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.
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1 Posted 13/01/2009 at 17:03:56
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.
2 Posted 13/01/2009 at 17:51:25
3 Posted 13/01/2009 at 18:12:14
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.
4 Posted 13/01/2009 at 18:11:42
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.
5 Posted 13/01/2009 at 18:35:34
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??
6 Posted 13/01/2009 at 18:50:57
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.
7 Posted 13/01/2009 at 19:07:44
8 Posted 13/01/2009 at 19:28:44
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.
9 Posted 13/01/2009 at 19:34:39
10 Posted 13/01/2009 at 19:48:56
11 Posted 13/01/2009 at 19:54:11
12 Posted 13/01/2009 at 20:36:48
13 Posted 13/01/2009 at 22:03:46
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.
14 Posted 13/01/2009 at 22:09:21
15 Posted 13/01/2009 at 22:22:20
The players will usually know when they?re having a crap game.
COYB .... and so will the manager!
16 Posted 13/01/2009 at 22:23:53
Could you imagine Ronaldo playing for us? No I didn't think so.
17 Posted 13/01/2009 at 23:00:06
18 Posted 13/01/2009 at 23:46:16
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.
19 Posted 14/01/2009 at 00:21:46
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.
20 Posted 14/01/2009 at 00:59:10
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.
21 Posted 14/01/2009 at 01:59:43
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
22 Posted 14/01/2009 at 01:53:34
23 Posted 14/01/2009 at 03:52:39
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.
24 Posted 14/01/2009 at 06:38:03
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.
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.
25 Posted 14/01/2009 at 09:11:07
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.
26 Posted 14/01/2009 at 09:35:41
Hope this clears my comments up.
27 Posted 14/01/2009 at 10:58:07
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.
28 Posted 14/01/2009 at 12:31:52
29 Posted 14/01/2009 at 12:16:31
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.
30 Posted 15/01/2009 at 00:56:02
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.
31 Posted 15/01/2009 at 03:45:26
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.
32 Posted 15/01/2009 at 12:47:41
33 Posted 15/01/2009 at 13:05:24
34 Posted 15/01/2009 at 14:14:34
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.
35 Posted 16/01/2009 at 00:47:38
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!
36 Posted 16/01/2009 at 14:12:47
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.
37 Posted 19/01/2009 at 08:44:12
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!