison
13 Posted 11/11/2019 at 10:01:08
I am trying to think of a club that has spent as much as we have and produced so little success. For decades our mantra as fans was if only we had an owner with real money, we could really challenge for trophies and a Champions league place. But we now have that mega rich owner and to be fair he has pumped 100s of millions into the club, but because of his poor appointments the money has been largely wasted.

Many of our fans are now hoping that the move to Bramley Moore will change our fortunes. Well moving to a new ground hasnt brought Arsenal much success, and more recently Spurs are struggling at their new ground. I also remember Sunderland fans having the same thoughts as our fans are having now over moving to a new stadium, well the move from Roker Park hasnt changed their fortunes either.

Moshiri has sacked Martinez,Koeman and Allardyce, during his tenure as majority share holder he has decided he wants to move to a more continental style of having a DOF. Well if we look at what Walsh brought in and latterly Brands, and you have to ask is this the right direction for the club to be moving. I know it works in other countries but I cant think of any club here having much success with this system. I believe a DOF role just creates more problems, if the DOF and not the manager is buying the players how can that system work successfully. I know both Spurs and Liverpool hired Daniel Commolli in the DOF role it didnt work for either of those clubs so why should it work for us.

I know David Moyes gets a lot of stick on this forum, but when you consider the shoestring budjet he worked with and most seasons finished well in the top half. Also his ability to spot talent early and sell for big money kept this club financially afloat. When you think he bought Lescott for 4.5 million and sold him for 24 million, Arteta for 1.5 million and sold him for 10 million. Stones bought for 3.5 million and sold for 50 million. I will be interested to see what re sale value we get from the purchases of Walsh and Brands.

Justin Clark
14 Posted 11/11/2019 at 10:06:49
I noticed a few posts about targeting youth with potential. Now if I remember correctly Brands was appointed after we had already brought Silva on board (correct me if I misremember). The last two years lead me to believe that Brands is trying to buy youth that will appreciate in value and grow into an exciting squad (I think brands oldest purchase has been Delph largely seen as a value buy at 9m). This contradicts what Silva’s philosophy seems to be as he regularly gives opportunity to the Koeman/ fatty Sam core until recently/not having a choice. The last few weeks Tom Davies and mason Holgate have been given their chance through injury and abysmal form and the manager has stuck with them. DCL and Kean have yo-yo’d in and out of the lineup all year and we haven’t seen an introduction of any U23 player despite our early spell in form. For a young player knowing they won’t be yanked at halftime or benched for a mistake or a poor half is crucial. I am hoping even just through sheer circumstance of the moment that Silva and Brands plans seem to finally mesh and Silva takes a peek over to London to see how bedding youth can work. All things equal I’d rather lose forging our youth by fire and letting them come together as a squad than watching some of our elder passengers that only can be arsed every other game.
Clive Rogers
15 Posted 11/11/2019 at 10:11:57
The unfortunate fact is that Kenwright turned us into a smaller club and the current owner is finding it difficult to turn things around. The last throw of the dice will be the new ground. The big danger is that if that doesn’t happen or Moshiri runs out of cash we will never see EFC as a top club again. There is no evidence that Usmanov would want to get involved. If he wanted to, surely he would have done so by now.
Steve Ferns
16 Posted 11/11/2019 at 10:19:08
I considered writing an article as to the exact opposite of this. I believe the Premier League quality, and that of the top flight, has never been better. The bottom teams are the best we've ever seen. The mid-ranking sides are the best we've seen.

We have the Champions League finalists and the Europa League finalists on 14 and 17 points respectively. 5th to 15th are separated by just 3 points. All the English clubs are on course for qualification from the groups, yet again. 3 of the 4 Spanish sides are. 3 of the 4 Germans are. 2 of the 4 Italians are. 2 of the 3 French sides are in the top 2.

We have 3 out of 3 Europa League sides on course for qualification. Spain has 3 of 3 as well. Germany has 2 of 3. Italy 1 of 3. France has 0 of 3 (with Strasbourg not even making the groups) and none of the sides winning a game in 8 group games.

The Spanish were very worried about the strength of the Premier League so Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletico were the three biggest spenders in the last window, in that order. They all spent over £200m to try and catch up. 4th was Juve. The 10th highest spenders in World football was Aston Villa. Fulham did similar last season but still went down.

People might watch MOTD and see mistakes, but you need to remember that the Premier League is faster than any other league. If you do something but do it faster then you do not do it as well. You get less time on the ball, there is more pressure on the ball and this leads to mistakes as well. I've always been a fan of Serie A for it's slow-burning games and tactical battles as managers shift systems like playing a game of chess, but you will see that the game is much slower, there's less high balls into the box, there's less pressure on the ball, players get more time and so there's fewer mistakes.

I think that right now the league has never been so strong. I think it will settle down though. It always does. And certain teams will rise up the league and give it a more familiar look. I'm talking Man Utd, Spurs, Everton and West Ham, who are all struggling at the bottom and should all end up in the top 10.

It will be interesting to see if Leicester can keep going. I hope they do, unless we recover well enough to challenge them. It will be interesting to see someone upset the sky 6. But I think they will probably hit a sticky patch, as Rogers' teams tend to do, and they will fail to win for 4 or 5 games and drop down to 5th, 6th, or even 7th. I wouldn't rule out Spurs kicking into gear like they did last season and making a strong run to grab 4th. Providing they hold their nerve with Pochettino and don't make any rash decisions or force him to walk.

This is a very tough season, many bottom half sides will beat teams you would not expect them to. Don't be surprised when Liverpool get knocked off their stride. They won't keep going like this, and now they have a 9 point lead over City, expect them to drop their urgency a little, and hopefully, open the door to a shock defeat against us. God knows they are due one.

Kevin Molloy
17 Posted 11/11/2019 at 10:29:36
Paul, are we better than before the takeover?
Our dutch blonde bombshell blew £200m in 12 months. Blew as in not spent, but wasted, that money is not coming back if we sell a few players. And I'm sure we all know Farhad is just not the sort of chap who is going to write a cheque to the club for that amount, so the debt goes on the club. We have gone from being a club with a golden legacy when Moyes left, to one as the Esk has written, which is on financial life support.
Joe McMahon
18 Posted 11/11/2019 at 10:34:41
Brian @13, are you saying we should just stay at the wooden, Pillar Views embarrasing Goodison then? We need a new stadium, just to be a premier league or even championship football club.

What about Leicester, has their success been at Filbert St? Would Alan Shearer have joined Blackburn Rovers had Jack Walker not paid for and completed a full redevelopment of Ewood Park first?

Did Man Citys (gift stadium) not attracted the huge riches? Cos the Kippax, Platt lane and the lovely area Moss side certainly didn't.

Have you not noticed that every away ground you go to has much better facilities than our lovely home?

It's nearly 2020, we need to move.

Brian Harrison
19 Posted 11/11/2019 at 10:45:16
Joe 18

Sorry Joe if you took any of my post to mean we shouldn't move, of course we need a new ground. All I was saying is some of our fans believe that moving to a new ground will change everything, I just don't believe a change of ground will mean a change of fortune for the club. Many other things will have to happen for us to become a top club again.

Eddie Dunn
20 Posted 11/11/2019 at 10:48:28
Steve- if you think the standard is higher then take a look at Sheffield United- they are sitting in 5th place. They are as ordinary a team that you could imagine. Well organised and physically strong. A typical Championship side. Burnley 10th-a dreadfull team. Brighton sit in 11th, a truly awful side. Crystal Palace in 12th, another drab outfit. Bournemouth in 9th, play some attractive football but can't defend.
Spurs in a nosedove, playing as badly as I can remember, with internal problems affecting their spirit (alledgedly). Arsenal also are under criticism from their disgruntled fans for their possession based style and soft centre.
Man City can't defend and they won't win the Champions League.
The standard has dropped.
But it's all about opinion of course.
Paul Tran
21 Posted 11/11/2019 at 11:09:09
The league is certainly as even-matched as I've seen it in years. My own view is that's more to do with teams gravitating to the centre rather than the higher level. Pellegrini got it spot on when he said you don't really know what the hard games are going to be.

Christmas is the time when you get a clearer picture, when everyone's played each other at least once.

Despite our poor start, I think the opportunity is still there, if we play more quickly and positively. I'm sure this is what Silva wants; it's down to him to instill the belief in the players.

Off the pitch, it generally takes 3-4 years to change the culture of a large organisation. Possibly longer when you make the recruitment mistakes Moshiri has made. From afar Everton looks like a club playing at change without appearing willing to take the tough decisions and mindset this needs.

Opportunity is still knocking, but we have to open the door and let it in. Do we really want to?

Clive Rogers
22 Posted 11/11/2019 at 11:18:11
We are going to struggle to get into the top half. We haven’t got a goal scorer and have a few average players. Also Siggy and Shneids are finished at this level.
Joe McMahon
23 Posted 11/11/2019 at 11:21:47
Brian @19, sorry I missunderstood your ponit. You are correct, look at Boro and Stoke. But those clubs also needed new homes just to be a football club in the 21st century,regardless of success.

Even if we ever do go to BMD it's going to be hard for sucess just because Liverpool are so globally sucessful now., they are a huge attraction. Lets be realistic Everton have never even played in Champions League. IMO our chance has gone and it was Kings Dock, we were given persmision for the land in 2001, we would have been in there for approx 15 years by now.

Steve Ferns
24 Posted 11/11/2019 at 11:31:55
Eddie, the Premier League is dominating in Europe. I expect City or Liverpool will win it again, unless one of the misfiring Spanish giants sorts themselves out and delivers big. Both to me seem in transition. Barcelona's golden period is over. Messi is no longer able to carry the team on his own and they haven't won the CL since 2015. Bayern look a busted flush. PSG seem weak because their league is not tough enough to make them battle hardened for the CL games, Juventus might spring a surprise but Sarri has his flaws. I would not be surprised if the PL has 3 of the 4 semi-finalists yet again.

The PL is strong right now. So what if Sheff United are sitting pretty after 11 games. Let's see if they sustain that. Just because they have a great season does not mean that the rest of the league is shit. They are getting results by stopping everyone scoring. They are currently on course to set a premier league record for lowest number of goals in their games (home and away teams combined). They are very hard to break down, and have been able to hit teams with a sucker punch. They will be "figured out" and a blueprint on how to beat them will be set, then it's unlikely they have enough quality in the side to react. Or perhaps, teams will go to Bramhall Lane and stop attacking them, maybe they will see a point as good enough and play the low block against Sheff United and then we will see how Sheff United set about beating teams in those circumstances.

Sheffield United are seen as 3 points by most teams. Everyone attacks them. And this is how they have had their success. By flipping it so they don't attack them and seeing Sheff Utd being forced onto the front foot, will expose their defence.

Chris Wilder is doing a great job, no doubt about it. But it's still November. There's a long way to go and they might be in 5th, but they are only 9 points above the drop and we've seen teams get relegated from bigger gaps than that before.

Sam Hoare
25 Posted 11/11/2019 at 11:33:11
Eddie@20 I wouldn't call Sheffield United an 'a typical championship' side. Have you seen them play much? They use overlapping centre backs!

Also being organised does not mean you are not a high standard team. How do you think Simeone's Athletic Madrid have done so well?

I think the success that the English teams are having in Europe back up Steve's argument that actually the standard is very high in the PL comparatively.

I agree that the likes of Arsenal, Spurs and United have not kicked on and that this represented an opportunity that Leicester have grabbed firmly and we have not.

I think that comes down to player recruitment under Walsh as much as anything.

They bought Maguire, Maddison, Ndidi, Pereira, Soyuncu for less than we payed for Williams, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Bolasie and Klaassen. They went for proven young talent with potential whereas we mainly went for PL players with little sell-on value.

Brands is doing a better if not perfect job and I think the likes of Digne, Mina, Richarlison, Iwobi, Gbamin and hopefully Kean will prove a better spine in years to come.

Paul Tran
26 Posted 11/11/2019 at 11:41:02
I wouldn't knock Sheffield Utd. A while ago I remember a workmanlike team with a fabulous spirit and work ethic surprising everyone and finishing fourth with a low points total and negative goal difference. I loved it, though it's never a long-term blueprint.

They may get 'found out'. I hope we take the game to Liverpool like they did and have better luck!

Expect to see low points totals this season. That gives us an opportunity to get up there.

Steve Ferns
27 Posted 11/11/2019 at 11:42:28
Sam, did you see Kean showing off his "bling" on social media. Proudly showing off a sparkly necklace, some rings and a watch. I hope this shows he is happy in England and starting to settle. That he can get his head and work harder. Silva said dropping him was a tactical decision. Interestingly, Unsworth found out Gordon was playing on the Sky Sports App, which hints at a disconnect between him and Silva. Although they could have had "many, many" conversations about Gordon in the past few weeks and so if Unsworth says he is ready, no need to ask him again.

I'm desperate for those two lads to come off. Gordon as a local lad. Someone I've followed for a while now. Kean because he's a high profile player who if he comes good can put Everton back on the international map. Someone who could attract others to Everton to come and play with him.

Steve Ferns
28 Posted 11/11/2019 at 11:47:25
Sam out of the Leicester players you named. Maguire, Maddison, Ndidi, Pereira, and Soyuncu, how many were signed by Walsh? Maddison was signed whilst he was at Everton. Ndidi was one of his last signings. I think he lined Maguire up before he left, but I am unsure. Pererira fits in the timeline as a possible Walsh signing. Soyuncu was signed when he was Everton. Am I right? 3 of the 5 were signed by Walsh? Why couldn't he get things right for us when he was here. Isn't he back as head of recruitment (as opposed to Director of Football) at Leicester once more? I hope we're not still paying his wages.

Edit: Steve Walsh is now at Southampton. Martyn Glover is the Chief Scout there, replacing the man behind their successful period a few years back, Les Reid. Martyn Glover was our chief scout under Walsh, but was replaced when Brands came in. Now Walsh is apparently working for Glover at Southampton. So presumably we are still paying his wages! Link

Paul Tran
29 Posted 11/11/2019 at 11:55:50
Randomness, Steve. Walsh got a couple of good players, Leicester won the league as outliers and Moshiri lazily put two and two together and overpromoted him.

I got the impression there was a disconnect between Walsh and Koeman. I don't believe Brands would have spent so much on so many players without seeing how they might connect as a team.

Would things have been different if The Project had started with Koeman and Brands?

Darren Hind
30 Posted 11/11/2019 at 11:57:59
So who are these teams who have suddenly become super-clubs after moving.
City had been in their council house for years without success. The Arab money brought that. Not the stadium.

Sunderland New stadium - out of the EPL
Derby New stadium - out of the EPL
Bolton New Stadium - out of the EPL
Stoke New stadium - out of the EPL
Reading New stadium - out of the EPL
Southampton New stadium - relegated not long after
Leicester New stadium - relegated not long after
Arsenal New stadium - from perennial title contenders to also
rans
Tottenham - New stadium - New problems, a whole load of them.

Moving to new stadiums does not come without a price. I get very excited by the prospect of moving to BMD, but I would be just as happy to see Everton follow the Tom Hughes school of thought.

Alan Shearer was enticed to Blackburn by promises earning top dollar playing for a team who would challenge for honours by bringing in top players. The claim that he was enticed by the thought of playing at a spruced up Ewood park is one of the funniest I have read on here for ages.

New stadiums only offer the prospect of generating more money. They don't guarantee it. nor do they guarantee that any extra money generated, will be wisely spent

Steve Ferns
31 Posted 11/11/2019 at 12:14:09
Darren, don't forget the Arabians looked at City, Everton and Newcastle. The deciding factor was the stadium. If we had been sat in a shiny new stadium on the Kings Dock, then it might have been us with Guardiola in charge losing 3-1 at Anfield yesterday!

Darren, I think The Esk would crunch some numbers that would support what you say that basically you do not earn much from your stadiums these days. I think in the 80s gate receipts made a massive proportion of a club's turnover. These days it's all about the TV money.

Brian Harrison
32 Posted 11/11/2019 at 12:24:32
I am getting slightly concerned as to why we still havent made our planning application to Liverpool City Council over our proposed new stadium at Bramley Moore dock. The club have held 2 extensive consultations with fans and businesses in the area as well as local residents and the general public.

So I am sure that if there were any objections to the new ground they have had plenty of time to address those concerns. I know that some aired their views on twitter stating they believed that the application had been shelved, but Dan Meiss the architect replied on twitter to say this was nonsense. Seeing that the club said the application would be filed this year, then they have only a matter of weeks to complete the application.

Danny Broderick
33 Posted 11/11/2019 at 12:34:51
The difference between Everton and Leicester has been recruitment, pure and simple. Like us, they have changed manager a few times in the last few years. Not all of our managers have been bad managers, nor have theirs. But they have consistently recruited better than us, especially in terms of replacing players that have been allowed to leave:

Centre halves Johnny Evans and Soyuncu have replaced Maguire, Huth, Morgan etc.

Ndibi has replaced Kanté.

Maddison has also been an excellent purchase for them.


We have swapped Lukaku for nobody of note.

We have swapped Idrissa Gueye for nobody of note as yet (jury still out on Gbamin).

We haven’t replaced Zouma from last year.

Our Director of Football model is not working. It has led to us being hesitant in the transfer market, and seemingly unable to buy an established striker because the manager(s) and the DOF(s) have failed to agree on one.

We could easily be where Leicester are in the league, but for that to happen, we need to get our recruitment right so that we are fully prepared for the season ahead.

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 11/11/2019 at 12:36:58
Brian #32, don't under-estimate the role of Brexit in all this. The finances need to be sorted and with the reported the cost of the stadium, even the super rich are reluctant to sort out deals of this magnitude without the certainty that will follow Brexit being resolved and allowing the economy to settle.
Steve Ferns
35 Posted 11/11/2019 at 12:42:22
Danny, Leicester have not replaced Wes Morgan. He is still there, and he is third choice at 35 years of age. He's played 6 games this season, and only missed the matchday squad on one occasion. He is either sat on the bench or playing. Leicester are even more desperate for a centre-back than we are. At least we have Mina, Keane and Holgate.

By the way, Rogers has played Wes Morgan 3 times this season in the Premier League (the other 3 games were all LC): Sheff Utd away (2-1 win), Burnley (2-1 win), and Palace (2-0 win). He was a late sub in each, doing just what Silva did with Keane against Saints but Silva has received criticism for this on this site.

Paul Tran
36 Posted 11/11/2019 at 12:58:19
I'd say the stadium has little to do with the football side of things. It will hopefully be a safer, more comfortable and noisier place. It's also a 'statement' and 'legacy' for those in charge. City got a good deal with a 'ready made' stadium in an area where they could expand their operation, while blending it with regeneration.

Given the financial situation, Brands' job was to clear out non-players on high wages, wait for contracts to end, get some lower cost 'value' players (Delph) and bring in younger players with a better resale value (Richarlison & Kean). The striker issue is tricky. Were Sandro, Tosun & Walcott value? We're still paying their high wages. Name me a top-notch striker we could have bought that wasn't a punt. And stop this crap about Vardy, who turned down a big pay rise and CL football with Arsenal to stay at Leicester. Why would he have come here?

When we have a manager that gets the best out of the squad and we're still mid-table, I'll start moaning about the quality of our players.

Eddie Dunn
37 Posted 11/11/2019 at 12:58:45
Steve -the Brexit issue certainly is having an effect. I did a trade fair in London recently and the attendance was down as well as the amount of stalls. This was a design/achitecture/Interiors fair and even London's specifiers and architects are sitting on their hands waiting for the dust to settle so no surprise that the project hasn't moved on very much.
Perhaps if we hadn't wasted so much money one season and then had to give a new coach some pocket money to put right the mess of the previous incumbents, then we might have an extra 100million to get that dock filled-in.
Brian Harrison
38 Posted 11/11/2019 at 13:05:28
Steve

While I agree that Brexit is having an effect, also the Government increased the % rate upwards to what City councils could borrow money. So maybe that is a factor in the equation, but you would have thought that seeing Moshiri is an accountant surely the financing would have been a priority before purchasing the land.

As for the playing side and comparing us to Leicester they sold Maguire for £80 million and got the whole lot up front, and so Rodgers also has a decent transfer pot if and when he chooses to use it. Whereas we are getting close to the FFP limit so even if we wanted to spend in Jan maybe we need to sell first. Also in regards to spending money our neighbours made in excess of £100 million last year and didnt spend a penny. Plus they will amass at least the same amount this year should they progress further in the Champions league which looks a certainty.

I just wonder has Moshiri put in as much as he wants at the moment, and will now look to see some progress on the pitch before releasing any more funds. Or possibly he has decided from now on we only spend with what we can sell, and given the money he has poured in who could blame him if that is his approach.

Eddie Dunn
39 Posted 11/11/2019 at 13:27:05
Brian, has Moshiri actually put any of his own money in? I hear he has underwritten loans but what are the figures?
Steve Ferns
40 Posted 11/11/2019 at 13:44:29
Brian, ask the Esk. I should pay more attention to the business side of things!
Clive Rogers
41 Posted 11/11/2019 at 13:59:37
Eddie, I am sure he must have, going on how much we have spent. It was reported he paid off the £90M debt.
Paul Tran
42 Posted 11/11/2019 at 14:01:05
The big problem is that were close to the FFP limit regarding wages. Thats why Brands' summer task was to get players off the books. Doesn't matter how rich you are, you can't break that limit. We have to rapidly increase our turnover and/or reduce the wage bill.

I had an interesting chat with Paul The Esk on Twitter around the business maxim that most large organisations spend 5% of their time on recruitment and 75% of their time repairing the damage of poor recruitment. I'd say that stat fits us well!

Steve Ferns
43 Posted 11/11/2019 at 14:17:25
The Esk talks sense. But what about the bid for Doucoure and Zaha? That makes no sense. I think we need to file that under the phantom Shearer bid. Sounds like a Kenwright move to make it look like we're doing something even if we cannot.
Tony Abrahams
44 Posted 11/11/2019 at 14:32:07
Agree Steve, that Kenwright has pulled more strokes than Steve Redgrave, whilst playing “the phantom of the Evertonian”
Joe McMahon
45 Posted 11/11/2019 at 14:35:05
Darren, I think I may have been misread a little. Regardless of what has happened to teams since they moved to new stadiums/or re developed. It is 2019 (nearly 2020) and old antiquated embarrasing dumps like Goodison in the 21st century have no place for a premier league or championship club.

Paying top dollar for an obstructed view in a awfull stand such as the Bullens is shameful in the Global Premier League era. The facilities at Goodison are also stuck in the 70's. I went to the Emirates a few weeks ago and was just in awe at the facilities, views, comfort, basically the whole matchday experience. I'm not talking about Arsenals demise over the years (they have still won things), but the stadium and facilities.

Yes I remember the days of gruby grounds and the laugh it was, but that was decades ago. I'm not some kind of snowflake who exepects to be pampered (I still go to plenty of alternative rock gigs), but football stadiums started changing well over 20 years ago, sadly nothing about Everton has. That's why all we ever hear about is the 60's, 80's and the awful "If yer know yer History"

Steve Ferns
46 Posted 11/11/2019 at 14:53:10
Joe, maybe our American friends can help, but isn't there a big name baseball team who play in an "old antiquated embarrassing dump". However, they market it properly as the last stadium of it's kind. Obviously we fill Goodison so no need to really market it, but we should be trying to push the idea of this stadium being the last of it's kind.

Watch this footage from about the 1930s showing Bill Dean at Goodison: Link Now you will notice the familiar Archibald Leitch lattice work on the Gwladys Street and what I presume is the Bullens Road Stand. The stands have barely changed in 90 years. Sure, we have seats now, but the ones in the Bullens are just wooden things hammered onto the old terraces where Blues stood for decades.

Hillsborough does have two very old stands dating back to the same period, particularly their Kop. I think Fulham boast the oldest Stand still used. But none of these ever had the grandeur of Goodison with our list of firsts. People (away fans, TV, etc) should be making a bigger deal of going to see it before it gets knocked down.

Stan Schofield
47 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:04:37
People talk about Liverpool. We're pretty much in a similar situation to Liverpool until Klopp became their manager. They were a bit better than us, averaging 68 points per season compared with our 58, but weren't really looking like winning trophies, just being near to doing so. They'd spent a lot of money on players, some very good, quite a few mediocre. Even with Klopp, they didn't really look like winning stuff until defensive problems were sorted via Allison and van Dijk. In turn, their presence has a big positive effect on youngsters like Alexander-Arnold.

We've also now spent a lot of money, but, like Liverpool were, are probably 2 to 3 players short of being consistent top-4 material and having strength in depth with outstanding players on the bench.

If we had a top CH and striker, things would likely be a lot better. But if we let the best players go without adequate replacements (like Lukaku and Gana), we'll probably continue to tread water in midtable to upper midtable.

If Silva is sacked this season, we'll start all over again. If he isn't sacked and we stay midtable, we'll have to start all over again next season. Can't see it changing unless we get a top CH and striker. That's an issue that goes beyond who the manager is. No matter the manager, they'll struggle to get us to the top unless we retain our best players. That's a bigger, Everton, problem.

Brian Harrison
48 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:10:16
Goodison is one of the great old grounds, I sit in the Upper Bullens and I think that and the Gwladys Street are as they were back in the late 50s when I first started watching. I think only part of the main stand is still there, and obviously the Park end is the newest stand. I think Steve is referring to the Boston Red Sox as the team playing in an old antiquated stadium, which just happens to be owned by the Fenwick group who also own our neighbours.

I can understand why the decision was made to make all grounds all seater following the Hillsborough disaster. But I think football has lost something with all seater stadiums. Now my age I wouldn't want to stand for 90 minutes but the youngsters who never experienced standing behind the goal are missing a unique experience.

Steve Ferns
49 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:17:40
Is it the Red Socks? I thought it was Chicago Cubs. I know the Red Socks have an old stadium, but I thought that was old in the same way Anfield is old, ie not really. Chicago is where my mate (who went to it and drew comparisons to Goodison) went. Google tells me that their ballpark is called Wrigley Field and is two years older, dating back to 1914. Maybe the Americans can say if Wrigley field is older than Fenway Park in the same way that Goodison is older than Anfield?

Brian, where you around for the building of the main stand, in time for the World Cup wasn't it? Anyway was any of the old Goodison Road stand left or does it all date back to the 60's, in the same way that the Park End was flattened and completely rebuilt in the 1990s?

Joe McMahon
50 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:20:57
Thanks for the link Steve, and yes Brian Goodison is one of the orginal old day greats (but that's well in the past).

But for me I want more leg room and width (and i'm small), better choice of food and drink, and when I go for a piss I don't want it to be memories of music festvals 30 years ago when at least I was wearing para boots or Docs.

Regarding standing not for me, if standing is brought back then tickets prices must be a lot cheaper. At the moment guys we are still gonna be in Goodison in another 4 years time anyway.

Mike Gaynes
51 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:23:55
Steve #46, I presume the ballpark you speak of is either the church of my soul, Wrigley Field in Chicago, or Fenway Park in Boston. Both have hosted baseball for a century.

It's worth noting that after decades of neglect under the guise of maintaining 'traditional charm', neither can still be described as an "embarrassing dump". Wrigley has undergone a major facelift, Fenway a more subtle one, but in both cases ownership recognized some years back that the charm of obstructed views, coal-mine clubhouses and occasional rhino-sized rodents had eroded their reputations beyond repair. They poured millions into refurbishing the parks while maintaining (for the most part) the traditional appearance.

In this day and age, I believe the "last of its kind" promotion can only be pulled off if two things are true. One, the place has to have a true mass appeal beyond its own fan base -- baseball fans all over America make pilgrimages to Wrigley and Fenway even if they don't support the Cubs or Red Sox, just to say they've seen a game there. Is this the case with Goodison?

And two, it must be a safe, clean, comfortable and reasonably affordable place to bring your family and watch a game. I've only been to Goodison twice, so I can't claim an informed opinion, but is that the case? And if not, would there be room available for necessary upgrades?

PS... in answer to your question, Fenway opened in 1912, Wrigley in 1914. Both are youngsters compared to Goodison.

Brian Harrison
52 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:28:58
Steve

Yes I remember the work that was carried out for the World cup in 1966 and was lucky enough to get tickets for a couple of the games at Goodison. I think there is part of the main stand still left, I am still trying to think if we built the top tier for the World Cup or afterwards. I believe when we built the top tier it was the first escalator to be built in a football ground.

Tony Hill
53 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:34:18
We built it afterwards Brian I'm sure.
Mike Gaynes
54 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:35:42
And Steve, one more question while I think of it... what is it about Goodison besides its history that is unique to football venues around the country? For example, Wrigley Field has ivy on the outfield walls, while Fenway Park has a huge wall in left field nicknamed the "Green Monster". Every American recognizes them instantly. Tourists take selfies. Is there a parallel signature feature at Goodison that is likewise instantly recognizable to everyone?
Jay Wood
[BRZ]

55 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:36:30
Between Eddie's opening post and Steve Ferns' view @ 16, I opt for the middle ground.

Whereas for the most part a top six has been recognizable and consistently occupying the top berths, often with a considerable points difference to those 7th and below, even within that elite group two of three teams have dominated in recent years.

The one constant has been City, followed by Chelsea and now the 'poo.

Against other European leagues, based on both last season's CL and EL semis and finals, the PL dominated. This suggests that against their European peers the better teams in the PL are superior to their equivalents in the best European leagues.

Things get hazier in trying to assess if standards in the remaining 14 PL teams are being raised, stagnating or falling.

The extremely tight point spread from 4th to 20th, together with the results returned this season, suggests to me that many teams are at a comparable level with each capable of beating the other on any given day.

What interests me is that there are many different models at play at different clubs.

The truly mega-rich-money-no-object clubs, City and Chelsea, are having to deal with scenarios they are unaccustomed to.

For City, it is a spate of injuries particularly in defence, which has left them surprisingly under-resourced and vulnerable. This is a temporary state and their results will improve as personnel return to duty. There will be no dramatic tumbling down the table for them.

For Chelsea, they have had to deal with the transfer embargo and the probability that the said embargo discouraged any manager of note from joining them last summer.

The convenient compromise was to recruit the managerial novice Frank Lampard.

More by luck rather than design by the owner Abramovic I fancy, that is working out very well for Chelsea as home grown (and overseas) talent is being given its chance.

It will certainly be interesting to see how Chelsea play things once the transfer embargo is lifted.

Then there are last year's CL finalists. Sadly for Blues, the best team in the land right now is t'other lot.

They have been fortunate with injuries in the main (although who is to say that their training, monitoring and maintenance may also help in reducing injury risk to fatigued players?). Sadly again they look extremely well placed to have another good season.

That is not entirely due to chance. Lest we forget, within an hour of drawing 1-1 with Everton at Goodison, Brendan Rogers was sacked, even though he had come as close to winning the title in the PL era as any manager for them.

Has Everton been as ruthless and demanding of high standards as that in the last 30 years?

Then there is Spurs. Their run to last season's CL final actually helped conceal the fact that since February when they were still serious challengers with City and the 'poo for the title, their PL form has totally bombed.

Instead of moving on 2-3 players who no longer wanted to be there and bringing in new blood, they did neither. As a result they have a divided squad without harmony as evidenced by their performances and results.

Arsenal and United are similar in trying to come to terms with the loss of a long standing manager. Neither has adequately replaced Wegner or Ferguson and the winning cultured football both offered.

Three out of the presumed top six then are currently vulnerable to being usurped by others, as anticipated by many last season and in the summer.

The hope was that Everton would be among the possible usurpers, but our disappointingly poor start has - at present - scuppered that.

Leicester is probably the most comparable club to Everton of the 'usurpers'. We are both in the similar priced market, searching for value and potential in recruiting younger players.

Like us, in recent seasons they have not been shy in switching managers.

On the whole, it is hard not to argue that they have done considerably better than us with this model. Better player and manager recruitment. Better performances. Better results.

Next, in the recently promoted group you have a couple of different models: Wolves and Sheff Utd, Villa and Fulham.

The first pair kept the manager that won promotion and largely stayed with the players that got them promoted.

Wolves spent more thanks to the 'special arrangement' they have with the super agent Jorge Mendes. They are doing a fine job of re-establishing themselves in the PL, qualifying for Europe in their 1st season back and now getting to grips with managing the dual fixtures of the PL and EL.

Personally, I love the Blades and Chris Wilder story. No extravagant big spending. No sense of being overawed by the company they now find themselves in. Good habits. Good systems
Good discipline. All getting their just reward.

Villa by contrast imitated relegated Fulham's spend-spend-spend policy. They don't look as forlorn as Fulham, but it remains premature to say whether it will prove successful for the Villains.

In conclusion, I probably lean more to the belief that PL standards have greatly leveled up, rather than down, but that there are many alternative models by which you can achieve 'success' in the league.

Whatever model Everton is following it just appears to be taking a lot longer to achieve hoped for success when compared to others.

Terry White
56 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:39:38
Steve (#46), Brian (#52), Tony (#53). Thanks for the link, Steve. Actually the clip shows the Gwladys Street end BEFORE the addition of the stand. The Park End, before remodelling that reduced capacity and then before the new stand was built in 1984, is shown.

Brian, Tony is correct. the Goodison Road stand that exists now was built, I believe, in 1969/1970.

John Keating
57 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:39:54
Brian
I'm sure the new Goodison Road stand was built well after the World Cup ?
I used to go to Goodison Road and I'm sure I saw a couple of the World Cup games in the old stand.

I seem to remember they built it in 2 halves ?

It was crap when they built it. Always thought it looked odd

Stan Schofield
58 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:44:22
Brian@48: The decision for all-seater was a knee-jerk reaction to Hillsborough. Prior to that, the decision to fence people in was a knee-jerk reaction to Heysel. Heysel led directly to Hillsborough via knee-jerk reacting.

From an engineering rather than a political perspective, there are always sensible ways to improve safety without knee-jerk reactions from politicians. After Heysel, sensible measures could have been taken without the extreme measure of caging people in. Similarly, after Hillsborough, sensible measures could have been taken without the extreme of making stadia all-seater.

There is no reason why standing cannot be reintroduced, in conjunction with seating arrangements as well. It's all down to engineers being allowed to look at the issues and come up with sensible ways to resolve them without too much interference from politicians. That way, knee-jerk reactions (which can kill people) can be avoided.

Mike Galley
59 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:47:27
Mike @54
Possibly St Lukes church in the corner between the Gladwys street and the main stand. I'm not aware of any ground in the country having something like this in their ground silhouette (if that's the right phrase).
I seem to remember reading somewhere that it's a listed building and couldn't be purchased by the club if we'd have ever tried to modernise that section of the ground. Not sure if this is true though. Maybe someone else could confirm or deny this.
Steve Ferns
60 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:51:29
Mike, there isn't the same thing as neutral fans as in America. However, for away fans, you'll often see many put Goodison at the top of their favourite grounds to go to or that they wish to visit. There has been a rise in football tourism in recent years with people making lists of grounds they want to visit and ticking them off when they have been, regardless of their own team. Most people seem to have Goodison as one of their first few, for the basic reason that you can pick a game, such as Everton v Norwich and expect to be able to buy tickets until just a few days before kickoff, whereas the likes of Old Trafford and Anfield are a more difficult task (but not as impossible as their fans would have you believe as I did manage to get tickets for a friend at each a few years ago without much trouble).

Goodison is all the things you ask except for comfort. Not much of that. It's expensive for sure, but compared to other Premier League grounds you could consider it towards the cheaper end.

Anfield opened in 1884, and we paraded the League title around there in 1891, a year before the devil spawned the RS. But the stands have been knocked down and rebuilt since then. Goodison opened in 1892, but the oldest Stand is the Bullens Road Stand and that was built in 1926 (according to the OS). Apparently Chicago White Sox played the New York Giants at Goodison during the first World War. So well before the NFL eh? The Gwladys was built in 1938.

The OS says that the Main Stand was built in 1971. There's some pictures on there too. Link

Steve Ferns
61 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:55:58
Nothing Particular to Goodison Mike, except the church as detailed by Mike at 59. There is the distinctive lattice work as commemorated on the new shirts, but this is a trademark of the architecht Arhibald Leach and was used at Ibrox (since demolished) but it can also be seen at Craven Cottage (Fulham) which he also built. So whilst distinctive, it is not unique. Craven Cottage is very small, even compared to Goodison. But if you have been to Hillsborough and to Goodison, then Hillsborough seems older because they don't have a big new stand like we have the Park End.

BBC article on the works of Archibald Leitch https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-48028660

Ray Roche
62 Posted 11/11/2019 at 15:57:26
Steve, Brian And Tony. I’m pretty sure that the main stand was started in about 1969.It was part built, I think, with one half being completed and the Park End half remaining as the original. I don’t think any part of it apart from the Goodison Rd facade is original.
Ray Roche
63 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:00:36
I ‘ve just had look on Google and there are some photos showing the half built stand next to the original. Interesting to see it.
Stan Schofield
64 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:00:47
John@57: The new Goodison Rd stand was completed after we won the league in 69-70. The old terraces and stand were still there that season, and indeed the team were presented with the trophy at the front of the stand, after the game against West Brom.

Regarding the work for the World Cup in '66, the main thing I remember is the wall around the ground being raised. When it became higher, kids like me would take milk or beer crates in with them, to stand on if they were near the wall.

Another distinctive feature of Goodison at that time was an arc behind each goal, which I think was unique.

Steve Ferns
65 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:03:35
Ray, that's what the Official Site says, that the old stand and offices were all gone by 1971. Interesting that we effectively held the World Cup Semi-final with a 30 / 40 year old ground. I always thought the Main Stand (the world's first triple decker isn't it?) was built just in time for it. But instead we built that just after.
Bill Watson
66 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:06:19
Brian #32

The BM schedule is to publish the second consultation findings in November followed by submitting plans for BM and GP in December.
So, no panic (as yet).

Steve Ferns
67 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:06:21
By the way Mike, it's great to be part of the Goodison atmosphere, whilst sitting in the relative comfort of a modern stand (which the Park End is), but avoiding all the problems that comes from the rest of the stadium, such as poor facilities, obstructed views, long queues for the toilets, long queues for refreshments (which is why everyone goes down at about the 40 minute mark), and so on.
Ray Roche
68 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:08:21
Steve, have you had a look at the photos of the Main Stand under construction? The bottom tier is full of fans with the upper two tiers are empty as they were still under construction, and the original stand is still in use.
Paul Tran
69 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:10:06
Steve, my first match was in 1971, in the Gwladys Street upper. The triple decker was up then. My third game was up in The Top Balcony; I remember the thrill of going up the escalator (I was only 7!).
John Keating
70 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:11:32
Stan
thought so.
I remember watching a couple of the World Cup games in there
Now you mentioned it I was also there for that West Brom game !!!
Memory is getting a bit dodgy mate !!

I've mentioned it before but I used to stand in Goodison Road paying in at one of the turnstiles at the Park End end. The number of times I started at that end and by half time finished up towards the Gwladys Street. By full time I was back up towards the Park End - shorter to walk home !

Mind you it was better when I was a nipper as I'd just get someone to sit me on one of the barriers! Couldn't lift me now I'm afraid

Sam Hoare
71 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:11:48
Steve@27/28

Yes, we could really use one or both of Kean/Gordon living up to their potential. If Kean proves a dud then i'd say its the first real black mark against Brands' name. Though as you know I had some issues with his dealings last summer.

In terms of Walsh, he had a different role at Leicester right where he was head scout? I think he arrived and was given a different remit here with greater responsibilities, a certain amount of immediate improvement was expected with Moshiri's investment and I think its possible Walsh forewent his principles and history with younger talent and opted for the more 'developed' players. Possible also that he was not experienced enough (in that role) to counter the wishes of Koeman and Allardyce. With Brands it is very clear that he is the boss and the manager will work with him but also under him.

Such a shame that the heavy period of player investment co-incided with our least able or coherent recruitment team! Brands has had a much more restricted hand both in terms of net spend and wage allocation. It will be another 2 years before we are finally able to undo the damage caused by Walsh/Koeman/Allardyce.

Interesting to consider the two teams below:

Pickford
Martina Williams Keane Mangala
Schneiderlin Sigurdsson Klaassen
Walcott Tosun Bolasie

vs

Lossl
Sidibe Mina Zouma Digne
Gomes Gbamin Delph
Iwobi Richarlison Bernard

I know which team I'd take and it cost alot less.

Alan McGuffog
72 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:12:55
Stan the arcs behind each goal were unique. Sadly their reason for being there was unique also.They replaced the scaffolding and plank construction, put in place after some of our scamps were auditioning for Bullseye.
Mike Gaynes
73 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:32:58
Steve and Mike, thanks for the info. I had forgotten about the church.

Steve, good to know that there is football tourism in England much like the baseball tourism in the US, where some fans famously load up a van and crisscross the country to catch a game in every venue. That's some serious fun.

BTW, I did see both of my Goodison games from the Park End and found it sufficiently comfortable, albeit a bit constricted for my knees. But I did note the issues with food and toilets, and I would expect that any effort to turn Goodison into a tradition/destination venue would start with modernizing those elements -- if it could be done.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
74 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:42:30
Yes I remember the new stand. We had season tickets 67-68 for the Park End of the main stand. (£14 for 21 games. 70p per game but extra for cup matches) and I am sure being only 2 (who are you trying to kid Roberts!) at the time we were still in the Park End when we won the League in 1969-70.

I don't think we moved to the new seats the following season as I seem to remember watching Andy Rankin save the penalty in the shoot out (I was peering through the wool of my bobble hat so did I see it?) and we were still sitting in our Park End seats.

My dad gave in on wasting the money after 71-72 and we were in the finished stand down at the Street End for that season and I was still at school and could not afford to go on my own.

They knocked down about a third of the old stand and built the new one in the summer of 70 but not sure if it was used or just sat there? Would they have used the top tier if it just finished in mid air somewhere towering over the old stand? Doubt it. And if you want to know what the old stand was like, just sit in Upper Bullens.

Steve Ferns
75 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:51:41
Mike, if you felt the Park End was cramped, then don't try the Bullens. When I say they nailed a piece of wood onto the terraces that folds down into a seat, I'm not exaggerating. Those seats are tiny. Your knees would be ruined by a game there.

If Tony Marsh is right, and the ground move falls through, then we should push to get rail seating in the Bullens and Gwladys Street as people can then stand and have much more comfort!

Bill Watson
76 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:57:34
Ray is correct in that the Goodison Road stand was constructed between 1969 and 1971. It was partly completed when we won the title v West Brom and, as Ray also states, both the old and new were in use at the same time.

The only improvements made to the stadium for the World Cup were on the Park End stand. I'm not sure exactly what was done but from the outside two buttresses appeared (prior to this the outside wall was flat) so it was probably something to do with improving access.

The only game I saw from the old Park End (apart from when you could walk around from Gwladys Street) was the title clincher v West Brom. My then girlfriend (now wife) decided she wanted to go and all I could get was the Park End Upper.

Jay Harris
77 Posted 11/11/2019 at 16:59:31
I think the problem for us is that we are always too late to the party.

Thanks to Kenwright and his insistence at staying on as chairman the opportunity for serious investment was passed by for years until he could mug Moshiri.

Now there are so many wealthy, ambitious and capable owners in the premiership that there is now a potential top 10 to contend with whereas it was once one or two then 3 or 4 and gradually the gravy train of CL passed us by.

It will take more than we currently have as directors, management and funds to get us anywhere near the elite again and a number of clubs (not just teams) are so much better than us.

An indictment of how we have lost the NSNO culture is that we are still pinning hopes on Silva coming good whereas Arsenal sitting in 5th are thinking about sacking Emery in January.

Bill Watson
78 Posted 11/11/2019 at 17:06:43
The most cramped seat I've ever had was at the back of the Anfield Road stand. The other impediment was you could only see part of the Kop end goal.
I'd wangled the seat from their box office posing as a German RS fan who'd come over especially for the Derby.
I once used the same ploy for a sold out Elland Road game!
Jay Harris
79 Posted 11/11/2019 at 17:34:36
Bill,
Anfield was a shed at one time.

I played in a schoolboys game there in the 60's and it wasnt even as good as Tranmere's ground.

Old corrugated asbestos roofs and the pitch had a huge slope on it.

I wont set foot in it these days but you have to say they had far more foresight and ambition than us.

Steve Carse
80 Posted 11/11/2019 at 17:34:57
Bill (78), I'm not too sure only having a partial view of the Kop goal has too often warranted being an impediment.
Paul Tran
81 Posted 11/11/2019 at 18:18:22
Was anything worse than that old away section at the Dell, where it was difficult to see anything at all? Just what you wanted after a long journey!
Darren Hind
82 Posted 11/11/2019 at 18:25:31
The away section at Notts County took some beating, Paul.
We all remember Gray's headed half volley, but who remembers having a slash at half-time?

I thought climate and floods had arrived in Nottingham about 35 years ago. It was quite literally knee-deep.

They'd all be waiting to kick seven kinds out of you afterwards knowing full well that the bottom of your kecks and your shoes would be so sodden, you couldn't run away.

Paul Tran
83 Posted 11/11/2019 at 18:28:57
I remember that well, Darren. Went up from Portsmouth, then from London with ESCLA. We ended up in a microbrewery doing some, ahem, research of the products. I pissed like a horse that afternoon. I've been in shallower paddling pools. Great day, though.
John Keating
84 Posted 11/11/2019 at 18:33:03
Paul the whole of the Dell was a shitehouse!

One of the best grounds used to be Molyneaux. The away end used to have a bar all the way across and they seemed to keep it open the whole game.
Was difficult standing with about 10000 blues on an apron about 6 foot wide bevvying.

Paul Tran
85 Posted 11/11/2019 at 18:44:27
A dreadful place, John. I did all four sides. I only went to Molineux once, around Christmas time in I think 1982. We were shite and got beat 3-0 and I seem to remember some Kendall out chants. A very good bar. I spent most of the second half in it with most of the Blues!
John Keating
86 Posted 11/11/2019 at 18:49:43
Think that might have been when Gray was playing for them, Paul. I was there that day too. Think he might have scored the 3??

I know there was an official complaint about that bar at Molyneaux because they shut it in injury time.

Paul Tran
87 Posted 11/11/2019 at 18:53:38
Yeah, Andy scored that day, John. Little did we know, eh?
Eddie Dunn
88 Posted 11/11/2019 at 19:01:58
Plough Lane was one of the shittiest grounds. I went there a few times and Oxford Utd had what seemd to be a collection of old bus shelters. I recall standing behind the goal when a loud scouse voice shouted to Billy Whitehurst "Who've yer got up yer shirt, Billy?" Fair play to him, he laughed.
Paul Tran
89 Posted 11/11/2019 at 19:07:22
Who remembers that cup tie at Newport County when Aldridge scored for them and Sheedy equalised with a screamer near the end? That was a dump as well. Cardiff were playing Millwall and that got abandoned, so they all came along for some entertainment.
Jamie Crowley
90 Posted 11/11/2019 at 19:13:05
John Keating -

Was difficult standing with about 10000 blues on an apron about 6 foot wide bevvying.

That's the first time I've seen beverage used in it's slang version, and as a verb.

Wonderful.

Darren Hind
91 Posted 11/11/2019 at 19:18:02
My favourite memory was at Bedford (Fred Pickering). I was stunned to see there was a turnstile with no wall next to it. I asked my uncle who had taken me why anybody bothered paying. He replied – "It's not compulsory to show the world what a little scally you are, you know" ... then we walked through the gaping whole without paying.
Paul Tran
92 Posted 11/11/2019 at 19:23:29
Bedford, Darren? Was that a cup tie? Thanks for making me feel slightly younger!

My auntie used to live in Watford Road, round the corner from Mordor. That game when Scotland played Wales, we were walking back from the shops and I've never seen so many rope ladders or ingenious ways of bunking into a ground.

John Keating
93 Posted 11/11/2019 at 19:25:00
Goodison was bad but there's been far worse. Maine Road was a disgrace, so was Elland Road.

I remember going to Elland Road in the '60s and asking why the pitch was covered in straw? My mate said it was to protect the grass and that from the frost. Fair enough I said, but it's still Summer.

Darren Hind
94 Posted 11/11/2019 at 19:37:38
It was, Paul. I think it was on the way to winning the cup in 66.

The best thing about TW is, if you slip up, Dave A, Johnny Mac, Rich Tarleton, Dick Fearon or one of the many from that generation that I haven't mentioned will catch your fall.

These fellas have forgotten more than we know, so I hope I'm right.

Don Alexander
95 Posted 11/11/2019 at 19:39:06
The Baseball Ground was the worst stadium I've visited, first because by Christmas the pitch was devoid of any grass at all and resembled the Somme, second because the viewing points from the paddock I was in made the very low Goodison Road paddock seem sumptuous in comparison. How on earth Cloughie got them to play championship (i. e. Premier League of its day) winning football on it is amazing.
John Keating
96 Posted 11/11/2019 at 19:47:40
Bedford; it was 3-0.

Sure we played Sunderland in the next round? Also 3-0 I think. Certain Liverpool also played at home the same time, Chelsea, and lost 2-1?

John Keating
97 Posted 11/11/2019 at 19:55:43
Don, you're right about the pitches those days – and before. When you see the pitches now, you just wonder how good Young, Vernon et al could have been these days.

Not only the pitches but heading the caseys that quadrupled in weight when it was wet! Never mind the laces!

Paul Birmingham
98 Posted 11/11/2019 at 22:51:38
As many have said sone shocking grounds that kind of summed up the game then, Ayresome Park, Elland Road, St James Park, Forest, Notts County, The Den,, Maine Road, were all like stuck together odd shaped barns with gaps, and the poxiest ground for me was The Dell.

Looking back, it’s nostalgia and good memories and some very interesting tales, I’m sure we all could tell.

You could take your pick, more or less even Stamford Bridge was from by gone times.

Now it’s our turn, hopefully, but as with EFC, we always are wary, and with good reason.

Let’s see if the plans are approved.k

Tom Dodds
99 Posted 12/11/2019 at 09:23:35
We should be re-named;

KFC.

Kenwrights Football Club.

Scott Robinson
100 Posted 13/11/2019 at 03:08:37
The failure of this season is borderline 'criminal'. We had the easiest start in decades (compared to Koeman's horror 2nd season), had the same manager in for the 2nd season and the team largely in tact from last season. The success of Leicester this season is an indicator to me of the critical importance of leadership at the top.

Apart from their shock PL win, Leicester are a 'mid-table' club, now pushing the heights of the PL. It shows to me that anything is possible, and highlights the drastic failure of Everton FC, which I blame firmly in the hands of the management.

Terry White
101 Posted 13/11/2019 at 03:39:16
John (#96), in the 1966 cup run we beat Sunderland 3-0 in the 3rd round before we played at Bedford in the 4th round. Coventry (3-0) in the 5th and then Man. City over 3 games in the 6th Round.
John Keating
102 Posted 13/11/2019 at 06:21:15
Thanks, Terry.

I couldn't remember if it was Bedford or Sunderland in the 3rd Round. I seem to remember walking to the ground for the Sunderland game and seeing the odd RS.

I'm sure they were at home as well that day but they might have kicked off an hour before us?

Eddie Dunn
103 Posted 13/11/2019 at 08:59:10
Scott, it seems we all get the mindset that we simply can't compete. Leicester had virtually the same squad last season and finished 9th some 5 points behind us. Brendan has gone in there and proves that a good coach can make a difference. I looked at some Leicester fans threads and the supporters are drooling how he has changed Vardy's game – they aren't just lumping it over the top for him to run on to.

We have spent more than them but our recruitment has been ordinary and so many players have been unfit, even before joining. It is down to Brands and Silva. But as you say, the fixtures have been so kind and we have failed dismally to propel ourselves into the mix. We could so easily be up there dreaming of success. There really is no excuse.

Dave Abrahams
104 Posted 14/11/2019 at 15:21:08
John (102), No John, Liverpool kicked off after our game by fifteen or thirty minutes that day, me and my mate hung around after our game had finished, and took great pleasure in asking the red fans what was the score at Anfield when their game was over, 2-1 to Chelsea, as if we didn’t know.
John Keating
105 Posted 14/11/2019 at 15:42:59
Thanks Dave
I thought we were both at home that day but couldn't recall the correct kick off times.

I do remember it was 2-1 to Chelsea though !

Same results this season would be good

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