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Please, Make Me Proud

By David Whitwell :  24/08/2009 :  Comments (23) :

I am a southern based Evertonian living in Essex. I have supported Everton since around the age of 8 when I first became interested in football. I have no ties whatsoever to either the city of Liverpool or the club; no family or friends that live in the city, or legacies that have been handed down to me.

Supporting Everton is a choice I made freely and has had a massive impact on my life. I attend approx 4 home games a year and virtually all away games in London, and would dearly love to attend more but for family commitments and travelling time.

I have always been proud to call myself an Evertonian. I have been brought up with fans from Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham, Chelsea etc and have been constantly quizzed as to why I support Everton, taunted that we are a “small club”, that all we have to talk about is history — too which I have enjoyed arguing the case of our club, promoting and defending its honour at all costs, being resolute and defiant that despite whatever adversities we have faced we have risen above and held our heads high.

Never more so than last season, when despite being without key players for a large chunk of the season, our spirit drove us on to 5th place and a Cup Final. Even the year before, against one of the best teams in Serie A and despite an appalling 1st leg we battled on a memorable night at Goodison to the dreaded penalty shoot-out.

I still have fond memories of that night, even though I was gutted at the result, why? Because I was proud of our club, I could lift my head high, puff out my chest and be proud of the performance.

At this point in time, I have never been any less proud than I am today. There is only one event since the cup final that I can hand on heart say I think has been good for this club (Rodwell vs Sigma being the exception). I am not normally one for Kenwright or Moyes bashing, indeed the only time I have really been critical of either is when the later for whatever reason took so long to sign a new contract.

What has happened this season is in-excusable. For the second year running, we are poorly prepared. I don’t buy that it is all to do with Lescott and don’t even blame him for wanting to go. Can anyone honestly give him a reason to stay? —  not forgetting that, unlike Rooney, this guy is not and Evertonian; he is a footballer, a defender, arguably not our best, that perhaps like many of us feels this club has gone as far as it can given its current backing.

We are given statements like “we are constantly punching above our weight” from Mr Elstone and financially he may be correct, so let's do something about it and stop whining. If we need money, be honest with the fans and tell us that when profitable offers from clubs come in for our players we will consider them as it is currently the best source of income available outside of the Sky money.

Bring in business men that know how to maximise commercial opportunities, and I don’t mean kit companies and sponsorships. We need a vehicle that brings publicity to our club and with publicity comes investment. The traditions and history of this club make it a sleeping giant; I remember reading an article when the Arabs bought Man City suggesting that they wanted to create a footballing story, a new project outside of the existing Sky 4 — what a story it could have been to ignite the rich traditions and history of our club in the modern day.

We are shunned by the media because the football we play (barring very brief spells when Arteta is fit) is simply not entertaining, we are insular with our dealings because it’s the “Everton Way”, well guess what the Everton Way doesn’t work so its needs revising.

Our transfer dealings as far as I’m concerned are worse than any club I can think of, and an embarrassment, how the hell can we not be capable of closing a deal. I understand that agents may have complicated the process in modern times, but other clubs have learnt too deal with it and so should we because it’s not going to change!

I also understand that we can’t offer great wages and signing-on fees. Well, we can either obtain more funds (by selling as mentioned above) or unfortunately lower our expectations and search for players from lower leagues or further afield... There must be some, not every great player comes from the top leagues and commands huge salaries.

Simply put, we have around 13-14 players available at the minute that we would consider 1st team squad, that is ridiculous and can only be the fault of Moyes, Kenwright and Elstone. Whatever the reason going into the final week of the transfer deadline, it is not acceptable. We have been told we need another 4 players as if this was a revelation after having lost 6 points in the first week of the season — we knew this back in June!

Whether Moyes was interested or not, we could all point to players that have moved to clubs able offer significantly less than us that we would be happy to see in an Everton shirt. And yes, he is a manger and we are not... but surely some of this is obvious?

I could go on and on about tactics, stadium moves etc but I feel I am starting to rant. I am actually not that concerned about the games against Arsenal and Burnley at the minute as those emotions are short-term, I think like many of us at the moment my concerns are more the longer term and the internal state of the club.

I am convinced that when the dust settles we will have a relatively decent season, although I doubt as good as last, but the events of this summer cannot be forgotten and like last summer, they need dealing with.

So, to those in charge of our club, please can we adopt some realism. Please can we begin to be proactive rather than reactive to events around us... and please, please, please make me be proud of being an Evertonian again.

Reader Comments

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Steve Edwards
1   Posted 24/08/2009 at 09:11:39

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Depressing isn’t it? I do have real concerns about how we appoach a new season. I am now convinced that the team is not match fit for the first game of the season. Surely someone of the experience of David Moyes should not have us in this position and its not as if its the first time. This is basic stuff for a football manager.

I also believe that Moyes has had enough of Everton. I think that this was the case at the start of last season but he had his mind changed for some reason, it may well have been money and false promises. Let's be honest, he could get the dosh at another club, another club that could provide him with the means to fulfill his undoubted ambition and to be honest who could blame him if he left?

He now knows that if he has a player that does really well some other club will come in and take them, it's got to be soul-destroying for him. If we are sick of all this transfer nonsense then I’m pretty sure he is too.

Every year it's the same old thing, no money to spend and trying somehow to pull a rabbit out of a hat. It would get anybody down eventually. What's the point, if we finish fifth from top or fifth from bottom it makes no difference, we’ve still no money wherever we finish.

I watched on Sky as the Everton players arrived at Burnley’s ground. The look on their faces said everything. To a man they looked pissed off and not up for the game. Their body language was dreadful. I took one look at them and knew we would get nothing and I was right.

We can go around and around talking about this and talking about that but there is only one answer to the problems that surround this club and that is investment. Unless somehow that investment comes in then this club will slowly die.

Neil Vaughan
2   Posted 24/08/2009 at 09:51:00

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After that shambles yesterday, my 10-year-old turned to me and said... "Dad, I don't want to support Everton anymore."

When I asked him why he replied "Because they ALWAYS let us down..." — and I know he wasn’t just talking about the Burnley result...

Out of the mouths of babes... enough said.

In the past, I would’ve been heartbroken to hear him say those words... but today I don't fucking blame him.
Robert Treacy
3   Posted 24/08/2009 at 11:23:06

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The shambles of the Benega transfer is beginning to tell. Why would we look for a work permit for him and then Valencia come out and say NO DEAL FORTHCOMING?

This is doing my head in!
Col Wills
4   Posted 24/08/2009 at 11:31:14

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It's really sad that a team of Everton’s stature has so many problems after last year's good season. However, a couple of points that our manager is totally responsible for this season:-

Why do we not have cover at centre-back? Why does our team look unfit? If the fans can spot our right-sided weakness, why hasn’t Moyesy? Why move Cahill into centre-mid, when he’s a 2nd striker? Why doesn’t Yobo get a shafting for falling asleep? Why only give Vaughan 5 minutes? Why let Jacobsen go? Where is our cover for left-back? And right-back?

All of these are major managerial failings.

George McKane
5   Posted 24/08/2009 at 11:23:28

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Interesting headline to your post — make me proud. I have been watching Everton for nearly 50 years... it's getting more and more difficult to be proud of much at Everton.

Of course I am proud of our history and right now of the fans... but The Board, The Manager, much of the team — no. The problem is that we are too loyal (the fans that is). The moment you ask questions or make criticisms, you are asked "Are you a true Evertonian?" — I can answer very seriously and definitely and defiantly "Yes, I am!"

But I find it difficult to accept the utter garbage coming out of "our" club at the moment — on and off the pitch. I am not too impressed with anything to be honest. Never mind The Board and finances, I find Moyes’s tactics, selections, transfer dealings problematic.

Please don’t tell me it’s not him — he stated very clearly last week when Hughes talked about going to "decision makers" that "I am the decision maker!" Well, David, your decisions are pretty woeful to me. Yesterday was a good case: never mind money, BK or Lescott — we played yet again with one up front. Only when we were forced to play 2 up did we get anywhere near threatening their goal.

Moyes said on Friday, "I didn’t know Jack could shoot from outside the area" — then what do you tell them and what do you look at in training?!? The team are like a bunch of robots. Even Fellaini said over the weekend, "We didn’t do what Mr Moyes said."

We need some players with inspiration, desire, passion. hunger. I am waiting to feel proud again. Best wishes to all Blues fans, we are tested but are always behind the team.

Kurt Knight
6   Posted 24/08/2009 at 15:29:50

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David Whitwell - thank you very much for taking time to type the article. I feel as you do, and as others on this page.

Let’s start anew - the smell of Lescott will be gone today and I have every faith that Moyes will do his best to get fresh faces in by 8/31. We have only lost 2 games — 2. If the game after 8/31 we look the same, then the worry for me is real and permenant.

Up the Blues
Alex Mullan
7   Posted 24/08/2009 at 16:46:05

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I tend to be a very pro-Moyes and Kenwright guy but I have just about had it now. Last week I was defending them both, they promised signings and still nothing, I really don’t know why I believed it.

I think the world of Moyes, he's a great manager, but I can sense all the shite that happens every summer at Everton has made his time on Mersyside stale. I think Everton and Moyes will soon part company and that's sad as he has the potential to build a great project here IF he was given the tools. Shame he hasn't been though.

I don't even look twice at ’Everton are linked with now’ as that merely means itl Be 3 or 4 weeks before we make an offer (usually a tenner and a tin of coke) or else some other club offers 2 quid more and we shit ourselves. I'm a very, very disgruntled fan.

Tom Edwards
8   Posted 24/08/2009 at 17:42:20

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Alex above -- agreed mate. I just wish that one day we see a press conference from Goodison in which the manager is unveiling a new, top-class signing that hasn’t been dragging on for weeks and hasn’t been gazumped by that twat Redknapp when it was supposedly done and dusted. Dreams, eh?
Kase Chow
9   Posted 24/08/2009 at 18:24:26

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David, what an excellent submission. As a London Evertonian I too have had to defend us against all and sundry so I know what you mean.

You know, when we beat Man U in the cup semi on pens I had tears in my eyes - I don’t know if I’ve ever been more proud to be an Evertonian.

How we can consistently fail every summer to support the manager with a decent transfer budget is sheer neglect. OF COURSE Lescott wants to leave — he’s achieved all he can under the current regime. Only the blinkered can fail to see why he wants to leave. I still think he’s a decent guy — I bet he doesn’t bad-mouth anyone at the club or the fans — he simply enginered a move from an unambitious club to an ambitious club. Expect others in the near future to do the same...

Everyone with a brain knew JL was going so why didin’t we get on with it, sell and rebuild? Was the loss of 6 less important than the extra £2M? And how much will Moyes get given to append of it? And isn’t it a bit late to spend it anyway? And what the fuck is going on with Ever Banega? Sometimes you wonder what CAN we do right?

Anyway, I’m rambling with frustration — I agree — it’s currently very difficult to be proud of anything at our club at the moment. No-one is busting a gut — it’s all 1 massive fucking shambles.

Neil Vaughan
10   Posted 24/08/2009 at 18:48:35

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I see The Yak is playing for the stiffs tomorrow... that’ll be the new signing we’ve all been waiting for — that’s how they’ll try and spin it anyway

Kenwright and his cronies are a JOKE....!!
Graham Smallwood
11   Posted 24/08/2009 at 19:26:27

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The most depressing thing of all is that very few of us (me included) can’t argue with a great deal of what's in this article. We CAN'T blame City for splashing the cash; We CANT blame JL for accepting a huge contract with em.

We CAN blame the club’s hierarchy for wasting what could have been a productive and testing pre-season; we CAN blame the club’s hierarchy for offering false hopes of edge-of-seat signings (think that was the phrase anyway).

Tradition is important, pride is important but right now i’d rather be a billionaire's plaything than a lying pauper who is clinging on to his favourite toy!

Please god sign someone this week — they said 4 players, I think it should be 6. Hoping rather than expecting... COYB’s

Philip Rees
12   Posted 24/08/2009 at 19:37:43

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Can you lot remember what it was like before David Moyes? I am from Swansea but my family was from Liverpool, therefore I was born to be blue. If you think this is bad, go back ten years. Moyes is a legend.

What other manager would have got that squad to fifth and a FA Cup final last year without Jags and Arteta? I would rather an owner who cares than to be owned by somebody who treats my club like a toy for his own ego. Our chairman is a blue. We are Everton. We will prevail. IN MOYES WE TRUST!

Anthony Newell
13   Posted 24/08/2009 at 20:39:51

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At the risk of repeating myself, Everton FC are a dinosaur in modern footballing times:

Everton’s approach to transfers, marketing and general business acumen, the "let's do things on the cheap, make do and mend, and don’t ask me, I’m only the Chairman" joker we have at the helm

The constant pack of bullshit and spin that us long-suffering Evertonians have to endure on a season-on-season basis — an insult to anyone’s intelligence

The manager’s general negative, dour, 'chip on his shoulder' ethos and approach/attitude pervades the whole playing side

Only a wholesale change of ownership, with radical top-to-bottom change will do anything for our predicament.

Andy Codling
14   Posted 24/08/2009 at 21:57:20

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Thats right Philip Rees, our Chairman is a Blue, so who are we to complain that he's a useless prick? We got fifth last year and a cup final, how ungrateful some supporters are.

Forget all the lies, forget NTL, forget Kings Dock, forget all the bollocks about Mouthino and other players, forget all the money that disappears, forget the Fortress Sports Fund and "the cheque will be in the bank in the morning", forget Kirkby and Keith Wyness, forget silencing the shareholders... our Chairman is a Blue, I saw him clapping at Wembley stadium, he the best chairman around.

Alex Mullan
15   Posted 24/08/2009 at 22:01:09

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Phillip above,

Yes, I do well remember pre-Moyes. We played very boring football and scraped to safety often.

As I said before I love Moyes but it is not right that a man with his talent should be so constrained. We have to have a fair amount of cash. Where does it go? We have been in Europe for much of the last few years, we have come high in the league so we have a lot of tv money and prize money and we have had a good cup run, that generates money too.

On top of that we have sold more season tickets than ever this year, not to mention we have been a selling club whether I like it or not. £50 million for Lescott and Rooney. How can we be in debt? I for one would call for an open financial system so we can see where all our money goes because it sure as hell doesnt go to the manager. It's a joke. Two 4th division MLS players and a loan signing we already had is all we can manage.

I said it above and I will say it again, despite how sad it would make me, Moyes will part company with Everton out of sheer frustration and the complete lack of ambition we offer him. Just imagine going back to the days of someone like Smith. It's sad.

Steve Reilly
16   Posted 25/08/2009 at 01:44:32

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Totally agree with the article. Love Moyes, think he’s done a great job, but how can we be 1 week from the transfer deadline without a signing? AGAIN?

I personally think Kenwright has taken this club as far as he can, he loves everton, everyone can see that, but he won’t find an investor who wants to hand him a blank cheque and who will say... go on, Bill, sort it out! They’ll want control, which unfortunately he’ll have to give. Fair enough we’ll lose his undoubted passion, but we’ll get the investment we need desperately.

We’ve spent the past 5 years in and around the top 7-4 and in Europe more times than not... ask yourself if Spurs, City or Villa had been would they have invested in their squad and made themselve one of the new ’big 5’? Of course they would, and they will because theyve finally got themselves decent managers who can do it, and they backing to make the squads to challenge.

We have the manager, we have the starting 11 and 4-5 subs to do it, but we need the investment to get the other 5-10 players we need in the squad including a new quality: Right Winger, Right Back, Defensive Midfielder, Centre Back, Striker — so that the likes of Hibbert and Osman can be players who we can call on if and when they are needed, not our first choice out of necessity.

If I have to watch Hibbert get up the right wing with 3 or 4 blue shirts in the box and instead of controlling it and crossing, he balloons it into the Upper Gwladys, I’m gonna tear my hair out.

Rant over :D

Peter Bradshaw
17   Posted 25/08/2009 at 02:42:35

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I personally think Moyes has a cunning plan. Look shit for the first two games and lull everyone into the false sense of security.

Then sign a russian left winger and move peanuts to the right.

Then move Capt Pip to right back and sign an Argentinian defensive midfielder on loan with a view to buy next year.

Right side sorted, then buy a centre back with a left foot from Portsmouth for 5 million and a center back from Newcastle/Boro for 5 million with a right foot.

Then sign a centre back on a free transfer on a years contract just as cover he is a bit old but has pedigree.

Defence sorted, then with the money left over actually place a bid with a young swedish guy and offer him probably about 25 starts a season for a few million with add ons.

And just to be sure, ring Arry and say " you know you shafted me with a couple of young lads from Yorkshire, well how about letting me have the guy you paid 9 million for from Scotland and I will give you half the amount.

I can see Moyes cunning plan, can you?
Alex Mullan
18   Posted 25/08/2009 at 03:35:32

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Off the pitch there's no other way to put it, we're shite, however...

two defeats in a row isn't AS bad as it seems if you look at how strange many results have been already. It's been a very inconsistent start by a lot of teams, us being one. Villa lost to Wigan, Wigan lose to United 0-5, Burnly beat United and the Red Shite have lost 2 out of 3.

The sheer fact that Liverpool have lost 2 out of 3 games has at least made me feel a little better! I know i'd rather have Everton's results so far than theirs given their aims. All I'm saying is, when the dust settles, I'm sure we will be ok on the pitch,

I just HOPE we get a fucking right back over ANY other position. Hibbert wouldn't get in some League One sides, no harm to the lad.

Gareth Atkinson
19   Posted 25/08/2009 at 14:00:19

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Well said Andy Codling, it doesn’t wash with me no more all this ’but Kenwright is a blue’ bollocks, so fuckin what he cried at Wembley, so did the rest of us, so what he sat next Eddie Cavanagh in 66, I don’t give a fuck no more, he’s bringing the club to its knees and the sooner he sells up and fucks off the better.
David Johnson
20   Posted 26/08/2009 at 01:48:44

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Well I suppose that explains why Eddie Cavanagh went over the fucking wall. Who’d want to sit next to that cunt for 90 minutes.

Kenwright Out Now.
Tim Lloyd
21   Posted 27/08/2009 at 11:22:22

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Regrettably, I have no more inside knowledge than anyone else who pens their opinions on this forum.

One thing that does seem pretty apparent to me is there must be a reason why Kenwright and Co are keeping such a tight hold on the purse strings. It simply has to be DK.

Quite in what way, I have no idea but there has to be quite a bit of money in the piggy bank after last season’’s success. I can only assume it is being stached away for a successful end to the Home Office permission saga.

This should be forthcoming by November at the latest and rumours abound that the decision will be OK for the green light for Kirkby.

Forget where your sympathies lie. If permission is granted, then I feel certain that Tesco and the club will go ahead. It will need quite a bit of available cash though and, in my opinion, that’s why B.K. and Co. are retaining so much of the clubs earnings.

Oddly, the sale of Lescott has been a blessing in disguise for the Board. They simply have to allow David Moyes to spend the bulk of the monies received from City, they cannot refuse him.

If we can manage to get a player like Distin for the immediate future, Jags should be back in harness for the New Year, I appreciate November has been mentioned but will he be ready to take up where he left off by November?

We have managed to sign Billy Boy from Russia, Yak will be back in a couple of games plus one or two other signings hopefully and Arteta before too long.

Feel badly done to, we have good reason, but don’t despair. I have good feelings about this forthcoming season.

David Cain
22   Posted 27/08/2009 at 17:00:12

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David, I don’t know how you’ve managed in Essex over the years. Especially so as you admit to having no ties with the city, just a love of Everton. I’m a scouse-exile based in the south. Do I have any strong argument to convince my three kent-born teenage boys why they should support the blues like their old man ? Not bl**dy likely. I took all three to the semi at Wembley and also to the first-day Arsenal match in yet another attempt to convince them. One has just bought himself an Arsenal shirt and another has come out of the closet as a Spurs fan. The third is going through the motions to stop my nagging but, well, let’s just say i caught him looking at something he shouldn’t on the internet the other day ... yes.. the LFC website. (Though on the bright side at least it’s not Man U like some of their southern classmates). If only they’d get into s*x and drugs like other teenagers I could be much happier ! I fear the days of this team making us proud (and more seriously for a moment, ATTRACTING THE NEXT GENERATION) may still be some way away. We need investment and we need direction. I can’t see either in the short term. We stumble from one season to the next. Nil satis nisi optimum. Good job they’ve stopped teaching Latin in school so no-one knows what this means any more.
Stuart Gray
23   Posted 28/08/2009 at 09:24:41

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I’m also a southern Evertonian with no ties to Liverpool or family history of supporting Everton. I also have had to put up with taunts of other fans (being the south coast, most of them are Man U or Liverpool fans), but I have also been able to rebuff the comments - particularly in recent years with the fact that we have been moderately successful.But I’ve been waiting for us to push on, expecting that the next transfer window will see the kind of activity that the 5th best team in the country should expect. Once again I’m disappointed. Even the signing we have made (Jo doesn’t count) won’t play immediately. The other day my work colleague said he hated Everton. When I asked him why he replied by saying "Dunno really, always have. They’re a nothing club, always been there but never do anything. They are just a bit boring". At this point I find it hard to argue. I could reply with "Yeah but we finished 5th and reached the FA Cup final", but then that almost confirms his statement. We are there, we always have been but what are we doing? Almost doing something? At Wembley I felt proud, but then I look in the papers and see "Everton have been linked with blah blah, along with Blackburn, Stoke and Fulham" and my pride starts to fall off. We are at that level and yes punching above our weight. I’m not sure I would blame Moyes for this, his true ability would only be shown should he be given the sort of money that others can spend. Others that finish below us in the league consistently.

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