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Why not more Academy and Youth Players?

I am 64 years old and I have seen many great Everton sides and some average ones over the years. The current one, with the exception of a few in the side, are less than average. This is not the standard of a professional Premier League team.

Why do the Premier League teams of today not invest in their youth systems? It is very rare to see; typically only a handful of the youth academy players make it all the way to the senior side.

Is the level of our young players not good enough to make the senior side? Is this the reason that the Premier League sides spend so much money to recruit players from abroad and, in doing so, also place the club into debt?

After all these years, I thought you must surround yourself with the best to reach the top – obviously the lesson hasn't gone too far. Sometimes, what you're looking for is right under your nose – have a look in your own backyard.
Steven  Jones     Posted 24/02/2018 at 21:56:10

It's a Sam Butty for me

As this season draws to a welcome end, and, by general consensus we will remain in the Premier League next season, our thoughts will automatically turn to what happens now? Many supporters who contribute to these pages have advocated that, as soon as the season is over, we should say bye-bye to Big Sam and his backroom staff and appoint a more 'suitable' manager.

Clearly there is some appeal to this option; however, we know from experience that managerial changes are expensive and often less than successful. Whilst our current manager comes with excessive baggage and little apparent humility, he has appointed a big and experienced backroom staff and just maybe they are the best we can expect.My concern would be that having another change of management will simply delay the planning for next season when it is essential to get some of this work done as soon as possible.

Critical for Everton during the next few months is to sort out the high numbers of players in both the first team and youth team squads who appear to have no first team potential. The squads need to be trimmed to manageable numbers, and a preferred playing formation adopted throughout the club. Every effort should then be made to finally address the left-hand side deficiencies. This will be the third attempt at confronting this problem, so the earlier we begin, the better chance we have of bringing in the right players.

All this means that some difficult and maybe unpopular decisions will have to be made regarding players' contracts, but at present too many players are enjoying generous terms whilst contributing very little.

So let's clear the decks, deal with the shortcomings, and move forward. We may need to ruffle a few feathers, but it is not a popularity contest and we may have the right man in place? Step forward – Mr Allardyce!

David  Bromwell     Posted 22/02/2018 at 13:20:50

Feeling left out

Tuesday night and Wednesday morning I couldn’t read the papers listen to Talksport or watch Sky Sports as I was sick to death (and jealous) of hearing about Spurs’ brilliant comeback or Super City demolishing Basel!

Onto Wednesday night and Thursday morning, you couldn’t escape the media’s love in with Liverpool slamming Porto, how Klopp’s brand of football is so wonderful to watch, and how Salah is the best signing ever etc, etc! I’ve never listened to so much Radio 2 and watched my missus' programmes on tele!!

Onto Friday and TalkSport starts previewing this weekend’s FA Cup games!! For fuck's sake!!!

Onto my point: have Everton ever been so irrelevant? Out of the cups, nowhere in the league and we’re not even in a relegation battle, unlike 10 clubs below us! All the while this is going on, the group of multi-millionaire flops are on holiday in Dubai! The mind boggles!

I wish I didn’t care but it’s so frustrating listening and watching other teams' success! Sorry for such a negative posting but I’m sure lots of us feel the same! We are so irrelevant!
Stephen Brown     Posted 16/02/2018 at 18:30:54

Tom Davies

There’s been some negative chat about our young local midfielder of late and I wanted to say some things about the lad.

Firstly, Leon Osman used to get unnecessary criticism when he played for us and what is being said now about Tom Davies reminds me of his time with us. Osman had a good career with us.

Tom is a very good player and he could go anywhere. He needs time in the gym and to work on his sprinting. But he naturally reads the game, likes to attack but can defend as well.

There were some gasps of disappointment at Goodison on Saturday when moves broke down while Tom was involved but many of them, for me, were because the pass to him was too heavy or inaccurate and he couldn’t keep things going. But he looks for the pass, either as the one playing it or the recipient.

Some even came on this site and claimed that Liam Walsh was the better player. I hope Liam becomes a wonderful player but let’s support Tom. He’s been criminally overlooked by Koeman and Allardyce – to their loss may I add – but I think when Tom is in our team we have more chance of winning because of his energy and skill.

Let’s make him a hero on the terraces, let’s celebrate this quality player from the academy and then who knows what he and we might achieve?
Andre James     Posted 14/02/2018 at 23:43:03

Are we following the Tottenham project plan?

There seems to be quite a lot of similarities between Everton and how Spurs have performed after the sale of a top player.

When Spurs sold Bale to Real Madrid in the summer of 2013 for £86m, they went on a spending spree – buying seven players. They went on to finish one place worse off in the 2013-14 season, finishing 6th, one place below Everton. There are only two of the seven players still at the club (Eriksen and Lamella) so five of the seven failed to make the grade.

Spurs went on to finish 5th, 3rd and 2nd in the following seasons and look good to finish in the top four again this season.

Redknapp was replaced by Villas-Boas before the sale – just as Martinez was replaced by Koeman; what followed was a short period under Sherwood before finally getting Pochettino in and settling down.

We can only hope that we follow their lead and find the right man to replace Allardyce, then settle the ship. Spurs also had plans for a new stadium that should be ready in the near future – hopefully we can replicate this as well.

Peter Rogers     Posted 13/02/2018 at 10:50:43

Give us peek, please just a 'lil glimpse

With no first team action for a couple of weeks apart from some warm weather training for the lucky few, surely it must be time to raise our spirits not to mention get our hopes up with some long-awaited artist's impressions of our new ground to be.

It doesn't have to be much, but please... anything would be much appreciated by our long-suffering fans.
Simon Smith     Posted 12/02/2018 at 17:53:13

The big six, my arse

I’ve kept my pencil dry on here for far too long now. It’s time to tell it as it is from one who has supported The Toffees since 1967.

My brothers love to remind me that I got a Redshite kit for Chanukah (Jewish Christmas) in 1966 just after my fifth birthday but switched to The Blues less than a year later and have never wavered since. So, bang goes your ‘born a blue’ notion. Anyway, that’s another issue and although it was a stupid decision at such a tender age it was one I’ve never regretted. All the nice girls at primary school supported Everton and all the annoying boys were Reds.

Over the years I’ve seen some bloody awful teams, and some appalling managers. I went to school with Gordon Lee’s poor son. Funny that he was better at rugby union than footy I always thought. Managers like Billy (“speak up Billy” the interviewers on BBC Radio Merseyside always used to say) Bingham, Mike Walker and Walter Smith.

I witnessed us win the league in 1970, 1985 and 1987. I’ve seen us win the cup in 1984 and 1995 and I was in Rotterdam when we beat Rapid Vienna in 1985 where my dad got covered in beer when the third goal went in. The next morning, I actually saw men asleep standing up in phone boxes.

I remember that bastard Clive Thomas (ask your dad) rob us against the redshite. He was one of many referees who stole matches from us over the years but he was the first I remember and I guess that’s why they call us “bitter” as no self-respecting Bluenose would scribe an article like this without bringing up those bastard referees!!

Thomas deprived us of a legit Bryan Hamilton goal in the FA Cup semi in 1977. A few weeks earlier we’d got to Wembley in the League Cup Final and it was 0-0. We went on to lose to Villa in the second replay. For the trip to Wembley we’d left our house in Allerton at 6am. My dad was worried about the traffic. At 9am, six hours before kick off we were sitting in the car in the car park at Wembley where we sat for the next 4½ hours. We weren’t allowed to leave the car in case we got murdered by cockneys!

My most vivid memory from the 1980s was when we lost the second leg of The Milk Cup semi away at Aston Villa 1-0. We’d actually won the first leg 2-0 the week before at Goodison. This meant we were in with the chance of winning something for the first time in 14 years. It was also sweet revenge for Villa having beaten us seven years earlier in the final. Think about that youngsters! 14 years. I ran on the pitch at the end only to be hauled off by a copper. “14 years” I shouted in his face!! As usual we lost to the redshite in the final as we always did and we always will whenever it really counts.

Of course, I was at Wembley to see the first leg end 0-0. The replay was at Maine Road and I was a student at The University of Essex. I watched the replay on the portable colour telly (still unusual in those days – colour telly I mean, not unusually portable.) Ask your dad again, or mum for that matter. We lost 1-0 and I cried myself to sleep.

So many memories from so long ago and only a few of them are captured here. These days I can’t even remember what I had for my tea last night.

Right now, I hate Everton, I hate professional football and I hate the Premier League. I still play three times a week which includes playing left back for our local veterans Sunday 11-a-side team in the Mid Herts Vets League. I’d rather play than watch Everton any day of the week. Those bastards stealing a living in the royal blue tops make me puke. I despise them with a passion.

The media bang on about ‘The Big Six’ but it should be “The Big Seven” because time and again we’ve blown it. That bastard Kenwright who lies incessantly about remortgaging his house to save his beloved Blues drives me insane. This is the twat who turned down the Mansours who went on to buy Citeh, because he thought he could do a better job. Please bugger off Kenwright. The continued shite we spout about the new stadium just to lure idiots into buying season tickets is one of the worst crimes of the lot. Read my lips, there will be no new stadium!

What is the point of us being in the Premier League? What joy does it give anyone? They don’t care about the supporters and it’s only ever about money. What are we doing with Allardyce as our manager? He’s useless. I’m a lover not a fighter but he deserves to be removed from our club with a baseball but up his arse.

Apart from the big six and us, every club in the top flight is a championship club. It would be so much more enjoyable for us playing at a lower level. We shouldn’t bother playing against the big six. Don’t tell me about our amazing point at Citeh this year or I’ll make you watch us play away at Arsenal for the next fifty years.

I’m sick of Everton and our continued inability to capitalise on everything that comes our way. I get more joy out of watching Liverpool lose than when we win these days. I’ve even given that feeling a name - redshitenfreude.

So, I’m out. At least until we get relegated. Hopefully soon. Football is about the joy of winning matches and it just doesn’t do it for me beating Leicester City 2-1 (we were lucky) only to do what we did at The Emirates a few days later.

So, after 51 years of undying love, you can fuck off Everton. You make me sick.

David Tasker     Posted 06/02/2018 at 09:08:31

Es mundus excrementi, Everton

If the campaign Everton supporters have been forced to endure since July had to be catchily summed up in one juicy soundbite, then "Season From Hell" should fit like a hermetically sealed shroud.

Many a strange-faced mooncalf has stood accused of being at the root of the stygian shitstorm we've been mired in. Koeman, Walsh, Allardyce, Moshiri, the entire playing staff sans Seamus Coleman and, of course, doughty defender of the faith, Bill Kenwright.

Numerous half-arsed theories have been put forward in a futile attempt to fathom precisely how and why our form became so horrendously piss poor.

So,'s another one.

'The Exorcist'.

As a child, I grew up in front of grainy VHS copies of 70's and 80's horror movies. My education in the genre beginning at an age when most of my mates were still busy making the case that Mumm-Ra could 'have' He-Man in a one on one brawl to the death (but only if Battle Cat was deffo banned from getting involved because, otherwise, all bets were off). Such child friendly fare as 'Halloween', 'Carrie', 'The Omen', 'Don't Look Now', 'Dawn Of The Dead', 'Suspiria', 'Basket Case' and...of course... 'Scream, Blacula, Scream',

provided a steady, blood curdling, stream of background sights and sounds to my scoffing of bowls of Sugar Puffs and 'proper scientific' pointing out of who was and was not a "prick" in the pages of 'Shoot'.

One movie to have a profound effect on me at that stage was William Friedkin's 'The Exorcist'. Watching an old copy my old queen must have borrowed from somewhere, at the age of 6, and then not being able to revisit it again for over a decade (due to the film being banned in the UK from 1984 until 1998), led to my younger self developing a yearning to devour every bit of info I could find on the film. I was kind of like a mini, mid-level, Mark Kermode with less cockish hair (although, ultimately, his 'The Fear Of God' documentary, produced for the film's 25th Anniversary, probably had a hand in the film finally being passed uncut by the BBFC, so we'll let the pompadour slide).

Being well aware of the above, my wife thought she would 'surprise' me with tickets for the West End theatre production of The Exorcist. Admittedly, I was surprised because, not being the slightest bit interested in the British theatre scene, I had heard nothing about it. I was even more surprised to discover they weren't just tickets to 'The Exorcist'. Oh no. They were tickets to 'Bill Kenwright presents: The Exorcist'.

Anyway, we went and I was squirming in my seat, flesh crawling, the whole way through. The last time I cringed, sighed, shook my head and muttered "this is complete shite" so often was at a live performance of 'Bill Kenwright presents: Everton vs West Brom'.

Jenny Seagrove 'starred' in the crucial role of Chris Macneil, some bloke off a Davina McCall hosted dance show decided to alternate between Damien Karras and fucking Crocodile Dundee, while the best 'acting' in the piece came courtesy of a crackly cassette tape of Ian Mckellen's voice, recorded at home in a spare five minutes while he was mooching about waiting for his red-hot bath water to cool.

"Curse you, Kenwright!", I thought. "It's not enough you turned sitting through Everton games into some form of slow torture, you're now taking it a step further and tarnishing my favourite horror classics as well? Where will it end? What have I ever done to you?".

Then it hit me. Maybe the 'curse' has already started?

William Peter Blatty was first warned off penning a story based on the (purported) real-life possession and subsequent exorcism of a young Mount Rainier boy by a concerned Jesuit Priest. The Priest posited that revealing the existence of the Devil, in any way, would inevitably lead to retaliation and revenge on his part because, with bloody good reason, the big red shite would be pretty pissed off at his insidious methodology being made public, his privacy being invaded, plus having to turn a deaf ear to incessant accusations of how he's a bit of bad tit.

Rumours of a curse have long surrounded the movie itself. The set famously caught fire. Actors Jack MacGowran and Vasiliki Maliaros both died in post-production after their respective characters suffered the same fate on screen. Max Von Sydow's brother died on his first day of shooting for his role as Father Merrin. Linda Blair's grandfather died. A night watchman on the set died. Jason Miller's son was mowed down by a motorcycle and only just survived. Mercedes McCambridge's son lost his mind and murdered his wife and children before taking his own life. An extra in the film later stabbed a film critic to death and was suspected of having killed six other men whose bodies washed up on the Hudson River, wrapped in plastic bags.

When Bill (and by inevitable association, Everton) blundered onto the decades old battlefield, surely bad luck was bound to follow?

The UK premiere of Kenwright's pre-teen possession extravaganza took place in Birmingham on October 16th 2016 and it continued to play, as part of a strictly limited run, until November 6th.

During that brief period, Ronald Koeman's Everton suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Burnley, along with a 0-5 horror show at Chelsea.

The day after the premiere, Philip Green was accused of being a shadow director of Everton in the House Of Commons. Leighton Baines suffered a setback in his attempted return from injury, and James McCarthy tore his hamstring.

The production started it's later run in London's West End on the 20th October 2017 (and is scheduled to finish on the 10th March 2018).

The first game after opening night was the five goal hammering by Arsenal that brought the guillotine down on Ronald Koeman's Everton reign.

Trust the Everton board to then further compound matters by bringing forth the big boss demon himself and, like Faust, making a dicey deal with 'Meffystiflethese'(or Sam, to his mates).

Now, we're stuck bearing witness to one of the most brutal, eye bludgeoning, cases of defilement ever wrought on an institution once dubbed the School of Science. The stuff we're being subjected to is utterly horrific and the managers decades long track record of dour mediocrity and desperate, self-serving, short-termism, should send a screeching warning signal that his hand should be among the last you want steering the future direction of your club.

Yet, some not only countenance his presence, they practically cheer it. "Needs must", they say. Like the doctors prodding and poking Regan and putting her through a pointlessly painful spinal tap, they stick resolutely to the 'rational' claim that the club is sick and Allardyce is merely administering the necessary, stomach churning, medicine.

When it begins to become acceptable to regularly go into games with no real intention of actually engaging the opposition, with an expensively assembled squad of international players drilled to concentrate primarily on containment and playing the percentages, then even those with the most faith can eventually begin to lose sight of the fact it should always be possible to strive for better.

"His attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful.Yet, the demon's target is not the possessed; it is us...the observers...I think the point is to make us see ourselves as ultimately vile and putrescent; without dignity; ugly; unworthy".

Seriously, these are dire times.
I well know the sheer dread that can derive from dabbling with demonic forces. My wife once had a ouija board resting on her lap as she tried in vain to contact the spirit of futuristic tubby tin can Twiki from 'Buck Rogers In The 25th Century'. No matter how many times she spelt out "Biddie Biddie Biddie", the six-foot under, silvery shortarse, never bothered to respond.

However, the tranquility was short lived, as no sooner did I decide to take matters out of her reaching over to spell out 'G-O P-U-T T-H-E D-I-N-N-E-R O-N N-O-W'....then she went absolutely ballistic. Face contorted in rage, gurning like a reject from The Garbage Pail Kids, phlegm flying from her expletive spewing mouth, the aura of pure evil radiating from every pore. 

I don't know which particular demon it was that had taken possession of her body, but i'm guessing such snarling satanic beasts must share some sort of special psychic affinity with the wife's family, as a similar hate filled entity has been residing, quite openly, in my mother-in-law ever since the day I first met her.

So, next time you're at Goodison, if you happen to hear a guttural voice in the crowd, moaning and groaning, before shouting something along the lines of "Yer Mar(tina)'s a prossie in hell, Karras", you know what's behind it....'Bill Kenwright presents: The Exorcist'.

John Daley     Posted 05/02/2018 at 05:34:20

Why, why, why Moshiri?

In a season of unprecedented disappointment, there are so many questions we as supporters have; many may never be answered but if the owner of our club has any thought of the fans who pay, week in and week out to watch the utter crap that has been on display this season then I believe these are a few of the questions he should be asking his management team.

Why... don't we seem to have a style of football? We seem to play a different way every game. Okay, we have had three managers this season but each has had enough time to impose a style on the team yet we still seem unsure as to how we are set up to play.

Why... is Steve Walsh still at the club? We look like a team on a downward spiral surely after spending over 200 million this is gross misconduct and in any other profession would result in the sack.

Why... break up a winning team? Coleman I can understand but one commentator said he thought he changed the team to rest players as he didn't think he could win the game. For fuck's sake, people payed a lot of hard earned money to travel and watch that crap.

Why... do we seem to interrupt our own attacks and play towards our own goal time after time, players hesitating, slowing down attacks, unsure about making passes that should be bread and butter to professional footballers?

Why... not – if the rumours are true and Allardyce is going in the summer – cut our loses, get rid, bring in Silva, give him a couple of months to look at the players he has, and decide what he needs to do?

I realise there are far more questions that we all have but I can't think when am this pissed off at the way we are playing. Please, Big Sam, take Little Sam and Walsh with you. Goodbye and good riddance.

Peter Rogers     Posted 04/02/2018 at 16:11:42

From Unsworth to the Unworthy

David Unsworth is a Blue. Not 'was a Blue'... 'is a Blue. He was a caretaker manager of our great club and will always remain a supporter till the day he dies. Candidly, he did not pass his audition to become our permanent manager.

So to his replacement, ex-England manager Sam Allardyce. He is not a Blue. He was given the job as our manager. Has he passed his audition?

Most fans' Talking Points articulate a position on a subject. I didn't really want to. I wanted to simply ask: Is Allardyce worthy?

However, since I started to pen my thoughts, today happened. I was not unduly disappointed with his appointment; I am now though.

He points the finger everywhere other than at himself. We are not stupid. Team selection and tactics are not the players' fault, they are the manager's.

I understand anyone who says that he was let down by their mistakes, I really do. But, I feel let down by the way that my team is lead. He is not worthy of managing our club. There you go, I've said it. From Unsworth to the Unworthy.
Phil Williams     Posted 03/02/2018 at 21:51:01

Play it again, Sam

Five changes after a fine win last Wednesday does not make sense. Sam is too clever by half. He says he played that formation because Swansea beat the Gunners like that. As Victor Meldrew might say, "I dont believe it!"

Kenny should have been the only change as Seamus was unwell. Most fans can do a better job than this idiot. Time for him to go!
Mike Woods     Posted 03/02/2018 at 20:25:50

Seamus: Refreshingly ordinary

Seamus Coleman's return to the fold last night was significant in many ways. One, he certainly contributed to our overall defensive display, and his now trademark barnstorming runs down the right flank, most certainly lifted the crowd

Many, including myself, were a little alarmed however, at him being given a place in the starting line-up, after over 10 months out with a double fracture. However, give the manager some credit – he breezed through the game, seemingly with no ill effects, but I suggest he probably woke up knackered this morning, believing he'd been run over by a steam roller the night before.

Off the field, Seamus remains 'ordinary' it seems; you just know for certain you aren't going to be reading any tabloid headlines involving excess booze, drugs, or any of the other recreational activities many of his Premiership peer group get involved in during their spare time. He is held in such high esteem, both in Ireland and this country, that it's sadly almost a rare occurrence when this happens to a player these days

A number of Everton's senior pros are coming to the end of their career, and the contracts of Rooney, Jags, Williams, etc all expire in the next 12-18 months, with little chance they will be extended. Some would say now is the time to make Seamus the official club captain. He's just a fantastic club man and a great example to all players old and young in how to conduct yourself on and off the pitch

He's 30 this year, and has simply been a great servant. He really is one player who genuinely has not been affected by the significant salary and status players enjoy at the current time. He's also not adverse to putting his hand in his pocket on a regular basis, and helping out worthy causes back in Ireland and over here. I hope he continues to play for Everton for many more years

And to think, only injury stopped him signing for Burnley when on trial there in 2008.

Sixty grand, sixty grand, Seamus Coleman....

Steve Hogan     Posted 01/02/2018 at 16:44:34

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