Monthly Archives: September 2017

Google getting serious about mapping access is good news in ways you may not expect

Google mapping access

Google getting serious about mapping access

Google getting serious about mapping access is good news in ways you may not expect.

When I saw the piece linked too below I had a reaction that will have been similar in many households where there’s at least one person with mobility and access needs based around their disability. So, obviously, anything that helps get accurate information out there about access to buildings has to be good news. But that is even more important when the delivery of that information is the most used, most powerful search engine on earth and generally thought of as one of the leading innovators of our time.


Google Maps matters when it comes to access


Google matters. Probably too much say it’s critics who point to issues around search result rankings and strange looking vehicles wandering down your street mapping everything in right for 3D rendering of ‘down your way’. But when Google Maps sets out to help increase accessibility information, yep that matters. However, I then found myself wondering if this really is a sign that society is at last taking access information seriously ? It’s a long road this one. Hotels are still light years away from where they should be in terms of getting information about accessible facilities onto their websites and in turn those mega indexing and search sites that promise you the chespest room in town.

But a handful of hotel chains now feature accessible room in their dropdown box preferences. Public sector buildings are improving the visibility of access signage and online information. Transport providers the same and tho 72 step free tube stations in London remains a small number, the fact that this includes a number of key ‘hubs’ in the city is crucial.

Heres the thing. We badly need the likes of Google Maps to lead the way on highlighting accessibility information. It’s influence is huge. Where Google goes others follow. We need more video access guides of tourist venues, hotel accessible rooms, transport hubs and a lot more besides. We need organizations to see and understand that adding accessibility into your Apps delivery is a good thing.

If Google Maps can go to the trouble so should you. And there you have it, this development at Google Maps will do more than get you instant online information about whether the building you want to get into is accessible and once in, can you go the loo ? Nope, it will shine a light on the whole business of integrating access information into every day life. Not too scruffy that as far as I’m concerned anyway !!

Heres what Google Maps is doing:

Cheers Mark, Rustyman

EFC squad building, instant analysis now supported by hindsight?

EFC squad building, instant analysis now supported by hindsight? The sight of Michael Keane on crutches at Goodison for the Bournemouth game said much about this summers transfer window at Everton.

Well it did when you digest the fact that it turned out Jags was also out injured not rested, and that we were left with Holgate and Williams as the only bespoke centre back pairing available. Our we’ll documented failure to replace Lukaku has rightly been the focus. But importantly the failure to land cover and or a first team pick for left side of the defence is serious.

Keane has struggled of late but most of us think he’s going to be a top defender. Losing him for just a couple of games is a blow if it means that we face nervous moments watching the gutsy and talented Holgate find his way in his true position of centre back. He was embarrassed by King for Bournemouths goal and he cannot afford to be so obviously second best as a speedy and talented forward like King bears down on goal.

Harsh ? Maybe, but this is the Premier League and frankly for me Mason feels like he’s not quite where we expected he would be, but then I’d only ever play him at centre back so what do I know !

We needed that quality defensive cover, hell we needed someone able to show us that Williams and Jags can be the cover. It didn’t happen. Nor did that attacking replacement for 25 goals a season and it’s all got a bit dull but that shouldn’t be allowed to excuse the failure to sort the transfer window as the manager clearly felt was necessary.

Oumar and hindsight ? Well he is now making Koeman look foolish and the latters attempts to justify his approach feel a bit weak to be honest. The fans had it right. They gently, then more loudly, lobbied in Oumar’s favour, screaming about pragmatism, lack of depth and well, how much worse could he be etc etc. I wonder if 4th, or 5th or 6th was so out of reach with seven or eight more no9 goals in the last ten games of the campaign that saw us firmly the best of the rest ? Hindsight yes, but it was hardly a secret that many questioned this childish “no locker approach” and pointed to reasonable performances at Hull on loan and Unsworths impressive handling of Niasse as a fairly decent example of how to do things.

We are I feel regretting that hugely unbalanced squad, with so many no10’s and so little pace and width but whilst that’s all been done to death it’s not too unreasonable to learn from experience and hope that Walsh is spot on with two, possibly four, genuinely needed re enforcements in January.

Before then my gut says I’d love to see us start v Burnley with a very attacking lineup. They defend deep as do we, but they are good at it. Sigurdsson and Klasic wide, with DCL and Rooney up top. Niasse on the bench waiting for the rescue mission seems a more likely outcome than dropping Rooney but his place is under threat now. Gylfi badly needs to play in the centre behind the forwards but I don’t see that happening right now and hope Davies can partner Gueye. Kenny surely deserves another run at right back.

With hindsight, was starting the season with Kenny such a terrible risk given how unbalanced and negative we’ve been going forward ? It was a risk of sorts yes, but looking back I just can’t see it having been worse and really think it would have altered our balance positively.

Mind you, with hindsight I wouldn’t have wanted the owner to get into team selection with Jim White on Sky, still waiting for the rationale behind that Comms strategy !!!

Cheers, Rustyman

Chester, the most accessible city in Europe !!

Accessible Chester

Chester THE most accessible city in Europe, really, it is !!

Yes, Chester is the most accessible city in Europe !!

Well I’ve been to Chester lots, and have to be brutally honest, didn’t really expect to see it awarded this accolade but then maybe I was so immersed in just getting around I failed to notice that I was having hardly any problems, you know, getting around !!

I will probably wander around a bit more next time after reading the following excellent bit of reporting from the superb and will certainly try out some bits of historic Chester which I suspect I stupidly ignored because it is historic and we all know what that can mean for accessibility. But it seems Chester has got it spot on.

Find out more about how Chester has managed to become so amazingly accessible via a planned, careful, and visionary bit of evolution.

Cheers, Mark, Rustyman

Another disorganised clueless defeat, Spurs never had it so easy

Another disorganised clueless defeat. Feels a bit harsh ? Honestly, I don’t think so and nor do a huge number of fans if the reaction online is anything to by. It’s not that losing to Chelsea and Spurs is a massive shock. It’s simply the manner of those defeats that tells a story we really didn’t expect.

So what did we “expect” from a really tough start to the season ? Six straight wins against last seasons best teams ? Nope. I think we expected to show up, to see a team competing, some real signs of permanent top six quality and er, maybe a few shots at goal ?

Koeman seems to be setting his team’s up to avoid heavy defeats, but accepting a loss before we’ve even started. Which is crazy, of course, how could that ever be the case but then the manager has already announced we are not finishing top four and also, it seems, top six if the shambles of these two defeats by Chelsea and Spurs are any measure.

Our failure to get close to a balanced squad in the transfer window is pretty well documented. Only Mr Moshiri thinks it’s all about players gelling? It’s not. It’s about a total mind blowing failure to replace by one or yes two, strikers, the 20-25 goals a season we lost when selling Rom with two years left on his contract. It’s also about a failure to see Williams simply isn’t good enough, and that on top of the need to replace him we also badly needed left sided cover. But there you go, we did “good business” apparently because we spent £150m, on a clutch of guys who all play in the same position. We’ve ignored the loss of £109m worth of star and squad players.

Somebody has got this all wrong. No real goal threat,  No pace, no width, no defensive cover. Is it Walsh ? Or Koeman himself ? I suspect the latter.

Will it get better ? Well I’m not too confident of avoiding a tonking at Old Trafford but it’s actually a great opportunity to turn things round. A win there will immediately boost confidence and shake things up. It’s a big ask tho isn’t it and one that won’t be achieved by turning up, like we’ve lost before the kickoff. A lot depends on the Atalanta result and performance. But allowing for some changes after Thursday this would be my team for UTD…..





It is risky with two young players in the back four but Kenny has to be given a chance sometime soon so why not Old Trafford? Holgate is a centre back, end of, so play him there. Gylfi would play just ahead of Davies, Gueye and on the right side, and I’m hoping that DCL and Rooney can get some joy from Utd’s defence.

Pie in the sky ? Well we will never know as it’s just too competitive, too attacking for Ronald which is a shame but then maybe we can sneak a draw by parking the bus, as of course that’s worked so well for us in the past.

Cheers, Rustyman.

Where does the 2017 summer transfer window leave us ?

summer transfer window 2017

Where does the 2017 summer transfer window leave us? Was it a mess ?

Where does the 2017 summer transfer window leave us ? Well thanks to the very helpful “efc statto” and Twitter i think the table above gives a good idea as to how the Rom, Geri and Tom Cleverly sales money has been spent and the quick witted amongst you, well pretty much anyone really, will get the hint.  It seems we’ve managed to spend around £160.6m and received income from sales of approximately £109m if you allow £10m for the Rooney “free transfer” ? So net capital spend in-seaon is £51.6 and had the Niasse and of course Ross B transfers gone thru then wed be closer than Arsenal to a zero net outgoing, which takes a bit of doing these days given the Gunners current set of issues.

Overall Is this a negative assessment ? Yes. Does that mean we are doomed to finish below the clubs who the media have suddenly decided were much more canny than us in the market like, er, West Brom and spookily, Swansea ? Almost certainly not tho things are looking a bit iffy. Does it mean we’ve done more than keep,a steady seventh placed pace ? There’s the question that feels very hard to answer today as we head out of the international break towards a possibly defining moment, the clash with Spurs at Goodison.

Its been said already but it’s worth repeating. What went before deadline day mania still feels like reasonably good business. As it was happening it felt extraordinary. Exciting. Ground breaking. But in part this was down to the absurd scale of the transfer fees in a football world probably at the top of a transfer market curve. The hugely inflated fees paid are matched by what you can get for some very average players. It’s a cycle, it may not quite be over but let’s see. Truth is the players we have bought in feel like top sixish quality. The one player we let leave feels like a world class forward who whatever you feel about him as a person, which frankly matters not a jot, represents 25 goals a season, something most premier league clubs actually never, ever, get to enjoy.

Fact : we have failed to balance a squad full of talented midfielders and now three no10’s. The manager knows this and could see the urgency of bringing in a top class striker and left sided defensive cover. Worryingly it appears Mr Moshiri disagreed and seemed to indicate in his cosy chat with Sky’s Jim White aka EFC Communications Director, that he’s picking the team for the Spurs match. Ok, OTT but there’s something not quite right about the sub text of that very public assessment of our transfer window.

We are left with an unbalanced squad that has little pace to worry defences, hardly any aerial threat in open play, questionable width, and a back line that is bolstered by the impressive Keane, but has some aging and let’s be honest, really slow-to-turn centre backs. We lack goal threat, at least that’s the early evidence, and somehow we have taken two months not to replace Rom. Dress it up however you want. Tell me those 25 goals will be shared amongst Gylfi, Wayne, and Klassen from midfield etc. It’s a very tough ask in this league. Worse, lots are missing the point of the general dismay at failing to land a striker. It’s very simple, he is the pivot for those midfielders, the target man for Gylfi, a player to bring others in and to hold up the ball,at times of pressure. He’s the guy who helps enable those clever midfielders and a classy no10. We are not Barcelona. Playing without a recognised striker isn’t us ok. Sigh.

Defensively it’s interesting. Pickford already looks like a top, top, keeper. His commanding presence is refreshing. His distribution from the back impressive. But in front of him those slow centre backs, Keane apart, are willing and vastly experienced, but truth is Williams is not the player I’d hoped he’d be and Jags, surprisingly, is still here doing his usual committed job but should have been replaced by the likes of Harry Maguire who somehow we let wander off to Leicester, a missed opportunity if ever there was one. There is simply no effective cover for Baines with Mori out and if Bainsey gets injured it’s Cuco Martina playing out of position at left back, think about that for a while.

Deep breath. As Phil Kirkbride has said in the Echo, it’s not the sudden end of the season after three games. How Koeman’s reacts is now crucial. He is paid six million big ones a year to cope with this type of situation. My guess is that he will, at last, give the clearly talented DCL a proper run in the no9 slot. I think the lad will do well actually. Just not as well as a Giroud or a Batsuayi. But there’s a chance that this is DCL’s breakout season and he may take the league by storm. Fingers crossed. Klasic could also be a game changer and a pleasant surprise as his arrival passed largely under the radar whilst we were all howling about the failure to buy those two players. I think Gylfi is a superb buy who will do the business once match fit and I expect Sandro to improve, as will Klassen. Rooney ? Well until the news broke about his disgraceful drink driving nonsense I was hugely encouraged by his form, his leadership, his experience, his goals. Not so sure where’s going now but more of that in another blog…..

The Ross Barkley situation is damaging. For him as much as for us. Personally I’ve given up on him. He’s had brilliant support and sometimes some stupid boo boy type reaction that he’s taken to heart. His form has been so inconsistent it’s hard to know if we have lost a world beater or a player who just isn’t anywhere as good as he thinks he is. The tough love thing from Koeman has I think back fired. Ross is a child like sensitive soul and I’m not sure comments that made the boy look like the scapegoat for some aweful performances was the right approach. But what he’s done now looks so bad. So calculating. So unforgiving of a club and fans who have been there for him when he was badly injured or just playing like an idiot. I’d like to think he’s going to suddenly issue a statement this coming week that says sorry for wanting away, says he’s been a dork, tell us he loves us, signs a contract and swears to get fit and be there for the team and it’s supporters. More likely he thinks he’s off in January for a cheap ten mill. If that’s the case I’d make him train alone until 31st June 2018, never play him in a competitive match, destroy his unlikely World Cup dream and show him he’s not bigger than our great club. Harsh ? Maybe, but no harsher than watching £35m disappear and being treated with contempt.

So it didn’t quite happen, the golden transfer window that was to change everything. I’m not sure the money was actually there to be honest. It will seem like it was and let’s be clear, as the clever “amortisation” accountants will confirm, Mr Moshiri has signed off on a yearly commitment which has risen from £30m to over £70m in terms of ongoing player costs. That’s a huge commitment. But in terms of free flowing “capital” investment in the squad? I’m not so sure. We seem to have almost balanced the books and the sale of the errant Ross, McCarthy and even Niasse in January will get us close to that. Where’s a £100m injection of genuinely new money, that isn’t reliant upon sales income ? That’s the kind of added value that makes a squad grow quickly in quality and depth. The new stadium looks like a sensational development. There’s lots to like and savour about our U23 set up so well led by Unsy.

My gut tells me we’ve not quite done enough when we thought it was all about to get really, really good. A few injuries and we are in more trouble and Ronneys pathetic behaviour just highlights how quickly things can change. But balance those doubts with thoughts of the likes of Gylfi, Klassen, Sandro, Pickford, Keane and yes DCL really turning it on, AND then remember we get Seamus and Bolassie back before 1st December. It may actually be ok and I’m going with that because I can now watch us from the best view in the house at the Old Lady and I’m desperate for it to be a happy view !!!

Cheers, Rustyman.