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Fans Comment
Kevin Sparke

There are none so blind...

Picture the scene: Im at the game, Everton have been beaten once again. Lads are on their feet howling their discontent, swearing oaths that This is the worst team weve ever had, managed by the worst manager weve ever had. Ill never set foot in this place ever again; the darkest day in our history...

That nights Pink Echo is going to be full of letters from outraged and disgusted from Kirkdale, Rock Ferry, Huyton venting their spleen and demanding action Sack the manager! Sack the board! Sack the Centre Forward, sack the pie sellers!

The local airwaves are flooded with calls from blokes who: werent at the game because I was working/my dog died/Ill not go while hes in charge (delete as appropriate)... Saying things like I never saw us play today but we were shit and this is totally unacceptable, a stain on the memory of William Ralph Dean / Dave Hickson / Alan Ball (delete where appropriate).

I leave the stand disillusioned and thinking Actually we werent that bad its just that they were a little bit better than us and were clearly lacking in confidence.

Five days later, Im working nightshift listening to the radio and a Kevin Brock back-pass changes my life. The manager who everyone was calling for to be sacked was Howard Kendall and the year was 1983 Good job they didnt eh?

Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but Ive not met many Evertonians wholl admit to baying for Howards head; perhaps I considered it myself? I cant really remember, but I dont think so.

Ive still got a mate who held/holds the view that Sharpe was the most overrated centre-forward weve ever had. Another bloke I know insists that the Everton teams of 1984-87 were one dimensional and found out too easily and yet another fella who reckons that "our troubles began with Kendall going to Bilbao, we should have sacked him in 85 after we won the League and approached Bobby Robson with an offer he couldnt refuse." !?!

Thats the thing about football; you get opinion coloured with the full spectrum of outlandish theorising and rhetoric; some of it is valid, most of it is hogwash. The difficult balancing act to perform is not to get carried away with your emotions and try to see it as it is: 11 players trying to beat 11 other players.

Sometimes all too rarely you get to see something special: A Sheedy free kick; a 30-yard screamer from Sharpe against the hated enemy; a centre -alf dominating a certain German striker with a penchant for swallow dives; a 16-year-old with nappy rash intimidating and teasing international defenders and these things stay with you, become part of your personal folklore and you pass it on to your mates who werent there or to your kids.

I think this is what motivates me to watch the game; hope that I might see something sublime, memorable and even, dare I say it, beautiful. Im looking for that magic moment and optimism motivates me to look all the harder when magic is in short supply.

Tony, youve done me another disservice lad. Im not jumping through hoops or suggesting that other people should do so at our performances and I dont set standards high or low (what would be the point of that?) and take this little gem:

They are playing football that makes us look like Graham Taylor's Watford and it's to much to take for most of us but Kev's happy with it.

Am I? Nice of you to ask old son.

Another point you accredit me with according to him we're improving Where did I say that? I think I actually said:

Ive seen enough to convince me that we have enough players with ability to finish upper/mid-table this season; certainly enough to avoid the drop.

You might like to consider a career change Tony, you misquote and misconstrue with the effortless skill of a tabloid hack (youre not Richard Littlejohn are you?... nah)

If you took the trouble to examine my argument youd see that were actually not that far apart; living on past glories hoping that we see them again some day. The difference being is that I dont think we are as far away from achieving this as you perhaps do.

Im certainly not convinced that we should kick down the foundations and start erecting scaffolding again; lets let the two-time Manager of the Year get on with his job of building success before we start reaching for the axe Ive a gut feeling that the best is yet to come.

In Moyes I trust (because we ain't got any choice but to trust in the short/medium term).

Kevin Sparke


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