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Hugh Jenkins
1 Posted 14/04/2020 at 11:48:55
Another case of "What might have been".

I just hope that under the tutelage of Carlo Ancelotti, young Kean will flourish and not prove to be another "flash in the pan" signing.

Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 14/04/2020 at 12:02:49
Seconded, Hugh.

I forgot to add a link to the feature credited to Paul McNamara on the Everton website, for those who may have missed it:


Bob Parrington
3 Posted 14/04/2020 at 12:04:01

I'm sure I'm not alone, amongst TWebbers, in this thought, but I wish to thank you, Lyndon, Paul and others for providing us with topics to discuss during this difficult time of isolation.

Thank you from me and, I'm sure, thank you from the TW family across the board.

Chris Hockenhull
4 Posted 14/04/2020 at 13:10:19
Hear, hear, Bob!
Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 14/04/2020 at 13:25:03
Another thanks from me, Michael, and a further thanks from me that we didn't sign this player.

Yes, he scored a great goal against Manchester United and goals stick in supporters minds. He did have flashes of brilliance, very, very quick ones.

But he played for himself not the team. One game at Wigan, a night game, Moyes put him on the right wing; the lad wasn't interested... sulked and hardly did a tap.

"Fuck you, mate," I thought, "you can do one as soon as you're ready." Saved ourselves a few million there, I think, and a load of bother.

Jack Convery
6 Posted 14/04/2020 at 13:35:46
Hear, hear from me too. Keeps all our spirits up at this awful time. Good to hear Manny is still playing – another mismanaged by his agent or whoever.
Tony Everan
7 Posted 14/04/2020 at 14:21:21
Well said Bob.

A big thank you from me too, ToffeeWeb makes life a little bit better for all us isolating Evertonians. It really is appreciated.

Derek Thomas
8 Posted 14/04/2020 at 14:23:46
In his first loan, he looked a world beater; down hill after that.
Duncan McDine
9 Posted 14/04/2020 at 15:21:07
I was sat in the Lower Gwladys and had a great view of THAT goal... one of the best strikes I've seen.

But my God – what a terrible feeling to lose that game!

Am I right in remembering the end of that game where Rooney taunted one of our defenders in front of the Man Utd fans? That still annoys me just thinking about it!

Going back to Manny, he turned out to be an average player, not really fulfilling his potential... we've had a few of them!

Jay Wood

10 Posted 14/04/2020 at 15:34:54
I remember getting into one with a fellow Everton mate on the relative merits of Manuel Fernandes and Joao Moutinho.

He lobbied hard for Fernandes, I extolled the many, MANY virtues of Moutinho.

We came very, very close to landing Moutinho in his prime. IMHO he could have lifted that Moyes team in the same way that Bruno Fernandes has immediately lifted Man Utd. He was in the same category of the Holy Trinity and Reid, Bracewell & Sheedy.

Manuel Fernandes would – didn't! – not have done that for Everton.

This piece has reminded me to drop my mate a line later!

Ken Kneale
11 Posted 14/04/2020 at 15:38:56
Duncan you are correct – Rooney did do uncalled for gesturing and sadly my son and I who were in the Park End never forgot or forgave him. It was totally unnecessary and lacked class.

As a comment, we should never have lost that game – we were well in command (Howard was not in goal as he was on loan at the time) and a combination of dithering defenders and wobbly goalkeeper, and managerial instructions to protect what we had, gave Man Utd the initiative back.

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 14/04/2020 at 15:45:23
Duncan (9), I think Moyes didn’t play Tim Howard in that game when he could have played him, not sure what the situation was.

Jay (10), there was a massive difference in those two players, Mourinho could play, very well, Fernandes thought he could!!

Michael Kenrick
13 Posted 14/04/2020 at 16:11:02
I think the goal is well worthy:

But, oh ye feint of heart, don't watch the last 30 seconds!!!

Jay Wood

14 Posted 14/04/2020 at 16:53:04
I recall now where I watched that game.

In the lobby of the best hotel in Tripoli, Libya, in the company of the Ugandan Ambassador to Ghaddafi-land, a United supporter. The Ambassador that is, not Ghaddafi (he was probably a RS).

The Ambassador was a good lad. Even moved to dancing a little jig as the 3rd and 4th goals went in.

I didn't!

Tony Everan
15 Posted 14/04/2020 at 16:54:01
It's the kind of goal I fantasise about scoring at Goodson, in that netherworld just before sleep.

The messy ownership structure may have been detrimental to the young Manny Fernandes. Getting treated like a piece of meat and hawked around for the best deal must have been a bit unsettling.

He never had stability at the right time in his development. Another player whose potential wasn't fully realised .

Peter Gorman
16 Posted 14/04/2020 at 17:02:35
A player we couldn't wait to sign but his behaviour immediately prior to his signing for Valencia really stuck in the craw.

Most of us thought we'd found another gem like Pienaar but the two players were chalk and cheese.

Went on to do very little which tells its own story.

Phil Lewis
17 Posted 14/04/2020 at 17:13:34
He looked an absolute world beater on his first spell with us. I was gutted when we originally failed to sign him when his loan expired.

Whatever happened in the interim period before his return is a mystery. Injuries, mental attitude, overall fitness? Who knows. But the sad fact is that he wasn't a fraction of the player. He suddenly looked totally lost in a blue shirt.

I don't believe players lose their natural ability, but I've always been at a loss to understand the rapid demise of Fernandes. From potential superstar to flop in such a short space of time. Most odd.

Terry White
18 Posted 14/04/2020 at 17:28:03
Dave (#9),

I think it's correct that Howard did not play as he was on loan from Man Utd then. Ian Turner was in goal and at 2-0 he dropped an innocuous corner kick under no pressure which led to their first goal and we know what happened after that.

Peter Mills
19 Posted 14/04/2020 at 17:32:28
Thank you also from me, Michael and Lyndon.

May I also use this opportunity to pay respect to two Blues who have passed away in the past couple of days?

Brian Boggild, an attendant at Blundellsands and Crosby railway station. I did not know he was a Blue, but it turns out he was, and there is an Everton flag hanging at the station pay-kiosk. I just knew him as a lovely guy who always had a smile, was always helpful, and always had a good or funny word with you.

And Len Norman of Crosby. Len was the last survivor of the men of SS Peter and Paul's parish who included my dad Charlie, Terry White's dad Dick, Jack Fleming, Archie Downie and others, who organised wonderful trips to Maine Road, Burnden Park, Old Trafford, Villa Park, Filbert Street, in the 60s. They would never forget their lads, except for a few hours on the way home when they would stop for refreshment, leaving boys stoked on lemo and crisps to play footy in pub car parks.

Most memorably we all went to Wembley on 14 May 1966 for the day of a lifetime. Len, the last of the Corinthians.

May they rest in peace.

Paul Birmingham
20 Posted 14/04/2020 at 18:01:50
Plenty of skill but not enough heart and desire. I recall his goal away at Watford, and the cracker against Man Utd and the Newcastle last match when he had his best game to date.

Another enigma to add to decades of enigmas at Goodison Park.

Danny ONeill
21 Posted 14/04/2020 at 18:13:15
Echoing the sentiments above, Michael. Thanks to you, Lyndon & the team for keeping this going.
Terry White
22 Posted 14/04/2020 at 18:16:09
Thank you, Peter (#19). "Big Len" was a "quiet, gentle man" as well as being a Gentleman and a good Blue. As you have said, the last link to a lost generation that brought us up so well. A sad day.
Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 14/04/2020 at 18:31:19
Terry (18), yes, I know Howard was on loan, but wasn't the case that a fee had been agreed for him to sign permanently and something tells me that Ferguson had no objection to him playing. This came out after the match, too late then, or maybe I'm imagining the whole affair.

Then again, Ferguson might have wanted Tim to play, knowing the cock-ups he was always likely to make, but I'll accept that I've got this wrong.

Terry White
24 Posted 14/04/2020 at 18:50:46
You have me, Dave (#23), I don't know the answer but I am sure someone else will!
Ken Kneale
25 Posted 14/04/2020 at 20:28:45
Peter and Terry,

Commiserations on the loss of a family friend and to all the family and friends of those departed – it is always good to revisit comments from the past and I enjoyed immensely the anecdotes and periodic comments attributed to Charles Mills and Dick White in James Corbett's excellent book "Everton - The School of Science" – clearly Len was part of the gang of such true Blues. RIP.

Duncan McDine
26 Posted 14/04/2020 at 21:02:31
Jay, I can only imagine that experience with the ambassador put you off Ferrero Rocher for life.
Terry White
27 Posted 14/04/2020 at 21:35:59
Thank you, Ken, (#25), greatly appreciated. And a good choice of reading material.
Ken Kneale
28 Posted 14/04/2020 at 21:42:53
No problem, Terry, I highly recommend the book to all.

As you say, excellent source and very well written – regularly pulled from the bookshelf to re-read the odd chapter and get misty-eyed!!

Peter Mills
29 Posted 14/04/2020 at 21:51:51
Thank you, Ken.
Duncan Adams
30 Posted 14/04/2020 at 22:00:16
Jay 14 - Gadaffi is a Blue. Something to do with Everton going to Libya in the 70s for a friendly.

You should have got him involved. Your ambassador wouldn't have been so cocky then.

Don Alexander
31 Posted 14/04/2020 at 23:33:42
The lad was yet another example of the lack of due diligence that permeates our club ever since the Premier League. Yes, we've signed a few players with heart but the majority have been mentally weak as we stagger on in perpetual disappointment.

Guess who I think the man is who's responsible?

Peter Gorman
32 Posted 15/04/2020 at 06:43:22
Dave, Terry - the Tim Howard situation was massively controversial. Although he had started the season on loan from Man Utd, he signed permanently for the club in February 2007.

The match against Man Utd occurred in April and he was dropped as part of a 'gentleman's agreement' to keep the spirit of the loan deal alive when the Man Utd fixture came around.

This is massively unacceptable for obvious reasons: one club cannot dictate another's team selection and it brings the question of match-fixing into play (not exactly helped by the final result and the performance of Turner in particular).

Man Utd argued that they were in no rush to sell Howard, so he could have been dropped legitimately had they kept to the terms of the loan, but the fact is, at Everton's insistence, they sold him mid-loan – but still both clubs acted according to the terms of the loan. I've not known a situation like it and it was a frankly embarrassing act of subservience from Everton to Man Utd, from Moyes to Ferguson, and not for the last time.

Peter Gorman
33 Posted 15/04/2020 at 06:48:32
To be even more blunt: if you loan a player to another club, you can dictate conditions such as not playing against the parent club. If you sell the player, you have no say.

Everton and Man Utd's 'little pals' agreement was tantamount to match-rigging. The only mitigating technicality was that Turner wasn't trying to be so bad.

John Raftery
34 Posted 15/04/2020 at 09:38:15
In that 2-4 defeat, Ferguson had resigned himself to a defeat until Turner made his error. Immediately he signalled to Ronaldo to get himself ready to come on as substitute. From that point, we were under the cosh with the midfield and defence exposed.

Dave Abrahams
35 Posted 15/04/2020 at 10:01:23
Peter (32), thank you for your account of the Tim Howard non-involvement in that Everton v Man Utd game, there was something in my mind about something hookey over the situation.
Phil Sammon
36 Posted 15/04/2020 at 13:20:31
If you can stomach the MotD analysis, there's a great bit of footage of Fernandes ragging Arsenal around here.

Sure, he loses the ball needlessly on the edge of his own box... but the next bit was pretty special.

Jay Harris
37 Posted 15/04/2020 at 15:25:07
I rated Manny Fernandes and really thought he made a difference in the centre of midfield. I was gutted when on the Sunday morning it was announced he hadn't signed.

I believe he claimed he was never made an offer by Everton and therefore decided his future lay elsewhere. Nevertheless, why he was wined and dined by Bill Kenwright and never had a contract put in front of him to sign, I will never know.

Another indictment of the amateurish way the club was run.

Terry White
38 Posted 15/04/2020 at 15:38:27
Thank you for clearing that up, Peter (#32 and 33).
Nick Armitage
39 Posted 15/04/2020 at 22:19:03
So much ability but for whatever reason lost his way and I don't hold him responsible for that. Gutted when we didn't sign him permanently because I genuinely thought there was a real player in there. Another one that got away.
Mick Davies
40 Posted 16/04/2020 at 00:50:00
“It was one of my best goals, but I played awful in that game. You can't lose at home from that position... at 2-0, we started trying to protect our lead.”

Well Manny, it didn't take you long to suss out what all us supporters already knew.

Dave Williams
41 Posted 16/04/2020 at 13:39:47
Terry Curran, Tommy Gravesen, David Johnson, Andy King, Wayne Rooney, Steven Pienaar( not so much)- all came back and were shadows of what they were first time around. Curran in particular was electric first time and did nothing second time. Did they think they were better than they were at that point in their career?
David Currie
42 Posted 16/04/2020 at 18:19:54
Dave 41, Bit harsh on Andy King as he was playing very well till he got an horrific injury at Sunderland I think in 1983. The challenge was brutal on his knee and he was never the same player after.
Nick White
43 Posted 16/04/2020 at 19:48:44
I remember the end of the 2007-08 season as we were the “best of the rest”. I was gutted when Fernandes didn't sign in the summer and was annoyed when we got him back. He did get better and better that season from memory.

Last game against Newcastle remember saying all we need were a few top players. Oh well. Another wasted opportunity!

Lee Courtliff
44 Posted 16/04/2020 at 22:58:10
07-08 was probably our best footballing season under Moyes. From the end of October to March we played some lovely stuff.

Then we realised how close we were to actual success and promptly bottled it!


Max Murphy
45 Posted 20/04/2020 at 15:04:09
Thanks, Michael, for your article.

The internal machinations that go on behind the scenes are mind-blowing.

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