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Seven Years Ago Today...


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#1 Louis

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Posted 13 Mar 2009 - 16:35

Walter Smith was sacked!
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#2 jamiemaher85

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Posted 13 Mar 2009 - 16:52

... and the modern re-birth of the club was about to take place..... happy days
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#3 MikeO

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Posted 13 Mar 2009 - 17:04

Found some interesting quotes from around that time, supporters emailing the BBC...

I've been an ardent fan of Everton since the 80's...and time and again, the same mistake of sacking quality manager occur. Taking everything into consideration, and with only nine games to go... Smith deserves the opportunity to get it right with at least some decent money to spend. The future's bleak, the future's not Moyes.... the future's the Nationwide League.
Tom, England

Oh dear! The sacking of Walter Smith suggests the Everton board haven't got a clue. The appointment of David Moyes confirms it!
Alan, Isle of Man

Bill Kenwright must be applauded on taking a gamble on David Moyes. Everton were certainties for the drop under Walter Smith due to a lack of ideas and tactical acumen. Smith's biggest mistake was to largely ignore one of the best youth systems in the country and I would be very surprised to see David Moyes go down the same road.
Neil, England

Who in their right mind leaves a side which has a good chance of going up for a side that looks almost sure to go down now?
Bryan, Ireland

3 million for David Moyes? If Walter was given that kind of money then maybe Everton would be doing a lot better than they are now.
Wayne, England


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#4 MikeO

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Posted 13 Mar 2009 - 17:19

And here's a very intersting article from Brian Reade in the Mirror, 16th March 2002.

It deserves to be read so I've copied and pasted. You forget just how bad things were (how wrong was he about Carsley though!).

MY instinctive reaction to Walter Smith's sacking was to accuse Bill Kenwright of an unforgivable act of gallery-playing, disloyalty and naked self-preservation.

An insurance policy against being strung from a Bullens Road lamp-post because he had kept faith with a manager who had taken Everton down months before they could boast of being the first team to play 100 seasons in the English top flight.

Kenwright knows this grand old team's history and the crowd's apoplectic reaction to the shambles at Boro was enough to make his head, not his heart, go boom-boom-boom.

Consequently, to distract attention away from the conductor he simply shot the piano player.So I was about to write about the stoic Smith shouldering his board's comical mismanagement for three-and-a-half years, having to sell his best players to fend off bankruptcy then fight an annual relegation scrap with men so old, they had Nil Satis Nisi Optimum written on their legs in varicose veins.

A board which had allowed the club to slide from eminence to obscurity, chasing the white elephant of a new stadium while allowing the only thing that mattered - the team - to become such a grim advert for football they are about to have their sponsor's names taken off their shirts.

And then I read of Smith's cunning, last ditch-plan to save them from the drop. Bringing in Ashley Ward on loan. A journeyman Jonah who has been relegated with Norwich, Barnsley, Blackburn and Bradford in the last seven years, and I decided Smith either had a death-wish or he actually wasn't very good at his job.

I looked at his three recent signings - Lee Carsley, Tobias Linderoth and David Ginola - and realised they weren't so much cast-iron guarantees against the drop as possible reasons for it.

I read the list of the 31 players he signed for 57million, and saw only two who were class and in their prime - Marco Materazzi and Oliver Dacourt. Both swiftly caught on that Smith would not be putting class players alongside them and jumped ship.

I remembered how he allowed Don Hutchison to leave because he wouldn't stump up a few extra grand a week to keep him happy, yet saddled the club with Duncan Ferguson's titanic wage and health bills.

I thought of all the dire games I'd watched at Goodison since Smith was in charge. The baffling team selections which brought a new meaning to the rotation system (the same players rotated in each other's positions), and I came to four conclusions.

That winning a one-horse race in Scotland doesn't equip you to cope with the demands of England's Premiership. That the shambles he leaves David Moyes is worse than the shambles he inherited. That if he'd been as devastatingly honest as people say he is, he'd have walked months ago and told the debt-strapped club to put half of his million pound compo cheque towards a new striker. And that ultimately Kenwright had no option but to make the OBE after Smith's name stand for Out Before Easter, because Everton had begun to stink of decay.

When the BBC cameras panned to their fans at Middlesbrough their bleak expressions resembled their manager's. They looked haunted, tired, clueless and resigned to failure. Not gallant failure mind, just cowardly submission.

After last Sunday something had to give. And it had to be Smith.

His defenders say he ended up having to buy mediocrity because good players won't sign for a club that's going nowhere. In that case you have to find a manager who can convince them they are going somewhere. Something Smith could no longer do because he didn't believe it. Which is why his team didn't either.

But where were the men who could? David Jones and Peter Reid? Wrong timing. George Graham and Joe Royle? Yesterday's men.

What was needed was radical thinking. An injection of youthful ideas. A freshness. A boldness. A gamble.

And Moyes fits that bill. He wins by playing the game the right way and he will eventually perfect his craft at one Premiership club, so why not Everton? Even if he takes them down but brings them back up a younger, better, hungrier team, the fans will be relieved.

For too long going to Goodison has been a punishment, not a pleasure. Their bafflingly loyal fans need to start enjoying watching football again. They need to know their cash and their support is pushing the team in the right direction. They need more than anything to see a side consistently beat opposition, any opposition, by playing slick, entertaining football.

It's a massive challenge to come to a Merseyside team who have under-achieved for a decade, survey the chasm in ambition between yourself and the side across Stanley Park and make the club great again.

In fact it's only ever been done once before. By another untested, fanatical, single-minded, ex-Preston Scotsman whose first task was to bond with the fans by telling them they support "The People's Club."

And if Moyes eventually achieves a fraction of what Bill Shankly achieved, a week which started calamitously for Everton might go down as one of the best in their long history.


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#5 dark

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Posted 14 Mar 2009 - 09:30

I've been an ardent fan of Everton since the 80's...and time and again, the same mistake of sacking quality manager occur. Taking everything into consideration, and with only nine games to go... Smith deserves the opportunity to get it right with at least some decent money to spend. The future's bleak, the future's not Moyes.... the future's the Nationwide League.
Tom, England

Oh dear! The sacking of Walter Smith suggests the Everton board haven't got a clue. The appointment of David Moyes confirms it!
Alan, Isle of Man


Those top two quotes are a classic. At the time I suppose most people were a bit un-clear of what Moyes could do, he was only at Preston and hadn't racked up much media success. The future with Walter did look to be in the lower leagues, if he hadn't of been sacked then we could have been sitting here with aspirations of a play-off place. He did do us some good in the club and the funds were a problem but Moyes seemed to work around that, the future did look bleak with another relegation challenge and an in-experianced manager. How wrong people were.

The board did have a clue and got us out of it, David Moyes is one of the best signings the club has made.
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#6 marcopaulo

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Posted 14 Mar 2009 - 09:55

i bet alan from the isle of man feels a right tit eh :lol:
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#7 Jimmy the blue

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Posted 14 Mar 2009 - 12:23

The only thing wrong with Smiths sacking was the fact we nearly waited too long to do it, his football was crap, his signing belonged in the Antiques Raod Show and his assistant Archie Knox nearly ruined our academy. IMO Smith was the poorest manager this club of ours has ever had, Mike Walker aside but including Gordon Lee
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#8 Louis

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Posted 14 Mar 2009 - 12:27

The only thing wrong with Smiths sacking was the fact we nearly waited too long to do it, his football was crap, his signing belonged in the Antiques Raod Show and his assistant Archie Knox nearly ruined our academy. IMO Smith was the poorest manager this club of ours has ever had, Mike Walker aside but including Gordon Lee


What's that about?
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#9 Jimmy the blue

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Posted 14 Mar 2009 - 12:37

What's that about?



My mates lad was at the academy while Knox was there, he was a bully, mark and three of his mates jacked it in because the atmosphere was that bad, all of that was down to Knox. Sean, my mate, was tempted to down there and snot Knox, his lad Mark ended up at Blackburn I think
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#10 dark

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Posted 14 Mar 2009 - 12:40

What's that about?


I'll back that up too, when I was in Primary there was a lad there that played for the Everton team, he quit because he said that the atmousphere was so bad there, he was signed for Blackburn Rovers a few weeks later and said that the change was massive, he put most of the bad atmousphere at Everton down to Knox. I haven't seen him in years but I woulden't be surprised if he was still down at Blackburn, he was a really good player. It's just good that the atmousphere at the academy has improved, it's a nice welcoming place nowadays.
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#11 StevO

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Posted 15 Mar 2009 - 14:18

im very suprised by that to be honest. mostly due to the academy being run by its own staff, and not being near bellefield in the slightest. i didnt think smith or knox would have spare time to be getting involved with them when the club paid people good money to look after that side of the club.
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#12 Jimmy the blue

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Posted 16 Mar 2009 - 14:04

im very suprised by that to be honest. mostly due to the academy being run by its own staff, and not being near bellefield in the slightest. i didnt think smith or knox would have spare time to be getting involved with them when the club paid people good money to look after that side of the club.


Steve, it was true mate, he had final say in everything, he was a shit of the first order
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#13 StevO

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Posted 16 Mar 2009 - 19:50

i've heard stories of the baseball bat, i just hope that never made its way to the academy like it supposedly made its way round the dressing room.
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#14 Jimmy the blue

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Posted 16 Mar 2009 - 23:36

i've heard stories of the baseball bat, i just hope that never made its way to the academy like it supposedly made its way round the dressing room.



tell us more, this is something Stubbsy never mentioned :)
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#15 StevO

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Posted 16 Mar 2009 - 23:39

theres been stories about him having a baseball bat, pretty much a scare tactic id presume, never heard one of him hitting a player with it. might make him just seem a little more serious in one of them letting the team down at half time talks. have heard of players just thinking he was a knob though, just nothing from the kids.
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#16 Jimmy the blue

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Posted 16 Mar 2009 - 23:43

theres been stories about him having a baseball bat, pretty much a scare tactic id presume, never heard one of him hitting a player with it. might make him just seem a little more serious in one of them letting the team down at half time talks. have heard of players just thinking he was a knob though, just nothing from the kids.



My mates lad had been a born blue and that twat chased him away. If he'd have tried that with Alan he'd have needed a doctor to extract it <_<
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#17 StevO

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Posted 16 Mar 2009 - 23:44

jimmy, i dont need images in my head of stubbsy, a bat and archie. bad times
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#18 Louis

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Posted 17 Mar 2009 - 18:08

I heard he chased Stephen Hughes around with a baseball bat? Alex McLeish comments on it here: http://www.independe...de-1200694.html

Cahill was not keen on Knox at Millwall "When Archie Knox came in, it felt more like going backwards than a fresh start. Knox was not here long enough to understand me. He has had a great career and has a fantastic reputation. But that is not enough if you cannot gel with the squad. I did not know where I stood. Everything seemed to go pear-shaped. There was no continuity and that made preparation difficult"
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