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Half Full or Half Empty?

By Gareth Humphreys :  11/04/2008 :  Comments (20) :
My god it is depressing reading about Everton at present.

If I was an outsider and looking at the season objectively I would be slightly confused as to why? However, as a lifelong blue it doesn?t shock me anymore. I don?t know if it happens at other clubs (I?m sure it does to a degree); however, the mood swings that afflict Evertonians are quite frightening. From the ?we?re going to walk this Uefa Cup lark? brigade heard after defeating SK Brann to the old faithful ?Moyes has taken us as far as he can? tribe following the recent poor run of results. There just seems to be very little middle ground at Goodison.

Make no mistake about it, we have had a good season ? this is on the back of a good season last year. When did that last happen? Certainly not in my 20 years as a season ticket holder. Despite this, we are heading into the final 5 games as red hot favourites for the one and only Uefa Cup spot available via league placing but the mood feels like we have nothing to play for.

Cast your mind back 6 years and try and picture us being disappointed with only being 5th. This season we have been beating the sides that you would expect us to beat and have struggled against the top 4. Considering at the start of the season an awful lot of pundits were predicting a huge battle for the Uefa Cup spots due to the silly amount of money being spent by Man City & West Ham etc we have been pretty impressive with only Portsmouth looking like giving us a run for our money.

This begs the question: Why the doom & gloom at present? Yes the Uefa Cup exit was disappointing but we had a bloody good crack at it and will be better equipped next year because of the experience. We reached the semis of the Carling Cup and were beaten by a team backed by a Billionaire. The obvious blot was the embarrassing defeat in the FA Cup which hurts even more when you look at the finalists. It was one game though and hardly indicative of our season.

The flip side of the coin is the hype surrounding the club when we were in the middle of the season and were in a superb period of form. As stated previously, there was some silly talk being bandied about concerning what we were going to achieve. The run was only interrupted by defeats against Man Utd, Arsenal & Chelsea. This tells its own story.

So before we start on another rant after we only beat Derby 1-0 or start issuing mock title warnings after a good run, have a bit of a reality check. The club has its best manager for 20 years managing the best squad at the club for 20 years ? these two facts are pretty much indisputable. It may take a bit of time before we break into the top 4 simply due to the amount of money the clubs we are competing against have at their disposal.

Patience is the key as long as we are seeing progress on the pitch and I don?t think anyone can doubt that this season. Let?s get the feel good factor back at Goodison for the remainder of the season and round this season off in the style that the large majority of it has been played.

Reader Comments

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Jimmy Crack
1   Posted 12/04/2008 at 04:39:31

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I think it’s more the fear of not having European football to look forward too next year that’s really freaking everyone out. What with 4th seemingly out of reach (which it isn’t!), and Portsmouth and Villa closing down our formerly 7-point gap over them, we could easily end up out of the European places at the end of the year.

Yes, maybe we all are overreacting, but this season can pretty much end one of two ways. 5th place would be a massive accomplishment for this season considering the stiff competition we’ve faced from Pompey, Villa, Man City, West Ham, and the Shite. However, we still have games against the Big 3 that could completely ruin our season if we perform as we have against them in the past; especially after the past three or four performances.

I absolutely understand why the nerves of all the Evertonians are tense.
David Barks
2   Posted 12/04/2008 at 05:00:32

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This is what life is like when you?re battling for something. People have come on here saying the season?s over. Try telling Pompey that. When you?re at mid-table at this time of the season then there are no nerves because there is nothing to gain or lose. But when you are one of the best teams, which by being 5th in the league we are, then this part of the season gets very tense as every game either brings you closer to achieving something better or losing ground and being caught by those chasing us. Liverpool are feeling pressure, Chelsea are feeling pressure, Arsenal are feeling pressure, and United are feeling pressure. This is the way it is if you want to spend your time at the top quarter of the table. Every 3 points is massive because we are aiming for more points than we did in the past. We have been very poor and flat for the past month, but hopefully having Pompey only 4 points back of us will fire the side up. Because if we are so concerned that we are going to lose out and be passed by Pompey, which really need to pick up 5 points on us due to goal differential, then why can?t we conversely believe that we are only 4 points behind Liverpool (because of goal difference) and can catch them?
Gavin Ramejkis
3   Posted 12/04/2008 at 07:01:27

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Add to that when 4th was ours to throw away with Fulham and West Ham to play and the RS had harder games and how we did just that throw those six points away for one point and that added to the misery. We have only ourselves (team) to blame for that and has been said in many a thread before, if you have aspirations for the top and the wealth of CL football which negate BK looking down the back of the settee for a few quid for players then yes we are miserable.
Jay Campbell
4   Posted 12/04/2008 at 07:20:37

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FFS do ya win trophies for finishing 5th or 4th for that matter??? That to me is not sucess it’s failure. Winning trophies is everything in football and the sooner Evertonians start thinkin that way then the sooner we might start thinkin big again as a football club.

All we want is a bit of silverware is that too much to ask for?? We are gettin starved of it now while those bastards across the park and the mancs etc clean up season after season. I’m gettin fuckn sick of it and it’s not glory hunting coz after 50 years ov followin the toffs i’m entitled to wish for better.
David Marsden
5   Posted 12/04/2008 at 08:33:43

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@ Jay "All we want is a bit of silverware is that too much to ask for??" you can ask but often don’t get.

As far as I am concern, I’ve been lucky with everton my first full season was 84-85 and I didn’t miss a game until 2004 when I moved to London. The good times I have seen have been unbelievable. Much more than most have seen in a life time.

I wish for more and hope for more... but demand it? na. you can’t demand success!!

The statement of success from 4th 5th are a reflection of modern day football. Moaning about the RS & Scum is bollocks because they had a foot up by being better than us when the money came rolling in.

We have to take it one step at a time.

FFS thank god you don’t support Newcastle or Tranmere for example!!
@ everyone
Sometimes we really are a bunch of ungrateful spoilt kids.
Alan Clarke
6   Posted 12/04/2008 at 09:09:04

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There is middle ground. It’s just people aren’t fussed with coming on an internet site and saying that they are ’fairly pleased’ and ’satisfied’. This site is where a lot of people vent their frustrations and most of the stuff written after a game is pure emotion. I honestly think most Evertonians are pleased.
Michael Hunt
7   Posted 12/04/2008 at 10:03:36

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It is all a matter of perspective, it is half empty Vs where we desire to be yet half full given our lack of relative resource since the advent of the ’Premier League’ and the explosion of income for the front runners.
For me, we are now just below our historical mean i.e 4th best, so glass is half empty for me, if I had to choose. NSNO and all that.
Being 4th placed would give us access to the financial resource to become truly competitive i.e. financially (crucially being able to add to squad depth and quality), but us on a much better footing to muscle in on the the current ’Big 3’. The with Moyes continuing to improve I really believe we can get back to NSNO, by winning things again. Come on Everton (and Blackburn!)
Jay Campbell
8   Posted 12/04/2008 at 10:19:23

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Dave Marsden too many Evertonians are content to execpt this shite that you are fed nowadays. In modern day football or in any era 4th & 5th is failure end ov story. If everybody is content to lie down and let the mancs and the RS, Arsenal Chelsea win everythin then what is the point of us or anybody else for that matter showin up on a saturday??

Since the late 80?s we?ve won 1 major trophy and never been even close in any others. NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!!

I?ve been followin the toffs since 1961 and have seen some of the best football sides ever in football but what has been served up the last 2 decades at Everton on the whole has been fuckn terrible.

Even this side today are nothing special in my opinion although I do think Moyes has done a great job considering he get?s no help from the clowns in the boardroom.

Demand sucess... fuckn right I do and I expect us to be in contention for major honours every season. It used to be the Everton way let me tell ya but since Sir John Moores went the club as a whole has gone backwards.
Joe Ludden
9   Posted 12/04/2008 at 10:31:28

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"cast your mind back 6 years".. why? Why not cast your mind back 21 years instead.. Everton finishing 5th is a stepping stone and not our lasting goal in a season. Given our history, we should be contesting the title not scrapping for a 5th or 4th finish. This season has been a success against our recent past for sure. But is this the limit that Moyes can take us to? Or is this the limit that Kenwright and Wyness can take us? There are questions Gareth that require answers.

David Marsden read our club motto please sir "nil satis nisi optimum". We may all know the game has changed and that this season 5th is a sort of success, but we are Everton and our aspirations should never change. Jay is right, we are a massive club and our mentality as such should be of one of a massive club. If we settle for 5th now, then soon 5th place is all we will settle for. I already hear Evertonians talking like this... soon winning a trophy will be something other clubs do and not us - for we should be grateful for 5th place only. Sorry, but thats not how i grew up supporting Everton, and thats not how I feel we should represent ourselves now or in the future. We are Everton and I brim with pride that I am an Evertonian - does any brim with pride that 5th place is our zenith now?
David Marsden
10   Posted 12/04/2008 at 11:43:18

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I never said I didn’t want the best !! Just that when it doesn’t happen, people moan and slag everything off. This is pointless. Trust me it hurts for Everton not to be the best but kicking them everyday ain’t gonna help.

Demanding is pointless it a matter of SUPPORTING the team. You live with the hope!

@ Joe, "club motto"
A Club motto is about inspiration not a statement of fact !! Is its the EFC "mission statement" we will be inspired by the idealogy of the pahse "Nil Statis Nis Optimum".

Finally, I brim that I am an Evertonian every day of my life. No 5th place ain’t what we all what in the long-term, but it is a bloody good step along the current path. I have not doubt we’ll get there, but it will be only by the Everton way: down the fuckin long road.

Jay Campbell
11   Posted 12/04/2008 at 12:29:00

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Dave Marsden i’m not saying that you don’t want sucess mate i have no doubt you do.

Jay Harris
12   Posted 12/04/2008 at 13:01:20

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Alan Clarke very true but I think there are too many emotions flying about concerns for the "New" Stadium and lack of boardroom finances.

But a number of people are spot on about NSNO.

Sport is all about aspiring to be the best and/or compete against the best.

It is easier once you have got there (i.e. Man Utd) but everything has cycles (Arsenal, Chelsea, Blackburn).

It isn?t just about having the most money but it helps(Man Utd, Real Madrid).

A top coach (Arsene Wenger, Mourhino) is the most important factor.

The quality/depth of the squad is the next most important factor and this is not only influenced by money but also about development and scouting.

Luck is the next most important factor and this can be with the rub of the green (hiiting the post instead of going in), Referees decisions(DOES NOT EVEN ITSELF OUT OVER A SEASON - thats a fallacy) and timing of injuries to key players.

Another important factor is encouragement from the supporters and their ability to influence referees? decisions.

And as important as any other is the conditions in which the club can achieve this.The quality and ability of the board and their plans for the club, the stadium (pitch), the backup staff such as assistants and physios and the amount of power and influence the club has (The media, The FA, Local councils etc.)

I happen to think EFC have made some important strides in some of these areas . Moyes and the improving quality of the squad over time, the development of good young players, and Finch Farm.

However I still think there are some key areas for concern.

It is no secret that I do not rate the board at all. There seems to be no executive plan for Everton, only a "Moyes" plan.

There is a patent inability to improve operations (Ticket/travel fiascos, obstructed views, poor facilities) and extremely poor commercial management (Marketing, operating losses and inability to get adequate investment); and the move to Kirkby seems increasingly out of control.

I do believe we are at the crossroads of potentially breaking into the SKY 4 or falling away to midtable (and worse)mediocrity.

What we really need is some quality additions to the squad, changes in the boardroom (better leadership, strategy and investment) and some alternative stadium options to consider.

Then we will have a team spirit on and off the pitch with a fully united (pardon the use of that word) set of supporters behind the team although it wont stop us coming on here whinging from time to time cos Toffeeweb is part and parcel of being an Evertonian.
Steve Grimshaw
13   Posted 12/04/2008 at 18:21:29

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"We have had a good season" was your quote above. If the season was already over, I would agree! But unfortunatly it's not, and looking at our remaining fixtures and Pompey's, I fear for our 5th place finish!! An air of gloom has certainly descended over me since the loss to Fiorentina, and today's draw at Birmingham certainly hasn?t helped matters. Here's to the sun coming out against Chelsea next week, which will go a long way to brightening my mood. Sorry for being so negative!!!
Matt Dee
14   Posted 12/04/2008 at 21:01:27

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"FFS do ya win trophies for finishing 5th or 4th for that matter???"

no you dont. but you could refer to it as "progress".
Derek Thomas
15   Posted 13/04/2008 at 01:37:37

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I hear the sound of too many people bowing down to worship at the feet of the false god NEARLY-OCRITY.

And sad to say not too many dissenters.

Greg Murphy
16   Posted 13/04/2008 at 09:22:40

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Everton 1 Derby Co. 0 (thanks to a great save from Howard).

One week later:

Derby Co. 0 Aston Villa 6.
David Marsden
17   Posted 13/04/2008 at 09:50:26

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@ Greg,
You cannot look at Fotball that way. That's what kids do in the playground working out how much one team beat another and if they beat them it would be X.

One week Chelsea beat them 6-1 the next United only managed to put one past them. Fuckin Middlesbrough got battered by Cardiff and then Middlesbrough nearly beat United.
Greg Murphy
18   Posted 13/04/2008 at 10:02:05

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Oh, ok, Dave.

I’ll get back to me knockout pairs with some ace goalhanging.
David Marsden
19   Posted 13/04/2008 at 12:01:35

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They were the days!
Adam Cunliffe
20   Posted 13/04/2008 at 14:07:26

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The margin between what is deemed as success and failure is getting blured.10-15 years ago, we?d of loved to be were we are now, but now were there we want more. We can?t expect to compete with the big 3 with what we have available finnancially league wise but I think now we are an established top 6 club silverware is the next stop.

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