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FAN ARTICLES

Victims of Expectation

By Tony Marsh :  26/02/2009 :  Comments (83) :
The hardest part of being an Evertonian is the knowledge that once we where a Great Club and now we are not. With each passing season, it's always the next one when things will come good.

As last season frittered away to nothing, fans of ours said that this present season would be the one when we eventually made it back amongst the somebodies. Now, with a tiny squad ravaged by injuries and our most influential player out for 6 months, the familiar story will repeat itself once more.

I have no doubt we will make the semi-finals of the FA Cup before being beaten by Man Utd or Chelsea. You see the FA will keep the big two apart for sure because they don't want a repaet of last year's non-event, do they? At one point, I believed we could win it but the Arteta blow was the last straw.

We are unlucky bastards though, aren't we? I mean at this stage of the FA Cup last season, Pompey were the big guns left in it. When WE progress to the late stages, all the big boys are waiting for us. Typical of Everton's luck over the years.

As for the league, well, we will finish in 6th spot because we will never catch those above us now and we are far too good for those below us. I think we are a better side than Villa but they got first run on us so good luck to them. Some of our lot still think it's possible for us to grab a Champions League place but that's just pure madness.

Already on these pages, I am reading that next season is sure to be the one when the revolution happens but I just don't see it. With that useless chairman of ours hanging around for a big pay day and being more concerned with the Kirkby Fiasco than beefing up the squad, we will continue to tread water. Moyes doesn't stand a chance with the limited budget he is being asked to work with and Kenwright should be ashamed of himself.

If only BK had put so much time and energy into the Kings Dock Arena as he does with the Tescodome, who knows where we might be now?

I really hope we do make it to the semi-finals of the FA Cup as it will give a chance to our younger fans to visit Wembley. Saying that, it's a real killer getting beat in a semi-final and I really expect the worst should we make it. The referees will make sure the Big Guns make it through, don't worry about that...

We are up against the whole system this time around ? not just the referee but the likes of Sky, the FA, the Premier League, the advertising people, sponsors, overseas TV rights... the fucking lot of them want a Chelsea v Man Utd final and that's what they will get.

So we can dream all we like but the sad truth is this season will be no better or no worse than the last one. Moyes and the players have done their bit but we just fall short once again.

A fanbase with bigtime ambitions that has a chairman with no ambition at all can only do so much. We can pray... we can dream... we can fantasize... but at the end of the day we can't buy what some other clubs can do and that is buy players and officals: Collina, Clattenburg, Poll, Elleray etc have all been at the bollocks in recent years.

I wish it wasn't so but as I said we are victims of our own expectations and sometimes we need to take stock of who we really are. The big boys get what the big boys want and there's nothing we can do about it. I would love to be proved wrong but somehow I don't think I will be... COYBs

Reader Comments

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Jay Harris
1   Posted 27/02/2009 at 14:30:29

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Tony, as a longstanding supporter of a 50-year rollercoaster ride that is following EFC, my head totally agrees with you but my heart says we?re due a change of luck somewhere along the line. Maybe an Alan Whittle or a Mike Trebilcock will pop up out of the woodwork and win us game we might not have won.


Maybe Jo and Saha can gel like old mates and score for fun while the defence goes the rest of the season with clean sheets.... Nah,Maybe my head was right?
Nick Entwistle
2   Posted 27/02/2009 at 14:29:05

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I think Tony you’re writing through the frustration of probably another UEFA finishing season. I’d have to agree (well I still think we can do CL, Villa not won in 4, Arsenal not that much better than us... Nurse!).
How dull to finish 6th each year... we’re like Eddie Irvine or Rubens Barachelo... always up there, but having to let Shumacher through to win... that’s a poor analogy, but I’m keeping with it.
We’re missing out in squad depth/ quality. As we’ve seen our starting xi is awesome but you can’t do a season with 11 men. And this is where Bill is letting us down.
Gareth Lewis
3   Posted 27/02/2009 at 14:33:09

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While not being totally convinced that the FA will fix the semi should we get there, the rest of the article is pretty much spot on.

We are better than most of the rest of the league. Easily.

We are also some way off most of those above us. Certainly over a whole season, we simply haven’t got the squad numbers to cope with multiple challenges.

We are firmly stuck in a footballing limbo. Some might say we are a lot better off than most and while this may be true you have to wonder just how long this can last.

At some point Moyes will go. And whether you think he’s great or not, the fact that he has been here so long means that he’s going to be very hard to replace as everyone, and I mean everyone, at the club will have be so used to how he works that the initial transition will be rocky at best.

Therefore as suggested the only way we can get out of limbo, that doesn’t involve getting worse, is by getting someone in who has money. Or at the very least some ideas of how to generate some of our own.

I believe even the 2nd scenario would be enough to keep Moyes should another wealthy suitor come calling, as someone with the same drive and ambition that he has would create some driving force.

However, given BK’s recruitment record that seems as likely as him actually going.

I’m very much an optimist when it comes to Everton on the pitch, but when you step back and look at the medium to long term future off it and the impact that that will eventually have on the playing side, it doesn’t half look gloomy.

ps Everton for the Cup!!
Sean Thompson
4   Posted 27/02/2009 at 14:48:03

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Tony, remember the last time we won the cup....everyone wanted a Man U v Spurs final. That didn?t happen so all I?d say is never say never.

Not that I think we?ll get past the semis either but there is always a touch of hope.
Ste Kenny
5   Posted 27/02/2009 at 15:10:50

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This article is far too accurate for my liking! I hope we go down fighting.
Tim Wardrop
6   Posted 27/02/2009 at 15:45:39

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To say the draw for the FA cup is fixed is ridiculous. There’s no evidence for this whatsoever.

To be honest I agree with the title of this piece - victims of expectation, but not some of the tone. Yes, we expect a lot, mainly because we’ve had so much over the years. But we deserve nothing unless we produce the goods on the pitch.

Personally I am very happy for us to finish in the UEFA cup places this year, and possibly for the next 3 years. I know some may think this is madness, but without a rich benefactor we have to build slowly and with stability and if we can keep in the UEFA places then we will have a real chance of winning that trophy in one of the next 2 to 3 seasons.

The problem this brings is that the money gap continues to grow and grow, but what can we do about that? One season in the Champions League will not change anything, for us to bridge the money divide we will have to have at least three seasons on the bounce of CL football and in reality that has to be at the expense of the same team (hopefully Liverpool) each time. Without that we won’t have the sustainability to compete in the longer term.

My seven medium term priorities (i.e. next 3 seasons) for the club would be:

1. keep hold of Moyes
2. finish no lower than 6th each season
3. win one of the domestic cups
4. get to the UEFA cup final
5. bring through the young talent that is already starting to break into the first team
6. continue the move towards playing a more attractive brand of football
7. have a realistic alternative to Kirkby that is in the city (whatever that may be) well and truly in the pipeline
Dan McKie
7   Posted 27/02/2009 at 15:52:58

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I would love to see us at wembley (even if it is only a semi). I started going to games shortly after the 95 cup win like a proper glory hunter! If there were no surprises in the quarters though, I would fancy us against Arsenal and to a lesser extent Chelsea. I also believe that catching Villa is possible if we win at villa park and lose no more than 6 points for the rest of the season. A tough ask!
Damian Kelly
8   Posted 27/02/2009 at 16:18:26

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sums up the way I feel - well written Tony
Mike Haslem
9   Posted 27/02/2009 at 16:15:46

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I remember the days when people use to lambast Tony Marsh for being a ’glass is half empty’ man, yes i do agree with some of your points about us not catching those ahead and staying in 6th but the stuff about the world fixing the draw so its man utd vs chelsea is ridiculous, lets hope for the arse in the semi’s because we could have them if we play right!!!!
Alan Kirwin
10   Posted 27/02/2009 at 16:11:29

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Let’s just wait & see shall we. Predictions are pointless. It may indeed end up same old same old, but come on, rather a lot of mitigating circumstances and what if’s.

I confess the biggest problem I’ve had is reconciling what might have been if Moyes hadn’t had his funny turn in the summer, if we’d got Fellaini (or whoever) earlier, had a good pre-season, settled down, and won all those early season games that were winnable. And if we hadn’t had all the injuries...

We could quite well have been sitting somewhere between 2nd - 4th now, and comfortable. So, that didn’t happen and despite more crap luck than I thought existed, we are 6th and still in with at least a shout of higher.

I am happy. I think to be here after what we’ve been through is nothing short of fucking miraculous. I like playing European games and thoroughly enjoyed last season’s jaunt. In the absence of the champions league, yes, bring it on. Just because Villa have got all their eggs in one basket, or Spurs are doing so shite (again, ha ha) after spending more money, that it’s got a bad name.

You will never find other European sides bad mouthing it because it remains a further test of how good you are and it gets you noticed and it improves your international profile and rating. I think too many Evertonians live in the 1960’s and 1980’s and remain deluded as to our true status. Based on attendances & turnover we are way down the list these days.

Sunderland, Man City, Newcastle, Spurs, even West Ham out-do us these days. So finishing 5th or 6th is actually no mean achievement in the EPL. It’s fine to want higher, but let’s not lose touch with reality. We’re already doing better than the stats suggest we should. Pity too many still see the glass as half empty and still take our motto literally simply because it’s written in fucking Latin.

I’d take the UEFA cup over the FA cup any day. It’s international, it’s prestige, it’s far more important to investors and outside observers than the FA cup. It gets us European experience and moves us on. So for me, if we end up 5th or 6th and playing in the Europa league then no problem. Back in October I;d have snapped their hand off.

We’d all love to be top of the tree. But you can’t expect it and you have no right to waltz around thinking that it’s champions league or nothing. Otherwise you’re in grave danger of being very disappointed every season. And what’s the point in that?
Paul Daly
11   Posted 27/02/2009 at 16:14:28

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If I read the writer correctly the point being made is that we once were a big club which we no longer are. As supporters we continue to have the expectations of a great club but we’re out of whack with the way the game is set up- geared towards the continued dominance of $ky4. We are unrealistic and delusional to expect anything of Everton in the present circumstances, under the present regime. Did I get that right?

Well I for one won’t be going down that route. I don’t accept that the so-called big four are uncrackable, indeed to various degrees I believe they are cracking, but that’’s another arguement. I will continue to harbour hopes that Everton will again be champions, that Everton will again win cups and that Everton will play again flowing winning football. Why change my modus operandus after forty years? What is the point of a supporter, an Everton supporter f’rchrissakes, committing time and effort and money to a sport and a pastime they love if their only expectation is safety from relegation and an occasional derby win? That is rank defeatism, no matter what the current circumstances of the club. I say expect more and we’ll achieve more. The alternative is passive acceptance of us being also-rans and eventually going down the drain like so many Wednesdays and Charltons whose only ambition was to survive. We give in to that kind of thinking at our peril.
Gavin Roberts
12   Posted 27/02/2009 at 16:48:00

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Who is that shadowy figure on the grassy knoll
eddie o neill
13   Posted 27/02/2009 at 16:28:09

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Load of bollox. can’t figure out if it’s Kenwright your blaming for our lack of success, of the fact that you say everyone is cheating...the fa...sky...advertising...media....league....sponsors....other clubs....refs....tv companies.....Jayus man, if you really feel football is that corrupt, well what’s the point in following ANY team???
Phil Bellis
14   Posted 27/02/2009 at 16:49:19

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Alan

There’s nowt wrong with our motto, just the fact that successive Boards have forgotten the translation

’’We are all in the gutter...’’

Thank Christ for the extra 15,000 (sic) on the gates
Marco Bonfiglio
15   Posted 27/02/2009 at 16:25:59

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A well-argued piece, Tony.

There was a GU blog during the summer, talking about the importance of Cahill and Arteta, on which I said that I held my breath every time the former landed from a header, waiting for the click of a metatarsal, and did the same every time Arteta was tackled. The nightmare landed on Sunday.

I think one of the strengths of a small squad has been the fostering of a siege mentality among the players, but I worry that we’ve reached the stage where no amount of attitude will cover the lack of numbers.

I’ll admit that when the semis were first moved to Wembley, I argued that this was devaluing the Final, but this time round ... well, I think they’ve earned their day on the pitch. And besides, if we get past Middlesbrough (touch wood), well, we haven’t lost a semi since 1980, have we?

In terms of finishing higher than sixth, I agree it’s a very long shot. But O’Neill and Wenger have taken hits in recent weeks. The UEFA debacle last night has taken a lot of the gilt off the former’s reputation - whether this forebodes a post-Fiorentina type of collapse for Villa will be interesting to watch; unlike Everton last year, they had already hit a trough in form.

As for Arsenal, the Emirates is alive with the sound of twitching sphincters - half the flats at Highbury remain unsold (money that they’d taken for granted), so CL qualification isn’t just a matter of pride; and Mikel’s mate (who’s out till April) has just admitted that the Premiership is a goner for the Gunners. We know from last year’s Birmingham fiasco that Arsenal aren’t the most stoical squad in the division.

I admit that hoping for the implosion of the two teams above us (while maintaining our own form) is a long shot, but the signs are there.
Anthony Dyer
16   Posted 27/02/2009 at 16:49:27

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Re-living the 60s or 80s is what Everton Football Club is all about. Admittedly during the 60s we had the money to compete with anyone. But the 80s team was built by hard graft and good fortune. The other lot had no real challengers until we came along and spoiled their party.
Most Evertonians accept that even in the good times , victory doesn’t come easy and neither does winning trophies , but that doesn’t mean that we can’t hope and dream about winning more trophies.
If we can’t give the FA Cup a good go this season, when can we?

I’m not saying that we are destined to win it or even that we are good enough to win it, just that we have a good chance of winning it. We may not get past the QF but if we do anything is possible. The main part of our game in recent months is the solidity of the defence and barring more bad-luck we still have that.
Winning the FA Cup will do more for our marketing team and profile than finishing 4th, and because we are EVERTON and not Pompey we will be able to take advantage of it. .
With regards to Kenwright , didn’t he say that he hoped not to be here by the next AGM. Kirkby is still not a certainty and with Parry about to leave LFC maybe the ground share idea will be looked at again.
Come on Blues , I know how hard it is to keep hoping but its not as hard as giving up the ghost and accepting failure.
Steve Edwards
17   Posted 27/02/2009 at 16:42:13

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Tony - Good article, I’d agree with about 90% of it. I don’t think officials are actually bought, not in the true sense but they are influenced, which has the same affect on results. It is a fact that since the 70’s we have always had dreadful luck and its amazes me that the other shower have during the same period more than their fair share. I am always surprised that nobody picks up on the number of times star players are missing when teams play them. Then if you look at us, star player are alway returning from injury! When was the last time we played them with anything like a full squad to choose from? Every British team hates penalty shoot outs. Why? because their not very good at it and after all its a lottery. The shite actually play for a shoot out. They love them. It supposed to be a matter of luck if you win or lose, everybody dreads them but not when it comes to them. Penalty shoot outs are part of their game plan, no matter who is in goal or who takes the pen, they win! I’m convinced that they have somehow pinched our share of luck as well as keeping their own... bastards!
Richard Dodd
18   Posted 27/02/2009 at 17:15:27

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In common with all Evertonians under 35,I have little memory of any time better than now.OK,we may not be winning pots,but we consistently punch above our weight under a brilliant manager and have maximum stability in the Board Room under Bill Kenwright..In short,we are a magnificent example of what can be achieved and how a club can be run without a sugar daddy.In fact,Everton is the ideal so many clubs seek to replicate.
Tony,we would all (including BK!)love to have secured King’s Dock but it just wasn’t to be-believe me,the costs had escalated far above the £30M usually quoted as the input required.Now,however,we can have every hope that an alternative solution is near to confirmation.
In short,I think the divide in our fan base is entirely a matter of age.For the young our glass is half full,For the olds it is eternally half empty but that,at least,gives them something to moan about!
Terry Glover
19   Posted 27/02/2009 at 17:36:47

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Well said,Richard! At last a voice of sense,balance and reason in a sea of malice and malcontent. Most of the older generation live in cloud cuckooland!
Gareth Hughes
20   Posted 27/02/2009 at 17:33:16

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Tony, you say that Portsmouth had all the luck last season when all the big guns exited the competition before the latter stages. But who did they beat on the way to the final?man Utd was’nt it?And at Old Trafford no less. If we want to win the Cup we will need to beat the best sides, just like Portsmouth did. The next 4 games will tell us how much we can achieve without Arteta - WBA, Blackburn, Middlesbrough and Stoke. All struggling teams. If we beat them then we will be in the FA Cup last 4 and virtually guaranteed 6th place amd maybe ahead of arsenal in the League. If we struggle then I will share your unbridled pessimism.
Danny ONeill
21   Posted 27/02/2009 at 17:31:25

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Tony,

Quite a balanced article - be careful this is twice you haven’t wound me up. Slight paranoia and a "conspiracy theory" attitude about the media, the referees, in fact just about everyone against us getting to the final (that’s just your in-built negative gene coming out). Who knows, they wanted a Man Utd v Tottenham final in 95 but didn’t get it. Only thing I would argue against is Kenwright. Knock the bloke all you want but like it or not the club is better placed now than it was when he took over. He has admitted himself that he doesn’t have the financial clout to take us further. Over to a rich Arab investor......no doubt you have a conspiracy theory that Bill won’t let go? Personally I think its self-explanatory and Man City is a good case to highlight. Similar sized clubs in terms of support and fan base. Lets say for example we were both hypothetically valued at £50 million to purchase. Add over £100 million to us because we need to build (or re-generate to show my impartiallity). To any right-minded businessman, City are the obvious choice. That is why even Newcastle will be more attractive than us. Because of years of internal and external wrangling and debate over the ground issue we have held ourselves back rather than taking positive action. I think everyone must take some of the blame and I include everyone in that-board and fans alike. What have we achieved - we’ve stood still, Goodison is even older but at least the L4 crowd still only have to walk to the match and drink in their local boozers on match day (apologies to those living in the L4 area who think Everton should move-it was a tongue in cheek comment!). I would urge all involved with the club to resolve this as until we do, Moyes will have to keep working his magic with the best that Kenwright can provide him with and we won’t crack the top 4 and challenge for honours. Sorry Tony but I just think BK gets a raw deal and does a good job of biting his lip considering the time and effort he puts in.

Good article and sensible debate.
Phil Bellis
22   Posted 27/02/2009 at 18:02:05

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And where do, in your wisdom, live, Terry? Mediocre city?
Martin Handley
23   Posted 27/02/2009 at 17:57:35

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Tony will you please do me a favour and shut up!!
FFS with the injuries and the start to the season we’ve had it’s a bloody that we’re in 6th with a damn good shout of 5th ,the QF of the FA Cup with
90% chance of reaching the semis and then who knows.
For once in your life can you look at something as though the glass is half
full rather than half empty.
And for the rest of you we’re doomed merchants we won the cup in 95 with a midfield trio of Parky,Horne and Ebbrel and none of those guys were known as playmakers.
So come on cheer up you miserable sod..oh sorry even if we won every trophy in sight you’d still find something to cry about.
I’m just glad I don’t have to go for a pint with you and listen to your drivel about how everything is BK’s fault
At least we’re not those loveable,laughable norwegian pricks from accross the park!!.
si.kirwan
24   Posted 27/02/2009 at 18:48:55

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Agreed, althought we have contributed to our faultering aspirations, well Moyes has. £15 million on the shite that is fellaini. with arteta and co and a pacy winger, i think we could then realistically push for top 4. instead, we blow our bank balance on a pile of awkward, lazy shite . crying shame

Martin Handley
25   Posted 27/02/2009 at 19:02:08

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Si.Kirwan you take the biscuit mate !
If it wasn’t for Fellaini we’d be 5or6 points worse off.
I suppose you think Osmans’ a footballing genius!
Mike Norris
26   Posted 27/02/2009 at 19:44:40

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On the short term question, perhaps you are being slightly disrepectful to Boro - who are a decent Cup team based on recent years. I do expect us to beat them but we will possibly need a slice of that FA Cup luck to do it. I don’t think it will be - knowing Everton - straightforward

We would really have to work or socks off to beat either Utd/Chelski/Arsenal in a semi let alone a final.

On the longer term, I think the die has been cast against Everton consistently breaking into the Top 4, ever since we tried and failed valiantly vs Villareal.

The money made from UEFA Cup just pales in comparison to Champs League. The RS etc continue to hoover it up year after year



Unless we acquire a chairman with genuine passion for the club AND significant amounts of £££ we will probably continue to punch above our weight just outside the Top 4.

We must hang on to Moyesy and continue to develop in house/Championship talent a la Leon Osman, Jack Rodwell, Tim Cahill, Joleon Lescott, Dan Gosling. etc

A Cup Win/European place are NOT out of the question, just much harder to achieve.

COYB !!!
cyril nugent
27   Posted 27/02/2009 at 19:34:00

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with cahill supporting saha and pienaar on wing with osman and neville holding role with fellaini knock on’s we have a strong team at our best with gosling and rodwell solid sub’s who knows what we can do in league and cup now on. luck with it of course. 4ever blue.
James Boden
28   Posted 27/02/2009 at 18:50:05

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In my heart i 100% disagree with Tony here but its my head thats doing the talking here. You have to wonder how much longer we can cope with Kenwright fucking about. Half the time im trying to figure out whether we havent got a pot to piss in or he’s just tight and has no ambition. Or maybe it’s both. Regardless of anyones opinion on Moyes the fact that Kenwright handed out the contract that he did yo Moyes tells you all you need to know. We were falling down the drain and thats when he should have held on and thought "hang on what the fuck is going on"? But he decided then was a good time to give our manager an incredible contract. And also considering we had no money why offer such a large contract? Truly baffling to say the least and shows how little to no ambition he really has for the club. Thankfully we have now gotten away from that terrible time we was having for the 1st 2 months of the season but for goodness sake i cant take that again it was horrendous, almost as bad as the start we made in 2005. But its Everton so it wouldn’t suprise me.

Luck is clearly not on our side. That’s been so obvious for years even before i was born. Call me a pessimist but i can’t even see us beating Boro now. I think our season will collapse as it does at the end of every season. Lets hope United beat Spurs Sunday and then we at least secure 6th spot asap. If that is done and thats a big if with Everton then i would start giving more youngsters experience. I can’t see next season being the season when it finally all happens. I seriously doubt we will win the League in my life time at this rate. Sorry for the negativity but i just say what i think is the case and sadly its not good i.m.o. "The hardest part of being an Evertonian is the knowledge that once we where a Great Club and now we are not. With each passing season, it’s always the next one when things will come good". Thats as true a line as you will ever see on this or any Evertonian website. Our motto is held in high esteem by Evertonians and thats what we should be expecting. 22 years without the Championship, 14 years without winning a damn thing just isn’t on. The fact that we have a great history with many great players is something that has been ignored and makes it even harder. For us younger ones we wonder how much longer it’ll be till our once great club has another success and the older generation who saw us in the 60s and 80s and maybe even before that time find it hard to accept it having grown up watching good times with great football, great players and winning League Titles and Fa Cups. If we were to get to the Semi Final this year then expect tickets to go in a flash and if the miracle was to happen and we make it to the Final then it’ll be fighting mad for tickets is our desparation for success. Please God let it happen, The Gobshites have had so many moments of joy with all that fucking luck, 2 Bob Chelsea have had their time in the sun thanks to their location. Only hope could be that Man United had 25 years of heartbreak after Winning European Cup and finally won the Title and haven’t looked back since. Any trophy would do, to win the League is truly in our wildest dreams and to win the European Cup would be so fabulous given the fact we should have had it in 86 that Evertonians would probably all be in tears. But hey if us crying through the night because of that then ill have some of that.
COYB FTRS
ian tunny
29   Posted 27/02/2009 at 20:46:58

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Youv changed your tune. Its normally always all Moyes fault But i suppose it has to be someones fault so lets blame Kenright and everyone else instead ay? You see to forget we have been breaking our transfer record every season for about 4 years

As you have pointed out we have been very unlucky with injuries this season, so with a good signing and continued improvment and development of the youth, it is only a matter of time before we break the top 4. Just a little more patience, nearly there now, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Anthony Dyer
30   Posted 27/02/2009 at 21:19:33

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The one statistic I can’t abide is the ’breaking the transfer record’ for however many seasons.
It means nothing if you buy a player for megabucks and then replace him with another expensive signing. If we had bought the right players in the first place how many times would we have broken the record transfer fee paid? Who’s to say that if the Yak had not been injured that we wouldn’t have sold him in the last window and paid yet another record fee for A.N. Other? Buying players at whatever their cost who suit the needs of the team and more importantly stay longer than a couple of seasons is the only way to improve the squad.
Christine Foster
31   Posted 27/02/2009 at 21:58:15

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Richard Dodd, perhaps wisdom comes with age and frankly you are showing your youth. We have consistently punched above our weight but there comes a time in life when that stops. Thats a fact not a supposition. For David Moyes its a little like banging you head against a wall, you get so far and then thats it, no more resources, no more players, no more options.

At some point David will give up hope of getting the players or resources, thats human nature. At the moment he is living in the hope ( as we all are) that BK will eaither find an alternative solution or sell to another and more affluent provider. If that doesns’t happen then a Celtic, Man U or Arsenal will come along and give him the money to do what he wants to do here. Then we will lose him.

Thats not a moan, thats pragmatism.

Or a simplier analogy for you, if you have a job that the boss keeps promising you a bonus and doesn’t deliver when you have you move on unless your a half wit which DM clearly isn’t.

Its the Club that needs to catch up to the teams expectations, its the club that needs to find the resources to take it to the next level where we sit at the top table. Thats the difference currently at Villa, thats why most of the media actually believe that Villa are the team to break the monopoly because not only do they have the team, the manager and the history, they have the board and the money, without moving home to do it.

Your right too Richard, most younger fans are optimists whilst most older are not pessimists, they are realists blessed with the wisdom of seeing it all before and working for the boss who doesn;t deliver.
Dick Fearon
32   Posted 27/02/2009 at 20:54:50

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Tentatively stretching our broken wings we look skyward at those high flyers and dream of the day we are soaring and swooping with them.
There is a growing feeling that years of misfortune are coming to an end.
Just as the wind starts to rustle beneath our wings along comes Tony with his double barrel.
I feel it in my old bones that it your doom and gloom won’t work this time Tony.
It is 66 all over again, I am a newly married 20 year old, Saturday morning overtime on the docks then a dash to Lime St and the last football special heading for the semi final in Bolton.
Wise old heads are unanimous that we are on a hiding to nothing against a Man.U side made up of Law, Charlton , Styles and a host of other internationals.

We had the emerging talent of the holy trinity and the golden vision plus a touch of good fortune when Harveys mis cued effort bamboozled Harry Greg and sneaked in for the single goal that sent us to Wembley.
Most of all our strength that year as is is today lay in the fact that ours was a team in the fullest sense of that word.
It also had undivided support from the greatest and most vocal fans in the country.
Sadly and if TW is an example, our current team will need to succeed without that kind of single minded support. Nowadays it seems our myriad of supporters each has a personal axe to grind.
Despite that, I sense the same old 66 whisper in the breeze that says there aint nothin gonna stop us now. If only for a few months lets forget DK, BK and whatever else narks you. Get behind Moyes and all our players. Can you not see that a bright new day is dawning,

Take your best shot Tony but I?d like to bet that deep down inside you also have a tingle of excitement at the direction we are headed.

Christopher Mowll
33   Posted 27/02/2009 at 22:57:46

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I hate it when you’re right Tony!! - Absolutely spot on article.

Let?s get past Borough, and then if we draw Arsenal I think we will beat them this time - and I never bet on finals!

I may have a cheeky bet this year though ? I hope!

We are due some luck, the task just got tougher, but the season isn?t over. COYB
Graham Stuart
34   Posted 27/02/2009 at 23:07:19

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Tony, Very truthful post about the luck/lack of progression when the ’sky 4’ gobshites are in with a shout for a dream ’MONEY’ final for all involved ie, sponsors, tv etc. I’m probably one of the finest conspiracy theorists where all things Everton are concerned but as someone posted earlier, lets look back at 95’ with Spurs (won fuck all) and Ushited (theatre of queers)supposed dream ticket - f**k them all and lets show the continued resilience of the Blues and be optimistic yet again for a visit of the ’Grand Old Team’ at Wembley (no matter who we face) for a Semi Final and be safe in the knowledge that the other shower wont have already been there!!!!! Onward EVERTONIA..........
Alan Kirwin
35   Posted 27/02/2009 at 23:19:57

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Anthony Dyer - "Re-living the 60s or 80s is what Everton Football Club is all about." We’ve been going 130 years and you single out 2 decades out of 13 to define what we’re all about. Can you explain this strange claim

Gareth Hughes - Hate to drop a few facts on to your misleading missive. But here’s one or two. Pompey got absolutely battered at Old Trafford. It was possibly the most 1-sided game in history, with a shot count of over 40 to 1 in ManU’s favour. Just happened that the combination of woodwork, finishing and goal line saves produced a surreal scoreline.

You may also wish to muse on the fact that Pompey played championship sides in the semi and final and got comprehensively played off the park on both occasions. The ManU game was their only premier league encounter in the tournament.

So sorry, but, erm, little to compare it seems.

Phil Bellis - Didn’t say there was anything wrong with our motto. I just said it leads some supporters to interpret it literally at all times. All that does,as I presume you can judge from their posts, is perpetual disappointment and yearning for some golden era that was actually the exception rather than the norm.

Unlike what some claim, I am OK with things as they are right now. Could be (or, as the Nil Satis crowd will no doubt claim, should be) better, but could also be (as those in denial overlook) much worse. We’re not world beaters but we’re doing OK and I can’t think of any other club that presents a better level of contentment and togetherness from within.

Afraid Tony (to me) is too focused on history. It’s an interesting place to visit, but I wouldn’t wish to stay there. There are many many examples of clubs who do change, do "invest" money (i.e. spend money they haven’t earned & can’t seriously hope to find) , and do fuck up regally with monotnous regularity.

Kings Dock has gone (made me sad too), the 80’s has gone and the 60’s has gone. Since 1971 we have rarely missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. That’s life & that, sadly, has been Everton. Everything has moved on and Evertonians need to move on and enjoy what’s happening. Why does it always take outsiders to appreciate for what’s going on at Everton FC?
JL Slap
36   Posted 28/02/2009 at 00:47:18

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I think it is unfair to bemoan Pompeys win last year & to cry bad luck cos the big teams arein the quarters alongside us, If I remember right didnt Pompey go to Old Trafford an beat the mancs in the quarters?

Now we have knocked liverpool & Villa out (2 of the current top 5) and for the first time in a good few years looked like taking points off the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, United & the shite so we have proved that we are up for a battle & there is something about the players siege mentality that is giving us some real hope for more than a wembley day out, some actual silverwear!!!

I also agree that my initial feeling when I saw Mikkys injury was "season over!" but I bet the players arent. Its up to the likes of Cahill, Pienaar, Osman, Felliani & co to stand up & be counted. Its also time for Saha, Jo & 1 or 2 others to truly prove thier worth to the squad. I am an optimist, but I think with good reason.
Tim Lloyd.
37   Posted 28/02/2009 at 02:36:24

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I don’t quite understand references to the decades of the 60’s and 80’s. In each of those decades, we had a really good team for around three years. We haver no ’special’ history. Nottingham Forest won the European Cup twice. Arsenal have a much greater history than we have.

We were regarded as one of the top four or five teams in the old First Division, thats why we had no trouble being founder members of the Premiership.

Like all things, however, times change. We could be back really up there in say the next ten years, its anybody’s guess but no matter what, the sun will still rise in the East and we will all have to get up and go to work to earn a crust. The end of the world is not nigh!!!
Derek Thomas
38   Posted 28/02/2009 at 03:41:19

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So what if it is an age thing?? I thought there were rules about how you couldn’t stereotype and thus dismiss peoples opinions on the grounds of stuff with ’ ism’ on the end.

Well here’s a bit of reverse age-ism, you youngsters don’t know shit from shite.

When you have SEEN good stuff why should you not have the place to compare new with old. What we have today is...close, but no cigar. And you that have not seen excellent Catterick and Kendall 1, have only Moyeses good bits to compare with Harvey, Walker, Kendall 2 & 3, Smith and even Royle.

Trying to compare apples with apples can’t work when all you have ever seen is a gooseberry and an orange.

Tim Lloyd, what part of 1 = 20 don’t you get.

Advancing years don’t bring to many pluses, but they do give you...

PERSPECTIVE!
Neil Pearse
39   Posted 28/02/2009 at 07:36:38

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Brilliant post Tony, heartfelt and incisive, and worth it for your first line alone: "The hardest thing about being an Evertonian is the knowledge that once we were a Great Club and now we are not". Perhaps the greatest first line of any Toffeeweb post I have read, simply summing up so much.

I think we all feel more than a bit of this, but to different degrees, and in different ways.

First of all:to me, ’Great Club’ does not equal ’Sky 4 Club’. Bigness is not greatness. In the last decade there are only two clubs in the UK that anywhere near touched ’greatness’ in my view: Arsenal and Man United. I can have dreams as an Evertonian of emulating these two - but Chelsea or Liverpool? You must be joking!

Secondly, ’greatness’ to me has a lot to do with the way we conduct ourselves and what we manage to do with our resources. Again, not just about size. Hull City getting to the Prem, and fighting off the rest for a few months - that has a little bit of greatness. And, yes, Moyes now year and year taking Everton to where he has, and in the dignified and gutsy manner that he has - that too has a little bit of greatness about it. If only a little. mind. (Slugging our way to the final and beating ManU again - with probably Tony Hibbert as striker by then! - that WOULD be great!)

The Sky revolution in football tossed everything around, and certainly did for our earlier easier assumption of ’greatness’. Some it has raised up (Arsenal and ManU), some it threw away (Leeds), and some it has consistently humiliated (Newcastle, Tottenham, Man City) - and some it has more or less tortured (Chelsea and especially Liverpool).

Amidst it all, I think we can hold our heads up proudly and say we are indeed disappointed, but proud. We have nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing to be mocked about (unlike so many of our fellow clubs). I wish we could consistently play with the power of Man Utd and the artistry of Arsenal - with the trophies to match - but we live on, and who knows what the future will bring? COYB
Graham Atherton
40   Posted 28/02/2009 at 08:29:59

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This continual whinging about luck not being with us is embarrasing to me. Sport is full of moments when the ball could fall one way or another and there is genuine good fortune to be had in a cup draw but that aside we make our own luck.
Jack Nicklaus was once accused of being lucky and he replied in the best way I have heard of "The more balls I hit the luckier I get" - meaning he practised and worked very hard.
If you truly believe a single goal on a muddy pitch in the FA cup in 1985 brought about a magical change in our fortunes and a Championship side were born then you are ignoring the ’accumulation of little advantages’ (to use a phrase given by the British Cycling Squad as an explanation of why they win so damn much).
A winning team is a lot bigger than the 11 on the pitch, and a winning effort is a lot more than kicking a ball for 90 mins. It takes years to get there and the occasional bad decision by a referee isn’t the reason why you fail other than in a single match.
So stop whinging about luck!! Luck might lose you a cup game but getting back there year on year so you are in a position to receive a slice of good luck is all down to a winning structure of which the team is only part.
Graham Atherton
41   Posted 28/02/2009 at 09:05:22

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Ambition.
It is remarkable how some of us feel free to accuse the board of ’lack of ambition’ and then criticise the debt, which is surely a measure of a club spending as much as it can in order to maximise what it is aiming for?

Let stay at Goodison until we can get the cooperation of LCC and about £200 - 250 million in debt, playing in front of 35 000 for many more years to come? Is that ambition when there is a chance we can play in front of 50 000 for a £80 million (less sponsorship and sale of land) in 3 years time?

Surely those fans are showing an absence of what it is accusing the board of lacking, when in fact the board is putting emotional factors aside in the cause of ambition - albeit within the parameters of ’acceptable risk’. We can argue all day what that is but at the end of the day we are comparing the practical and achieveable with the unfundable dream.
Shaun Sparke
42   Posted 28/02/2009 at 09:06:35

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I thought that it was Gary Player who made that comment regarding luck. I could be wrong though.

Lets get rid of the persecution complex though. The FA have never fixed a cup drawer despite what some of us may like to think. It is the media who would love a Utd Chelsea fa cup final but it is the gulible who want to believe that it is all preordained.
Shaun Sparke
43   Posted 28/02/2009 at 09:27:59

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It seems as though I spelt the word Gullible incorectly. Its not my fault. It is the only word that you cant find in the English dictionary.
Anthony Dyer
44   Posted 28/02/2009 at 09:02:12

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Alan Kirwin, I meant that they are the decades that we should aspire too, It’s not dimissing all that went before but the modern game in commercial terms is very different than pre-war football.

The person who stated that we only won a couple of titles and cups in the 60s and 80s may like to know that
Everton were THE most succsssful team of the 60s and noted for playing superb football!
As well as trophies won in the 1980s we went to Wembley umpteem times and played many Semi-finals.
I find it hard to believe how many fans have down-graded their expectations of the club in the past few years. Even when we have an outside chance of a trophy the belief that we will win it is missing.
Only a few weeks ago , people were saying lets not make the Derby win the highlight of the season, it seems to me that a lot of fans are accepting that that game was indeed the high point.

Richard Dodd , those older fans are the reason Everton achieved many things, they were young in those days and their enthusiasm and blind faith carried the club and team forward. They never accepted losing and they never accepted playing rubbish football. Unfortunately Sky has influenced many of the young supporters to expect nothing and be glad that we are a premiership club.
Shaun Sparke
45   Posted 28/02/2009 at 09:32:15

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incorrectly does have 2 rs. Yes I did notice!
Graham Atherton
46   Posted 28/02/2009 at 09:34:46

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I stand corrected Shaun - I just looked it up and it was Palmer.

In my defence I read it in Jack Nicklaus’ autobiography and he was soundly endorsing the principle.
guy hastings
47   Posted 28/02/2009 at 09:37:01

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Get one thing straight - our teams may come and go but we are a great club. Always have been. Always will be.
Neil Pearse
48   Posted 28/02/2009 at 09:39:44

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Anthony - I think ’aspiring to the past’ is never a very good idea. Things move on. Situations change. We need to aspire to be the best we possibly can be in our current situation and the current environment. Probably in completely new ways from the way we were great thirty years ago (and, yes, sheer fitness levels and body strength would mean that today’s Everton would defeat ANY of our sides from before the 1990s...).
Richard Dodd
49   Posted 28/02/2009 at 10:36:20

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All the younger supporters I know enjoy reading about the days when Everton were great,But for most of us real competition started with the founding of the Premiership and the consequent globalising of the game.
You just can’t compare the top division today with the cosy set up pre-1992.
However disappointed Tony and his ilk are about Everton not featuring regularly in the top four,they would have to admit that things have definitely perked up under Kenwright/Moyes and much of the football we have seen in recent times has been a joy to watch.
Shaun Sparke
50   Posted 28/02/2009 at 10:52:32

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Neil, I agreed with everything you said, but why did you have to add that bid in the parentheses. You cannot possibly know that todays team would beat that magnificent of the 80’s or the glorious team of the early 70’s. Ok todays footballers may be stronger and fitter but it doesnt make them better.
paul mosses
51   Posted 28/02/2009 at 11:14:08

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Tony - for once, i agree with every word you said there.

Guy Rogers
52   Posted 28/02/2009 at 17:21:52

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We are getting better and better each season, fact; some of the SKY 4 apart from Man Utd are not.

We just need cover for Arteta - Moutinho and another wide player with pace. I liked the look for that boy WBA had on the wing today, Johnson or whatever his name is.

Moyes is working miracles, Kenwright will sell to the right person in due course but in this climate there aren?t a lot of buyers.

Tony, I have to say I disagree but, hey, at least the hoofball has gone! :)
Neil McKinney
53   Posted 28/02/2009 at 17:06:22

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Neil Pearse: "We need to aspire to be the best we possibly can be in our current situation and the current environment"

That is my understanding of the club motto and I think you put it very well. We need to be the best we can be with the resources we have to work with. I think some fans who constantly throw around Nil satis etc have got a warped view of it.

I am 32 so too young to remember much glory, but I am very proud of our history and our past glory. However, I?m also a little sick of having it rammed down my throat and used as a reason that my opinion is somehow lesser because I have accepted mediocrity. Bollocks! I do not accept mediocrity from the team, I just expect them to do their very best. I don?t expect them to win the league, but I dream they will again one day. I don?t expect them to win the FA Cup this year, but I dream they will. Why are Evertonians so divisive lately? If it?s not pro- or anti-Kirkby, it?s pre- or post-glory years. FFS

This was one of the most tempered articles I have read from Mr Marsh but still heavily laden with pessimism. As for the comment about fixing the semi-final draw, I think you?re having a Turkish there fella.

ps: I think the golf quotes were as follows:

"The harder you work, the luckier you get." ? Gary Player

"The more I practice, the luckier I get." ? Arnold Palmer
Tony Marsh
54   Posted 28/02/2009 at 19:40:14

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Yes Niel and how we all laughed when the rumours first emerged the Seria A was rigged and refs where bribed.It just couldnt happen in a country who were the current World Cup holder could it?I mean a major European league ripe with corruption who would of thought it?

Of course we English would never allow officals to lean one way or another or favour the bigger sides would we.There is no way Dermot Gallagher would be allowed to officiate in the Premier League with a massive Man Utd tattoo on his arm is there?


I mean the FA dont put pressure on managers to include a washed up Beckham in every game just because sponsors want it do they?..Get with the real world Niel the wholee of football is as bent as a whippets back leg.
Rich Jones
55   Posted 28/02/2009 at 19:06:07

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Great post Tony, spot on Arteta getting injured reminded me of Johnson getting injured last year. It could cost us dearly in terms of winning the cup. Moyes can only work with what hes got, the sooner Kenwright and his Kirkby dream is chased out of Everton the better.
Jon J Cox
56   Posted 28/02/2009 at 20:33:12

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Now for all you guys against our Tony I have to say that even though he comes across as a pessimistic sort of a bloke, it is very obvious that he is a true Evertonian.

I will just say this. A while back I gave some advice on a betting situation concerning the three games against the red arsaches. The bet was a draw in the first game a draw in the second, and a win in the third. As in an accumulator, the odds were very good. Not to say how much I won but It payed for a very nice night out.

In terms of Mr Marsh, I?m going to put my money on the semi-final that will not see Man United v Chelsea because I agree with Mr Tone that football is as bent as a nine bob note. Collini (sic) I rest my case!

But as they say we can only play as best we can with the team that is put in front of us. Personally, Coventry are getting very cocky so I?ll go for them in the semis.

Arteta.

It was so obvious when our man got carried off that the team that were left on the pitch were visibly shaken. What we didn?t see was the psychological effect it had within the whole of the Everton club. The game today against West Brom was the first game we had to play without our footballing brain. For the guys in the team, it was a new and different beginning/experience. Davey knows this and will have spoken to the team before the game and explained what life in a footy match now is all about. Fortunately for us it was only WBA so it was a rehearsal for the remaining part of the season.

Football is all about psychology ? ask Sir Alex, he is a master. I?ll bet since Arteta?s injury Davey has had at least one phone call to his surrogate father in Manchester. This is his real council.

Anyway, apart from all that, we will face either Utd or Chelsea in the semi but, hey, at least we?ll get to Wembly.
Danny O'Neill
57   Posted 28/02/2009 at 23:57:17

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Christine,

Agree with everything you say but don?t knock the young fans' enthusiasm or we might as well all give in. Being an "over 35" supporter, it seemed impossible and unimaginable to me in 1983 that we were on the brink of glory. Who ever knows what's around the corner?

As I?ve said before, despite what everyone says, thinks and can produce factual evidence for, football is sport, not business, and what happens on the pitch counts equally as much as what happens off it!

Stewart Littler
58   Posted 01/03/2009 at 04:28:37

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Tony, I agree with one part of ur post, and totally disagree with another. In terms of us being unlucky, I absolutely agree - people are entitled to their opinion that luck is ’accumulated’, but ur points on pompey are spot on, not to mention that the only English team left in UEFA cup are Shitty, who managed to get Cypriot oppostion despite qualifying through the fair play league, whilst we got the Belgian champions, who just happened to be unseeded. However, on BK and DK, I would offer this suggestion: how are we to compete with the rest of the top 6 when there is no billionaire to help us (nor is there likley to be) and Goodison is so inadequate - a move is the ONLY way to direct funds into the team, and what’s more, how about being optimistic - a european placing in the league and cup win, coupled with a positive verdict on DK, could result in investment; 2 or 3 £10m players and we’re looking healthy!
Rich Jones
59   Posted 01/03/2009 at 08:20:51

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Even if you believe all that crap Stuart, even the club are only saying 6 million a year now come on get with the programme lad!!
Neil Pearse
60   Posted 01/03/2009 at 09:36:34

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Shaun, don’t want to start a thread on ’which team would beat which other’ from out history - just really making that point that times really have changed, and so harking back to the 70s or 80s all the time doesn’t make a lot of sense.

And it can even obscure what we should be proud about today at our club. For example, Moyes is very much a student of the modern game. As someone else has pointed out elsewhere, he has actually been ahead of the curve in realising that the top teams today are moving towards much more flexible, interchangeable players, no more big centre forwards, 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 and so on. I just think we ought to be paying more attention to things like this than comparing a modern midfield with the Holy Trinity.
Christine Foster
61   Posted 01/03/2009 at 11:40:22

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Interesting turn of words, but I have to say we are were we are today and, whilst history is important as it gives those of us a sense of belonging to something significant (which frankly it does), it doesn?t bestow any right to anything.

What it does do is it give a sense of perspective, a sense of expectation and hope. Why? Because we know what we have tasted before is exquisite and not just a flat glass of lager. We do know better than many what it feels like to play with skill, to win well, to have pride and STILL be regarded as a great club, which we are.

Glass half-full or half-empty? Perspective allows you to see ahead and see possible outcomes because history repeats itself, every day.

To those of you who have never seen great teams in blue shirts, you will. To those of us who have, we will once more, but it is the passion of the older blues who have taken the children to the ground and made them a blue. Forever. For Better and for Worse. Live with it.

If it wasn't for the past, you wouldn?t aspire to a future, you wouldn?t understand why Everton FC are a family. You wouldn't understand that, like most families, you argue, fall out, disagree but you would all defend the family to the bitter end.

I don?t agree with some who post and I am as sure as hell that there are just as many who don?t agree with mine. But we all support the team and we are all proud to be blue.

But what's the point? You either get it or you don?t... the rest is a waste of breath.

Tony Fleming
62   Posted 01/03/2009 at 13:07:16

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Christ, you?re a sorry lot, what gives us the god given right to be winners of everything. Look how many clubs are above us on current merit, five, how many clubs in the league are below us? Starts thanking you?re lucky stars that you?re honoured to support one of the top performing clubs in the league. EFC is looked upon with envy, one of the best managers in the land, the third longest serving in the premiership, the longest serving club in the top flight of English football, there are some big clubs from yesteryear that have nosedived, I bet the supporters of Leeds and Notts Forest would swap places with us at a blink of an eye.

Starts looking at the positives, some people are never happy. Arsenal were booed the other day, Chelsea keep changing managers. Cracks are appearing in the bigger clubs. You can dwell on the negatives, just look at a club like Newcastle, a massive club and support, they haven?t won anything for donky?s years and don?t look like doing so. I prefer to look on the positive side.

We have a chairman that sticks behind his manager, a good team that fight for each other, going in the right direction, it just takes time. How many clubs have played all the top sides recently and beat teams like Liverpool, Villa, only Man Utd (arguably currently the best side in the world) have scraped a win against us 1-0. Keep the faith and enjoy the successes, the Everton side of the eighties didn?t have any superstars and look what they achieved. I for one am immensely proud of my club and the way it conducts itself and am getting pretty pissed off with all this negativity. Our time will surely come again.

Rich Jones
63   Posted 01/03/2009 at 14:58:21

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Sorry Tony I think the chairman is a charlatan who is going to sell us down the swany. He’s verry lucky to have Moyes as his manager to sweeten his plans for us.
Danny O'Neill
64   Posted 01/03/2009 at 23:12:20

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Tony,

Thank you and exactly. We?re relatively stable and pretty much an established top 6 team on the brink of knocking at the door of the top 4. Now before the traditionalists amongst you kick off, I was born in 1971 and fully appreciate and understand the Everton traditions and sense of family belonging. In reality however, we are no Man Utd-we have had spurts of success lasting 3-4 years at a time (30s, 60s, 80s) intertwined with years of being a top 6 team. The exception to this is the 90s when we reached our low point. The fact we are now seemingly putting that beyond us should be seen as positive, not negative like many on this site seem intent on portraying it as.

I know, bring back Peter Johnson and Walter Smith-they were obviously better than Kenwright and Moyes. Get a grip people.
Bram Oliver
65   Posted 01/03/2009 at 23:05:44

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Tony, being a cynic myself, you may say a realist, I usually agree with you. In this case I don’t. I

Im not from Liverpool, or the UK, and have been a long distance supporter since the mid-80s. Meaning I’ve gone through some trying times, along with all Evertonians.

I honestly believe Everton, under DM has turned a corner, and with our carefully nurtured young guns, and judicious signings, the loss of our Spanish wizard will turn out not to be fatal.

Then again, Im still hoping the West Indies return to world domination in cricket too.
Bram Oliver
66   Posted 02/03/2009 at 01:05:47

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You may ask yourself, why some fella, far away started supporting Everton.

An extremely good question. Because I didn’t want to be a glory boy, as in the people who support Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs. (It rolls off the tongue quite easily)

Everton represented a genuine alternative to the sheep, and one bandwagon I was happy to jump on. It has been a miserabe road ever since. Leavened by the occasional (Ok, one) FA cup victory. Not much to work with.

With DM, yes, its been ugly at times, more than I care to mention. But. There has been a change. Never mind the obvious socio-cultural stuff one always has to put with.

At least you’re not sitting with your heart in your mouth come the tail end of the season. Wondering whether your team will survive to fight another year in the Premier League.

Thank you David Moyes. For giving us a team with guts, heart and loyalty. And, most importantly, one on the way up.
Danny ONeill
67   Posted 02/03/2009 at 05:27:45

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My last post responded to Tony Fleming by the way - just in case Mr Marsh thought I was agreeing with him!!
Peter MacFarlane
68   Posted 02/03/2009 at 09:03:41

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Bring back Peter Johnson and Walter Smith, I say so we can all get excited about staying up by the skin of our teeth every season, and if Johnson isn't available, find an Arab or American who doesn't give a shit about our club to come in so we can spend all of "their" money 'til they get bored and leave us at the first chance with a fuck load of debt, and a team full of mercenaries, honest to god some people are ridiculous to say the least!

Take a long hard look at yourselves and try to think back to even 6 years ago where mid-table mediocrity would be seen as a blessing, and we?d be celebrating when we reached that 40-point mark in April and be made up we could "push on" an try to finish mid-table. It takes time to rebuild and that is exactly what is happening now; if you look at Villa, I'd say they have an exciting array of young talent who are probably performing way ahead of schedule, but I would still say we are a better side than them.

Even with the major losses we've had to endure this season and the terrible start we are 6th in the league only 2 points off Arsenal, in a quarter final of the FA Cup and all this without the spending power of most of the top half, and with a fraction of their debt. Our club work as a unit from the ground staff to the players, we don't have prima donnas or a chairman who discusses our business in public, or downs pints of lager to win over our fans, or offers players £500k a week to ruin football, and I'm proud of that.

As a football club I think we'd all agree that we don't exactly get our fair share of luck and if we take into account some of the points we have given away, (Villa, Boro, Newcastle Blackburn Arsenal at home to name a few) this season, were not a million miles away from breaking into that top 4 and taking the next step just as Villa have. We have a good mix now of youth and experience, and yes we need 2 strengthen our squad, it goes without saying that we are lacking in numbers, but with that lack in numbers comes a unity which makes our team, our club, unique.

We?re the dogs of war but we're battling at the right end of the table and we're doing it with dignity, not diving or moaning about officials trying to get players booked or having players on big salaries complaining when they are brought off or spouting out about using our club as a stepping stone for another "big move", but with class and honour. We really are moving on and progressing and doing so quickly; whoever the manager or the chairman is or where we play our matches, I for one will still be supporting my team win lose or draw because I was born an Evertonian, and I wouldn't swap that for anything.

Richard Harris
69   Posted 02/03/2009 at 10:30:36

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Tony Marsh wrote "I have no doubt we will make the semi-finals of the FA Cup before being beaten by Man Utd or Chelsea. We are unlucky bastards though, aren?t we? I mean at this stage of the FA Cup last season, Pompey were the big guns left in it. When WE progress to the late stages, all the big boys are waiting for us. Typical of Everton?s luck over the years".

But didn?t Portsmouth have to beat Manchester United to get to the semi-final in the first place in 2007-08 ? And Chelsea had to beat Manchester United in the final in 2006-07 to win it. And 2005-06 winners Liverpool had to beat Manchester United in an earlier round before beating Chelsea in the semi-final. And Arsenal beat Manchester United on penalties in the 2004-05 final. And Manchester United won the cup in 2003-04. And 2002-03 winners Arsenal had to beat Manchester United in an earlier round.

You have to go back to 2001-02 when the eventual winners didn?t have to beat Manchester United at some point in the competition. So yes you can get unlucky with the draw (and when we did get luck with previous draws we've been beaten by Oldham, Blackburn, Fulham, Shrewsbury, Middlesborough !) but at some stage you have to beat a successful team to become successful yourself....

Rich Jones
70   Posted 02/03/2009 at 15:35:17

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Peter, you are so right, we wouldn?t want some guy who has no love for the club to come in and lie through his teeth to con some of the more gullibal amongst us and maybe move us from the city as part of some money making scam...

Oh, hold on A MINUTE!!!

Peter MacFarlane
71   Posted 02/03/2009 at 21:47:01

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Well constructed argument there, Rich Jones, really refreshing to see someone put so much effort into a response and to make so many valid points. So you don't like Bill Kenwright and you don't want us to move... anything else? I think you?ve made these points, erm... 3 times already?

It's so sad when people who are supposedly Evertonians can read through an optomistic outlook on things that quite frankly we have no control over, and yet still try to be pessimistic. I always attributed that kind of negativity to kopites, the type of fans who can watch their side win 2-0 and then go on to complain they haven't just scored 7. But hey, everyone's entitled to their opinions.

Danny O'Neill
72   Posted 03/03/2009 at 00:21:59

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Rich Jones,

Say what you want about Kenwright, you?re entitled to but personally I don?t think you can accuse him of having no love for the club. How many time have you mortgaged your own property or assets for Everton? Which leads to your further point about a money-making "scam". He has probably personally paid more out than he will ever get back from a club in debt.

As Peter points out, we know you don?t like BK and you don?t want us to move. But what else do you have to say? Were you happy in the Walter Smith years? Did you think Peter Johnson was a better Chairman? Can you and your type not accept and see progress of some sort in the past 5-6 years? Seeing as you?re quick to criticise and point out perceived failings, what are your proposals for the way forward?

Rich Jones
73   Posted 03/03/2009 at 07:54:41

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Peter, Danny I do acknowledge our improvement on the field in my postings if you care to read and that credit goes 100% to David Moyes.

If you'd like me to point out all our beloved guardian's lies and indiscretions on here, I would be here all day. As for accusing me of being a kopite, Peter, I could say the same to you that you would so easily surrender the city to them.

Danny, I think you know the point I?m making is what's the difference between a rich investor and what we have now? I see no benefit whatsoever for Everton FC in us going to Kirkby but I do see a huge increase in the value of the club if we?re sold so I believe the club is not being looked after no differently than it would be by someone who wasn't a blue.

Danny O'Neill
74   Posted 06/03/2009 at 00:54:21

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Rich,

Not knocking you and your views, that's why we live in a democracy. 100% Moyes? I?m a massive fan but like it or not he has been enabled by the Chairman so he must take some percentage of the credit as well. Surely you?re not that naive to think that managers have all the say (current goings on at Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle, Tottenham.....do you want me to carry on?).

Since the Sky Years, how many times have we seen clubs take the bait and chase the dream by selling their souls? Let's face it, Chelsea seem to be the only ones who have worked and even there the cracks are showing. Now whilst they may have a trophy haul, they have gone through 5 managers (I think) in 5 years and have no dignity whatsoever. Depends what you want.

I personally think we are doing well; relatively stable, performing on the pitch. We (the footballing world, not just Everton) seem to have lost focus; get it right on the pitch and the rest will follow. As much as it pains, follow the Man Utd long-term patient approach, not the Newcastle, Tottenham etc etc quick fix.

The Kirkby issue I admit is emotive to many ? not so much to me as I view Kirkby as part of the greater Liverpool area and most definitely scouse in terms of heritage and culture. If Knowsley is not scouse then neither are Tony Hibbert, Peter Reid and Stevie G across the park. Don?t let the kopites wind you up ? most of them singing that song board planes and get on west-coast trains from Lime Street after they have sung it. Kirkby is a 20 minute ride on the 19 bus along the East Lancs!

Bottom line, we need a new ground to be an interesting investment and unfortunately Liverpool (FC) City Council have seen us off. Think about it, why are Newcastle & City perceived as more attractive? My suggestion is that It's because of the ground issue because, from a footballing perspective, we are streets ahead of both.

Rich Jones
75   Posted 06/03/2009 at 08:13:55

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So Danny, youre argument for Kirkby is we MAY get a rich investor seems a bit week to me. However this is now the club line oh and some regeneration for Kirkby!! WTF. But youre aso entitled to you’re - IMO rather naive view on things.
Rich Jones
76   Posted 06/03/2009 at 09:42:27

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Shall I mention £30million for the Kings Dock, I think it is Kenwright who is seeing us off!!
Danny O'Neill
77   Posted 06/03/2009 at 09:35:23

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To be honest Rich, yes a new ground MAY interest an investor. There are never guarantees in life but making yourself a more attractive option increases your chances. Its not a weak (week) argument for or against Kirkby, all I am saying is we need to move.

Goodison is way behind ? it was behind the curve by the late 80s. I would suggest realistic, not naive. My disappointment is that we don?t have other options Stanley Park ? why do LCC bend over for them and not us when we muted a few years ago? Speke ? even though further away from our N Liverpool stronghold than Kirkby, still within the city boundaries and plenty of land right next to arguably the best motorway & rail links in the city not to mention the airport.

Maybe the club haven?t considered as many options as they should but there must be a reason. Above all, the longer we continue to argue & debate the issue, we stay were we are and continue to struggle along making best of what we have.

All I am saying is that moving to Kirkby does not overly concern me IF it happens. Man Utd have always been outside the City of Manchester boundaries but within the Greater Manchester area. It certainly hasn?t harmed them or their fan base in Manchester (regardless of what City fans say they have an equally strong following in the City and surrounding areas).

Rich Jones
78   Posted 06/03/2009 at 09:59:46

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Oh so you do want a rich investor now Danny christ sake make your mind up!! I thought lots of clubs had gone that way and it had backfired you said a couple of posts back. As for Stanley Park we were offered Kings Dock for £30 million which Kenwright failed to deliver. What happened to all the other benefits of going to Kirkby.

World class stadium, (it wont be)

best transport in the uk (there is no plan)

£10million a year extra for Moyes (£6 million we’re now told I think this bollox too).
Danny O'Neill
79   Posted 06/03/2009 at 12:30:19

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Rich,

At least this is entertaining-good job I?m on a day off! Correct rich investors do not always work out, in fact more often than not it doesn?t lead to the promised land, hence why I think any investment (probably a better word) should be managed carefully. I?ve said before, in my opinion, the ideal would be a Randy Lerner type owner who lets Kenwright run things.

The Kings Dock would have been outstanding and I?m surprised Speke was never seriously touted ? that to me appeases most sides of the arguments (within city boundaries, existing transport infrastructure and plenty of land).

I know he?s not perfect (who is?) but I just think Kenwright gets a over-the-top raw deal and get frustrated with the negativity considered how we have progressed in recent years.

Sorry for my indecisiveness ? I?ll try harder next time! Without wanting to prolong this thread and genuine question: what would you do?
Rich Jones
80   Posted 06/03/2009 at 13:06:06

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So we just move fot the sake of it throw all that history down the drain for nothing? Okkkayy... well I?m so petrified of going to Kirkby I?ll do anything, have a shit stadium in Speke ? something similar to the idea for Kirkby ? redevelop, the loop... even fuckin ground share (never thought I?d ever say that) but the grey haired one's plans to swell his pension fund have to be stopped at all costs.
Danny ONeill
81   Posted 06/03/2009 at 15:15:47

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Okay mate, last one from me! I think every Evertonian at heart (myself included) doesn’t want to leave Goodison but if we stay we stand still and fall further behind (opinion obviously not fact). You don’t want to go to Kirkby and don’t like Bill. I don’t mind Bill and although not my preferred choice, Kirkby doesn’t mean the end of the world for me. Speke is in Liverpool though (as in City of). Ground share interesting-probably needs new article as we must be running out of internet space on this thread. I’ve thought that myself. Once we both leave our current homes our history (regarding playing surface) has gone so does it matter that we share? If anything, Stanley Park means more to Everton as I think we played there prior to moving into Anfield (need help from a history buff).

Anyway, back to what matters for the weekend, i.e. on the pitch. Have a good one Rich.
Rich Jones
82   Posted 06/03/2009 at 15:30:55

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Enjoy Danny!! hopefully we’ll be in the hat come Sunday evening for the semis. I can see that you genuinely trust BK and believe that Kirkby is the way forward, I guess we’ll have to agree to differ, I still don’t see the benefits I think there is a massive gamble on going there and from the info I have there just isn’t the will to stay in the city which is the bit that makes me think there is another agenda. all the best and thanks for the debate.
Danny O'Neill
83   Posted 06/03/2009 at 17:10:18

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Definitely last one for the record!! I would rather something else was on the table than Kirkby but if it has to be Kirkby I can live with it. Hope that makes sense.


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