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Small Club, Mr Grant?

By Stuart Downey :  23/01/2008 :  Comments (26) :
I'm a big fan, and today is a big day. A few of my housemates are Spurs fans, and I'd love to head down to Wembley and watch the game with them. So firstly I?d like to a say COYB!

But my issue is with Everton's image as a so-called small club. I was reading an article in The Telegraph this morning about Avram Grant comparing our dreams to that of a very small club in Israel that he used to manage, winning their equivalent, and The Telegraph saying we may be offended. We?ve already had Rafa Benitez calling us a small club first hand pre-derby.

They?re both foreign, Benitez is managing Liverpool (at least for a little while longer) and Grant seems pretty much ignorant, handed power and money he doesn?t seem to deserve.

The only way to shut them up is to win, to progress beyond them, they can?t call you small when your ahead of them, I think the argument of being the 4th most successful club doesn?t count for much, history means little over Chelsea?s money especially in the eyes of foreigners who can?t see very far into the past.

However, we seem to do ourselves little favours, always adopting the underdog tag and our victories seem to be seen as hard work rather than class. At the moment we are a ?bigger club? but not a big club. And to the foreigners, who just mouth off for fun, we are just part of the rest, and so they call us what they want. Chelsea = Fur Coats, No Knickers. Liverpool = ........ whatever you want.

There is going to have to be continued success for at least 2/3 seasons in league and Europe before we are seen as a big club. Although we are praised for what we are doing, it really means nothing if we really want to achieve. 4th place is great, but it?s only a stepping stone. It?s Europe, money. Liverpool haven?t made the jump. Next three seasons are where it counts.

Reader Comments

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Chris Roberts
1   Posted 23/01/2008 at 12:10:24

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We are still a big club ? it?s just the league got smaller.

Neil Humphrey
2   Posted 23/01/2008 at 12:26:23

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Benitez has a lot to answer for after the ’small club’ jibe. I actually don’t think he truly meant it in the way it was construed - he’s just an igorant fat Spanish waiter after all.

But the way the Kopites have picked up on it beggars belief. Every time one of my Kopite friends and I exchange texts about football, they reel it out again like a broken record.

As for Grant, Stuart is right - the best way to shut him up is to stuff them tonight. COYB!!!!!!!
Mike Adamson
3   Posted 23/01/2008 at 12:27:16

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You’ve hit the nail on the head when you mention that its only certain foreign managers who try to lable us as a small club. Anybody who comments on Football in this country with any sense aknowledges that we deserve our place at the head table, and most seem to be rejoicing in the fact that we’re on our way back there. Just look at Martin Samuel’s article as the site’s main page suggests. We simply don’t need to listen to fools like Grant and Benitez: we know our history, we know our place in the heirarchy, and so do all the people who matter.
Albert Ravey
4   Posted 23/01/2008 at 12:48:06

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Chelsea have had to send back 2000 tickets for tonight’s match because they can’t find enough supporters to travel up to Merseyside. Big club, my arse.
Ajamu Mutumwa
5   Posted 23/01/2008 at 12:47:32

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What I can’t fathom is Chelsea’s continued attempt to belittle us. They’ve provided us with more copy to inspire our team than even Benethus could muster.

We don’t need motivation for tonight, nor do the players - but Chelsea in a short time has become a club which I hate.

Glory hunting supporters with no history to remember bar the last three years.

Small club, with more money than sense.
Richard Osborne
6   Posted 23/01/2008 at 12:48:30

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The ’small club’ jibes were frustrating, no doubt. However, I really think the Underdog tag suits us.

Of course in this media saturated business that is football, we are seen as a small club because, financially at least, we don’t compare to the ’big four’.

Managers of opposing teams have always used hyperbole and conjecture to give themselves a psychological advantage.

The trouble for Mr Grant is that he’s playing into our hands. David Moyes just needs to keep doing what he does best. Stay quiet untill we have something concrete to shout about.

I don’t expect our club’s officials to be doing any starry-eyed, ’golden days’ interviews until we have actually won something. And that is just what we will do.
Chris Jones (Wakefield)
7   Posted 23/01/2008 at 12:34:42

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We have to remember these guys - Grant and Beneathus - are foreigners, and foreigners won’t know much about out leagues, just as we’re are probably ignorant about theirs.

Yes, I hear you all say these guys are pros so should know our history, but we are ’fans’ so should know theirs too, perhaps.

To prove my point, here’s five questions about the Bundesliga. When considering them, just think how ’easy’ the corresponding questions about English football should be ...

1. In which decade did the Bundesliga begin ?

2. Which team are regarded as the first ever ’German’ champions ?

3. Which is the only club that has played continuously in the Bundesliga since its foundation ?
4. With a capacity of 81,226, the Signal Iduna Park (Westfalenstadion) is the home of which club ?






1. 1960s (1963/64)
2. VfB Leipzig
3. Hamburger SV

4. Borussia Dortmund

The corresponding English answers would be ?

1. 1880s Football league
2. Preston N.E.
3. None, but Arsenal have famously never been relegated since making the top flight
4. Similar question might be about Old Trafford
Bruce Wayne
8   Posted 23/01/2008 at 12:39:59

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If you don’t care about someone you don’t think about them. The big four are scared at the potential that we have at the club and obviously think we’re on the brink of knocking one of them out of their sacred club.
Chris Briddon
9   Posted 23/01/2008 at 12:58:06

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I am not quite sure what everybody gets so upset at these comments for.

The fact is we have won 1 trophy in the last 20 years, the majority of which wehave spent in the lower reaches of the table struggling to avoid relegation.

Ok we have a great history, and a big support but in all honesty, what does that count for these days. Since 1995, Spurs, Middlesborough and Leicester have all won trophies. Wigan, Millwall & Southampton have reached cup finals. What have we done recently that makes us better than any of these.

So anybody who doesn?t know Premier League history will belittle our status, understandably in my opinion. To get the respect of Foreign coaches and supporters across Europe we have to earn it not rely on our 2 championships in the 80s and other historical facts that most people know nothing about.
Sean Rico
10   Posted 23/01/2008 at 13:00:17

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Does any one really care what they say??? I hope Grant keeps slagging off everton as this would really fire the players up. 1-0 tonight. COYB
Chad Schofield
11   Posted 23/01/2008 at 13:26:49

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Chris Jones,
If I were a manager of a club in Germany, or perhaps even worked there, then I perhaps would be interested in the statistics about the Bundesliga. It does show ignorance, bu I suspect it’s just mind games at the end of the day. I don’t expect that Arsene Wenger was just trying to be nice us with his comments last week.

Let’s just hope that we do the business tonight COYB!!!!
Tony Williams
12   Posted 23/01/2008 at 13:45:02

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I honestly couldn’t give a rat’s ass about what other managers say and I am sure Moyes is exactly the same, hence the fact he doesn’t retaliate like the FSW/Old Red Nose/The French Turkey and their pathetic displays of whoring themselves to the media for some column inches.

Silence and a 3-1 win is the best way to respond to a pathetically stupid jibe at our club.

James Power
13   Posted 23/01/2008 at 13:56:59

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Not defending Grant, but in the Telegraph, didn’t he finish his blurb off by saying he knows what it is like at a club that "hasn’t won a trophy for a long time"? I think it was preambled by the fact that he was at a small club, but finished with what is in quotation marks here. I think that the papers are blowing this out of proportion because they want to get a rise out of us. We don’t need motivating with stuff like this, but be sure that Davey will pin all negative press to the wall for inspiration. I prefer Martin Samuel’s article in the Times...
Shaun Kinnair
14   Posted 23/01/2008 at 14:17:08

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Let’s shove those words down Grants mouth tonight, we are the 12 man and we know our history

I?m traveling down from Edinburgh, Scotland with 3 other Everton blues, to experience that feeling I had when we beat Bayern Munich 3 - 1. I just have that feeling in my bones, that its going to be one of those nights again!!!

hope they let me in with a fog horn.

LETS ALL GET BEHIND THE BLUES TONIGHT, I?M THERE TO MAKE AS MUCH NOISE AS POSSIBLE, I HOPE YOU DO TOO... my fog horn and my big mouth will make sure of that.


peter corcoran
15   Posted 23/01/2008 at 14:19:57

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We should not get too uptight about the poor uneducated getting things wrong - it happens.

But what made AG think that Chelsea were a big club?

Let us show him what a big club is really like tonight.
John Lloyd
16   Posted 23/01/2008 at 14:24:49

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Lets not forget Chelse?s trophy filled history..... .er....... hang on...... oh that's right, they?re not even the biggest club in London never mind anything else. No class, no fans, no history & a manger who knows less about english football than that fat spick over the park.

Its our time tonight.... sing loudly & proudly standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow blues young & old, male & female and feel proud your part of an institution of football as glorious as Everton who have won more than Chelsea can even dream about & pity these daft cockney glory hunters whose club will go tits up in the next ten years without dodgy russian gangsters.


Andrew Steen
17   Posted 23/01/2008 at 15:21:01

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Does anyone know who tonights referee is??

Please god can we have a ref who will appreciate the size of the occasion and just let the game flow!
Chris Fisher
18   Posted 23/01/2008 at 15:44:27

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Andrew Steen - it's Steve Bennett?!! Is that good or bad!!! At least it's not that bastard Twatenberg!!
Ged Fox
19   Posted 23/01/2008 at 16:00:15

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Steve Bennett
Peter Morris
20   Posted 23/01/2008 at 16:14:12

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Come on, guys ? keep a dignified silence in all of this.
Let?s just focus on stuffing the bourgeiose bastards and then enjoy it.
The biggest threat to the boys tonight will be themselves. Players like Carsley and Hibbert have got be to mature and don?t get drawn into challenges that reduce our headcount to 10.
Mike Allison
21   Posted 23/01/2008 at 17:24:40

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Grant didn’t say we are a small club. He said we are a club that has been without trophies for a long time (which we can hardly deny) then said he knew what that was like because he had been manager of a very small club in Israel that had been without trophies.

Don’t bother taking offence where none is intended, read past the headlines. You make journalists jobs so easy.
Jimmy Fearns
22   Posted 23/01/2008 at 18:34:55

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Avram Grant is still managing a small club that has a billionaire pimp in charge .
Charlie Percival
23   Posted 23/01/2008 at 19:39:18

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Let him think that. Who cares wat a fat chelsea rent boy thinks anyway? Fuck the foreigners, were english and understand football. There inbreds.
Steve Smith
24   Posted 23/01/2008 at 23:02:39

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I just heard Avram Grant on the radio driving home from game. He was very gracious and dignified in his comments, recognising the pressure we put them under, and the support we gave the team. I don’t think it’s fair to compare him to Benitez.

I’m very disappointed, but I hope the doom mongers don’t go overboard about tonight. Chelsea (less strong team or not) are a very hard team to beat, very difficult to keep scoreless and nobody ever "stuffs" them. It was important tonight to keep them out, which we managed for 70 mins. During that time we did have some chances, but couldn’t force them home and as Mr Grant recognised, their goalkeeper did his job really well. Yes, aspects of our play were disappointing (ie. we couldn’t hold the ball up front), but I thought the lads gave it their all. Remember, Chelsea’s less strong team still probably cost three times what ours did. We are making progress, chins up, we’re going to City twice !!!!!!
Dave Park
25   Posted 24/01/2008 at 15:03:21

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Evertonians are born, not manufactured
We do not choose, we are chosen
Those who understand need no explanation
Paul Sullivan
26   Posted 24/01/2008 at 13:52:54

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I can’t stand the mentality of some people. SO WHAT? Even if he DID call us a small club, It’s all part of the circus we call "the game". Managers wind up opposition fans, fans insult players’ families, players retaliate by celebrating over-zealously and so it goes on. What really p*sses me off is when the mob takes offence at the slightest comment on their club. We’re all happy to stand there shouting about the obese iberian restaurant worker, the chelsea rent-boys, and the real father of Mrs Gerrards new-born, (and what fun it is) but when some 2-bit babysitter is paraphrased as calling us "small" we spit our proverbial dummies in outrage. GET OVER IT and enjoy the fact that we can have this entertaining discourse at all.

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