Everton 1 - 1 Crystal Palace

An earlier than usual start for a night match as I’d arranged to visit my brother-in-law in hospital, so out of the door at 10 am for the journey up to the homeland.

A strange encounter with a gentleman on the train who complained at me making a phone call to my sister and called me rude. I advised him to go to the quiet coach A but he told me he was happy where he was. Half an hour later, he makes a 10-minute phone call. I looked at him and smiled, but no other reaction. I must have one of those faces.

Off at Lime Street and straight onto a train to Broad Green. Well, I say straight on. All of these years of living in London have obviously spoiled me. I had to buy an actual paper ticket, much to my sister’s amusement, which left me dipping for the line.

Now I pride myself on my geography and my knowledge of finding my way around the city of Liverpool. However. After leaving Broad Green Station and wandering around the streets for a while, I gave in. Surely it can’t be difficult to find the hospital. I’ve driven past it countless times.

I surrendered and asked for Uber. The lady driver laughed at me as it was just around the corner, 400 m away. She gave me a free ride out of sympathy. Thank you.

He was in good spirits and remains strong considering what he’s been through. We spoke mainly about football, and he wished me well as I headed off once he had ordered his meals.

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I fared better with my bearings on leaving and found my way onto Queen’s Drive and walked for a while. I don’t like hospitals, so I wanted the fresh air. I was hoping to catch a bus but waited for ages and nothing was coming. I stumbled on a Wetherspoon's in Old Swan on the corner of Queens Drive and East Prescot Road. Ironically known as the Navigator given my earlier exploits, so warmed up in there.

I got to Goodison early. Needed food, so straight to the Supper Bar. Always the Supper Bar, not the Food Bar as they have rebranded it. There is something special about eating in front of the Holy Trinity statue, looking up at Goodison lit up in bright Royal Blue at night. It was pretty cold, but that warms the heart.

I had plenty of time so headed into St Luke’s and upstairs to wander around the Everton Heritage Society. Fascinating collection and memorabilia. I introduced myself to some of the volunteers and we chatted for a while. Extremely knowledgeable on all things Everton. I think I know a few things about Everton. They are like a collection of Everton encyclopaedias. I recommend it to any Evertonian.

Next stop was the Harlech Castle. Good to catch up with Derek, Bill, Neil, Stephen and Mark. Paul, over from Australia joined. With Derek and Paul from Navy backgrounds and me from the Army, some good banter about the Navy, the Army, and obviously lots of discussion about Everton.

In we went. Apologies to Derek for the confusion, but we got you in.

Thank you to Peter as I took my seat in the Main Stand. Great view of the glorious green turf and good company with Ian. I always say, especially on a night match, that ground under the lights still gives me goose pimples now as much as it did when I was 5 years old.

Well, onto the football.

A disappointing match from both teams. Scrappy, with possession being given away a lot and generally a poor game that was a tough watch. Not one for the purists or faint-hearted.

Mykolenko is proving again to be steady and reliable, Tarkowski his usual self. I think he is made of granite. Branthwaite as always, calm and composed. But once more, I’m talking about the defenders. I have to say, despite his critics, Young clears a certain goal by being on the post. If he’s not there, that’s in.

McNeil had an off night. Likewise Garner. For large parts, the midfield was absent and most around me were calling for change. And again, Dominic trying to do it on his own. Our nemesis. We just aren’t clinical enough.

Dominic was guilty as he had a clear sitter presented to him on a plate. I did say that occasionally, we played some neat football. But there was no output and it often went back to Pickford to punt it forward. Meat and gravy for the Palace defence. I do wish Jordan would sometimes just take his time.

A few of us agreed we could have had three goals. Calvert-Lewin missed a couple of chances and their keeper made some great saves. There was a sequence where I was convinced we had scored with I think three attempts, but it somehow stayed out.

Their goal scorer was a right handful. Very strong and what a strike. Sometimes you have to admit that you can’t do a lot about that. Fantastic goal.

I know I and others suggested that we needed to change the midfield, but I was surprised at Idrissa being hooked. He’s not creative but does his job. But then the decision proved vital. We were increasingly more on the front foot.

When the big man leapt and powered that in, the sheer emotion combined with relief caused Goodison to erupt, having been very subdued and seemingly resigned to defeat. I kept watching the clock thinking there was still time to win it.

We nervously debated how much additional there would be. Ian called 7, the gentleman in front said 5. I called 6. Up it went: 6 minutes. Opportunity or torture. Ultimately it didn’t matter, we got another valuable point.

It was frustrating. It wasn’t pretty. We didn’t lose. On to the Arkles.

A bit of discussion with some Palace supporters. A chat with the barman, this time a Kopite. I debated with him about the red decoration and “world famous” status. He has worked there for decades and remembers my Grandad. He gave me a free drink!

Intended to meet in the Vines, but time was against me so had to go to the coach station for the last National Express back.

Home by 6 am after a sleep on the overnight coach. Out with the boy dog for therapy. That was a long day.

Keep fighting, Blues. Keep believing. We go to Brighton next. Happy recent hunting ground. 7 goals scored to one conceded.


Reader Comments (97)

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Dave Cashen
1 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:17:51
Dont agree with all your observations concerning the game, Danny. That's by the by.

You must have left the ground feeling desperately deflated, but you're like a Chumbawamba song.

Paul Kossoff
2 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:43:53
Danny, I love your our posts and your enthusiasm, but comes the time when even the most optimistic fan has to say what's the point. The only thing we are still in is the shit, up to our necks in it. and no super hero is bailing us out any time soon. Dyche is the dinosaur in the tar pit, he can't get out and is taking us under with him. Putting a defensive line up out at Goodison, against a team struggling, and without four first teamers is unforgivable, and can't be defended, even by you.
Dave Lynch
3 Posted 20/02/2024 at 15:56:11
Danny mate...if thats the best we can muster at home then we are royaly fucked.
I cant see where the next points are going to come from on the field after that.
We honestly don't have that bad a squad/team and should of leathered them last night. I said to my lad after 15 minutes that this was going to be a war of attrition and was proved right.
Football has moved on but we're stuck in the past both managerial and tactics wise.
Derek Wadeson
4 Posted 20/02/2024 at 17:19:28
Interesting take on a poor match. Personally when we scored, I thought that takes us out of the Bottom 3 so don't blow it and concede like we have in the past by going gungho (under Lampard & Co) in the final minutes.

If we hadn't had the 10-point deduction, we would be 12th on 30 points and we could've served up the performance that many were demanding, but that deduction is hanging around our necks and you only have to hear the restlessness inside the ground to see that it transmits to the players as well as us fans.

Performance-wise, although Ashley Young had a shocker but his experience and positional play allowed Ben Godfrey the freedom to rove forward. Once Young was hooked (rightly so) Godfrey could not take the chance of going too far out of position as Jack Harrison is more forward intended.

Harrison put in some useful runs and a couple of good crosses and we looked sharper after his introduction. Onana proved what he is – a class above those around him, glad that he looks fit again.

We have to take it on the chin that, until the points situation is sorted one way or another, there will be more games like this. If we get a sizable amount back that steadies the ship and moves us upwards, and we can judge Sean Dyche then if this sort of performance is repeated.

Until then, we can only be grateful that at least we have someone in charge who gets the situation and cares deeply that he is not going to be the man that takes Everton down, not pretty but realistic.

Robert Tressell
5 Posted 20/02/2024 at 18:10:09
Danny, of course we are still in this. We are the 12th best team in the division on actual results and outside of the relegation places despite being robbed of 1/3 of our points.

Since we've barely played more than 2 or 3 seasons of decent football in the past 35 years, it's a bit much to expect us to play our way out of trouble with what might be the worst squad (relative to the opposition) since Oster. The most important thing is surely that we do stay out of trouble.

Paul Tran
6 Posted 20/02/2024 at 18:29:46
On my laptop, it looked like two very tense, wary teams playing poor football. Calvert-Lewin needs support with players chasing second balls. Nothing wrong with long diagonal balls to catch them unawares, plenty wrong with using that tactic without Dobbin's pace.

Dreadful though we were, we still created and missed chances. Heaven knows what people on here would have said if Calvert-Lewin had missed to only real sitter of the evening, when Doucoure missed that chance seconds before their goal.

Small picture says we were awful. The bigger picture says we'd be midtable based on results. 10 points ahead of the mighty Luton, who play with great purpose, but I'd argue their sieve-like defence will hurt them more than our inept finishing hurts us.

Bob Skelton
7 Posted 20/02/2024 at 18:44:11
Incredibly poor fare. We had a totally missing midfield with Garner and McNeil having terrible games. We are now a long ball team, trying to rely on Pickford launching it and Calvert-Lewin heading it on to no-one.

Dyche is responsible for picking Young and Godfrey, which meant nothing coming down one flank. When was the last time we had someone get round the back and delivering a good cross?

Struggled against a very poor side, long season ahead, points deduction or not.

Will Mabon
8 Posted 20/02/2024 at 18:48:44
I have to reiterate: Where did the four wins in a row come from? Right on the back of a real body blow. Yes, this squad. No mention of player worries etc. then.

I'm allowing for injuries and squad size, it's not just the results but the performance – the attitude, the set-up, the intent and intensity.

For more than two thirds of the game last night, almost no real attacking commitment. Then we concede. Ah, now we can attack – and look, we're capable of it, with our small squad of "poor" players.

So again, how did we win those four games? (And thank God we did, or we'd be in the shit now however the points thing pans out.) We won them by playing with an attacking and positive outlook.

Since then, we've looked negative, "safe" and frightened. A different team. We've shown the capability earlier to have torn that Palace side apart last night.

Dyche saved us and has shown flashes – but now I feel he's slipping back into the oft-seen mould of many English managers of struggling teams, whose dream season is 38 nil-nil draws.

Jay Harris
9 Posted 20/02/2024 at 19:13:51
Danny,

Really enjoy your posts and your positivity it certainly helps, but I agree with the vast majority that we seem to have lost our mojo since those 4 wins on the trot.

McNeil is a shadow of the player he was earlier in the season and why he took Gana off is a mystery to many of us. Young should have been hooked after 30 minutes as it was obvious that he wasn't working out.

For a game where Sean Dyche said we should be on the front foot, we were on the back foot for most of it and the sooner Pickford is told he is not an outfield player, the better – as long hoofballs up the pitch are not the answer.

We need to give Dobbin and /or Chermiti a chance as they may not be the experience we want but at least they are potential goalscorers.

Will Mabon
10 Posted 20/02/2024 at 19:20:36
Jay,

I'd venture those long kicks up field are on Dyche, not Pickford.

Dave Cashen
11 Posted 20/02/2024 at 19:34:43
I think it's confidence, Will.

That game at Wolves really damaged us. Dyche made a mistake by going with a back five. Our midfield were over-run and we haven't really been the same since.

A confident midfield will come back to their defenders and take the responsibility whether they have a man up their arse or not.

I was screaming at Tarkowski last night. Nine times in the first half alone he hoofed it aimlessly to nobody. Then I realised nobody was coming short for him. Short of going on a charge himself, he had no options.

Our midfield isn't functioning. They are not coming short for the defenders and they are not getting up to support the attack. None of them has the confidence to break ranks.

Bravery comes in many guises on a football pitch. It takes a very brave man to keep demanding the ball in tight areas when it isn't going well. Especially when under the intense scrutiny of a crowd living on its nerves. You have to be prepared to risk the wrath of that crowd.

Oh for a Leon Osman. He drove the crowd crazy at times when he would be dispossessed, but he kept right on showing for that ball.

Confidence, eh?

Danny O’Neill
12 Posted 20/02/2024 at 20:23:37
I've said it to family and friends, Dave Cashen. The long ball was frustrating me and many around me in the Main Stand.

But we were almost void of a midfield. No one showing or willing to receive the ball for large parts of the game.

Leon Osman. Possibly one of the most under-rated and under-appreciated Everton players in my lifetime.

Jimmy Carr
13 Posted 20/02/2024 at 20:39:23
We're going through a bad patch, the second potential points deduction is playing on minds, as is the result of the appeal against the first one.

I am not surprised at the quality last night's game. Two teams in relegation form, what did we expect?

I am not blaming Dyche. I don't agree with all of his decisions but he's got an almost impossible job on to try and make this team play fluid, passing football. It feels like death by a thousand cuts at the moment though, we need a result - or an outrageous piece of luck - to get us going again. Quickly.

Paul [The Esk]
14 Posted 20/02/2024 at 21:49:37
Thanks Danny, really enjoyed reading of your trip, only spoilt by the football !
Jeff Spiers
15 Posted 20/02/2024 at 22:52:06
13 games left, can we reach the magical 40pts, or even less, to stay up? The head is spinning!
Jeff Spiers
16 Posted 20/02/2024 at 22:56:50
Dave and Danny. Spot on about Leon Osman. 'Nuff said
Don Alexander
17 Posted 20/02/2024 at 23:58:21
We've been pathetic on the pitch every since Moshiri arrived, and before that we were little more than bog standard, for decades.

I've nothing at all against Leon Osman but Christ-on-a-bike, him being so eulogised just shows how far we've plunged as a top club since Heysel.

A good player, when on form, certainly. But never in a million years even close to great.

And we used to field great players, folks, regularly, until a certain recently deceased mega-shyster bizarrely gained alleged control of our club, issuing the end of any vestige of "great" – obviously to most of us.

Tragically, Moshiri never was in the "most of us" camp and we suffer accordingly......... now and for seasons to come.

Danny O’Neill
18 Posted 21/02/2024 at 06:19:27
I don't think anyone is calling Leon one of the Hall of Fame players, Don.

Forget the 80s or before, in the period he played for Everton, he was one of our most technically gifted players.

He took a lot of stick on many occasions. That's why I said under-rated and unappreciated by some. Not everyone.

As I have often said, had he moved to the continent, he would have been a star. But he stuck with Everton.

I'll keep repeating myself. Ditch the punditry, Leon, and get onto Finch Farm. I wish we could entice Pienaar to give up his current position as coach of the Ajax youth team to make a return.

I know I've been a critic of jobs for the old boys, but I don't mind ex-players if they are fit for the job.

Paul Ferry
19 Posted 21/02/2024 at 08:13:00
Danny, best wishes for your brother-in-law's good health. Nice report. Great support. Keep on keeping on.
Mike Gaynes
20 Posted 21/02/2024 at 08:21:21
Danny, I've said it before and I'll say it again... the "old boy" we need from that era is Terrible Timmy.
Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 21/02/2024 at 08:55:22
That would be an interesting dynamic, Mike.

Cahill was greeted with suspicion at the time. Coming in with alleged injury concerns (Andy Gray?!).

Well, he put any of those concerns to bed and was a fine servant to the club.

Passion, desire and commitment. He could teach a few of our players a thing or two! Especially about boxing the corner flag after scoring!!

Stop it, Mike. Osman, Pienaar and Cahill.

It's Wednesday and nearly Saturday.

Mark Murphy
22 Posted 21/02/2024 at 09:16:56
I'll have to watch the match again on the app but I don't remember this “sitter” that Calvert-Lewinmissed, and I never left my seat.

I remember two headers, one clearer than the other, but certainly not “sitters”?

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 21/02/2024 at 09:31:38
Danny (21),

Talking about passion and desire, I think you could teach a lot of fans and three or four players all about that.

Cahill had as many faults as attributes but he certainly came up with a few goals and he had that will to win attitude that Dyche would have appreciated.

Onto Saturday and Brighton Danny as you would say when you and 3,000 Blues will be there cheering the team on. That's a whole lot of passion and desire that most teams haven't got backing them.

Joe McMahon
24 Posted 21/02/2024 at 09:43:21
Saturday won't be easy as Brighton scoring plenty at the moment. Surely we will have at least heard about the points appeal by then?

RE Leon Osman, yes a very technically gifted player. He wouldn't have looked out of place in a SAF Man United team.

Matt Traynor
25 Posted 21/02/2024 at 10:40:21
Danny #21 - that's not my recollection of Tim when we signed him. We managed to snatch him from under the noses of Crystal Palace who had agreed the fee with Millwall, but baulked at his agent's demand for a fee. Everton had no qualms (I don't think it was a ridiculous fee either) and we signed him for £1.8m.

As was common with some of Moyes' signings at the time, he didn't break into the first team immediately (see also Leighton Baines, Joleon Lescott) but once in, was a first choice (see also you get it!)

A few on these boards met him in Singapore in June, 2007, when the Aussies did a 10-day training camp prior to their first appearance in the ASEAN Cup. He was injured then - a metatarsal injury he'd picked up in the last 3rd of the season.

(And he did go on to score in their first game, becoming - I think - the first goalscorer in the ASEAN Cup finals, as well as the Oceanic Cup finals, and of course, the World Cup finals).

Michael Lynch
26 Posted 21/02/2024 at 11:02:22
Boring though isn't it? I mean, the first relegation battle was incredible - so many games of unbelievable intensity at Goodison, culminating in the Palace win under the lights, which was the most memorable night since the Bayern semi-final as far as I'm concerned.

Then last season, ok, quite exciting, though the Bournemouth escape was just a huge relief and most of us felt more anger than happiness, anger at the board, at the club.

This season though, fuck this. Danny, like you I live in London, but I take my hat off to you - I've given away my ticket for half the games this season. I can't drag myself 200 miles each way to be bored witless and watch us get battered by the likes of Luton, let alone the Sky clubs. It's dull, it's painful, and it's all the fault of one complete idiot - Moshiri.

And to compound it, the PL is incompetent, greedy and ridiculous. The lengths they go to to keep the rich clubs happy is beyond belief. FFP? Fuck off. It's a closed shop, it should be illegal. And as for Sky and their relentless, hysterical over-promotion of the "product", the "greatest show on earth", don't even get me started. The game has been ruined for the real fans in order to fleece the armchair viewers who treat each football season like another season of Celebrity Big Brother.

To be honest, I'll go to more games if we get relegated. No more VAR, nor more getting battered by clubs who think its fair to pull up the ladder now that they have the money to steal the European places every year, the expectation that we might win every game we play, maybe even see some decent football from our lot. The PL is no place for losers, and that's what we are right now. I'm not sure it's possible under the current system for us ever to be competitive at the "highest level" again, or at least not until the RS and the rest fuck off to a super league.

And, I might be wrong, but I bet you we get a full house at BMD for every game whichever division we're playing in in 2025/26.

UTFT, FTPL.

Jeff Spiers
27 Posted 21/02/2024 at 11:07:53
Michael, and we'll sell out the away tickets as well.
Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 21/02/2024 at 11:21:33
Matt (25),

Yes,your first paragraph is exactly how it happened.

I thought Tim was a starter right away but didn't he score the goal that beat Man City 1-0 in his first game then got sent off for celebrating it by taking his shirt off, or was that a different season?

Then he was suspended but came right back into the side and was an ever-present when fit until the last two seasons he was here. Then he hardly played because of fitness, or he was past his best where Everton were concerned, but seemed to be revitalised when playing for Australia.

I'm not saying he didn't care about playing for Everton in those last two seasons – just that he wasn't the same player he had been.

Matt Traynor
29 Posted 21/02/2024 at 11:54:49
Dave #28, you're right – his first goal was the winner away at Man City, and he lifted his shirt over his head (but didn't take it off) – Steve Bennett then showed him a 2nd yellow.

Funnily enough, the question about his punching the corner flag celebration came up on that Singapore night – "Do you imagine it is Steve Bennett's head?"

Later that night as we took him back to the team hotel, he told me that he and Mikel Arteta had just signed new long-term contracts (it was officially announced a few days later).

I think early on he had a couple of injury-affected seasons where he played in around half of the league fixtures - he got booked a lot as well!

His final two seasons, when he was hitting 30 – he featured in 27 and 35 games respectively, but I think a lot of them were sub-appearances – he only scored 2 league goals in 2011-12.

He was fiercely proud to play for Australia – but it was a battle for him as he'd represented Samoa at youth level, and it was only when FIFA changed the rules in 2003 that he was able to make his belated appearance for the "Socceroos" just before he signed for us.

Danny O’Neill
30 Posted 21/02/2024 at 13:08:36
Matt @25,

Interesting points. If my increasing ageing memory serves me, Moyes was reluctant to play Baines and I think we played Lescott as a left-back for a large part of the season?

Michael @26,

I'm just a lost cause beyond cure when it comes to Everton. Throwing a ticket to me is like throwing a bone to a dog!

Trips home also give me a chance to meet with family and friends.

Dave Cashen
31 Posted 21/02/2024 at 13:58:13
Cahill had a different type of bravery.

We can all relate to a man who will stick his head among the flying boots. Put his body on the line. In that respect, he was without fear. Or peer.

It takes a different sort of bravery to come back and take responsibility knowing the opposition press is breathing down your neck and your team mates are terrified to show for you in case they make a mistake.

Kenwright, Moshiri, Usmanov, Brands and Walsh etc, haven't just taken away expectation. They have reduced everyone connected to the club to nervous wrecks. Few grounds can get close to generating our special atmosphere, but for several years now, we have needed a 2/3 goal lead before the anxiety levels in the stands start to come down. The nightmare of our beloved club disappearing without trace haunts us all. That anxiety transfers to the pitch.

We used to applaud people who wanted to play. Not anymore. The entire club is in the grip of doubt and fear. Anyone making a mistake whilst trying to play football is slaughtered. It's been that way since the gruesome twosome created the glass ceiling. Ask Stones, Barkley, Osman. It's going to take years to repair the damage done to this club.

For now, it's all about living to fight another day.

Ian Horan
32 Posted 21/02/2024 at 14:27:00
Brands should get no criticism imo, he wanted to instill a way of playing across all teams at Everton. He told Unsworth to change the philosophy at U21s and Brands was told "We have won Premier League 2 my way."

Brands had a vision; he was the only intelligent knowledgeable football man at the club. This is proven with PSV's revival and current success.

Dave Lynch
33 Posted 21/02/2024 at 14:36:18
Ian @32.

There lay the problem with the club, its refusal to change and move forward.

It was run by an old boys network that refused to take on new ways of operating and working, headed by Billy Bullshit and his cronies. They brought in people with a vision and up-to-date ways of improving the club, but it didn't suit the rhetoric of the old boys brigade, so was doomed to failure.

Danny O’Neill
34 Posted 21/02/2024 at 15:21:51
In a different kind of way, Dave Cashen, Tarkowski reminds me of Cahill. Body on the line as you say.

We know the club has been terribly run, but I'm just thinking about Brighton on Saturday and getting over the line this season right now.

Onto Bramley-Moore Dock before they lock those gates for the last time and break our hearts.

Eric Myles
35 Posted 21/02/2024 at 15:43:23
Danny #30,

"If my increasing ageing memory serves me, Moyes was reluctant to play Baines and I think we played Lescott as a left back for a large part of the season?"

Sorry, your memory doesn't serve you. When we signed Baines from Wigan, he was injured so couldn't play. So Lescott was played as left-]back, a position that he hated.

When Baines was fit enough to start, Moyes put him in as left centre-back to get him up to speed and then switched him to left back and Lescott to his preferred left centre-back position.

Dave Cashen
36 Posted 21/02/2024 at 15:54:20
Ian,

Good luck with finding anything to substantiate that claim.

Brands was Unsworth's boss. He told him what to do, not the other way around. Brands was DoF. He had the authority to send any junior coach packing.

You do know it was he who changed Unsworth's job?

Brands was given carte blanche to sign who he wanted. He boasted about the signings of Gbamin, Mina, Gomes, (£150M if you include wages). He signed Iwobi and Moise Kean. He boasted about his role in those recruitments too.

This is the guy who paid £12M for Fabien Delph on the same day he let Antonee Robinson go for £2M … What a good day at the office that was!

You may think Brands should escape criticism. That's your prerogative. I on the other hand think he is the single biggest reason for our current plight. the guy spent around £250M on sick notes, slackers and piss-takers.

No Marcel, no points deduction.

Lyndon Lloyd
37 Posted 21/02/2024 at 16:08:10
Dave, nominally Brands had that power but I'm not sure how much he had in practice – you only had to look at the hiring of managers, Benitez in particular, for evidence of that. In this particular instance, Unsworth probably had friends in higher places.

Delph cost £8m and, in an Ashley Young kind of way, made sense at the time. I don't think Brands anticipated him being injured so much. Likewise Mina and, of course, Gbamin. We made a profit on Kean and Iwobi was Moshiri and Joorabchian.

In my opinion, if Brands had been allowed to see through the bulk of what he wanted to do, and had been given complete control of recruitment (players and managers), we'd be far better off than we are now.

Kevin Prytherch
38 Posted 21/02/2024 at 16:12:28
Dave @36 – well said.

Brands came to us with a reputation for a bargain, working on a budget.

With us, he was like a kid in a sweet shop.

He is the biggest single culprit for the mess we are in now – closely followed by Moshiri.

Steve Johnston
39 Posted 21/02/2024 at 16:15:44
Brands was also on the Board too.

So, either using that to 'force' some decent football nous on Kenwright et al, or happy to take the £££. Easy Street.

Danny O’Neill
41 Posted 21/02/2024 at 16:48:57
Eric, I'll respect your opinion.

For the record, Baines is the best Everton left-back I've watched. Van den Hauwe included.

Baines was quality. Just a shame he didn't play in a better team.

Dave Cashen
42 Posted 21/02/2024 at 17:02:11
Fair enough, Lyndon.

I can accept that Unsworth was kept in a job because he was Uncle Bill's mate, but allowed to over-rule the DoF? He was a junior coach.

I think there is also clear evidence that there was a period when even Kenwright could not reel Brands in. You only have to look at the direct quotes from the players and Brands himself after the signings. They were all signed as a result of the DoF's endeavours.

If there was a power struggle, Brands was going to stand or fall on the quality of his signings. Unfortunately, he fell. His spree was disastrous.

We have to remember that Rafa was only brought in after Brands had squandered the fortune. By then, Moshiri's bank balance was looking an awful lot lighter and the team had regressed alarmingly. Even Farhad must have realised he had backed a lame horse.

Keeping Kenwright on. Hiring Walsh. Chasing after lower clubs' managers against their wishes. Hiring Benitez…

Moshiri has made some unfathomable howlers, but I personally don't think we should allow any of that to mask the monumental part Brands has played in our current crisis.

Andy Crooks
43 Posted 21/02/2024 at 17:27:03
Eric, your memory doesn't serve you.

Moyes played Lescott ahead of Baines at left-back many times. Check it out. I wrote to the mailbag (as it was then known) lamenting the fact.

Barry Rathbone
44 Posted 21/02/2024 at 17:37:07
Players signed for £40m or more (players you might reasonably expect to be decent) during the Moshiri era illustrates the confidence trick perpetrated on everyone at the club.

Arsenal signed 11; Liverpool, 14; Man Utd, 17; Man City, 18 and Chelsea, 21 - Moshiri signed 1 (Sigurdsson).

It wasn't Brands's fault.

David West
45 Posted 21/02/2024 at 19:19:55
Why hire a man, Brands, who was hired because of his previous record, then tell him who to hire and fire, what players to buy and sell? He was never allowed to do the job himself, the way he was used to working, the way he'd had success — the reason we hired him!

I think, now that Kenwright and Moshiri are not meddling, we can see that Thelwell is having some decent success in the market without having a pot to piss in.

Onana, Garner, McNeil just three who I'd say we would get substantially more in than we paid for them. Tarkowski and Young for nothing!

We will see about Beto and Chermiti but the issues Brands had to deal with are hopefully no longer an issue for the DoF… until 777 Partners come along, and then, who knows???

Danny O’Neill
46 Posted 21/02/2024 at 19:27:35
I don't think Brands got it right.

But I don't think the board got the DoF model right and he got sucked into the board.

Once he was in that club, who all failed, he was gone.

If we adopt the DoF Model and employ them, let them do their job rather than have interference from those in the cushioned seats. Or as it was, absent from the cushioned seats.

Danny O’Neill
47 Posted 21/02/2024 at 19:35:36
Dave, my main gripe with Unsworth was that he never really made the step up.

I believe he was made Director of the Academy or certainly promoted. But he still preferred standing in the dugout managing the U23s rather than managing the Academy from a strategic view.

He used to live across the road in Gateacre where my son's child carer lived. Great bloke and always had time to talk.

Mark Murphy
48 Posted 21/02/2024 at 19:54:39
Just remembered our conversation in the Harlech re Thierry Small.

He's at Charlton Athletic now…

Steve Oshaugh
49 Posted 21/02/2024 at 22:15:24
Looking at the various run-ins ours looks fine... destiny definitely in our hands on the field at any rate.

Why oh why do we always seem to have bloody Arsenal away on the last day of the season? Might be a piss poor memory but we do seem to have that fixture a lot... and get smashed everytime.

Ernie Baywood
50 Posted 22/02/2024 at 06:20:51
I can't work out why we're bothering with a striker.

It's just a waste of a player when you could have another defender who would get more involved.

Dave Cashen
51 Posted 21/02/2024 at 07:41:48
David West. Thats not true, mate.

I have never seen a quote, a statement, or the slightest hint of evidence that he wasn't allowed to sign who he wanted. On the contrary.

Brands on signing Iwobi:– "His signing wasn't an easy one. A young boy who had played already in the Champions League, Premier League and Europa League. We didn't have much competition for Gylfi. I think we managed it now.".

Brands on signing Gomes:– "There was interest from other clubs. The biggest help was our fans. That helped me a lot in negotiations with Barcelona."

Brands on signing Mina:– "I could have got him earlier, but they wanted €5 million more. I didn't want to spend more money, a gamble, it made it a little more tricky, a little more difficult."

Delph tells us that he was amazed when Brands came around to his house and gave a "full presentation".

Gbamin tells us "… it was Marcel who brought me here".

Brands was front and center, taking credit for these signings (most of whom had previous for being sick notes). He mentions nobody else, but he soon went quiet as, one by one, his signings started to go tits up. Forget their transfer fees, these handful of players cost £100M in wages alone.

Quite why so many Evertonians ignore all this evidence in order to defend poor old Marcel is beyond me. He actually boasted about his signings.

From the outside looking in, our boardroom had begun to resemble a meeting place for back-stabbers. Kenwright, Moshiri and Benitez all seemed to be involved in the bun fight which lead to Brands's departure. Bizarrely, that seems to have afforded him some sort of victim status. A get-out-of-jail card. It would appear we had enough culprits. We don't need any more.

I've seen plenty of evidence to demonstrate Brands was given the freedom to do his job (mostly from the man himself) and unless somebody shows me something to the contrary, something real, he will continue to be, at the very least, as responsible for this crisis as the others in my eyes.

Danny O’Neill
52 Posted 22/02/2024 at 08:34:28
I won't claim to know the ins and outs, Dave.

It's been a shit show at board level.

To coin something I've said before. That summer (before Brands) when three wise men went out shopping, seemingly not having spoken to each other, and came back with different sweets. "Look what I found"!

A simple supporter looking in from the outside, it just smacks of incoherence and has done for years. No strategy, just a scattergun approach without a plan.

On Brands. I don't have insider knowledge. I just get the impression he may have got sucked into the Board Room inner circle. Even at managerial level, Lampard got hypnotised by our masonic Board Room and couldn't wait to get up there as the supporters were celebrating on the pitch.

To date, I'm impressed with Thelwell. He's done a decent job with hands tied behind his back and seems closer to the manager than perhaps our previous DoFs have been.

That's where the role should be.

Sam Hoare
53 Posted 22/02/2024 at 11:22:47
Dave Cashen @51

Let me help you with that.

Here are some direct quotes from Brands that clearly imply the owner was heavily involved in pushing players on him. Of course how he spoke about it at the time (whilst under contract with Everton) is different to how he speaks about it afterwards.

I'm not saying he is blameless of course but it seems clear he was not always the one calling the shots; quite who were his signings and who were pushed on him by Moshiri, we'll probably never know.

“I was fighting to make a player contract of £50,000 a week £45,000 a week because that fit better in the wage structure and matched the quality of the player,” Brands added.

“And then the owner called, saying that he had been sitting with another player and that he could come for £175,000 a week. Then you say: ‘What's that going to do in the dressing room? He earns three times as much as the others.'

“The owners are very involved, which makes them easy to influence (by external agents). That makes it very difficult sometimes. I think more English clubs suffer from that.”

David West
54 Posted 22/02/2024 at 12:23:18
Dave 51 You have to let the DoFand mangers have the control. Full control – or how are they meant to implement a cohesive long-term plan?

Your DoF is planning for seasons ahead, transfer windows ahead, while the board are throwing out mangers and pushing players.

Imagine Dyche and Woan taking training and Moshiri coming and saying "No, we're not doing that, we're doing this." Would you blame Dyche if we lost the next match??

Gomes was already here on loan, played well, lots of fans wanted him. Hardly like Brands went and found him!

Mina, Delph and Gbamin, well, yes, they turned out to be injury prone but how would you foresee the issues with these players who were performing fine before we signed them? Bad luck I'd say.

Iwobi was over-priced, but we still got a decent fee when sold, to Marko Silva – the guy who pushed for him to come here!!

I'm not saying he was a success at Everton, I'm saying he was never allowed to work in the way he had success in his previous roles, so It's no wonder it never worked.

It's like signing Haaland and playing him at left-back!!!

Dave Cashen
55 Posted 22/02/2024 at 13:17:01
Thanks Sam.

I've done a fair bit of digging about Brands in the past couple of days and I have not come across that quote. Good work.

Perhaps the quotes about the players we did sign we just easier to find.

That quote clearly suggests that the owner was talking to a big name. We know he would go after "name" managers, so it's not a massive leap to think that he would do it with "name" players.

Your post and the point Lyndon made about Benitez is enough to make me reconsider. I think if two examples of interference can be supplied so readily, it is fair to assume there will be more. perhaps many more.

The fact still remains. We did not get into this mess due to the players we didn't sign, nor those we intended to sign. We are where we are because we squandered so much on fees and wages on the lame ducks who did come.

Something else just occurred to me, Sam; Don't you think it's a little disingenuous of Brands to claim the rest of the players were on 1/3rd of £175k (roughly £60k)? Especially when we have clear evidence of him coughing up twice that amount in order to make the signings he boasted about?

I accept your point, but I don't think it exonerates Marcel in any way.

David,

These players did have previous for being sick notes.

As with Sam, I accept your point, but you have to admit, Brands was given an awful lot of rope before he was reeled in.

Sam Hoare
56 Posted 22/02/2024 at 13:34:27
Thanks Dave. And nice to see someone prepared to re-consider their viewpoint. Can be a rare occurrence on this site!

I agree to a large extent it does not exonerate Brands. He was a key part of a regime that made some terrible decisions and was the face of some ill advised transfer and manager moves. The difficulty is in knowing exactly what went on behind closed doors and to what extent he was able to genuinely make decisions and control outcomes.

It's worth noting perhaps that outside of Everton pretty much every club he has been at has flourished. AZ won their first title under him. PSV built a great squad under him in his first spell and look like winning the league for the first time this season after he returned. Maybe co-incidence but given what I've heard and read about Moshiri and Kenwright, personally I'm inclined to think that Brands may have been significantly restricted.

Brian Harrison
57 Posted 22/02/2024 at 13:53:18
There have been so many things wrong since Moshiri was allowed by his boss to do a job he was ill-equipped to do, and the one thing he should have been competent in, accountancy, he wasn't.

Moshiri did deals with agents that suited the agents but far from suited Everton. El Ghazi came on loan from Villa and it was soon apparent that the manager didn't fancy him so he spent most of his time here on the bench at best.

Moshiri installed for the first time in our history the role of DoF, for me all that does is cause more indecision as they and the manager will both have differing ideas of what type of player they like and how they will fit into the team.

So we have moved on from Steve Walsh bringing in Sandro and paying him £100,000 per week only for him to spend most of his time on the bench. Now we have Thelwell; Danny in his post 52 said he thinks Thelwell is doing a good job and seems to have a closer relationship with our manager than previous DOFs.

So let's examine our signings since Dyche and Thelwell teamed up:

Beto, Chermetti and Danjuma have had very few minutes between them and Young now 38 and Harrison on loan and both have figured in many games they have been fit to start.

Now I can't believe seeing we paid money for Beto and Chermetti that Thelwell didn't have conversations with Dyche before signing them, so whose responsibility is it that we have hardly seen either much?

I know Thelwell wrote a piece soon after we signed Danjuma on loan saying we shouldn't hold anything against the lad that he chose to go to Spurs before us the previous season.

Seeing we're a club with very little money flying about, I don't see any advantage from any of the players we have signed so far. If had we kept Cannon or Simms and given Dobbin more game time, would we have been any worse?

David West
58 Posted 22/02/2024 at 13:55:12
Dave.

Don't get me wrong. I accept Brands made mistakes, he was party to all the bad decisions being taken during that time. I don't believe all the good signings were his, and likewise with the bad signings.

I'm guessing there would be conversations between the DoF and managers before any players signed.

Steve Brown
59 Posted 22/02/2024 at 14:28:35
I remember Davide Ancelotti being interviewed recently about his Everton time. He expressed the surprise he and his father felt when they joined transfer discussions on future targets and finding Bill Kenwright sat there. He also portrays a lack of alignment between the DoF and manager.

‘He (Brands) wanted players which we felt weren’t the right fit for Everton, in the end we came to an agreement on the players we would pursue but this was a long and difficult process.

The Chairman (Bill Kenwright who passed away in October 2023) would often sit in at these meetings giving advice which we found strange as this was something I had not seen at other football clubs.’

Moshiri and Kenwright were far too interested in playing football manager, while Brands was bought off by getting a board seat until even he found the dysfunctionality intolerable.

Danny O’Neill
60 Posted 22/02/2024 at 14:43:31
Again Brian,

Give players time to settle in, especially given where we are now.

This is early 80s stuff. We have a relatively young team trying to work it's way out of trouble with all kind going on in the background

Brighton on Saturday and a final decision on the the appeal. Then we move on and forward.

Sam Hoare
61 Posted 22/02/2024 at 14:43:55
Brian @57, I think it may be a bit early to pass judgement on Beto and Chermitti. Certainly I can see why we signed them.

Beto has a similar profile to Calvert-Lewin, good in the air, athletic and pretty hard working. In Italy and Portugal he had a record of scoring about once every 200 minutes which isn't too shabby. He's obviously not been helped by a lack of a run of games here. Dyche prefers Calvert-Lewin who has a stronger all round game.

Chermitti is very young and will probably only cost us a few million unless he does well and activates the clauses. Again he is tall and strong and if he develops well could be a similar player to Calvert-Lewin, Toney, Solanke etc. He needs minutes and should probably have gone on loan in January were our squad not so tight.

Both players fitted the profile we need for a manager who likes to play direct and neither were likely to hit the ground running with limited minutes. Time will tell whether it is money well spent but I haven't given up hope yet.

Robert Tressell
62 Posted 22/02/2024 at 17:02:48
Brian # 57 - our net spend in the past 3 seasons is minus £70M. In the same period, Crystal Palace have invested £180M in their squad – a difference of £250M.

That is why we have Beto (cost nothing in year one), Chermiti (cost £1.8M), Young (free), Danjuma (loan) and Harrison (loan). No-one identified these players as cracking signings who would bring back something resembling the good times. But that is absolutely out of the question given the financial situation that threatens our very existence.

That is why, player for for player, Palace's injury hit side was still every bit as good as our First XI on Monday. Indeed they've only just spent £25m on Wharton and Munoz.

Before anyone says it, Brighton do pick up cheap "hidden" (or actually not that hidden) gems. However, these players often play 2 or even 3 seasons on loan before being deemed ready for the Brighton first team.

If you have no money but an absolutely dire immediate need for players capable of playing between 20 to 38 games of Premier League football – then the pickings are very slim.

Christopher Timmins
63 Posted 22/02/2024 at 17:16:04
Danny,

We would be "well out of this" but for the sins of the past.

I am self-employed, sitting at my desk, working from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm, Monday to Friday. I top it up with a few hours on Saturday and Sunday morning.

Since Monday last I have been in and out of the sports news site at least once an hour. Whatever impact the waiting for the appeal result is having on the players, it's killing me!

Mark Murphy
64 Posted 22/02/2024 at 17:22:22
“Our net spend in the past 3 seasons is minus £70M. In the same period, Crystal Palace have invested £180M in their squad - a difference of £250M.”

This is why I asked recently how come Palace get away with this and not us? If we're minus £70M investing in the playing squad, how are we gaining an advantage on the pitch versus even Palace who have spent their profits and plus??

Eric Myles
65 Posted 22/02/2024 at 17:42:53
Well I can't edit the post below so this one will work.

You just do not leave out Baines, Lescott, Yobo or Jagielka from any side, which is why we saw some horrendous performances from Jagielka in midfield when he couldn't get in the back four.

Eric Myles
66 Posted 22/02/2024 at 17:42:53
Sorry Andy #43, you're wrong.

Baines was injured when he signed for Everton and because we had Yobo and Jagielka as centre-backs Lescott was played as left-back, as I said, a positon he went on record as stating he hated.

So when Baines was fit, he was played in the centre so as not to disrupt a successful formation at the back. And he did well there. It was when Yobo was injured that Lescott took his place and Baines was moved to left-back.

Baines was never not played at left-back because Moyes didn't trust him in that position.

Danny #41, I never saw Van den Hauwe play with me working in the pre-satellite sandpits of Saudi during the '80s, but I did see Raymon Wilson, and Baines was as good, but I'd still give Raymon my vote as best.

Les Callan
67 Posted 22/02/2024 at 17:52:24
Sorry, Eric, as good as Baines was, not in the same class as Wilson, nor as good as Van den Hauwe.
Andy Crooks
68 Posted 22/02/2024 at 17:54:47
Eric, I disagree. I never though for a moment that Moyes didn't trust Baines at left-back but, he was the best left-back at the club, was available and Lescott was put there ahead of him.

Now, Eric, I am saying this because I kicked off on here at the time. However, back in the days of the MOB and when I was not the wise old sage I am now, I did kick-off at the drop of a hat, to denounce Moyes.

So, if you challenged me to a bet, I would bow to your superior knowledge.

Mark Murphy
69 Posted 22/02/2024 at 18:07:41
I never saw Wilson play in the flesh but Baines was much better than Van den Hauwe, in my opinion.
Christopher Timmins
70 Posted 22/02/2024 at 18:19:30
I saw Pat van den Hauwe play, he was a member of a title-winning side and he may well have been a better athlete than Baines but Baines was a better footballer, indeed maybe the best footballer of the Moyes era.

If Pep had Baines when he was in his mid to late 20s, he would have a similar role to the one being carried by Stones at present.

Rob Jones
71 Posted 22/02/2024 at 18:25:57
Christopher, I think Baines was phenomenal, but he was a little bit limited defensively, not aggressive enough in shutting down crosses.

Certainly the best footballer, and along with Seamus, the most loyal, perhaps to a fault. He was good enough to play in a team challenging for Championships.

Eric Myles
72 Posted 22/02/2024 at 18:27:54
Andy #61, no superior knowledge intended, I think it was Danny's comment about 'reluctant to play Baines' that got me going, but you don't just leave Lescott out of that side, and there's no way he could have played midfield which Baines could. Who was that German bloke he was compared to who moved from back to mid? Lahm?

Les #67, maybe it was because Wilson played in a much better, and more successful, side than Baines was able to that we have such fond memories of him?

Eddie Dunn
73 Posted 22/02/2024 at 18:40:31
I saw plenty of Pscho Pat and he was aggressive but Baines had that wonderful partnership with Pienaar and his brilliant free kicks.

That brace at West Ham was my favourite away day since we won the title at Norwich with a Van den Hauwe goal!

David Peate
74 Posted 22/02/2024 at 18:46:23
All this talk of left-backs. Wilson and Baines were outstanding. However, we must not forget about the speedy and cultured Gordon Dugdale of the late 1940s.

Illness deprived him of success but his memory lives on. Dugdale fell foul of Ted Sagar when he scored an own goal!

Dave Cashen
75 Posted 22/02/2024 at 18:50:33
Simon Hart did a tribute piece for Bainsey when he retired. He interviewed several of his managers.

He put the question of Bainsey's first season to David Moyes:

"Moyes recalled his initial reluctance to start the youngster – he looked like a small immature boy. For that first season, Joleon Lescott played more games at left-back. Yet he soon grew up. In the last few seasons for me at Everton, he became the biggest assist-maker in the Premier League from full-back".

When asked about the time he tried to prize Baines away from Everton to Old Trafford, he simply replied, "He showed great loyalty to Everton".

Class act – Baines, that is.

Andy Crooks
76 Posted 22/02/2024 at 18:51:15
Good point about Baines, Eric. There was a lot of talk about Baines as a midfielder and who knows? We had a decent squad then and many players who deserved to win a trophy.

Never thought I would look back on that as a golden era…But the state we are in now makes me hark back to the halcyon days of Walter Smith!

Alan McGuffog
77 Posted 22/02/2024 at 18:54:11
We've not, in my 71 years, had a left-back fit to be mentioned in the same breath as Ramon.
Liam Mogan
78 Posted 22/02/2024 at 18:58:01
I ended up getting to know Ray Wilson a bit as he was a friend of my partner's dad. A proper Yorkshireman, didn't suffer fools! Was very modest about his football ability and didn't hold himself in the class that most Everton fans of the time do.

It was a bit before my time, so I never saw him play, but my dad certainly rates him as one of the few truly world class players that have turned out in a blue shirt.

Amazing to think in that era, players like Ray could be almost indentured to a club like Huddersfield for nearly their whole career. A lot of it in the Second Division.

Imagine going from playing Port Vale one week to marking Garincha the next. My dad has a beautiful picture of him slide-tackling the Brazilian wizard at the 1962 World Cup which he signed for me.

Like a lot of his peers, he suffered from dementia in his later years. When shown photos of himself playing, he was known to ask 'Was I any good?' Terrible illness which I'm sure everyone has experienced in some form.

It's difficult to compare players across eras as the demands are different. I loved both Pat van den Hauwe and Bainsey but reckon both would have struggled playing in the other's time. Pat wouldn't have got to half-time nowadays!

However, I have it on the authority of my Dad that Ray Wilson would have fitted in seamlessly to today's game. A true Everton legend and World Cup Winner.

Les Callan
79 Posted 22/02/2024 at 19:20:11
Well said, Alan.
Dave Abrahams
80 Posted 22/02/2024 at 19:29:08
Dave (75),

That is the memory I've got of Moyes and his version of Leighton being too small not long after he had signed him and I thought that Moyes often went to see he player he was interested quite a few times before he agreed to bring him to Everton, then why did he sign him.

My memory is he, Moyes, took some time before he put his trust in Leighton before he played him regularly and I also thought that Lescott was a bag of nerves in his first game for Everton v Watford (?) and quite a few more games after that playing at left-back.

Brendan McLaughlin
81 Posted 22/02/2024 at 19:30:40
Mentioning Baines as a midfielder, I seem to remember Martinez speaking of Baines evolving into the next Andrea Pirlo.

Uncanny foresight...

Eric Haworth
82 Posted 22/02/2024 at 19:48:42
I consider it a privilege to have been witness to two of the greatest exponents of the art of full-back play, both in blue shirts: Ramon Wilson and Alex Parker.

Ramon was such a cultured full-back, which was an extreme rarity for defenders of his era, which set him on another level, and Alex made an art form of the slide tackle, being able to slide in & take the ball off a winger whilst leaving him standing.

Very different full backs (one right, the other left) but both beautiful to watch!

Dave Cashen
83 Posted 22/02/2024 at 20:00:39
Martinez reportedly took Baines to Old Trafford to watch Philipp Lahm.

Lahm had been a top-class left-back for most of his career. Pep Guardiola converted him into a very accomplished midfield anchor man in his latter years.

Martinez wanted to try the same trick with Baines but, for one reason or another, the opportunity did not present itself.

Les Callan
84 Posted 22/02/2024 at 20:27:40
Eric. Finest two full backs we’ve had in 70 years.
Brendan McLaughlin
85 Posted 22/02/2024 at 20:59:58
Aargh Dave #83

Of course it was Lahm.

Pirlo...bit of a stretch even for Bobby to consider.

Danny O’Neill
86 Posted 22/02/2024 at 21:13:18
Pirlo. Now there is a classy player

On Everton left backs, I was too young to witness Ray Wilson, being born in 1971.

I watched Pat Van Den Hauwe for many years and loved his combative attitude.

But to date, Baines is the best I've seen in that position.

I like Mykolenko. An honest player and good defender. I guarantee on Saturday at Brighton regardless of the result, he will be straight over to the travelling supporters

Robert Tressell
87 Posted 22/02/2024 at 21:26:07
Mark # 64, good question which I didn't really attempt to answer last time. I'll have a go. Our damage was done in the Koeman to Ancelotti era by spending money (£20m+) on deteriorating assets on high wages. The players were no better or in some cases much worse than the bargains / talented youth Moyes and Martinez had been developing. We had no sale proceeds to reinvest into the squad and it has killed us financially. Maybe Palace have been a bit cannier than us (it doesn't take much) which gives them a bit more room to spend. But it might also be that they're expecting to sell the likes of Olise, Guehi and others in order to balance the books and buy younger, cheaper replacements. But really I suspect that they and quite a few clubs like Bournemouth, Forest and others must be close or over financial limits.

Finally, on Baines - great player. One of our few in the Premier League era with genuine Champions League level quality and technique (who wasn't a broken has-been).

Richard Duff
88 Posted 22/02/2024 at 21:35:35
Leighton Baines, I bet you think this thread is about you?
Brendan McLaughlin
89 Posted 22/02/2024 at 22:23:10
Completely off topic

Anyone seen the recent Rooney interview. Put's a very different spin on his Everton departure.

Sorry Michael/Lyndon but don't have laptop and can't do the link thing without it

Mark Murphy
90 Posted 22/02/2024 at 22:26:40
Richard - Wild applause!!!
Bravo sir!
Peter Mills
91 Posted 22/02/2024 at 22:44:46
No teary-eyed sentiment - Ramon Wilson was magnificent.
Paul Birmingham
92 Posted 22/02/2024 at 23:04:00
Eric, my Dad will be smiling down, from the Top Balc, in the sky with your choice of fulll backs.

He said they were the finest, in his time watching Everton, total footballers, who could have played in any team.

For me there was also Mike Pejic, Stevens, P V D H, and Bainsey.

A pleasure to have watched them, grace the Everton shirt.

UTFTs!

Soren Moyer
93 Posted 22/02/2024 at 23:17:56
In my humble opinion our HOME games against Sheffield U, Burnley and Forrest are the key for our survival. Anything less than 3 wins in those games and we will almost certainly get relegated.
Paul Birmingham
94 Posted 23/02/2024 at 00:04:58
Soren, good pragmatism, and every game counts.

The next game, is the most important, and to beat Brighton.

UTFTs!

Andy Crooks
95 Posted 23/02/2024 at 21:45:50
Pete@91, Ray Wilson was the best. That's the way it was done.
Will be over next week, Pete, maybe catch you at some stage.
Danny O’Neill
96 Posted 24/02/2024 at 07:10:47
Let me know where you will be, Andy.
Tony Abrahams
97 Posted 24/02/2024 at 09:42:28
Which Rooney departure, Brendan, his first one or his second?
Peter Mills
98 Posted 24/02/2024 at 13:14:24
Keep in touch Andy, maybe meet up pre-match.

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