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FAN ARTICLES

Loyal? Or Lacking Ambition?

By Fran Mitchell :  17/05/2011 :  Comments (44) :
I fully expect Marouane Fellaini to leave this summer... For 2 reasons: firstly, we need the money; secondly, why the hell would he want to stay?

He is a player who would play (not sit on the bench, make 10-minute cameos and play in the League Cup) for Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool, City as well as Milan and Inter (but he would not get into the Barca or Madrid midfield). He is young and will only get better, and I'm sure, after proving he can do it at Everton, many teams will be looking at him. At £20-25million he is at a similar cost to Mascerano and Alonso (players he could become as good as).

So he will go. People have a go at Pienaar, enjoying a big dose of schadenfreude at his apparent 'failure' at Spurs. Well, he had ambition. He saw he was at a club that would not even buy players on loan, people from a team that bought Van der Vaart and many more good football players as well as playing in the Champions League were interested in him and he thought, "Yeh, I wanna test myself." Maybe he will fail, maybe he will get into that team and do great, I don't know, but he showed ambition and confidence in his own ability (making an extra few quid along the way).

Mikel Arteta, on the other hand, did what? He thought, "I'm comfortable here, I will always get in the team as they're never gonna buy anyone to compete with me, heck, they haven't even got competition for Anichebe upfront." Which as it turns out was a good call from the lad, imagine if he did sign for City and played as has done for us.

Baines, I love the lad. Great player and Player of the Season. But if he stays it must be out of stupidity. Why is he going to waste his career? Only conclusion would be that he is happy not winning anything, he enjoys his football, etc ? and why strain himself with the extra pressure?

Jagielka, another good player, but he had the chance to join Arsenal. Play alonside Fabregas, play under Wenger. Heck, he might have learned how to pass a ball and thus become England's No 1 centre back. But no, he is happy achieving nada.

Cahill. Modern Legend, but did he ever have the confidence in his ability. I'm sure other clubs were interested, he's the most feared attacking midfielder outside the top 4 for many years, yet he never edged for a move. Again, comfortable where he was, without pressure, comes to mind. He is a modern legend, with an FA Cup runners-up medel to show for it (which he also achieved at his previous club!).

My main reason for this, as I'm sure it will get slammed, is when I look across the park, what do I see. I see their goalkeeper saying how he would only stay if given reassurances that the club is making efforts to move forward. He is the latest one to do so, and it shows he has ambition. If he has ambition then he will fight to win every game, rather than settle for a point. In the long run, while some players look greedy, they might just be ambitious.

It can also be levelled at the club, allowing certain players to remain on a basis of loyalty, rather than ship them out and see if we can improve.

Rooney wanted to win stuff, he knew he wouldn't at Everton. He now has god knows how many Premier League titles and the possibility of a second Champions League trophy. Disloyal or successful?

Loyalty gets you nowhere in sport.

Reader Comments

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Andrew Presly
1   Posted 17/05/2011 at 16:30:07

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Generally agree, Fran. A number of games this season, like the one just gone, they basically turned up, got beat (and well paid obviously - Heitinga and Nev probably got £100k between them for last week's "work") and then went home without any players seemingly giving a damn. Depressing stuff.

Rooney was home grown so the thought of going to them aged 18 was all a bit too soon for someone claiming to love the club, but can't really face going into all that again.

Also, you get people like Lescott moving on "to win things". He could have won the cup with us if he'd marked Drogba properly for the first goal and not ducked out of the way of Lampard's winner! They can realise their ambitions here (within reason) if they just man up and beat teams like Reading, Wolves, Newcastle etc etc at home FFS!

NSNO is a fading memory....

Fran Mitchell
2   Posted 17/05/2011 at 16:47:30

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My main point I actually forgot to say. Of all these good players we have, which of them have ever said anything against the club? Which have ever said, "I want to see improvement/ambition or I'm off"? NUNCA!

They sit there and say, "The manager is great", they expect good things to happen... "Just wait til we get going", "We've had a tough time" etc etc None of them have challenged the heirarchy. Any that do I imagine would soon be shipped out.

We have a team of Yes-men, with a management of Yes-men, all satisfied with nothing.
Andy Crooks
3   Posted 17/05/2011 at 17:22:37

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Depressing stuff, Fran. You feel that our better players who want to stay are, in doing so, demonstrating a fatal flaw which will stop them from being winners. I despair at the thought.

However , where does money come in to it? If, for example, West Ham were in a postion to offer Rodwell or Fellaini £200k a week would they go?

There are two main reasons for a quality player to remain at a club: money and/or medals. There are two reasons for a top player to remain at Everton: regular first team football and loyalty. Doesn't sound quite as attractive, does it?

John Ford
4   Posted 17/05/2011 at 17:59:19

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It is indeed depressing if you're suggesting the only reason players stay with us is basically because nobody 'better' has bid for them.

In your second post, you then assume to know what the players are thinking and also make conclusions regarding their individual ambition.

I'll paraphrase your next post ? Why don't we/they all give up and not bother with any of this?
Dennis Stevens
5   Posted 17/05/2011 at 18:02:36

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The only loyalty in football is from supporters to their club.
Max Fine
6   Posted 17/05/2011 at 18:01:09

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Your argument has a fatal flaw, Fran: of the so-called quality players you mention, all but two (Fellaini & Rooney) have failed to cut the mustard at one or more clubs previous to joining Everton. Weren't Baines and Jags even Everton rejects at some point? Arteta had a torrid time at Sociedad before joining us; Pienaar was gash at EVERY club but ours; and Lescott had the dodgiest knees in football.

Maybe the likes of Jags / Arteta / Cahill / Baines are intelligent enough to understand that Everton suits them as much as they suit Everton ? a fact that is probably just dawning on Pienaar. Rodwell has shown absolutely nothing this season to warrant anyone offering decent money for him ? he's yet to play a senior international game and is already three years older than Rooney was when he earned his first England cap. And maybe, just maybe, Arteta was shown enough flexibility and respect by the club in allowing him time off to get married and to recuperate after his injury in Spain, that he rewarded it in kind with his own loyalty.

Of the other two players you mention, Rooney was undoubted class from a young age, as was Fellaini (albeit not in this country), so I suppose your argument can be aimed at Fellaini should he see out a trophy-less career with us. Apart from that, don't forget that a hefty portion of a player's wage is based on appearance fees / sponsorship. So, in fact, playing every game at lowly unambitious Everton could earn you as much as sitting on your arse at a "better paying" club.
Trevor Mackie
7   Posted 17/05/2011 at 17:54:43

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Wouldn't disagree Fran, we are without doubt the most comfortable club in the Prem.

Decent wages, comparable crowds and an air of being at the top table ? even if we are by the door.
A flatlining season saw the chickens coming home to roost regarding Moyes 9-year inability with creativity, albeit abetted by Kenwright's financial buffoonery.

Prior excuses were shown to be just that ? excuses ? and questions of ambition can no longer disregarded. This is a mid-table outfit from top to bottom. But as I say, it's comfortable ? like a convalescence home.

I would not criticize players leaving.
Fran Mitchell
8   Posted 17/05/2011 at 18:58:26

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But why then are they seemingly happy with the backwards movement the club has taken over the last 2 years?

No player seems to come out asking questions, just the usual 'we will dig in and fix this' stuff. No-one saying how they are angry that their football reputations, international chances etc are at risk because the club is not investing money. No-one at the club seems to be pissed off about the current situation (no ambition, no European football, no future), apart from the fans.

WHY?

While these players continue to spout the club line, then we will remain a half-decent team. But if they showed more ambition, rocked the boat a little, then maybe the club would be forced to do something to stop the rot. As it is, we will remain a decent team for 3-4 years, win nothing, be in a worse financial situation... and then what, they will all retire and be replaced by whom?
Mark Pierpoint
9   Posted 17/05/2011 at 18:55:34

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Fran, I want to agree with your comments but just can't. I echo totally your views on Pienaar. He should not be criticised for his move to Tottenham at all. It is too early to start calling him a failure. If Van der Vaart goes, along with Modric, he could soon enough be in that team after all.

On the others though, I am not sure. Whilst on one hand you could say that Baines/Arteta are wrong not to want a move to a bigger pond, is there anything intrinsically wrong with wanting to be a big fish in the smaller Goodison pond?

To put it in perspective, Milner on Saturday didn't get off the bench. He looked throughly miserable on the pitch afterwards. He was the big man in August when City signed him, after all. Arteta would have been just the same there, and who say Baines wouldn't. Sure, some of the City boys will win things... but I am sure it is a hollow victory for the Milners etc of this world.
Scott Goin
10   Posted 17/05/2011 at 18:44:37

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This is far too simplistic an argument. There are many reasons a player would choose to stay or leave a club. It all depends on the priorities of the individual player.

Money
Silverware

Fame
Playing with the best
1st Team playing time
Respect
Loyalty
Family
Friends
Manager
Supporters
Building a Legacy
Comfort
Home/Neighbors/City

There's probably even more than I can't think of right now. And loyalty is a two-way street. We paid Arteta well and offered him first-team football and the hope of being a legend at the club. Pienaar kept saying he would stay if we gave him the money he wanted. We didn't so he left.

It's easier to see why Baines or Jags might stay. I admit I think Fellaini will leave due to lack of ties to Everton but I can't pretend to know what his motivations might be.
Scott Goin
11   Posted 17/05/2011 at 19:17:25

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I also wanted to add that many players are schooled in the game of media/team relations. What they say may or may not be the truth. Just because someone says they love it here and never want to leave doesn't mean that they aren't thinking, "I hope Man City comes calling this summer!"
Tri Tan
12   Posted 17/05/2011 at 19:08:24

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How about the timing is just not right? For Fellaini at least, he has spent more time healing than on the pitch. So what do you do?

Get a raise (renew your contract). Regain your form and be a regular. Recapture that enchanted state when Moyes called you the 'best midfielder'.

Then name your price. Honestly, Fellaini would be selling himself short, very short, by leaving NOW.

I do agree with Bainsey though. If he stays it is because he is comfortable and flourishing. I believe he is close to peaking. Ambition is relative. There is nothing wrong having the ambition to stay with a club you love and propel them to greater heights. He could move on but be out of favor in his new situation very quickly with these fickle managers. Moyes is loyal and it suits Bainsey types.

Fran Mitchell
13   Posted 17/05/2011 at 19:42:00

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Not asking the players to leave. I just want them to show some balls and say they are not happy with the situation. If they don't, then they must be happy with the situation and thus lack ambition.
Tri Tan
14   Posted 17/05/2011 at 19:53:17

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Fran...Your point is taken and in my opinion EFC is too friendly. Known for tapping gloves coming out of the corner vs bashing our competitors' heads in. Even the job on Scunthorpe was a bit of a sheepish one.

We need more nastiness (see Johnny H.). We need our team captain to be calling out and getting on our strikers for poor quality. Content with "doing our best with our lot" is recipe for relegation.
James Martin
15   Posted 17/05/2011 at 20:05:52

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Fellaini can go anyway, absence is just making the memory of some of his awful early-season performances fonder. Maybe they haven't left because most of them aren't good enough to go anywhere else. If all the players that you mentioned were worthy of playing for bigger teams, then we would invariably be better than we are. As it is, they have probably found their way to the level they should be at.

Perhaps some players aren't as desperate for success as everyone keeps making out. Maybe a few of them prefer the professional challenge of building something at Everton rather than only playing half a season at a club like City but picking up a few trophy medals along the way that deep down you know you didn't really earn.

Gerrard could move in the summer to a Chelsea/Real Madrid or whoever and possibly pick up that long sought after league title, all too easy though isn't it, a cheap victory. Perhaps players such as Cahill know that they have a place in Everton history, the likes of which they would have at no other club, maybe a few like Baines and Jagielka don't want to heartlessly stab moyes in the back after he ressurected their careers.

You could win a shedful of trophies at United or a City and the fans will have forgotten you after you've inevitably been replaced after a few years in a transfer window. Win one trophy at Everton and your name would be immortalised. Phil Neville moved down the table away from Man Utd to test himself. Professional pride and aspiration work both ways.

Marc Williams
16   Posted 17/05/2011 at 21:21:31

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Fran... You're mistaken about Pienaar showing ambition. God told him to move so he moved... simples!
Dennis Stevens
17   Posted 17/05/2011 at 22:59:42

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I trust he gave God his 10%, Marc!
Luke O'Farrell
18   Posted 17/05/2011 at 23:05:58

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#16 "Fellaini can go" - silly season has begun early I see.
Andrew James
19   Posted 17/05/2011 at 23:09:46

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#20 Long term he will be off. But I really want him to stay for a year or two more just because it's been exciting watching his development and would like to see him trouncing a few of the Sky 5 with his skill and power.
Lee Courtliff
20   Posted 17/05/2011 at 23:42:04

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I've always wondered why so many fans complain about a lack of loyalty from players?

What do you expect from someone who grew up thousands of miles away and had no clue who Everton are until we bid for them?

Even when Rooney left, I wasn't surprised... and he is a local lad!

You will save yourself a lot of anguish if you accept the fact that 99% of the time it's only us fans that love the club... whoever that club maybe!

Interesting article Fran... I never really thought of things that way before.

Maybe Mikel does lack ambition but he is still one of the best players I have ever seen in the Blue shirt. And he seems like a nice bloke.

Hopefully Mikel, Tim and the others will get us a cup before they retire. Like someone else said... winning one cup with us after all these years would mean more than winning back-to-back league titles as a squad player with the likes Man City/Utd.
Luke O'Farrell
21   Posted 18/05/2011 at 00:28:28

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#21

Yeah I agree. Reckon he might give us one more season and see what we can do. I hope so anyway.

If we are desperate for money and need to flog a player or two, then I honestly think Rodwell should be moved on. I know he's only young but I really don't think he will be some type of midfield dynamo that the press make him out to be.

He may one day making a good centre-half but, for me, we already have better midfielders than him and we can't afford to have a sub on the bench if we could be getting £10mil plus for him.
Matt Traynor
22   Posted 18/05/2011 at 04:59:23

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I think as others have said it's too simplistic an argument. The game has changed substantially over the years.

- A "top flight" player's earning potential is radically different. Huge salaries, image rights etc. The concept of a testimonial, when the player needed the "retirement" fund, is dead. Most now use it as a charity fundraiser. Like it or not, McMahon left us to go to Villa cos Kendall wouldn't give our then-captain a 10 quid a week pay rise.

- Leading on from that, some players only made good money by regularly moving clubs. Our former player Barmby was rumoured to be one. Sponsorship deals would be akin to getting a courtesy car compared to the money on offer now.

- With the advent of the "squad" game, partly due to the ludicrous number of games required to now lift the European pots, fewer players become ever-present during a season. Therefore a player has to consider how important his role is to the club - FM fans will know!

- Players are now coached in media skills because the media deals which bring in such revenue demand it. Most of it is stage-managed, and no player is going to openly slag off the club to its own media outlet. Man U's global fanbase are happy to shell out to watch Ryan Giggs talking about his diet, and how he likes his Welsh Rarebit on MUTV...

- Players now have a management team around them, rather than just depending on their agent, as they are now revenue generators far beyond their abilities on a football field.

The only thing that hasn't changed is that the well-heeled clubs will always try to recruit the best talent.

Maybe some of our better players just aren't as good as we/they think they are?
Mike Green
23   Posted 18/05/2011 at 06:45:49

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Talk about an article plumbing the depths. Not satisfied with slagging off the clubs owners, managers and season we turn to the...... Erm..... Loyalty of the players?!?!?!

This site was turning itself inside out when the club broke the wage limit and Mikel signed on. He has a bad season and now he's just a wanker looking for an easy ride?

We're forever saying how 'we do things differently' and 'we're a class act'. Now you want our lads to start being 'nasty' like the Rooney's, Fabregas's and Mascerano's of this world?

Evertonians that don't want loyalty from their players? Shame on you.
Eugene Ruane
24   Posted 18/05/2011 at 08:06:42

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Mike Green (23) - shame on YOU for not knowing an interesting, thought-provoking post when you see one and trying to boil what is complex down to 'Shame on Evertonians who don't want loyalty from the players' (point out ONE person who has posted they're 'anti-loyalty').

The question was 'Loyal OR..'

The OP, imo, poses some very interesting questions (nb: questions that can't be answered with 'COYB!!')

Max Fine (6) and Scott Goin (10) - both provide very good counters with Scott mentioning family, something I think must be huge if you are a player with Kids.
Trevor Lynes
25   Posted 18/05/2011 at 08:21:08

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A well wrýtten artýcle echoýng all my sentýments when abuse was levelled at Rooney and Co when they chose to move away in search of fame and winners' medals.

Rooney was kept in cotton wool and played in a team of aging players like Stubbs, Weir, Naysmith etc.... he desperately wanted to be in a side with ambition and he was got at by other players when he went away with England squads. I have never blamed him and I still believe he is an Evertonian at heart.

EVERY player worth his salt wants to win plaudits and recognition.... winners medals and England caps are the goal of ambitious players at the top level.

Unfortunately ambition is not on the agenda at Everton as we have never had a decent enough squad to be able to compete in Europe or even be able to play consistently in the number of games we play at the moment.

I honestly believe that DM's meeting with the board regarding a transfer budget is a veiled threat to them as to whether he feels he can continue to perform his duties as manager. Our board seem to be happy with attaining survival in the Premier League as sufficient reward for his efforts. That is why REAL players want away.

The players who have expressed supposed loyalty are the ones who no-one really wants due to age and average ability and I include Hibbert, Howard, Distin, Arteta (now) and Cahill (now).

Tony J Williams
26   Posted 18/05/2011 at 11:36:41

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There is no loyalty anymore, the last possible loyal player was Le Tissier, who could have moved to other clubs but stayed with the Saints.

It's hard to expect loyalty from players when their club will dump them at the drop of a hat.

In regards to players coming out and having a go at the manager/board, a simple test, if you are not a manager where you work, would you publicly come out and slag them off? Would you eck as like!, you would grumble and moan to the like-minded employees but say niche to the Russians.
Steve Guy
27   Posted 18/05/2011 at 13:19:21

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Player: "I'm off; the Club has peaked and shows no ambition" Supporter: "You disloyal scum, after all we did for you"

Player: "I love it here, the crowd, the spirit, the Team ethic, why would I want to play anywhere else?"
Supporter: "Clearly not good enough to play elsewhere, why do we always end up with players like this?"

It's the Supporter's perogative to take these views, but it's ludicrous to suggest as would seem the case here that a player who wants to stay at Everton, is either loyal to the point of madness or not ambitious enough.

The logic used doesn't stack up for me at all. Look at the pasting Heitinga got on TW and elsewhere when he was "misquoted" as saying he was off elsewhere. Now Arteta gets a mauling because he doesn't want to leave. Amazing!

Has the mindset of some supporters now got to the stage where we have players with quality, so automatically assume they'll leave?

My perspective and I would suggest that of most of the players we have at the Club, is that Everton is still a major football club with a proud heritage and an enviable record of longevity and consistency in the Top Flight of one of the best and most competitive leagues in Europe, if not the world. Why wouldn't a player want to be part of it?
Brian Baker
28   Posted 18/05/2011 at 14:35:56

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HIndsight is a wonderful thing, but if Rooney had stayed, who's to say what would have happened? Would we be playing regular CL football now and winning the odd trophy?
Sam Morrison
29   Posted 18/05/2011 at 14:36:21

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Sorry Fran, I've skimmed over the comments but I found this a depressing read. As Steve Guy says (27) it seems no matter what the facts are we can find a way to paint it in the most negative light.

Not disagreeing with your logic Fran, just sad that your starting point is Why Would Anyone Want to Play For Everton?
Brian Baker
30   Posted 18/05/2011 at 14:43:31

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Fran, why would any player want to play for any team??

You can ask the same question for all the clubs that have won nothing or qualified for nothing, it's not just Everton!!

The main motivation for any footballer, including most professionals, is simply the enjoyment of playing the 'beautiful' game and the higher the level, the greater the satisfaction. If you have ever played for a football team at a competetive level, you would know that.

Money only motivates a selfish handful in the top flight, and those who sit on the fringes of the game, like players agents, with some rich owners causing a huge inbalance from club to club ? which will hopefully disappear once the Uefa fair play rules come into force.
Tri Tan
31   Posted 18/05/2011 at 15:40:49

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23 - Mike Green - Your hubris is remarkable. Let's not confuse nasty and dirty.

Yes, to Rooney and Fabregas. NO to Mascereno!

Roman Sidey
32   Posted 18/05/2011 at 16:47:52

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So what does everyone think of Johnny's latest interview? Loyal and under-ambitious?

Personally, the longer we have him the luckier we are, but after this season, I am confused with how humble and positive he sounds.
Steve Higham
33   Posted 18/05/2011 at 17:21:54

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#32 Could it be that Jags is off to Arsenal?

We all know we have to sell to buy... don't know what to think. It's horrible knowing we have become a selling club.

Mike Green
34   Posted 18/05/2011 at 18:45:15

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Hubris.... that's something you eat with carrot sticks isn't it......?
Mike Green
35   Posted 18/05/2011 at 18:46:15

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I wonder if the players sit around the dressing room saying.....

"Look at those wankers turning up again. I can't work out if they're loyal or just showing no ambition ? after all they could just nip across the Park and watch a team who are heading back towards Europe, or drive down the East Lancs to watch regular Champions, Cup Finalists, European Cup Winners PLUS the new kids on the block who might well dominate everything over the next decade.

"Don't they want to watch some proper football? Don't they want to travel around the great stadiums of Europe? Don't they want to watch re-runs of epic Cup Final Wins and say to their children those three immortal words, "I was there....." They're a fucking joke!

"And what make's it worse is I read this article the other day by one of them that would prefer it if we all just wanted off! Especially the better players we've got around. Amazing...... why doesn't he save us the job, start showing a little more ambition himself and go watch a team that can play joined-up football and regularly challenge for honours himself.... he's got 3 on his bloody doorstep! I just don't get it!"

Andy Crooks
36   Posted 18/05/2011 at 19:00:28

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Mike, you're missing the point here. If you or I had the talent to play for Everton we'd do it for a fraction of what they get; we don't, they do. Fran was raising a very pertinent point which will be even more pertinent over the summer.

Tony J mentioned Le Tissier. I would love to know if he has any regrets (not Tony)... Does the respect he has in Southampton, which must be incredible, make up for what might have been? I think this is what Fran was getting at.

Steve Guy
37   Posted 18/05/2011 at 19:08:13

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Hey Mike, not sure about that lot across the Park heading back to Europe! Come on you Spurs!
Mike Green
38   Posted 18/05/2011 at 19:24:23

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Well, that's me put right, Andy. I thought what Fran was getting at was why would we want any player shit enough to want to play for us? Wasn't that it?
Steve Guy
39   Posted 18/05/2011 at 20:03:47

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I'm with Mike's interpretation of the original post and don't agree with the latter. It never ceases to amaze me how many players (whether they stay "loyalty" or go "mercenary") talk later about the special nature of our Club and how much it still means to them.

I'm not saying other players don't say similar things about other clubs, but why be so surprised when certain players actually love it at Goodison for all the right reasons? Cynicism can be healthy but it can more often eat away at the soul.

Fran Mitchell
40   Posted 19/05/2011 at 00:54:32

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What I was saying was that if the players came out and said, "I only want to stay at the club IF they show ambition, IF they try to improve." I never said I want them all to sod off, what I want them to be is angry at the direction of the club.

WE ARE GOING BACKWARDS, and all we get is: "Hopefully things will be better"; "We will improve without signings"; "Who needs a new striker, Vic/Louis etc will be like new signings" etc etc etc. Mikel signed a new contract! WHY? Most players of his calibre demand that the club give him a reason to stay (more than just money), or was just money good enough for him?

If they were ambitious they wouldn't want to stay on a sinking ship. So that is my ambition. Maybe you're right Mike. They are loyal to the bone, and are happy with mediocrity.

Well I'm Not! I watched about 10 games last season. Only the Blackpool one I found enjoyable, the rest I found myself reading a book or newspaper as it progress. It was awful, just bloody awful. YET, the players seem happy. No one saying how bad conditions are. How disillusioned they are.

So, either the club has chinese style censorship, they are loyal to the bone, or they lack ambition. Which is it?

Frank Key
41   Posted 19/05/2011 at 06:42:25

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I haven't got a problem with any player leaving ? all I demand as a fan is that they show some humility and respect to the club on their way out.
Eric Myles
42   Posted 19/05/2011 at 07:13:43

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Andy #3 "However, where does money come in to it? If, for example, West Ham were in a postion to offer Rodwell or Fellaini £200k a week, would they go?"

Scott Parker did.
James Martin
43   Posted 19/05/2011 at 09:12:20

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Why all this complaining over being a selling club? Most teams in the league sell to buy, they just dress it up better as squad regeneration.

Because our sales are often long sagas right in the media eye, which we inevtiably lose, it makes us look like a helpless selling club. Liverpool sold Alonso, Mascherano, Torres and Benayoun all to 'bigger' clubs yet no-one labels them a selling club. Man Utd sold Ronaldo to Madrid.

Moyes has not sold that many key players in his time here; even if he does start to, it's just a part of football that even teams which have recently been more successful than us can't escape.

Sam Morrison
44   Posted 19/05/2011 at 12:19:48

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I think it's worth re-reading Scott Goin's post at (10) above - both sides of this argument seem over-simplified.

Having said that, Fran, is it really the position of the players to challenge the direction the club is going financially? They are the ones taking most of the money out of the club, and if they are really unhappy about it then the answer for them, as you said above, is to leave. Which will have absolutely zero effect on the boardroom.

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