Love the branding: The people's club coming to Villa Park

David Moyes spent years at Everton trying and trying and when he agreed to join Manchester United I don't think there were that many Everton fans that concerned. I think they were more concerned by who they were going to get to replace him.

Don't get me wrong, Everton fans liked Moyes. They understood the limitations he was working with and were happy with what he delivered. But he had his time and sometimes, you've just got to accept that it was never really going to happen with Moyes. Mostly because of the money, but maybe also because of his tactics.

And I suspect when Bill Kenwright announced Roberto Martínez there were a few Everton fans a little bit worried, but since he took over, he's done okay. You could actually say he's done great because they are currently one win from second place. Not bad for a manager more used to relegation scraps.

And it might last for them. Like I wrote about Spurs, this season is an opportunity for every club with aspirations. Three of the top four from last season have new managers and an opportunity has presented itself to those willing to take a gamble.

Sure, you can sit back and wait to see where the cookie crumbles but when that happens, those places and you can argue that it is maybe only one, could be taken or you could do, like Spurs have, go all in.

Everton haven't really shown their hand yet and I'm not sure they will in January either. I think Everton are just going to continue as Everton do. As things stand, I think Spurs are the only club really trying for top four, everyone else is just happy to stay in the league.

Saturday, Saturday

And this weekend Everton come to Villa Park for that win that could see them sitting second in the Premier League table by close of business on Saturday.

That just doesn't sound right does it, for Everton or Roberto Martínez. But that is where they are and they've been playing some good stuff this season only losing once.

But, we are progressing. The manager says so and while I disagree that the football is getting better from the start of the season it's hard to disagree based on where we were after eight games last season.

I also think that our best football was last season when we didn't just hit it long and we tried to keep the ball. To some extent, we've actually gone backwards.

And Everton will like the way we're playing at the moment because they will happily accept the long balls and just play it through us. I'm predicting we finish with less possession again after this match.


I don't think we will lose this match though. I think Everton will make the mistake of coming at us and that will mean we can sit back and we have players that can counter quickly and that is where we will take our chances.

Liverpool and Spurs both came to Villa Park with the right tactics. I'm not sure that Roberto Martínez will. I think he'll think he can come and spank us and I'm not convinced he has the players for that. Because players matter.

And here is another prediction; Brad Guzan will hit it long. Not because he is told to but because the other players are not told to support him. Last night when I watched Arsenal, arguably the best side in the Premier League at the moment, there was so much running and making of space and the game was so open, it was lovely to watch.

We've got a big pitch at Villa Park and you'd think we'd use it, but it's almost like an invitation to every other side to have a go at us. We've got to use this space and keep the ball. I'm not saying we can play like Arsenal, I'm saying we should try.

So, my prediction; we'll get something and anything is better than nothing.

Fabian Delph wants to stay with Aston Villa

In other news

Apparently, Fabian Delph is happy to commit his long term future to Aston Villa. I say sign him up, but I've said that before he even signed for the club and I'm a big fan. He was my pick of players we should sign in 2009 and he is still going to get better and better.

Players like Delph are who we should be building our game around and it looks like we are. Go on Mr Fabulous.

Possibly no more ads

And the last bit for today, but I've had a thought about advertisements on the site and many of you will know that there used to be a Google Ad on the site but if you logged in, it would go, but I've taken that away completely as someone was having trouble viewing the page, mostly because there is code that is used to keep that ad hidden and well, code for the sake of having code isn't good.

So I'm thinking about taking all ads off the site and instead working on a donation model. The site costs quite a bit of money to host each month (we're quickly approaching 5,000,000 page views for the year) and to run a server does cost.

Now, I get money in other ways for other sites that I host on the server, but if I take away the adverts, I'm losing a fair chunk of change each month, so my question is this; would you donate to a site like this (and while I'm ultimately asking about this site, I'm also trying to ascertain if this is something people in general would be willing to do in terms of 'supporting an author', because if I commit to going this route I'd need to give it a proper year to see if it works and I'd need to know if this has legs)?

Amounts don't really matter, it's more about the culture of donating. This is more than just a blog, it's a community and it is developing (look at the menu above) but all sites need to pay for themselves, but I'd like to do it in a way that didn't mean you were seeing an ad on each page load. So, I'm throwing this out there .. please let me know what you think.