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Why I Love Everton

By Jamie Rowland :  15/06/2009 :  Comments (16) :
Here we go, Here we go, Here we go... Why I Love Everton.

Let's start by pointing out that we are in a close season and not a pre-season. With that in mind, I would like to ask some Evertonians to slow down a bit and rejoice in what was a successful season, before concentrating all their efforts on why Moyes hasn?t signed anyone, why there is Spurs merchandise in airports, and what great, new, fantastic ways there may (or may not) be to raise money for the club.

David Moyes is a great manager. There is absolutely no argument against that statement as his 3 LMA Manager of the Year awards supply enough evidence but for those who need a little reminder here are some facts.

When David Moyes, relatively green as a manager of an expectant club, took control, the club was going backwards in every department. The team was struggling, the marketing was non-existent and I don?t even think that there was a youth system to talk about, let alone boast of. We had finished poorly every single season and the hard core of fans (of which I include myself) had NOTHING to cheer or get excited about.

From the fans to the first-team regulars, we were exhausted. The team was mishmash, over 30 and boring. I am not sure what Bill Kenwright/Philip Carter told him during his interview but they must have spun some shit to make him take the job.

I?m glad that he did though because he must have seen Everton FC as a challenge ? a massive challenge. Although he hasn?t done it on his own, he has slowly poked and proded about over the last 7 years and caused a bit of excitement amongst the ranks. Everton is returning to its former glory. You can see it all around the ground ? even the old boys such as Dave Hickson, Duncan McKenzie and Barry Horne are optimistic. They can sense that something is in the air, as can the Goodison faithful.

This is probably the first season for a long, long time that I have had a pre-match thought process of ?how many are we going to score? rather than the seemingly traditional ?this will be tough?. Why? Confidence. David Moyes has instilled a confidence at all levels of the club. As a result, we are playing better, more people are noticing our existence and the youth process is starting to work, some would say flourish.

The knock-on effect of David Moyes?s efforts are seen all over the club and it is my opinion that he is turning into the best manager Everton has ever had. (Lay off the ?what about Kendall?). When you take into account the state of the club he took over, the state of the team and the finances available, I think even Kendall would agree that what Moyes has done is incredible. Of late, he has had nothing to work with but still managed to produce the goods come the end of the season.

Enough praise for Moyes ? he has a holiday to get through before thinking about a new season. So why do I support Everton FC? Why was I one of the chosen?

We made our first Wembley appearance in 14 years this season and under Moyes I feel it won't be the last. Even without bringing the silverware home on this occasion, it's a certainty in my fellow supporters that we are going to do it soon. A young squad, with Moyes continuing to prospect for gold (young players locally and across the globe) that he can develop as he's already done: Dan Gosling and Jack Rodwell this season, at Everton we know we're challenging long term.

Even in the face of the occasional defeat, we know that the players will pick themselves up and continue to fight for the supporters because: Nothing but the best is good enough at Everton and many of our players understand that. We are never ?out for the count? but instead lift our heads and get on with it. Back to back defeats are almost unheard of and its clear that many clubs are envious of our standards and support.

For me, other clubs have sold their souls. ?We've got Robinho? is a chant that symbolizes the complete lack of respect within some clubs ? the lad didn?t even know City existed. Players being substituted, only to have hissy fits and tantrums leading to transfer requests are unheard of.

Why are we different? Because we are an honest club. No glamour, no dirt ? just football and a whole load of passion. We don't want mercenaries, we want commitment and we want effort. We don't want Billionaires throwing money in a vain attempt at success, we want investment for all the right reasons ? business growth, team growth and eventual success.

We have already shown that money isn?t everything. We have proven that the main things a club needs are respect, determination and commitment. Everton is the only club in the Premier League that can boast all three. Everton's soul will never be sold.

Other clubs claim to be more than a football club. Evertonians make no such assertions. They just know. You're either a bluenose... or you're not. To play at Everton is an honour in itself. To win with Everton makes you a legend ? never to be forgotten.

Under David Moyes, changes continue to be made. Already this summer, two youngsters ? one from the USA, another from Germany ? have been signed on nominal fees as Moyes continues to wield the Everton magic. Add that to the existing youth talent he's developed and as expected one or two "money" buys, and the return of Arteta, Yakubu and the unbelievable Phil Jagielka ? and we know we'll have a stronger squad than this season.

Expect to see another midfielder signed in the summer. If Everton are going to spend money it will be on another playmaker to complement Mikel Arteta.

Evertonians have something to believe in again, even after losing in a major final. Believe me when I say, "It's going to be just the first in the modern era."

Anyone coming up against Everton ? Sky 4 or otherwise ? knows they are going to be in for a tough game. Teams now think, "Oh no... not Everton". That has been the first step in the changes Moyes has brought to Everton. Putting the club/team in a position to continue to develop sustainably, without flash-in-the-pan backers who eventually lose interest. Surely, there is no better club to invest in (in England) than Everton FC, especially once we have secured a new stadium (be it in Kirkby, shared or somewhere else).

In summary ? Honour, determination, commitment, respect, gratefulness, pride and courage. These are all words that I can associate with my club and that's why I support and follow Everton FC. Approaching competition, opposition and rivals with the dignity of Moyes and his army of Evertonians: We Shall Not Be Moved.

Note: to those who think I have put some gloss on our club ? sit and think before you wade in with your negativity. We finished 5th, got to an FA Cup Final and we did all that with 3 of our best players missing from an already VERY small squad.

Reader Comments

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Paul Elliot
1   Posted 15/06/2009 at 13:30:49

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Honour, determination, commitment, respect, gratefulness, pride and courage. That's why we all love Everton, what a great, article well written Jamie.

I have read the negative dross on here and wonder if they really support Everton after all? Anyway looking forward to another top 6 finish. As long as regular European football is gracing GP or elsewhere, I will take it. I know some will say 6th but with a bit of luck some great football 4th or better is within this great club's reach.
Tom Brown
2   Posted 15/06/2009 at 15:16:39

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Love needs no logic : - )

We support Everton because that is what we do.
Ron Joynson
3   Posted 15/06/2009 at 15:10:27

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We are correct ? we do get a great deal of negative comments when we get together to review this club of ours. I think that we should all just take a five minute break - read this great essay and think about the distance that we have moved forward under Moyes. Who knows about next season.... I believe that the good times are well on the way.
Anthony Martin
4   Posted 15/06/2009 at 15:28:49

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Imagine if this great club that we love so much was a girl. A girl that would build you up just to knock you down, a girl that would promise so many things but deliver so little, every morning waking up to realise that this false dawn was envitable but you had convinced yourself, No, this time she will come good. Even worse, a girl that would provide your mates with ammunition to rip you to shreds in your local just for loving her. Yep, even in Megan Fox, we would say, "Enough is enough know sling your hook."

But this love affair with Everton is different. Yes, she will lift us up to uncharted highs... and yes, she will knock us down to our lowest ebb. But thing is this love is unconditional. This is Everton, she is not the most easy-on-the-eye girl in the night club, some might question why we do date her every weekend for life. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder. She is mine, all mine... and if i am ever blessed with a son, she will be his as well. Some things you can?t explain; my love for our club is one of them.

Micky Norman
5   Posted 15/06/2009 at 16:22:50

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Nice one Jamie but one question..... I remember thousands of us supporting Everton when we were none of the things you describe above. Under Smith, Walker, Gordon Lee we were crap on all those fronts. So, if we went back to that era, would you still support Everton? Of course you would, so why?
Karl Masters
6   Posted 15/06/2009 at 18:01:02

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I have often been asked , ?why Everton? ? living down South by people who naturally expect you to support a London team, Liverpool or Manure.

As I began as a 7 year old in 1973, I can safely say there have been many seasons of dross as well as some magical ones too.

What I will say though, is that there is almost some magical quality about the name Everton and its links to bygone legendary, teams, players, matches and events. It is a past that no Club can quite match. It?s not just trophies, but things like the team in Chile, the story of Goodison Park, Dixie Dean, the first club to use nets, corner flags, numbered shirts, dugouts, undersoil heating, double decker stands etc, coming back to win from 2-0 down in a Cup Final etc, allied to an almost tragic dark side of 2 World wars and Heysel stopping great Everton teams dominating, the waning of Liverpool the city almost driving the club to its knees as the city just depopulated at an alarming rate and loads more.

I?m never surprised when former players from all over say Everton is the team they remember most fondly and still follow. Perhaps it?s also the local fans, proud and knowledgeable and so unlike the modern day Premier league fans who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing?

Who knows, but once bitten you are addicted forever.
Paul Morgan
7   Posted 15/06/2009 at 21:02:21

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Why Everton? My Dad. His Dad. The No 19 bus up to the match. Back on the bus after, down to the Pier Head for the ferry back to Wallasey. Belonging to a club that was chosen for me, whether I liked it or not. My Grandad saying "Never change your colours!" after we lost 0-5 to you know who. That?s why. Family.
Stewart Littler
8   Posted 16/06/2009 at 08:44:48

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As an Evertonian who was not one from birth (well I think I was, but just didn?t know it), I can still remember my first visit to Goodison with my step-dad in 1990. For 6 years, I had followed Preston North End (my home town) with my Mum and uncles, but the aura of Goodison captured me in a way PNE never had, and I have been hooked since.

I think it says it all when players like Nigel Martyn, who only spent a couple of seasons with us, have also become hooked.

Nice article, just hope it isn?t spolit by negative comments.
Jamie Rowland
9   Posted 16/06/2009 at 09:45:26

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Micky Norman, I am too young for Gordon Lee ? but I was unfortunate enought to be one of the regular 28,000 that watched the dross Walker imposed upon us and also the utter garbbage that Smith introduced... but I stayed because for me the ?club? ? and I include supporters in that ? was still honourable, still detemined and we still did not sell our souls.

I can VIVIDLY remember the West Ham night game ? Gary Abblett, diving header ? the atmosphere (given that we hadn?t won all season up until that point) was immense, electric.

Walker went shortly after that and for a brief period, the old Everton was reborn ? Royle pushed Big Dunc and we were doing the seemingly impossible... Liverpool, Leeds (with 10 men) etc.etc. FA Cup etc. etc. Even in the gloom, there was something special about it all ? an anticipation that things were going to get better.

Another point: we aren?t overally expectant fans. We aren?t Newcastle ? we don't expect the impossible and we don't get a massive buzz every time a former player murmours about being a manager. We aren?t the shite. We don't believe that one signing will win us a league title.

We?re Everton and we?ll be Everton forever...
Colin Potter
10   Posted 16/06/2009 at 09:33:38

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Stewart Littler, "Nice article, just hope it isn?t spoilt by negative comments" ? This site is all about opinions, and a good one it is, so you should welcome the cut and thrust of someone not agreeing with you. Any stranger who came on this site for the very first time, after reading Jamie's article, would think we had just won the Premier League. We haven?t... and we are still a long way off it.

Of course Moyes has improved Everton but, after nearly 8 years, he is not my (or other people's) cup of tea, and until he puts right the things that need putting right, he will, to me, remain a good manager, but could do better.

People will ask, what should he do? He could try timing his substitutions better, don?t panic if we go a goal down, and resort to hoof ball, that's when his tactics go out of the window. Also he should pack in the thought that he has to be loyal to certain players, even though they have been playing atrociously for weeks on end.

I live in hope.

Greg Nelli
11   Posted 16/06/2009 at 10:38:30

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Tom Brown,

Nail Hammer Head

Got It in One

Somethings are just a perfect fit!
Jamie Rowland
12   Posted 16/06/2009 at 11:40:06

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Sometimes I just think that we could win the league, Champions league, FA Cup and Carling cup and people on here would still think that Osman wasn’t good enough, Hibbert had a bad game and the kit man couldn’t use the iron properly this season...
...moaning for the sake of it. We had a good season - after the injuries we finished well above expectation and we made it to Wembley via the roughest route possible...some people just can’t be pleased. I’d love to know where they sit in the ground so that I can avoid them.
Philip Warren
13   Posted 16/06/2009 at 13:45:26

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In life there are things.... Well its just the way it is... For me Everton, well its just the way it is!!!
Mel Jones
14   Posted 16/06/2009 at 18:02:36

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Great thoughts on EFC. Please can I defend Gordon Lee?s team. They should never be mentioned with Walker and Smith, there is frankly no comparison whatsoever. They came 3rd and 4th in the league in succesive years to Forest and Liverpool who won the European Cup for 5 consecutive years in the same period.

This was my team: Latchford, MacKenzie & Thomas up front; Dobson, King & Rioch in midfield; they were a great team to watch, top scorers in 1978. Very fond memories of GP especially the St End at that time. EVERTON ARE MAGIC said the green flag... the lad with ginger hair.

Tony Dooves
15   Posted 16/06/2009 at 21:40:43

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Can you imagine that, when I was younger, I had the unbelievable good luck to live in a house that rented a room to EFC? Can you imagine that nowadays?? We had some greats live in our house: Imre Varadi, Kevin Richardson, Kevin Ratcliffe and Graeme Sharpe + countless others over the years.

I have fond memories of sitting watching telly and stuffing my face with Salt & Vinegar crisps and Coke with Sharpey and Inchy (but they were stuffing their faces quicker). I remember match days my mum making them poached egg on toast cos they were not allowed to eat anything heavier, answering the phone to Gordon Lee, being picked up from school by Pat Heard in Mick Lyons's new sponsored Lada!!!

And the crime was I hated it, football was the only thing in the house, and I ended up turning my back on it and ?rebeling? as a teenager. What a complete fucking idiot I was!!! One of the biggest regrets of my life ? but somehow I saw sense and now, like everyone else on here, I can't get enough ? and feel proud of my small connection with the club.

John Sheron
16   Posted 18/06/2009 at 15:39:53

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Being an Evertonian provides you with life’s best emotions and also the worst.

You cannot walk away from Everton as the relationship is a lifetime committment.

Finally, this manager, this team and these fans badly need to win a trophy.

Unbeknown to most we are currently in a period of feast which inevitably will be follwed by a famine. To sustain us through those downtrodden tears we need a trophy, and we need one soon.

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