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Decision Time

It seems years ago now, but can you believe it was only January this year, Mr Moshiri stood up at the Everton AGM to outline his ambitions for the club?

"It is not enough to say 'We are special',” he explained. “We don’t want to be a museum. We need to be competitive and we need to win. The gold standard is the Premier League. The league is where our competitive edge will be measured.

"We have a window to establish ourselves and we will do everything we can. Bill (Kenwright) over the last 20 years, through his sheer dedication, has kept the Club close to the elite."

For the first time in a generation, Blues everywhere started to believe we could take our rightful place back amongst the elite of English football – back to where we belonged, after years of having any expectations and hope extinguished before we could get out of our seats.

The question is, are you really ambitious, Farhad? Or do you just like to 'talk the talk' like the guy who was sitting next to you?

Will you let Koeman suck the blood out of the club, players and fans alike, anymore? Will you let the rot carry on until 2018, when we will be looking at a terrible 4th season on the trot unfold? One away win since January 2017, setting his teams up like non-league outfits, marginalising players, making us the worst team to watch in the Premier League, the list goes on. Do you think he's value for £6m a year?

It's time to act, Mr Moshiri. Or are the words above just empty rhetoric?

Kevin Tully     Posted 30/09/2017 at 17:45:47

Tips for Mr Koeman

Dear Mr Koeman,

Following on from your various after-match summaries over the past month, it would appear that the problem with the team not only stems from a lack of confidence or a lack of fight, but it could be from what I have seen to be a lack of fooball basics. May I suggest you possibly consider implementing some of the following new ideas before the next match?

  1. Show all players what an Everton Shirt looks like and explain that the other members of the team will all be wearing a similar one.
  2. Spend a few minutes during the pre match team talk to introduce the players to each other so that they know who their team mates are.
  3. Give each player a little map showing them in what direction they are meant to be going.
  4. Remember to reverse this map at half time.
  5. Possibly let them know that if they occasionally run a bit they can get to the ball before the opposition, if they want to.
  6. At half time when they meet with you, it's meant to be a motivational moment to inspire them for the whole of the second half, not just the last five minutes... or is it that it takes them 40 minutes to understand whatever it is you told them?

    I hope these revolutionary ideas assist you in the rebuilding of a once great club.

    Derek Neerkin     Posted 29/09/2017 at 14:21:58

Carlo Ancelotti

Ok, ToffeeWebbers, simple question: would you take Mr Ancelotti at our great club?

Here's a man that simply wins them shiny things that we all crave at L4. With a great European pedigree, having worked for some of the elite clubs around Europe, and he knows the Premier League due to his time at Chelsea.

Personally, for me, I'd have him in a heartbeat. Koeman has showed very little at this point and the "project" doesn't look good, does it? Let's get him in before someone else snaps up this fantastic manager. Over to you, Mr Moshiri!
Peter Larkin     Posted 28/09/2017 at 16:54:48

A voice from afar...

After the recent 'lynch mob' vs 'apologists' wrestling match it was reassuring to come across an interview with Blues legend Kevin Sheedy, now working in Saudi Arabia. He explains that he left the Blues on very good terms, had not fallen out with anybody but just wanted to experience life abroad which he had never done as a player.

He also made the following statement throwing his support behind Everton boss Ronald Koeman and his squad to bounce back from a tricky few weeks that has included some heavy defeats and criticism from the club’s supporters.

“It is still very early in the season and you cannot make judgements after a handful of games,” Sheedy stressed. “Everton may have sold a great player in Romelu Lukaku this summer, but I look at the overall squad now and it is the best Everton have had for a long time.

“They have strength in depth in every position and a great manager in Ronald Koeman, who is hugely ambitious and will push the club forward.

“It will not be easy to break into the top six, but I believe Everton have the right manager in place to get to that next level.

“You will get periods where results go against you, but this is a manager with a good track record and, from what I saw working at Everton last season, he will get our club to where we want to be.”

For someone with top-level experience who has worked inside the club for a number of years, that is good enough for me. If we can get some enthusiasm behind the manager and the team over the next few weeks, it will go a long way to rebuilding the confidence and status of the club.

Jay Harris     Posted 21/09/2017 at 17:36:13

What’s changed for Ginger Ron?

I am happy to admit that when we appointed Ronald Koeman, a man linked with ‘bigger things’ as far as the media were concerned, I felt we’d done well and got a decent manager. I say 'decent' because I thought he would take us forward for two main reasons. Firstly, he was a renowned world class player and you don’t achieve that status without a winning mentality, something I feel we greatly miss throughout our first-team squad. Secondly, I felt he’d done well at Southampton having been forced to sell some very good players, he had in my mind recruited superbly to replace them at a club where you could argue it’s not easy to attract major talent.

My confidence in Koeman was increased more so when in one of his first games away at West Brom and 1-0 down he acted quickly and decisively in the first half by dragging James McCarthy off and replacing him with Lukaku who had been on the bench due to a heel problem. Koeman appeared to be a man that could recognise a system not working, a man capable of swallowing his pride and making a change without the need to wait for half-time. Finally, I thought, someone that looks at the bigger picture.

So what happened to that man? He appears to have been replaced by a man so stubborn in the system that he wants to play and the players he wants to select that he is blind to the obvious flaws in his approach. And they are obvious, aren’t they? Nobody can fail to understand that if you line up with 5 defenders and 2 holding midfielders, that leaves you with just 3 players to create and take chances, to apply pressure to the opposition and to generate periods of relief for the defence. Simple maths tells you this won’t work and that’s before you throw into the mix that those 3 players are not varied in their positional play, passing and shooting ability, strength, or speed.

If this system was an attempt to park the bus then, whilst I hate to see Everton playing that way, I could understand the logic but again, the flaws are clear. In order to successfully park the bus don’t you need either a big target man that can hold the ball up, or a super-fast runner that can chase down the hoofs? It’s not parking the bus if you leave 3 men up none of whom can run, harass or hold the ball up. That’s like parking the bus and being down to 8-men. Like I said, it all seems a little bit obvious.

The other major issue with this system is that it leaves giant holes in key areas of the pitch. Firstly, the centre of the park where quality midfielders have the time and space to spray inch-perfect passes in front of our back 7, and behind our front 3. Where do those passes go? Out wide of course because we’re playing with no wingers. Again, seems obvious.

This week, I read with interest another post on ToffeeWeb about Koeman’s days at Valencia. I have to admit that this was news to me and scary news at that. I sincerely hope this isn’t where we are headed.

So where do we go from here? Unless Mr Moshiri can completely change the ethos and culture that defines how Everton has been run for the last 20-years then we are going to be sticking with Ginger Ron until the rot is deep. Quick-thinking decisiveness has never been an attribute of our board.

So the question is, can Koeman wipe his white board clean and go back to his approach in the very early days where we appeared to have balance and definition to our starting 11 as well as the mindset to change things if it’s not working? For what it’s worth, my current starting team would look like this:

4-4-2 (imagine that!)

Kenny, Keane, Jagielka, Baines
Mirallas, Sigurdsson, Davies, Lookman
Sandro, Rooney

Subs: Calvert-Lewin, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Niasse, Klaassen, Holgate, Williams.

Scott Hall     Posted 20/09/2017 at 10:59:52

All I am saying, is give homegrown a chance....

This is my first time posting an article on Toffeeweb, but I’d like to suggest an entirely new way forward for the club as a talking point. I think this will be a ground breaking approach in the current era and could transform the team to the winning one we all want with no outlay in transfer fees whatsoever.

Sounds far too good to be true? Well, let’s see...

The starting point is our amazing academy. We all know the players it’s produced and the prospects it continues to produce, most of which are out on loan at the moment. Currently the academy is made up of local players and ones bought from other clubs. And this is where my first point comes in – don’t buy young players from other clubs. Let those clubs develop their own local talent and we can develop ours. The talent is there, I’m convinced of it.

We then use the academy as a basis for the first team, and, over time, we replace ALL of the first team with local players trained and schooled in the academy. During this time, experience is developed by some local lads, eventually leading to a team with a good blend of youth and experience, all local. There’s no need to buy any players in, why do we need to?

We’ve signed so many players that leave you feeling rather empty; is what’s available out there really any better than what we can develop ourselves?

I’d like to point out that I am not from the area (Somerset, actually), so this is not some mission to promote a community I know. I have supported Everton for well over 30 years, watched a few games over the years, and am truly fanatical about the club. I just believe a local club needs local players, and lots of them (I realise this might seem hypocritical, so I’ll take any criticism on that).

The thing that annoys me most, by far, is when we sell our homegrown talent to ‘bigger’ clubs. This is especially true of Wayne Rooney. I am in the ‘don’t go back’ camp, so I’m not happy to see him back in a blue shirt. Again, I can see how this seems hypocritical, but my point is he should never have left. I know there are reasons why he did (mainly financial and because he wanted to), but what if he’d stayed, along with the likes of Franny Jeffers and Michael Ball and built a core of great Evertonians playing for Everton?

It could have been immense. Players the fans can relate too, truly get behind, players who truly love and support the club. Homegrown in the truest sense. At no transfer cost whatsoever.

Case for the defence: Tom Davies. I’m so excited about him, I just hope he is allowed to play, mature and flourish, I think he could be one of our best ever players. (I see a lot more in him than I ever have in Ross, though I think he could still be a good player for us too.)

This obviously is a long-term plan and requires the right manager, the right attitude and backing from the board and most importantly the fans. And of course it is a huge risk, but then where has our current approach got us? Why can’t we unearth our own Kane, Bale and Ronaldo? Why would the talent not be there? I think it is and it just needs to be nurtured and given a chance, long term.

And lastly, think of the money the club could save and spend on the new stadium, keeping ticket prices affordable, community projects, expanding the academy! I know we’ll miss out on the excitement of the big money signings, but honestly, if everyone is as bored of the transfer window and especially deadline day as me, then we can probably live happily without all the speculation. I’d rather speculate on who had a great game for the U23s and is ready to step up.

So what do you think, fellow blues? Crazy talk or a blueprint for the future?

Stuart Bellamy     Posted 19/09/2017 at 19:37:13

The One-Man Wrecking Ball

Before anyone talks about giving Koeman more time, it's worth remembering that a heck of a lot of Saints fans were happy to see the back of him. But let's also remember what happened to Valencia under Koeman's leadership. I know I'm repeating much of what some already know, but here goes, and this is a short version of what took place there.

Koeman first admitted he was losing control if the team then went to extreme lengths to try to correct (his) mistakes. He told three key players, Canizares, Albelda and Anglo they would no longer feature in his plans and they could look for different clubs, (sounding familiar so far?).

Santiago Canizares, a world - class goalkeeper said he would consider retirement if Koeman stood by his decision to leave him out of the team for the rest of the season. Barcelona immediately registered an interest in him.

David Albelda took legal action against the club to get his contract terminated after calling a press conference to announce his frustration with the management (Koeman), stating that he deserved better than public humiliation.

Angulo also spoke to the press, saying that the club's veterans were being treated with little or no respect by Koeman.

After Athletic Bilbao, who hadn't scored more than twice at home all season, hit five against Koeman's Valencia, Raul Albiol of Valencia said, "The dressing room is like a funeral," and the funeral was Koeman's. The fans and players couldn't wait to get rid of him.

When he took over from the sacked Sanchez-Florescent, Valencia were four points off the top of La Liga. They then took only 18 out of a possible 66 points, and were 35 points off the top and had won only four games, and sat two points above the relegation zone.

He presided over a divided dressing room who (surprise, surprise), found themselves totally at a loss with his tactics, with Joaquin saying Koeman's tactics had them running around like headless chickens (again, sound familiar?) and the only reason they eventually escaped relegation was that the players got together and dumped his tactics and played it their way. The final nail in his coffin.

Now, if anyone can't see the similarities between then and now, they have to be deaf, dumb and blind. What the hell was Moshiri doing when he appointed Koeman? Did he not read the man's record? Didn't he pick up any of the vibes coming out of Southampton?

At least Valencia eventually took action to get rid of this awful man before he got them relegated. Has Moshiri got the guts to admit his mistake and do the right thing to save us from similar humiliation?

When you consider he could have gone for Premier League winner Pellegrini, or Europa League winner Emery at the time, it does raise a question or two about how much in-depth football knowledge Mr. Moshiri really possesses.

Everything in Koeman's past spells out DISASTER in capital letters. He almost destroyed Valencia, a club with a long and proud history (sound familiar again). For God's sake don't let him do the same to us. If it takes fan protests a la Valencia then let's do it, let the club know how we feel.

Start an online petition, anything, something, but we need to get this one-man wrecking ball out of our beloved Everton.
Brian Porter       Posted 18/09/2017 at

Fresh start?

Firstly, I'm not going slate the manager, players, board or anyone connected with Everton regarding our recent "displays" – that's been done to death by me and by many others now.

Sometimes, a manager – for whatever reason – just doesn't fit a certain club. They could have great reputation, a great CV, or a great record at winning them shinny things that seem to elude every manager at our club since 1995. But sometimes, it just does not work.

When I think back over the years of being an Everton fan, two things spring to mind. We were always very hard to beat and very well organised. That always sticks out for me; that is what Everton is about – we roll over for no one!!!! Basics, the very simple basics is what we are lacking at the minute. We have to be hard to beat, we have to be in your face, aggressive, passionate. That's the basics. And the rest will follow. So the point of this is a fresh start; back to basics.

So when Koeman's gone, the fresh start begins. Who's the gaffer that will "at least" offer the above? For me, it's Unsworth to the end of the season. Further down the line... maybe a Dyche or big Sam. Bear in mind this is short term, a steady-the-ship, back-to-basics appointment.

Peter Larkin     Posted 14/09/2017 at 21:31:13

Passing and Shooting

A match between Newtown and Everton Combination was played in Newtown in November 1895. The Montgomeryshire County Times reported on the game. The following is an extract from that report from which I trust that the present Everton management will take careful note of the passing and shooting element.

The way they [Everton] passed and made tracks for goal was a great treat. Every man seemed to be in his proper place and few of the passes failed in their purpose. The half-backs did not kick hard. They kept their eyes well on the forwards and fed them to a nicety. The backs were never in doubt as to what they should do and Hiles in goal was as cool as possible. This old Chirk and Oswestry player has developed into a rare goalkeeper and is a first rate under-study for Hillman. One good lesson the Everton men taught the Newtown players and that was to shoot at every favourable opportunity. They did not fiddle and pass backwards and forwards across goal as some teams do too much but let fly at the mark and it was surprising how this game paid.

David Peate     Posted 12/09/2017 at 08:53:50


This post is not a reaction to today's game – I was going to write it yesterday. I have grave concerns about our team. We have invested a huge amount in the Koeman project. He is vastly paid. It will take time... but I expect signs of improvement; there are none.

Our football is one-dimensional, we lack width, pace, guile, imagination and inspiration. Also, our coach seems utterly lacking in any type of man-management skills.

We had an opportunity to step forward; I absolutely believed we had appointed the right man. I have defended him, believed in him and argued that he should have more time. However, I expected more, perhaps a change in tactics, some belief, some confidence in our players. In my view, it has not happened. We have, it seems to me, a coach who is working on a CV and who doesn't want a thumping on it.

I hate humble pie but I think I am ready for a helping of it. I now believe we have made a dreadful mistake. I believe have wasted a lot of money and I am gutted.

Andy Crooks     Posted 09/09/2017 at 18:50:30

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