After the dramatic last ten minutes at the EasyCredit Stadion I found myself in a Nuremberg bar after midnight nursing a kalt one and thinking back to the previous Saturday evening and a similarly, although not directly comparable, joyful event as the Foo Fighters (Okay we?re not here to discuss my musical taste) blasted through a two hour set at the arena in Manchester.
In particular a song lyric came back to me which on that night in Nuremberg had a more than appropriate resonance... ?There goes my hero...watch him as he goes. There goes my hero...he?s ordinary?. It struck me that there was something rather Evertonian in that sentiment.
When we look back on the heady days of the mid 80?s and compare that Toffee?s team with the one that appears to be moulding itself into a similarly efficient and pleasing unit today (okay I accept we?ve got a way to go yet but bear with me) a common thread seems to be the lack of ?star names? or ?glamour players?. Okay, to Bluenoses everywhere they?re all (well most of them) stars ? I mean we all know there?s nobody better than Mikel Arteta ? but it?s the team that counts, much like it was when Reidy, Tricky Trevor, Sheeds, Big Nev and co bestrode Goodison to become legends in all our hearts.
I watched Lee Carsley ?picking up all the bits? on Thursday evening, Cahill, Piennar and Osman interchanging and working their socks off, even the Yak covering huge amounts of ground to create time and space for others. All working for the common good rather than individual glory. Even after Big Victor?s match winning cameo he was quick to praise others, in particular the man he?d replaced. I think that kind of selflessness is very Evertonian and we love it in a player.
We love it when an Aussie talks about the special bond he has with the club, when a mad Dane is so thrilled to be back at Goodison, when a big daft Scotsman points all around the crowd and mouths ?you?re all quality? and when a cherished ex-player says ?once Everton has touched you, nothing is ever the same again?.
Likewise, the ordinary men, women and children that came together to form the extraordinary ?wave of passion? that Nuremberg welcomed, it has to be said, with open arms. They, whether they realised it or not, were witnessing something a little bit special ? a club and its public regaining its pride, together. A public that had come primarily from Merseyside, but also from starting points across England and indeed across the world.
I would, I guess, be called a ?wool? coming from Lancashire and I met and enjoyed the company of passionate fans from as far afield as Norway (thanks for the offer of the Russian vodka), Ireland, the States and Ellesmere Port all celebrating their passion for Everton together. To quote another Foos lyric...?it?s times like these we learn to live again, it?s times like these we learn to love again?.
We?ve all seen some pretty dreadful stuff at Goodison since those ?glory days? but you stick by the team and wait for nights like Thursday to come along and enjoy it for all you?re worth. So thanks to those ?ordinary heroes? for their efforts on the pitch. Thanks to all those fellow Bluenoses for their passionate support (an underground journey will never be the same again|), exemplary behaviour (take note, Uefa ? you broad tar brush artists) and typically witty banners.
In particular, to the other 3 guys who kept me company and made me feel a little less isolated surrounded by about 200 Nurembergers in the centre of Block 28. Thanks to those good people of Nuremberg (It?d be nice to think we could extend the same welcome to them one day) for their welcome, their noisy fans, their hospitality, their beer (note to Aldi ? get more in next time) and their police ? organised, approachable, helpful and whose presence, rather than spoiling a great day, added to it by giving the local fans a feeling of security so that they could join in and add to the carnival atmosphere.
Unfortunately I won?t be going to Alkmaar (Can?t they play it at the Ajax arena then we can all get in?) but hopefully there?ll be other great European nights coming up in the New Year and more opportunities to show the footballing world what it means to be an Evertonian and what can happen when ordinary individuals get together to create something very special. Happy days. Auf weidersehen La!
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1 Posted 12/11/2007 at 14:22:50
Thanks to Nurnberg, their people and the police for being so welcoming and organised.
2 Posted 12/11/2007 at 14:51:12
3 Posted 12/11/2007 at 15:03:36
I had a mate saying that the Everton fans were too tired and pissed to sing but they managed it after we scored.
It was particularly noticable because our away support is usually very vocal. However its no new thing to hear opposing supporters at Goodison sing "Shall we sing you a song" or you only sing when your winning".
If we want to be able to claim to be up there with the best supporters in the world and so genuinely deserve to have one of the best teams in the world we have to start with the crowd inspiring the team to play out off their skins every match. Instead of at the moment waiting for the team to inspire us to get behind them by scoring goals. Yes the atmosphere at Goodison can be up there with the best but only occasionally. We expect consistently passionate performances from Everton players; well in my opinion that should be inspired by consistenly passionate support from the fans not the other way around.
4 Posted 12/11/2007 at 15:25:23
5 Posted 12/11/2007 at 16:01:09
"I tifosi sono il cuore di calcio (the fans are
the heart of football)" .
John Charles, one of the greatest centre-forward’s ever.
for Wales, Swansea Town, Leeds United, Juventus, Roma, speaking to
Turin newspaper "La Stampa", October 1960
6 Posted 13/11/2007 at 10:50:33
7 Posted 13/11/2007 at 17:31:43
8 Posted 13/11/2007 at 22:36:40
9 Posted 14/11/2007 at 14:29:32
and Mihero - lovely end note - more power to you my friend - COYB!!
10 Posted 15/11/2007 at 08:54:14
11 Posted 16/11/2007 at 20:05:25
ive got many red friends and its exactly the same for them football banter goes on between us bluenoses and the red shite.
take your head for a shake will you!!!
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