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Child-like innocence

By Jamie Crowley :  15/08/2009 :  Comments (12) :
Children are our greatest gift. They show us exactly what we should and can be. Innocent. Full of awe. Eager to learn. Full of energy and ambition.

I know this. If it isn't due to my memories of myself as a child, it's due to the fact I witness it every day: I have 5 sons of my own. I watch them and learn from them. They connect me to an innocence lost with adulthood. An inexplicable energy, optimism to all things, and naivety which is refreshing and enviable.

And I feel like them this evening — full of optimism, anticipation, wonder, and energy for the season to begin. I think we all need to capture that aura, at least for a few hours tomorrow. Why focus on a lack of signings? We've held onto our top players. Why constantly bring up the gulf in funds? We'll sign players before the end of August. Why worry about transfer dealings? Real world economics will always find a prudent end-game. Why perpetually focus on Bill Kenwright's lack of investment? What will be will be. If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas.

I'm approaching this season with child-like optimism. We can break the Top 4. We can bust that economic barrier with team chemistry. We can do it on will and team unity. We can believe.

I'm taking 4 of my 5 sons tomorrow morning — 12 hours from now until kick-off — to watch Everton beat Arsenal. And I will be one of them. A child in spirit. A living being that does not concern himself with the adult things: investment, stadium improvements / moves, signings, salaries, transfer requests, television revenues, squad depth, right wingers and right backs, etc, etc, etc.

I'm going to watch the game with my children, the ones I’d walk through Hell in a gasoline suit for, with a child's perspective. One that just sees a royal blue jersey and loves them. One that sees a table and sees everyone on zero points and thinks, "we can win it all this year."

And that is the joy of it all. I'll leave the adult perspective for Sunday and thereafter. But in 12 hours, I'm going to be 10 years old - and I will hold to one of life's single greatest gifts. One that my kids show me every single day:


My adult mind tells me we don't have the funds. We can't compete. We need new ownership. We need investment. We need a right side. We need so many things and we will never finish top of the table, or even in a CL spot.

I know this.

But tomorrow I will surround myself with what matters most to me. And I will join my naive children who know nothing about adult matters and love and cheer unconditionally for Everton. And I will know that I instilled that in them. And I will become, for however short a time, a child. And I will hold to Hope.

Sunday I'll become the calculating adult with reality embalzoned on my mind. I am a realist, an adult, and I don't kid myself.

But not tomorrow.

Reader Comments

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John Lloyd
1   Posted 15/08/2009 at 02:50:04

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Long hot summer

Lack of transfers…
Our Dithering manager… or
Our Saviour?
Our cowardly chairman… or
Blue Bill?
Destination Kirkby…
Lack of funds…
Pink Kits…
Dodgy Haka…
Shite rumours…
Louis Saha being fit!

Tomorrow at about 5:30pm we fuck all that off to get behind the lads again for another season in the top flight of the arguably the best league in the world! It's all about a pint before the match, what team he’ll play, will Joleon start, having a bet on the scorer, kids in the new strips, Z-Cars and hopefully a 1st day win!!

I for one hate the summer, its all rumours and trouble to kill time while the team & staff build toward today, the start of the new season…

If you could have one wish for the season ahead, and try to be as realistic as possible, what would it be? For what it’s worth, mine would be a trophy, the Europa League, Carling Cup or the FA Cup, any silverwear. I swear to you I’d slap a granny for a trophy this year!! Now I don’t want us to sacrifice our league placing but if I had to pick one (and you do!) then, hand on heart, it would be a trophy.

What about you lot???


Nick Entwistle
2   Posted 15/08/2009 at 07:46:55

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I think Nick Hornby in How to Be Good wrote about that child like innosence... we have it then grow up and learn too much and frow it all away. Dam true.
Kids live in the moment, their minds have no history or thoughts of future, but as adults, our minds take over and repeat past and future thought patterns...
Ged Simpson
3   Posted 15/08/2009 at 07:38:00

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That is what it is all about Jamie.

To be honest I get bored shitless by the outpourings from the analysts, the amateur managers and the legions who take Sky seriously and get drawn into the cynical soap opera they create when there’s no football.

For me, if we win Sunday we will be on course for top 4, of we draw it will be an encouraging steady start and if we lose it will be a blip.

I will leave Tony Marsh et al to have another shit season as he moans they moan their way through the winter with "realism" and "insight".

Well I reluctantly go to bloody work to display "realism" and "insight".

So I will spend the season with blue tinted specs on throughout and my natural opimism will keep me going. Every stat will point me to progress, our spirit will show me we have a moral highground and I will expect us to win every game.

Otherwise I may as well go to bleedin’ work!
Alan Kirwin
4   Posted 15/08/2009 at 11:54:30

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Great piece Jamie, nicely evocative. This IS what it’s all about.
Dennis Stevens
5   Posted 15/08/2009 at 16:39:29

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Ta, Jamie! Now I’m even more gutted that I’m not there!
Jamie Sweet
6   Posted 15/08/2009 at 18:28:24

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Half time... 3-0 down... I’d keep your ten year old head on for a while Jamie - the adult, post match reality check is going to hurt!!!
Aiden Doyle
7   Posted 15/08/2009 at 19:23:58

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Nice title for the article: describes today’s performance perfectly.
Barry Thompson
8   Posted 15/08/2009 at 20:14:29

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Jamie, if I was you mate I would hide the phone when you get home and confiscate their mobiles coz as sure as Everton were shite today, your kids are going to be phoning Esther Rantzan.
Jamie Crowley
9   Posted 15/08/2009 at 21:05:30

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Just got back fom Anne O’Malley’s Pub....

Let me say one thing first and foremost: we had a fantastic day, the boys and I.

Now my adult side as the euphoria of opening day has worn off; Sunday won’t wait.

One word: speechless.
Derek Thomas
10   Posted 16/08/2009 at 05:54:24

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If they are still Evertonians after that, then it’s true we are born not made.

Maybe we should change the motto to Semper Fidelis.
Jamie Crowley
11   Posted 15/08/2009 at 22:20:27

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I had submitted my first ever mailbag submission to TW last night. It was actually elevated to "Fan Article." I was quite pleased actually. I spoke of child-like optimism and how we should adopt that today. Adult matters could wait for analysis Sunday. And now, I can't wait until Sunday to vent.

In no sport on this planet should fans stand for the display Everton gave us today. It may have been the single most disgusting display of professionalism I've encountered. An absolute disgrace. I was literally embarrassed as a Liverpool fan smugly sat and chided me about the game at the pub. Embarrased.

I've honestly thought the key to a successful season was holding on to Lescott. Standing firm against the tap-up. Standing up for what is right. Assuming Joleon would show professionalism a la Barry and Ronoldo. Playing for the badge and waiting until next season to leave in relative peace and harmony. That's why I type now and others are in a position to make decisions. I was dead, dead wrong.

No longer.

He was a disgrace. He's obviously unsettled the team and certainly the back four. Two goals from set pieces — not necessarily his direct fault. But he surely didn't do much on those two occasions. And how many times must he simply back up, back up, and back up. Even if your heart isn't in it and your head is turned, can you PLEASE close down just once! FFS get burned — just TRY to get stuck in!

This team must do something immediately. It must dump Lescott and his effect on his team. It must move on quickly and re-find that chemistry and team goodwill that have kept it "punching above their weight." The man's gotta go.

And I say this trepidatiously... and I admit I'm angry now. Very angry at having had to watch professionals act like amateurs. Watch them back in, back in.... not mark their men, ball watch - and I do blame Lescott; who should be the back four leader. He did nothing! His heart does not remain with Everton, and it was obvious for all to see.

He should be handed to Man City ASAP for the money. But that's not all. There's an end game to his lack of passion for a Club that made him an international, a fantastic center back, a rock when he applies himself.

The very first game we play Man CIty, in the first 3 minutes, someone who represents professionalism, Everton to a Tee, a man who we all admire and love for his effort and dedication, a leader commited to The Cause, needs to do something.

Tim Cahill must charge forward when the ball meets Joleon's feet, and he needs to send a message. You will not betray this Club, and if you do, you are the enemy. Cahill should two-foot, studs-up, knee high tackle that bitch a la Roy Keene.

If you ever, ever think of putting this beloved Royal Blue jersey on your body, you will give your all. If you do not, and I meet you again some day on the pitch, you will incur my rath. I'd fucking cheer. I don't care how filthy it is. If it's not this end game, someone better send a message real soon.

Does anyone remember Neville blowing through Ronaldo last season? I think it was a turning point. I frankly need to see that happen again. And if it happens to a traitor, all the better.

That's my adult response. And it isn't sophomoric at all. I'm surely over-reacting. I'm surely wrong again. And I surely am bitter and am not thinking clearly, full of negative emotion. But.... A message by a leader must be sent very, very soon.

So much for the warm fuzzies. But Everton brought this dark side out - and they changed my mood from angel to devil in approximately 12 hours time.

Message please. A strong message. Quickly - I've already seemed to have lost my patience.

Barry Thompson
12   Posted 16/08/2009 at 10:55:30

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James, welcome back to the real world.

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