Almost as worrying as the performances on the pitch lately has been the performance of the fans. We have been pathetic.
I took one my girlfriend?s mates (a West Brom fan) to the match with me on Saturday as she rarely gets to go and I had a spare ticket. She asked me if the atmosphere was always this bad and I had to concede that this year it was. We went one down and there was barely a muster from the Gwladys to try and spur them on. For twenty minutes in the second half it got going (although we could really have made it more intense) but it fizzled out even before the third goal.
Admittedly I sit in the top balcony where the atmosphere is not as intense as other areas (but you can study the game more) but I do chant along with the Gwladys St when they do get going. This season it has been lack lustre at best. The Park End also has a responsibility to get some chants going, being so close to the away fans. My heart has sunk every game so far when the opposition has chanted ?your support is fucking shit? because on the day I?ve been agreeing with them. Goodison / we, have the ability to make a superb atmosphere, I?ve often read the likes of Lampard saying it?s the most intimidating he?s played in, but we can?t live off these past glories.
It is a chicken and egg scenario, you could argue that the team needs to give something to chant about but I suggest that the fans are more important in getting the players going. In previous seasons we have always got behind the team, I know it can?t always be like at the Derby (or my favourite, v Fiorentina; what noise we made that night), but it needs to be better than it is currently.
I won?t comment on Moyes etc (enough has been said in the last week) and this isn?t an apology for him or the players, just an acknowledgment that we have a responsibility as well and we are not doing ourselves justice recently.
Jon Ferguson, Posted 30/11/2010 at
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1 Posted 30/11/2010 at 14:59:43
2 Posted 30/11/2010 at 15:00:36
It happens at all grounds, but I must admit, Goodison has been like a morgue at times. We all long for the atmosphere that erupted for the last ten minutes of the United game, but players have to earn that.
3 Posted 30/11/2010 at 15:22:37
It is not the responsibility of the paying spectator to 'lift' the team. Anyone who has ever played football at any level is capable of going out to enjoy and win. They should lift the fans. We pay, they play.
No amount of singing will make Heitinga a centre midfielder or Bily an outside right or Anichibe anything other than an idle waste of space.
4 Posted 30/11/2010 at 15:35:30
5 Posted 30/11/2010 at 15:30:19
6 Posted 30/11/2010 at 15:41:35
As well as that, watching boring negative shit every week doesnt help, I don't even enjoy going at the moment and to be honest I will be thinking long and hard about renewing next year, as a season ticket price would pay for a holiday ? albeit not to Dubai or some fancy place that the average prima donna player can afford.
7 Posted 30/11/2010 at 16:33:52
Says it all.
The only missing point is: Jon, did you get anywhere with ya girlfriends mate? Bad man.
8 Posted 30/11/2010 at 16:39:50
9 Posted 30/11/2010 at 16:40:42
Our fans are not morons who'll chant nonsensically for the sake of it. I'd suggest they'd be far more likely to raise their voices if the club showed the same levels of commitment they do... I don't believe that has been evident for a long time, and perhaps more have realised it!
10 Posted 30/11/2010 at 16:45:48
But I do think the style of play and lack of trust in Moyes is a major issue. Fans don't believe we're going to win games anymore or even get a half-decent performance.
Also, I believe it's to do with confidence: fans won't sing when sat down as it's very hard to sing when sat down, hence why people stand in church during hymms. Away teams don't go to GP with any fear anymore as it's so quiet. Our atmosphere has been shit all season with the exception of Birmingham away.
11 Posted 30/11/2010 at 17:49:55
12 Posted 30/11/2010 at 18:21:28
However, when the mood takes us, we are a bunch of noisy so-and-sos... I remember the noise of the first Villarreal game; loudest we have been in many a decade ? and then the ManUre and Newcastle games.
We just get fed up when the blokes in the middle don't seem to be trying.
13 Posted 30/11/2010 at 19:42:20
Years ago, we used to win some games by four but that has not happened for a long time. When we got into the Champions League, we actually had a negative goal difference... we were difficult to beat... BUT we were spoilers.
After watching Barcelona against Real Madrid, I don't think we are even playing the same game....!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The other thing that sickens me is we make LEGENDS of really mediocre players.
14 Posted 30/11/2010 at 19:39:05
Thing is, when I go the match, I will often be surrounded by a family, someone on a day out to see a Premier League match etc, so they're not interested in joining in.
There'll be someone 5 seats away who'll want to join in, and a couple of fans 5 seats from him who want to.
Basically, the traditional hardcore are no longer by each other, making it virtually imposible to get any songs going. So Jon Ferguson, how can you join in with a song that isn't being sung?
Speak to Everton because they have been approached for their help but they were not interested. They do not want us to sing and chant at the match.
15 Posted 30/11/2010 at 19:44:53
A bit of pace, incision and one-touch football at speed, however ? that might get me out of my seat. Coleman marauding down the wing makes me want to shout, Hibbert struggling to control the ball and then slow down completely before passing the ball sideways just makes me want to yawn. (Only an example, by the way ? not the start of a Hibbert bashing thread.)
If the play isn't urgent and dramatic, then how on Earth can the crowd get worked up?
By the way, when the crowd do get behind the team, there's no more intimidating ground in the country ? but we rarely see it these days.
16 Posted 30/11/2010 at 20:10:30
But Tom, I'm nervous to ask this but is really anything to do with acoustics or the lack thereof? As most above are saying, we do get atmosphere if the action on the field warrants it; otherwise... no.
Does it really have anything to do with acoustics?
17 Posted 30/11/2010 at 20:51:28
18 Posted 30/11/2010 at 20:57:46
However, at the moment, there are no songs being sung for the acoustics to spread them songs to the rest of the ground.
The first step is to get traditional set of hardcore singers to congregate. Once they are, you'll need the acoustics so the rest of the ground can hear their songs to join in with them.
You can't join in with a song if:
a) no song is being sung
or b) you can't hear a song being sung
Finally, re what happens on the pitch. If the team is playing well you will hear the noise, but if the team is playing well, do you need an atmosphere?
Isn't the whole point of an atmosphere ? to support them when they need help?
At the moment the support is reactive not proactive.
19 Posted 30/11/2010 at 22:08:12
20 Posted 30/11/2010 at 23:25:22
21 Posted 30/11/2010 at 23:34:14
1/ We are all getting older and football has priced out kids and teenagers with their mates. In fact the Club only ecently stated that no under-12s will be admitted without an adult. Average fan age is mid-40s in the Premier League ? truly amazing.
20/ 30 years ago when I first went to Goodison, the Street End was full of teenagers and early 20s, many congregating under the balcony on the front upper level (Fozzie Bear anyone?) and the noise came from there as well as the Enclosure and Paddock taunting the away fans in the old Park End.
3/ In years gone by, many more fans went to the Pub first, sang there, got a few bevvies inside them etc. Nowadays, weird kick-off times, more family groups, cost of beer etc all make this less prevalent.
4/ Sky and the EPL have turned it into more of a middle class day out rather than a working class expression of local pride and the old community singing in the pub (sounds corny I know) type of experience has died out.
Plus, the football has been poor this season, but that's not the whole story.
22 Posted 01/12/2010 at 00:50:55
I think most fans have had enough of the 24/7 bullshit and the raised and dashes expectations so are now truly depressed and wearing the same frowns as the players.
Expect it to continue till a relegation battle looms then listen to the crowd for the last 3 or 4 games.
23 Posted 01/12/2010 at 09:45:01
Other clubs have done it through the help of the club but when fans approached Everton the fans were knocked back.
24 Posted 01/12/2010 at 09:56:00
Or a brass band...
25 Posted 01/12/2010 at 09:14:29
I think you are right in that "on field" events probably affect the "atmosphere" more than anything... and Karl sums up a whole other list of issues that have had their effect too. However, the point I was making was concerning the nature of Goodison and it's propensity to promote singing/atmosphere.... and this has a lot to do with acoustics. Goodison, being multi-tiered, fragments the crowd into relatively small sections as opposed to the unity of large single tiers. This needn't be a bad thing, but the fact that on 3 sides only 18 rows sit directly beneath an acoustic reflective roof means that the vast majority do not get that atmosphere enhancement. Whereas even a modest 30+k stadium like say the riverside will have 40 rows on 3 sides directly beneath a low slung roof.
The flipside of course is that these overlapping tiers bring everyone much closer to the pitch, so that when it does "kick off" it is a bit more "up close and personal". Every bad challenge is felt by the crowd. That is why Simon Inglis described GP as a special occasion stadium. All stadia are atmospheric on the big occasion, but few are as ferocious as GP on those days.
26 Posted 01/12/2010 at 10:30:35
I don't doubt that the Club have probably not taken up your concerns. However, I would strongly suggest you e-mail Robert Elstone and politely and concisely explain your point. I have found him to be quite approachable as long as you keep it polite and constructive.
Initially they will only see the hassle of relocating season ticket holders and naturally will shy away from that. However, if you can get the benefits across that make that worthwhile, especially that it's for the common good, you may have a chance. If they perhaps put something in the programme saying they were considering it and wanted people's opinions, they could argue they had a mandate if enough people agree with the idea. If you can get any examples of where it has worked elsewhere, I'd suggest you tell him that as well.
Good Luck with it.
27 Posted 01/12/2010 at 11:04:42
Elstone passed the buck for others to tell those fans where to go, thus snidely keeping his reputation.
The more people that contact Everton about it the better though as it shows that fans believe that their support does make a difference in ways other than money through the turnstyles.
28 Posted 01/12/2010 at 12:40:52
There was no atmosphere, even though I got hoarse screaming at the top of my voice, mostly at the referee or at Arteta's rubbish corners. However the players were very accommodating and gave photos and signatures at the end of each match.
One thing that surprised me was how Pienaar is so much above the rest in our squad and he's so right not to want to sign an extension. He's miles better than Arteta so the least the club can do is offer him parity with him. Everything everton does right goes through Pienaar, he's fundamental for us more than Arteta ever was.
29 Posted 01/12/2010 at 12:48:16
A few people I know who have been to GP to support their teams have asked me if it's usually so dead. Yes, is my usual answer. It was like this way back in the 90s too. I remember Joe Royle asking us in his programme notes to make more noise but we are not Burnley (my hometown) or Stoke. We are not elated just because we are FINALLY in the promised land of the mighty Premier League. We expect to AT LEAST be in the top division.
I go to GP to watch my team, not to stand up shouting insults to away fans. I think maybe we do have more than our fair share of thoughtful fans who want to concentrate on the football and not try to get one over on the away fans.
When we played Burnley last season, I spoke to a lot of people over here who thought they had got one over us because they out-sung us in both games. Burnley have always had a VERY loud and loyal away support. But I do think it's a lower league mentality that you have to "do" the opposition fans. Like a leftover from the hooligan days...
I support my team by being there as often as I can, by defending us in pub arguments (not many of us over here), by swapping my shifts at work so I can watch every TV game, by buying merchandise, by feeling sick everytime we play, by keeping coming back for more and more pain every time they let us down.
But I am not standing on my seat in the middle of a deathly quiet GP and trying to rouse the pissed-off looking people around me into a spirited sing-song. I cant sing, they dont wanna sing.
It's down to the players mainly but last season against Chelsea it was the officials that got us going due a dodgy throw-in decision. Now that was a real atmosphere ? the only time I can remember us Top Balcony sophisticates singing away at the top of our voices at the final whistle! Great night, COYB.
30 Posted 01/12/2010 at 19:04:26
31 Posted 01/12/2010 at 22:14:14
As I said in my post earlier, it's not just Everton fans who are quiet at home games. You go to 99% of the away games and you will find that other teams' home fans are just as quiet as the fans at Goodison. It's never been any different. The away fans in a ground always tend to sing more than the home fans.
32 Posted 02/12/2010 at 03:38:08
A definition of "atmosphere" might be useful... in my book those places with NOISE (Like S'derland, Everton, sometimes Spurs) are the places, not those grounds like Fratton Park, Man City and Anfield where they roll out the flags, banners, blow-up and wave bananas and have a good sing-song... each to their own like, but WBA ? well I don't think the atmosphere there is that special at all.? Posted by Ged
Certainly not Goodison haha. They have no songs, no chants and no passion. All you hear at Goodison is swearing at referees when decisions go against them. Some of the Greatest players today (E'to, Henry, even Giggs) reckon Anfield is the best ground for atmosphere. To say Portsmouth and Everton have a good atmosphere is embarrassing to the Premiership. ? Posted by jobo
For the record I'm with good ol' Ged. I'm not there for an orchestrated singalong. I react to what's unfurling in front of me and, yes, I'd rather relentlessly abuse the officials and opposition than orgasmically warble some wank anthem like that lot over the park.
33 Posted 02/12/2010 at 10:26:19
Nowadays, most grounds will have a smaller pocket of fans somewhere in the ground with the rest of the ground still shouting at the ref etc albeit a lot more subdued.
What's happened at Everton is that the pocket of singers has gone due to the reasons mentioned in my earlier posts.
All this "we're different from other fans, we're special because we don't do the singing lark" shows a lack of understanding.
34 Posted 02/12/2010 at 10:17:50
I agree with the sentiment wholeheartedly. I often find it cringeworthy listening to say Man U fans with an almost endless catalogue of infantile (and shit) songs, or several others with inane tribal chants too. Passionate support is one thing, performing monkeys quite another.
That said, there is probably a time and place for everything, and GP in it's current format certainly doesn't easily lend itself to maintaining/promoting a certain level of noise (and definitely not chanting) on those less "vibrant" occasions.
Similarly, the City of Manchester stadium is probably a case in point. I've spoken to several city fans who think it's a crap atmosphere at Eastlands. The old Kippax stand provided a perfect singing platform that they simply haven't got a Eastlands. Same fans (in fact far more of them), different, multi-tiered stadium..... different atmosphere. Proving that the venue plays a big part. Perhaps turning the upper side tiers into "popular" stands could correct some of this.
Much could also be done at GP to improve things in this respect.
35 Posted 02/12/2010 at 10:46:57
David, where did I intimate that the fact I thought this made me/us/ anyone else 'special'. The fact you pompously declare those who disagree with your own opinion as showing "a lack of understanding" shows that you believe your own stance to be something special. It's not.
If there was some undercover squad of 'hardcore' singers just waiting to reemerge from their slumber then what exactly are they waiting for? What's stopping them? Certainly not the accoustics as you laughably claim. Pesky parents who dare take their kids the game for a day out and not only sit in the David Shaw self-designated singing seats but then have the temerity not to join in when some jowelly twat starts singing 'the babies not yours'?
Nope. It's the fact such a 'hardcore' group no longer exist.
An atmosphere arises and is not artificially manufactured.
36 Posted 02/12/2010 at 11:39:55
To be fair to David, the Gwladys Street was never a great singing platform, but the change of demographic created by reserved seating, an ageing fanbase and other such things has weakened it further. The St End still needs about 2/3rds of its patrons to be belting out the songs for it be heard beyond its front row. Perhaps a dedicated unreserved area (as it was yesteryear) might help fascilitate that.... not sure that is "manufacturing" an atmosphere, as much as simply allowing it to happen quite naturally. There are always plenty of areas for families to go.... away from such bile.
37 Posted 02/12/2010 at 11:45:46
Fans will hear a criticism of their club and try and turn it into a positive. Singing is a case in point. They notice a lack of singing, so rather than seeing why this is the case, they say 'singing's crap' etc.
You ask where the harcore singers are? They're spread around the ground due to reserved seating. How great are they in number I don't know, in terracing it was 500-1000 at best, it may be a quarter of that now. Speak to people around the ground, read people's opinions on this subject and you'll know they are there.
Re acoustics, misunderstood that point, haven't you? Re parents taking their kids, what a strange conclusion you drew from my points on that!! I highlighted reasons why the singers have struggled to congregate and you make out that I have a problem with families going? My last post acknowledged that fans are different, with different wants, some like to sing some don't or just want to hound the ref etc. You however decide to generalise all fans who go against your grain by deeming them as a twat.
Now considering that congregation of fans with similar interests in terracing allowed the ease of singing to occur naturally, are you saying that under terracing our atmosphere was manufactured? No, the atmosphere and songs are being stifled, there is a difference.
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