Football fans in general can have poor memories, some have selective memories. We have the glass half-full brigade in one corner and the glass half-empty brigade in the other. The two parties will never agree so we just have to look at the facts.
When Moyes took over, we considered finishing anywhere above the relegation zone come May as 'Job Done' and would have been delighted with a finish anywhere from 10th upwards. The fact is Moyes has done a very good job in his time with the blues and we are now largely considered as 'the best of the rest' when you take out the Sky Four!
Phase one of the Moyes operation was to steer us clear of our yearly brush with relegation and to stablize the club in the Premier League: Job well done. Phase two was to get us in amongst those European places on a regular basis: Job well done.
Phase three: ... ??? This is where I start to struggle. Just what is phase three?
Have we reached our realistic pinnacle? Surely until you are the best of the best you should always continue to strive for this position? The trouble is, anyone with an ounce of sense or reality can see that we simply cannot go any further.
Yes we nearly won the FA Cup last year... and yes, we could win a trophy with the current crop, be it either the Carling, FA or Europa League. You would probably have to call this improvement but, for me, a team should be judged on its bread and butter league form. Anything else is a nice bonus.
The trouble with Everton now is we seem to be at the point where we are just running to stand still. We can huff and puff our way through another tough season full of good and bad memories alike. We can have a good cup run and who knows maybe even get some silverware. We can add to the squad and continue to slowly improve, but I fear the actual end result will never be any better than it has been up to this point.
Other clubs seem to be improving around us and thanks to money, teams like City and Spurs are getting ever closer to the line we drew between us and the best of the rest. In the meantime, we are getting no closer to Liverpool, Chelsea or Man Utd.
So... is the only way backwards from here? Is the treadmill speeding up and starting to go a little too quick for us to keep up? Are we to be happy with another top-six finish this season and the next and the one after that?
My worry is that, until things get a lot worse for us, we don't have much chance of getting any better. The club seems to be a little too comfortable with its position at the moment. And while I'm as happy as anyone with the job Moyes and the club have done over the last few years, I have to ask the question "Is this it?" "Is this as good as it gets?"
Where do we go from here?
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1 Posted 11/10/2009 at 16:32:45
It appears that we will not have any money in January; I think Fellaini, although he is immense on his day, took a lot out of our budget. But our team sprit, the banter, the lads seem to be really good friends... splitting a group is not easy.
I think our poorest player is actually Osman but, then again, why did Moyes spend £8 million on the unproven Russian? Heitinga's performances??? With Neville's injury, it's probably worth it but I think for sheer fans excitment we would like some more signings.
But what I still do not understand is why we bought two defenders, Distin and Heitinga, for Lescott but Gosling can play right back, with Hibbert, Neill, Neville, Yobo, Jagielka to come back....
2 Posted 11/10/2009 at 16:43:42
That would be good in itself but, if we finish 5th again, despite the increased competition, it might mean Liverpool/Arsenal would have to finish below us and I’m not sure that is realistic yet (particularly after our opening game!).
Overall I dearly love our amazing team spirit — it’s why we win those extra games the others don't over the course of a season, with their overpaid prima donnas. I would rather go on as we are — with a true blue Chairman like BK — rather than become the plaything of some billionnaire and look to build the best possible team.
I still have this dream that a team like ours in the 80s, Forest or Liverpool in the 70s, may still emerge to challenge the Sky 4... it might need a wage cap tho!
It is exciting and I think we are playing some great football — when we have the full squad back, we are going to rock!
3 Posted 11/10/2009 at 17:08:43
4 Posted 11/10/2009 at 18:43:24
"Football fans in general can have poor memories, some have selective memories. We have the glass half-full brigade in one corner and the glass half-empty brigade in the other. The two parties will never agree so we just have to look at the facts"
The first part of this paragraph intimates the acceptance that as football fans, nay, as humans we are extremely subjective creatures. The second then positions the author as some form of objective administrator of ’truth’ and ’fact’.
It is this form of logic and positioning that In find so amusing. Yes, what you highlight paints part of the picture and the story. But it also omits the dreadful decision making regarding tactics, often poor quality of football and lack of willingness to ’have a go’ that seem to be precieved as ’fact’ by many Evertonians.
The point I am trying to make is that there appears to be a selective focus (maybe the author’s subjective viewpoint on how to obtain success) on off-field factors that can cloud what we can achieve. Yes, this does play a part, but does our approach sometimes hold us back? Further, as has often been mentioned on here, throwing shit loads of cash around, having foreign ownership etc can equate to a big fat fuck all.
I hope that made sense, I am rather jet-lagged... apologies if it is nonesense!
5 Posted 11/10/2009 at 18:52:23
6 Posted 11/10/2009 at 20:06:00
7 Posted 11/10/2009 at 20:13:23
Wilson for Meagan
Kay for Harris
Kendall for Gabriel
Watson for Mountfield, etc...
We are not in a position to pay the prices (and wages) for 2 or 3 quality players. As was proved again this summer, we have no cash apart from the Kirkby Fund (if I’m wrong, where is it Bill?) so have to sell to generate transfer funds. As it stands, we’ll again have to rely on Moyes’s wheeler-dealing and nose for a good ’un while developing youngsters to sell on... Bloody shameful!
Unless we get ’investment’, we need to get really lucky, on the lines of... take an ex-binman from Bury, a teenager from Burnley, a Liverpool reserve, 2 old crocks with dodgy knees, etc...
8 Posted 11/10/2009 at 20:42:28
The future you want is based on billions coming from overseas, probably the Middle East. The new owners will say get out of that old stadium pronto and go to a green-field site where we can fly our guests in by helicopter (no chip packets on the pavement there). They will tell the manager which players of international repute they want in their team — most of whom will stay where they are. Well, Lescott might move back for the money.
I’ll stick with Blue Bill and Davey boy for the moment if you don’t mind.
9 Posted 12/10/2009 at 01:23:51
We reached a final in the FA Cup last year, a semi-final in the League Cup the year before, as well as coming top of the group in the Uefa Cup, beating the eventual winners and reaching the last 16, only to be beaten on penalties by a good side that have recently proven their quality in the Champions League, giving the red shite a good kicking.
I see it that our first 11 can give any team a game; unfortunately, it has been very rare to see our strongest 11 play together for some time because of injuries. When everyone is fit I can see us winning a trophy, but to break the top 4, I think it will take one of the top 4 sides to suffer an injury crisis as significant as our own.
We have broken the top 4 not too long ago with a very poor team, so it is definitely possible. If LFC loose Gerrard or Torres to injury or Arsenal loose Van Persie and Fabregas, I doubt they would be able to cope and they would be there for the taking. But I am a glass half-full kind of guy.
10 Posted 12/10/2009 at 04:24:13
11 Posted 12/10/2009 at 09:05:52
It’s not that Everton are in decline, it’s just that more clubs have got more money — or debt, as the case may be!
12 Posted 12/10/2009 at 10:05:39
Agree with Ian T, I think our best starting eleven are a match for anyone, providing Moyes sends them out to play football and does not adopt the "don’t lose at all costs" approach. But then again, what is our best 11? We all have differing opinions on that one.
13 Posted 12/10/2009 at 10:33:35
I’m not saying we’re great and I’m not saying Moyes is or isn’t the greatest manager of all time, but what I am trying to get across in my article is that we seem to have to work harder every year just to achieve that which we have already achieved and my worry is now that we are going to either remain only as successful (in the eyes of some) or as unsuccessful (in the eyes of others) as we already are.
I for one would see finishing in a Europa place as another good season, but when you really think about it, is it? Shouldn’t we be moving forward and looking for more now? Moyes tends to think so when you hear him speak on his more optimistic of days. I think the reality of it is, we cannot go any further with our present set up and I find that kind of depressing because I can’t see our current ’comfortable’ set up changing any time soon.
14 Posted 12/10/2009 at 13:38:19
Apart from your irrational fear of things from ’overseas’ — you do your argument no good by producing a hysterical worst-case scenario..
15 Posted 12/10/2009 at 14:39:53
We won more with Degsy than we did with Dave Watson!
1 title, 1 CWCF, 1 FA Cup and 14 goals from centre-half (!!!) in one season!
Otherwise, your right!
Joint founder member with a Welsh shin pads collector of the Big Leggy Degsy Appreciation Society.
16 Posted 12/10/2009 at 15:39:33
Perhaps you were a child of/in the 60’s, like me? :) I love your optimism, however good the current team spirit is our current squad is limited by their individual abilities and the extent of Moyes’s tactical nous - I won’t repeat the old, well known, and mainly accepted discussions.
It looks as if Moyes’s plan is to develop as much talent at home as he can, and to make few, but careful, considered, and cheap purchases. Beyond that, it will be down to the ability of each player and the shape/tactics/training as designed by Moyes.
Given these parameters I don’t expect us to win much at all, if anything. Remember, this is the manager whose tactical ability includes persistently playing an out-of-form, out-of-confidence, and out-of-ideas Osman on right midfield for the last two seasons. I won’t even bother with his substitutions.
Phase 3? Barring a very rich fairy queen this is as good as it’s going to get.
However, I was a child in the 60s, and I always live in hope, and I leave my ground out teeth under the pillow!
17 Posted 12/10/2009 at 16:51:22
My all-time failed ’upgrading’ has to be David Johnson out, Rod Belfitt in... Any takers?
18 Posted 12/10/2009 at 17:56:53
Only the very, very rich will indulge a footbal club as Abramovic or Sheikh Mansour do. The majority of owners or "investors" simply use leverage at every opportunity and squeeze the fruit for themselves.
Perhaps you could explain why Keith’s view is "irrational". It seems, to me, to be based on a preference for connection, empathy and genuine cooperation, something which is often in short supply from detached international owners. Thus in the context of his point it is entirely rational.
19 Posted 12/10/2009 at 18:45:08
If I was to predict a future takeover as being so benevolent that we buy all the best young players in the world, end up with a top of the range new stadium in Stanley Park, and all Evertonians get free tickets... you’d be the first to ridicule it as fantasist nonsense.
20 Posted 12/10/2009 at 19:15:24
A cup final, a semi-final and consistent top four/five finishes are a good indicator, as is our more confident year-on-year progress in Europe. I think some form of cup success is more than feasible this season, but the league title remains a long way away.
Sadly, despite the inch-by-inch progress we are making, we (and the likes of Spurs, Villa etc), will not be in with a real chance until football’s money-mania comes to an end. Until then, I hope we stick to our knitting and leave the financial shenanigans to the likes of Liverpool, Portsmouth, West Ham etc etc etc.
If we have to sell out, let’s hope whoever might take over:
a) Are Evertonians.
b) Are genuine football fans.
c) Are British.
I for one do not want Everton to be foreign-owned. That’s not part of a party political broadcast for the BNP before anyone makes a cheap comment. It’s just that I’d like Everton to still represent all that’s great about this great game of ours... not just become another ’brand’, run by and played for by mercenaries.
21 Posted 13/10/2009 at 03:59:04
There are plenty of people in the UK with the wealth to do it, and people on these pages have called for the likes of Lord Grantchester to "put in £100m, only 10% of his wealth", or even Paul McCartney (by his own admission, a Blue rather than Red... marginally!). The fact is, it’s their wealth and they invest it how they see fit.
A lot of the overseas investors are into the Premier League because of the media exposure they can generate, and the revenues that go with it. Especially if the collective TV deal breaks down, and clubs start negotiating their own deals (something Philip Carter wanted I believe when Everton were at the forefront of discussions establishing the Premier League back in 1990).
22 Posted 13/10/2009 at 10:37:21
23 Posted 13/10/2009 at 15:46:41
"With a true blue Chairman like BK — rather than become the plaything of some billionnaire and look to build the best possible team. "
In x many years, when City have won yet another trophy, and we are bottom half mediocrity again (our best players will eventually leave for more ambitious clubs), you can sit back and feel assurred that "True Blue" Bill is looking after our best interests.
24 Posted 13/10/2009 at 15:52:25
We move to Kirkby and Tesco buy the club, lock, stock and two smoking ones. We change our name to Tesco Wanderers. Before you all jump on me. They have the financial clout and the marketing tools do pull it off if they want too.
NOW THAT’S SCARY!
25 Posted 13/10/2009 at 16:17:02
Now, given our Marketing Department's history in negotiating "excellent" deals for Everton, I imagine they would snatch Tesco Terry’s hand off. So we would be watching Everton FC playing outside Liverpool in the Tesco Superstore Stadium, Kirkby, with "Tesco" stamped all over the Royal Blue shirt. How far away would we be then from being owned by Tesco?
Or is it just scaremongering....
26 Posted 13/10/2009 at 16:46:51
Phil Martin — would you really want to be in City’s shoes now? They are a laughing stock and they get booed at every game!
Careful of what you wish for!
27 Posted 13/10/2009 at 16:59:39
I don't want Everton to be City, but I don't see how they are the laughing stock. Ask a City fan if they were laughing 8 years ago when they were in the third tier... OR if they’re the laughing stock now with their best squad ever.
There has to be a balance. All very well thinking "this is great, not being owned by dodgy foreigners". But we aren’t progressing under our current ownership. In fact, we are slipping slowly backwards.
28 Posted 13/10/2009 at 16:45:06
"Apart from your irrational fear of things from ’overseas’ ". Sorry I missed this comment, as I’ve been walking around the bay of Roses in Catalunya quite a lot recently....
"— you do your argument no good by producing a hysterical worst-case scenario."
I can’t see how what I was suggesting could happen gets anywhere close to a worst-case. It is simply a possible extrapolation of the ’investment’ argument.
A billionnaire (individual, family or institution) is going to ’invest’ in EFC - to make money? How much return would they want on their dollar? Or they mightn’t worry about that kind of thing. Money no object. Give them all they want and let them get on with it. Why? Dollars or petrodollars? Why would anyone want to own EFC? What is in it for them?
Relatively speaking, I may have been a ’hysterical’ youngster when UL awarded me my Economics Degree all those years ago, but my hormones seem to have settled down a bit since then. Mind you, I can still live in hope.
ps: — I’m sure you must be aware of the etymology of ’hysteria’. Are you sure it is a term we should be using today?
29 Posted 13/10/2009 at 19:19:09
"I was more a lad of the 70’s...!" Are you the Martin Anderson I often went to the match with during the 70s before I emigrated?
30 Posted 13/10/2009 at 21:59:07
It seems to me the questions you raise as regards prospective owners apply just as well to our current owners. Whoever owns the club will be a businessman or a group of businessmen, we can only hope they run this particular business well & make the club successful.
31 Posted 13/10/2009 at 21:55:58
To summarise, the jist I get from this article is that the fella who wrote it is not content with a top 6 finish and silverware this year (if that doesn’t represent steady progress then please enlighten me), and is only content with... er, please do tell me!
I, like most fans, can get mightily pissed off with the team at times, and can fairly (and equally unfairly) single out individual players, but that doesn’t deter me from the fact that I think we have an excellent squad this year with an excellent manager, and, believe it or not, a chairman (who may be "poor") who has the club’s best interests at heart.
In essence, I am HUGELY PROUD of my team, always have been and always will be, and at present am more proud than I ever have been in my 20 odd years of supporting the Blues.
Also, how some "fans" try and mock how we done last season is nothing short of fucking disgraceful.
All in all, try and get behind the team once in a fucking while rather than trying to drag us through the mud.
COYB NSNO FTRS
32 Posted 13/10/2009 at 22:59:41
it’s been very pleasing to see a return of realism in this thread and some positivity — as well as no lack of ambition.
Things will NEVER be perfect any any club, but right now, I’m happy with ours and the direction we’re moving in.
Good to see so many kindred spirits out there...
33 Posted 14/10/2009 at 06:05:31
True I am not wildly optimistic, there are just too many very strong teams now, Villa, Shitty, hang up your Spurs to name but a few, even Pompey look a strong team and they are bottom! Leon hit the nail on the head saying it just got an awful lot harder, so upper mid-table with a bang at the Europa, maybe even winning it (our best shot — no Chelski, who we can never beat!).
I can’t wait to see how we fare against the 'Pool, Shitty etc this season... I think it will be really tough, goodness the latter even beat us last season. But with the above reservations I am pretty happy with the current team and the general direction.
Hopefully Shitty will shat itself out and come unstuck, they don't have the togetherness and spirit we have, and Villa may run out of steam like last season... and spurs are up and down rather and fallible despite Defoe one of the best players in the country.
Best let’s do the Wolverines!
34 Posted 14/10/2009 at 11:37:58
The point being that you are simply promoting a ridiculously skewed prophesy of the negatives of investment - in order to promote your aversion to such an outcome. That could be considered scaremongering.
P.S I think you’ll find the dictionary is littered with words of dubious origins due to historical context — hardly a valid reason for striking them down.
35 Posted 15/10/2009 at 10:14:34
36 Posted 15/10/2009 at 10:54:13
Although you quote NSNO, in your 20 years you’ve never seen Everton live up to it. Some of us have...and what we are being told to ’realistically’ accept now is as painful as being told to stop yearning for a lost love.
37 Posted 15/10/2009 at 11:01:32
Judging by your response, you have completely missed the point of my thread. Read it again, if you still don’t get it, I’ll give it another go, but to be honest I agree with pretty much everything you’ve written there except the fact that its aimed as a response to what I’ve written.
Of course I’d rather be top six than fighting relegation. Of course that is progress, who could possibly say it is not? The point of my thread is that I think we’ve reached our limit!
It's not a slur on anything we’ve achieved up 'til now, it's simply waking up to the fact that I think our steady progress may have reached its limit with the tools currently at our disposal. Now if we go on to win the league anytime soon I’ll glady come on here and admit I got it wrong, but until then...
38 Posted 15/10/2009 at 11:33:20
39 Posted 15/10/2009 at 16:31:08
If we went around doing that it would no longer be fair for me to call you a "pillock".
Three cheers for freedom of speech.
40 Posted 15/10/2009 at 21:53:38
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