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The Perfect Storm Meets the Downward Spiral

By Declan Brown :  01/01/2011 :  Comments (33) :
It?s a long journey that is slowly coming to a horrible ending.

Football and Everton has always consumed in my life. As a child I lived it, breathed it, dreamt about it, always thought about the next game, played it to the point my knees told me enough was enough, but nothing made me feel better than scoring a goal in my Everton top, looking down at the Umbro badge, the NEC lettering and the club crest, etc and the pride it gave me.

Where do you start? Back in May 1986, I was just 7, I was at the bar for the Cup Final with my mum?s family as they celebrated Liverpool?s victory. My Evertonian dad watched it at home, he was so lucky to have lived through the 1984-85 season, I missed it by 2 years due to my age, but Mum said to say nothing as it was a bad day for him. I teased him saying I was going to be a Liverpool supporter, it was never ever going to happen, i didn't like what i saw that day, but that was the night I was chosen to join the Everton family, I?ll never forget the look of despair on dad's face when we got home. I hated Liverpool for making him look so sad. It struck a chord. I didn?t fully understand back then why he felt so bad. 24 years later on I can see why.

I can vividly remember the game at Carrow Road where Van den Hauwe scored in the first minute when we won the League. Watching Ceefax for 90minutes on what was the longest afternoon ever in my life to that date. ?EVERTON ARE CHAMPIONS? it read at 5pm. Later that summer my dad bought me my first Everton kit, cost him £25, a lot of money those days, took us to a shop across town, again the look of pride on his face seeing his two boys wearing Everton kits. The kids in the street said ?you think you?re so great in your new Everton kits?. Bloody right I did. We?re the Pride of Merseyside I told them.

As we free-falled, Everton was really getting into my blood, watching us playing Man Utd at Goodison one Sunday afternoon in the late 80's, at my granny?s with the family there (most were Liverpool supporters). Mark Hughes scored first, I sat there in front of the telly at the front of everyone choking back the tears, as the others laughed. Luckily we scored less than a minute later (think it was Dave Watson who scored after a shot hit the bar). Then the delicious pride of Wayne Clarke ending Liverpool?s (Barnes, Beardsley, Aldridge and co) unbeaten run after we?d beaten them earlier that season in the League Cup at Anfield. Man Utd were just also-rans in those years and football was played by real men who wanted to win trophies for their own pride, for the fans, money had no real truck or power like it does now.

Over the years our downfall continued, awful derby defeats, the falling league placings, getting humiliated in the cups, the 1989 Cup Final was a heartbreaker, then another crying match in my room one Sunday afternoon when Villa beat us 6-2 as I watched on my first ever own TV. Beagrie pulled it back from 6-0 but that was one humiliation I?d never forgotten. The white and grey shirts we wore that day should have been all white such was the surrender. I?d never seen us concede 6 goals in a match before. It hurt. The freefall was complete, so I thought.

Harvey goes, Kendall comes back, then goes, not much to remember from that time although Beardsley?s derby winner at a three-quarters-full Goodison made school the next day very enjoyable. Mike Walker arrives with great fanfare, beating Swindon 6-2 in his first game, a terrible Everton side scoring 6 goals in one game! Then THAT Wimbledon game, my God did I fear the worst at 2-0, panic was understating it. A big memory of that day was at 2-1, it was on BBC 5Live, they went to another match for an update, then a sudden roar, back to Goodison with Alan Green?s immortal words ?Barry Horne has just taken the roof off here at Goodison?. 2-2. We know the rest. Thank you, God. Watching the highlights and The Street End going nuts to the 3rd goal makes the hairs stand up.

Walker left with us dead and buried in the brown stuff. Just days after my 16th birthday, Joe Royle came along. A jovial steely character, with a cheeky smile and a glint in his eye, he was an Evertonian, he knew what it meant to us all. Made men out of Stuart, Ablett, Horne, Ebbrell, Ferguson, Rideout, Hinchcliffe, Unsworth, Parkinson and co, gallantly led by the warrior that was Dave Watson. Suddenly we had pride again.

My first ever watching of a full live match on Sky was Joe?s first match. My Liverpool-supporting friends slaughtered me before it, this was going to be too easy for them they said. Big Duncan rose to head us 1-0 up, again we know the rest. The night we restored a lot of lost pride. They never got a sniff but we gave them a lot of kicking and the rough stuff. I enjoyed it immensely. Liverpool, Leeds, Man Utd, Newcastle, Spurs, they all came and under Big Joe we conquered. My first ever trip to Goodison was for the 2-1 defeat to Blackburn that season.

The FA Cup was soon ours, I was at an age to finally and truly appreciate it. Within months on my 17th birthday we went to Anfield and Kanchelskis scored a double at the Kop End. It still makes my spine tingle remembering Limpar dancing through 4 players to set up the 2nd goal. It rained heavily that day, after I got my haircut, me and my dad watched it unfold on Soccer Saturday. I felt 10ft tall after it. Thanks Joe and Andrei. To date the best birthday I can remember. I hated Ian Rush so much, the sight of him nearly in tears on TV on Match of the Day was pure priceless.

That was the School Going Years, going to school and listening to Liverpool and Man Utd fans all the time, there were many glory hunters in the schools of Belfast at that time. Even those who couldn?t kick a ball straight themselves found Evertonians an easy target to ridicule, who the hell did they think they were? I was learning to give as good as I got. But thanks to the Dogs of War they became much quieter. Again, Big Joe Royle, I could never thank you enough.

Then he went, I never understood why, but, alas, Kendall came back, along with him the likes of Madar, Tony Thomas, Gareth Farrelly, John Oster etc. Said it all.

An awful season, the derbies restoring some pride, then that nerve-shredding day against Coventry. Wimbledon had been enough for me and here we went at it again. To everyone i knew we were down and they were loving it. Afterwards I went out to the street on my bike with the Everton flag flying high. The neighbours mocked but I didn't care. More through sheer relief than sense you see. Being a blue does this to you.

That summer it was off to university to do a long battle with the female other love of my life. 3 long years of that and she was having none of me, that summed up the Walter Smith era, much promise early on and the reality was nothing short of a continuing never-ending kick in the teeth, How those days made me so miserable, the only Toffee in a horrible class of Liverpool and Utd fans, we had went something like 8 games without scoring in Smith?s first year. Bakayoko, was always funny listening to my baby brother trying to say his name, but he was so awful, need I say any more for those who can remember back that far. He was even awful on champ manager!

We visited Goodison twice, for the 4-1 defeat to Man Utd, Big Duncan getting our first home goal at Goodision after 9 games. Says it all doesn?t it? Then again much year later to witness the 6-0 end of season hammering of West Ham with Super Kev?s hat trick. The Don, Collins, Barmby, Campbell, Jeffers. Gave us some pride back.

Then after that awful Middlesborough game, Walter was finally gone. In came David Moyes. Unsworth scores in the opening 30 seconds, Goodison goes wild, then we score 4 away at Derby. Welcome, Davey! The glare, the smile, the taking no crap from anyone, Blomqvist and Gascoigne soon found out. This man had heart, pride, integrity, desire and he wanted to win. Win everything. We?ve got a good one here I thought. He seemed to be just going for it. My kind of manager.

The People?s Club comment. He?s one of us I thought, we?ve snared him, he?s been ?chosen?. He took us to safety then the following year 7th. My abiding memory of that year was the Southampton game, we?re 1-0 down, Radzinski scores, then Gravesen broke away, fed Radzinski, then bang out of nowhere it?s in the top corner in injury time, Strachan is crest fallen, Moyes is going mental on the sidelines, the raw emotion evident for all to see, it strikes a chord with me. One of those magical images, The Street End erupting and all joy breaking loose everywhere, the camera?s, like the stands were shaking. It means everything to Moyes just like it does for us. You take notice of things like that.

Again we went to Goodison to witness Rooney?s first goal at the Street End with his left foot, against Villa in the last minute. I?d never ever witnessed emotion like that before. Moyes takes him off, he walks towards us below, 35,000 are pointing at the Villa fans screaming ?Rooney?s gonna get ya?. The unforgettable look on his face as he takes in his standing ovation, looking up all around him, it?s nearly taking every roof off. I was there to witness THAT unforgettable look on his face. Our New King getting revered in his own Kingdom. Spine tingling, he?s living our dream, his dream and he knew it. Sadly the rest of it we now know. Outside Kenwright stops for a photo with my young brother. Nice one Bill. I liked Bill back then.

Then the 4th place finish with a negative goal difference. Moyes sitting in his conservatory, wearing slippers, sipping champagne after Arsenal beat Liverpool at Highbury. It didn?t look right. A bit of showboating after finishing 4th? Was this the Everton way I asked myself, you only do that when you win the League, this is not the School of Science, not what we?ve been known for. A week later Arsenal beat us 7-0. More champagne Davey? Maybe the players had too much bubbly too. Reality check. My mates gave me heaps of it for days on end.

Consolation for the kopites who resented us finishing above them. They got their own back in Instanbul, one of the worst nights of my life. Now I know how dad felt back in 1986. They reminded me and everyone of Istanbul for years to come. That was real injustice at it?s very worst. I hated them for years after that. Their gloating and taunting that summer fully earned the hatred.

I was there for the Villarreal game at Goodison later that following August, the noise and colour before the game was electric and unforgettable. This is the dream, where I want us to be, in with the best of Europe. Again Goodison was the centre of my soul. Beattie scored, the place erupted, unbelievable, another glorious memory at Goodison. Then Villareal ruined it, Collina ruined it. Krøldrup and co showed Moyes up when he had the chance to spend and take us to the Big 4 league. Big name and big money signings never his strong point.

Yes, The Big Time. It never happened. Money ruined the game. My game. Players started getting obscene salaries and after 20 years I began to feel that my soul no longer felt comfortable with football anymore despite living on it for so long. It was not what I grew up with. Started occassionally to see Irish born footballers out in Belfast on Saturday nights, wasn?t impressed, the Big Time Charlie attitude, etc. I started to lose the seemingly unbreakable connection with football, with the stars I worshipped as a kid etc. Now I wanted them nowhere near me. The common football fan is nothing to them now.

Along came the King?s Dock, our shot to the Big Time. Time to be one of the leading lights, a stadium and arena that would take us to the promised land. Give us a stadium to be proud of, on the Waterfront, we are Everton, this is where we are, what a sight that would have been for people coming to visit Liverpool and it was going to be ours. The Mersey Millionaires back at the centre of the Merseyside universe. A lack of £30m that was ?ring fenced? and the Kings Dock fiasco came and went, Kenwright should have gone for that alone, if Gregg had got his way Moyes would have gone the summer before we finished 4th. Funny how these things pan out. The Everton way. Grew up and had nearly 20 years of seeing us do it the difficult way. Typical Everton. Typical Everton! Still breaks my heart thinking what could have been.

The years pass by. The ups and downs of the Moyes era. All ToffeeWebbers don?t need me to go into detail. So much promise yet so far away. Like the Cup Final v Chelsea, started so well, fell away so badly, yet still Moyes gets the credits. Every football fan tells me we?re lucky to have him, but our football was hard and desperate at times to watch, real gritty stuff, record lows, bad new records set, yet he gets the plaudits, the saviour of Everton Football Club. I don't buy it. It doesn?t feel right. Feels like I?m being cheated. Why can?t anyone see the awful football we have to watch? How does he get away with it? Why can?t beat teams 3-0 or 4-0 like we did every season. Somebody always got a hammering at Goodison at least once a season. Not anymore.

So here we are, stuck in the Perfect Storm in a downward spiral, a manager with a huge contract and an eyewatering salary who won?t go and let someone else have a go at it, a chairman who won?t let him go, no one wants to buy the club, if they did, Kenwright won?t let go either, a ground in desperate need of modernisation, we?re skint so we can?t even try to buy our way out of the trouble we?re in, we?re stuck in nomansland with little hope of change that is desperately needed.

24 years later, after the antics of this season, I feel the genuine hope for my team waning, the opposition scoring is treated like it was always coming, rather than fighting back the tears as a kid, being a Blue will never die in me but with it now, a frustrated sense of being lost, hopelessness that it?s not going to change and we?re going backwards, it hurts, it really hurts but I tell myself, just switch it off, it's football nowadays, let it be, it?s Moyes, he won?t change.

On the day of the Goodison derby this year I went to work rather than staying at home to watch it. First time I ever did that. Derby days under Moyes are like car crashes, I finally weaned myself off the misery, the tension, the agitation, the shouting at the TV like a demented lunatic and hopelessness of those days, pining for a Joe Royle-type manager to take it to the bastards and beat them up in more ways than one, unbelievably we won 2-0. I enjoyed the highlights but not like I used to. Not the same anymore.

If you told me 20 years ago that when Everton were on the TV that it got so bad that I could no longer bear to watch my Blues, instead waiting for the result, expecting the worst and praying for the best, maybe the horror would have my eyes welling up in disappointment, well that?s being a Blue under Moyes is about. For the first time ever, I fell asleep during an Everton game (versus West Ham at Upton Park). Woke up and saw the score and thought to myself ?ah well, it?s typical Moyes? Everton, nothing new here?. The 7 year old in me, that youngster that took so much pride in the blue jersey would have shouted at the TV giving Moyes dogs abuse, then took to the street in my Everton top to let the opposition have it!

Maybe it?s just me. 24 years ago if you told I would feel this bad, this apathetic, lifeless, soulless, helpless, so accepting that this is how it is about Everton I would have thought you were insane. The image of The Street End erupting after we score is the best image of happiness I can imagine in football, it makes my spine tingle and the eyes well up such is the pride and the power of the emotions.

But now the current set up of the whole club, the ineptitude, the incompetence, the carry on attitude, it eats into my soul, bringing with it a despair you can?t imagine. How many marriages last 24 years? I should have at least another 40+ years of being an Evertonian in me yet. No doubt I will. Hopefully this is just a phase.

Never have I felt so certain, because of the money and the state of football nowadays, that I will never witness an Everton team parading the league title trophy at Goodison. Sky and the media can stick their constantly talking crap where the sun doesn?t shine. I?m fed up listening to it. Arseholes the whole bloody lot of them.

Dixie, Alex Young, Ray Wilson, Labone, Catterick, Ball etc must be turning in their graves right now. That eager 7 year old Evertonian who saw defeat as worse than death is eagerly awaiting to return when Kenwright and Moyes are gone, but he?s not holding his breath? it has to change, it just has to change, doesn't it?

Reader Comments

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Ste Traverse
1   Posted 02/01/2011 at 01:58:36

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Good article but Alex Young and Ray Wilson won't be "turning in their graves" as they are not dead yet!
Christopher McCullough
2   Posted 02/01/2011 at 02:03:13

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Declan, an enjoyable read, thanks.

Yours is a very similar experience to mine, although I missed us winning the league. Perhaps Rooney's departure was the low point.

A lot of what Evertonians value is a meaningless symbol these days. It doesn't have to change, no. It will change if we get investment or if there's an economic apocolypse. I'm not sure which one I'd prefer.
Christine Foster
3   Posted 02/01/2011 at 02:00:15

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Declan, wonderful and heartfelt post, I hope Moyes or Kenwright read it. It's what being an Evertonian is to many of us and it does pyhsically hurt to see what the Kenwright / Moyes era has done and continues to do to our club and our standing.

There is a blizzard coming, its going to get cold and nasty, you can see the glass dropping. Some of us could see it coming and some of us didn't want to look. But its here and its destroying the soul of supporters and shaming once proud supporters.

I will take a change of ownership by anyone at the moment because the club is being destroyed brick by brick, every minute and every day that nothing happens. If Goodison Park is crumbling it's because every brick is crushed with shame and humiliation.

It's past the time for change, that should have happened two seasons ago. Now they have outstayed their welcome. The bitter winds in the basement are cutting, we will support Everton forever, we will not support Kenwright or Moyes any longer.

Charles King
4   Posted 02/01/2011 at 01:51:59

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Huge piece, Declan, in more ways than one.

I jokingly tell people I left Liverpool in '82 to get away from Everton, I promise you having endured the Shite's unassailable trophy haul whilst we disintegrated it wasn't far from the truth. I defy anyone to admit they could see the Kendall revival that then happened a few years on.

The point is, amongst all this doom and gloom, there is a team here, there are young players in the offing. The problem is Davey's reached his limit at Everton, I hope he does well somewhere else cos he seems a decent fella but we need a change to ignite the team, the club as a whole.

When that happens we'll be calling our RS mates up giving them stick a plenty as King Kenny has another nervous breakdown. I promise you, we'll be at it again bold as brass upsetting everyone who hates cocky scousers; can't wait.

Roman Sidey
5   Posted 02/01/2011 at 02:35:49

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Just had a genius thought. Moyes wants to go to the loan market because we can't afford to buy. We also can't afford to pay him off his contract. So let's meet in the middle: go to the loan market, with Moyes as our man in the window. Surely if you can loan players out, you can loan a manager out. I honestly believe that this team could manage without him or any manager for a few months ? Stubbs as caretaker even.
Bob Parrington
6   Posted 02/01/2011 at 07:09:46

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Thanks Declan. A really warm and heartfelt article. I'm 62 and have been a blue since I was five years old. Used to drive all around England and Europe to watch them when I was old enough! I understand.

I watched the Stoke game on Foxtel in Adelaide. Irene, my wife for 40 years (from Newcastle) said to me afterwards, "I hope this doesn't mean you're gonna be in a bad temper today. My reply was, "No, I'm just completely frustrated and upset with the team." I thought the guys put in against Stoke but I noticed signs of fracture, arguing with each other etc. This isn't the Everton I know and love.

Something has to change. A definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result".

Thanks again!
Derek Thomas
7   Posted 02/01/2011 at 09:34:18

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Should be tattoo-ed on the scrotum of anybody who thinks Moyes will turn it around.

Come on dowwwwn, Riiiichard Dodd, the queue starts here.
Tony I'Anson
8   Posted 02/01/2011 at 09:44:02

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Declan, I was at that game in Norwich. Great memories for me as a few hundred fans stayed behind on the pitch as the players re-appeared with bottles of champagne.

I think many feel your pain.
Tony I'Anson
9   Posted 02/01/2011 at 10:21:18

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By the way, can anyone spot the difference here

http://www.evertonfc.com/assets/_files/documents/feb_10/efc__1265113120_Everton_Annual_Report_and_Acco.pdf (PAGE 9 - No. of Shares that BK owns was 8,754)

Compare with http://www.evertonfc.com/club/everton-shareholders.html which now means that there are 35,290 shares in Everton FC with Bill owning 9044.

Can any shareholders confirm if they have sold 290 shares to Bill, or were these new shares created?

Or is it just a mistake on the website and sack the web designer?

Just curious.
Jim Brien
10   Posted 02/01/2011 at 11:55:50

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Bob P (#6), while not as old as you (nor English), we probably share one emotion in common. Like you, I read ToffeeWeb and watch Foxtel from Adelaide and at the moment it's always 'relief' when I see the Everton game isn't broadcast. Takes away the dilemna of whether to stay up late and watch live or record... knowing you can check the score and save the anguish.
Chris Thorpe
11   Posted 02/01/2011 at 11:58:29

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Great personal piece of writing. I have been fortunate to have started supporting Everton in 1973, aged 5 back in Crosby, taken to Goodison with my Dad, uncle and Grandad. I lived through the highs and lows, loving the eighties when we simply were the best.

I feel you missed one crucial point in Everton's history and that was the European ban for English clubs, which coincided with Everton winning two league titles and arguably one of our finest teams which possibly would have gone on to dominate Europe if allowed to do so. We'll never know and like you I am sure I will never see Everton win the top flight league again.

I now live darn sarf surrounded by Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelski and plenty of RS and Manure fans. In moments of weakness, usually fueled by alcohol, I wag my finger in the direction of the RS fans I am mates with and try and drag them back to that awful moment in their history which eventually got us all banned from Europe.

Can you imagine that happening now? Chelsea, Man U or Arsenal being told they can't compete in the Champions League due to the behaviour of another teams supporters? No me neither.

Alas, it's history and it's gone, along with Everton's very real chance of competing regularly with Europe's best. Under Kenwright, we'll never amount to nothing, yet, at 42, I still love the Toffees and desperately await the day we can compete with the best, week-in, week-out. I could be waiting some time!

Frank Key
12   Posted 02/01/2011 at 12:51:27

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Excellent article which sums up exactly how I am feeling about all things football at the moment. Every time I sit down to watch the premier league I just have that Kaiser Chief's song playing in my head, 'Every day I love you less and less!'

One point not mentioned which was the final straw for me was our injury prone, unproven, alleged striker Anichebe turning down an improved contract. Cheers for that Vic. Despite the shite we have to sit through each week it's good to know that at least the local lads are showing a bit of humility and respect to the supporters at this difficult time.

Larry Boner
13   Posted 02/01/2011 at 13:49:59

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Nice read, Declan, but the Perfect Storm is about to strike all of us who follow football.

I noticed with astonishment the gate at the Liverpool/Bolton game yesterday ? 35,000... 9,000 down on capacity. This was a game played on New Year's Day, at Anfield in the PL.

Was there an airline pilots' strike? No, I don't think so... Was it the sign of things to come this season and next for football attendances?

I pay for season tickets for my Dad, my son and myself; my brother pays for his own... total cost: approx £1,700; I won't be renewing next season as we need to make savings, somewhere. I know loads of people who are not renewing, but will pick and choose games.

Next season, the political situation will affect all football clubs, but teams like Everton, living from hand to mouth, will be the worst affected, rather than the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City etc.

I heard a rumour last week that Everton struggled to make their payroll, due to the postponement of the Birmingham game, I don't know if that was true or not, but imagine next season Everton's gates dropping by 10,000/game ? we would not survive.

I can see the likes of Rodwell, Fellaini being sold just to keep the club afloat, not to provide funds for the manager, with the bigger clubs holding the likes of Everton to ransom, offering low fees for players because they know the selling club are in dire straits.

The current lack of spend by Everton's board is just a precursor to what will be the norm for the foreseeable future.

Andrew McGreavy
14   Posted 02/01/2011 at 13:46:40

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Great article, Declan. As others have said, I am very similar to how you are, my love for Everton is being sorely tested.

I am 41 now, I can remember the glory of the 80s, destroyed by those killers over the other side of the park, the perennial relegation battles of the 90s, and more recently the false dawns and missed opportunities of the new millennium.

I have moved away from the North and now live in East Anglia, I have three young girls and my Mrs is an avid diehard West Ham fan coming from the East End.

I have fought my Mrs long and hard over the team custody of our children, and nothing gives me more pride than seeing my two eldest girls leaving for school with their Everton backpacks on, my oldest girl (8) running round a play centre in Colchester with her royal blue jersey on, whilst their dad watches with his royal blue jersey on.

The only problem is: how do I keep them blue? They are too young to realise or understand just how rubbish we are, they have friends at school who support the usual suspects, but still they will defend and stand up for Everton despite it all. Last week, when we played West Ham, to a tee, they all wanted Everton to win, the look on their mum's face was priceless; the look on my face at the end of the game was priceless to her.

What have we become, when, away from home, to a team at the bottom, we surrender before kick-off and accept that all we can hope for is a lucky draw... what signal of intent does that issue to other teams?

I cannot show my kids that I am loosing the faith, but I am; we are horrible to watch, a shambles on the pitch, a disgrace off the pitch... and now, sadly, like me, living in the glory of the past. I would love to take my kids to Goodison, to show them the spiritual home we worship, but I cannot be bothered; it would be torture to watch, I can almost write the scripts to our games now as we have a boring, negative, stubborn, arrogant, self-opinionated manager turning out eye-torture every week.

We have players who earn more in a week than I do in 2½ years, who cannot motivate themselves to perform at their best for 90 minutes every week. Why should I spend £100 in fuel plus another £100 on tickets, plus other odds and sods, to watch the current drivel we are serving up?

As I write this, I sit in my lounge with my royal blue shirt on, fearing the remainder of the season. I have a horrible feeling that this is not going to be our season, maybe then I can take my girls to watch us at Norwich and Ipswich next season, god I hope not.

I hope that Moyes pulls his head out of the ground, grows some gonads, and tries to start winning some games. Has anyone told told him attack is the best form of defence? ? and he loves defending.

Happy New Year to all, and hopefully I may be able to take my kids to Goodison next season to see us play Premier League football, on the basis that we start attacking more...

COYB!!
Roman Sidey
15   Posted 02/01/2011 at 14:12:49

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Andrew, at least you'll save the £100 pound on fuel next year and just get to watch Everton playing in East Anglia at least twice in the season.

Although it looks like Norwich could be doing one in the Championship. If they were in the Premiership and Everton were in the Championship, I think my resolve would have expired and I wouldn't be able to support the club. Some things just aren't acceptable.

Colin Fitzpatrick
16   Posted 02/01/2011 at 14:23:42

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Tony [9], the amount of shares can't have been increased, increased that is without a resolution nor by such an insignificant amount, so it would appear the über Evertonian has relieved someone of their shares.

To me, it looks like Kenwright?s newly acquired shares haven?t been subtracted from the minority shareholders total. There's only one person I know of who had this amount and we?re back to the murky deals that enabled Kenwright to become chairman.

Amazing how our oh so poor chairman can?t find a plan to generate money for lagging pipes or paying overtime or supporting our manager with a single penny but he can find the money to increase his shareholding, which ? come the weigh-in on selling day ? will pocket him another £1M if things go to plan.

On the other hand, it could just be another fuck-up on figures... Everton have form there!

Marcus Kendall
17   Posted 02/01/2011 at 14:55:24

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You ask why Joe Royle left the club? I recommend you buy/borrow/steal his excellent autobiography.
Declan Brown
18   Posted 02/01/2011 at 15:17:25

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Marcus, I have the book and read it several times (like I have with Graeme Sharp's).

You are right, it's an excellent read.
Marcus Kendall
19   Posted 02/01/2011 at 16:16:19

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I have Graeme Sharp's also, then again I seem to own a million autobiographies.

Roy Keane's and Stan Collymore's are the stand out ones in my opinion.
Declan Brown
20   Posted 02/01/2011 at 16:25:51

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Again, Marcus, I have the Roy Keane one and it's the best book I've ever read!!!
Tony I'Anson
21   Posted 02/01/2011 at 16:56:54

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Larry, you are one of a long line of season ticket holders who I've heard say that they are not going to renew next season, and we've already spent the money!

I think Everton MUST know this and be very concerned about the consequences for the Club. The question is, what can anyone do about it when we have our own houses to keep in order and prices of everything going through the roof?
James Stewart
22   Posted 02/01/2011 at 17:14:19

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Nice piece; Moyes is a different person completely from when he took over.
Larry Boner
23   Posted 02/01/2011 at 17:30:46

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Tony, it will be he wake up call that the game of football needs. Enough is fucking enough, players and managers, their agents, ex players, football pundits, all earning a living off the working man's back.

Well, soon enough, the working man will become very scarce indeed, with the men and women who are working being squeezed to the limit, just to survive, the money we used to spend on luxuries like football will be one of the first to be hit. Sky TV will be hit, by the people who don't go the game, but watch it on TV, which will then trigger a cut to the money paid to clubs.

Maybe its for the good of the game that we leave this fantasy world behind... but will we ever go back to how it used to be?

Brian Denton
24   Posted 02/01/2011 at 18:28:30

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Larry, I hope against hope that you are right in your prediction, but alas I don't think 'we will ever go back'.

Regarding the economy, I suspect we will see a strong recovery/smaller recession in the south-east ? it's then a question of whether that is enough to sustain the Sky model at a time of impoverishment elsewhere. I fear, alas, that it may be.
Mike Hughes
25   Posted 02/01/2011 at 19:47:34

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Declan -? a fantastic piece. I share your memories and more (my Dad took me to my first game in 1976). I've hated Liverpool fans since I was 11 when they laughed at my League Cup Final tears.

As I write this in the "Blue Room" of my house "Goodison" on the Wirral (and I'm not kidding about either point), I have to say that I feel exactly the same about our current plight. I could not have put it better than you have done.

Due to job insecurity, I packed my season ticket in 2 years ago and was made redundant in October. Even before this, I felt the same as you about the modern game and footballers in general.

I'm still a mad Evertonian and always will be. Something has definitely changed though and I hope that, somehow, we can get the glory days back in my lifetime. (Don't think it will be with Davey though.)
Mike Hughes
26   Posted 02/01/2011 at 20:14:02

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#4 Charles King

You are right about not seeing the Kendall era coming. However, I remember two incidents that acted as a trigger for the glory years.

(1) I came home from school one day and my Mum told me we'd signed someone called Gray. It wasn't massive news but proved to be a spark.

(2) I remember Peter Reid's brother / cousin phoning up Radio Merseyside and asking why EFC did not play his brother every game (he wasn't a regular at that time). Soon afterwards he was and that was another spark.

What price DM unearthing a couple of gems to have a similar effect this month? (Not confident but hopeful).


Gavin Ramejkis
27   Posted 02/01/2011 at 20:31:04

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Mike, the only problem with DM unearthing anything this month is that at the very most they would be loan moves and with a view to what? At most we'd put them in the shop window so any other side with money i.e. NOT Everton buy them, you also have to bear in mind twats like Melted Wax face would get one sniff, outbid us and ta da we get nothing.
Charles King
28   Posted 02/01/2011 at 20:32:24

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Mike @26

Too right mate, it takes very little to get us at it we just need a glimmer. I'm afraid poor old Davey isn't the man but I'm ready for a change in fact I'm quite looking forward to it.

COYB
Mike Hughes
29   Posted 02/01/2011 at 21:18:47

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#27 Gavin - I totally agree. We're living hand to mouth right now but survival is now on my mind for this season. Even loan players to keep us afloat as current situation is appalling - especially as DM seems to think we're doing OK judging by post-match interviews.

#28 Charles - I haven't always been a DM-out man. It's only the last couple of seasons I've had doubts. Now I've lost faith completely. Team selections, formations, substititions, same old crappy free kicks and corners from Arteta......and Saha. Something is beginning to smell a bit off.
Mike Hughes
30   Posted 02/01/2011 at 21:25:40

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Logistics aside (i.e. compensation etc), maybe we should steal Liverpool's thunder and go for Owen Coyle?
Jon Cox
31   Posted 02/01/2011 at 20:49:18

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For me, it was anti-christ in 1968 called Jeff Astle at Wembley. I never thought I could feel as low as that.

But guess what? How wrong could I get.

It was funny listening to Talksport about the 9000 empty seats at Anfield. You know what, not one of the conceited twats even mentioned it could be due to the fact that everyone's skint. And later this year it will get a whole lot worse... (VAT at 20%, anyone?)
Gavin Ramejkis
32   Posted 02/01/2011 at 22:28:18

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Jon, have you seen what Petrol and Diesel is going up to on Tuesday? Double fuck over by the government; fuel duty and VAT increase. Travelling fans will be hit by that big time.
Jim Lloyd
33   Posted 02/01/2011 at 23:22:25

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Ah Declan, what a wonderful, heartfelt piece about just what it is to be an Evertonian. Not only that, you have identified that special bond we have with our club. That's why you are absolutely right to be worried about what's coming.

There have also been some other really great and heartfelt posts on this thread which have echoed what you've have said. Reading many of the posts makes me feel as though I'm attending a wake (which is too bloody near the mark, as that is what I worry we are doing!). After a fair few whiskies tonight, I'll have to watch that I don't get too maudlin but I do have serious worries about our club's future (or lack of it!).

A mad thought, no doubt but wouldn't it be great if, somehow, we could organise a bloody great celebration of all things Everton. I mean, hold a great big bloody party (take over a campsite or maybe ten!) and just let's have the biggest "Blues fest" the bloody world has ever seen. Bugger what Kenwright and Green are doing to our club, it would be great to see people from all over the world meet other Blues and celebrate our unique history.

I'll wake up in the morning and think "Bloody hell! What have I written?" but right now, I would dearly love to see an event to which all Blues, from wherever, could get together as a family for a day or two.

Bloody hell, that was strong whiskey!

Anyway Declan, thank you for such a wonderful, heartfelt post about what it it is to be an Evertonian. All the best, mate.

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