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Modern-day Spartans

By Andy Lea :  13/03/2008 :  Comments (18) :

Anyone who has seen the magnificent ?300? would see the parallels between the brave fight against the odds by the fearless Spartans and our very own band of warriors who stood up to be counted last night at Goodison Park. Whilst both battles eventually ended in a cruel defeat, just like the return to power of the Spartans, I believe last night will have whet the appetites of the manager, players and fans alike

Media reports this morning are unanimous - Everton deserved a lot more for their efforts last night even taking into account their lack of effort in the first leg. This was a Fiorentina side that had they started on nil points at the beginning of last season would have been playing in the Champions League ? the fact that they nearly made up for points docked due to dodgy dealings tells you how well this team can play. Last night however they were battered ? not in the physical sense as that seemed to be their remit ? outplayed from the first whistle, they will consider themselves very fortunate to be in tomorrow?s draw and their celebrations as their fourth penalty hit the back of the net said as much. This was as good a get out of jail act since Andy Dufraine escaped from Shawshank.

It shouldn't go without mention that we deserved to go through having played an Italian team of eleven men for 210 minutes not an Italian team of ten men for the lion?s share of 180

Everton?s task now is to take the form and performances from Europe, especially last night, into the remaining nine league games and make fourth spot our own. There are tough games ahead with two of the top three still to play plus a derby match that has more riding on it than local pride but if we can find performances like last night and show the togetherness that has been apparent all season it is a task that can be achieved.

As atmospheres go, last night was special ? the singing, the cheering and reactions to the goals showed what it meant to nearly achieve passage into the next round. The moment that sticks with me was the noise as their first penalty taker approached the Park End ? even as a home supporter I felt intimidated and we need more of the same in the weeks to come

Overall a performance, a manager and a team to be proud of ? everyone involved played their part and to those who failed to convert their penalties you were there to take one, although next time Yak for the love of God put your foot through it.

Disclaimer ? if you haven?t seen 300 then you should have! Sorry if I have spoilt the end.

Reader Comments

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Colonel Moran
1   Posted 14/03/2008 at 15:55:41

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Shouldn’t your disclaimer be at the start?
Gerard Fox
2   Posted 14/03/2008 at 16:50:58

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When you referred to "300" as magnificent I didn’t bother reading the rest. It was, without question, the worst film I saw in 2007. Absolute dross. A glorified CGI wank fest.
Greg Doyle
3   Posted 14/03/2008 at 16:52:55

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I thought 300 was shit
Andy Lea
4   Posted 14/03/2008 at 16:55:25

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all about opinions lads - each to their own
Nick Entwistle
5   Posted 14/03/2008 at 17:04:00

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Being what my friends would call a ’Film Snob’ you get a feeling for what films will be ’glorified CGI wank fests’ when they’re being hyped and this I’m sure would have been for the easily pleased... you’re not pleased with mid table finishes are you Andy?

Best Film 2007? Lives of Others
Gerard Fox
6   Posted 14/03/2008 at 17:12:24

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Nick - saw The Lives of Others on dvd a couple fo weeks ago. Fantastic fiilm.
Greg Doyle
7   Posted 14/03/2008 at 17:43:24

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It’s a rough crowd today Andy!
Neil McKinney
8   Posted 14/03/2008 at 18:33:04

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I can’t believe that all the initial responses to this post are taking issue with Andy’s statement about the film 300! Get a fucking life, it’s toffeeweb not fucking Film 2008 with Ross!

It’s a little over the top, but Andy is comparing the bravery shown by the Spartans despite the overwhelming odds against victory to the performance put in by the lads on Wednesday.

For the record, I thought the film was very entertaining. No Oscar winner and maybe it is a "CGI wankfest" but I’m a punter not a film critic.

I hope the lads can take this "Spartan" attitude into the remaining games!

Dave Reiner
9   Posted 14/03/2008 at 19:34:01

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I thought the Fiorentina match reminded me of the movie ’Tron’, where the red guy & the blue guy are standing on hovering platforms, throwing deadly light-discs at each other. Anyone? Anyone?
Si Page
10   Posted 14/03/2008 at 20:13:18

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And here was me thinking it could have been just like ?Rudy?....
Gerry Allen
11   Posted 14/03/2008 at 19:55:05

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Good article Andy. The analogy is well made - a bunch of fearless underdogs almost overcoming overwhelming odds. Your best point, though, was about our bad luck in having to face an Italian team with 11 men over two and bit games compared to others who have the fortune of very debateable red cards both home and away.

For the record I didn’t think 300 was that good (not really into video games etc.) but I really liked your idea of comparing the tone of the movie to how we were feeling during and after Wednesday. This website should support people having a go at writing creative articles to try and explain our emotions. We should give each other stick over our views on football, not good attempts to try and explain the rollercoaster of emotions we went through on Wednesday. Leave the cheap shots to RS websites.
Colin Grierson
12   Posted 15/03/2008 at 01:23:00

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Well said Andy,

Whether the film (I’ve not seen it and I’m not likely to) is any good or not is irrelevant on this website.

The analogy was well made with the Spartans and their eventual defeat. The effort, skill and determination showed by the lads on Wednesday night was a wake up call for all outside of the club.

The RS biased media were left eating there words after the slating they gave us the previous week. On the European stage we produced a display that would have ANY club in Europe fearing a tie against us.

Its not always about winning its about how we play. Therein lies the glory.

Cosworth Brown
13   Posted 15/03/2008 at 04:28:59

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Yes Dave,

Tron is the One

Martin Berry
14   Posted 15/03/2008 at 11:58:09

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Evertons heroics on Wednesday, on a par with Ben Hur in the charoit race, except he won! If you haven't seen Ben Hur and haven't a clue what I?m talking about, then you?ve missed cinema's greatest ever epic. COYB
Michael Hunt
15   Posted 15/03/2008 at 15:42:37

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Good article Andy, I just wish the extremely lucky italians hadn’t ’escaped to victory’!
Amanda Huddlestone
16   Posted 15/03/2008 at 15:54:29

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In relation to the 300 film (which was indeed shite) are you suggesting the lads don a new leather homoerotic style kit and play topless!?
Michael Hunt
17   Posted 16/03/2008 at 09:35:50

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Steady on there Amanda, this is a football site, not some ann summersesque kinky fetish corner! ;-)
The energy, invention and fighting spirit will hopefully be in abundance today in order to comfortably put Fulham to the sword. I fear it will not be as easy as seems expected, but hope I’m wrong, COYB!
Derek Thomas
18   Posted 17/03/2008 at 07:02:14

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Nearly-ocrity V's Rashamon

Having, in our moment of triumph, such as it was, done the 300 Spartans thing (and fairplay to the writer) let's linger awhile longer in the realms of cinematagraphic whimsy.

3 out of the last 4 games could not, by any stretch of the imagination be classed as the "Citizen Kane"s of football matches, more like "Abbott and Costello meet the Wolfman" ... Play bad and win only works when you actually win. Rashamon, a Japanese film where the same events are told from the different perspectives of those involved.

Some, too many, have quite rightly moved on and look back on our prior Mediocrity but seem to have a mental block as to seeing passed 5th or maybe 4th at a pinch, on a good day, down hill, with the wind and label fair comment of obvious failings as knee jerk, harsh etc. If all you've ever had is gruel then all you want is more... gruel... BUT

How the Dickens can't some of you see how far we have yet to go? Funny how your hindsight is 20-20 on how far we've come. Or maybe Me and Santosh and Anthony, I've yet to read Marshy, am I saving the best or worst for the last? From the Rashomon perspective it depends if you think we are short-sighted or long-sighted.

If you've had your expectations raised you want Great Expectations. Not some of the Nearly men we have now...

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