NICK ARMITAGE COLUMN
Look at the league table. Depressing isn’t it? It is not only depressing for the lamentable sixteenth position that Everton, deservedly, find themselves in; but depressing because of the sheer predictability of where the big four, the Sky Four, or whatever you want to call them, now also find themselves.
Eight games in and Sky’s Golden Boys already occupy four of the five top spots. After another two or three games they will fill the Champions League places and that will no doubt continue until May when either Manchester United or Chelsea parade the Premiershit trophy around whatever stadium is most accommodating for Andy Gray and Martin Tyler to dry rub themselves into a frenzy in. And is it only me who thinks the BBC have gotten even more biased this season? They don’t even appear to recognise the fact that the big four have opponents on the pitch.
All the fireworks, pyrotechnics and explosions of glitter aren’t going to change the fact that winning the league is about as much of an achievement as your next birthday. Even if Michel Platini forced United and Chelsea to field a blind goalkeeper and a one-legged woman up front in every game, they’d still finish first and second.
In the last decade only three clubs have won the top division title. In over a century of football this has never happened before, but I am sure it will carry on unless things change. But it won’t change – why should it? The media and the corporates now have what they want - easy money.
I was driving home from work today and I heard Everton on Radio City advertising that tickets for the United game, are now on general sale. Four or five years ago these tickets were like gold dust, but now nobody wants to see their team get webbed everywhere yet again.
So where does all this leave Everton? Nowhere. We have as much clout in the game as Montenegro has at the UN. Even after going one nil up, I knew we’d lose to Arsenal and I didn’t even get angry when the shite cantered to three points against us. On Saturday I will feebly flick the reverse Victory sign towards the Manchester United glory hunters and mutter, “fuck off, Rooney,” on my way out of Goodison, after their third or fourth zooms past Tim Howard. I don’t know when we next lose to Chelsea and to be frank, I don’t really give a shit.
And my despair and frustration with football at the moment pretty much encapsulates what 95% of real football fans feel about their national game. The national game is a national disgrace. Name one other sport in this country that is as stitched up as football.
But we are told year after year that football is booming, this is the best league in the world, average Premiershit attendances are up and television revenues are soaring. Bullshit. Look a bit deeper, take out the Sky Four and attendances are falling. Around the country apathy is creeping in and it has crept in at Goodison.
If I was Moyes I would have left Everton and got myself a nice little club in Spain, Greece or Turkey in a league where you have a fighting chance of doing something. At Everton he’ll do nothing other than bang his head against the wall for the next five years. Good luck David, but if you were as ambitious as you claim you would have jumped ship a long time ago.
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