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The Everton Way

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On a post, quite recently, I made the point that we were lucky in having players and a coach who didn't cheat. There were some robust respones and I was accused of having a 'holier than thou' attitude.

However, I believe strongly that there is something I believe to be "The Everton Way". It is why we are supporters and it is what it makes us different from Benitez and his divided side. Here's a question. Would you have one of our players blatantly dive to win us the Cup Final? More importantly, would you have one of our players dive to save us from relegation?

My own view, soft as it might seem, is that I'd rather see us relegated than cheat. Look at the men who have been before. Dean, Lawton, Young... Diving? They wouldn't know what it meant.

In my opinion, we have the most honest squad in the league, and Phil Neville has played a huge part in that.
Andy Crooks, Belfast     Posted 18/05/2009 at 19:23:16

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Jason Broome
1   Posted 19/05/2009 at 03:00:47

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First of all Andy, respect from one fellow blue to another.

I can see where you are coming from but your questions are totally bizarre.

"Would I have one of our players blatantly dive to save us from relegation... or to win the cup final?"

Frankly, against Chelsea... I would trip the bastards myself.

WBA tried to play honest football and got relegated while Stoke used every opportunity to survive. What is the difference?

Ask their bank managers!

The culture of our club is built on both morality and honesty but in a one off situation - fuck Chelsea.

When they are running around parading the FA Cup would you feel comfortable saying... "Well at least we played fair!"

Jagielka should've been sent off in the semi-final but kept his mouth shut... now we face Chelsea, was that honest?

I don?t care how we survive relegation or win the cup... as long as we do.
Russell Buckley
2   Posted 19/05/2009 at 03:47:14

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I agree that compared with some other sides we are a clean team and in generally are not filled with divers. In saying that there are not many teams where it appears as a consistent thing. In some cases its part of the football culture in certain countries but I think its related more to certain individuals in teams like Ronaldo and Young Divers are typically the kind of player that has all the technical gifts but hates the idea of putting their body on the line.

Of course I want Everton to win clean and 99% of the time we do, but I won’t be worried if we win the cup off a dubious pendalty so long as we take home the cup. Actually I think a penalty against a team like Chelsea would be somewhat poetic considering how many instances the refs have ignored clear fouls against us in the past
Trev Clarke
3   Posted 19/05/2009 at 07:38:13

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Would Drogba fail to dive against Everton in the FA cup final??? I doubt it and he more than likely will. So fair's fair... if it means we lift the glorious Cup.
Mark Lowery
4   Posted 19/05/2009 at 08:18:33

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Nice post but I remember a certain afternoon in May 1994 when Anders Limpar won us a penalty v Wimbledon after being wafted at with a leg that was several metres away from him. He dived. Stuart slotted home the spot kick. We stayed up. No-one complained. In fact, we were all quite happy. Still, I remember one of the big games earlier this season (forget who against) when the Yak was derided by the whole of Goodison for opting to dive when through on goal. No penalty was given so I guess it begs the question, "Do we only dislike the divers who aren’t very good at it?"
Nick Entwistle
5   Posted 19/05/2009 at 09:04:47

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There’s always the Limpar response when this subject comes up, but I agree with this post intirely.

A West Ham supporting friend dispises many of his players. Dyer and Bellamy when he was there, and a few others that were on his most hated list before they transferred to the Hammers.

I guess the emphasis by Moyes to concentrate on charater means there’s less of this cheating in our squad.
Jo took a dive and won a penalty on his debut, he hasn’t done it since. Maybe Moyes had a word.

People say its part of the game, but not my game, and thankfully not Everton’s.
John Paul
6   Posted 19/05/2009 at 09:18:27

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Have you been smoking crack at all.
Will Leaf
7   Posted 19/05/2009 at 09:07:54

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Why this epidemic of cheating is allowed to continue with the easy option of retroactive suspensions, with video evidence, is beyond me (Was it Klinsmann that started all this in England?)

Should we be awarded a penalty in the Final due to a blatant dive, I would want the taker to put it wide on purpose, in the style of the Corinthian Casuals. I expect Chelsea to do the same!
Alan Clarke
8   Posted 19/05/2009 at 09:27:00

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I very much doubt we’ll see any penalties from open play. Riley showed (fortunately for us) that it takes a lot of bottle to give a pen in a very important game where so much is at stake. The ref on May 30th won’t dare give a pen either way because of how much the media and fans crucify refs if they get the decision wrong. Also Drogba’s reputation went before him against Barca and ended up getting them knocked out of the CL so I think we could kick the shit out of him all game and the ref won’t give them anything.
Tony Williams
9   Posted 19/05/2009 at 10:20:09

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I try not to swaer when posting but ....what the fuck are you on Will, you would expect a diver to put it wide on purpose....FUUUUUUCCKKK OFFFF.

I would be cheering the fact that we have got a penalty against Chavski and fully expect the taker to do his upmost to score it.

Nick the reason the "Limpar response" always turns up is due to the absolute massive implications it had against the Wombles.
Alan Clarke
10   Posted 19/05/2009 at 10:35:00

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Quite right Tony, it is not for the players to ref the game. If the ref gives a pen then the players play to that decision. What if the player kicks it wide and it actually turned out to be a pen?
Tim Wardrop
11   Posted 19/05/2009 at 10:41:15

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This is such a contentious issue. The fact is that everyone cheats to a certain degree. Someone on here mentioned Neville as an example of someone who never cheats, yet I have seen him appeal for throw ins numerous times when the ball has blatantly come off him last. He knows it, he’s just trying to gain an edge on the ref. Similarly, using Neville as an example, I saw him handball on the line against Liverpool last season. If Kuyt had missed that penalty we would have drawn the match (forget about that idiot Clattenburg) and we would have gained a point by cheating.

What I’m trying to say is that there are levels of cheating that we (as fans) consider to be immoral vs levels that are moral. And it seems to me as though fans only dislike the snidey side of cheating - the diving and the feigning of injury, or "showing a card" to the ref to try and get an opponent booked. But when players make a strong tackle but deliberately follow through on the opponent in order to "let them know they’re there" it is seen as fine.

I’m not suggesting I have all the answers, but if we were trying to get high and mighty about this then we would frown on all types of cheating. But we don’t. Therefore I think it’s best summed up like this: if we win a penalty because someone has dived and win the cup as a result I will still celebrate, but it will leave a slightly bitter taste in the mouth. But if Howard saves a pen to win us the cup by jumping 5 yards off his line (cheating) I will not care one jot. Like I say, it’s because some forms of cheating are considered to be moral and others are seen as immoral, when really they are one and the same.

On the subject of divers in our squad, I do generally believe we are one of the better teams for not diving. However, I have seen Yakubu and Anichebe both dive this season (one at home to Liverpool, the other away), whilst I also believe that Pienaar goes to ground far too easily, as does Cahill sometimes. I wouldn’t call either of these players divers, but they come pretty close.
Tony Williams
12   Posted 19/05/2009 at 11:01:29

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Neville got away with a blantant handball/punch of the ball against West Ham on Saturday.

As stated everyone cheats to a certain extent, it is the blatant diving cheats that make my blood boil.

Gerrard has his flailing swan dive down to a tee, especially the swift turn of the head to look at the ref as he is going down. The you-tube video, Steven Gerrard - The Hipocrite is hilarious.

Yak, Peanut, Arteta and sometimes Cahill do go down too easy sometimes and I cringe when I see it happen but if Cahill does his best Platoon impression to win a pen to win the Cup, I am more than prepared to overlook it on that one occassion.
Joeynkoo Ludden
13   Posted 19/05/2009 at 12:28:45

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Until it is stamped out of the game - retrospective cards via video evidence is the way (Ronaldo would miss half the season suspended until he worked he has to stop doing it) - we are at too great a disadvantage not to do so ourselves. Not diving as in the Gerrard category no, but Everton players - not all i admit - tend to not get free kicks for infringements because they ride the tackle out. Unfortunately the referees are precipitating continued simulation because if you dont go down, you dont get a free kick. Take the treatment of Fellaini by Huth a month ago as an example...
Chris Jones (Wakefield)
14   Posted 19/05/2009 at 12:35:48

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All’s fair in love and war they say, but I like my football clean.

If Everton took to playing like cheats on a regular basis, I’d stop watching them. Such a team would not merit my support. End of.

There is no more point to winning by cheating than winning by simply having more money than anyone else, and being able to buy a player for £20m+ and have him on the bench (SWP) so he can’t play for anyone else.

I would always rather play honestly against a stacked deck and then, whenever a win could be secured against such odds, all the sweeter it’d be.

Winning by cheating is not winning, it is simply self-delusion and cheapens our great club.
Chris Jones (Wakefield)
15   Posted 19/05/2009 at 12:43:00

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Post script: sorry, forgot to add...

I would rather we were known as the School of Science and playing in the lower leagues than be a School for Scandal in the Premiership.
Si Kirwan
16   Posted 19/05/2009 at 12:57:23

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At my tender age of 17, if there's one thing that life has taught me, it's that honesty gets you fucking nowhere!

Whilst I respect your viewpoint, what's the point when you won't be acknowledged anyway? Whilst I thought Di Canio v us years back was brilliant and admire him for it, if it was relegation on the line, there's no doubt I'd be more than happy to cheat to keep my beloved Everton in the Premier League!
Dave Roberts
17   Posted 19/05/2009 at 12:59:35

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Diving is one form of cheating but (and this is not excusing them) at least in diving they do expose themselves to a booking if it is picked up by the referee.

Even worse than diving for me is the shit that Liverpool got up to in the FA Cup derby. It happened on a number of occasions most notably by Torres when he was dispossessed by Jagielka. He went down like a sack of spuds. Jagielka laid the ball off to Arteta on the right who flicked the ball past two static redshite players and had a free run on goal down the right flank. The two redshite ran after him shouting (I think one of them was Carragher) and pointing to the dying Torres. Arteta put the ball out of play and immediately he did so Torres jumped up and trotted to the halfway line (he was lying prone about 10 yards outside the Everton area)

That would be the sort of behaviour I would find it hard to tolerate from Everton players and as far as I am concerned I have never seen it happen.

Arteta and Peanut do not dive as such but Arteta especially will make sure he goes down if there is a hint of a foul and sometimes he does get the occasional free kick he may not really be entitled to. Liverpool got quite a few points this season as a result of Gerrards dives in and into the area. That is something we don’t do and neither is it something I would like us to do habitually.

But I wouldn’t cry too much if we did it once and won the cup as a result!
Kevin Jones
18   Posted 19/05/2009 at 13:19:49

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I’d rather lose fairly than win by cheating. And that includes the Cup Final. Talking of cheating go on the BBC website and watch Kyle Lafferty’s dive against Aberdeen. If an Everton player did that I’d run on the pitch and punch him myself.
Anthony Hawkins
19   Posted 19/05/2009 at 14:05:04

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I’m potentially about to expose myself to torrent of abuse BUT I caviate what I’m saying from the start by saying this: DIVING IS CHEATING! up: Some say it’s a part of the modern game and that it’s all a piece of entertainment and sportsmanship and getting the upper hand. Years ago we had players like The Chopper and players who would only come on to take a player out! Most teams had one. It’s been outlawed now but it was seen as part of the game.

These days diving is on the rise and only video replays will remove it from the game.
Jason Heng
20   Posted 19/05/2009 at 14:11:36

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If winning by all means is the way, why not just support Man U or Chelsea?

We’ve all waited 14 YEARS for a cup final - to cheat to "win" will simply ruin it all!
Nick Murray
21   Posted 19/05/2009 at 13:27:30

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At the end of the day it is up to the referee to interpret whether it is a dive or not ? that is what he is there for, and you have to live with the decisions, right or wrong. That is the game.

I do think though our team is as honest as they come, and that is reflected in both the manager and the captain. When fouled they get straight up, there is no surrounding the referee, and they generally go about their business in the right way.

I think the respect Moyes gets from his peers not only takes into consideration the results but the way the team approaches the game as well.

Ajay Timothy
22   Posted 19/05/2009 at 15:09:46

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I hate divers. It takes so much away from the game when you see a Diouf, Drogba or Gerard doing whatever is necessary to win a penalty.

I would love to say that we don't do this but lately I have seen Cahill and Jo roll around like they habe been shot in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage.

I think the players should look at Steven Pienaar?s goal against Sunderland and learn from that. He could have easily gone down but chose to stay on his feet and score.

Now that's the Everton Way!
Alan Clarke
23   Posted 19/05/2009 at 15:13:50

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Anthony, can I be the first to abuse you? The diving issue is not that straight forward. I hate watching some of Drogba and Gerard’s antics but how many times do we watch teams come to Goodison and kick the shit out of Arteta? If Arteta and Pienaar constantly "play fair" and ride the tackle they will more than likely end up injured. Why did players like Platini and Zidane never play in England? because they didn’t want the shit kicked out of them every game. And it’s not just the bone crunchers. When we play teams like Portsmouth and Blackburn they persistently foul our skillful players, not necessarily to injur them but just to put them off their game. Refs never seem wise to this. So if Pienaar wants to dive to highlight a player who keeps fouling him I’m all for it.

If players like Barton and Nolan are around kicking the shit out of the more talented players then diving is just self-protection. I’m not justifying all diving but if Essien or Terry spend 90 minutes kicking Pienaar and Osman and one of them takes a dive for a penalty then I’ll be celebrating and sticking 2 fingers up at Chelsea.
Sean McCarthy
24   Posted 19/05/2009 at 15:35:18

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I seem to recall Anders Limpar taking a dive to win us a pen against Wimbledon in THAT game??? I think it's more to do with the morals of the individual as opposed to the Club being holier than tho.

AJ went down easily too, remember. But if it takes one of the team shooting his gran to beat Chelski then that will do for me!!

Pete Clark
25   Posted 19/05/2009 at 15:42:23

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There?s loads of instances that stick in my head and none greater than the one by the best footballer in the world at the time... Diego Maradona. Another one I remember was a Spurs player years ago (Nico Clausen, I think), went down like a bag of shite after an opposing player kicked the ball at him and it hit him softly in the gut. He was booed by the Spurs fans and never played for them again.

For those who remember the infamous Wimbledon game, well for me the biggest cheat of the match was by Hans Segars when he gladly rolled his arm back in and let us score and keep us up. Or how about the night before when some of our own supporters set the Dons coach alight at a service station!!! Just a bit of sportsmanship I guess.

How about Drunken Duncan coming on the pitch as a sub and strangling our opponents' players or just a little dig to the solar plexus. We have been no strangers to all of this crap but I will take a helping hand from the ref in the final and then at least the press can?t blame us.....

Keith Glazzard
26   Posted 19/05/2009 at 16:27:08

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Moyes is first and foremost a coach, and that means that football comes first. "Thou shalt not coach a foul" is the first commandment ? you win within the laws of the game. His players have been assembled and coached in his own image, and he and they have nothing but respect for this throughout the game. Amen.

Diving is despicable, as is the simulation of injury to stop the game to your advantage (see Dave Roberts?s example of RS cheating above), and our lads do this far far less than most others. This doesn?t mean never, but we can be quite properly proud of the way they they play.
Will Leaf
27   Posted 19/05/2009 at 16:34:25

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Aye up, Tony...I admit sarcasm is sometimes hard to convey with the written word. I do, however, despair at the cynical cesspool the game has descended into.

I agree with the above that it should indeed be the referee’s job to "police" whether a player dives or not, but it is clear to see that it is not working.

Putting a penalty wide on purpose was a joke, as hoping Chelsea do the same..well, the stars would fall out of the sky first. Those fans that would happily accept a dive from an Everton player for a Cup win, however, are simply condoning the cheating antics of the Drogba’s, the petulance of the Ballack’s, and the (insert your paragraph here) of the Ronaldo’s. You should have no complaints when Drogba manages to put one over the referee on Saturday next.

Hey, if it works...
Keith Glazzard
28   Posted 19/05/2009 at 17:02:57

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Can I add a ps? - Evidence for The Everton Way.

There’s not much love in these parts for Slim Boy Rooney, but I suggest that one thing you can say in his favour is that he plays the game ’hard but fair’ as they used to say. Terrible mistimed tackles are part of his game, but they aren’t ’cheating’.

For all his faults he was brought up well as a footballer.
Will Leaf
29   Posted 19/05/2009 at 18:23:57

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Massive clearing in the crowded pub as folk stumble to distance themselves from Keith...

Yes, I guess we can allow the pantomime villain that is Wayne Rooney that much.

But no more, mind.
Kevin Spencer
30   Posted 19/05/2009 at 18:55:10

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Talking about cheaters.... Ronaldo!! He is not only a cheater, he must have the ugliest style of running I have seen. Just look at him when he runs. He looks like an ostrich. It’s so laughable really... And thoose silly step-backs when he is about to take a freekick. And that face-expression when he pleads to the ref... I can go on and on....
Brian Waring
31   Posted 19/05/2009 at 19:21:39

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Look lads, we have Yakubu who is a diver. Arteta goes down if there is the slightest hint of contact. I’ve been at games were opposing players have gone down like a sack of spuds at the slightest touch,and lads around me have been up in arms calling them cheating bastards, so wouldn’t that make Arteta one?
Shane Corcoran
32   Posted 19/05/2009 at 20:10:16

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Brian, possibly it would but the difference is he was touched. It?s when there?s no contact that it?s hard to take or when the like of Pires & Ronaldo actually put their leg out towards the defender to try to make contact.

"It?s part of the game" is the run of the mill excuse just like running after the ref like Drogba & Ballack did is part of the game, just like fans shouting abuse at players is part of the game. And fans such as ourselves condoning it is part of the game and we wonder what?s wrong with the game. I?m off to watch some snooker...

Shane Corcoran
33   Posted 19/05/2009 at 20:21:27

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...........and as for Lafferty. I have no love for Rangers (understatement) but I’ve been impressed with their treatment of Ferguson & Lafferty lately.
Keith Glazzard
34   Posted 19/05/2009 at 20:19:56

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Brian - absolutely not.

Mikel Arteta grew up in a football world where possession of the ball is everything. The laws of the game enshrine this - you are allowed to put your body between your opponent and the ball if it is under your control. We sometimes call it ’shielding the ball’.

In this position, if the other bloke pushes or kicks you, he is in the wrong. And, what’s more, stupid bastard, its his fault if you fall over and a free kick is awarded - sometimes alled ’inviting the foul’, although I rate this as a no brainer..

Cheating happens when someone like Gerrard hits the deck when nobody has touched him, usually in the box.

Incidentally, referees award free kicks to players like Mikel outside the box, but not inside. They let players like Carragher get away with murder inside the box which might even be carded outside it.

Funny old game.
Ciaran MacGiolla Eoin
35   Posted 20/05/2009 at 10:19:07

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What a load of bollocks.

We have our fair share of dodgy characters, including one of out most favoured players!

Cahill is one of the most manipulative players in the league..closely followed by Yakubu and Vic. Arteta uses the system well..and Fellaini doesn’t know the rules of the game.

You should’ve taken the advice from your first article....’hollier than thou nonsense’.
Dave Wilson
36   Posted 20/05/2009 at 13:13:15

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"Fellaini doesn't know the rules of the game"

whatever gave you that impression?

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