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Expecting too much

By Alan Kirwin :  03/08/2009 :  Comments (44) :
IMHO there are too many Everton fans that expect too much. Few can articulate their aspirations as eloquently and gently as Christine Foster, and some actually expect and demand rather than aspire.

Sure, it’s easy to cast an eye down the East Lancs to veritable no-hopers who were in the 3rd tier not long ago, but now claim to be the world’s richest club. Things like that simply distort everything, football in particular, but also life itself for many — as is evident from their increasingly desperate posts on ToffeeWeb.

I don’t think there’s an Evertonian anywhere who wouldn’t want us to compete stronger in the transfer market, or to have some financial headroom to play as others do, although not as many others as some Evertonians claim.

Many talk about Everton as former greats, once great, truly great, pedigree, history etc etc. And of course some of this is true. But (at the slight risk of my stalker, D Wilson, accusing me of "talking down our great club, bla, bla, bla...") I think that, however much WE love Everton, it calms the mind and helps to appreciate what we are currently achieving by looking at our recent history.

We’ve had god & bad patches, or decades, throughout our history. The ’50s were poor, whilst the ’60s were pretty good (albeit only 1 championship & 1 FA Cup). So perhaps we should take a look at things from 1970. The year I started grammar school (Cardinal Allen) where I had several of Colin Harvey’s books.

We’d just won the league when I was 11. Most of us thought we’d have a chance of the European Cup. But we lost in the QF to a Panathinaikos away goal. They got to the final (at Wembley). Probably the first big "should’ve been" of my life as an Evertonian.

Alas, one piss poor Milk Cup final aside, the 70s were poor. Couple of near missed under Gordon Lee, but nowt much to rave about.

The ’80s started the way the ’70s ended. Poor, getting poorer. In fact right up until December 2004 under Howard, we were bad. Those were the days when 13,000, yes, 13,000, turned up for a league game at Goodison.

But it all changed one cold night at the Manor Ground, and the next 5 years were almost non stop bliss.

Then the ’90s came... and went. With the exception of an FA Cup win and one season where we flattered to deceive when the flying Russian was runing havock and looked like scoring whenever he got the ball. But we flirted with the big R on too many occasions. I can hear the words now "a club of our size / stature / history / pedigree / etc etc...". Yeah, yeah, yeah. Newcastle. Man City. Leeds. And so on.

The new millenium started the way the ’90s ended. Fairly miserably.

And then Bill Kenwright decided enough was finally enough under Walter. He looked tired & the team looked dead. And Bill took a punt on a young & hungry manager with it all to prove at the highest level. It hasn’t been all plain sailing. We’ve had a couple of nightmares. Some independent pundits, most of them experienced and well informed, have eulogised about Everton’s "relative success" both on and off the pitch in recent years. This view doesn’t find favour with some TW contributors who judge themselves to be more astute in such matters.

Is there such a thing as "relative success? Well, that just depends how much you like context. Some like none of it, whilst others (such as myself) see it differently. I believe success has to be judged by the full context in which it is achieved. Money rules the roost more than ever before. Everton finds itself at a major disadvantage to the Sky 4, and Man City, and perhaps to London based clubs, all because of money.

But this is not a simple canvas to paint in which the villain always looks like Bill Kenwright, as some simpletons believe. The roots of this imbalance can be found in history, misfortune and demographics.

It is to Man Utd’s eternal relief that they broke a barren spell of 27 years without a Championship trophy at precisely the time the EPL & all its hullaballoo was launched... and Sky did the rest.

It is to Chelsea’s relief that, rather than enter administration, a certain Russian oligarch who amassed unmitigated billions through unfathomable methods, took a shine to a club with the finest real estate base of any club in the EPL, and possibly the world.

It is to Liverpool’s credit, I guess, that they amassed a world wide following from over 20 years of constant success. It just kinda happens like that. Kids and the unaligned follow the winners.

And it is to Arsenal’s huge credit to have appointed a man such as Arsene Wenger, who has gone from unknown to genius and visionary. He too has delivered success without spending the huge fortunes thrown around by others. So it can be done, to a point.

And it was not Everton’s fault, and certainly not Bill Kenwright’s fault (last time I checked) that fans of Liverpool & Juventus ran riot and caused a long ban, at precisely the start of the most successful period in Everton’s history. The cost to us of that ban can only be imagined over several pints (or rose wines). We lost players to Rangers because they were in Europe. It was tragic, but the rot was beginning to set in.

And so to the simple conclusion. Firstly, the rots of our current predicament are not the sole domain of Bill Kenwright. That’s just rot. Had we not been banned from Europe the who knows where we would have been in the 90s, and where our fan base and revenue model would be today. But many of the malcontents on TW constantly overlook the fan base issue because it is at odds with their idyll of Everton reigning supreme over all. The reality is different. We only fill our stadium once a year. We have no waiting list for season tickets. There is no golden goose to lay the egg of a new stadium in the way that Arsenal had, or Spurs seem to have. We have the 10th best gates out of 20. It has been this way for most of recent times. And, perversely, as our relative success has increased under Moyes, our relative standing in the support stakes has declined. So work that out and explain what it is that underwrites our claim to be "big" and "great" and to "deserve to be at the top" etc etc.

Fact is, on top of our declining support, the last 40 years has yielded 3 championships, whilst the preceding 30 years yielded just 1. So that’s 4 in 70 years. And we’ve won the FA cup twice in that 40 years.

So look, whilst we all love Everton and we all want to win the league, play great football and thrash Liverpool, can we dispense with the ubiquitous bollocks about how great we are and we deserve this and that? A fan's love of a club can be limitless, his or her hopes and aspirations can be orbital, but when it comes to expectations, please, excuse the facts and take a reality check.

There are plenty of reasons to be cheerful. You just have to look (in the record books).

Reader Comments

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David Hodgson
1   Posted 03/08/2009 at 21:28:22

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Well if i wasn’t already feeling down about us not having a pot to piss in, the lack of transfer activity, Lescott's "will he stay or will he go?"’ situation, DK etc etc then after reading your article I am now Al! I can hear the chant now ’AND IF YOU KNOW YER HISTORY ITS ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU.............realise we’re not actually as big and great as we think we are!’
Keith Glazzard
2   Posted 03/08/2009 at 21:37:51

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Jeez Alan - you really are risking the wrath of the NSNO tattooed in this manifesto, but I’ll go along to the extent that I never, ever want to stare relegation in the face again.

The past, for all its glories, leaves us with no points on the board on August 15th so we are naturally anxious (sorry, I speak for myself), and we want the squad to be ’strengthened’. Now, to some people this seems to mean buying someone to replace, for example, Mikel. All I really want is him back for the next few years.

Wallace and Baxter will be called on to perform at the highest level this season. It might not work, and those calling for ’investment’ — being bought by an oil sheik? — will have their point. But if we get through, doing well, this will have been the best kind of investment you can make.
Alan Clarke
3   Posted 03/08/2009 at 22:00:37

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Contrary to your belief, Alan, that everyone on here is desperate or expects too much or are a bunch of moaning bastards, I actually think most Evertonians who post on here are the biggest realists I’ve ever come across. I don’t think many of us expect or even want some billionaire to come in and fund an enourmous spending spree.

We just want progress, even if it’s small; we just want progress. I would be quite content this summer if all that happens is we sign a right back with at least some ball control and a winger to replace Osman on the right. This should be able to be done at a cost of less than £15 million. It’s just a massive shame that a club who finished 5th and reached the FA Cup Final cannot find even the smallest amount of funds to invest in the team and match some of the manager’s ambition.

Maybe they’ll pull some out of the bag but, as each week passes, it seems less and less likely we’ll sign anyone. If we do it, makes Moyes’s job harder because they’ve not had the pre-season to become part of the team.

As a realist, I can see all of last season’s hard work slipping away.
Gerry Western
4   Posted 03/08/2009 at 22:11:40

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Alan, all rather long winded, a compilation from various threads and yet fails to mention our greatest single failure. We’ve failed miserably and consistently to market the club over the years and please don’t remind me that we’ve opened a new store in the city. That’s an insult to anyone's intelligence.
Gavin Ramejkis
5   Posted 03/08/2009 at 22:46:50

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Verbose and full of spelling mistakes, I hope your grammar school teachers don’t read it. Alan Clarke pretty much nailed a good response in that a realistic and not moaning request from the most realistic of Everton supporters is to ask the question why we are called to accept stagnation? The manager and players in his charge pull a great season out of the bag from a truly hideous start and we all expect the next step to build upon that.

We are all aggrieved that, yet again, the cupboard is bare and wonder just what DM and the team have to do... how long they are expected to over-achieve and how long they can remain as an operational unit before the economics of this poorly run club lead to another sale and the manager being asked to pick up the pieces and start all over again.

The smugness of using the line "simpletons blame BK" is an affront to everyone who has questioned his motives, lies and failures as chairman of the club; Alan, if the chairman of a company isn’t ultimately responsible, then just who is?

Finally, as I mentioned in another thread, if history means nothing then what was it about Notts County that their new owners found so appealing?

Graeme Bradman
6   Posted 03/08/2009 at 22:37:04

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I think what upsets us most, and what makes us the Bitter Blues that many of us undoubtably are, is the decline in our financial clout since the European ban. Remember, we broke the British transfer record for Tony Cottee in 1988; we were able to persuade Ian Snodin to sign for us ahead of Liverpool in 1987. We could attract massive crowds to Goodison post war, crowds of over 50,000 to some games (not just Derby matches) in the 70s and over 40,000 for big matches in the 80s, our crowds were on a par with Arsenal before the EPL.

I think our failue to develop Goodison whilst others have made huge changes, plus the EPL coming 5 years too late, has cost us dearly. It is not just this board but previous ones since John Moores that need to take the blame.

We need a bold strategy to try to get back that lost ground. I think the Kings Dock was a huge lost chance in this regard.

Brian Waring
7   Posted 03/08/2009 at 23:17:06

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It is BK’s fault, when we feel that we have a great chance of kicking on, the tool comes out with his usual bullshit, and it ends up being just another false dawn.

The quicker the man sells up (ha ha ha... 24/7), the better. And please let's not have all the "He’s a True Blue" shite; being a True Blue doesn’t buy you quality players — hard cash does, and he hasn’t got a pot to piss in.
Christine Foster
8   Posted 04/08/2009 at 01:27:05

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Alan. I sat here scratching my head wondering just where the hell you are coming from. My post from which this thread is taken was on my hopes and aspirations, there was no direct attack on anyone in particular and a reference to wanting to have a stadium to be proud of.

The purpose of having hope is to look forward not back. My article was not a negative one but a HOPE of better things to come. Without hope, none of us would bother.

I have no intention of turning anything around and I stand by my words. I STILL live in Hope. Must be a cold place without it.

Christine Foster
9   Posted 04/08/2009 at 01:32:31

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And, if you read my article, nowhere in it do I say anything, imply anything or suggest in any way that we deserve to sit at the top table, or deserve anything. Nor did I say we are great... me thinks you read too much into what I didn’t say and little about what I did.
Hope is NOT a reality check ... that's just the point. Or did something escape you there? I hope not.
Neil Pearse
10   Posted 04/08/2009 at 03:31:03

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Ouch! A rather cold dose of reality Alan.

However, I think the key words in your piece are around the notion of ’relative success’, and how much the context around us matters.

Given our resources relative to the clubs both above us (tiny in comparison), and even many below us, our club’s success over the past several years is arguably just as great a success as what we achieved in the mid 1980s.

Of course, absolutely it looks like failure: we haven’t won anything. The real ’ouch’ in your piece Alan is that, in reality, we haven’t won that much over the last forty years either.

And Christine, I don’t see any lack of hope in what Alan says: just that hope starts with a proper appreciation of what we are already achieving, right here right now. And that we don’t always need to be comparing ourselves, especially in a completely new age, against a somewhat mythical past.
Jay Harris
11   Posted 04/08/2009 at 05:15:43

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as you sit with your bottle of Nuits St Georges (in fact your article would suggest you’ve had a case of it) you should remember that you called fellow Evertonians simpletons (which I am surprised and disappointed Michael didnt take you to task on)for calling into question Kenwrights capabilities as Chairman of EFC.

As I have previously stated I am very proud of what Moyes and the lads have achieved but my main beef with Kenwright is the man is a pathological liar and I cant stand liars.

Secondly there can be no doubt that the man is totally incompetent at whatever he does and says,in fact if he did what he said he wouldnt be so incompetent.

I would also take issue with your statement that he’d had enough of Walter and "Took a punt" on a young manager.

The supporters forced him to get rid of Walter Smith at the same time Bill was defending him with his famous "I talk to Walter everday" bullshit in fact "Walter" left on such good terms that he recommended DM to Kenwright who like the rest of the effort he makes probably couldnt be arsed looking at other candidates because Moyes will do and if it failed he could always blame Walter.

As it turns out that was a good decision but against that 4 chief executives in 8 years and a continuously deteriorating financial position which is his area of main responsibility cannot be excused especially when as other people have pointed out we have achieved good league positions and relative success on the pitch.

If you would park your arrogance for once and stop calling other posters simpletons for stating what they believe and listen to their point of view (you dont have to agree with it just dont ridicule it or misunderstand it) you would get a lot more respect on here.
Christine Foster
12   Posted 04/08/2009 at 06:49:28

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Neil, once more dear friends into the breach.. at no point did I compare any current situation to the past. Nowhere.

I do have an appreciation of our current standing both on and off the field and its not just a glass half empty/half full perspective, I hope its balanced.

But I object to those who would diminish a fans hope with a bucket of cold water called reality. Alan Kirwin is right in suggesting that we need to stop living in the past and appreciate what we have got but the world would be a miserable place if we didn’t hope that every now and again we turned over the RS, or landed a top four place or god forbid, could make a transfer bid and have it accepted.

So, don’t dare attempt to piss on my chips by telling me to be thankful for what I have got. I am sure history is full of condescending pragmatists bereft of Hope who have neither the vision, dream or desire to change, just as there are those who dare to believe that it could be better.
I am glass half full of hope and aspiration. It tastes a lot better than a glass of reality.
Dave Wilson
13   Posted 04/08/2009 at 08:16:20

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I was licking my lips when I started to read this, but you know what ? I started to feel sorry for you, you’re too easy a target. You truely are the school yard bully who everyone knows cant fight.

As this weeks nominated stalker - please get help for that paranoia - I feel I should, on behalf of the simpletons the malcontents and the desperate point out the importance of accuracy when you write an article based stats.
otherwise . . . . you just look a tit again
Sam Morrison
14   Posted 04/08/2009 at 09:14:34

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Alan, asking people to consider the context of a given situation is a good call, and it is something that is too often ignored IMO. But the tone of your article wins nobody over, and in the case of BK is a little selective to say the least. And as Christine says, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of hope. There has to be room to dream as well as take a reality check, or what’s the point?
Alan Kirwin
15   Posted 04/08/2009 at 09:02:08

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Dear me.

Firstly thanks Neil P for getting it. Odd how you seem to pick up on things others have difficulty with.

To Christine, your piece was the genesis of this and there’s no wish to attack you when broadening this out. But let me put the point it in more blunt terms. I explicitly stated that there’d nowt wrong with hope and aspirations. But for those of us, including you and I, of above average intelligence there actualy is, and its this.

Hope has to have context or basis to avoid being banal & irrelevant. Your hopes for EFC are laudable, in a sense. But they are also naiively detached, in another sense. You’re entitled to have them, but it’s almost as though you hope for Everton to display the financial prowess of Goldman Sachs, the brand awareness of Virgin and the humane inclusivity of the Cooperative Society. So, sure you can hope, but why?

I could wake up every morning hoping to have an extra £10 million in my savings account and the world’s largest penis. But I know in my heart that one of those things is just not going to happen (I don’t have a savings account). So I keep my hopes in check and look for the good in every day. I have a little friend, Jane, who’s always full of hopes and wishes. She took a job at Happy Snaps in Littlehampton because she knows that, by working there, one day her prints will come...

Sorry, couldn’t resist that :)

I am a contented Evertonian Christine, but contentment does not replace hope and desire, nor fervour. It means that I do not wrap myself in a Latin motto and lie awake crying because we are not league champions and playing like the 1970 Brazil team, or that we don’t have the brand awareness of Man Utd. To read some posts on here (they now who they are) one gets the impression that I’ve perhaps understated that!

I’m contented because (now read this carefully you malcontents, whingers, moaners and simpletons out there) we have spent most of the past 40 years, or 50, or whatever, not winning things and often being decidedly mediocre. Now there I go again talking down our great club, Nil Satis Nisi Medocritum, oh you bastard! But as recently as the last decade we flirted regularly with relegation. And yet, we can apparently all forget that now and just keep looking up to the big blue Sky.

Seems we can just forget the damage, unarguably long term for EFC, effected by the Heysel ban. And the incremental financial damage done by being shite for the vast majority of the EPL/Sky hegemony whilst the Sky 4 were coining it in. The NTL thing was also just unlucky timing. All those media companies imploded one by one and we missed the boat. But we were also in turmoil off the pitch so, blame on if you wish, but it’s never as simple as that.

Seems we should also forget that we have many fans who expect so much from the club, but give so little to it. So there are 9 teams with higher average gates than us, and yet those teams aren’t allowed to indulge in the expectancy of Everton fans because, as we know, it’s only 22 years since our last title and we have won 4 in 70 years. So for some fans (obviously not YOU Christine) we should be up there because we belong there. This kind of thinking is, how can I put it.....oh yes, bollocks.

Do you see it now Christine? please, do hope on, no worries, would that these hopes are satisified. But football, certainly in England, has become a money crazed monster and sometimes there are higher achievements. Yes, I’d like to see Moutinho and others arriving. Yes, it makes me a little flat that nothing is happening. But I also see grounds to be satisfied because 10 years ago we were shite, boring and farting around with relegation. Oops, there I go again, dissing our great club with inconvenient facts; who needs ’em hey?

As for Gavin’s English marking, thanks Gavin. I do, somewhat surprisingly perhaps, have a rather high English qualification. But I’ve also had 10 hours sleep in the past 6 days due to a sensational gig in Sweden. I was falling asleep as I was rattling my piece in last night. Don’t worry about my spelling. I don’t. And if you deign to read my piece, it does not say history means nothing. It actually says the exact opposite. You’re funny.

And finally the ubiquitous buffoon arrives. We knew he would. The man with nothing to say, and boy does he say it. Hey there simpleton! Now go off and give your left arm some more exercise & leave things you don’t understand alone. There’s a god chap :)

I don’t know if you’ve read Nietzsche Christine, but he once said "Hope is the worst of all evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.". Bit brutal, but that encapsulates it.

And, for the eternally dissatisfied, you may wish to ponder on something the great Winston Churchill once said. "The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." Things may look difficult to some Evertonians, but I still see opportunity for the club I love.
Colin Potter
16   Posted 04/08/2009 at 09:38:56

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There’s only one simpleton on here Alan, after such a tit of an article, and that’s you. Stick to just reading the sensible articles that appear on toffeeweb.
Steve Hogan
17   Posted 04/08/2009 at 10:15:15

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Alan Kirwan, thank God someone can write an article based on reality rather then the hate filled diatribe against BK which often fills these pages.

BK has many faults but people don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

The same old people write the same old things time after time, I guess they must go to sleep trying to conjure up something else they can blame him for (swine flu outbreak, world recession etc).

Your article put everything into perspective, the trouble is it made uncomfortable reading for some as they faced the harsh facts of life for a club without a major benefactor.
Ciarán McGlone
18   Posted 04/08/2009 at 10:29:56

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Oh dear...the simple conclusion eh.

How about this for a ’simple conclusion’...success in the premiership requires two things....investment in the team and a good manager.

We have one of those things - the lack of the other is due to Bill Kenwright and no-one else. Even a simpleton malcontent could figure that one out.
Terry Maddock
19   Posted 04/08/2009 at 10:44:03

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Brilliant riposte Ciaran..!!!

And what do you blame the other 115 years of failure on...?
Ciarán McGlone
20   Posted 04/08/2009 at 10:37:08

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"But for those of us, including you and I, of above average intelligence there actualy is, and its this."

Terry Maddock
21   Posted 04/08/2009 at 10:56:01

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I believe the point of the article is not to dispel all hope,'s also not to run down the aspirations of the fans..

It is to basically point out that we are not ..and never have been..the football giant , that we try to portray ourselves as..

We can blame all and sundry till we are blue in the face ..but we are what we are..

Everton have won 15 "major trophies "in 131 years...we are , Im often told, in the results buisness..

Everton are very rarely in the winning cups buisness..

Arsenal= 27 major trophies
Man Utd=36 major trophies
Liverpool=40 major trophies

Even Chelsea are only 1 behind us..and we had a 27 year head start on them..!!!

On average we win a cup once every 9 years( to the nearest year)..
We are..average, our trophy haul is average..our gate size is average.....

The reality..and i know a lot of you hate that that we have always been ,on average , a top 7 or 8 side..thats our place in the scheme of things...
this doesnt mean that we as fans or we as a club cant aspire to greater things...But the club motto getting rammed down peoples ( Bills) throats as a means of saying where we should be..well its just words on a crest..its not what the club has stood for over the last 131 years...because for around 120 of those years ..we won zip...

Man utd and Liverpool win a trophy every couple of seasons..we win one a litlle less than every decade..

Kenwright is not a bad chairman...he’s just a poor one, by todays finances..

Record turnover of 80 million quid(ish) a wage bill of approx 70% of turnover...that leaves 24 million for admin costs..such as policing,utilities,travel etc and then we have to finance the debt...

So where do we get money to compete in the transfer market?

Its simple ..we cant....we are what we are..

calling for the managers head, lambasting the chairman for not giving him money, ..Its not seeing the wood for the trees...
We have had posters who have used WBA as an example of how the game should be they would rather we played like a team that was relegated...FFS.!
We are top of OUR league..we are playing every year in competition that we cannot win( along with 15 others)..

so " Relative success" if it exists ,would have us as the best we can be..and to still be the "Best of The Rest" after last years start was a miracle...that the chairman manages to re-finace/juggle/beg , steal and borrow enough to break our transfer record 3 years running is a miracle..

In fact..Its PROGRESS...
Thats what you are asking for..yes?
Have we progressed under BK..we are after all a football team/club..

Have we progressed under DM..?

He took over perrenial drop dodgers and turned them into "The best of the rest"..
I believe we have progressed..

I often see the phrases "glass ceiling" or "He has taken us as far as he can"...
Is this a bad thing..or is it just who we happen to be...
Do you want to win the league,? yes.!!
Do you want to win the cup.?..YES.!!
Do you EXPECT us to....!!! yes?

Why?...we are only the 5th best team with no money and average attendances...WHY do you EXPECT us to win things??????

We can all dream..I do..we can all hope..I do..
But..we are what we are..
Mike Green
22   Posted 04/08/2009 at 11:37:57

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For all of those that don’t agree with Alan KIrwin, instead of trotting out the same old "I’ve had ten pints so I’m going to say it I am I am" garbage can you please just point out rationally where he’s factually wrong.

"Yeah - but factually he’s not wrong - its just the beer talking...."

Well leave him alone then.
Alan Clarke
23   Posted 04/08/2009 at 11:24:01

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Mr Kirwin,

I once met the author of a famous book called " How to lie with statistics". The book basically tells you how to manipulate figures to your advantage but it also shows what a load of bollocks stats are. It’s how politics works I suppose. Labour declare succes in their overall fall in crime but the tories declare Labour’s failure in dealing with a rise in the nation’s ’fear of crime’.

My point is that although, Alan, you say 4 league titles in 70 years doesn’t equate to much success, my take on the stats are that we are the 4th most successful English club. That is where our raised expectations come from.

When you talk about our low attendance figures, you fail to mention other times when Goodison has been packed to the rafters such as the boxing day game in the 1960s against Burnley where over 70,000 filled Goodison. When our attendances were low in the 80s, all other clubs were experiencing low gates. So relatively speaking, our gates were still relatively high.

Our attendances have suffered more recently because of the high prices escpecially in those restricted views. For an individual, going to the game is still affordable but for a family to go it’s a bloody fortune especially when you add in refreshments and travel costs. When I worked in Liverpool recently for a couple of years I met loads of Evertonians who couldn’t afford to go to the game anymore. Everton are still ’the peoples club’ in terms of how Moyes described us but many of ’the peoples’ have now been priced out. Look at the figures for how few youngsters go to the game now. I suspect this has a lot to do with the price it is to go as a family. We also have a massive away support still so I don’t think calling on attendances figures proves the size of our club.

You know, Alan, that Everton are a massive club and I’m sure you feel proud of that fact when you think about it. You just seem to have used statistics to try and prove we’re a small club and therefore we should only have small aspirations.
Dave Wilson
24   Posted 04/08/2009 at 10:56:22

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Steve Hogan

Hard facts of life ? your having a laff mate

Lets examine the "facts"

1: "apart from on piss poor cup final the seventies were poor" - Sorry, but the rest of us watched The best ever Everton team run away with the title at the start of that decade

2 :
The fans of Lpool and Juve caused a ban right at the start of our most succesful period - actually we only one one title after that in 87

3 : we are the 10th best supported team in the prem - wrong again, only eight teams had better attendances than us last season

4: "This is not a simple canvas to paint, in which the villain always loooks like BK, as the simpletons would have you believe, the roots of imbalance can be found in history" - when BK arrived at Everton, our trophy hall matched closely or bettered just about every other club in the country, with the exeception of RS, any real imbalance has developed on his watch.

5 : Na, forget it, its too easy everything this fool says is wrong

Alan Kirwin

I have good news and bad news for you

the good news is : the second on list of hopes you gave to Christine is actually true

the bad news is : its on your fucken shoulders

get back to us when you know what your talking about
Ken Jones
25   Posted 04/08/2009 at 11:49:24

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I’m not sure all this talk of hope is appropriate for Evertonians. Surely walking with hope in one's heart has been done to death.
Ciarán McGlone
26   Posted 04/08/2009 at 11:43:52

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He’s wrong for several reasons. He ignores or blindly accepts the role that Mr Kenwright has had in all policy matters regarding everton in the last 8 years - and before. And tersely dismisses anybody who holds a contrary opinion to this - irrespective of the facts.

He also uses his article to personally attack other people with pejorative playschool name calling, rather than sound argument.

And finally the main point of his somewhat convoluted article (as far as I can make out) is that Evertonians have no right to aspire to anything on the basis of history. Now that in itself is a flawed analysis...In my opinion Evertonians are no different from any other football fan in this respect. They do not aspire to succes on the basis of history - they aspire to success because that is the zenith of aspiration in football. We all want to’s as simple as that.

To suggest that we should not hope for better - is about as ludicrous an argument as I’ve ever come across.
Lionel Luthor
27   Posted 04/08/2009 at 11:11:12

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I expect for the price of my season ticket ( and over 20yrs of loyal support ) :

* A team capable of passing a football accurately over ( at least ) 20yards.

* A manager who identifies our obvious weak areas and does SOMETHING to rectify them.

* A chairman who takes the rough with the smooth and speaks the truth.

* A transfer policy which enables us to conclude deals as quickly and privately as possible.

To my mind, these are not unfair expectations. I don’t expect us to spend silly money on players and wages, and i don’t expect us to be able to compete commercially with teams in the ’top 4’. ( yet )

That. however, is not the same as not expecting us to at least TRY and do that. Our marketing has been woeful but at least the opening of our new clubstore and Liverpool One store show signs of us moving in the right direction.

Regardless of our financial restraints, what is the point of playing players out of position? Take Leon Osman. He is wasted on the wing. He is too lightweight and has no pace. He is far better in a central position but even then, would he make a starting 11 when everyone is fit? No. So an accurate assessment of Leon Osman is a squad player who is played out of position. Why then, don’t we try and sell him?

Even if the funds we would receive wouldn’t buy us a quality winger, we would at least, within reason, be able to bring in a replacement who actually plays on the wing. If we have already agreed that Osman is a squad player played out of position, then surely a squad player who actually plays in the position he is asked to play in, would be more beneficial???

It is such things that really piss me off, not the fact that we don’t go out and bid £20m on players.

I expect some people would argue that we wouldn’t get offers for Osman, but that is as equally unsubstantiated as saying we would. No one knows until we try, but sadly, i would be VERY surprised if Moyes would want to move Osman on. Ditto the likes of Phil Neville. Yet without having sufficient funds to bolster the squad, maybe that is what needs to be done.

I would rather see Moyes gamble on selling the likes of Osman and Neville and replacing them with some untried players with potential. What have we got to lose when the continued square pegs in round holes scenario is at best, leaving us treading water in terms of squad improvement?

Christine Foster
28   Posted 04/08/2009 at 12:04:19

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Alan Kirwin, I couldn’t disagree more with your comments. On a broad basis hope is something that the human race depends on every day, every race, colour and creed. It gets them out of bed in the morning if they are lucky enough to have one. On a much narrower context I have hope for my family, children and the future, your analysis would deem that there is no point because the odds are stacked so badly against you its never going to happen.. except of course you forget that one of the biggest countries in the world aspires to hope every day, its almost its by line. The USA mantra believes that even the lowliest citizen can aspire to wealth and power. They built a country on hope and no matter the rights or wrongs that happen within that country, it inspires people to believe.

So back to football and our great club. Statistics are not the issue. Whats gone is not the issue. What every fan wants is a little hope and to see the flicker of what could be. I had it when I watch the team play the best game of football I have seen in years against Bolton last season. Some days it all comes together. Its those moment that make a life, that give you hope for a better time.
Hope has never tormented me, it has inspired me to better things. I think it inspires everyone of us. Every fan can dream, plan and know that they hope to see it come to pass. It may never happen, but every now and again it does, thats why we hope.

And lastly, your backhanded compliments as to my intellect are condescending, I chose my words as best I can and communicate in the only way I know. With passion and hope.
Alan Kirwin
29   Posted 04/08/2009 at 12:00:53

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Alan Clarke - You’re right in terms of what Everton means to me or you. To us it isn’t just big, it’s everything.

I haven’t tried for a second to portray us as a small club. We are not a small club by any measurement. But we are some way off what a few people suggest on here. And please Alan, don’t srape the barrel by referring back to big gates from a bygone era. Other clubs have had similar experiences, Chelsea, Man City and Charlton have all had gates over 80,000, whilst Queen of the South have had over 100,000.

It seems that some people are simply so simple as to be incapable of fervently supporting a football club & retaining a sense of realism. It is extraordinary that, no matter how things are spelled out to illustrate the true context, you’ll always find a Wilson or a McGlone who can only repeat back words from one’s own post with some perverse idea that they’ve gotcha :) Few tings as amusing as misplaced schadenfreude, ho ho ho :)

And Ciaran, do go back to the thesaurus you occasionally swallow and check the difference between hope and expect. You don’t hope, you expect. Otherwise you wouldn’t regularly whinge & whine like a door in a haunted house, or dive down the throat of those who see things less dark than you (like most of the human ace).

Listen (not to you Alan C) you chaps carry on. if and when you ever post something on this forum worth reading (i.e. not just another whinge, has some original content, doesn’t just slag off someone else, that sort of thing) then do let us know. Shame is, I’ll be too busy enjoying life, drinking summer wine & toasting Osman and Hibbert to give anything resembling a toss :)

How many "big" clubs have the 10th highest attendance in their league? how many have no waiting list for season tickets? how may have only been in the top 4 of their league once in 20 years? and how many have fans with invisible heads because they are so far up their arses looking for past greatness. Oh my dear :)

Thing is, the retorts from McGlone and Wilson are so arse-achingly vaccuous and predictable that I could almost write it for them. But no, let them do it....

Turn the record over you miserable bastards and smile more when you’re posting. You might like yourself better :))
Alan Clarke
30   Posted 04/08/2009 at 12:36:53

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Alan, you need to let Moyes know we’re not that big because there’s a direct quote from him recently saying "There are not many clubs bigger than Everton in England." I think Moyes needs a reality check!

I also think had we not demanded more from our club, Walter Smith would still be in charge. It was only because we demanded more that we’re in this position already. It’s blatantly obvious that we need someone in charge who can match at least our manager’s expectations if not some of the fans.
Ciarán McGlone
31   Posted 04/08/2009 at 12:40:53

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"And Ciaran, do go back to the thesaurus you occasionally swallow and check the difference between hope and expect. You don’t hope, you expect."


Ommiting the obvious irony of you scolding anyone on the use of a thesaurus...surely you actually meant a dictionary? And how exactly do you know I ’expect’ rather than ’hope’ - disregarding the tenuous semanticism you’re engaging in? Not content with being a belligerent little arse, you’re now fabricating other peoples opinions as a method of attacking that really indicative of that above average intelligence you so humbly credit yourself with?

I do look forward to your articles Alan, if only to gauge your level of arrogance at that point in time....I don’t usually bother looking for an articulate point. Because I’d be lost. And by the way - accusing others of ’slaging off someone else’ - whenever you’ve just posted a article that is clearly replete with personal malice...just about sums you up nicely.

Ad-hominem..and straw arguments. Great article.
Dave Wilson
32   Posted 04/08/2009 at 13:22:20

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My heart goes out to you, such a shame your article was littered with so many glaring inaccuracies, you tried so hard to impress too.

Still at least we know why 99% of your posts have very little to do with Everton.

Why not nip down to Tescos ? They’re knocking 3 bottles of plonk out for a tenner.

Go on . . . . go treat yourself

Chad Schofield
33   Posted 04/08/2009 at 13:48:06

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Good news Alan, your wish to have "the world’s largest penis" seems to have come true... it’s just a pity that it seems to have sprouted from your head.

P.S. Apologies for the base humour, by my intellect obviously is not as superior as yours.
Mike Green
34   Posted 04/08/2009 at 13:48:56

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Alan Kirwin - go on my son, give it to ’em.

What he’s trying to say gents is we all aspire for our club to be the best. However - we need to take stock of where we are in the footballing world at the moment and how we expect to get to the heights to which we aspire. You lot spend every waking hour critising the club in any way, shape or form that much I’m suprised you haven’t signed a petition to make him King - after all his view of where we are at the moment sounds far higher than most of the stuff that’s posted on here. If its not BK, it’s Moyes, if its not Moyes it’s DK, if it’s not DK it’s The Shoe, if it’s not the Shoe it’s Osman, if it’s not Leon its nur nur nur nur nur - nur nur nur nur nur.........!!!!!!!

I’M SICK OF IT!!!!!!!!

Think I’m going to unsubscribe. I’ve had enough.

Ciarán McGlone
35   Posted 04/08/2009 at 14:22:50

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You’ve had enough of what Mike?

Contrary opinions?

Jamie Rowland
36   Posted 04/08/2009 at 14:03:57

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Mike Green - love it...

Don’t unsubscribe though. Opinions are opinions - they are neither right nor wrong (apart from mine about Mark Hughes - he’ll be on the dole by New Year).

I like Osman - I think he’s a good player. He’s not lightweight - he handles and has handled a lot of decent midfielders in the past and last season was no exception. I have never blamed the Shoe. The only issue I have with EVerton is the lack of business ambition in exploiting all possible revenue avenues - I always feel that we are off the pace compared to other clubs.
I never truly blame Bill Kenwright - I’d rather him than Peter Johnson and I’d rather the current situation than a board that has over borrowed to buy us. (Kop Holdings for example). Who wants that? the shite certainly dont want it. The Mancs didn’t want it. Its a recipe for disaster.

ALAN KIRWIN - as for keeping it real...

I expect a decent finish. I want a top four finish - although I realise that this is very hard to achieve and unlikely (but it can be done) - 5th place is a reasonable expectation I feel.

transfers - a few decent signings for the next few seasons to maintain our ability to compete is all I ask for. The bargains are out there - we just need to get them.

Money - Everton is simply not a brand. The two lovely new shops and state of the art internet site are not enough. We are a good team now and we are putting ourselves on the map. Now is the time to try and exploit our current success. Our marketing sucks - it really does. Stallone came over a few seasons ago - it coincided with his new film and he used us as another publicity stunt to market his film. We should have exploited him as much as he exploited us - we didn’t. The people’s club - HOW THE FUCK did the club not register that as a trademark?!?!?!?!?!? As I said - marketing, which is as much about protecting a brand as it is growing a brand, is non-existent at the club.
Even the MASSIVE kitbag deal is suspect - ’approx £32m’ over TEN years - that wouldn’t even cover one top players wages if he stayed on for ten years. If we Double Lescott’s deal to keep him - £80,000 a week - thats ~£4m a year - so that wipes out the kitbag deal.

So keeping it real - I expect another good performance in the league and European qualification. I expect a few transfers - but no superstar this time around. I expect Lescott to stay at least until xmas (when the Jags is back) and I expect nothing to change in the boardroom.

I expect a move to Kirkby also - and I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing.

Jamie Rowland
37   Posted 04/08/2009 at 14:34:46

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Another point to keeping this all VERY REAL - please do not make debate personal. It is not meant to be personal, its a forum to aire opinions and thoughts in a bid to educate, argue and enlighten. Though I generally enjoy a good debate and I am an opinionated person,
I am also respectful of different perspectives. I don’t harbor grudges
and I don’t take debates personally. I’m glad to sit down at anyone’s
table, and discuss any matter - especially when it relates to Everton.

What I dont expect is my personal integrity to be attacked or my intelligence level (whether that be above, on or below average) to be mocked.

I also dont expect or condone anybody else, involved, to mock any other participant. The forum that is Toffeeweb, I believe, is open to everyone who wishes to state their point. Lets keep it that way and keep it above board. Leave the play ground antics (of which many of us are guilty of - including me) off this site.

I come on here to read your thoughts about Everton and see how other fans align with my own interpretations and opinions. I would like to keep it that way.
Mike Green
38   Posted 04/08/2009 at 14:53:58

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OK Jamie - I’m back in the game.

Thanks for pulling me back from the edge.

Alan Clarke
39   Posted 04/08/2009 at 15:18:51

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If you have a proper think about it Mike, you’ll find it is all Osman’s fault.
Mike Green
40   Posted 04/08/2009 at 15:20:37

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It’s not Alan - I asked him and he said it wasn’t his fault. He did point over at the Shoe at the time but didn’t say anything so not sure whether that meant it was his fault or not.

Besides - I blame Marco Matterazzi. If he’d stayed it would have been oh so different.
Stephen Kenny
41   Posted 04/08/2009 at 16:30:32

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You have just backed Mike and Alan for disagreeing with the percieved "negatives". You then listed a litany of complaints that these so called negatives have been discussing for months/years on this site. Make your mind up?


There is no such thing as context in sport and football. One man be it a player/manager/chairman can change a club from no-marks to european champions in under a decade. Of the Tony Marsh’s,Ciarans etc I have never seen them say we have a god given right to anything except a chance to achieve. I and many other’s dont feel this is the case at the moment and I and many others believe that there is one person in particular stopping this. If this belief makes me a simpleton so be it.
Michael Evans
42   Posted 04/08/2009 at 17:20:57

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Alan Kirwin - I think I was "Expecting too much" when I read your post.

I had hoped that it would give a Middle-ground position to the "Usual Suspects" of views expressed on TW of vitriolic attacks on Moyes,BK,Kirkby and everyone’s favourite whipping boys Hibbert/Osman OR the blind sychophantics who see BK as some sort of saviour who works 24/7 for the good of our beloved Everton.

A TRUE middle ground position would have enhanced debate - Sadly, we didn’t get that.

Instead, we got a post that dripped in hubris and condescension. You triumphantly claimed the intellectual high ground and then secure in your omniscience you dimissed any dissenting voices as "simpletons", "miserable bastards", "buffoons" or the "arse-achingly vaccuous".

The view from up there must be fantastic Alan - you’re welcome to it.

I prefer to keep my feet on the ground with the rest of the "simpletons".
Graeme Bradman
43   Posted 04/08/2009 at 19:28:54

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Its ridiculous to talk in terms of success in league championships / trophies only. What we are looking for is to have the chance to compete for the title again. In the 60’s we were always in the running, always a big player. 5th,4th,1st,3rd,4th,11th (but won FA cup),6th,5th,3rd,1st). Our crowds until the EPL and local economic decline were always comparable with the other big clubs. I was at Old Trafford at the turn end of the eighties for a midweek league game with i think less than 40,000 in the ground.The European ban and EPL was a watershed but up untill then we could compete with anybody
Lionel Luthor
44   Posted 05/08/2009 at 11:55:02

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Did anyone else notice how relatively fast Villa got Delph signed? I know there wasn’t the issue of other clubs using spoiler tactics as Leeds had made it clear they were only going to deal with Villa, but even so, it was still done and dusted within 36hrs or so.

How long will we drag our feet over the Senderos deal?

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