Monsieur Bleu...
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Its always great to get away with the lads for an away match, and this weekend was no exception despite the result at Norwich going against us. Good company and good quality ale were enough to keep spirits high as we tried to block out the football on Saturday night. But with the inevitable Sunday hangover came the inevitable and agonising investigation into the game, and as is often the case nowadays, the club, the board and the chairman.


This was the latest in a long sequence of "must-win" matches for us - every week is a must-win game nowadays it seems, and yet again we failed to win. We have not won a game now since January, despite facing Oldham, Aston Villa and Norwich in that time. This is an undeniable poor run of form for a team with lofty champions league ambitions, although one by one it seems Evertonians are starting to accept that a champions league has, since the new year, slowly become an impossible dream. Numerous explanations have been suggested for our poor form of late. The most convincing of these is that our small squad is tiring, and that the lack of activity during January's transfer window has disappointed players, manager and fans to the extent that a quiet frustration has crept in and been expressed through lacklustre efforts on the pitch and in the stands.


The January window was of course a massive disappointment for Evertonians, and after ultimately failing to make any significant moves in the transfer market, big questions are being asked. With each failure to win on the pitch of course, these questions gain volume and it becomes harder for the Evertonian collective to remain positive.


On Saturday evening, back in our Norwich hotel's bar, we were fortunate enough to meet a friendly group of Dutch tourists who were also lovers of football. They were clearly very knowledgeable about the game, and discussions ensued on everything from the greatest Dutch and English players of all time, to the recent form of one of their heroes - John Heitinga. I asked one of them about the Leroy Fer saga. He replied that all the Dutch newspapers were reporting that the deal was essentially done - no surprise really, as the English media were reporting the same. The gut-wrenching bit was hearing from our new Dutch friends, who supported a lower league side I had never heard of, that Fer is undeniably a brilliant player, and that we had missed out massively.


One theory doing the rounds amongst many Evertonians is that our attempt to sign Fer was in fact a "phantom" bid. We knew from day one that we would not be signing him, and the whole episode was staged, to preemptively dampen the inevitable frustration which would follow our failure to sign new players. I am not convinced by this theory, but I can understand the suspicion. Where exactly did this eight million pounds come from, after all? The difficulty I have with the conspiracy theory is the implication that either David Moyes was in on the secret, or Kenwright and the board, through liaising with our medical staff, had managed to keep Moyes in the dark regarding the real truth. I find both scenarios difficult to stomach, although I have no doubt that the club (like any large business) would probably be prepared to deceive the fans (its customers) as part of its longer term strategy, if it thought it could get away with it. Some call this 'PR', others 'marketing', 'spin' or more bluntly 'a disgrace'.


As is often the case with conspiracy theories, it is difficult to prove anything either way. It will be interesting to see what happens in the summer, transfer-wise. If we don't make a net spend of 8 million or more, will the club publicise why not, given the supposed attempt to sign Fer? It will also be interesting to see how Fer's career pans out. If this knee problem was so bad as to make the risk of taking him on not worth it, surely injury problems will be an inevitable feature of his career over the coming years?


I believe there is still an atmosphere of significant distrust currently existing between the club and many fans. The fans have a voice and it needs to be listened to and respected, but at the same time we have a responsibility as fans to try to stay positive and to get behind the team. In the meantime, there is certainly no harm in questioning what is happening behind the scenes. Personally it would take strong evidence for me to believe that a ploy so elaborate as the alleged Fer phantom bid would ever happen at our club. Maybe I'm just naïve, but I hope to God I'm not wrong, as this would be a scandal of epic proportions.

Monsieur Bleu

Comments about Not Fer
Utter tosh - phantom deals con the fans? What utter drivel! Simple solution now the brolly man has gone - straight swap - Go Dutch boy Heitinga for Fer SIMPLES.
Craig Findlater, Romsey Hampshire, 1:25 PM 28/02/2013
Great Callum. Can you tell us and them where the money's going to come from? TIA.
Smiley, Downtown, 4:47 PM 27/02/2013
Any Evertonian who doesn't think our "board" is harmful to the team, fans or manager is blind. The only money we will get this summer will be from Fellaini's departure, FACT
Callum, Cheshire, 4:17 PM 27/02/2013
Moyesie says time after time he and he alone decides which players come and go, so is he a liar? Is he another member of this vast conspiracy that can't keep a secret? Or maybe his biggest failing is that he tells the truth too often.
Paul, Warrington, 12:51 PM 27/02/2013
The so called conspiracy theory is a load of absolute nonsense since once the transfer fell through it attracted more adverse publicity than no offer at all. So it is the most stupid idea anybody could think up. I'm all for criticism where it's due but this is too ridiculous for words.
Spectator, Crosby, 12:13 PM 27/02/2013
from quotes ive read from the chairman of fc twente and direct from fer it seems like we were just trying to find an excuse to pay less and less until fc twente finally turned round and told us to piss off. leroy has said he got the all clear and was prepared to lower his demands when it started going pear shaped. fers injury was only minor and kept him out for a couple of matches, phil nvilles was worse and hes doing fine now. hope we can rescue this deal in the summer the lads a beast
joe, liverpool, 6:49 PM 26/02/2013
Our manager has also asked the question why was it left so late in the window to do our business , unless of course we never really intended to do any business !
Bluenoseronnie, Londonderry, 6:39 PM 26/02/2013
I have to admit, I just can't see the club going through all that fuss as part of a ploy. To put in bids for players that are woefully short or have no chance of happening (Negredo etc) is different, but to actually get them over and have medicals etc is just too much I think. I mean, the lad obviously thought he was coming judging by his big smile (that pic still haunts me, poor lad) so they must have told him it was on. I just hope we go back in for him very early on in the summer because if not then it does look like the Board have no intentions of backing the manager or showing ambitions for the club.
alpha1, England, 5:24 PM 26/02/2013
Your business; someone advises you on an eight million pound investment but there is a significant risk. You walk away, unless you simply don't understand how business works. The same people who would have been crying had Fer been a crock are the ones who now claim it was all a scam. One word....pathetic.
Richard, Cape Town, 5:12 PM 26/02/2013
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