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Where's My Website Gone?

By Nick Entwistle :  29/10/2009 :  Comments (47) :
Stating the Big Picture is a favourite of ToffeeWeb contributors presently. The position Everton have been found residing for a number of seasons, teetering on the precipice of Champions League or the deeply unsatisfying continuation of making up the numbers allow these thoughts a resonance that does not apply to most other clubs.

And though it is still October, following the tabloid fashion that abounds in the journalism of our times, contributors are reacting to how the right-now reflects on this big-picture; the finish to the season and our potential for the following one. And that reaction? Utter catastrophe; that is conveyed in many of these submissions.

If the team were playing fine, as they were recently, five games won on the bounce, the big picture would take care of itself, no need as such to mention it. So perhaps, much is being said from the vocal minority, and the cool calm majority feel we’ve seen this all before.

The injury list is high in numbers and quality, and the weakest link in last year’s superb defence is the only one playing on the pitch, and playing out of position. All that’s happened as a result is losing three in a row, but some now fear it's all David’s fault that we’re facing relegation because he doesn’t play pass and move. He hoofs it, and the players are rubbish.

How very quickly the revered become the maligned.

Newspapers work because they select a section of society, and angle their journalism on the zeitgeist. The way people are, some will feel empowered by the re-enforcement of their identity in the print before them and thus become the core readership.

I don’t read any newspapers. I find biased reporting on any subject condescending. I have a brain. I’ll use it to form my own opinion. How blessed be to think and not be told in today’s world.

Personal comment though is different to reporting. It may not be my view, your view, shared by anyone but the author, but it can and will be entertaining. That is why ToffeeWeb is a success.

But somebody writing about the big picture of how they see the club of course needs a reverence behind their submission. It will not be supported by a few sentences of brief exclamation in the mailbag. So the submissions professing utter catastrophe due to our current run, are submitted as articles that, for good or bad, are attempts at journalism. Some succeed to a journalistic level of writing, some fail. Either way, the attempt is made and the viewpoint is conveyed.

Shame though with influence of today's tabloids everything needs to be black and white, yet I cannot for a moment understand the astounding belief some hold that a relegation dog fight is on the cards come the end of the season. But in this mire we find ourselves, what came first with these ToffeeWeb contributors? The panic? The fear? Perhaps it was the hopelessness?

Those who are most vocal in this three-game losing streak, by nature will be the most reactionary, and perhaps the most malleable to a consensus of thought that underlines their fears. Safety is always found in numbers. And you move with the herd.

The idiosyncratic despair found in Tony Marsh’s vociferous indulgences is lost among many such contributions. The doom mongers are re-enforcing their identity with the exaggeration of events through tabloid headlines such as The End is Nigh and with extreme viewpoint, shout down opinion which does not run parallel with their own and dismiss others as Moyes Apologists.

It is no surprising then, that ToffeeWeb has accrued a niche market like all newspapers. It's content changing from fan site contribution, to journalistic tabloid submission, has formed a zeitgeist, empowered by the re-enforcement of their shared identity and made ToffeeWeb read like a newspaper produced for a section of society I share no affinity with. An online tabloid for the melodramatic reactionaries to group together.

The website has not so much chosen its readership, more the current contributors have chosen its website and all it needed was a run of submissions sharing a doom-laden prophecy! It feels as if I’ve picked up a long dismissed newspaper and realised why I never read it a second time.

The weird and wonderful diversity of opinion that makes this website great has been missing in action since the game at Wolves, so I look forward to the change that will come to pass on these pages. It will take a few players to return, back-to-back victories, and finally the bigger picture can take care of itself once more. But right at this moment, ToffeeWeb is not a publication to which I would subscribe.

It is very difficult to shout louder than these reactionaries and stop their momentum, when others feel is that there’s nothing to worry about. But that won’t get our website back. Not until we start winning again. Three points from the Villa. That’ll do nicely.

Reader Comments

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

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1   Posted 30/10/2009 at 00:47:21

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Hehe, Nick; nice attempt at journalistic superiority expressed from 30,000 feet.

As you might expect, I take a different view. If you actually take off the blinkers, the diversity of viewpoints is still there, and to claim that it has somehow been subsumed by louder voices of doom is inaccurate. Look at the number of posts that justify the current spell as an inevitable outcome of having a whole side of players out injured.

It’s simply that optimism quite rightly gets a sharp kick in the balls after three dismal defeats, while pessimism is given a highly predictable boost. T’was ever thus, and to somehow pretend otherwise is disingenuous to the very nature of being a football fan.

As you suggest, the pendulum will simply reverse when we secure a win or three. T’was ever thus... so your narrative is hardly ground-breaking, despite your expansive and flowing style of penmanship.

To me, it says everything that you chose to compose this loquacious and yet ultimately vacuous exposition instead of actually writing something optimistic about Everton. Thus you indirectly admit to being laid low by the exact same syndrome of which you complain. Instead of trying to pigeonhole us in your journalistic paradigm, why not just participate constructively yourself?

The answer is: you can’t. And not many others can. Because poor performances and poor results have that effect. To me, it’s completely understandable. The last thing it needs is a discourse in dialectic pseudo-journalism.

At the end of the day, this a website that reflects the mood, feelings and viewpoints of those who are sufficiently motivated to contribute. I don’t think you need to find anything beyond that. I suspect very few of our contributors are, or even aspire to be, journalists — which is anyway something of dying art, is it not.

Your analysis seems somehow retrograde; this is teh internet, not the print media. Plenty of folks are getting seriously in a bind by conflating the two.

Our mission is blindingly simple: We target primarily Evertonians who are interested in understanding and contemplating the current situation, on a day-to-day basis, whatever that may be... good, bad or indifferent. We encourage them to share their opinions, viewpoint and analysis — about Everton — not about this website.
Alan Kirwin
2   Posted 30/10/2009 at 01:11:36

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Seems to me Nick has got it just about spot on Michael. He doesn’t need to spout out positivity or defend Moyes or anybody else. His thesis is not to indulge in the reactionary, herding, doom-mongering that others do, based on results over just 6 days and in the circumstances in which they were realised.

And there are indeed any number of contributors to this site who try very hard to dress up opinion, brain dump or outright prejudice as some form of factual journalism, rather than the cant that it is.

Nick’s position appears to be to rest easy and keep perspective. We are better than we currently appear, there are strong mitigating factors to our current plight and all recent evidence suggests we will ride it out. The specific reference to those forecasting relegation dog fights is, if anything, not dismissive enough.

Personally I feel Moyes does have something to answer for. But I also agree with most of what Nick says. His is a mature take on current events. A refreshing change from the weight of the dark clouds submitted from others and, in that sense alone, very welcome.
Matt Traynor
3   Posted 30/10/2009 at 01:19:27

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Following on from Michael’s response, and I do share your views about what masquerades as "news" and "journalism" on established websites these days, the nature of the beast that is fora like these to allow users to express their opinions is the diversity of opinions, and style, it invites.

Thus, it’s content driven (and that content will be partially reflective of the teams’ misfortunes).

Some people like to write eloquently, with a smattering of "content-pairing" such as what bottle of port reflects their particular mood.

Some will use profanities, the vulgarity scale showing their degree of optimism / pessimism at that moment in time.

Others will use humour, or sarcasm, to lubricate their point of view.

None of which particularly adds / detracts from the point that person is making. Just some are easier to read than others, regardless of whether you agree or not.

I remember from pretty much the birth of t’Internet (in my life!) reading the opinions of a Charlie in Ottawa, which always signed off with a weather report - usually how deep the snow was outside of his front door.

Then, having just seen us suffer a 5-1 twatting at home, with 6 full-backs in the team, gained some perspective.

I miss Charlie.
Gary Hughes
4   Posted 30/10/2009 at 02:38:45

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What psuedo intellectual bullshit. I’ve got a couple of decent A Levels myself & usually manage to pass the grammar & punctuation obstacles. I also somehow manage to ignore people talking about our ’defense’ & the ’center’ of our midfield.

The fact of the matter is that ToffeWeb gives people a platform to express their views and generally let off steam and they don’t deserve to be psycho analyzed by some narcissistic bufoon who appears to be driven solely by his own sense of personal satisfaction. Do you read The Guardian by any chance?

(Any spelling or grammar mistakes are due to the fact that I’ve been drinking heavily prior to posting.)

Stephen Graham
5   Posted 30/10/2009 at 03:35:56

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"But right at this moment, ToffeeWeb is not a publication to which I would subscribe."

So why the contribution to ToffeeWeb of fifty lines or so of utter twaddle?

"Some succeed to a journalistic level of writing, some fail."

Guess what?

"The weird and wonderful diversity of opinion that makes this website great has been missing in action since the game at Wolves"

There’s a very good reason for that - less diversity of opinion.
Mike McLean
6   Posted 30/10/2009 at 05:42:51

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Nick and Alan: some do indeed use vulgarity. Is that any worse than the self satisfied superiority you both attempt to employ?
Stephen Kenny
7   Posted 30/10/2009 at 08:08:46

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You don't read newspapers because you like to make your own mind up. Fair enough.

Yet everyone who posts a (valid?) opinion that we could be in for a relegation battle, club sould be a sinking ship etc, does so because they find safety in numbers and wouldn’t normally air these views?

My OWN views are not influenced by yours, Tony Marsh’s or anyone else’s. This is the most condescending piece I’ve ever read on this site, but does prove the point this website is willing to represent all views.
Kevin Sparke
8   Posted 30/10/2009 at 07:50:10

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Nick... just do what I do mate - stay away until we start winning again.

I’m miserable enough as it is with events on the field without making it worse by ingesting some of the doom mongering pathetic excuse for analysis from some of the regulars on here.

It seems at times that they are trying to outdo each other with their gloomy outlook - if I wanted to be miserable all the time I’d have stayed married!

However, whatever you do don’t try to rationalise our demise, and don’t seek to explain... and whatever you do don’t offer an evidence based argument — or you’ll be labeled an ’apologist’.
Dave Wilson
9   Posted 30/10/2009 at 07:44:01

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As well written an article as I’ve seen on this site. Unfortunately MK is right, even if he does labour his point.

The footy fan is a simple animal, if we win we are happy and we are likely to say so, if we lose we are pissed and we are even more likely to say so.

TW merely provides us with the platform to do this, the site can only be one-sided if people with an alternative views chose to remain silent

Michael makes another good point — I knew if I lived long enough — If you are really so uncomfortable with the volume of the case for the prosecution, why not do something about it?

What are you, man or mouse ? Use your obvious talent... and don't let yourself be shouted down.

Tony Williams
10   Posted 30/10/2009 at 10:17:19

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As Dave above says, we are simple animals, the posters who are most pissed off will "scream" the loadest and the posters who look at the "big picture" and rationalise scenarios and situation seldom feel the need to post a rant.

It goes back to Michael’s blog when he asked if this site is perceived as negative, I beleive it is simply because the greater emotion between contentment and anger is clearly anger, so people are more likely to post when they feel the latter.

You only need to review the mailbag and Fans Articles when we had our mini run, this site was quite quiet but as soon as we played shite against Stoke and Wolves the traffic (probably down to Marshy) soared.

Marshy is one end of the spectrum with Doddy at the other end and the rest of us somewhere in the middle, constantly moving to either end depending on the results.

I don’t like profanities, as I feel it detracts from the posts, I prefer sarcasm and a touch of humour, unfortunately this has landed me in pre-mod sevveral times.

Angry people shout loudest usually and was it Wilde that said something like, "Never argue with an idiot, passers by will not be able to tell the difference" — wise words!
Ian Ankers
11   Posted 30/10/2009 at 10:49:47

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I’m afraid that article was way above my head. Too many words I didn’t understand, but if I’ve got the gist correct, the author thinks that this website is full of doom-and-gloom merchants and followers.

Personally I think there’s a decent balance of opinion on here, but the fact is Everton have been appalling lately. There's no getting round it. Even when we were winnig, we were awful to watch.

Just lately it has been far from fun going to the game. When we start winning and who knows maybe one day winning with style, I’ll write nothing but joy and praise, but until then, its all poo!

Alan Kirwin
12   Posted 30/10/2009 at 10:50:40

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Tony W - as good as it gets, great post.
Mike Gwyer
13   Posted 30/10/2009 at 10:43:34

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A lot this is down to information. Or basically lack of it.

We, as Evertonians, want answers and Davey answers to nobody.

We as Evertonians, have many questions; right now mine I’m asking why the fuck is Fellaini playing, and when he does play it is usually in Cahill’s position, why?? And then Cahill is playing out on the left somewhere, giving away free kicks. Why??

As I said, Davey does not give any reasoning as to why, like it or lump it basically.

However, I have noticed at GP that the verbal mongers are starting to find their feet and Davey had better prepare himself if the defeats carry on.
John Sreet
14   Posted 30/10/2009 at 11:03:34

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I thought it was a great article... and the jibes about the style and its eloquence simply contribute to his point of view. There’s no Question as Tony Williams writes that anger expresses itself louder than happiness, it is at times depressing reading almost worthy of renaming the site Toffeeneg.

Has anyone noticed that Doddy that lovely optimist has almost disappeared driven off into the woods no doubt by some of the vitriol that is targetted at him. However, much of what is written is knee-jerk, and the only thing we seem to agree on is that our footy right now isn’t the best!

Kevin Sparke
15   Posted 30/10/2009 at 11:09:20

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Another thing that winds me up is punters who try to re-write history to support their gloomy veiwpoint - take this little gem:

"Even when we were winning we were awful to watch"

Erm... have you only started watching them this season mate?

Can you not remember the spells last season and the season before when we played some very attractive football with Micky Arteta in the middle of park stroking the ball around and the brilliant link-up play between Baines, Peanuts, Lescott?

We don’t play attractive football often enough but to say we’ve never played it even when winning is outright bullshit of the first order...

Now, just to make things easy for you have a look at the list of players above... one doesn’t play for us anymore... what do you notice about the players in that list?

Second question - why do you think we’ve not been playing attractive football?

Could it be... ???
Dave Randles
16   Posted 30/10/2009 at 11:30:46

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Ciarán McGlone
17   Posted 30/10/2009 at 11:51:24

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An article about the stiffling of opinion...How ironic.

Nicely written, but very few points for ignoring the prevailing ’zeitgeist’ that’s been apparent for some time... What you are effectively doing is not accepting the validity of opposing opinions... or the right to express them.

Seems a little churlish.
Gerry Quinn
18   Posted 30/10/2009 at 12:24:23

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The beauty of ToffeeWeb is its accessibility and speed of instant reaction from afar.

Texting, Blogging, Tweeting, or whatever, is complicated to an old chronie like me. I am digitally challenged and can’t handle the ads, the "let’s be your friend", or the txt-spk gobbledygook of those sites!

Hey, someone asked me to look at their pictures on Facebook a few weeks ago. I signed on and have been saturated with requests to be their "friend" from obnoxious bastards I forgot years ago! Yep, I even lock the doors and hide here in Houston for "Trick and Treat".........ungrateful little twats knockin on my door, grabbing armfuls and having to be reminded by all and sundry with "what do you say" as they run off dropping bagloads of nutty!

Bluekipper — great site, funny as hell at times, but can take days/weeks for updates, etc.
ToffeeWeb, hah, easy. I log on, I read an article, I type a message, hit the button, the screen refreshes and that’s it — no ads, no pop-ups or other interfering crappage. Can you imagine reading a newspaper in the park and someone keeps pushing a card in front of the page advertising something — like Jehovas frickin’ Witnesses — IN YER FACE!

In the bygone days of successful Everton teams the only outlet was the pub (better than a screen, eh?). The more drinks you had, the more forceful your argument, depending on who was in the bar at the time. With ToffeeWeb we are honoured to have the "virtual" pub.
Marshy and Doddy are sitting in the virtual pub, at opposite ends of the Snug bar, surrounded by their followers, intermingled with a multitude of different characters and all swapping general post-match comments. Slowly the comments explode into differences of opinions — more get involved turning into arguments all round.

Some sit and chirp in with sensible comments, some spout crap, some try to calm the situation down, some stir it up, some watch from afar and try to chip in with fear of a reaction. Tension mounts and you know something has got to give.
The Landlord, Michael Kenrick, steps in and throws an offensive twat out. Rammo thinks that’s unfair — he was only swearing and offending everyone with his "freedom of speech"...

Hey, I don’t need to go on, my "local" is online continually.

Michael, how about virtual drinks all round to all of your customers — love the site, love all of your characters — and NO closing time.... brilliant.

Andy Crooks
19   Posted 30/10/2009 at 12:24:08

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Nick, just how do you form your own opinions without reading a range of newspapers? Surely not from tv or radio? Their reporting is just as biased.
Tony Williams
20   Posted 30/10/2009 at 13:09:10

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Andy, I would say that he makes his opinions on the information he already has, it may not be an informed opinion but at least it is his own.

Reading newspapers will only give you on insight on the opinion of the author of the article but I know where you are coming from.
Rob Heib
21   Posted 30/10/2009 at 13:19:48

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In regards to the question: "why not just participate constructively yourself?" I struggle to think of many times when this has worked.

One of the biggest frustrations I find here is that an opinion is expressed, questions are asked in return, and more often than not the questions hang there unanswered. Then you see someone (sometimes the same person) in a new message make the same exact point again -- it’s fine if you disagree but I’d love to hear WHY.

Here’s a good example: in the recent Marsh thread he said Bily was a wasted signing. Ciarán (whom hardly falls into the Moyes apologist category) made some very good points in disagreement with that particular point. Tony never discussed these points in return. This is just one example but it happens all the time (not just with Marsh, I just thought of that example).

The original opinion that Bily is a wasted signing (paraphrasing) wasn’t backed up by anything of substance. It was just stated as if it was an indisputable fact. It was fair to ask for some more insight into that opinion (which a number of people did aside from just Ciarán).

Then we get that old chestnut (seen in this thread) about "not accepting the validity of opposing opinions." Well it’s hard to accept them when you only get this basic top-level view — you never get to dig deeper. In that same thread Tony Williams says, "This is not a wind up but a genuine attempt to get into your mindset, Tony." That has also not (yet) gotten a reply. This isn’t Marsh bashing; it’s just a recent example which comes to mind. It happens in practically every article/mailbag on the site — these bold, often entirely unsubstantiated statements are made, presented as facts, then valid questions are just left unanswered. How do you hope to have a discussion or acceptance of different viewpoints under those circumstances?

Some of this may well just be the nature of the site (old mailbag/articles get pushed down and off the main page so perhaps people never even see the questions at the end of the thread). However, for the example I cited he did reply in the thread, he just cherry picked certain questions and ignored the interesting ones. That happens a lot too.

So I have a suggestion everyone will hate ;)

  • A semi-regular feature in which two people debate an issue or two;
  • Only those two participate (but it can of course be done again and again with different participants);
  • You have a limited word count per response but you get to go back and forth again and again;
  • Per round you can make one statement, answer a question asked to you, and then ask one (only one per round) question of your own;
  • The answers are reviewed by someone so if you don’t address the question asked it gets sent back to you to revise;
  • People go back and forth via e.mail and then the final back and forth discussion is posted as an article (then people can comment as normal);
Drastic? Yes. Time intensive? Sure. But I’ve seen it done elsewhere (albeit as a back and forth between two professional writers) and found it a very interesting format. Maybe we’d finally get some answers and understand view points better if we could see a discussion go deeper — further than point / counterpoint... "you’re a (apologist/negative bastard)" — end.
Marc Williams
22   Posted 30/10/2009 at 14:14:37

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Andy Crooks - He probably forms his opinions through "Divine intuition" , just like Doddy & his ilk!

Nick Entwhistle - I’m just about to book myself on an Open University course so I can understand your future posts. I thought this one was COMPLETE BOLLOCKS but who knows, once I’m educated, I may be able to give you the intellectual plaudits you so obviously crave!
Jamie Rowland
23   Posted 30/10/2009 at 14:34:51

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Whatever... it's Friday, we play Villa tomorrow (and we will stuff them)...

3pm Ssaturday kick off, at home, hurrah!

Everton are magic! In Moyes we trust! Kenwright isn’t a liar, Goodison is perfect, etc etc.

I’m a happy blue... Would like to win more but then I can remember Mike Walker, Joe Royle’s last season, Peter Johnson, Walter Smith, Kings Dock...

Aanything that comes out nowadays is nothing compared to that load of old shite... today its just water off a duck’s back.

Nick Entwistle
24   Posted 30/10/2009 at 14:43:37

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I’ve enjoyed the responses to my article, though some could well do with MK’s chuckling realisation that there is something of a polemic narrative within.

The supercillious nature of the writing was also an anthithesis towards the tabloid nature of the posts I was looking down on from 30,000 ft above, but it's difficult not to do so when so many end with the previously mentioned ’End Of...’

I’d also agree that it is vacuous. I was half expecting it not to be published for that alone. Essentially, I could have summed up the article in one line... ’Ehhh there’s some negative buggers on ToffeeWeb’.

Though my main point is that, others will endulge themselves, by outdoing others of the down cast ilk and prophesies on relegation. Absolute nonsense. So yes, Ciarán, I on that front do not accept the validity of others' arguments, the same way I do not accept the validity of, say, the Daily Mail.

Andy: Though I do not read papers, I have to find my news from somewhere. Not that I view any media outlet in the UK deserving of the afforded reverence that comes their way simply because the are News. But I do watch the BBC mainly.

Its a chore to watch, but I will always question the recieved reality, and decipher the crap. Then, and only then can I make judgement. ITN... don’t get me started.
Charley Brooker and his Newswipe, which you can find on YouTube, backed up my beleif that TV news is something that needs to fill the schedules, but has no credence above that of an entertainment programme.

It is annoying that, in this day and age, news sources are showing dreadful standards of impartiality, and they say we live in a free society!

I stay away from newspapers as unlike the TV or online with the BBC, their agenda is far more obvious and blatant that I cringe everytime I do happen to have one briefly in my hands. They are there to manipulate society according to the owners' whims. It's the Sun what won it... remember? I just do not understand the importance and the influence they can have on society. But then, we live in a malleable and docile country.

And Gary! How dare you accuse me of having a couple of A-levels! Not even one! Only got my GCSE English on a retake and got a C!
Pistols at dawn Sir!

3 point tomorrow please!!!!

Brian Waring
25   Posted 30/10/2009 at 15:06:17

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And here’s me thinking that Toffeeweb was for all Evertonian’s, no matter what your stance on Moye’s, the club etc, to come on and voice their opinions?
When all along it was only for fans who could see the ’Big picture’ and who can write eloquently.

What a load of bollocks!
Brian Viner
26   Posted 30/10/2009 at 15:41:10

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Nick, I’m sorry you don’t read newspapers on the grounds that you have a brain but if you can bring yourself to take some advice from a fairly experienced newspaperman, let me offer some. When trying to make a point, write concisely in plain English. Don’t use long words for the sake of it. And never, ever use the word ’zeitgeist’ more than once, if at all. Up the Blues ...
Matthew Tait
27   Posted 30/10/2009 at 15:58:09

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Personally I thought the article was worth reading for this extraordinary bit of purple prose:

"The idiosyncratic despair found in Tony Marsh’s vociferous indulgences"

I chuckled! Very nice Nick.

Other than that, Tony Williams’ response pretty much summed up my views on the whole discussion.

Oh and Rob I thought your suggestion for a regular point-counterpoint feature was a good one. Though god forbid Tony be a regular starter for that feature, he gets enough of a soapbox here as it is!
Nick Entwistle
28   Posted 30/10/2009 at 15:51:27

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Brian, it took me about 90 minutes to write this article, and another three hours to edit and chop it up into something readable.

Unfortunately, this is as concise as I can be, I’m fully aware that I get lost in my own thought process.

Though what publication do you work for that you feel you can offer advice after being condescending?

As I don’t think I have used the word zeitgeist ever before, I was just getting my money’s worth. :)
Mike Gwyer
29   Posted 30/10/2009 at 16:15:43

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Fuck me; “zeitgeist” = “It is in reference to the preferances of the culture at large”.

If you or your mates are parking your arses in the Gwladys Street end then that explains why the singing has stopped — absolutely nothing to do with the shite footy. Mind you, you could start singing “there’s only one zeitgeist”. I will laugh.
Nick Entwistle
30   Posted 30/10/2009 at 16:24:56

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Ahhhhh, you’re that Brian Viner. Hmmmm...

I therefor have no surprise you can spot the flaws in my writing ability.
I put those there just to test you!
Jimmy Changa
31   Posted 30/10/2009 at 17:34:25

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At least you’re not a hyperpolysyllabicsesquipedalianist, Nick.
Roger Domal
32   Posted 30/10/2009 at 17:30:50

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I actually though the article was great...a little verbose perhaps, but well written and well said.

I wish there was more of a football tactics discussion with knowledgeable supporters who could come up with a thought or two instead of as someone posted earlier "why is Fellaini playing in Cahill’s position when Cahill is out wide giving away free kicks" that is legitimate criticism, but as my boss always says if you are going to bhring me a problem you better have the solution with you.

To me the solutions are NEVER written about, just the problems. Sure, we indulge ourselves with Football Manager fantasies, but we never write about the realities in front of us. We blame BK, but he’s not exactly going away. We blame hoofball, when we don’t really do that, we blame the physio when we have no idea if Yobo hit his head walking into a door in the middle of the night or not. We speculate on this site. And there are some who speculate with little or no facts or ability to discern a tactic.

I think Nick is saying that the site has become predictable. I can tell without reading that when we lose badly, TM will be published and it will be a screaming rant about the same stuff. Some of it might be accurate, but we have read it before. And there will be a bunch of posters who will back him up to the hilt...Ciaran comes to mind, and then there are the Moyes backers who see there man as doing no wrong.

I love this site and visit it often, but I tend to stay away for a few days after a loss because it’s bad enough that we lost, but it’s worse to read the reactions from the supporters time after time. Change it up every once in awhile.

Tony Marsh
33   Posted 30/10/2009 at 18:40:30

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"Where's my website gone?" you ask Nick... well, where's my dictionary gone? Have you swallowed it? Why all the smart arse English degree student stuff?

I admit you lost me there a few times and in the end I didn't have a clue what the fuck you where on about. My O-Levels in Table Tennis and Colouring In are no match for your superior intellect, Nicky Boy.

To be honest, lots of fancy words with very little substance. All though you will be creaming your Y-fronts if we beat Villa and deluding yourself once more that we are on the right track, some of us won't be.

I have nightmares over the direction the club and team are headed and a win every 4 or 5 games won't stop them. Moyes has stabilsed the club, yes, but he is now killing the passion of the fan base and tearing the heart and soul out of the club's traditions

If DK comes off and Moyes is still here, then bet your life most of the fans around my age won't be around to watch it. Thats okay, though, Nick, because you and others like you live one game at a time and don't care about the future or the lack of a future we will end up with.

Regardless of tomorrow's result, this season has been an absolute disgrace and a disaster yet SOME are still lapping it up and can't see the mess we are really in.

Watching Everton these days is a joyless and uneventful affair and the team is now matching Moyes as dull, uninspiring and boring.

Why should we all be jumping around with big smiles on our faces just because we won't be relegated... hang on, who says we won't???

Nick, what happens and your scenario of a win doesn't happen and we lose? What then? Ah, I know — we will get 3 points at Old Trafford... Dream on, Nick.
Karl Masters
34   Posted 30/10/2009 at 19:19:53

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Who’s this Zeitgeist fella we’re signing then? Not that German with the acne that used to play for Liverpool and Spurs is it?
Karl Masters
35   Posted 30/10/2009 at 19:21:31

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I agree with you that it has got very depressing round here lately. However, in these situations I like to clear my head and focus on what will get us out of trouble. In my view we are clearly leaking too many goals, so we go back to basics and start keeping clean sheets. The results will follow.

From what I observed the other night we didn’t play much differently to last season at Spurs when we won 1-0. There’s a thin line between success and failure in this league.

So there I am, trying to keep it simple and I read your article and need a lie down! A bit too complicated for the current situation, although I get your point.
Jamie Crowley
36   Posted 30/10/2009 at 22:56:48

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Just read and frankly glanced at the posts. I’d argue that for a lot of people who read this site — myself included — the massive and nearly polar opposite viewpoints expressed are exactly why we come here — posting or lurking — on an almost daily basis.

When I’m upset with results and style of play I find myself agreeing with many... let’s call them Marshites. When I realize all sports and sport seasons are a marathon and not a sprint I heed and agree with many ... let’s call them the Kirwinites.

Any sane and reasonable person understands both camps are actually accurate in assesments and viewpoints. We need more investment, a more wide open attacking style of play, etc. We also need to recognize the accomplishments of the Club over the past few years and how it stacks up over history, not just the few "glory" years, and we need to appreciate what we have. I always like to compare my beloved Red Sox to EFC. Took em from 1918 to 2004 to win a championship. It takes time....

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it 100 times again: that is exactly why this site is simply fantastic. Marshite or Kirwinite, everyone wants the same end game. And I’d argue that both camps make people think, consider, and view their Club from different perspectives — which inarguably makes them better, more well-informed fans. Hence that is why I’d argue this site and the regular contributors to it on both sides should understand how fantastic it (the site) and their (the posters / columnists) contributions are.

In short, I don’t give a fiddler’s fart which side the opinion is — I like the opinions.

Chris Keher
37   Posted 30/10/2009 at 20:57:25

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Why most people have looked upon this article with floccinaucinihilipilification is beyond me.

Personally I feel Nick has honorificabilitudinitatibus backed up by his views.
Jamie Rowland
38   Posted 30/10/2009 at 23:56:15

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I think a lot of the negativity that engulfs this site can often come from those who edit and write the columns.

Just look at any piece of news over the last three months. The narrative is almost always given a negative spin. Dont get me wrong - sometimes it deserves a negative spin but then again, sometimes it does not.

Take the current home page - the first thing that hits you is ’stadium of darkness’..

Followed by jokes around ’its not just evertons form thats scary...’

So the phrase ’get your own house in order before you comment on mine’ springs to mind.

Having said that, I agree that things get out of hand on this site at times - and I am as guilty as any for that.
Lyndon Lloyd
Editorial Team
39   Posted 31/10/2009 at 06:44:29

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Jamie Rowland, mate. We lost 5-0. There’s no positive spin to put on that result. "Stadium of Darkness" was a perfectly reasonable pun to make given the venue in which the game was played and mauling we suffered.

By the same token then, was our headline for the Blackburn victory ("Stylish Everton brush off Rovers") too effusive?!

The "scary form" pun... it’s for Halloween, FFS. Where’s your sense of humour? And, for the record, our form over the past four games HAS been scary. Setting aside the mitigating circumstances, would you argue that point?

Sometimes I think people just want to read negativity in everything when sometimes it’s just the raw reality of a given situation. We call it as we see it... always have.
Ged Simpson
40   Posted 31/10/2009 at 08:37:00

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I’m loving this. This is the joy of this great site.

Like being back at school. The lad who uses an extra syllable gets a kicking and is told he mustn’t use such language as it is poncy and makes some feel uncomfortable. We want equality!

Others spot a kindred spirit and become his mates. They form a goth gang and listen to Radiohead.

The teacher (MK - Ed) jumps in and matches the bright lad for language just to ensure we know who’s in charge... crap.

Then a few others jump in as budding literary reviewers.

I could leave my smug contribution there but really should describe myself. I swing between considered opinion to calling people a twat. It depends how I feel.

Most of the week to my missus and colleagues I am a fairly balanced professional man. On here I sometimes love to abandon everything I have learned in my life and just become a reactionary highly emotive lunatic often fuelled by a beer or two. Like I would be if I could get to games.

And I fucking love it..........

(Sorry if the F word offended anyone. Shit why did you aplogise? Fuck’em. Yeah but they have a view. Bollocks to that... ignorant gits. Yeah but not eveyone has a degree. Kill Hibbert. But what about his children?

Off to loony bin )
Brian Noble
41   Posted 31/10/2009 at 09:50:22

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Mention of Doddy in Tony Williams’post above has led me to enquire of the daft bugger as to his absence from these columns.He tells me in an email this morning that the Editor has put a block on his posts ’for being juvenile and sychophantic.’ Whilst I couldn’t agree more with that judgement, I detest censorship of any kind and there are quite a few on here whose contributions are far more offensive.

My views are the very antithesis of those held by Dodd but at least he provided something for us to laugh at-in sharp contrast to much of the venom spouted by the FACT brigade. Perhaps a written warning rather than an outright ban would have been a more appropriate action on your part, Ed?

Howard Don
42   Posted 31/10/2009 at 12:31:15

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A good article Nick and a lot I agre with. However Michael is right, a bad run will always bring the pessimists to the fore. The facts are we probably have a stronger squad than at any time since DM took over. Trouble is we also have the worst injury crisis I can remember in my 40-odd years watching Everton. Is this anyone’s fault or just appalling bad luck? Well it’s the latter of course, but this gives the knockers their chance.

Read anyone of Tony Marsh’s tirades, and they’ll always contain kernals of truth. From there it’s reasonably easy to put whatever spin you want, however outlandish, on the facts. The TM’s of the world take this way too far, but they’ll only really get a chance to launch in with the bile when things are going badly as they always will at some point in the season.
Paul Joy
43   Posted 31/10/2009 at 13:40:13

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Nick - sorry mate I think the views you have expressed are just pretentious and methinks you like the sound of your own voice.

More people are expressing their unhappiness at our clubs overall situation and playing style because our fans are not all unintelligent fools although some try hard at it!!

The diversity of opinion is still alive and well on Toffeeweb but there is a lot of negativity because this year there is a lot to be negative about. So get your head out of the clouds will you.

Tony Marsh in the snug bar of a pub??? What is that all about?
Consider a recent contribution of his re Benfica away — all his mates were going, tickets, hotel, flights all booked and paid for but he didn’t go!!!!! Yeah right — I bet his mates were made up.

TM lost all credibility with that nonsense. Yet his extremist negativity still has its support.

I have had my disagreements with Michael Kenrick but on this subject I agree with him.

Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
44   Posted 31/10/2009 at 15:15:58

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Brian, Doddy is fee to post. The fact that he hasn’t posted anything for a couple of weeks... and we haven’t been winning for at least that long, does confirm his role as the antithesis of Marsh.

Richard did make some false and defamatory claims about the website which I removed and put him on pre-mod, but that is not quite the same as being banned.
Ian Ankers
45   Posted 01/11/2009 at 14:27:14

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Kevin Sparke: ’Another thing that winds me up is punters who try to re-write history to support their gloomy veiwpoint - take this little gem:

"Even when we were winning we were awful to watch"

Erm... have you only started watching them this season mate?’

Kevin, what part of the word ’lately’ do you not understand? Nowhere in my reply do I have any mention of last season. Foolish boy!
Jamie Rowland
46   Posted 02/11/2009 at 09:51:56

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I probably used a bad example with the Stadium of Darkness quote.

I do however feel that there is a lot of negativity written both in and between the lines here at Toffeeweb. Many of the lads i sit by in the park end question why i visit this site. Some often branding it as ’terminal’, ’throat slitting’.

I like the site because it has news quicker and does allow the expression of opinion without major hinderence. I dont like the fact that opinions on this site are seemingly more extreme than other fan forum sites. For example, Bluekippers forum is lively and i find generally that if people dont agree, they say so without the ’thats a load of shite with bollocks susbtance on a bullshit topic’.

Plus a fair majority of articles written on this site have a negative slant (if not 50% gradient!). That is why some visiters try and post positive articles beginning with lines like ’right, amongst all the doom and gloom i thought i’d tell you how i feel’...

The article ’why i love everton’ was written very well but the author still had to put on the ’this is my opinion and my thoughts’ spin to try and stop the mountain of abuse that usually follows anybody who mentions Bk, DK, David Moyes etc. in a positive light.

Right - i’m off to find my rose tinted specs...
Ciarán McGlone
47   Posted 03/11/2009 at 15:46:48

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’And there will be a bunch of posters who will back him up to the hilt... Ciaran comes to mind’

Ahem... Simply not true. In fact you’ll find Rob recognises this fact earlier in this very thread...

What I will back to the hilt... is his right to air his views — whether I agree with them or not.

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