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Apathetic? Disillusioned? Tell Me About It!

By Phil  Martin :  22/10/2008 :  Comments (27) :

Before I start, this isn?t a rant about investment, Moyes, Kirkby, or Bill Kenwright, just my current thoughts and feelings as an Everton fan.

I work with loads of Manchester United fans and they often take the piss out of my passionate loyalty to Everton FC. None of them are from anywhere near Manchester which does annoy me somewhat. However, when it comes to a debate their standard line is, ?When was the last time Everton won anything??

I know the answer (and so do they) but it?s a putdown that I have to let go.

I?m so proud to be a supporter of our great club but I do feel an increasing amount of apathy towards it all!

I honestly thought at the end of last season we were on the verge of a return to the big time. Four high-quality players ? that was all we needed! More fool me. 11 games into the new season and Moyes is already talking about a complete squad rebuild. I can?t believe last year?s better players are all under-performing so much now.

The investment (or selling out) debate is another thing. Surely without investment we will continue to go through the motions for ever more, a good run in the league, plucky but inevitable defeats against the Big 4, hoping for a decent cup run. No trophies for another year! It?s all becoming the same ? year after year. Sure, no one wants Everton FC to lose its identity and spirit but there have to be some huge positives to being owned by a super rich person(s). People who would allow us funds to compete (genuinely compete) with top clubs for top players.

I hear rumours about Randy Lerner supposedly wanting Everton more than he wanted Aston Villa. Yet he was given no-encouragement from Kenwright to follow up his interest. If this is true, how can Kenwright ever say he is a fit and proper person to find us a new fit and proper owner, especially given the sterling job Lerner has done so far at Villa? But Bill is looking 24/7...

I read some posts on this site yesterday too about the state of the playing team and people holding Villarreal as an example of breaking into the top 4 with limited budget. To be honest, this isn?t a realistic example. They made the massive leap by making the most of their first Champions League campaign by buying quality players. We didn?t (because we didn?t have the funds). Villarreal were than able to maintain their momentum and continue to push for top places for following year. Even during this summer our budget was half that of Sunderland?s. Yet we expect the club to compete with Arsenal and Liverpool.

Sure, the Villarreal story is an inspiration for any club that has ambitions to compete at the highest level. However, it?s amazing they are still there now. CD Alaves, a club who "did a Villarreal? 10 years ago spring to mind. They soon imploded when their big names started to move on.

I guess I?m just fed up. I still go the games and I still get disappointed when we lose but every time I hear another Kenwright ?watch this space? quote, or another class player evade our grasp because we can?t afford him, or another reference to Kirkby being our only salvation, I just feel a little more disillusioned by it all.

Here?s hoping for Randy Lerner II turning up before January and giving us some real funds to spend on quality players. Otherwise the best we can ever hope for is top 6, a cup run, none of our better players being bought by ?bigger fish?, and a new low-value stadium in a retail park out of the City boundaries.

Reader Comments

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Andy Crooks
1   Posted 22/10/2008 at 18:00:13

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Phil, I know exactly how you feel. Does anyone else feel that Bill Kenwright should make a statement regarding the possible Lerner takeover? If it?s nonsense then surely he should be happy to put us straight. If it?strue we?ll hear nothing and some of us will hold him in even more contempt than before.
Karl Masters
2   Posted 22/10/2008 at 17:59:18

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Money is rapidly ruining football. There is little else to say really.

I can’t even get excited by the thought of Everton being bought by a Super rich Benefactor. All it will do is line Agents’, Players’ and Managers’ pockets with even more unjustified cash.

If every Premier League Club has an ’Investor’ then that is all that will happen. It does not mean that there will be any more trophies ( there is only 3 + Europe in any season so that leaves 17 clubs at least disappointed ) and it won’t make the football any more entertaining. Chelsea played boring method football all last season and the year before hundreds of millions to play with. The quality of football in England is way behind La Liga where you could name Barcelona, Real Madrid, Seville, Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Villarreal, Deportivo La Coruna all as teams that have challenged for the League in recent seasons. A truly competitive league, not a Sky-fed junket for 4 tarts like in England.

Money is the root of all evil...... too bloody right!
Charles Brewer
3   Posted 22/10/2008 at 18:15:00

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It?s a bit of a relief to read this, because I also have a feeling of just not caring any more. A good friend of mine (a fellow Scouse exile) who also lives down in London said just the same a few weeks ago.

It?s all become ?so what?; there?s no crisis at Goodison, but there?s no hope either. After bombing out of the UEFA cup (How did last year?s quarter finalists manage to draw the Champions League rejects ? the ones who should have beaten the RS reckoning on my observation?) there was no chance of us winning anything. We all know that we simply don?t have the resources to overcome tiredness, injuries and dubious refereeing toward the end of the season and therefore have no hope of winning the Premier League, or even getting into the top four, so why should we care.

Last year I was planning several visits to Goodison and trying the get tickets for London games. I won?t bother this year. In fact as soon as I post this I?m cancelling my Sky Sports subscription.

Frankly, the Premier League is a crap competition, with run by and for the benefit of a four-member plutocracy. Actually I can?t even remember who won it last year, was it ManU or Chelsea? Who cares?

Paul Johnson
4   Posted 22/10/2008 at 18:20:31

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Spot on Phil. Although you need to remind those Utd fans that the last trophy we won was at Wembley when we beat... er ManU to win the FA Cup.

I too am a bit pissed off at the moment though and for the first time I can remember will not be going to Goodison this weekend to watch Manchester's finest celebrating on our patch! It pisses me off no end that the club puts up prices for this "privelige" too, so I have decided in protest not to bother going to games against the Sky4 - The other games at least are competitive and if fans of other clubs did the same at least it would make the powers that be sit up and recognise what is happening in the Premier League.
Marc Williams
5   Posted 22/10/2008 at 18:58:36

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Andy Crooks - It would be poinless getting Kenright to make a statement over the Lerner interest as we couldn’t believe a word he said.
John Waugh
6   Posted 22/10/2008 at 19:05:08

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I am going Saturday but got to say that the usual "fears" about losing at home just aren?t there with me. Not that I think that we will do anything other than get stuffed, it's just the mind-numbing predictability of it all.

I have seen several postings on here recently saying that a mid-table finish with exiting football would be preferable to another ground out 4th/5th place challenge. I couldn?t agree more. We are awful to watch, the atmosphere is poor, the kick-off time ridiculous and, to cap it all, parking is worse every week.

Anyway, got the afternoon shopping with the missus to look forward to (And I?m serious)...

Phil Beck
7   Posted 22/10/2008 at 19:08:25

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My god im going to commit hari kari.
We have the best of the rest. Now Moyes has started to be positive again, it's just a matter of time and our team WILL perform. We have a good honest chairman and a good but self-pitying boss and some fantastic players that should invite a 2nd Randy. Us blues can be pessimistic bunch at times but in a few weeks it will start to turn watch this space... Bill Kenwright, only kidding.
Anthony Dyer
8   Posted 22/10/2008 at 19:31:20

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Like many Evertonians I have watched the Blues? during the good times and bad, but I cannot remember being so downbeat before a game as I am for the forthcoming fixture against Man U. No talisman al la Cahill or Ferguson. No confidence in any part of the team or any individual player. No evidence that the crowd will elicit a superhuman effort from the players. A manager who admits he/we cannot compete with the sky 4.

As if our limitations and problems are not enough we face a side high on confidence that have three or four match-winners and arguably at least 2 world class players add A manager who hates to lose and knows how to win against any team in Europe and the situation seems hopeless.

At any other period in our history the manager would be facing the axe if the outcome of Saturday?s match goes to form. But this is 2008 where supporters? voices are lost in the media driven hype that is the Premiership. This result isn?t just likely it?s almost a cast-iron certainty as our record during David Moyes tenure against the sky 4 suggests P52 W6 D11 L35 GF41 GA98 Pts 29. Add another 6 Cup matches where we have drawn one and lost five games and that amounts to 6 wins in 58 games.

I only wish that I could have let my head rule my heart during this period of time as I could have made a few bob at the bookies! I would place a fiver on us winning on Saturday but as some wag said this would probably be seen as an unorthodox betting pattern and lead to the suspension of all premiership games at the weekend.

If our record against the Sky 4 is typical of the other clubs vying for CL football such as Pompey, Villa and City, the game is even less competitive than I had previously thought.

However, I am not interested in those other sides, I am only concerned about Everton and how they fare in every game they play and given this shocking record against the chosen ones is it no wonder that our style of play or lack of it is under so much scrutiny at this moment in time.

So when Lawrenson Shearer, Hansen et al proclaim the virtues of our Manager, remember that he is doing a good job if you support one of the Sky 4.

Remember too there is nothing worse in sport than a Four Gone Conlcusion.
Steve Turner
9   Posted 22/10/2008 at 19:33:26

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Guys, trust me I know what you mean, but hold on a mo. I am as depressed as anyone, disillusioned and fucking pissed off, but it is NOT OVER YET. Yes a sad sad start, but as I write - Manure are 5th and Hull - who, I said Hull are bloody 3rd - that has nothing to do with spending power. Give it until xmas, then we moan hard and fast and hope some foriegner buys us. Yust my view.
Albert Poissant
10   Posted 22/10/2008 at 19:55:34

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Our season starts again when the draw for the FA Cup is made; until then, not too much to look forward to. I?m sure relegation won?t be a factor as equally as I?m sure we won?t be pushing for a Uefa Cup spot.

Exciting competition the Premier League...
Sinead Jakes
11   Posted 22/10/2008 at 19:53:45

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Why does everyone blame ?lack of funds? for not competing? Moyes is incompetent in the transfer market. He is often caught waiting till the last minute before plunging in and then gives some cock and bull story, no one can tell me that Fellanini is worth £2M let alone £15M. Moyes has had a budget but not planned wisely and not been at all shrew in his dealings at times.

Hull have spent £6M and Spurs a stunning £74M since Jan 2007 ? so it all ain?t about money is it! People should stop blaming the bloody obvious, money, Kirkby, Kenwright etc. English football is the way it is and will always be that way until it is reformed and regulated? top four with the odd surprise team like Everton, Hull etc who pop up and down every now and then, get used to it or even better take up another sport which is less tainted that English football.

As for Randy L wanting to take over Everton, it?s amazing that people on this forum seem to have the inside track into the high powered business world, although Bill Gates and Warren Buffet where seen at Goodison yesterday so.....

Noel Mepson
12   Posted 22/10/2008 at 20:23:03

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Sorry Phil, there will be no Randy Lerner II anymore than there will ever be a second King?s Dock. David Hall's told us that Ellis was a great fisherman but you wouldn?t want to be in the same boat as Kenwright, would you? Our chairman is an expert at only one thing ? fucking things up. ?Moyes for life? is just the latest example.
Stephen Smith
13   Posted 22/10/2008 at 20:10:57

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I find it interesting that people are eager for another Randy Lerner. Theres been several newspaper articles this month about the amount of debt that Villa have. The latest being from the Guardian today says they have a debt of £60m+. This is quite a significant increase on what was being reported when Lerner took over.

Now obviously, you can't be certain the figures being reported now or then are accurate. However on the surface it does look like we have another owner that's funding the club?s ambition through debt and not their own money.

John Maxwell
14   Posted 22/10/2008 at 21:59:25

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Haven't we finished above Villa most seasons he?s been there? I can only think of one.... mmmm.
Bob Parrington
15   Posted 23/10/2008 at 01:37:36

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Andy, Karl etc - in time the league might learn a bit from Aussie rules football, which has a club "salary cap". They can get star players but the total team salary has a limit. this results in a relatively close competition by comparison with the PL. I’m realistic enough to expect that clubs would find ways to supplement some player wages, though). But ........ We might have to wait a long time for the PL to come to its senses.
COYB
Jason Lam
16   Posted 23/10/2008 at 02:54:16

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I?m certain the credit crisis will have an effect on the Premiership. There?s talk of spending reduction in F1 (all teams, not just the also-rans) because you just can?t sustain losses indefinately. The problem is the Arabs, Russians and Yanks (who are happy with £600m+ debt on an ?investment? across the pond) who can buy clubs at a whim. The FA doing fuck all about. OVERALL, the Premier League is still profitable. Which is top 4 plus 16. The 16 have 3 cannon fodder changes each season.

I too have lost interest in the ?race? for the title. The only joyful experience is seeing what?s happening at Spurs, which honestly is quite sad.
Gareth Lucy
17   Posted 23/10/2008 at 09:09:14

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There?s no hero in the team anymore. In the past we?ve always had someone that can be a hero and pull something out the bag. And please, if anyone dares to suggest that Mikel Arteta has such capabilities I will bang my head against my desk. The best little Spaniard we know is the most overated player in the Premier League. I?m serious, I cannot think of another player that is rated so highly by his manager and fans and yet delivers so little on a consistent basis. He couldn?t deliver a pizza.
Andrew Reese
18   Posted 23/10/2008 at 09:22:24

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If we are lucky the bottom three will also lose. Depressed. You bet.
David Hall
19   Posted 23/10/2008 at 09:53:48

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Stephen Smith: I think you will find that Ellis left Lerner with c£10M of book debts. I believe the new owner has put in £50M towards the completion of the Bodymoor training ground and team building. Thus £60M shows up in the accounts as loans outstanding to Lerner in the same way that Chelsea?s indicate they ?owe? Abromovitch some £700M!

It is not the practice of these tycoons to just ?gift? money to their clubs as I am sure much tax relief accrues from the ?loans? they make to them.

Phil Martin
20   Posted 23/10/2008 at 10:24:16

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Thats right David Hall. Every new owner offers interest free loans to the club, rather than just gift the cash. So it appears as a debt on a balance sheet but it isn?t really. Just better for tax reasons for the owner.

Sinead Jakes. I think money does have a massive impact. Every manager makes bad signings - Wenger: Jeffers and Wright (£17M combined) SAF: Kleberson, Taibi, Djemba Djemba, Jordi Cruyff!

Will Hull be 3rd by the end of the year? I doubt it! Will they get relegated next year (second season syndrome)? I would say so. They are punching above their weight currently (like EFC to a lesser extent last year). Spurs are like Newcastle and just a joke. Had they stuck with Jol I think they wouldn't be doing too badly now.

But my post was more about the complete lack of excitment/interest surrounding EFC (and football) these days. From BK's incomptence and lack of real investment. From the poor standard of football (partly due to lack of investment), to the dour proposal of a Kirkby Bowl, its all rather un-inspiring!

At this moment in time we can only realistically hope for top 6, cup runs, and a new low-value stadium in a retail park. Surely this isn?t the vision of Everton?s future we want to see?

Gavin Ramejkis
21   Posted 23/10/2008 at 11:12:25

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It?s almost spooky the timing of this post, I nearly couldn?t be arsed going to the Newcastle game and my cousin who sits next to me didn?t, she gave up her season ticket to her young nephew. I take my son for swimming lessons on Saturday mornings and to be honest I genuinely can?t see why I should bother my arse leaving him behind when we will be having a good time for another humiliating gutless defeat.

Don?t give me the "we don?t need supporters like you, blah blah blah" as I've still paid for my season ticket, as had my cousin next to me, but why bother our arse when the club isn?t reciprocating? When the manager sets out his stall so poorly? When there is absolutely nothing entertaining about watching a side that genuinely fought hard for a decent league position last season compared to the shite we have now?
Andrew Wilson
22   Posted 23/10/2008 at 13:31:01

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Phil Martin I think you’ve got it about right. By November the Sky 4 will be occupying their usual places in the league and that will be that. However much Sky and Setanta try to hype up the Premiership, it’s become the most predictable pile of dross. To think we used to deride the Scottish Premier for being dominated by Rangers and Celtic and now our own league is no better. It’s a shame to think that like the other 16 teams we’re simply making up the numbers.
Dan Parker
23   Posted 23/10/2008 at 16:29:00

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Despite all their criticism, including from me, I firmly believe the sale of both McFadden and Andy Johnson have been crucial to our form. Ok, they haven’t been playing great for their new clubs but they provided the pace we had to keep defenders occupied whilst the Yak and others banged them in.

Coupled with the loss of wise heads Stubbs and Carsley, we’re a bunch of lost, unmotivated kids.
Ray Robinson
24   Posted 23/10/2008 at 17:44:26

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I’m going on Saturday because I feel compelled to but I’m hardly looking forward to it. Instead I’m actually dreading it.

Looks like the club are getting a bit worried. Have a look at this link: http://www.evertonfc.com/news/packed-to-the-rafters.html?comment_page=4#comment_start
Dan Parker
25   Posted 23/10/2008 at 18:23:36

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Oh, and when the man in charge is going around all glum and miserable, how are the fans expected to stay motivated?
Peter Carew
26   Posted 23/10/2008 at 19:07:31

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Since we are all having a downer I thought I would add my own pet hate about the blues. DM’s constant admiration of Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal and even the RS gets me down. whether its due to money or good managemennt surely his job is to get the troops (players and fans alike) wound up and then get a fighting performance from the team. Fans can sense when a team is focused on getting the best possible result. I hate games against the sky4 simply because I feel we dont have an obstinate enough game plan. We need to be able to turn on the dogs of war mentality when it is needed. The current personal have not shown the ability to do that.
Joseph Moore
27   Posted 23/10/2008 at 20:21:23

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Stick with Bill he’s a Blue


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