Archive for August, 2013

Andy Smith ; Thoughts Re ; Moyes , Fellaini and Baines

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May 12th 2013 I felt proud, very proud.

I unashamedly had a tear in my eye as along with 38,000 Evertonians I said goodbye to, in some ways, to the only football manager I had ever known. That’s how it felt anyway, having been born on the day we beat Watford to lift the FA Cup in 1984 I was certainly alive for our 80’s glory days but far too young to remember. Mike Walker, Howard Kendall, Joe Royle & Walter Smith had managed in my generation, only Smith at a time where I thought about the game tactically but after 11 years it somehow felt as if Moyes had been the custodian of our great football club forever.
The tear in my eye wasn’t for Moyes though.

I had one of those realisations that you get every so often that you’ve been chosen to be part of something really special, Everton Football Club.
For us young-uns it’s tough (I’m in my 20’s, that’s young OK). Tough to see your manager cherry picked at will by one of Europe’s elite, Manchester United.

We console ourselves with Moyes’s record away from Goodison to the original ‘Sky 4’ or the belief it was time for a change for all parties & perhaps most of all, a calm realisation that you can’t turn down Manchester United.

All of these reasons have more than an ounce or truth in them but for me, Evertonians of a different generation to mine, really showed their class. A wonderful integrity and honour that shapes the core of our football club.

When Sir Alex Ferguson took over at Manchester United, Everton had 2 more top division titles than them. TWO more titles than Manchester United! Now Sir Alex isn’t the only reason they now have 11 more, football has changed.
United has long a romance with football lovers all over the world with the Busby babes, George Best, strength through adversity after Munich air disaster. When football became a business they had the name, they had the right people in charge, they had a ground that could be developed on, (which they did before construction prices soared), they had the youngsters class of ’92. They were simply managed better than Everton, on and off the field in the early part of nineties.

Still on May the 12th 2013, David Moyes was applauded from the field by the majority at Goodison Park, by Evertonians that were chosen at time when we won league titles, when we took on and beat the best in Europe, when leaving Everton to join Manchester United was sidewards step at best.

Our manager, skipping like a school girl down the M62 with a giant lollipop in her hand at a simple click of the fingers was a massive kick in the bollocks, yet for a bitter lot we didn’t do too badly at showing our appreciation to a man, whom I most grateful towards, for stabilising our Football Club and helping us believe again, despite the inner wrangling we were all going through, due appreciation was shown.

Since March 2002 Moyes had given us belief again. He had taken us from a side that played Steve Watson up front and signed players at the end of their careers to a team that signed young, talented players from home & abroad and gave us team that understood what it was to play for Everton. This from the days of Walter Smith was an achievement, a big achievement in fact – but one on which he couldn’t dine out on forever.
I won’t be bashing Moyes, you don’t undo 11 years work in by poor transfer negotiating skills. I think he did a very good job for Everton. 7 out of 10. No worse, no better.

David Moyes gave us better players than Tobias Linderoth, Tim Cahill to name just one, Champions League albeit brief, three trips to the new Wembley. Improvement? Absoultely. A trophy?


Whilst some of our beloved friends in the media say Moyes over achieved with the tools at his disposal, I disagree. I’ve had the conversations with fellow Evertonians, I’ve seen the uproar on twitter that Stoke, Wigan, Sunderland etc…. spend more money than Everton. No they don’t. I’m not going to start talking about how much money we spend on lawn mowers but outside the guys with mega riches we pay big money to our top players, Arteta, Cahill, Jagielka, Fellaini, Yobo, Lescott, Baines to name a few that reportedly are paid over £60k a week. We didn’t buy as many players because David Moyes chose to invest the money into to his players with big contracts rather than trade like other clubs do. It worked, we spent less on transfer fees than other clubs but our wage bill was right up there, outside the mega rich by a long way but in comparison to other self sustaining football clubs were/are right near the top.

If being a runner up in an FA Cup final is an achievement maybe ourselves or even Man Utd should’ve looked to Alan Pardew as their successor……………..Now. My current anger to Moyes isn’t because he’s coming back for two of our better players, it’s a bit cheeky to open negotiations so low but he’s never been the quickest and straightforward in the transfer market has he, it’s the comments he has made.

No David, you do not know how Everton FC works. You know how it worked under your stewardship as you would, given every young aspiring

managers wet dream, full control of a massive a football club. I’m sure the lack of funds and maybe not so useful ‘delegation team’ (have they made it back from Portugal by the way? Moutinho is long gone) didn’t always help but you moulded yourself on to our Football Club, now let Martinez do the same.

For the record I’d sell Baines & Fellaini for the right money. Fellaini can be a world beater, if he wants to be and if his head’s in the right place and he will go on to justify the money we want for him. However, right now Martinez needs the money to put his stamp on this team. In a perfect world Bill would just give him £50 million without the need to sell but we must just make the best out of the position we’re in. Baines? I’ll be gutted if he goes but I think he can be replaced. Going forward there is no doubt he’s up there with the best in the world, his energy, his willingness and his end product are outstanding but we play to his strengths, deservedly so because he’s that good but if you can get £17 million plus for a nearly 29 year old left back, a club in our position has to take it. It’s a sad reality but reality none the less.

Just one last point David. I can fully assure you that every time you went to Anfield, Stamford Bridge, Old Trafford, Highbury/ Emirates, that whatever you went for the sold out away support went for the win.

And we are Everton.

Andy .



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Football: An Agent for Social Inclusion. Part 2

Fans Responsibilities to football.

I wrote in Football: An Agent for Social Inclusion, what I thought the game owed football fans, but what about us, what do we owe football? As I said before, the relationship between clubs and fans is more akin to a marriage than a shopping experience, and no successful marriage can ever be one-sided. Therefore, we fans have responsibilities to the sport too. 

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Hideous New Badge
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Why it pays to speak out about your club……if the club are run by people who care about it!

Today (22/08/13) Everton revealed their plans for a new badge….yes another one. And this is both fantastic and amazing news.
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Tottenham are close to completing the signing of Brazil international Willian after the Brazilian passed his medical at Spurs. The Brazilian playmaker is finalising his personal terms on deal that would be a club-record fee of around £30m.


The Anzhi Makachkala midfielder is set to become Spurs’ third record signing this summer following deals of £17m and £26m for Brazilian Paulinho and Spanish striker Roberto Soldado.


Willian had initially been linked with a move to Liverpool but had a change of heart once Spurs made their interest known and was also lured by the guarantee of European football at White Hart Lane this season.

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Judan Alis Indian Under 15s Win Arsenal Soccer International Tournament (Judan Ali - 3rd from right back row)
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Judan Ali’s story is a very interesting and unconventional one, raised in London, a trainee at Arsenal an inspiration for a Bollywood movie and now a football coach in Taiwan. Here at we like nothing better than an interesting football story and Judan’s story is certainly that.

Born in Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets, in the east end of London, Judan Ali has seen life through different eyes to others of his generation. In his bid to become a footballer he had to battle against the cultural barriers that were placed by his Indian parents whom arrived to the United Kingdom in the late 1960s.

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Is Arsene panicking now ?

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This was to be the summer of bold moves for Arsenal, a summer where they nailed their colours to the mast and said ‘This year we mean business.’ But for one reason or another it has not played out like that for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal.

After taking the unprecedented step of telling the world that they had real money to spend this year and despite being linked with some top names, only young striker Yaya Sanogo has been brought in from Auxerre. Arsenal appeared to be following their intent with strong interest in Gonzalo Higuain but seemed to stop short of paying what Real Madrid wanted for the Argentinian striker who then went and joined Rafa Benitez’s Napoli.

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Same Story But Very Different Everton

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Roberto Martinez’s first competitive game in charge of Everton saw the Blues register a point at Carrow Road against a resilient Norwich City side on Saturday.

The pre-season has been a more exciting one than we have been used to for some time what with having a new manager, bringing in players early and integrating a new footballing philosophy had left Evertonians counting down the days till game 1.

The Blues arrived on East Anglia looking to get off to a positive start against a side that has proved to be a bit of a bogey side for Everton in these last couple of years. The Canaries had thwarted Everton in injury time in both fixtures last season after they grabbed a draw at Goodison Park they came from behind at Carrow Road and scored twice in the final 8 minutes to defeat David Moyes side after the Blues had been in control.

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Ms Sophie Rankin : The Trip of a Lifetime

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On the 31st of August I’m travelling to Africa for one month where I will be volunteering in an orphanage and then I’m climbing up Kilimanjaro for charity. Ive funded the whole trip myself and have decided to do my climb to raise money for No More Malaria UK which is an excellent well known UK charity who raise money to help prevent malaria.

My inspiration for wanting to do the climb and raise money for this charity is the following:

I have always been extremely adventurous, active and I love a challenge and have always loved the idea of climbing Kilimanjaro and have always wanted to do it to raise money for charity. There are hundreds of brilliant charities that help people in Africa but I’ve decided to raise money for No More Malaria UK. My inspiration for wanting to support this charity comes from one of my best friends who travelled to Africa a few years ago and caught Malaria extremely badly.


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