Just over 10 years ago, I met my wife and we soon had children. The missus detested football in the beginning (although now does have an interest and comes to matches), whilst the kids have not really taken to it (I prefer them to make their own minds up rather than be pushed into something they?re not interested in). Therefore my football passion has diluted due to having to put the family first!
My focus is now purely on Everton; I rarely see other games on the TV but Everton are still the shining light in my life ? a light that has not diminished.
Football is looked upon slightly differently here in the South of England; it?s more of an interest or a hobby... but, on visits to Liverpool, it seems a way of life. Every time I attend a game, I feel like I am returning to my rightful home ? not only Goodison, but Liverpool as well, where I can talk to complete strangers on the street, on the bus, about football and let my inhibitions go. I feel like I can be myself around people of similar ilk.
My passion for Everton has seen extremes. The Wimbledon game when I was only 16 made me feel suicidal at 2-0 down. The ?95 Cup Final win had the neighbours complaining about the noise after Rideout had netted. The pride of holding my little boy and both willing Rooney to score before he hit his last-minute winner against Arsenal to make him a household name that I knew he would be...
My enthusiasm for England died after the World Cup. I became disillusioned after players like Rooney and Lescott got poached not long after making their England debuts. England?s performances have become so diabolical at major tournaments by a group overhyped, overpaid prima donnas, that I have given up on them.
This leads me to my last hope: Everton, playing in a league dominated by money, mercenaries, and egos. I genuinely thought that Everton were going to upset the tired hierarchy of English football and be a success team this season through sheer hard work, togetherness... teamwork ? producing youngsters and unearthing gems from the lower leagues, competing the way football should be and not splashing out millions on foreign superstars and having a wage bill alone more than your income. Alas, it seems that we will not reach the cherished land after our disastrous start to the season, with the only good thing being our neighbours are actually worse and lower in the league than us.
This brings us to Sunday?s game, a massive game if ever there was one. I have never wanted a victory of any kind more than this coming Sunday. I don?t want to settle for mid-table mediocrity again, for another excellent second half of a season promising so much for the following season.
I believe that, if we don?t get at least into Europe this season, then Moyes will walk in the summer due to being disillusioned himself. There will be no messiah to replace Moyes ? a manager of the calibre of Martin O?Neill would never take the job due to having no funds available.
The fall-out from Moyes leaving will be unbearable, Rodwell, Arteta, Cahill and how many others are likely to leave? This season was supposed to be ?now or never? but that situation must start Sunday at 1:30pm. Now is the time to stand up and be counted, for Moyes to be attack-minded, for Johnny to be a rock in central defence, for Fellaini to be a colossus, for Arteta to be the creative spark that we know he can.
I can cope without the ?other? football, without England internationals... but I don?t want to cope without Everton. But without the seeming acceptance of mediocrity amongst some fans, players and management. I don?t want to be happy with a top 6 finish, for a decent Cup run or a few away days in Europe.
I don?t want to turn into one of those middle-aged men that fall out of love with football at their success-starved club. I want success and I want it with Everton; I want it done properly on good old fashioned values ? not a la Chelsea or Man City ? and I also want it now.
I want Everton to restore my pride, my passion, my belief... I want Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.
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1 Posted 13/10/2010 at 03:34:18
I haven't given up all hope for a good result this season but, if the players and the coach have the belief, anything is possible.
2 Posted 13/10/2010 at 05:39:04
Everton is a grand old team that was bourgeoisie for much of its existence. We were the Mersey Millionaires. When we bought Dixie Dean, we weren't exactly small timers. We had much of the many firsts: first to wear numbers; first to have underground heating; Goodison Park was the state of the art in the last century.
We attracted big names because we had resources and were forward thinking. Yes, it was less of a divide between the haves and the have-nots. But we were always part of the elite, not just in achievement but resources.
We might have achieved the 80s success on the back of a good youth team coming through, but a couple of inspired signings (Reid & Gray). But we were big spenders all the while. We bought Ball, Latchford, Lineker and Cottee et al at no small amounts.
Of course, one could say that, besides Ball, the rest weren't part of any winning team. However, we can't escape the fact that people didn't just come to us because we were successful but when they saw the potential to move ahead, which is supported by resources. If we want success based on good old values alone, then think Derby and Nott Forest.
My point is, if it takes a billionaire to get us the Chelsea success, then so be it. Because it's been proven that money alone cannot buy success. But it can play a big part.
Yes, we don't want to go down the route of Leeds, or potentially Liverpool, but we need a kickstart. This season promised to be the kickstart (it could still be, if we ended up the Champions League and win the FA Cup), but in this time and age, teams break up much faster than they are given the time to gel.
Unless we can reproduce a team of youngsters at the same time (Ferguson has about 4 of them, Kendall arguably had similar ? Sharp though not from the youth set up was about 22 to 23 yrs when Kendall took over; Mountfield was 21 to 22, Ratcliffe was 23 when he lifted the Cup, Stevens was 22 to 23, Steven was 21 when he won the cup), and get success soon.
In this time and age, once a youngster has potential, he does not survive more than one season without being linked to clubs elsewhere. Which brings me back to my point ? if we can get success the Chelsea way, I say go for it. Then we build the team later.
3 Posted 13/10/2010 at 06:31:37
Saying that, I'll be up at 4am here in the Alaska darkness with resting heartrate of 120, pacing the house and hoping, hoping, hoping. This used to be my annual pilgrimage game from Alaska to Goodison but the heartless performances broke me down. Never worried too much about the result, just wanted to feel pride in the performance. That's all I'll look for this Sunday... but a result would be a bonus. I'd love to eat my words. COYB
4 Posted 13/10/2010 at 09:37:26
5 Posted 13/10/2010 at 12:28:15
These days, the national side ? I couldn't give a flying fuck. I can honestly say that last week I didn't know who they were playing, when & where. Last night, I was meeting some people in the pub to discuss a trip to London, and we're all football fans, go to the games (sadly one is a RS) and we didn't even bother watching the game, despite have a fuckin big screen.
World Cups? Tedious... what can you remember about the last one apart from Vuvuzelas, where was the equivalent of the Cruyff turn, the Banks save, the Tardelli goal celebration, the Zico free kick etc.
European games ? I wouldn't say that I'd rather watch the X-Factor because that is a bit extreme, but it would have to be as bad on the other channels for me to put a European game on.
So the only thing that rocks my boat in football are the boys in blue, the only thing is that I'm still debating whether to give my season ticket to a deserving cause because I fucking hate derbies.
6 Posted 13/10/2010 at 13:00:37
I was once a Street End fan... standing in the middle of the Street End was a truly fantastic experience. Now I am limited to one or two home games a season (Stoke at home is my next game) when we visit family, and one or two games when the Blues are down south.
I will be watching the game on me 42nd Birthday in the Monks Brook in Chandlers Ford, which is a great place to watch the game.
We will win, I am convinced, probably by the odd goal although I would love another 3-0.
7 Posted 13/10/2010 at 13:16:05
Kuyt is now injured and hopefully so is the Ladyboy, but you just fecken know that they will beat us. They will kick us off the park and Webb will do his run along with parallel arms routine. Even the Court judgment has gone in the feckers' favour.
God I hate them ? and I hate derby games.
8 Posted 13/10/2010 at 12:29:48
Years pass and we find ourselves in the same situation but against Coventry and this time I feel fate has dealt its ugly hand ? partly because we escaped through the skin of our teeth against Wimbledon; partly because I always felt that Seggars had deliberately let in that goal from Stuart; partly because our most successful manager was at the helm and I could imagine, with the luck that we were getting, he would go down in history as the man that also took us down (that's not a dig at Kendall but at Johnson, who gave him fuck-all money to spend); and partly because I live in Coventry and watched the game in a pub with a lot of my friends who are Sky Blue fans... and believe me, I tried to watch the game on my own but they tracked me down.
Everything seemed to point to one thing and that was relegation. If we had've been relegated that day, I would have lost a lot of friends as my temper would've got the better of me, you see I'm a bit oversensitive when it comes to Everton. The feeling I had after that game was like winning the Champions League and I can remember thinking, now that we have survived, hopefully the Board will give Kendall some proper money to spend. For all the criticisms he was getting in his third spell, I could see the type of football he was trying to bring back and what he was trying to do (which was change the philosophy of long ball, dogs of war type rubbish into playing the ball on the ground and wing play amongst others things).
Like you, my enthusiasm for England died a long time ago and I hate just about every connection to the England team for example: Wembley, footballers from London teams, the FA, the media, and so on. However, I have to disagree with you, my friend, on the subject of Martin O'Neill and the fallout if Moyes would leave the club.
Firstly, I think O'Neill is an average manager who plays aggressive battling football with the ball launched in the air to the front man a lot (who is usually a big, technically limited striker). O'Neill would be extremely lucky to be offered a job of managing a club bigger than Everton as he is very limited in his ability as a manager.
Secondly, if Moyes does walk in the summer (which I hope he does), then it all depends on who replaces him as to wether there will be a player exodus. If the players respect the next manager, or even admire him and believe in him, then they will want to play for him. I have always liked Moyes as a person and have commented before how I believed we would have been in the Championship if it wasn't for him; but we have moved on, and rightly so, as we ARE a massive club and deserve better.
Cautiousness is THE word that sums up Everton under Moyes, from the style of play to the transfer money allocated, to the fans' expectations on the terraces. Kenwright must be thanking his lucky stars that we were involved in two last-day relegation battles and that the previous owner nearly destroyed us because neither him nor Moyes would be in the positions they are in today if none of that had happened.
I don't mean to be negative but I can only see one outcome from Sunday's game and it will be the same old story with some lightweight excuses being bandied around. Good article, though, mate.
9 Posted 13/10/2010 at 13:52:06
10 Posted 13/10/2010 at 14:11:51
Nope, no way, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,no, no,no, no, no ...
4-5-1, safe, conservative, no risk, tedious ... did I mention safe?
Mind you, word is that the new Scottish formation 4-6-0 has got him pretty excited. Now that really is the way to play.
11 Posted 13/10/2010 at 15:51:49
Go for what? A 4-4-2 formation that allows their midfield to stroll through our powderpuff midfield? Stick which 2 of our fully functioning and ready for action strikers?
If it generates a win against these spawn of Hell, I would advocate hoof ball for 95 minutes.
What is defensive about Yak, Cahill, and Arteta being our forward men when the 4-4-1-1 turns into a 4-3-3 when attacking? It's not the formation that is doing us in this season, it's the players not playing to anywhere near the standards we know they can.
12 Posted 13/10/2010 at 17:33:08
I wonder what the Moyes fans will say when we get beat again at home by the poorest Liverpool side in years... Now where have I heard that before.....
13 Posted 13/10/2010 at 19:13:56
Tony J: so you think their midfield would stroll through ours do you? Other than Gerrard what midfield have they got? It's got less creativity than ours and that is saying something! Don't tell me you're all frightened of Lucas, Babbel and whatever other defensive midfielder he wants to play? Kuyt, Agger and a few others are injured and Gerrard is way below par...
For fuck's sake, will everybody get a grip and get real! This is our best chance in years to give them a good wallopping! No, I don't have rose-tinted glasses on, I just look at the starting 11 we can put out and stack it up against theirs; other than two players (who we know who they are), we're a match ? if not better. Would anybody seriously have Jamie Bishop... sorry, Carragher ahead of Baines, or Reina instead of Tim Howard, Lucas instead of Arteta, and so on and so on?
Also, there was an extremely rich ex-pat in the US who is looking at buying/investing in us; he gave an interview on Radio City on Monday and the main sticking point is not Moyes or Kenwright but the stadium (or lack of it) as no potential investor wants to spend out on the team and a stadium. So, for all those who were dancing in the streets when DK got the KB (yes, KEIOC, I'm talking to you, you bunch of knobs...), well done! It looks like Robert Elstone was telling the truth after all, eh... no stadium: no investment... bleak future.
14 Posted 13/10/2010 at 19:34:49
I was with you until the stadium bit.
15 Posted 13/10/2010 at 19:45:53
Martin Handley, who the fuck is responsible for the KD fuck up and there only being one useless plan in DK, a plan so fundamentally flawed it could never have gotten a green light unless Terry Tesco was prime minister? So, knobhead, who is to blame?
16 Posted 13/10/2010 at 19:50:00
17 Posted 13/10/2010 at 20:11:24
Paul, what is the real reason?
By the way, I was against Kirkby, and I danced in the streets when it was given the elbow.
18 Posted 13/10/2010 at 19:58:48
The DK project was a financial investment for BK and his retailer chums, the club being shifty about the whole deal when questions began to be asked nailed them as self-serving.
I used to support BK but destruction of accountability is is always down to self-interest. The more I inquire, the more I conclude he's milking us.
19 Posted 13/10/2010 at 20:15:16
Charles @ 14, both the people you have mentioned, especially John Henry, are looking at redeveloping Anfield as a first choice.
Gavin, you would probably blame BK for the Kennedy assassination, the market collapse, 9/11 and 7/7 ..there's no talking to people like you who won't see both sides of the argument. And before anyone thinks I'm a BK apologist, I'm not; don't care if he stays, don't care if he goes, he's tried his hardest and fair play. End of.
Let's put the blame for the current state of affairs fairly and squarely where it belongs: on Moyses shoulders ? he picks the team, he picks the tactics and formation. End of.
Still my crystal ball says 2-0 with big Felli and fat Yak on the scoresheet; any takers?
20 Posted 13/10/2010 at 20:59:03
Win ? and we are on the usual high road to upper-mid table, possibly a Euro place. So long as we are not fighting relegation. Phew. (Now how's that for ambition?)
Lose ? doesn't bear thinking about. Although in a couple of weeks time this may be our reality. Who would be to blame? Does it take us possibly in a dog fight to make everyone see changes are needed?
21 Posted 13/10/2010 at 21:29:24
KEIOC "Having spoken privately to KEIOC earlier this year a director of Peel Holdings explained that whilst there was no opportunity for a football stadium within the development a complex just outside would be another matter and could be looked at"
Looks like a fucking great big alternative to me on the banks of the Royal Blue Mersey.
22 Posted 13/10/2010 at 22:03:29
I find your language unnecessary and if its that good an alternative then why hasn't it progressed further and where will the investment come from??? The word "could" in your quote is I am afraid to say ..."clutching at straws"..... KEIOC are short on viable solutions and have plenty of 'pie in the sky' ideas with no money...
23 Posted 13/10/2010 at 22:11:35
If you read the T&C of the site is says don't use stupid f**king *'s. Christ almighty, welcome to the real world.
So to your point..... "could" was not from me. Neither was it from KEIOC. IT WAS FROM A DIRECTOR AT PEEL HOLDINGS.
I took this quote from the KEIOC website and they were quoting a Peel Holdings director, which I've taken at face value. Maybe after the Kings Dock episode they do not want to deal with Bill either?
Maybe there is also a myriad of people waiting in the wings with plenty of money to move Everton forward, but would not trust Bill to have the ability to deliver? Lord Grantchester ? worth £1.2 Billion is conspicuous by his absence.
I could go on. I've only been contributing to ToffeeWeb recently and I have found it a breath of fresh air that there are many Evertonians out there who can see through the FUCKING bullshit (no stars, no asterics).
20p in the swear box from me. Sorry, sir.
24 Posted 13/10/2010 at 22:27:48
25 Posted 13/10/2010 at 22:51:26
26 Posted 13/10/2010 at 23:06:26
Maybe because he simply does not want to and prefers to invest his wealth in other areas. It really could be that simple.
27 Posted 13/10/2010 at 23:08:00
And the quote I made about the potential investor saying the stadium was the main problem was broadcast on Radio City on Monday morning as part of an interview with the guy himself, who stated he had no problems with the current board, and would have no problems opening dialogue with fan groups and LCC. Blows your theory of it being Kenwright's fault right out of the water.
Oh and by the way, I go to watch the lads home and away as I have done since my grandad first took me to the match 40 years ago, so please don't try and patronise me, sunshine! Please also read my previous post re Bill Kenwright. I have no overiding emotions about him either way.
Oh and were KEIOC originally GFE, the idiots who didn't want to move to the Kings Dock in the first place; so, if by some miracle the council find us some suitable plot in the city but away from Goodison, I'm sure they (you?) will find some nonsensical objection to that.
I'm willing to listen to any reasoned logical arguments but, judging by your last posts, may I suggest a warm cup of Horlicks and a nap before you reply.
28 Posted 14/10/2010 at 03:58:01
I don't dispute that you are.
However you plainly are unable to UNDERSTAND reasoned logical arguments.
If you were, you would know that DK was not viable in ANY way and you would have the good sense not to knock those who told us that from the off.
If you followed the inquiry (instead of The Echo) you would know that the financing was completely fucked-up and that Everton trying to play secret squirrels was eventually going to lead to a 'no'.
You would also know that the travel 'plans' were so bad that, again, the only possible answer could have been a 'no'.
Keioc were, as far as I can remember, the ONLY group keeping Everton supporters informed of what was REALLY happening.
To have criticised them before the inquiry could be put down to gullibility, to be criticising them now, AFTER they turned out to be spot on, is total stupidity.
Here are a few facts (nb: not my opinion) do with them what you will.
Keioc are/were a voluntary group/protest organisation - they weren't/aren't obliged to come up with solutions.
They were/are entitled to peacefully protest against ANY move Everton might make if they so desire/d.
According to the Communities Secretary at the time, it was Everton/Tesco who's proposal ran ?a coach and horses? through retail planning policy - NOT Keioc's.
On the plus side, "please don't patronise me sunshine" is close to genius.
29 Posted 14/10/2010 at 07:40:59
Over 40 years you have probably spent over £200,000 of your hard earned cash, and not to mention 1000s of hours of your time supporting Everton.
Do you consider it a good return on YOUR investment?
One thing is certain, is that unless there are monumental changes at Everton we are going nowhere, working like mad to stand still. Do you agree?
And yes, I feel much better after an Ovaltine and a nap.
30 Posted 14/10/2010 at 07:45:00
31 Posted 14/10/2010 at 17:02:21
I myself can understand why Everton want to move from the ol' lady, but by the same token can understand the emotions that moving brings out in people. The problem is, WE the average Joe, even though we are in the majority in attendance at games, are not where the real cash is. Unfortunately it's corporate/hospitality were the REAL money is, and at Everton, quite frankly in that respect we're 2nd rate, even the likes of Stoke and Fulham generate more corporate money than we do.
Regenerating Goodison in an ideal world would be most people's preffered option but unfortunately other than the Park End it would mean we lose up to 15,000 off our capacity for 3-5 years and we are just NOT in a financial position to do so.
Think about it ? the Bullens Rd and Main Stand are both over 50 years old, God knows how old the Street End is. Those 3 parts of the ground would have to be gutted if not demolished and rebuilt. As I say, the Park End is fairly easy: lift the roof off and add another and maybe some boxes which could be done over the close season as modern structures like that are already pre made.
I hope we can stay at Goodison but the intervening revenue we would lose would set us back even further.
As for our ' commercial' department... don't get me started ? it's a joke! BK can be blamed for a lot of things but at least he's never stolen from the club coffers like DJ Spuddles did, that's were the real blame lies. One minute, we're spending like it's going out of fashion on class players like Speed, Limpar, Big Dunc etc...then Big Joe get's the KB for £400k to buy Flo, his mate, and Barry Horne. We then sell all our best players for massive profits by the way and are still skint!
If nothing else, BK was honest about having no cash; yes, I know he goes bleary eyed and bullshits at times but in this economic climate he's all we've got. Would you really want Tweedle dum and Tweedle dummer from acrooss the park?
As for a return for my investment, I have always enjoyed rollercoaster rides, Bill!
32 Posted 14/10/2010 at 20:27:36
Big dipper in Rhyl always scared the crap out of me. Not because of its size, but because it didn't look like it would pass a health and safety test. A bit like the Old Lady a few years ago, allegedly.
33 Posted 14/10/2010 at 23:18:30
"Bill, Eugene ? as I have said before, not only am I willing to listen, I can even understand reasoned logic, but the problem with KEIOC is if you are going to protest, mostly peacefully. Eugene I have a couple of mates who are bobbies and have some fairly heated exchanges with them, then people are going to say to you what do you propose then? Aren't they".
I'm sorry, I've read this three times and honestly don't know what it means.
I'm happy to accept you may have meant to go back and add a connecting sentence (did you mean to add something after 'mostly peacefully'?) but as it is, it's nonsense (not nonsense as in 'I disagree', I mean it makes no sense).
34 Posted 14/10/2010 at 23:39:46
35 Posted 15/10/2010 at 08:36:27
In other words, no crime in asking, as long as you remember the person you're asking is equally 'entitled' to answer or..not.
Keioc, as a voluntary group making no money whether Everton moved or not (UNLIKE the board) are/were entitled to answer anyway they want/ed.
They (nb: as I would have done) could have answered "We don't have an alternative, we just think this move is bad for Everton" - they'd have been more than entitled.
And here's a question I feel entitled to as you.
Why concentrate on keioc when there was a shifty, fat, lisping oaf who was PAID by Everton to have alternatives?
His best effort was "there is no plan B" yet you want answers from...keioc!?
I checked keioc's site every day for the best part of two years and the fact is they DID put forward alternatives, but often when they did, their opponents (often writing under false names) simply dismissed them in non-specific rants.
Or sometimes by people using lazy phrases like 'that old chestnut of the bestway site' (seriously - what kind of argument is that? Why not say WHY you think it's 'an old chestnut').
Everton supporters (myself included) have shown ourselves to be fairly useless/lazy when it comes to protest.
KEIOC was/is a group of Evertonians who believe/d in something and actually DID something about it.
Personally, I'll always be grateful for their efforts and I'll always be suspicious of those knocking them, while ignoring the useless performance of the board.
36 Posted 15/10/2010 at 11:54:28
You're ignorance is breathtaking pal and sadly, all too common.
Do yourself a favour. Read Colin Fitz's excellent article currently on this site.
Give yourself a slap.
Go out and spread the word.
37 Posted 15/10/2010 at 17:37:02
A few suggestions for a good scouse song would be appreciated. Especially when the RS are being schooled by the tricky blues at 3-0 !
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