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Why Don't We Love ?Our Own??

By Dave Wilson :  12/01/2009 :  Comments (37) :
I was amongst the couple of thousand Blues who made the journey to Macclesfield for the recent cup tie. As cup ties go, it was fairly uneventful. Everton were poor but this was a potential banana skin and despite the freezing conditions we won so who cared? ... Well actually I did, I can't ever remember feeling so down leaving a game we'd just won.

It was nothing to do with the poor display, seen millions of them, nor was it the cold, I've been colder. What put me on such a downer was the way our usually magnificent away support treated our two local lads: Tony Hibbert and Young Vic were slaughtered by large sections of the travelling blues. Ok, neither one of them covered themselves in glory, to be honest they both had poor games, but most of you would have seen the game and will know that with the possible exception of Howard, so did everyone else. So why do the two local lads take the abuse? Why have these two recently been singled out to be kicked from pillar to post in articles and many posts submitted to this site recently?

When Victor Anichebe made his debut a couple of years ago, we could all see he was no Wayne Rooney, but he was powerful, brave, and caused real problems for opposing defenders. He progressed a bit last year, had a terrific time in Europe gaining valuable experience while scoring some great goals. Ok we still knew he was no Rooney ? they only come along every 25-30 years ? but he was popular and "Big Vic" was always greeted warmly by the GP faithful whenever he was given the nod to warm up.

What a difference half a season makes... The knives are out and Vic, he couldnt' have got a frostier reception when he came on against Hull if he was Wayne Rooney. FFS Why? He's missed a fair amount of this season, he played in the Olympics, he also picked up a back injury that he can't seem to shake off.

Of course his detractors will point to his poor goal return to justify the lukewarm receptions he now seems to get, but if my memory serves me right he's only started three Premier League games. He played wide on the right at West Ham, where he had a hand in two goals and he played wide on the right at Stoke when he scored. The rest of his season has been confined to 5-10 minute cameos, even then he's been instrumental in turning games around. The curious thing is, he's only played a few hours Prem football all season, yet every man and his dog has now decided he's not good enough? On what are they forming this opinion, 5 minutes here and there?

The Yak scored but a single goal in the 11 matches before his injury ? even that bounced in off his shoulder ? and despite the fact that we have played much better football and our results have improved beyond measure since his injury and he's still idolised, he repeatedly made childish errors in dangerous areas that cost us points. When did Vic ever do that? And how come I've never heard anyone make excuses for Vic by saying the service he gets is shite?

Vic will never be in the same class as the Yak, you have to pay about £15 million for that, but he's a kid and there is more to come from him, provided his detractors give him a chance,

Then there's Tony Hibbert. Tony's a quiet lad, but he's tenacious in the tackle, very determined, and seems to take a pride in not letting crosses come in from his side; he's also blue through and through. Ok, his distribution leaves a lot to be desired, but that's something you can level at 99% of English defenders. Our recent run of clean sheets would suggest we are far more difficult to score against when Tony plays, the stats definitely support this. So why on earth do so many blues go out of their way to point out his shortcomings? Jamie Carragher is one of the worst passers of the ball in the Prem, but the kopites love him.

Someone wrote a cracking little article recently about his "dream derby". My dream derby would be for Big Vic to rise above some Red twat and power home Hibbo's last-minute cross, then they both do a little dance in front of the kop.

These two lads will never be superstars, but that's probably all the more reason to get behind them, let's be proud of them.

Reader Comments

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Brian Waring
1   Posted 13/01/2009 at 17:03:56

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I agree with you about Hibbert, Dave. Hibbert is a defender, and his job is to defend, okay he?s not the greatest going forward, but he is as solid as they come, and not many get the better off him.

The problem with Vic, seems to be his attitude. When he does get a game, all he seems to do is whinge, at every challenge made on him. Maybe it is because he?s not getting a run in the side, so his confidence is at a low. Good players just get on with it, and take their chance when it comes (Hibbert is an example). Vic just doesn?t seem arsed.
Alan Kirwin
2   Posted 13/01/2009 at 17:51:25

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The odd groan is acceptable. Outright abuse of our own players is not. It turns small mistakes into big mistakes. But we all know that footy fans can be the most fickle & abusive people on earth, even to their own players. Poor show.
Andy Crooks
3   Posted 13/01/2009 at 18:12:14

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Good post, Dave. In my view, Vic is not good enough, simple. Hibbert is a good defensive squad player, no more.

The point, however, is they wear the blue shirt and should never be abused by Evertonians. I have seen some shite in my long time as an Evertonian but have never booed a player in a game. What does it achieve? Fuck all. It undermines the player and demotivates the team.

I have been negative about David Moyes and the squad on this site. I have tried to be constructive and believe that everyone who pulls on the shirt, with very few exceptions, does their best and deserves support. I believe that Vic should go but this site is the place to say it. Not from the stand.

Steve Hogan
4   Posted 13/01/2009 at 18:11:42

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Dave, I understand your frustrations and concerns, there is NO excuse for personal abuse.

As for our fans, loyal as they are, and boy do they turn up in numbers away from home, a hardcore element are also outright racists. Two years ago at Wigan, I personally witnessed the most obscene racial abuse aimed at Wigan?s black players by a couple of teenagers sitting next to me.

I remonstrated with them as was told to mind my own fucking business.

In the case of Hibbert, nobody doubts his committment, but I?ve seen him make some right howlers over the years and to be honest, I don?t see him as a Premier League right back.

As for Victor, I believe fans can put up with a lack of ability (Marcus Bent) for example, but Victor doesn?t help his cause by his seemingly lethargic style and constant moaning to the ref.

In the case of Carragher, he was the Kop?s own ?whipping boy? 10 years ago, believe me, when Liverpool played him in midfield; however, when they switched him to centre-half, he simply grew into the role.

I?m not sure fans single out home grown players, a lot depends whether they are viewed as poor players or good players.
Adam Carey
5   Posted 13/01/2009 at 18:35:34

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I also recall reading in a few of the tabloids that our supporters gave the younger Rooney stick when he came on for Macclesfield?
If true (and I appreciate he was playing for the opposite side), but he grew up a blue with the rest of his family and it was his brother that snaked off to Utd. Why throw abuse at ?one of our own??
Chris Jones
6   Posted 13/01/2009 at 18:50:57

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Great read, Dave ? I wholeheartedly agree.

Neither player have set the world on fire but some of Hibbert?s recent performances have been good ? particularly Chelsea and Hull. Even when he isn?t playing well he never hides, never shirks a tackle and gives the team a real blue.

Vic is still ?potential?. I want him to run people over and show a bit more nastiness. Think he?s a great sub but never really shines from the start ? it?s probably a confidence thing and hopefully the Derby games could be the making of him.

As for booing your own or shouting racist abuse let?s start shouting them down. I remember going toe to toe with someone over Earl Barrett ? he was crap but he was ours. While our boys are on the pitch we should back them 100 per cent ? that?s what makes us different from those horrible Kopites, Gooners, Spurs fans etc.
Micky Norman
7   Posted 13/01/2009 at 19:07:44

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Well said that man. And when Vic or Hibbert have a good game, the same people will turn on Osman or Vaughan. Maybe Wayne Rooney saw some of this coming. Then again, maybe he?s just a tosser.
Alan Clarke
8   Posted 13/01/2009 at 19:28:44

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I went to Macc. Our crowd were just generally quiet, I didn?t hear a lot of abuse aimed at Hibbert or Vic, no more than was aimed at Neville. I did feel sorry for the younger Rooney when he got booed but that?s what happens I suppose when your older fatter brother is a shithouse.

The reason Vic and Hibbert get singled out is because they?re not good enough. I wish as a crowd though we would give a bit more encouragement.
Jeff Spiers
9   Posted 13/01/2009 at 19:34:39

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Stevie G on Stars in their Eyes....."Tonight Matthew I?m going to be Joey Barton"
Howard Don
10   Posted 13/01/2009 at 19:48:56

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I agree Dave, the boo boys never did anyone any good and historically they do always seem to be harder on local lads. Hibbert is a good and IMO underrated defender, easily as good as many others in the Prem. It?s when he crosses the half way line you worry. Vic is never going to be a Rooney but he?s in the classic conundrum at the moment of looking like a guy who needs games but isn?t doing enough to justify getting them. The back injury may be more of a problem than we are told and taking a holiday at the Olympics at the start of the season when we were desparate for numbers may not have endeared him to Moyes, that?s for sure.
Geh Looker
11   Posted 13/01/2009 at 19:54:11

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"Tonight Matthew i’m going to be Peter Andre"
Graham Nodwell
12   Posted 13/01/2009 at 20:36:48

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Everton supporters are only good cos they turn up in numbers ? it stops there. No colour or originality, and minimal vocal backing. Very few players get their name sung. Fellaini has not had one song about him despite scoring some vital goals. Cahill has got the worst one going that is droned for 2 seconds. It's starting to get embarrassing.
Ciaran McGlone
13   Posted 13/01/2009 at 22:03:46

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We had one of own, a special one we loved ? and it wasn?t reciprocated... once bitten twice shy, hell hath no fury like an Evertonian scorned, roses are red, once, twice three times a lady...

What exactly is this thread about again...

Oh yes, why do we not love mediocre players... now, let me see...hmmmmmmm.

Ask your cat, Dave.
Ciaran McGlone
14   Posted 13/01/2009 at 22:09:21

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ps: Just to clarify, I could never understand why fans boo their own players while they?re on the pitch... unless they?re Joey Barton of course.
Bob Parrington
15   Posted 13/01/2009 at 22:22:20

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Interesting post Dave. You?re on the right track. Nothing good comes out of such negativity. I?ve felt peed off with players and managers as I?ve left the ground after a game but there?s no point giving crap to an Everton player on the pitch. Talk about it with mates afterwards or, with the modern technology we have now, use a forum like this to air the frustration.

The players will usually know when they?re having a crap game.
COYB .... and so will the manager!
Brian Garside
16   Posted 13/01/2009 at 22:23:53

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Vic has listened to/copied Yak too much. Look at the similarities. Vic now falls over and moans in the same fashion as Yak when he never used to. In doing so they are (have already) losing respect not just of their own teammates but the fans who can spot a dive and laziness more quickly than a ref or manager. Felli will soon suffer this change in attitude from the fans because we are Everton and do not tolerate cheats. So put your elbows away or face our wrath.

Could you imagine Ronaldo playing for us? No I didn't think so.
Ray Robinson
17   Posted 13/01/2009 at 23:00:06

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Brian, is the same crowd that idolised Duncan Ferguson that you’re talking about?
Matthew Salem
18   Posted 13/01/2009 at 23:46:16

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I, too, resent the attiude some Evertonians have towards our own. Right now, Big Vic is the whipping boy; other times it?s Osman. Hibbert and Davey seem to be singled out continuously.

We are one of the best run clubs (in relation to our meager means), and we probably get the most out of our players overall. Many a night I ponder whether we have the most negative supporters in the league. Perhaps I should check out some Newcastle, Spurs or Pompey blogs and see what is said there and if they treat their own the same way.
Anthony Dyer
19   Posted 14/01/2009 at 00:21:46

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It?s always been the same at Everton, every local lad has to prove themselves more than an expensive import.

We expect local players to play at 100 per cent all the time as they are scousers and should therefore know what playing for EFC is all about.

Reid, Royle et al have always taken more stick when not playing well than those who the club bought in. Perhaps, we expect the local lads to be the new Dixie... I don?t know whether it happens at other clubs, but EFC seem to demand a hell of a lot from local boys.

Dick Fearon
20   Posted 14/01/2009 at 00:59:10

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Hopefully Vic hears what fans are saying about his attitude and makes corrections. That is the easy part.
Eliminating mistakes from his play will be harder but not impossible.
He has the makings of a damn fine striker but to mature he needs playing time and support .

As for Hibbo, I would have him in my team ahead of any other prem right fullback.
Michael Hunt
21   Posted 14/01/2009 at 01:59:43

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I don’t condone giving stick to anyone in the Royal Blue, though I think Big Vic often lets himself down by failing to work the opposition as hard as he can and by going down too easily. If he always was seen to give 100% and did not go down like a sack of shit for light contact then fans would always back him 100%.
IF given the chance to shine in the derby I hope to high heaven he grabs it with both hands and is the powerful, pacy battering ram he can be. Of yes, and bagging the winner would be good... COYB FTRS
Pete Clark
22   Posted 14/01/2009 at 01:53:34

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A few years back, Sharpy was having one of his off days and his effort seemed poor. We were in the enclosure and were giving him a little bit of stick. Five minutes later Sharpy planted a lovely header in the bottom corner and give the 2 fingers in our general direction. We celebrated his goal and accepted the stick back. He responded as you would expect a pro to. We pay good money to watch our idols and they should accept that too.
Grant Stephens
23   Posted 14/01/2009 at 03:52:39

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Great piece, Dave!I completely agree.

I also feel like the same type of abuse was hurled at former Toffees midfielder Simon Davies. If our loyal fans spent more time praising instead of criticising...perhaps the confidence would come and we would see good results. When Davies left here, he was timid and played tight! At Fulham, he was player of the season last year! If he were terrible I would understand, but he just couldn't get a game and was flat because of it.
Dave Wilson
24   Posted 14/01/2009 at 06:38:03

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Think Rideout, Horne, Bent, Tommy Grav . . . the list of mediocre players Loved by the GP faithful is as long as your arm and goes back a very long way, but you wont find any local lads in there.

Steve Hogan

I hear what your saying, but I honestly don't believe this is a race issue, The Yak and big Vic both play for Nigeria, but it's the one with the scouse accent that takes the stick. As Anthony says, it always seems to have been the case: Harvey, Royle, Watson, Reid... all had to pull up trees before the crowd even began to give them a break.

I?m proud to be an Evertonian, but I cringed at the comments aimed at Vic at Macclesfield, when he came back on after lengthy treatment for an injury,

One more thing, Adam Carey has just reminded me of this. Can someone please explain to me me why large sections of the travelling crowd should chant "fat little knobhead" at a young blue who was about to fullfil his dream by getting 2-3 minutes on the pitch against the team he has always supported? Even if you have an axe to grind with young Rooney?s older brother, what has this kid done to deserve that ?

The fools who chanted may have found it funny, but that lad must have been gutted.

Ciarán McGlone
25   Posted 14/01/2009 at 09:11:07

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Well Dave, I guess the only conclusion from that is that hero worship is a very subjective issue..

My first post was also attempted to say, ?What about Rooney?? ... add to that Cadamateri and Jeffers ? they were academy lads who were genuinely revered.
Steve Hogan
26   Posted 14/01/2009 at 09:35:41

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Dave Wilson, sorry mate you have misinterpreted my comments, I was never trying to say that this was a ’race’ issue concerning Victor, merely that the overall conduct of some of our supporters leaves a lot to be desired at times.

Hope this clears my comments up.
Steve Carse
27   Posted 14/01/2009 at 10:58:07

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The basic hypothesis behind this piece needs tconesting.

In my 45 years of following Everton the top three players for getting stick were all bought in from outside -- Sandy Brown, Geoff Nulty, and Brett Angell. Close on their heels there was Mo Johnstone, Brian Hamilton and a string of other imports. And let?s not forget the stick the likes of greats Reid and Ratcliffe received at the start and the end of their times at Everton.

The praise or criticism players get is to my mind and in my experience ultimately completely unrelated to whether they have come through the ranks, but is all to do with ability and performance.

The article focusses on the recent cases of Hibbert and Anichibe. I was at Macclesfield and didn?t hear any criticism at these two other than what might have been justified on account of errors. But that?s by the by. I personally think Hibbert is a top defender but with rank bad distribution and with an increasing tendency to ball watch crosses coming in from the opposite flank. Hence the criticism.

Anichebe I think has come on a lot in some areas of his play this season (particularly holding the ball up, perhaps helped by his time in the Africa Cup) but for me he has a bit of the Heskey about him in that a lot of what he is doing is pretty much irrelevant in terms of affecting the course of the game. His physique leads you to expect a much more explosive and physical part to his game but we rarely see it. This is no more evident than on crosses. Very rarely do you find him getting anywhere near to crosses into the box.

Poor positional play? No killer instinct? Don?t know... But whatever it is, I suggest it is these things that attract the criticism. And let?s face it, if Moyes thought otherwise, Big Vic would be leading the line at this point in time, not Cahill.

Tony Carey
28   Posted 14/01/2009 at 12:31:52

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Everton supporters are first rate in terms of numbers, but it stops there. There is no colour or originality, with minimal vocal support. Fellaini has scored some vital goals this season but has not had his name sung once. Cahill?s song is the worst going which is droned for 2 seconds. Its becoming embarrassing, especially when we go to Anfield next week. They?ll be full of scarves/banners and songs. We?ll be standing there in our casuals singing Everton, Everton... I?m not for one second wanting to be like them ? but a bit more effort and originality would not go amiss.
Dave Wilson
29   Posted 14/01/2009 at 12:16:31

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The crowd always viewed Jeffers with suspicion and whilst I agree Rooney definitely captured the hearts of blues everywhere, I think that stemed from the fact that we?d heard he was pulling up trees long before most of us had even seen him. Not quite sure where Cadamarteri fits into this debate...

You're right Ciaran ? I knew if I lived long enough... Hero worship is a subjective issue, a player doesn't need to be brilliant, he just needs to do something memorable, like Rideout or Horne.

I?m cheered by the thought that If Young Vic does score the winner against the dark side or if Hibbert does a simmilar tackle on SG to the one Neville did on Ronaldo, they will virtually guarentee themselves a place in all Blues' hearts forever.

I cant shake this nagging feeling that if Anichebe does get the winner, he?ll silence almost as many Blues as Reds.
Connor Rohrer
30   Posted 15/01/2009 at 00:56:02

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I agree with most of the thread bar the Yakubu comment, he isn?t idolised at all to be honest. Despite scoring 20 goals in one season, he still has a lot of critics at Everton and always will do. He wasn?t the best example to use. He gets as much stick as anyone.

How I see it is Hibbert and Anichebe are squad players, they do a decent job for the team and they cost nothing. I hope they do prove people wrong; I?d love it if Victor scored in the derby, it?d make my day.
Daniel Powell
31   Posted 15/01/2009 at 03:45:26

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Tony Carey........ There is NOTHING wrong with our support. So what if we don't jump around like a gang of blurts, ringing bells, singing love songs? No-one cares.

Our support is our support, it's unique in itself. We get behind the team when we need to. The type of atmosphere we can create pisses all over the likes of Portsmouth, Hull and all of the other Soccer AM type teams. A vicious hostile Goodison is second to none in England IMO ? no 12-verse songs necessary, just pure hatrid to intimidate the opposition.

On the other point, there was nothing wrong with Anichebe?s reception on Saturday. No-one booed him and at the same time no-one was doing cartwheels over the fact an extremely average player had entered the pitch.

Tony Carey
32   Posted 15/01/2009 at 12:47:41

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Daniel Powell, I fully agree with you, our support is widely documented by many professional players as being the most intimidating. Unfortunately, it only happens 2-3 times per season. The majority of matches this season have proven how quiet it can be ? it takes a massive game or disputed incident to get us going. It shouldn?t be like that.
Connor Rohrer
33   Posted 15/01/2009 at 13:05:24

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That happens at the majority of grounds in the League to be honest, good atmospheres are very rare nowadays. Goodison is still probably one of the best in terms of atmosphere and that speaks for itself really, just shows how poor atmopsheres are.
Nick Thomas
34   Posted 15/01/2009 at 14:14:34

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Dave, I too nearly froze to death at the Macc game. and I think by now most of the other posts have said the same thing. I dont rate Hibbert as a right back ? he puts in a good challenge (if the opponent's slower and provided he?s not too physical) but he?s a one-trick pony. However, he does attempt to put a in good shift, and Evertonians appreciate a worker.

Which is the total opposite of Anichebe, he?s a young physically gifted athlete, and playing for a big club in the Premier League. I would give both my legs to be blessed with that opportunity. The fact of the matter is he can't be arsed, he doesn't use any of his physical strength, or power, and he can usually be found head in hands on the deck moaning ? in short, he hasn?t got an ounce of effort in him.

I think it says a huge amount when he started at Macc, it was his chance to shine, and he blew it (as he continually does). I get behind all players that put in the effort, regardless of their heritage, and I don't think I should have to pay my hard-earned money to see someone not pull their weight.

He needs to know about it ? my boss wouldn't keep quiet if I went to work every day and couldn't be arsed. At he end of the day, this is Vic's job (lucky boy), and he needs to know he's not earning his corn. Not because he?s not good enough, or has a bad game, but because he doesn't put any effort in.

Ged Jennings
35   Posted 16/01/2009 at 00:47:38

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The only time Evertonians get vocal at Goodison recently is when they believe a decision has gone against them. Early goals don?t do it ? leads to nerves. Not scoring leads to moaning.

I have only ever, and will only ever support Everton but the fans are the most negative, droning anti-fans ever. It has seemed to become that because the red shite are known for singing we can?t do it or match them but instead just scream TON-TON-TON-EVERTON every now and then.

It doesn?t help the team. At Liege away (regardless of how we were playing), the home fans were like G4 behind the team, and we were all half-pissed, half-asleep... no atmosphere... no chance.

I hope to god that the ref gives a contentious decision their way 50 mins in to a nil-nil in the cup. That?ll wake the fans up in a ?woe is me? type way and maybe kick up some noise!
Denis Byrne
36   Posted 16/01/2009 at 14:12:47

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Great post and very timely.

Agree that Hibbert coming back into the team has clearly had a postitive effect and he has obviously worked on his deficiencies (ball-watching when cross comes from oppossite wing). Also seen him get the better of Ronaldo, Walcott, Robben, Bellamy, and other speedy dribblers, and he is a fantastic defender (doh, thats what he is supposed to be!). And also fail to understand the stick Vic is getting, but have nonethelss come to expect it.

I live in Brighton now and have asked other supporters (Gooners, Chelski, Manure, etc etc) about our team and there is consistently a genuine appreciation of what the team has, and is, achieving. It seems we are the only ones unhappy and miserable! But I guess that's why we are Evertonians.

Graham Shannon
37   Posted 19/01/2009 at 08:44:12

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Dave, great article.

I think there may be a perception today that ?home-grown? players are somehow inferior to players from elsewhere. The two players in question have done a good job by and large when called upon, and agree that booing them serves no purpose other than putting them off their game.

Get behind ALL players in the blue jersey, not just your favourites!

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