Skip to Main Content
Members:   Log In  |  Sign Up

Negativity — An explanation

By Ciarán McGlone :  10/07/2009 :  Comments (65) :
I was recently told that I should "stop being negative" and write my own article "on all things Everton". While pondering the list of possible topics, it struck me… why not address the very issue which prompted the request in the first place. An issue that permeates to the core of ToffeeWeb. One that seems to raise its ugly head in every debate, and one that has nothing to do with football. That’s right: "negativity".

Negativity is an outward expression of deeply engrained psychological trait that has probably evolved as a survival mechanism. In this sense it has an affinity with cynicism. Paradoxically the early Greeks practised cynicism as a way of achieving happiness through the virtue of rejecting conventional social models. There’s an obvious link with the modern definition that describes cynicism as a ‘distrust of motives’.

That brings me on to Everton. I’ve always been of the opinion that fans can be generalised into two categories; the positives, and the negatives. While I accept that generalisations themselves are naturally flawed, I’m happy to stand by this one — given the daily hegemony on this very site that engages the negative/positive divide.

I’m of the opinion that differences should be celebrated. But a problem exists. Those of a positive disposition hold a seemingly contradictory position. They are negative about the negatives. You know the kind of stuff I mean…. ‘Oh typical negativity…zzzzz’; ‘bashing this, bashing that’; ‘same old negative rant blah blah’.

It appears that the positives consider negativity as a fundamental flaw that needs to be categorised and demonised, irrespective of the point being made. It’s not too often you’ll find a negative occupying this same position… apart from this article — which is a isolated call for a bit of understanding.

For me, the positives simply misunderstand the motives of the negatives. Just like the Greeks we are employing our negativity as a means of achieving happiness. We focus on what needs to be changed, whereas the positives primarily focus on what has changed. We are not negative because we ‘have no friends’, ‘need some prozac’ or ‘want to slit our wrists’… or any of the other inanely pejorative and frankly puerile retorts that are regularly posted on this site.

We focus on the negatives because of one simple reason. They are the things which we perceive to be wrong at this club. They are the things that need to be addressed in order to improve the club. While pointing out the positives may make some of you feel all gooey inside — it does not add to the debate about improving this club.

Football, and in our case Everton, incites a passion and ambition to be the best. It could be argued that the most obvious way of reaching this zenith is by focussing on those things which need to be addressed in order to make us the best. Under this guise negativity is a virtue to be heralded — not scorned, ridiculed and frankly misunderstood.

It’s about time that the positives stopped expecting everyone to conform to their ‘ray of sunshine attitude’ and simply addressed the points being made without a vacuous reference to the negativity of the point. Remember, the Greeks found cynicism as a way of achieving happiness, and the corellation with our situation is obvious.

If all the negatives at Everton were removed then I’ve no doubt we would all be happy. We may not be able to effect this change in any serious way, but respecting the debate, without attaching some kind of inane label to it — is a start. If that’s too much, how about just applying a degree of consistency — by being positive about the negatives???

Reader Comments

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Damian Kelly
1   Posted 10/07/2009 at 15:09:24

Report abuse

To be fair, the negatives are often very negative about the positives being negative about the negatives.
Kevin Sparke
2   Posted 10/07/2009 at 15:10:46

Report abuse

To be honest I couldn’t give a shite if you are positive, negative or indifferent... not one of 1 million+ words or more I’ve written about Everton has ever made a difference to the way the team has played, who we have signed, where we are moving to and more importantly who the manager is.

I’m an Everton supporter - that’s where it begins — that’s where it ends

So, Ciaren, why don’t you support Everton your way — and I’ll support Everton my way. Is that okay with you?
Dave Wilson
3   Posted 10/07/2009 at 15:10:50

Report abuse

One small issue, its slightly hypocritical of you to accuse the positives of being negative about the negatives and calling for consistancy whilst you yourself present an extremely positive approach to all the negativity on this site.

Disappointingly good stuff though.
Mike Allison
4   Posted 10/07/2009 at 15:28:11

Report abuse

Quite a good article Ciaran, and as someone who tends to disagree with you on most of the threads its interesting to see you articulate your standpoint so clearly.

I’d like to address a few different points you make, the first is a bit of tit for tat response that needs saying but isn’t worthy of much debate, and that is simply that the ’positives’ are often demonised just as much as the ’negatives’ for ’holding the club back’ with their attitude.

A second point is that positivity about what is good is vitally important in the future development of the club. If you point out a negative, then try to fix it, that’s good. But if you point something out and try to change it, but actually it was pretty good in the first place, you risk making it worse, thus the positivity is a vital part of the progress.

A third point is something you allude to when you say ’makes you go all gooey inside’ and that is that being positive is its own reward. The classic example of the glass half full/half empty sums this up. Its really a point about objectivity and subjectivity. There’s little you can say about Everton objectively except point out league positions, cup performances and so on. Everything else ends up being subjective, so it depends on your perspective as the observer. This means the ’positives’ are simply trying to enjoy being an Everton fan as much as possible, and see the ’negatives’ as failing to enjoy it, which might be bad enough, but it also comes across that you don’t want us to enjoy it either, which is why you get the silly comments from frustrated people who feel like they’re being made to feel stupid simply for wanting to enjoy being an Everton fan. Something which is hard enough in itself at times.

I hope I’ve put the put ’positive’ side across as well as you put the ’negative’, although I’ve been a bit distracted and will be happy to clarify anything I haven’t explained well enough.
Kevin Hudson
5   Posted 10/07/2009 at 15:37:57

Report abuse

A "Call To Arms," from the most sneering, patronising eviscerator of independent opinion on the site ?

Take your linguistic snobbery back to your New York shrinks’ office.

Disingenuous waffle...
Steve Edwards
6   Posted 10/07/2009 at 17:00:43

Report abuse

Kevin - I’d like to second that. I couldn’t have put it better myself.
Steven Pendleton
7   Posted 10/07/2009 at 17:06:12

Report abuse

That’s it Ciaran, you’re banned from wikipedia and using a thesaurus for the next month!!!

You’ve given me a headache!!!
Mike McLean
8   Posted 10/07/2009 at 17:17:19

Report abuse

Steven / Kevin, darlings, such footstamping! Would you prefer Ciaran to say "fuck" quite a lot, lean back, scratch his balls and come out with some pearl such as End of!

You may both dislike Ciaran’s attitude, but a caveman grunt because of his use of language is just too, too disappointing of you both.

Still, on the positive side, good to know that there are still football fans frolicking around the stone age of linguistic development.
Mike Green
9   Posted 10/07/2009 at 17:20:45

Report abuse


Negativity has nothing to do with wanting to improve things, its simply an outlet for people to vent frustrations from within their own lives.

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster yourself, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.... and all that....

So, basically, the more you talk about it - the worse you’re going to get.

So cheer the fuck up.
Paul Thompson
10   Posted 10/07/2009 at 17:56:10

Report abuse

Psychology, linguistics, Greek philosophy — what more could you want on a football site?

Ciaran is right — psychological predispositions will affect our attitudes to what we see and hear around us. But there are two flaws in his argument. First, one of equivalence. Aside from a handful of unshakeable happy clappers for whom the club and its management can do no wrong, most of the people that Ciaran labels ’positives’ tend to take a balanced view of events on and off the field, being critical or downhearted where and when it is justified. In contrast, there seems to be a mini army of Toffeeweb doom-mongers who will always seek the worst possible motive or scenario, irrespective of actual events.

Second, the argument that these dispositions have ’nothing to do with football’ is misleading. Attitudes have to be expressed in actual claims and comments about the football. My problem with the doom mongers is that their claims are frequentely proved to be wrong, but it doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference to their next comment. A number of people have been on the site in the last week saying that there is no chance that the club will sign anyone or spend any money at all over the summer or until the last minute. We appear to be on the verge of re-signing Jo and signing one of the most promising right backs in British football. Will this make a difference to their negativity? Any chance of even the slightest slice of humble pie? Watch this space...

Meanwhile, I’m off to cheer myself up by watching Ry Cooder and Nick Lowe.
Kevin Hudson
11   Posted 10/07/2009 at 18:27:31

Report abuse

Mike Mclean,

Re-"Stone age of linguistic development, My point was simply to take objection with Ciaran’s insidious, self-serving guff regarding, what I will refer to, in keeping with the ancient Greek theme: The Everton Complex.

What gets my goat is that the biggest instigator of sly put downs bangs on for 9 bloody paragraphs, stating what can be summed up in 5 words: We Have Differing Opinions Here! The fact that it’s dressed up as some kind of altruistic psychoanalysis, smacks of absolute hypocrisy.

Last week, he referred to Alan Kirwan as being "sanctamonious and myopic," and every withering, superior rebuttal, could have come from Oscar Wilde himself.

The point is: We can all use big words. But to demonstrate that ability at EVERY feckin’ opportunity IS linguistic snobbery, simply because you want to pass yourself off as smarter than others: You wouldn’t call someone "sanctamonious and myopic," down your local on a Friday night, would you?

But this is Ciaran’s raison d’etre... it's why he posts regularly.

Finally, I’d like to politely object to being pegged a caveman by you. I studied language, and can answer any response in no fewer than 4 foreign tongues.

But we don’t always have to show off. Particularly as he’s putting up such a weak defence of his daily mean-spirited provocation of others...
Gerry Morrison
12   Posted 10/07/2009 at 19:28:09

Report abuse

Must we be one or the other? Is it only a choice between positivism and negativism? How about some realism. I think that most Evertonians, if asked, would be able to tell you what is good about the present team and what is not so good. Surely they are the people who can contribute the most.
Kevin Tully
13   Posted 10/07/2009 at 19:32:51

Report abuse


My old man warned me away from people like your good self and Marshy when I first started going for a pint with him.

" keep away from that fecker, he’s only happy when he’s crying."

No mention of any Greeks until closing time.
Andy Crooks
14   Posted 10/07/2009 at 20:02:25

Report abuse

Ciarán, as someone who has had quite a few kickings from you on this site, I’ve been waiting for you to stick your neck out for some time. Unfortunately, your article is well written sense.

Negativity is ok. Without it, this site wouldn’t be worth looking at.

Peter Hall
15   Posted 10/07/2009 at 20:27:21

Report abuse

I think some of you are missing the point a little. Of course Ciaran is right. When Kenwright came in, and brought Moyes, we were used to being lucky if we finished a couple of places above relegation. It was a field decade for whingers and negativity, and some of it may even have been right.

But now we have finished top six three years in succession and have by far the strongest squad we have had since we last won the league. Worse still, we seem to be making signings that will help us challenge for a deserved place in the top four on a regular basis.

Now doesn’t that just spoil being an Everton fan? What right have these guys to take over our club, steadily improve it until we should be proud instead of ashamed. Where does that leave us?

I’m completely with Ciaran - life for those of us who love to whinge at the club has been really spoilt by Kenwright and Moyes. So let’s do it properly - sell out to Gillet and Hick, bring back old Walter, and get Carsley back from Birmingham.

There – I’m starting to feel better already. Thanks Ciaran.
Terry Maddock
16   Posted 10/07/2009 at 20:23:08

Report abuse

I once saw it written, I cant recall where, "Nothing is more certain in football than disappointment."

You want your team to win every game but they can't; you don't want to get knocked out of the cup... but you will be. Manchester United won the Premier League and the Carling Cup... yet suffered disappointment in the Champions League. Their forums where full of complaints about SAF and the team he put out etc, certain players not up to wearing the shirt. So it doesn't matter how good your team is, you will still be disappointed..

Are the Man Utd supporters who believed that they should have won every competition they entered being negative? Or are they being unrealistic, as it's never been done before?

Are Evertonians who see Everton achieve their highest ever points total in the Premier League and then complain that we should have done better being negative? Or are they being unrealistic in their expectations, on occasion using the clubs motto as a stick to beat the Evertonians who are overjoyed at what they see as a step in the right direction?

It's highly subjective, success. Whereas I see a consolidation of our position as "best of the rest" and a Cup Final appearence as success, others will see it as less points than last season and falling at the final hurdle.

The "negative " side, such as Ciarán McGlone (no offence meant) tend to infer that because they demand nothing short of victory every game, and feel the need to find a scapegoat, be that the manager, or Osman, Hibbert, Unsworth, Ebbrell — even Dave Watson at one point — when its not forthcoming. That they are a BETTER type of supporter, more knowledgeable in football matters, with the club's best interests at heart.

I myself disagree... but not totally...

If the"negatives" did as Ciarán says, and pointed out our deficiencies in a constructive manner, with suggestions on how it could be corrected, then as well as differences of opinion being batted back and forth we could also have constructive debate.

My problem lies with the "negatives" who simply make a broad statement, such as "Osman's shite", in which case a counter argument would simply be "Osman's brilliant". End of debate.

On the positive side we do of course have our own blinkered souls who will simply refuse to accept any criticism of the board, manager or players — even if that criticism is well written and constructive...

The retorts and name calling that Ciarán metions tends to occur when example A from the negs meets example B from the pos or vice versa...

So, in my opinion, it's not that negative is good or bad, or the same for positive... it's just that certain types of negative and positive are bad... especially when confronting eachother.

On that note, I'm looking forward to Jo with a full pre season, Kyle Naughton and Uncle Tom Cobbly and all... COYB
TJ Waldron
17   Posted 10/07/2009 at 20:37:38

Report abuse

I agree with Kevin. As much as I would like my positive attitude to help the team perform well, it ain’t gonna make a difference! You’re (not you in particular) only losing out by being pessimistic, and it makes things seem boring to me if you can't aim high. Thinking positively about Everton makes me feel just a little bit better, and definitely makes supporting us more enjoyable.

But hey, whatever floats your boat, you can support Everton however you want and it’ll be fine with me. Plus this site would be pointless without all these clashing opinions, which is why I love it!

Dennis Stevens
18   Posted 10/07/2009 at 21:17:30

Report abuse

Paul Thompson : "Meanwhile, I’m off to cheer myself up by watching Ry Cooder and Nick Lowe."

You lucky, lucky bastard!
Dave Wilson
19   Posted 10/07/2009 at 20:46:26

Report abuse


I lol’d at your post, you accuse the negative fella of linguistic snobbery , then do your level best to top him — you failed by the way.

Your "we don't all have to show off" claim was cringeworthy... Perhaps you should have discretely mentioned you speak 4 languages.

Ciarán is a blue and as such he deserves respect, his mean spirited cynicism is merely his — and apparently the Greeks' — way of pursuing happiness.
Paul O'Hanlon
20   Posted 10/07/2009 at 21:27:05

Report abuse

Agree with the point of your article, Ciaran, if a bit long winded.

Some people on this site seem to think being a good fan is saying nothing but niceties about the team, staff and board. Me personally, I support the boys when I go the match each week and if I have something to get of my chest I do it on websites like this rather than at the match whilst the boys are playing.
Kevin Hudson
21   Posted 10/07/2009 at 21:39:48

Report abuse

Dave Wilson,

Respectfully, you are wrong in your droll assessment of my motives: It’s not a literary willy-waving contest.

I was simply reminding everyone,that this is same guy who pipes up and pompously slaughters everyone, yet today posts a smug "Vive La Difference," piece, dressed up as pseudo-intellectual social anthropology, as another excuse to flex his knowledge of big words.

The only reason I threw in a mention of my own language skills, is because some guy called me a caveman, having missed my original point !

Again. Not a pissing contest — I wasn’t asking for a medal. Cheers.

ps: Not sure if it was a typo, but I’ve no idea what "lol’d," means...
Rob Jones
22   Posted 10/07/2009 at 22:41:12

Report abuse

An entertaining article but flawed by Ciaran’s desire to incorporate intellectual references that he has (deliberatley?) misinterpreted to suit his own means. To cite the Cynics famed for eschewing wealth and power in favour of the lure of a natural existence makes no sense. He should look, pehaps, to the later school, the Stoics, who believed that negative feelings were bred from moral and intellectual failings.
Dick Fearon
23   Posted 10/07/2009 at 23:53:32

Report abuse

I am lost for words.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
24   Posted 11/07/2009 at 00:08:39

Report abuse

I was positively going to stay out of this but Mike Green’s negativity got my back up: Negativity has nothing to do with wanting to improve things, it’s simply an outlet for people to vent frustrations from within their own lives.

My experience goes like this: I watch an Everton player, let’s say Arteta, do something really nice; I say , "Wow, Arteta did something really nice" and that is considered ’positive’ by the sages on here that determine such things.

Conversely, in the same game, I watch an Everton player, let’s say Osman, do something really poor; I say , "Pftui, Osman did something really poor" and that is considered ’negative’ by those same sages.

To me, they are merely different shades of the pastime I call "post-match analysis". To Mike Green, one is simply an outlet for venting frustrations from within my own life?!? While presumably the other is something wonderful and uplifting???

Sorry to be negative, but I think that’s a load of crap.
Rob Hollis
25   Posted 11/07/2009 at 00:12:44

Report abuse

This is an interesting post because i find myself constantly shifting position between positive, negative and a calm acceptance of the way things are. This brings me to my main criticism of Everton. Our public face.

If our Manager stated he had a small squad, but probably the best in the league when fit, then how would this work on the players when they are out on the pitch? To hear everybody saying we need better is actually telling our team they are not good enough. This would not make the staff of any organisation very motivated. Why not state we just need more of the same to guard against injury?

I think Moyes was getting nearer when he said that, if we lost the Cup Final, then we would certainly win something soon.If you are told you are not the best then when you play somebody like Chelsea then the outcome is in your head before you start.

A Brian Clough DVD might be a good purchase for our Manager. Other than that it is getting better.

Will Leaf
26   Posted 11/07/2009 at 02:13:00

Report abuse

I think a pretty good song could result from this debate:

I’ve got to admit it’s getting better
A little better all the time
(It can’t get no worse)
Derek Thomas
27   Posted 11/07/2009 at 02:24:57

Report abuse

In my new totally new and original masterpiece 1986 and all that, where, if you know yer ’istory that the said history can be divided into 2. Everything after the moment in the 1986 Cup Final when 1-0 up... Grob and Whelan had their cock up handbag moment and instead of us going 2-0 they went down the other end and scored, 1-1... slippery slope and the rest is History... and all that happened before.

A good percentage of the negatives can remember some of the before first hand and having seen 1st place, topclass shit hot teams and performances, know instinctively that 5th is not the new 1st, just better than 6th 7th etc

Positives; Dodd, etc wrong but romantic

Negatives; Marsh, etc right but repulsive.
James Bowman
28   Posted 11/07/2009 at 03:12:47

Report abuse

I would not see myself as either but just a supporter of Everton, good times and the bad (I still celebrate when we get to 40 points!). Sometimes I read things on this site that I agree with and some I don’t, but I think most of the people that get criticism on this site do so because they take it away from debate and make it personal. I have no enemies on this site and I hope I don’t make any but certain people seem to post simply to bait another... and I can only feel after unfortunately reading this article/thread that this is the real problem and it will never go away, regardless of what is happening at the club.
Dave Wilson
29   Posted 11/07/2009 at 06:39:35

Report abuse


My what a huge vocabulary you have there.

If this isn’t a Literary willy waving contest already, then don’t bother letting me know when it develops into one — I won't notice the difference.

I wouldn’t dream of asking you to dumb down, but as this is a site for Evertonians do you think next time you post you might try to squeeze something in about the, er... Everton? Preferably in English

Oh btw, it wasn't a typo, it was a demonstration.
Ciarán McGlone
30   Posted 11/07/2009 at 07:54:33

Report abuse


Interesting responses to what was essentially a tongue-in-cheek article. So I guess it had the desired effect... People will never change the way they express themselves about Everton — and long may it continue.

Kevin Hudson, If you paid as much attention to the posts I’m responding to as you do mine, you’d have noticed that the term ’myopic’ was lifted directly from the previous AK post, in which he used the term himself. By the way... do you often criticise verbosity by using words such as ’eviscerate’?

Or accuse people of trying look intelligent while telling everyone you speak four languages?

Ray Roche
31   Posted 11/07/2009 at 08:10:56

Report abuse

Anyone else remember "Pseud's Corner"?
Tony Williams
32   Posted 11/07/2009 at 09:41:40

Report abuse

There are negative posers and there are positive posters, usually the extremes are few and the rest of us reside somewhere in the middle.

I know we are not supposed to say who can post and what but it does get a bit much when you have the same posters again and again telling us how good/bad a situation/game/player is.

Just a heads up, Negativity and Positivity expressed on a football forum has absolutely no effect on what happens on the pitch once the corrupt offici.... sorry, once the ref blows his whistle — and to think otherwise is just pain madness.
Alan Kirwin
33   Posted 11/07/2009 at 09:24:46

Report abuse

Sad to see some people actually taken in by what Kevin accurately described as self-serving guff.

Michael K has got it half right, in as much as most people experience a normal range of emotions when musing about their football team, and most can also put it into its true context.

Unfortunately, Mr McGlone has a less than tenuous link with such normality. It is precisely because this particular individual feels motivated to contribute on almost any topic in exactly the same way, not just negative, but often sneering, derisory and just simply mean, that irritates many regular readers & contributors.

Toffeeweb is not an intellectual wank, or a forum for taking the piss, or for out-smarting people. It is for Evertonians to share experiences, air views, positive and negative, and yes, to provoke thought. There are tons of people, Tony Marsh and Jay Harris to name but two, who are up on some things and down on others. But are broadly respectful of counter-views.

This article is meaningless... tongue-in-cheek even, as its author acknowledged. It means not a jot. When normal service returns you will find Mr McGlone incapable of suppressing his need (intellectual apparently) to piss on other people’s fireworks with monotonous, wrist splitting regularity.

Negative is not the new positive. However the perpetual nay-sayers try to justify their drone, it is often a reflection of how we each view the vicisissitudes of life itself. We all prefer it good, like we all want Everton to win everything. But when it doesn’t happen you have options, ranging from tearing your hair out, to blaming all & sundry, to cracking on with it and being grateful that we are so much better than we were a decade ago.

As for the reasons behind our relative transformation, that’s a whole new bunch of threads.

Don't be fooled by sophistry or intellect. Unless you find James Joyce titillating, this is not a man you’d like to share a pint with.

Editor's Note: Alan, if you are going to enter the Big Word arena with ones like "vicissitudes", ya just gotta spell it right or it spoils the whole effect.

Tony Williams
34   Posted 11/07/2009 at 09:44:59

Report abuse

Obviously should have been "plain madness" — posible Freudian slip!?
Shaun Sparke
35   Posted 11/07/2009 at 10:03:10

Report abuse

Whilst not wishing to be labelled as a caveman or a flowery word writing pounce, I would like to draw your attention to a quote that took me all of 2 minutes to find through the medium of the internet: "Do not accustom yourself to use big words for little matters. A man who uses a great many words to express his meaning is like a bad marksman who instead of aiming a single stone at an object takes up a handful and throws at it in hopes he may hit." — Samuel Johnson.

Come on lads, can we get back to the football now.

Shaun Sparke
36   Posted 11/07/2009 at 10:04:17

Report abuse

Oh and no prizes are given for the first person to point out that I should have said ponce and not pounce!
Brett Bradshaw
37   Posted 11/07/2009 at 10:27:59

Report abuse

If the positives hold a ’contradictory position’ moaning about the negatives then the negatives also hold that ’contradictory position’ as in your model states: the Greeks practising cynicism as a way of achieving happiness!

Don’t go slitting your wrists now! You are allowed to be happy.
Neil Pearse
38   Posted 11/07/2009 at 10:18:18

Report abuse

Interesting piece, Ciaran, but from my perspective I don’t think the negative / positive dualism (if we are going to get all philosophical) quite captures what goes on on ToffeeWeb.

I think there is a third position, which I like to think of as the ’Realist’ position (I think Alan Kirwan is the other poster on Toffeeweb who comes closest to this IMHO - although Alan can certainly speak for himself).

Us Realists are actually quite negative in some ways. We believe, for example, that we don’t have much money as a club relative to others, and that this is quite a big constraint on us. We don’t believe that a sugar daddy is around the corner, and we worry that the cure anyway might be worse than the disease. We believe that we have no dvine right to beat so-called ’smaller’ clubs than us (never mind bigger clubs like Chelsea just by playing Rodwell, as was suggested on here recently). Some of us even believe we might have to go to Kirkby, because we don’t have any better options in our currently poor state (although we would much prefer a ground share — the only sensible solution).

In short, we are not that positive about the world and our club in grand terms. We believe that we fell from the top tier in the late 1980s, and are going to find it pretty difficult to get back. Although bit by bit, with stability being the watchword, we may just do it.

In short, we believe that Nil Satis is a great aspiration that we should not lose, but not something that reflects our current status in the world.

On the other hand, us Realists find ourselves fighting quite a lot with the Negatives such as Ciaran. Why? Because they are not very realistic! Take Osman and Hibbert. Fine to criticise them. Does anyone on ToffeeWeb seriously think, for example, that they are as good as Baines and Pienaar (let alone as good as, say, Cole and Malouda)? Of course not. But the Negatives trumpet this as if it has nothing to do with the essentially Realist fact that, currently, they are all we can afford. It seems in our next round of spending — come in, Mr Naughton — we are scraping the pennies together to address this weakness. That is how it is in the real world.

I could go on: Everton play defensive first football, Moyes is cautious, we should build our own world class stadium in the city, Kenwright should find the money for £20M players etc. etc.. etc..

Oddly enough, to us Realists these are not so much Negative positions, as Romantic positions. Forget our current actual real state, we should watch flowing attacking football every week in the Merseyside equivalent of The Emirates. This is just not Real!

To the Realist, the arch Positives and the arch Negatives finally look much the same. Both of them have lost touch with the real world and our current place in it. The Positives (Doddy et al) think we are already in Nirvana. This is utterly crazy. The Negatives (Marshy, Ciaran etc.) think that Nirvana is owed to us and is only just around the corner if we just got rid of Kenwright. This is utterly naive.

Nirvana is not coming to us anytime soon. So us Realists try to get some pleasure from the fact that, although we are a gulf away from the top four currently on all dimensions, we have actually done pretty well in recent years and our club is certainly more on the up than the down. Is that Positive or Negative?
Steve Edwards
39   Posted 11/07/2009 at 10:17:42

Report abuse

Alan Kirwin - You may find it difficult to share a pint with Ciaran for one good reason. I know its hard to believe but last year he admitted on this site that he was only twelve years old! He could be thirteen now. The sort of person who was born middle-aged, we’ve all met them.
Stephen Kenny
40   Posted 11/07/2009 at 11:09:39

Report abuse

I think the reason you posted was due to a discussion (argument) on a different thread? If I’m right you were asked for your views on Everton FC? Where we are? Who do you rate at the club? How do you think we can imporove as a team/club?

I’d be interested as in the past you have made some very astute observations. Although these are usually tempered with stinging criticism of certain individuals.
Ciarán McGlone
41   Posted 11/07/2009 at 11:15:15

Report abuse

Alan K,

You’re nothing but a hypocrite... and a scorned one at that.
Jon Beck
42   Posted 11/07/2009 at 12:23:14

Report abuse

Good read, Ciaran, and some interesting responses. My comments, for what they are worth: I don’t like generalisations, real life is never black and white and shouldn’t be polarised as such, critique and debate are good as long as they remain objective. However, so much "debate" on here is couched in terms of personal abuse and inane name-calling, which means it loses all credibility. This is not unique to the negative camp by the way. Finally, I have to agree with Kevin Sparke, what we debate here doesn’t really change anything Everton-wise so it’s all pretty academic, still it helps fill the day.
Dave Wilson
43   Posted 11/07/2009 at 13:23:06

Report abuse

Neil Pearce

You are absolutely priceless. In a discussion between the half-full / half-empty on this site you want to introduce a third more enlightened party... The Realist.

The realist enjoys a clarity of vision he occupies a higher plain and warra ya know... you are one of them!

You’ve spouted some shite in your time but that takes the biscuit.

Don't get me wrong, you are very obviously an intelligent man, but I sometimes read your posts and think you’ve probably stayed in for the first 38 years of your life, I’ve met trappist monks who are more street-wise.

You’d believe there was fairies at the bottom of your fucken garden if Bill Kenwright told you so.

Simon Kirwan
44   Posted 11/07/2009 at 15:57:17

Report abuse

Anybody translate that?

I need a beer.
Neil Pearse
45   Posted 11/07/2009 at 17:00:02

Report abuse

Dave, where did that come from? I suppose there is a fourth category - not Positive or Negative or Realist, but just Personally Abusive. What are you so angry about?

On Kenwright, I don’t believe half of what he says, as it happens. I have criticised him many times on this site, and even called repeatedly for him to step aside for a richer owner. What is your problem Dave?
Richard Jones
46   Posted 11/07/2009 at 17:41:45

Report abuse

Lord save us from Neil Pearce. So you're a realist now Neil? how can that be?

You’re reasons for agreeing with Kenwright and the move to Kirkby despite all the figures and tangible proof against Kirkby was quite simply and I quote you "why not?" — if that's not blind optimism... In fact, I would call it irrational... particularly when you look at the credibility the man who is leading you there has.

Anyway, Neil, I'll leave you to get battered again on everything from finances right back to the NTL deal.

And Neil, Kenwright's club's finances are not on the up by a long way — let's get that straight. I gave you figures the other day on a thread and you offered weak excuses about how we were doing relatively well when compared with other clubs. As usual, you disappeared when the figures I provided showed Blackburn's very healthy equity and income gearing figures.
Dave Wilson
47   Posted 11/07/2009 at 19:12:36

Report abuse


I’m not angry, but I was really annoyed earlier when I read your post
You said : "we realists believe we dont have much money as a club, relative to others". You also claim you (realists) "dont think there's a sugar daddy around the corner" and that "we (the realists) don't believe we have a divine right to beat so-called smaller clubs".

Sorry mate, these are not the exclusive thoughts of the "realists"; by claiming that, you’re insinuating that the rest of us can't see the blindingly obvious.

I’ve read my post again and accept, I was out of order, it was a bit of a two-footed challenge, but I’ve read yours again and I’m afraid I still find it insultingly patronising.

Marco Buonfiglio
48   Posted 11/07/2009 at 20:44:58

Report abuse

Jaysus Christ Almighty. Will everybody just calm the feck down? We’ve got Darth Ferg going from purple to vermillion; Pére Wenger losing control of his Spanish academy; Ancelotti (in several languages) trying to figure out what the hell England’s Brave John Terry actually wants, el Camarero Gordo clinging on to Mascherano and Alonso’s ankles, and Mark Hughes, wandering around with a bemused expression on his face, wondering who all these Brazilians are. Meanwhile, it’s not August yet, and Moyes has snapped up Naughton, and got Jo for another twelve months on loan.

It’s not perfect, but life as an Evertonian never is. Life itself never is. Negitivistas, Positivistas, I wish you both well, you both have to read the same news. I wish I could call myself a Realista, but I can’t, because I’m an Everton fan. When we’re good, we’re very, very good. When we’re bad, I suffer. But whatever we do, I can always talk to my Da about us.

We’re not Manchester United. We’re not Chelsea. We’re not Arsenal. We’re not Liverpool. We’re not Plymouth Argyle or Carlisle United. We are Everton. Summus quod summus.
Mike Allison
49   Posted 11/07/2009 at 23:14:01

Report abuse

Neil, he’s got a point. The idea you propose, that you’re the enlightened middle way, is ridiculous, and shows a blinded misunderstanding of the nature of subjective thought.

You’ve basically said ’everyone else has there crazy extreme point of view, but look at me, I’m the rational one and if only they could think like me’ while simply putting forward another subjective viewpoint.

We’ve been talking about ’positives’ and ’negatives’ as if it's a real dichotomy, but it isn’t. The truth, as ever, is that almost everyone is both at different times and about different things. There simply is no middle way between them, there’s just different combinations. The idea that some people out there are the ’realists’ and they actually properly understand what’s ’really’ going on, is about as stupid and arrogant as you can get.

There is no ’real’ apart from our actual league position or performance in cups. This means all you’re allowed to say as a ’realist’ is ’we came fifth and got to the cup final’, you can’t even add ’and that’s good’ or ’and that’s not good enough’ because they’re subjective judgements.

For everything else, abstract concepts like ’progress’, or ’improvement’, judgements are going to be subjective, this means that ’real’ simply doesn’t exist, so to claim to be a ’realist’ is just to be the same as everyone else but uniquely blind to that fact. At least everyone else realises it.
Mike Allison
50   Posted 11/07/2009 at 23:24:42

Report abuse

By the way, is Ciaran 13? Can you tell us please mate, I want to know now.
Derek Thomas
51   Posted 12/07/2009 at 02:35:25

Report abuse

So the Harry Lime of labels has appeared... The realist. If you think about it — and yourself, I for one am a bit of a 'being the best of the rest is not good enough' negative. But have on the odd time seen that my mood moves about a bit. And that my ’swing-o-meter' is governed by many things, including the result and manner of the last game.

So, all-in-all, labels are a bit of a movable feast and I have spouted before about the ability of fans and people to indulge in doublethink or even triplethink.

When we’re grouchie, it’s "turn that down!"; when we’re happy, we hum a long or at least tolerate what passes for music coming from the kids' room.... see what I mean? Get over it.
Stewart Littler
52   Posted 12/07/2009 at 03:07:36

Report abuse

"I was recently told that I should "stop being negative" and write my own article "on all things Everton"."

Oh, hello, I thought, an article from Ciaran. And then... what exactly? Where were ’all the Everton things’?

I don’t wanna get into a slanging match with anyone, but I have only ever seen this guy post negative comments. There’s negative, positive and balanced, e.g:
your hair is great (+ve)
your hat is shite (-ve)
your hat is shite but your hair looks great (balanced)

I hope I have given you an insight into how I, as one of your critics (on one or two occasions) view your negativity. At the same time, feel free to have a negative opinion. But if you're gonna write an article, at least make it a good one (maybe a super negative article on your favourite shit player?)
Steve Edwards
53   Posted 12/07/2009 at 11:26:13

Report abuse

Mike Allison — that's what he said. He got a bit of stick as a result, not because of his age but because he’s a condescending arrogant little sod. I think he realized that he’d slipped up, he likes people on here to think he’s an adult.

He then changed his name to Ciaran Mac Giollaeoin. It was obviously him, the same condescending arrogant attitude as before, he can’t help himself and he admitted it when I put it to him. He’s now back as McGlone banging on the same old drum.

Kevin Hudson
54   Posted 12/07/2009 at 12:25:06

Report abuse

Dave Wilson, Are you normally the type of fella who picks a fight with two people on the same day? "I’m not angry, but was really annoyed," nice contradiction there... Your petty one-upmanship would charitably be descibed as argumentative, and mouthy in real life.

Before you predictably accuse me of hypocrisy, I will clarify, that with Ciaran’s track record of incitement, I thought he was wide open to the charges I made; on reflection, I agree fully with the point you made about my linguistic hypocrisy. Could I get away with classifying it as deliberate irony?? Probably not...!! So, I concede that point, and move on... fully expecting you to be one of these people to insist on having the final word... But you will probably now call my bluff!!!!

Yet I still have no clue what "lol’d," means: Ciaran also used it, and if the rumours about him being 13 are true, then I would assume it’s teenage text-speak, so your "demonstration," falls on deaf ears (or eyes) and your mockery of my language, laughable.

Ciaran, If it’s true that you are only 13, then I take my hat off to you. Winding people up is a lot of fun at that age! Your evident intelligence would spot being patronised a mile off, and I won’t do it. I liked your comeback, and in the context of you supposedly being teenager, I can regard your posts in a slightly skewed context.

That being the case, your posts are well-informed, entertaining reads! And I apologise for jumping down your throat, kid!
Dave Wilson
55   Posted 12/07/2009 at 13:52:50

Report abuse

Kevin Hudson

Haven't you made enough of a tit of yourself for one thread? You tried to act superior and were deservedly ridiculed. Move on.

If you want to talk about Everton, great, I’ll debate / argue / agree with you till the cows come home. If you don't, then please don’t address your next post to me.
Dave Wilson
56   Posted 12/07/2009 at 14:39:44

Report abuse

Just realised what's being said here... Yer mán thirteen?

He must have been drinking in the Royal Oak since he was nine.
Mike Green
57   Posted 13/07/2009 at 09:33:31

Report abuse

Note to the Editor

Michael - you’re right. What I meant to say is people who are consistently negative are the ones with issue.

Say I have a huge row with my missus at 2pm before trotting up the road to watch the game. I’m livid about what’s gone on, have a pint but it’s still in my system. 3pm kick off, ref makes a shocker of a decision and I go wild.

My third child is born. I trot up the road to watch the game, walking on air. I have a pint to celebrate. 3pm kick off, ref makes a shocker of a decision and I honestly couldn’t give a toss.

Get it?
Alan Kirwin
58   Posted 13/07/2009 at 09:42:16

Report abuse

Extraordinary outburts against Neil Pearse.

Any half-wit can see what Neil is saying. That the "realists" as he calls them know & see all the same things as the perpetual whingers, but can more easily put it in context or get over it, or balance it out, because there are other reasons to feel good, or even more important things to get upset about.

It’s a quaint paradox that pretty much proves his point. Neil’s view seems to be you don’t have to vent your splein at the drop of a hat or always look to blame someone when something doesn’t go as you wished. And this view results in several spleins being vented at Neil himself because he dare suggest it.

He wasn’t suggesting superiority, just difference. Although a brief scan of the splein venting at Neil’s views suggests that some fans do feel intellectually threatened by this innocent & entirely peaceful observation.

Enough rope?
Mike Allison
59   Posted 13/07/2009 at 10:24:27

Report abuse

No Alan. I normally tend to agree with you on here but what Neil’s said is ridiculous, and of course he’s suggesting superiority.

To even use the word ’realist’ in this context suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of ’reality’. As I said before, there’s no such thing as ’real’ in a football debate other than the cold hard facts of where we finish in the league and what round of the cup we get to. Everything else is just another opinion, and Neil’s is no more ’real’ than anyone else’s. Something which everyone else seems to realise except him, and perhaps you.

So, while any half-wit might see what he’s saying, us non-half-wit’s will take exception to it.
Dave Wilson
60   Posted 13/07/2009 at 10:43:51

Report abuse

Ah, another realist, lol.

Alan, Does it ever occur to you that Ciarán takes such obvious delight in systematically dismantling your points is because you more or less invite it, you continually portray yourself — just as Neil and Kevin have done on this thred — as somehow intellectually superior; you're not... and more to the point, if you were, you would impress no-one on this site.

If you want to impress us then do it through your knowledge of things Everton... otherwise you become the very thing you seem to want accuse everyone else of ... wrist-slittingly boring.
Kevin Hudson
61   Posted 13/07/2009 at 16:06:24

Report abuse

Dave Wilson just can’t help himself — and his obduracy has now become cliched...’ Am I the only one who’s noticed his behaviour on this thread is EXACTLY in sync with the inferiority-complex driven allegations he’s laid at my door? (Of which, I’ve offered some distinct retractions, in the spirit of being ACTUALLY open to considering alternative opinion...)

He, on the other hand, knows it all!! Alan Kirwan makes a calm, balanced statement... and HE can’t help himself! That’s 3 people he’s offered out now. For God’s sake - someone get that man a woman!!!

Can I offer my position, in keeping with the supposed debate; taking my cue from Neil Pearse (who made SOME decent observations by the way) in declaring myself an Optimistic Realist. (And why the fuck are we arguing semantics, anyway; who cares?)

Or would I again, be dissappearing, up my own proverbial? If someone holds a view that happens to be dinstinct from his, apparently "they’re acting superior..." That says a lot, I think... Alan Kirwan gives him enough rope; and, he, again, kicks the chair from under his own feet. So, I fully expect another caustic and bitter riposte, hoping as he’s thinking one up, that he remembers he is not the site moderator, and that all opinion is not required to pass his unique test.

So jumped-up is he, that he specifically instructed me not to address my next post to him. His arrogant demand has been met... One must defer to superiority, I guess.....
Kevin Hudson
62   Posted 13/07/2009 at 17:10:29

Report abuse

Apologies, by the way, to The Toffeeweb Team, and Moderators if this is getting predictably petty... This isn’t my usual style!!

I’m now stepping away from it.
Dave Wilson
63   Posted 13/07/2009 at 19:25:04

Report abuse


And Everton?
Steve Edwards
64   Posted 13/07/2009 at 19:27:25

Report abuse

...and here’s me thinking Evertonians were a band of brothers! I’m feeling slightly disillusioned at the moment.
Dave Wilson
65   Posted 21/07/2009 at 10:37:25

Report abuse

Will the real realist please stand up

A couple of weeks ago, right here on ToffeeWeb, a new type of Evertonian suddenly appeared. At first I thought they were few in number — two it was claimed at the time — but over the past week or so I have realised this was just a ploy to avoid detection; there is an army of them and they are right here amongst us, Their numbers grow every day, they are everywhere...

ToffeeWeb is under attack! It's slowly being taken over by... THE REALIST!

The Realist has no joy in his heart, he is without ambition... and his Raison D`étre is to crush everybody else's. As a Blue it is your duty to stop him.

The first job is to identify the "Realist"; be careful, he`s cunning and he won't always declare himself... but he may give himself away by using extremely long words in an effort to demonstrate his superior intellect and business acumen.

Look out for these tell tale signs:

1: He will react hysterically to any criticism of the club — especially the chairman;

2: The difference between a rich club and a big club will be totally lost on him;

3: Despite not attending the games, he will feel qualified enough to insist that Goodison has the cheapest seats, even though 10 Premier League clubs were charging less to watch Category A games last season;

4: He can - and will - give you a full and detailed account of Sir Philip Green's business pedigree... unfortunately, he won't be able to tell you a single thing Sir Philip has done for Everton;

5: He will overlook the fact that for years we`ve lagged behind clubs half our size when it comes to selling club Merchandise and, despite BK being at the helm, he will be exonerated of all blame, However, The Realist will proclaim the belated opening of a shop in Liverpool 1 as a stoke of genius;

6: Despite all evidence to the contrary, The Realist will tell you it would be impossible to build a stadium at the bottom of Scottie Rd... or to gradually re-build GP.

7 : When Keith Wyness insisted all alternatives to Destination Kirkby had been explored, it was The Realists who believed him;

8: The Realist will react angrily to anybody questioning Bill Kenwright's integrity — just because he has told one or two teeny weeny porkies;

9: He wants you to erase the club motto from your mind and never refer to it again;

10 : He will constantly talk down our club, He has no clue how much it's worth, or what the asking price is, but he can still tell you, with absolute certainty, that we are a very, very, very, bad investment

Beware The Realist!!!

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment to Fan Articles, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.

© ToffeeWeb

Latest News

Subscribe to The Athletic, Get 40% off

Online Football Betting with Betway

Bet on Everton and get a deposit bonus with bet365 at

Recent Articles

Talking Points & General Forum

Pinned Links


We use cookies to enhance your experience on ToffeeWeb and to enable certain features. By using the website you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.