Just two questions for the Lads and Ladettes that were around... How did the 87 team compare to 85? I've seen a season review some time ago and to me the team didn't have the flair and panache of 85. Also, why did many of our big players go? Was it simply a case of the lure of European football?
Trevor Thompson, Posted 09/07/2010 at 08:58:50
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1 Posted 09/07/2010 at 16:27:46
To answer the second part of the question, I have no doubt that European football was a huge reason for most of the players and the manager and this is why they all moved on to leagues that could offer it to them.
2 Posted 09/07/2010 at 16:21:54
To my mind the '87, stuttered at first as it tried to revert to the style of '85 prior to Linacre. Linacre was replaced by Wayne Clarke (who was our top scorer), but even his mother would admit he wasn't in the same league as Linacre.So was it as good as the '85 team? difficult one to call because on their day they could roll over any team, and of course you don't win the league being crap.
The final point the reason why our players left was to play in Europe, pure & simple. Steven & Stevens ended up at Glasgow Rangers which could be seen as the nearest place that European football was being played, and the team quickly disintergrated by a combination of losing great players, poor transfer policy aided and abetted by not being able to attract the best players because we couldn't give them European football.
This is the root of the bitterness that some Evertonians have toward the RS and with some justification, bacause who knows how well that team would have done in Europe and as we know, success breeds success, and we may never had to endure the perennial relagation battles and watched our great club go into decline that even to this hasn't been arrested.
3 Posted 09/07/2010 at 17:06:37
4 Posted 09/07/2010 at 18:04:05
84-85 Dec 26, 1984 to May 8, 1985 the team played 28 matches, won 25 and drew 3 with no defeats.
Conversely - that season we conceded 4 goals on 5 occasions! against Spurs, Watford, Norwich, Chelsea and Coventry - twice at Goodison and 3 times away - even with 'the best goalie in the world'.
1986-87. We won 10 League games and drew 1 of the last 12 - only defeat being at Anfield.
We were 9 points behind Liverpool on March 13, but our storming finish blew them away.
1986/7 seemed a bit flatter than 2 years earlier, but of course we had no Europe and were out of the FA Cup in February so were not chasing a treble.
One other thing: Easter Saturday at Villa Park - we won 1-0 against a soon to be relegated Villa at Villa Park. The crowd was just over 31,000 with reliable sources saying 18,000 were from Everton. To this day I have never seen or heard of an away turn out like it. Probably never will with the all-ticket policies of today.
Happy Days! :)
5 Posted 09/07/2010 at 18:48:55
6 Posted 09/07/2010 at 19:07:46
As I suggested in earlier post (about Holland) great players aren't worth a wank if they can't be made to think team first (ie: France).
For years, as a kid, I frustratedly looked at Liverpool and thought why do they keep winning stuff?
They seemed have so many players who look like...nothing
Well the reason they won is because they had been sold and bought into the idea of...team.
When you can get all your players to believe in the concept, you (us, anyone) can move mountains (although probably not Billy Wright!).
7 Posted 09/07/2010 at 19:12:56
There was a big recession on at the time (much harder hitting than the current one) and eighties crowds were severely impacted, so the turnout was amazing.
In my opinion, the 84-85 side was the superior one. At times they were unbeatable and unquestionably the best team in Europe. Shame they were never able to prove it.
8 Posted 09/07/2010 at 19:28:39
As for why it all went pear-shaped, I'm still asking myself why. I mean Kendall was still a very young manager and the European ban was always only going to last for a couple of years. We got it badly wrong in appointing Colin Harvey as Kendall's successor. The promotion of the number two to the top job was more prevalent back then but it very rarely proved successful unless of course you were in league with the devil.
Anyway its a mistake to believe that players started to leave for the prospect of European football. They left because they saw the writing on the wall but either weren't allowed to join Everton's rivals by the club or perhaps didn't want to turn out against the club where they had enjoyed so much success.
9 Posted 09/07/2010 at 20:10:10
10 Posted 09/07/2010 at 21:55:46
11 Posted 09/07/2010 at 22:42:59
Yes, Brendan, I agree with that. What really got me about it though is that it smacked of copying them across the park, as it was a tactic that had paid dividends for them. Our board at the time weren't exactly forward-thinking with their decision-making processes.
I also blame Graeme Sourpuss. If he hadn't taken over at Glasgow Rangers, and had the then revolutionary ideas of getting English players and Catholics to play for them, our team might have remained intact. Conjecture, of course...
12 Posted 09/07/2010 at 23:00:23
13 Posted 10/07/2010 at 10:47:38
I will forever remember beating Sunderland 4-1 and 3 of the goals were goal of the month, with one ending up goal of the season (Trevor Steven).
Bracewell and Reid were immense, Steven and Sheedy were incredible on the wings. Ratcliffe was like lightening (until he did his groin a couple of years later at Sheff Wed). Even if they got by us we had the worlds best keeper (of all time).
As a fan, I used to go to a game and, even if we went 1-0 down, we didn't really mind as we knew in most cases we would turn it around with interest.
14 Posted 10/07/2010 at 11:50:56
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