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Perspective is Required Urgently

By Jonathan Fogg :  18/03/2008 :  Comments (18) :
Perspective is Required Urgently

The title of this piece says it all really. Not a day has passed from the Fulham game and it seems that the game has been dissected to death by everybody (including myself) with views ranging from the OTT negative to the ?players where tired? excuses. I am not here to judge any views; I?m just offering my own opinion and giving my thoughts on why it?s in our nature to ?knee jerk? either way.

Let?s start by assessing what you would have wanted to achieve in August? As a season ticket holder, I admit that I approached this season with some trepidation. Everybody seamed to be spending silly money and I genuinely couldn?t see us finishing in the top 6, never mind the top 4. In terms of the cups, with no experience in Europe I didn?t expect much from the Uefa Cup but was hoping for a run in either of the domestic trophies. Now I know some will be thinking that I am a pessimist, but I like to think I?m more of a realist. There is a major difference between the two. Let me explain.

In fact no I won?t explain because somebody in my office has just encapsulated everything is symptomatically wrong with the modern game in one sentence. He approaches me and says ?Yesterday?s performance was a joke, without Cahill we are nothing, we had no cutting edge, what was Moyes thinking putting Lescott upfront? 4th place is impossible now, it was a disgrace!? etc etc. I nodded along and he walked away satisfied that he had vented his anger against the team. Fair enough, everybody is entitled to an opinion. BUT PERSEPCTIVE IS REQUIRED URGENTLY.

1. Even the greatest teams in the world lose games/play badly. Take a look at the results around Europe over the past few weeks, top teams with huge budgets and squads like Barcelona, Man Utd, Real Madrid, Inter, Arsenal, Chelsea all playing badly and all losing.

2. This season we have made great strides both in consistency and in our brand of football. But it is simply impossible to be at your best all of the time and due to a number of factors whether that be fatigue, bad luck, opposition quality or poor performance; we will lose matches. THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE ?HAVE BEEN FOUND OUT.? That is just the nature of the game.

3. Everything seems to be needed NOW! Patience and common sense have been replaced by an unreasonable demand to win every game with one of the smallest squads in the land. This is ridiculous. Yes aim high, aim as high as you can which for us is to be the best. But don?t measure this demand unrealistically. Everything takes time and these days a club needs major investment. Have you ever listened to Newcastle fans on a phone in? It?s embarrassing. Let?s not go down that route. Let?s think positively but clearly.

4. The team is evolving nicely, yes certain areas need strengthening and no doubt they will be strengthened to the best of our financial ability in the summer.

So I ask you again, what where your expectations at the start of the season? Have yours been met? Mine certainly have with something to spare. Lets finish the season well and look forward to more progression next year. COYB.

Reader Comments

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Richard Osborne
1   Posted 18/03/2008 at 14:46:51

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Couldn’t agree more. The team have restored pride to Evertonians and have given me a feeling that the future is bright.

The defeat against Fiorentina did not feel like the end because the players will all stay with the club and help us to evolve into a more effective team next year.

The tendancy in the Premier League is to change too much, too soon. Your example of Newcastle is spot on. God help anyone who does the same of that severe bunch of twats!
Tony Williams
2   Posted 18/03/2008 at 14:49:11

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What I like about this season is that we have come along so well to a couple of years ago that there are so many angry posts when we lose.

I love that, it shows that we have higher expectations and rightly so.

I agree with the Newcastle analogy, next thing we will have people on phones ins saying we will be winning the league and the Champions League next season (some have done so already)

We need perspective, we are a "good" side but with too many little things that make us lesser than the "winners". Squad size and depth, money for transfers etc but we are making progress and I am glad I am still along for the ride.

Perspective indeed, you betcha
Richard Parker
3   Posted 18/03/2008 at 14:46:55

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In August, I reckoned a good season and relative progress would be: -

1 - Re-qualification for Europe.
2 - Get through group stage of UEFA.
3 - Cup run.

1 is still to be attained, 2 was bettered and with 100% record until Fiorentina away, 3 was just about there.

Before I get slagged off for being ’satisfied’ with the above, I want to stress that these were expectations, not hopes.
Connor Rohrer
4   Posted 18/03/2008 at 15:00:54

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Best post on hear for a while. Good post Jonathan Fogg.
Kevin Tully
5   Posted 18/03/2008 at 14:43:18

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Good article Jonathan. Every time we lose we need a whole new midfield and defence, plus cover for our four good strikers! Can you imagine some posts if we had splashed £11 mill on Manny last season? If you remember some posters wanted Moyes and Kenwright out because he changed his mind at the last minute to go to Valencia.

I was sick when we lost to Fulham but firmly believe this was a hangover from Fiorentina and extra time. I do expect us to finish in the top six from here on in and anything else is a bonus because I have been watching real football for most of the season, for the first time in years. If we can sign two or three top players for next season, we can be a top four club. That is fantastic progress.

Phil Ashton
6   Posted 18/03/2008 at 15:03:59

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Excellent article. At last, common sense prevails. We lost our FIRST LEAGUE GAME THIS YEAR. Guess what, the World is still turning. GET OVER IT!! Excellent season so far. coyb!!
Craig Ashford
7   Posted 18/03/2008 at 16:24:51

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Thank christ for John Frogg. A bit of realism on toffeweb is really quite refreshing. Thank you!
Anthony Lamb
8   Posted 18/03/2008 at 16:05:02

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Couldn?t agree more with you Jonathan. A sense of perspective is indeed called for. In my humble opinion, the two games against Sunderland and Fulham, should help us adress that realism a little more easily. A common thread to a lot of comments has been "reaction/tiredness" etc" after two very different European games against Fiorentina. Reaction to an unfathomably poor performance in Florence and tiredness (perhaps more so mentally?) after defeat at Goodison. Whether those comments are true or not however, it perhaps shows us that Everton at this stage are simply not yet equipped to get into the CL places AND hold their own in that competition AND ensure that their league performances do not suffer as a consequence.

Jonathan is absolutely right we should resist this need to "have all our hopes/dreams fulfilled NOW". I personally would think that Everton?s most realistic aspiration is to ensure that in the next two or three years we aim to become AUTOMATIC contenders for a top six place and gain more experience of playing against European teams albeit in the Uefa Cup and to ensure that we are in a position to gradually introduce some better quality players into those key areas everyone knows need strengthening, namely full-back and mid-field.

It may be that there are one or two jewels among these young lads waiting in the wings already or/and the need to attract a better quality of player to the club from elsewhere. That being said we will always have to deal with our well justified paranoias such as "Well at last we now have a four man strike force to take us through the next few years" and then in the blink of an eye at a truly crucial time we are left with ONE!

This next season will be crucial for the genuine longer term development of the team for having hopefully achieved a top five/six place this year it will be essential that that is cemented the following year by ENSURING that top five/six is our rightful home the following season! Once that security is established over a suitable period THEN perhaps we can aspire to the possibility that the CL is an appropriate forum for the team and one we can perform in with distinction. But Jonathan is right - for everything there IS a season!

Neil Humphrey
9   Posted 18/03/2008 at 16:41:22

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Sorry chaps, have to disagree. Haven’t you heard? The season has finished already. Tony Marsh was kind enough to let us know. By losing to Fulham we invoked a little known Premiership rule that ends the season after 30 games. Forget the fact that the RS still have to play at Old Trafford and the Emirates on weekends where we play West Ham and Derby at home. We are crap - Tony and the prophets of doom have spoken.
Paul Lenehan
10   Posted 18/03/2008 at 17:33:18

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FINALLY SOME SANITY!! Thank you Jonathon. We can not let isolated games define our season. We have to look at the Fulham game in the context of the entire season and that says one premiership loss in 2008.
Colin Grierson
11   Posted 18/03/2008 at 17:37:49

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To want success is the way of all football fans. To EXPECT success is to be arrogant like the RS. To blindly grasp for success is to be impatient like the geordies. To remain calm when all around you are flapping is using perspective.

Well said John! Common sense prevails from both you and the Moyes.
All good things come to those who wait.
Brendan George
12   Posted 18/03/2008 at 19:40:34

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Well said, Mr. Fogg!!!
Ian Ankers
13   Posted 18/03/2008 at 21:13:07

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Absolutely spot on article Johnathon! Finally proof that some Evertonians do understand how the game works and have a little sense! Best and most well written article I’ve read in ages!

Onwards and upwards!
Sam Morrison
14   Posted 18/03/2008 at 22:52:40

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Good article John. Unfortunately you are now branded an apologist, Moyes-lover and probably a few other names that denote your simpering deference to realism. Good luck with the future.
Peter Williams
15   Posted 19/03/2008 at 04:27:57

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Excellent post Jonathan. I find that after 40+ years of supporting the team I am so conditioned to serial diappointment that I completely over-react in the immediate aftermath of a poor perfomance. It takes at least 2 days to calm down and regain a rational perspective.
Nick Entwistle
16   Posted 19/03/2008 at 10:20:53

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One of the first points you make is ’Let?s start by assessing what you would have wanted to achieve in August?’
I don’t go along with this, what you expect in the next game is as a result of where you find yourself and what your current run of results is saying.
Even if we were in 10th I would have expecterd to beat Fuham... however, I do not see this loss as anything other than a loss... no biggy... so long as we win the verses the Hammers.
William Zhang
17   Posted 19/03/2008 at 14:18:53

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Thanks for your post, Jonathan. Your views are sensible and the title very apt.

It was horrible for any fan to watch the Fulham game, but we do get those, it was one game - 90 minutes - let’s not lose our sanity.

Some no doubt will point out that we’ve lost 4th position, but it never was a sure thing we finish let’s not dwell on that and wipe away the progress made by the team.

I would applaud Moyes, trainers and the players for what they achieve this season. Teams fear us, we enjoyed a run in 2008 where only Chelsea
fared better, we had passing games that I’ve not recalled being strung together by an Everton team since...1985!

Everyone wants to see Everton as a contender for the league year after year. It’s being built up. I confess that as the injury time for the Fulham game shortens, I felt an unbelievable anger against Moyes (playing Lescott upfield?) and some of the players showing’s just the emotions at those moments.

Jonathan’s right, the perspective is important. With a cooler head 4 days later, I would now say let’s see how they response against West Ham. They did us proud in the return leg with Fiorentina. I’d like to see Everton play the football we know they can play.

I agree with Jonathan, let’s keep our sanity.
Jarrod Prosser
18   Posted 21/03/2008 at 09:26:47

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Ahhh, the voice of reason.

Excellent post.

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