I dug out the Everton Official History Video the other day, you know, the BBC one narrated by John Motson in the late 80s. I hadn?t seen it for years and it gave me a timely reminder about what this grand old club is all about. We were the Mersey Millionaires, the School of Science. Back then we were even a member of the ?big four?. Yet there were also times that weren?t so successful, when we struggled, and were even relegated!
Fast forward to today, and it seems the fans are divided as ever as to whether Everton are making progress at the moment, and if the next chapter in our History will be one of success or continued mediocrity. But recently the amount of infighting and vitriolic criticism of fellow Blues' opinions on this subject (and even the questioning of their credentials as Evertonians!) especially on this site, got me thinking....
As our great history has showed, success is relative, and it seems the fans of this great club are moulded by what they have seen previously and been brought up on. Their first Everton team, their star player, a key event or historic moment that set them off on what will become a lifelong path of Evertonia. While we all support the same team (and will always support them, just as passionately, regardless of whether you keep going to games, buy the shirts etc...), we all have our own personal version of what Everton is all about and what it means to be a blue.
Take me for example, the first season I started to watch Everton regularly was 1993-94. Not the best I?m sure you will agree. In fact every game I went to that year we seemed to lose, pushing us further towards relegation. It got to the point where I was so paranoid that I was jinxing the team I refused to go to the games because I was so desperate for us to get some points! For THAT Wimbledon game I even refused to listen to the radio (because we always seemed to lose then as well) and resorted to looking at teletext!So as a young Evertonian I was exposed early to disappointment and despair. But following our ?great escape? and the clean slate of a new season I was determined to show my support and attend as many games as I could. As you all know at the start of the 1994/5 season, when still under Mike Walker, we couldn?t even score let alone win. Yet still I was attracted; the games were rubbish, the players were poor, but I still went, somewhere deep inside there was a hope that it would all be worth it. Queue my first hero, Mr D Ferguson, THAT goal in the derby and come May, our first silverware of the 90s.
All those disappointments suddenly became worth it, the glory years that I could only see on video or hear about from older blues were suddenly here, and I loved it....while it lasted.
Sadly as we all know the rest of the 90s proved frustrating and at times humiliating. But I was hooked, the hope of another miraculous cup run, or another hero like big Dunc emerging meant that I developed an in-built reaction to keep positive, despite Everton letting you down year after year. A 13th place finish in 1999-2000 became a good season because ?we were in the top 10 most of the year?. This wasn?t a case of lowering standards, I still wanted Everton to be the best, but, given what I had sat through previously any progress is seen as a good thing.
So when David Moyes took charge and slowly started to sift away the deadwood of Walter Smith'0s reign, I suddenly had reason to feel more positive than ever. Europe was a word that started to be muttered around Goodson, but this time we weren?t joking! Along with my first home game, my first derby, and my first away game, I was longing to watch Everton in Europe for the first time, and it was no longer a pipe-dream anymore.
As we look forward to an extended run in Europe for the first time in over 20 years and with the chances of us being relegated slim, I have plenty of reasons to feel reasonably contended the way things are going and the progress we are making.
I know this view point will get some peoples backs up but I have my reasons. After the Everton I have been brought up with, I am prepared to take some disappointing results and scrappy performances because compared to what I am used to, we are going in the right direction, albeit slowly. You can?t blame me for that; my passion for Everton and desire to see them succeed is the same as every Evertonian.
Similarly, I can understand (even if I don?t agree with) those who want Moyes out and demand free-flowing attacking football. They were probably those who were present at those events I can only watch on video. They were there when Everton was the greatest name in football and see this present team as a shadow of what has gone before.
Before you all start, this isn?t a pro-Moyes rant, far from it. I feel has made mistakes and come the end of the season we will all assess his position and see whether he can take us to that mythical ?next level?. But what I am saying is that if someone is happy with the way things are going, or conversely wants the Manager and Board out, it doesn?t make them any less of an Evertonian and their opinion worth criticizing. Everton is as much my club as it is yours and what makes it great is the passion of our knowledgeable fans and the contrasting emotions supporting them gives us
I?m all for debate, I wouldn?t spend most of the day on this site instead of working if I didn?t. It's what makes footie interesting and gives us something to talk about in the pub before the game! But please boys and girls, respect your fellow blues and leave the infighting to those reds across the park.
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1 Posted 10/10/2007 at 20:57:34
I’m totally sick of people on this sight moaning about people moaning. (Is that me moaning?) Let?s argue about opinions. Why not be analytical and critical?
So stop the moanin? you moanin bastards.
2 Posted 10/10/2007 at 22:09:27
3 Posted 11/10/2007 at 00:12:06
I totally agree with everything you just wrote.
I was there during the 80s when Everton was superpower - every season expecting them to win the league or FA cup, etc.
I was there during the 90s when Everton was a joke - every season hoping they wont be relegated.
I’m still here now - and I hope that they do well in the league, cups and UEFA. There is an expectation that they COULD win one of the cups. If they fail, so what? Try again next year. It’s not a big deal. You cannot expect Everton to win cups and leagues every year right?
What if Everton wins the UEFA Cup this year - suddenly they become heroes. And if they lost in the FA Cup - are we all gonna turn against them? So what is it that we want Everton to do each year? I hope some of us, think about this and realise:
"We are pretty good side".
4 Posted 11/10/2007 at 01:53:12
You know when Everton lose on the weekend, it ruins my entire week (and I let it).
This despite the fact I must face all sorts of other challenges in life be it at home or at work, not much else other the the fortunes of the Blues seems to really affect me.
5 Posted 11/10/2007 at 01:24:39
i even wrote to neville southall in the early 90’s to ask him, not for his gk gloves or a jersey, but for his favorite recipe as i knew he was a chef and he liked to eat a bit as we know. anyway, he actually wrote me back - to the states no less - and with a handwritten note saying cheers, etc he enclosed a recipe for Filet of Supreme Sole.
my point finally - it’s great supporting a club that represents the people who live blue day in day out - even if there isn’t a football to kick. honest, hard working people who demand the same from their friends and family and (of course) from those we pay to see wearing the blue. and even if we never pay to see them.
my top five of my time as a supporter in no particular order (’87 -present)
1. kevin sheedy
3. neville southall
4. pat van den hauwe
top five who would have been in but can’t really be considered
5. fucking rooney
6 Posted 11/10/2007 at 03:48:20
You wont hear moaning from me!
I love this grand old team.
7 Posted 11/10/2007 at 08:17:15
8 Posted 11/10/2007 at 10:27:46
Injuries to key players at the moment have meant we’ve resorted to backups who would be on the bench at best otherwise, who we can normally rely on to shut a game down like we did once a 2-goal cushion was established against Boro.
People who often moan are those who were worthy enough to be bestowed in their childhood and adolescence an Everton that was properly the Pride of Merseyside. I never had that, so does that therefore make me less of an Evertonian? That’s complete Bravo Sierra.
John Holmes mentioned that we are in a sort of transition at the moment, like Arsenal were last season when they couldn’t buy a win at the Emirates to start with. How we move on from that, depends on our luck with a still potently thin squad that needs bolstering. At least we aren’t doing a Leeds and trying to bite off more than we can chew. I’d much rather be in our current position than theirs.
Can we show a united front come 20th October and really show those reds that we are finally ready to breakout into regular top 10 contenders this season? I think we can.
9 Posted 11/10/2007 at 10:11:15
Forward ten years and a skin of the teeth near calalmity on the last day during the Mike Walker episode and it was chalk and cheese from the recent past. As you sound quite young with all due respect you cant really appreciate the golden years of the mid 1980s but as i previously mentioned i had the good fortune to be present at the important games but will always rue having to miss the Bayern Semi Final. The trip to rotterdam and the charity shield of the same year more than componsated for my absence.
10 Posted 11/10/2007 at 10:43:13
Being part of the EFC supporters in Australia I was getting totally p****d off with the negative attitude of some on the site. Even the other day I told a fellow blue that I was going to stop looking at this site and actually this was going to be the final chance I gave it.
If people want to watch a team and moan all year then go to White Hart Lane, yes we are not the team we once was but get a grip on reality we are actually moving forward and blues arguing with other blues is a joke, everyone has an opinion but just because yours may differ from someone elses doesn’t make you or them any less an Evertonian.
We in Australia have to sit up until daft o’clock each weekend to watch a game so think yourselves lucky to be able to watch a game live at the ground because some of the boys here can only dream about it.
11 Posted 11/10/2007 at 10:27:27
. But then came the war and after that we went to pieces. Why I don’t know,, but we had - foolishly in my view - sold some of our strars. Soon we were - for the onty time in our history - in the Second Division. We spent a few years ithere with players like Nobby Fieldling Tommy Egglinton and Peterr Farrell
Having regined our proper place in the top fllight we have had periods of plenty and othrs of famine.
I therefore agree with THomas’ ,view re the constantly changing world of Evertom FC.
May I add that in my view David Moyes is a very good manager. - one of the best the club has had.
12 Posted 11/10/2007 at 12:28:43
The standard of football is miles better than it was in those halycon days but being a die hard supporter seems to be about the same.
Long life to you James, there are so few of us left
13 Posted 11/10/2007 at 13:32:44
14 Posted 11/10/2007 at 15:47:21
15 Posted 11/10/2007 at 16:12:53
I was born in 1966 and named after the GoldenVision, I have been through the thick and thin times, most vivid memory of being a blue was going to school after Andy King had scored the goal which finally allowed me hold my head high and start the playground banter for once.
Through all of this I have always been proud of being a blue, this has been tested to the limit by some of the comments I have read on this site, people talking of knocking each out, questioning the ’Trueness’ of someones ’Blueness’. I even removed toffeeweb from my favourites on the browser in disgust, vowing never to return, but I have and I am glad.....the dummy is back in, the toys are back in the pram and I am ready to read good, well written articles.
16 Posted 11/10/2007 at 16:38:12
17 Posted 11/10/2007 at 17:35:37
Anyhow, good article, and certainly generations comes into expectations. Oh and I love that Video too, first thing my dad showed me as a child (that and the honours list as I fought Leicester fans in my childhood)
18 Posted 11/10/2007 at 20:20:46
19 Posted 12/10/2007 at 12:15:45
Finishing fourth was a reflection of the financial resources the clubs that finished ahead of us have to draw on which we did not and still do not have.
20 Posted 12/10/2007 at 13:17:01
21 Posted 12/10/2007 at 18:01:34
22 Posted 13/10/2007 at 14:00:28
I agree with the fact that DM has made his mistakes. But would anyone want to be back were we where when he took over? I doubt it!
The mid-80s team will always be the benchmark for most of us older Blues and we all hope that one day we will be back somewhere near that level. It may never happen, but in the meantime I’ll keep watching the video.
23 Posted 16/10/2007 at 12:56:44
So of the last 30 years, in my opinion, this current side is on a par with the Colin Harvey side. Decent enough but don’t look like doing anything, just seem to be missing those few special players and that bit of flair.
At least with Moyes I am confident of our premership status, even when we’ve flirted with the bottom on those coipleof occaisions I’ve never believed we’d go down.
I have to agree the article on TW. I think the Moyes reign now needs to move to the next level. We have our stability now he needs to show us he can take us further.
Get rid of him - certainly not. But he needs to show us he produce a team that are good and good to watch, and can win things.
If he hasn’t delivered that in say the next 3 years, then I would say he couldn’t take us further and it may best to move on.
However, a word of warning - look what happened to Charlton.
24 Posted 16/10/2007 at 15:18:21
25 Posted 16/10/2007 at 17:31:43
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