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Which Everton Are You?

By Thomas Mallows :  10/10/2007 :  Comments (25) :

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.

Reader Comments

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Martin Wallace
1   Posted 10/10/2007 at 20:57:34

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Elegantly put, Thomas.

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.
chris brad
2   Posted 10/10/2007 at 22:09:27

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martin,everyone who comes on to this site cant help moan because by getting everything off your chest regarding how well or how poorly our beloved everton are playing,it makes you feel better and you know everyone else is thinking the same as you but just doesnt want to come out and say it.we all know that dispite the fact we might slag our heroes off on this site,come wkends were all behind them willing them to get 3 points.were all blues and were all in this together.
Michael Dillon
3   Posted 11/10/2007 at 00:12:06

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Thomas, well said!

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

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Well said Thomas.

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.
dano palese
5   Posted 11/10/2007 at 01:24:39

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first off well said tommy. i have been a blues fan since ’87 and an even more convinced toffeeman when (in the USA)espn showed a taped delayed version of the ’89 cup final we all remember - i still get goose bumps when i think of all those supporters jumping around like they won the lotto and then onto the pitch when Mc Call stuck out a toe -

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
2. kanchelskis
3. neville southall
4. pat van den hauwe
5. areteta

top five who would have been in but can’t really be considered
1. gazza
2. beardsley
3. hughes
4. ginola
5. fucking rooney
Aussie Toffee
6   Posted 11/10/2007 at 03:48:20

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Well put Thomas!

You wont hear moaning from me!

I love this grand old team.

Richard Dodd
7   Posted 11/10/2007 at 08:17:15

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We are,indeed,blessed to be Evertonians at this time.In the most competitive league in the world,we more than hold our own.Most Evertonians put David Moyes only slightly behind Catterick and Kendal1 as our best ever manager although given the global nature of the Prem even that placing is open to doubt.To me Moyes is all-time number 1 and is well setto bring us glory home and abroad.
Peter Roberts
8   Posted 11/10/2007 at 10:27:46

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Thomas, great article, you like me got brought up on a diet of hope eternal only to be dashed because of our limited talent in the squad. I firmly believe we are moving in the right direction, it’s just in the football market of having to deliver success yesterday, people expect it too soon. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can see from Moyes’ outlook since the Spurs debacle he has tried to get us to play decent football.

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.
Vanessa Garman
9   Posted 11/10/2007 at 10:11:15

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Thomas! I watched that very video myself two nights ago. It has to be the one with all the great matches from the days of Ralph Dean to the 87/88 season after Howard had left for Bilbao. Can I say any everton fan who has not seen it to get it on e-bay or try a charity shop as it is compulsary viewing for any toffee. A full comprehensive rollercoaster ride through our greatest days. Savour the moment as Temple scores after being two down and that great day out at wembley in ’84 which incidentally i was fortunate enough to be in attendance.
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

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Well Said I totally agree.
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.
James Barber
11   Posted 11/10/2007 at 10:27:27

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I have been an Everon supporter since before WWII - in the days of Tommy Lawton, T.G. Jones; Alex Stevenson and Joe Mercer. We had af fne side and won the 1939 First Diiviison Championship. i.
. 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.
Tim Lloyd
12   Posted 11/10/2007 at 12:28:43

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James Barber. So there are two of us old Buggers left!! We can remember Tommy L:awton and T.G. Jones (my personal hero), Alec Stevenson, Joe Mercer. Actually, I can faintly remember Dixie, I was about 9 at the time and it was not long before he was replaced by Tommy Lawton.

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
Shawn Michaels
13   Posted 11/10/2007 at 13:32:44

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Its nice to see some nice gentlemen of the olden days instead of the usual seemingly illiterate fools with limited vocabulary. As anyone knows Tommy was en-route to Goodison back in the 1930s when he was told by the tram conductor- Good luck to you- but youll never be as good as Dixie. I wish i could go back in time to see great players such as Joe Mercer and Dave Hickson. Even Alex young himself. Real players. Not the namby pamby overpaid prima donnas of today. The players of today wouldnt last five minutes back in the days when football was a proper mans game.
Brian Waring
14   Posted 11/10/2007 at 15:47:21

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Keep taking the pills Richard. How you could even consider placing Moyes above Kendall as our best ever manager,is bordering on the insane.Moyes is not even close to Kendall,and probalby never will be.
Alex Creevy
15   Posted 11/10/2007 at 16:12:53

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I thank you all for this article and the positive responses from blues young and old, far and near.
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

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I love that video, i have been trying to get it on dvd, why the fuck can’t the club release that or something in the same mould???
Chris Masey
17   Posted 11/10/2007 at 17:35:37

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Tom, you sound a similar age to me, (I’m 23), and I too felt I was jinxing the club when I used to attend. In fact, back in the days when I didn’t own a season ticket (Over 5 years ago) I didn’t see us win for like three seasons at a time, and the only player I can even remotely remember displaying any sort of quality was Graham Stuart! He was like the star of the team. Oh my god, remember Earl Barratt, the grace of a donkey and the touch of an elephant but still first on the teamsheet. I think Hibberts even better than him....(actually, I take that back, Hibbert has sunk to new levels of incompetency)
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)
Matthew Lovekin
18   Posted 11/10/2007 at 20:20:46

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Well said, couldn’t agree more. As much as I like the site, it does tend to be for slagging off everyone possible at the club. I’ve been following the blues as long as I can remember which is about 20 years, just the glorious 80’s were finishing. Since then (apart from about 2 seasons) we have fought relegation. To be a position now where realistically we are probably a mid-table team, but if injuries, etc go our way, we are looking at top 6, this is a massive improvement on the relegation haunted years. If we can just stay on track what we have been doing over the last 5 years, a steady but sure improvement, then we can be a regular top 6. My glass is half full. Lets be a bit more optimistic.
David O
19   Posted 12/10/2007 at 12:15:45

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I think it’s a mistake to equate lack of ’success’ by which I’m assuming you mean winning things, with mediocrity. The Everton team that finished fourth two years ago having spent much of the season in 2nd place was not by any definition of the word, mediocre.
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.
Neil Lowe
20   Posted 12/10/2007 at 13:17:01

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Take away all the money, finance and backing and extortionate wages and go back to zero. Every premiership team starts with no players on their books. And yes that means us too. Lets see a season like that. Then it would be down to the manager entirely and we and everyone else in the league could justifiably get the knives out or criticise. What odds on no big four or that we could even win the title that way. Also include chairman would be excluded from this equation. No investment, just twenty clubs starting from scratch and making the best of it. Sort of like being stranded on a desert island. If this sounds like some incoherent waffle then so be it. But it kind of makes sense and i for one would have been interested to have seen this see the light of day. Unfortunately its never going to happen, and the rich will get richer and clubs like ourselves and two or three others i could mention will have to make do with making a fist of it in the top half trying unsuccessfully to break the stranglehold of the big four.
Kevin Dacey
21   Posted 12/10/2007 at 18:01:34

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I wrote a similar article about 18 months ago after the 05/06 season saying to someone brought up with Everton in the 90’s, 11th wasnt so disastrous. Nobody got it - im so glad you articulated yourself better than me so that people understand now what i meant!
Carl Howey
22   Posted 13/10/2007 at 14:00:28

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Spot on Thomas - They should make this compulsory reading for all those moaning doom merchants.

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.
Peter Jamieson
23   Posted 16/10/2007 at 12:56:44

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My first game was against WBA back in 77 or 78. Front two were Latchford and McKenzie (or Eastoe) I can’t remember the whole team but it contained Mark Higgins, Mick Lyons, George Wood, John Bailey. I was only 7.

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.
Nadia Harry
24   Posted 16/10/2007 at 15:18:21

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I can remember like yesterday being at one of the first (maybe the first) of mike walkers tenure against swindon at goodison in early 1994. Cue a 6-2 win, and albeit brief delusions of grandeur that petered out into an eventually last day near calamity. Following wonders at norwich some people expected him to be the next kendall and that the good times were back at goodison after a seven year or so absence. how wrong we were. After surviving by our fingertips from the chasm of the championship (or 2nd tier as it was then) we eventually got rid of Mike after more embarassments against portsmouth in the league cup and royle made his big comeback to his spiritual home after a break of twenty years.Unfortunately much like the walker reign, we all got a bit excited too soon and it was all over before it had really started.
colin Riley
25   Posted 16/10/2007 at 17:31:43

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You were chosen to be a blue lad.And you will be rewarded for that loyalty over time with memories of glory and pain that us older ones have experienced.Enjoy the jurney its a cracker.Everton till yer die lad.

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