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Howard to start final two home fixtures



Tim Howard will start the final two home games of Everton’s season as the Club celebrates his outstanding contribution over the past 10 years.

Martinez: “In our last two home games of the season we will be able to honour and acknowledge the outstanding contribution and unforgettable role that Tim Howard has made to our football club in the last 10 seasons.

“Tim will be joining Colorado Rapids at the end of the season but his legacy will live on for many years in the work that he’s done not just on the pitch but in helping young players to understand just what it means and what it takes to be an Everton player. We wish him well and he’ll be a true blue ambassador wherever he is.”

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Everton v Bournemouth Preview



So, flip flops on?

Or you pure fuming? Or a mixture of the two maybe? Or apathy even.

Whatever is your chosen approach to this weekend’s game it’s going ahead and it’s very likely to be presided over by Roberto Martinez, only the 18th man that’s ever existed to call himself the full time Everton manager.


For such a meaningless game there’s the promise of thrills and spills as apparently tennis balls are in the equation, or white handkerchiefs. And a plane too, which is sound as we usually win when protest planes occupy the airspace over L4.

Seriously though, if you’re considering the handkerchiefs then you really need to switch the foreign footie off, shave off your beard and take a long good luck in the mirror. You’d rightfully get ripped to shreds in the pub if you told your mate you took a hankie to a footie match to wave it about as though you’re some disgruntled Spaniard.

What you playing at? Take a step back from the footie for a moment and consider you’re maybe a little too carried away.

Banners are sound though. And boos. They’ve been shifting under performing Everton managers long term. And we have one of them at present.

First one to hit the plane with a tennis ball takes the grand prize though.

It’s them sort of times.


Normally at this point I’d take a look back at the previous game with a hopefully on-the-pulse-synopsis catching the general reaction and mood regarding it. But the bunch of shithouses dropped the spoils in injury time, again, so no doubt you’ve chewed over it enough.

Onwards Evertonians. To a meaningless game against Bournemouth, unless you’re fighting to save your job that is.

So what can we expect about Bournemouth? An organised team devoid of many big names who are disciplined, well drilled and play for their manager. Their manager also happens to be an Evertonian in Eddie Howe. He’s been pitched in the mix to be the 19th man to manage Everton full time but I find all the new manager speculation tedious, as it turns into a massive X-Factor off with too many teds invested in who they truly believe is the best man for the job. If it happens it’s best to wait and see, and give them some time to implement their ideas and ethos – like three seasons perhaps – and then take it from there and decide what to do next.

Has it been said that Eddie Howe looks like an Ewok pin up yet? Apologies if so.


Bournemouth were wrote off by so many this season and when they cruelly lost so many key players to injury it was almost a forgone conclusion in October that they would be sent packing back down.

So it’s with credit that they’ve shown a good amount of resolve and churned out some pretty consistent results playing incisive football which can be pleasing on the eye. Well in Bournemouth, you’ve placed both Villa and Newcastle in the relegation mire because of this so that’s a service to football you’re doing right there. Put Norwich on that list too, if ever a Rugby League crowd of beauts existed in football then that’s them.

I really don’t know too much about Bournemouth fans to offer any cruel stereotypes on them, the few I’ve met have been sound enough, I get the impression they’re like southern wools. I suppose life is all round easier when you have a nice beach on the doorstep and favourable summer weather. I wonder if they’re free from stolen XR2is doing reverse Js and doughnuts on their beach as you’d sometimes find on Formby in 1989? Or knobheads shouting “it’s ok he’s harmless” as some form of possibly banned devil dog rags over to you barking with acidic saliva thrashing from it’s jaws? Dogs need banning off beaches, as anyone who’s stood in dogturd in bare feet will testify. Seriously, size of them jellyfish though.


They’ve got nothing to fear much so I expect them to come at either a weak willed Everton team, or maybe an Everton team that’s trying it’s damndest to get it’s manager jibbed. Maybe a little from both. You decide dear reader.

The Goodison crowd currently is more hostile to it’s own than the opposition and they will know it.

Are you arsed about who they will play against us? Me neither, we should beat them but probably won’t. I’ll swerve the customary player list.

As for whoever will play for us, you can probably guess it.

Lukaku up front who’s been off the boil for a matter of time now, he missed a few good chances at Wembley but is still one of our finest strikers in a long time, even if his shins were made of rubber for the semi final. He’ll probably leave us and we’ll probably lament another missed chance to build something good at Everton, but with the game being how it is now there’ll be more of that.


For a lad so talented and with a build that would have Purple Aki courting him round town, Ross Barkley seemingly is a bit vulnerable when it comes to mindset. No sweat as he’s still a young lid but I hope we get an environment soon where he realises that he’s got loads more than pretty much most sharing the pitch with him.

Out wide we are struggling with a whole host of wingers, and some not wingers, and not one of them in any sort of form. Martinez’s system relies on this width and pace (usually only on the right side) so it’s absence compounds the team’s troubles further. Remember when Deulofeu terrified teams? Mirallas too? I don’t get the persistence with playing central players on that left wing either. It’s not yielded us much in three years. I weep inside for the loss of an ace Steven Pienaar out there. I bet Baines does too.

Midfield will be Barry and McCarthy, you know this as much as turning up at your Grandparent’s house on a Friday and asking what’s for tea. It’s fish you tit.


Jagielka seems to have played through that pain barrier the pundits talk about and goosed whatever ligament was holding up. So we’ve got ourselves some Stones and someone else until Funes Mori returns. I’d give a young lad like Pennington a go. I’d be inclined give a few more young lads a go as it may generate some interest and a bit of anticipation of the future. Can’t be arsed checking if Coleman is fit so someone will play there, Besic tried to cope admirably but that United front three ripped him and his jarg sleeve tattoo right apart. Such are the pressures of top flight football. Baines will probably be left back and Robles will be in goal.

Difficult to write previews in such times. There’s an air of unrest all over the show and it’s a shame as that Everton thing fills a big void in your weekend and when it’s going sound it contributes to many day dreams during the week, which helps pass the tedium of an average working week.

If last week was an audition then Everton completely shithoused it. That’s not an isolated incident but it gets a bit boring after a while and that’s what showing. In particular a young generation of fans growing up watching Everton spew it time and time again has created restlessness as they’ve found their voice. The advent of Moshiri and his apparent wealth to the picture takes away limitations in the minds of many. I’m Everton honed sceptical so I’ll wait and see, others don’t want to wait much longer as years tick by without any sort of recordable success for our honours list. I get that unrest like.


All these insults and demonising though? There’s no doubt Everton need to do better and here’s hoping there’s a plan in place to make that happen soon. If you’re reading this and splashing spittle at the screen including the words “Catalan clown” “El Fraudo” (you give Benidorm a bad name you ted) or assorted other cringey insults then splash some cold water on your face and focus on the results and performance instead. The statistics are sufficiently damning. That’s what will get him jibbed off, not man-virgins into wrestling over enthusiastically characterising an Everton manager as an evil heel.

On the flip side it’s quite possible to be a nice man and at the same time tell the Bayern Munich manager where to go when your team are rough-housing them out of a European final. That stuff resonates with us. Shithousery is seldom tolerated within the confines of Goodison and I reckon it’s been a part of why we’ve spent so many seasons in the highest league English football can offer. All we’re seeing is shithousing right now. Manager, players, all associated. It needs to be eradicated and soon.

But I’m rambling now and chatting wham. I’ve also talked too much about Everton and Martinez disappointing me than I intended.

The end of season may sanctuary for many. I’d much rather be somewhere warm and without football to ponder. With my flip flops on.

The post Everton v Bournemouth Preview appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Martinez – Judge me on three seasons, not three months



Roberto Martinez has urged Everton’s board and supporters to judge him on his three seasons at the club, rather than the last three months.

Martinez: “It shouldn’t be scrutiny of the last three months but instead the last three seasons. It’s a scrutiny of the squad we have put together and scrutiny of how we play against the top teams.”


“The message is we are all hurting together. I understand their passion and they make us what we are as a club. Football without passion makes no sense.

“But I’d say to those fans only when you get through those difficult experiences and moments do you get a renewed drive to fight.”

Asked about the prospect of a board meeting being called to discuss his future, Martinez said: “I understand it completely. I never felt being Everton manager is a manager to be judged in an average position.

“I encourage huge expectations. As a club, we have to drive for silverware and top four and when you aren’t there the scrutiny needs to be there”.

The post Martinez – Judge me on three seasons, not three months appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

‘Martinez is perfect for Everton’


Joel Robles

Joel Robles reckons Roberto Martinez is a top manager and ‘perfect’ for Everton.

He told the Echo: “His job as manager is not easy but, for me, yes, Roberto Martinez is important”

“He’s intelligent and, for this club, he is perfect. He is a top manager.

“It’s normal that when you lose (people say) that the manager and players are bad, but I don’t think so. We are a young team and we can be a top team. The staff are top and the most important thing now is to focus on the next game and take it step by step.”

The post ‘Martinez is perfect for Everton’ appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

No Martinez Regrets


Sylvain Distin

Sylvain Distin has no regrets on how he handled the reported fall out between him and Roberto Martinez.

Distin: “That’s between me and him.

“I’ve never been the type of guy to go and speak about my situation to anyone and I dealt with it the way I had to and I have no regrets.”

The 38-year-old former Everton defender also offered comment on Everton’s defence, responding to the comment that during Martinez’s first season in charge at Everton, the Blues conceded just 39 Premier League and kept 15 clean sheets – of which Distin started in 14.

“Well I don’t know if it’s since I left, it could be a coincidence!” Distin said.

“We’ll never find out, all I know is when I was there we had a really good defensive record that was not just down to me but down to the lads around me, like Jags, Bainsey, Seamus, Hibbo [Tony Hibbert], Tim Howard – the team.

“It wasn’t down to one player. I am in the generation of defenders that don’t like conceding goals and take pride in our defensive record but football is changing and you have to deal with it.”

On the increasing calls for Martinez to be sacked, Distin reckons the pressure he and Everton players are facing is “normal”.

“It’s down to results I guess – if the results aren’t as good as his first season I don’t think people would complain.

“But the second season wasn’t good. There was a lot of change and expectation this season and the results weren’t good.

“We’ll see at some point the manager and the players get under pressure it’s completely normal.”

The post No Martinez Regrets appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Martin O’Neill’s Everton ‘Hope’


Seamus Coleman

Martin O’Neill has admitted he hopes Everton ‘go easy and not rush’ Seamus Coleman back from injury ahead of Euro 2016.

Coleman limped off with a hamstring problem in Everton’s Premier League clash against Southampton two weeks ago and hasn’t played since and his International manager reckons Everton don’t have much to play and hopes he’s not rushed back.

O’Neill: “Seamus’ injury will hopefully clear up in time and maybe with Everton being knocked out of the FA Cup … I hate to use these words but with very little to play for until the end of the season they might go easy and not rush him back. Of course that’s my hope rather than expectation”

With Everton set to play Leicester, Spurs fans will no doubt disagree with Martin O’Neill. As will fans of clubs battling relegation with Everton to face Sunderland and Norwich.

The post Martin O’Neill’s Everton ‘Hope’ appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Gray: Martinez Has Failed



Andy Gray reckons Roberto Martinez has failed to bring out the best in the talent his side ‘clearly’ has.

Gray: “Everyone keeps telling me that this is the best group of players they have had since my day in the eighties when Everton were winning things.

“Well, let me tell you, if that’s true and if they have got the talent – which for me they clearly have – then it’s up to the coach to bring out the best in them and get them playing in a way that brings success and he has failed to do that.

“They have won only four home league games this season and with this group of players that is just not good enough. I think he has lost John Stones because of the way he has treated him this season and maybe one or two other players.”

WATCH: Jags tells Barkley ‘They weren’t booing you’


Phil Jagielka

Footage has emerged from the Wembley tunnel at half time of Phil Jagielka reassuring Ross Barkley that the booing from the crowd wasn’t directed at him.

Jagielka: “Rosco, they weren’t booing you, ok?”

Baines can also be heard bemoaning “it’s a massive pitch and we’re making it bigger”

Jagielka to Barkley yesterday "Rosco, they weren't booing you". Head up lad @RBarkley20

— Everton Pictures (@evertonfcpics) April 24, 2016

“It’s a defining week”


Roberto Martinez

The end of a defining week – but not just for Martinez

“It’s a defining week” said Martinez at his press conference on Tuesday.

Well the week has clearly been defined, despite a much better showing in the second half today, it cannot rub away the utterly soulless and clueless performance of Wednesday and today’s first half.

It’s defined a manager who could not command two wholehearted, passionate and productive performances at the time when he, the team and the fans needed it most.

It’s now up to the new owner and the Board to ensure it does not now define them.

There is neither a footballing, nor business case for retaining Martinez and his staff any longer than it takes for wrapping up any contractual issues.

The Premier League is the most ruthless, if not the best quality, competition in the world of football. Nowhere else is there such a fight for the abundant riches as in this league, and as a result there is nowhere else where such exacting standards of management and business acumen are required to succeed.

As a club under new ownership, and with the highest ambitions we can define our future quite clearly by making the simple statement “that despite his best efforts and no doubt strong desire to succeed at Everton, Martinez has failed in that objective. To move forward we must ensure a management team capable of meeting even more exacting objectives is installed.”

In doing that we send out a very powerful message, we have clear objectives – success on the pitch at the highest level – and we will do what is necessary to achieve those objectives and attract and retain the players and management to do so.

It sends a message to the players also. I’m sure as much as we love them, not every single player returning to their Cheshire mansions this evening can look in the mirror and truly say “I’ve given my all, my best for a club that demands nothing but the best”. Swift action on the managerial front may just prove the filip necessary to remind several players of their responsibilities also.

It would say even more to the fans – those people from every walk of life, the majority who make huge financial sacrifices to continue to support the institution that is wholly embedded in their family, heritage and community. It would say “ we share your concerns, we’ve listened, we want what you desperately want, and we’ve acted to ensure it happens in the future”

That’s what makes this such a defining week, it’s an opportunity to move on from plucky Everton with a hope rather than expectation of success.

It’s an opportunity to really define the standards we expect and demand, and that as a club we’re prepared to make the hard decisions necessary to achieve them, and to take every constituent part of the club on the same path, shareholders, directors, management, players and fans, a path to the success we all hunger for.

It’s a defining week that with one single action can define our future.

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