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Time To Get On Board?

By Tony Marsh :  04/11/2009 :  Comments (38) :
The Villa game last Saturday for me was one of those games that resembled two drunks fighting over the chile sauce in a Kebab shop at 1:30 in the morning. Messy, loud and not very pleasant to watch if you are sober.

I was told by a pal of mine at half-time that I was stuck in the 80s and Everton will never be like that again so let it go... Just enjoy what we are now and forget the past. "Villa are just as shit as us," he said, "so what's your problem?"

At that moment, it dawned on me he was right. Villa were crap and no better than us to watch. It started me thinking...

Man Utd, the current League Champions, look absolutely shite without Rhonaldo and were an embarrassment at Anfield last week. Spurs look crap; Man City, despite the billions, are falling apart. Chelsea use brute strength to overpower teams but lack any kind of class.

As for Liverpool... Ha Ha Ha! — got to love the 'Pool at the moment! The new Leeds United in the making? Add Bolton, Blackburn, Wigan, Sunderland and Birmingham to the Being Crap list and all we are left with is Arsenal who are a supreme footballing outfit. I can watch Arsenal play all day and they are a credit to football to be honest. Brazil and Holland rolled in to one.

So the Premier League is full of carthorse sides who want results over everything else. Staying up is all that matters so fuck entertainment. That's the reality of it and I can understand how many of our fans have fallen into the trap.

Under David Moyes, we have no doubt steadied the ship and are no longer perceived as relegation fodder — that much is true. My problem has always been style and substance over results with this guy. In 8 years in charge there are very few memorable games that I can recall.

Villa away in the 4th place finish season when we won 3-1 was a good un. The Andy Johnson Derby another. The shootout at Wembley v the Mancs one more but the rest has been very ordinary and mostly gruesome.

Now Joe Royle's short time as Everton manager has so many memorable games I lose count. Just as many feel good factor games as the all conquering side from the mid 80s in my book.

The FA Cup Final win in 1995 was the icing on the cake but Joe's first game in charge was a stomer. Big Dunc heading in a Hinchcliffe corner down the Street End in a 2-0 win over Liverpool lives long in the memory.

The semi final at Elland Road 1995 is another. The Golden Boys, Spurs, lead by Terry Venables, were massive favourites to reach the final that year. Sherringham, Klinsman, Barmby etc were going to destroy us.

Evertonians packed three sides of the stadium and the Blues won 4-1. Pure and utter Ecstacy. I doubt we will ever see the likes again. I feel sorry for those who couldn't make it that day. A sea of Blue and White out numbering the Cockneys 10-1. Thanks, Joe.

The Kanchelskis Derby at Anfiled is another I will never forget. Apart from the two cracking goals Kanchelskis slotted, Anders Limpar was a genius on the day and I have to admit it is one of my all time favourite wins ever. Limpar was as good as you get and I would love to see his like again.

The memory of watching the faces on those twats in the Kop as I sat in the Kemlyn Road stand still sends shivers down my spine. Two-up at half-time at Anfield was unheard of for an Everton side. Joe Royle as undeafeted in Derby games and Duncan Ferguson was at his peak back then.

Remember Big Dunc's two goals at Old Trafford that cold night way back in 1995-6 season? Never see that again. Remember Duncs header against the Mancs when he swirled his shirt above his head and clenched his fist at the Man U dugout as he ran past, muscles bulging??? Fucking Brilliant Stuff!

Seven at home v Southampton; 5 away at Shef Wed?? All these games under the Mighty Joe Royle and still stored for when the chips are down.

My pal was right: I do live in the past... but I suppose the reality of the EPL these days determines what we all must do. Grind out wins whichever way we can and be done with it. Win at all cost and fuck looking good.

If the likes of Man Utd and Liverpool are scrambling around happy just to win, then WHY cant we? It's about time my ultra critical mindset was replaced by the fact that Everton are no better or no worse on the eye than the rest of the crabs in the Premier League.

Do I like it? NO, not really.Will I have to live with it??Probably... We are all shite together and that's the truth and even I can't deny it any more. From now on it looks as though I will just have to suck it up and accept it if I am to stop myself going mad...

Watch the game, go to town, get bevied, go home drunk, try to get my leg over, get knocked back, end up in the spare room, and wake up happy if we win... That's what its all about for me from now on.

I will end up going round the bend if I don't stop waiting for footie to get played so stop I must? Revenge against Benfica might just be the start of a brand new dawn....


Reader Comments

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Mark Murphy
1   Posted 05/11/2009 at 14:34:32

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Who are you and what have you done with Tony Marsh??

Nostalgia aint what it used to be, so they say, but I even find myself fondly reminiscing on the Everton of the mid seventies when we were truly crap!

Hold on to your standards Tony — we will play better stuff — it will come with confidence. Our team is better than the football it is playing right now but I really believe they will play a few teams off the park soon — IF Moyes lets them!

I myself saw signs of improvement in that Villa game and I betcha that Heitinga begins to come good now following just that one meaty tackle!

Confidence is the key!
Graham Cook
2   Posted 05/11/2009 at 14:46:03

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I would never believe that after reading most of your comments for a couple of years now I would end up agreeing with you about everything you have written today. I travelled quite regular from the London area for all of Joe Royle's years and had great days, nights and journeys back to London. Tony, (if it’s really you) thank you for making me smile today.
Nick Entwistle
3   Posted 05/11/2009 at 14:55:29

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Did you get laid Tone?

I’d love to know what you think of Hibbert and Ossie now...
Kevin Sparke
4   Posted 05/11/2009 at 15:02:36

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So that’s where all the misery comes from - not getting your end away on a regular basis.

I’m surprised you never blamed Moyes...

"Not tonight darlin... we’re playing too much hoofball"

As it happens, I agree with much of your assessment and with a decent attacking midfielder and some work on the defence we could have blown the top four apart this season... pity our season seems to start three months after everyone else’s does.

Re Villa being shit... do you reckon it might be O’Neil’s fault?... didn’t you want him to manage us once?
Ciarán McGlone
5   Posted 05/11/2009 at 15:20:21

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Oh christ,

When Mr Marsh has given up on demanding improvement then I guess that’s the zeitgeist complete (eh Nick!)...

We are officially on the way to becoming stepford husbands and wives....complicit to medicrity and slaves to the coils of mortality..

Damn you, DAMN you all to hellllllllll....

Actually Tony, I’ve enjoyed watching West Ham, Fulham and Wigan this season...

All trying to play decent football...
Richard Murray
6   Posted 05/11/2009 at 15:22:06

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Pretty pointless article.

We were hardly Brazil under Royle now, were we? And for every memorable result you mention then, there’s been one under Moyes - and more.

About the only thing the article succeeds in doing is stating the obvious: Arsenal play with great verve and flair; most other sides in the league usually don’t.
Ian Tunstead
7   Posted 05/11/2009 at 15:34:18

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The same Wigan side that Portsmouth destroyed 4-0?

It will be interesting to see where West Ham, Fulham and Wigan end up at the end of the season. Probably like West Brom.
Robert Davis
8   Posted 05/11/2009 at 15:56:48

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Is this the twilight zone?
Phil Roberts
9   Posted 05/11/2009 at 15:35:10

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He’s drunk again!

Chili Sauce is from Chili Peppers, not from a West Coast South America country.

The Dogs of War of Joe Royle were not a team that played like Brasil. That was all about getting results. He started off when we were at the bottom and needed to get wins.

The semi at Wembley - from what I remember, they battered us and it needed Moyes to out Ferguson Ferguson and get to Mother so he didn’t give the penalty - all about the result.

But at least we got an indication of the age of the Marsh. Not one mention of the Golden Vision - of Ball Kendall and Harvey - now that was class and the sort of stuff that makes your spine tingle when you just think about it
Ray Burn
10   Posted 05/11/2009 at 15:51:23

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Wow, I fully agree with the article...broken clocks and all that.

Only Arsenal can really pull off the magic trick of playing superlative football AND get consistent results...and that requires boardroom patience, investment, stability AND one of, if not THE, most visionary, intelligent and important managers in the history of football - and they don’t tend to come around all that often.

Unfortunately, the mere mortal manager who attempts to play attractive football will usually come unstuck against a Sam Allardyce-esq team driven by opta-stats, christmas tree formations and percentage playing and whose first XI is filled front to back by cart-horse players with exuberant elbows.

Modern football. Don’t you just love it?
John Sreet
11   Posted 05/11/2009 at 16:04:12

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Now here’s a bloke who wears his heart on his sleeve, and reading his article I conclude that he is right, there were better days, there were better matches, there was more excitment. Tony’s also right that football is broken perhaps never to be repaired even the honesty has gone from the game, the characters........who could ever forget Ball sitting on the ball in a derby match or big Dunc on the prowl, or Kendall Harvey Ball in midfield, the eighties side, even back to the 60’s it was entertaining what with Bobby Collins and co, Alec Young and Vernon of the 70’s. There were other teams throughout thos eras who also had GREAT characters, it was truly a time of entertainment, I agree Tony Marsh I agree with you football is crap compared to those bygone days.........Only Arsenal can be expected to provide entertainment and success.
Yet someone writes.....pretty pointless post, well sir yours is the pointless post not Mr Marsh.
Eugene Ruane
12   Posted 05/11/2009 at 15:56:08

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Tony, this could be the first day of inner calm*.

You it seems, like me, have discovered something that was first hinted at by Confucius (well ok...not actually him but his cousin from Huyton).

"When a man bangs his head against the wall, it will be his head, not the wall, that ends up smashed........lad".

Presses hands together, bows.

SFX: Gong-g-g-g ! ! !

(*inner calm - lasts about three days then you’re back to growling...hopefully!)
Paul Joy
13   Posted 05/11/2009 at 16:17:50

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what happened to "Bottom 3 by Chrimbo"

What happened to the man who said about Benfica away " my mates are all going, I had tickets,flights, hotel all booked - but I can’t be arsed going" ?

But your latest effort has my sides hurting from laughing so much.

You have become as fickle and as prone to mood swings as my missus and she at least has the menopause to blame.

Lets see tonights efforts from Hibbo - that will get you back on track tomorrow. Get back on your medication fella it will all get back to being miserable again - them happy pills the doc has given you are too strong for you.
Ciarán McGlone
14   Posted 05/11/2009 at 16:28:56

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Yes, the same Wigan..

Does that affect my point?

I don’t think so...

To all those reminiscent of the ’good ole days’ - who suggest football is dead....teary eyed pap. The league is the most competitive it’s ever been...and the average standard of player is a hell of a lot higher..

Howard Don
15   Posted 05/11/2009 at 16:22:22

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I’m inclined to agree with Mark Murphy, who are you and what have you done with our Tony Marsh? He may be a hyper critical so and so but he’s our hyper critical so and so.

Seriously Tony for once I tend to agree, fotball isn’t what it was in many ways and Moyes can’t be blamed for that. I think he makes a brilliant fist of managing with what he has using the prevalent tactics of our era. If that’s not Ball Harvey and Kendal school of science stuff then that’s hardly his fault.

I disagree about the Joe Royle era, I love Joe as much as the next blue, but we didn’t exactly play like Brazil then, in fact in terms of getting the maximum out of what we had in terms of fight, commitment and team spirit we weren’t unlike the present team except not as good in my opinion.

Arsenal are the team most worth watching in the PL but you have to be very very careful, I’ve said before that one of the most attractive teams to come and try to play open football at Goodison last year was West Brom who were relegated with record low points, I rest my case.
Bob McEvoy
16   Posted 05/11/2009 at 16:45:36

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Rose tinted specs or what! When I first watched football in the 60’s all the pundits were always bemoaning the lack of "characters" Where were the Matthews ,Shackeltons etc. No doubt 10years earlier journalists waxed lyrical about why there was no one like Dean,Buchan and James. For all the nostaglia I can remember numerous shite matches played on mudheaps and all the quality players getting the shit kicked out of them . The pass back rule,outlawing of the proffessional foul ,relaxation of the offside law has imo improved the game immensely. I don’t know the stats but I would think there are far more last minute goals now that teams can’t close the game down ie Liverpool last night.
I agree with Tony about the general mediocrity in the PL at the moment ,Arsenal being the exception, but perhaps this suggests the sky4 hegemony is winding down .Lets hope so!
Alan Kirwin
17   Posted 05/11/2009 at 17:10:54

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It won’t last :)

Just on the footy thing. I found myself watching 2nd half of Cardiff v Forest on Sunday. Cardiff were so-so. But Forest played excellent football. Way ahead of Cardiff, very easy on the eye & these are essentially 2nd raters. Not a hoof ball in sight, if a pass wasn’t on they didn’t waste it, but always looking to go forward. Very European, in fact very much like Forest 78 - 82. Didn’t realise Billy Davies was Arsene Wenger in disguise.

It just shows it can be done & you don’t have to be Arsenal or Barcelona to do it.
Mike Oates
18   Posted 05/11/2009 at 17:10:18

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Tony , I dont agree with "the good times" in the past , if you watched the Bingham, the Lee, the Walker etc days of past you’d come to regard the Moyes days as successful.

I totally agree with your comments about this season’s Premiership - the quality has dropped substantially particularly Man U, Liverpool and Chelsea AND I fear we have in true Everton tradition missed the boat about our Top 4 target. An Everton with Arteta,Pinnear,Yakubu,Saha and Jags playing would be in the Top 4 now and playing some good stuff and with a great chance of staying there.

We’ve all commented on where we went wrong blah blah blah,but we are to late to change the past seasoon’s mistakes of late additions and I fear a season of little creativity with us doing our best to stay in Top 8 - which might not be good enough to keep our better players next season.
Steven Connor
19   Posted 05/11/2009 at 17:44:06

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Does Tony Marsh live in some sort of nostalgic utopian bubble, with fresh faced chimney sweeps whistling their way to work, front doors left open because no-one would rob you and teenagers who say please & thank you whilst not congregating in intimidating gangs ? This will be the same place where every team in the league is fantastic and all the football played in on a par with Brazil and Arsenal..... I must have lived through a different eighties to him!
Karl Masters
20   Posted 05/11/2009 at 17:38:47

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Whatever next?

Like a monster fish that swam and swam trying to pull the line from the rod before eventually being reeled in exhausted and landed on the deck of the fishing boat, the Conger Eel that is Tony Marsh has been brought ashore!

The Black Ravens will need to find a new Master.

Actually Tony, I have often agreed with a lot of your sentiment, but not the extremist and offensive way ( ’Moyes is a coward’ being the worst ) you have expressed it.

Modern football, like modern life leaves much to be desired. Arsenal won’t win much, it will be the muscle of Chelsea ( both physical and financial ) this year. The best we can hope for is some success in the FA Cup and 6th in the League, but hey you’d have settled for that in many seasons gone past if you’re honest. Everton win trophies in little clusters followed by fallow years.

When we eventually get al our key players back I actually think we’ll be one of the better teams to watch.
Ian Hollingworth
21   Posted 05/11/2009 at 17:55:28

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Brilliant Tony, for me you always bring out the frustrations that comes with being an Evertonian and in this post I think you are summing up how modern football has left us Evertonians feeling.
Kevy Quinn
22   Posted 05/11/2009 at 18:20:41

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Ahhhhh the memories Tony. Got to agree about Notts Forest Alan, my we brother is a season ticket holder their so iv seen a bit of them this season play great stuff and have what we lack........ PACE. A good result and performance tonight and Tony might tip us to win the cup after this piece.
Stephen Kenny
23   Posted 05/11/2009 at 18:20:53

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Get a Grip,

We cant always play brilliant football, But we should always be trying. Thats all I expect.

Contrary to popular belief nine times out of ten a team of carthorses will get humiliated against a team of footballers.

The last team of yard dogs I remember winning a trophy was us in 95. COYB!!
Brian Waring
24   Posted 05/11/2009 at 19:07:05

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It’s just a shame that when it comes to shite football being played in the prem, we are one of the worst offenders.
James Boden
25   Posted 05/11/2009 at 19:23:20

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TONY! How could you possibly criticise modern football? Sky Sports tell us how good it is so that is right.
I totally understand where you are coming from.
However maybe you have missed a couple of fine Moyes moments. Like Sunderland 7-1 and despite what anybody may think of him (and I am not a big fan myself), nobody can possibly forget that night in April 2005 against United. I would say that was our best performance under Moyes. The fight and passion that night is something that will live long in the memory. A truly great Goodison game.
But Tony remember to be thankful that Smith is no longer in charge and that is all that matters.
Sam Higgins
26   Posted 05/11/2009 at 17:57:37

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Ah Mr Marsh - I'm loving the nostalgia mate! And you're right you have to go back a long way to rememebr one of the great games.

For me, as you mentioned, the greatest game I ever watched Everton play was April 1995, Elland Road, Spurs. I still rememebr that game with such fondness. I grew up in Kent so being an Evertonian was like being an albino. All my mates were a mixture of Man Utd, Arsenal, West Ham but predominantly Spurs fans. Ah it was beautiful — they were meant to absolutely thrash us... we didn't stand a chance on paper against Klinsmann et al.

When Amokachi nodded in the third, I very nearly came. When he smashed in the fourth, I made a mess and I remember going absolutely berserk.

Never have I taken so much pleasure in turning up to school on a Monday morning with all my Spurs mates hanging their heads in disbelief.

I then watched the final with my best mate who is a Man Utd fan.....

Yep it don't get much better than 1995 if you were born in the late 70s like me!!

But, to be honest, I still think we have a better team now — it's just everyone esle is even better... if we had the team now in '95, we would've been Champions!!

Jay Harris
27   Posted 05/11/2009 at 19:36:26

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its never a boring read with you.

Thanks for reminding me of the semi with "Tottingham" that one ranks alongside Bayern Munich for me.

Spurs,as usual were the media favourites and we played them off the park with some great football.

Not very well known is that after the match the lads saw big Dunc getting carried onto the coach. We thought he was injured turned out he was pissed.

What a day.
Declan Brown
28   Posted 05/11/2009 at 19:49:34

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Tony those memories made the hairs on my neck stand, sent a tingle up my spine. Absolutely superb post Tony. Brilliant. I remember those days with such fondness.

The Derby is coming up and i fear another Everton rollover where the heart and fight just isn’t there.

I remember the Derby’s and games against the so called Big Boys under Joe Royle, i relished them, if they wanted the 3 points we made them fight every inch of the way. Moyes just doesn’t have that same effect on our players.

The sight of Joe Parkinson and Barry Horne sending McManaman flying into the air in Joe’s first match summarised what that side was all about, where they lacked ability they made up for in pure heart, aggression and dogs of war attitude. You could only love them.

Going into a Derby later this month, i’d take Big Joe managing us in the Derby over Moyes (i’m no Moyes apologist or basher, i just think the Derby’s against the Waiter shows him up badly every time). Joe knew what it meant to the fans to beat that lot, he never feared them and i loved watching the Dogs of War kicking lumps out of them.

Superb post Tony. Absolutely superb.
James Stewart
29   Posted 05/11/2009 at 22:10:06

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I would strongly disagree with that. I have seen some excellent football being played this season. Sadly just none by Everton.

Another no show tonight. Pathetic effort and totally devoid of any ideas what so ever.
Larry Bird
30   Posted 05/11/2009 at 22:43:12

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Ciaran - I’ve been reading your posts for a while and am convinced that you must be about 12.

Your first statement — "The league is the most competitive it’s ever been... and the average standard of player is a hell of a lot higher."

Two teams could win the league this year!! Chelsea or United. You must be following football since about 2000 if you can’t remember a more competitive season. .

Your second comment — "To all those reminiscent of the ’good ole days’ — who suggest football is dead... teary-eyed pap."

How can anyone who saw Hibbert get a yellow card tonight for winning the ball tell me that the game is better than it was 20 years ago? Football is becoming a non-contact sport and you are either too young to remember the good old days or too much of a girl to appreciate that our "man's game" is being destroyed...
Andy Morden
31   Posted 05/11/2009 at 23:25:24

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...but clogging and scuffling doesn’t work in Europe. Just got back from our latest efforts; wow, what a witless display.
Derek Thomas
32   Posted 06/11/2009 at 06:01:53

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I suppose it had to happen, Marshy has had his Saul on the road to Damascus moment, well more in his case a Charlton Heston rounding the headland and seeing the statue of liberty half buried in the sand.

Well we are all crap, it’s official. So one day, as things go in cycles, some one may come up with the idea that what they need, as all businesses need, is a... point of difference, I know, lets try a bit more of the pass and move footy, it may catch them unawares and give us the edge.

Two things,

1) Moyes, assuming he is still here, will be one of the last to try it, it just ain’t in his nature.

2) Just how effective is it? What is Arsenal's current League position??
Ged Dwyer
33   Posted 06/11/2009 at 09:22:17

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The difference between us and Manu and Liverpool though Tony, is that they are capable of raising their game and we are not. And our team and squad is so frail we are always in danger of being hammered. We’ve suffered a lot of injuries but only two have really affected the team’s performance. Two wheels fell off our wagon when Arteta got injured, the other two fell off when Pienaar got injured. Moyes knew in the summer that Arteta was going to be out for a while and it was criminal that he didn’t strengthen the centre of midfield in the summer. He’s had 7 years to get our midfield sorted and we only have two class midfielders and if they are injured we are in trouble because Fellaini is never going to be the answer. Put him up front if you want but in midfield he’s a liability. And with Rodwell still learning his trade, Billy still finding his feet and Cahill not allowed to play in his attacking midfield role because of Fellaini you can see why the team are struggling. I still believe the right management can get Everton right up there. It’s all about balance and building a system. Something Moyes knows nothing about and only the odd good manager like Wenger realises.
Ciarán McGlone
34   Posted 06/11/2009 at 09:47:20

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Im 12 - because I have an opinion you don’t agree with?

And your reasoning is that Tony Hibbert was on the end of a bad refereeing decision? or your presumption that only two teams can win the league (which of course, covers the entire spectrum of ’competitive’).

Fucking tit.
Vijay Nair
35   Posted 06/11/2009 at 10:48:36

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He had to be on the piss when writing this... What is the world coming to???
Stewart Littler
36   Posted 06/11/2009 at 13:35:04

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Under Joe Royle, we played hoofball. Tony Marsh is a massive criticiser of hoofball under Moyes. And yet Royle’s tenure produced so many memorable games. I’m confused.
Ste Traverse
37   Posted 06/11/2009 at 14:09:30

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Tony Marsh. Your mind must be playing tricks lad as we wasn’t 2-0 up at half-time during the Kanchelskis derby as it was goalless. Also Big Dunc’s 2 goals at Old Trafford weren’t in the 95-96 season (we lost 2-0), they were at the start of the 96-97 season.
Brian Noble
38   Posted 06/11/2009 at 15:03:40

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Tony, at last you’ve come to see it as it is. Football as we knew and loved it is fooked. We’ve said it for years but for all the reasons you give that is now a fact. You either accept the situation or stop going. That’s the choice.

A couple of weeks ago I bumped into David Hall who, under a number of guises, has been following and writing about Everton for nigh on 50 years. He told me that whist he still has a season ticket, he had given up making the 500-mile round trip from his home in Somerset ’to watch dross’. The fact that he remins an Evertonian was borne out by the fact that he made the trip to see the recent history exhibition at the City Library!

We ain’t alone in our thoughts mate. Our future is behind us!

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