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Passion flying away like a Jags hoof

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Excuse me for any errors, but I am writing just whats coming up in my head. I started supporting Everton in 07-08. I'm 15 now, and things have rapidly changed during the last 4 years. I never thought I would appreciate us playing in Europe the last couple of seasons more then ever at the moment. I took it as just our usual expectation, finishing 5th or 6th.

In the last couple of years, my passion has grown ridiculously for this club. Usually my routine was waking up at 7:30, reading Toffeeweb for half an hour in bed then getting up and ready for school. When I was 11, I got our home shirt for Christmas with my name on the back. It is the best present I have ever received. The games are usually on at midnight to 2am here in Australia, and I always get up. When the later games are on, I skip the start of school to watch us. But now I am starting to have a different view.

Let me just start off by saying this season has just REALLY pissed me off. It was definitely because I just expected too much. And let's face it, we all did. This was the season we all expected to finish in the top four. I was so optimistic I thought us and Chelsea would play it off this weekend and we would win the whole thing! But seriously, was it ever going to happen? Clubs were splashing the cash and our big summer signing was... Jermaine Beckford (no disrespect to him).

I'm sick of Moyes's negative approach to games. Starting off the season with 4-5-1, and your lone striker playing League One football the previous season is not going to win you the title. And why the fuck is Heitinga centre-mid? He has never played their in his life. HE PLAYED IN THE WORLD CUP FINAL AS A CENTRE BACK!!!

It was suggested on Toffeeweb that Coleman should play on the wing well before Moyes picked that up. Anichebe playing? Don't even get me started... As for Hibbert? I think Moyes is trying to balance the fullbacks so that they both push up and whip in crosses. Baines has the ability, but Hibbert hits the first man every time. He's a squad player at most.

And I don't understand why players like Sturridge or Ben Arfa (before his injury) were not even close to signing with us. Available on low wages for loan, I thought it was a disgrace. I really hope we sell Bily, Heitinga, Vaughan and the three Nigerians to get funds with someone with class like Parker or N'Zogbia. I think Arteta has lost his creative spark, and it is something we desperately need.

I just found out the game isn't on TV here this weekend, so either I will watch it on stream, or just sleep through it.

I could stay here and list everything about I hate about the club and how it's run, but I'll sum it up by saying I have lost passion for this club. I love the club, and would do anything to just give us £5mil pounds to spend, but this season has just been depressing. I am starting to just not care anymore. Does anybody else feel the same way?
Ryan Rosenberg, Melbourne, Australia     Posted 20/05/2011 at 11:32:21

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Norman Merrill
1   Posted 20/05/2011 at 14:10:55

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Ryan, It's sad that you feel that way at the great age of 15. I have supported the Blues from the tender age of 8, back in 1950. So you can imagine how many highs and lows I have encountered in all those years.

I can only say stick with us mate, and I am sure you will get many fellow supporters giving you their own views on what they think. You have been touched by the name EVERTON, and it will stick with you, Good luck.

Peter Warren
2   Posted 20/05/2011 at 14:10:42

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I do. I'm 32, had a season ticket snice I was 11 and we won the FA Cup when I was 15/16. We had players like Joe Parkinson, Anders Limpar, Kanchelski and Ferguson although never quite reached the heights. However, we always had someone I loved watching, even when Gravesen was playing a few years back, Arteta more recently.

Now, I can't think of anyone that gets me excited and I'm sick of the club for many many reasons. As such, whilst I will attend games next season, I'll be an armchair fan and that fan that picks and choose matches rather than what I would call a true supporter. I've lost interest and not ashamed to admit it.

Others can blame me and say i'm not loyal but I've watched us when we're crap and always enjoyed it, never missed a home game even when I lived 200 miles away for a spell. But now, I can't be bothered.
Tom Mallows
3   Posted 20/05/2011 at 14:26:46

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It is sad that you feel dispirited at such a young age, usually it takes a few more years of disappointment to reach that stage!
But it just shows how expectations were raised (and rightly so) over the past few years but we missed a trick in not strenghtening the squad at the right time (i.e. after the Cup final). We are still rebounding from that 'glass ceiling'.

What makes it worse is that, with all the money flying around the top of the PL, I can't see us getting anywhere near the top six anytime soon, which makes you wonder why we should bother.

However, I grew up watching Everton in the 90s ? when things were REALLY bad ? so I can put things in abit of perspective. I would have given anything for a 7th place finish back then! It doesn't make this season any less frustrating though I agree....

Chris Keightley
4   Posted 20/05/2011 at 14:22:41

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I think this post has a great deal more to do with football in general and the top clubs waving their cheque books purchassing anyone they choose. It's not a level playing field anymore, and that's what is getting most folk down... but it does feel great being an Evertonian regardless of what goes on around us. Keep your chin up and enjoy being part of this great club.

Remember that at the moment all the big clubs have owners that see there respective clubs as a toy to play with; when they get bored, they will drop like a hot potato. As for heroes, I have had Sharp, Cottee, Ferguson, Cahill, Ratcliffe, Sheedy, and Rooney and I'm sure we will have another ? I believe it will be Hallam Hope... it's in the name, Ryan!

Andrew Cunningham
5   Posted 20/05/2011 at 14:25:16

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Welcome To Everton, Ryan.
Peter Laing
6   Posted 20/05/2011 at 14:44:56

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Everton have a habit of kicking you in the balls, Ryan; I am a 4th generation Evertonian and often wonder what it is each year that keeps me coming back for more. I'm lucky I suppose in that I live in Liverpool and can therefore attend the home matches; dedication it seems though has no bounds, getting up in the middle of the night and skipping school to catch matches is certainly up there.

My own personal decision for next season has been not to renew my season ticket. This season I have missed quite a few games and will not be attending the last game against Chelsea, decisions based upon not just the football but the whole issue in how the Club is being run.

At 15, my friend, there is plenty to do: get out and start chasing some of those Aussie birds, get yourself a part-time job, don't worry ? Everton will still be there, and hopefully who knows we may both in future rediscover the passion for Everton that always, even in the darkest days, flickers on.

Dave Lynch
7   Posted 20/05/2011 at 14:51:40

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You poor sod.

I'm 50 next Tuesday and I to have had highs and lows. A lot more lows than highs to be honest, but this just makes the highs exceptionally high.

Stick with it, kido, you will reap the rewards sooner or later and at least you are not one of the sheep that follow the big 4. Youv'e been bitten by the bug that is Everton and the virus it transmits has no known cure.

Mark Murphy
8   Posted 20/05/2011 at 14:53:22

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I travelled home and away during the 70s; almost every weekend, I swore I wouldn't go the next week... By Monday, I was planning the travel and counting the points we needed to climb the table.

I've had more lows than highs and I even lived abroad during our most succesful period but in my quieter moments, not directly following a home draw or meek surrender, I thank God I was chosen by Everton.

Anyone can support a winning side.

Tony J Williams
9   Posted 20/05/2011 at 15:30:08

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It will get worse for you, Ryan, you will also lose your hair through the stress of supporting them.
Dan McKie
10   Posted 20/05/2011 at 15:35:04

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I'm 30 and have been going to games since mid-high school, but will never stop. I have no idea what I would fill the time that I am spending watching, discussing, thinking about Everton with. Stick with it pal!

As for your comments on Hibbert, just watch how many of his crosses are played into the perfect area. It's just a shame we don't have any strikers that really go and attack them, usually because at the time our formation means we are not playing any strikers.

Andrew Fair
11   Posted 20/05/2011 at 15:41:43

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You swear a lot for a 15-year-old. You would be right at home at GP.
John Ford
12   Posted 20/05/2011 at 15:59:23

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Most of Everton's problems are due to the way top English football at large is administered and funded. It is now a game for the elite few clubs, winning all the available trophies (with a few crumbs passed on, usually in the League Cup) with the rest making up the numbers.

Money dictates success like never before, which is the greatest shame to those who enjoy the game. It also dictates to a large degree how teams play. Only the top teams attack without fear of being left open.

Moyes, and any other manager at Everton are working in impossible conditions. We'll get strikers this summer which will be a positive step, but we'll still be unable to break the glass ceiling.
James Martin
13   Posted 20/05/2011 at 16:16:52

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Ryan, if you're depressed at a 7th placed finish and that we can't accomodate a World Cup Finalist centre-back into our back four, then I suggest you take stock before a real bad period comes our way.

Even those just a few years older than you would have been raised on relegation dogfights and some of the worst football and players seen at Everton in a long time. Supporting Everton is all about riding the roller coaster, and in perspective this isn't a massive low right now in my opinion.

Well done for getting up and watching the games though, a lot have most definitely not been worth it but they always pull you back.

Paul Foster
14   Posted 20/05/2011 at 16:25:00

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Can we put to bed this idea that 4-5-1 is inherently negative? It's a formation used by Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and, more often than not, Spurs.

The formation itself is not a sign of negativity. What you do with it is what matters ? and that's another subject.

As for losing passion, no, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I've supported for many, many years and my passion hasn't dipped once.
Rob Murphy
15   Posted 20/05/2011 at 16:36:10

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John, you've got it spot on. I think people are falling out of love with the game more than falling out of love with the club they support. I know I have. I love Everton but I find my interest in football has dwindled over recent years ? diving, cheating, silly ref decisions etc being the main reasons.
Richard Dodd
16   Posted 20/05/2011 at 16:36:54

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I started attending regularly when I got my first job at 16. That`s 20 seasons ago at the launch of the Premier League. I make my comparisons with what I`ve seen in that time and don`t get involved in pointless comparisons with what went before; neither do I get influenced by the anti-everything which some posters delight in.

A simple soul, the politics of the club bother me not one iota as I can do nothing to change them. All in all, I believe the combination of BK and DM has served us well and has proved far more stable than what went before. My only grouse is with the PR aspect which ? quite frankly ? stinks!

Losing passion at 16? I hadn`t had any by that age ? but that`s another story!

Ian Kearney
17   Posted 20/05/2011 at 17:02:32

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I think Arteta today summed up this season accurately, not least his own poor form, far more honest than one of Captain Marvel's cliché-ridden load-of-bollocks interviews.
Chris Butler
18   Posted 20/05/2011 at 17:28:31

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I am feeling the same ? in the 90s we were just shit. Our team was awful... a draw at an away game was something to be really happy about. Now Moyes could easily have organised a better squad and signed better players yet he hasn't.
Joe McMahon
19   Posted 20/05/2011 at 18:10:12

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Ryan - I'm 41; I chose Everton because where I lived everyone supported Man Utd & Liverpool 35 years ago, and they still do now. We are not glory-hunters, we are real supporters. Sadly though things at Everton football-wise have been shit most of the time in the last 20 years. I'm already suspecting I'll never see Everton win the title in my lifetime. I think Kenwright will kill Everton off.
Paul Gladwell
20   Posted 20/05/2011 at 18:12:45

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Ryan, that's the way it goes mate, many of us on here who live on Merseyside had it far worse in our upbringing. My school days where spent watching them bastards win title after title and listening to knobhead kids shout from the rooftops as they won those European cups.

I was a football boffin in those days and used to scream back about football goes around in cycles, the big teams always come back and we did by winning the league the month I left school in 1985. It was interesting to hear Alex Fergie with a shout similar to that last season in regard to Everton, so I live in that same hope again.

I will still be there next season in my usual seat but I have never left so many games early in my life than this season due to being totally fed up and needing a pint but I doubt I will be there for any pitch walkabout at the end on Sunday as I just don't think 95% of the playing staff and management deserve it for a piss-poor showing.

Paul Gladwell
21   Posted 20/05/2011 at 18:30:02

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In the meantime the wife is on a hen doo in Benidorm so I will put the lad to bed and watch our greatest season DVD and the Big match Everton DVD with a few cans, its a great way to feel the love again and recharge the batteries, although Ryan you better keep to Lemonade or you mam will kill you.
Karl Masters
22   Posted 20/05/2011 at 18:40:10

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Sounds like you need a Summer rest, but of course there will be people on here straight after Sunday's game and all Summer ranting why we haven't bought this player or that, so ithe Summer will be one long moan on Toffeeweb from people with unrealistic expectations.

Football in England is fucked. You have people with unlimited money backing 2 teams for a start, doing whatever they please and ruining it for everybody else.

I will be having a rest from Everton and Toffeeweb for the Summer after going to Sunday's game, and enjoy spending time with my lovely wife and kids, getting some serious cycling miles in on my roadbike with my mates, and enjoying a social life during what will hopefully be a long hot Summer with friends. My life won't be dictated to by silly kick off times and worrying about who we buy and sell. That's what Moyesie gets paid his £60k a week for, and even he will have a holiday!

By August, I'll hopefully have naively convinced myself it will be different next time around and be looking forward to a new season. Same as usual.

Suggest you all do the same.

See you in August!
Andy Crooks
23   Posted 20/05/2011 at 18:51:34

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Words I never thought I would say; nice post Richard Dodd.
Chris Bannantyne
24   Posted 20/05/2011 at 18:39:24

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Hey pal, your story is similar to mine. I got into Everton when I was around 11, I'm now 22.

I'm from Sydney, and my first jersey is one of my most treasured gifts ever. I now have dozens of Everton jerseys, but that first one is still the best.

I get disillusioned with Everton from time to time, but I think it's more just football in general that is going to shit. Everton just seem to be trendsetters in that regard.

One thing I know is I will always love and support this club; there will be plenty more highs and lows in my lifetime, I just hope the highs outnumber the lows.

By the way, the game IS televised this weekend. It's on the same time as every other game, but on Fox1. If you look in the guide it says there is some live golf tournament on, but if you press the red button you will be able to watch the Everton game on Viewers Choice.

This season has been pretty shit, let's just hope we beat Chelski, end on a bit of a high. Pray the transfer window is kind to us, Moyes gets his shit together in the offseason and we come out firing next term.

It might not happen, but I'm addicted, so I will continue watching and supporting, but if next season goes crap I will just be bitching on ToffeeWeb more often.
Trevor Mackie
25   Posted 20/05/2011 at 18:46:01

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Ryan,

The worrying thing mate, is it's too late.

No matter where you live and whatever you do, you can stop going to GP, ignore the telly highlights, avoid the radio commentaries, moan like hell, write pieces on TW.

You can recognise the whole thing as a ludicrous delusion ? a phenomenon akin to religion ? nothing works.

You're an Evertonian, brother.

That's just the way it is.
Mike Hargreaves
26   Posted 20/05/2011 at 20:26:41

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You sure you're only 15, and not yer dad in cameo...
Rob Hollis
27   Posted 20/05/2011 at 23:14:15

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Richard Dodd, you have shocked me. The tone of your posts always led me to believe you were sitting in the living room in your favourite chair, wearing your favourite cardigan and a portrait of Churchill over the fireplace.

You fought in the war, are loyal to the Queen, and the board of your club. You buy one pack of Werthers Originals at a time because each new day is a bonus. And you are only 36!

They do still make them like that after all!

David Edwards
28   Posted 20/05/2011 at 23:23:09

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I agree with Andy! Nice sentiments Doddy... I don't agree with your 'glass half-full' approach to EFC, but I can't knock your inner passion.

Sadly, Ryan, I feel our woes are just about to start and our unexpected 7th/8th finish after a pretty dreadful season may seem to be a golden one in years to come. Watch our star players get snapped up... Moyes moving on... and Blue Bill holding court like King Canute against the tide! The dark days are coming!!!
Mike Jones
29   Posted 20/05/2011 at 23:29:18

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Ryan, take it easy, don't get too cynical at such a young age... there is so much more yet in life. Wait until you are married.
Dean Adams
30   Posted 20/05/2011 at 23:48:07

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Richard Dodd:

Losing passion at 16? I hadn`t had any by that age ? but that`s another story!

When do we get the expose on ToffeeWeb's own Mr Positive, as your nemesis seems to dissapear every year when we stave off the reaches of the lower half.

Good on yer fella.
Mike Green
31   Posted 21/05/2011 at 06:17:03

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Ryan ? I put £20 e/w on us winning the league this year and £50 to end up in the Top 4. So thats $135 Aus down the pan.

It's not the money, it's the frustration about being so wrong ? I never believed we could win the league really but banked on Top 4 and didn't want to miss out on 150/1 if we did better... but hey ho.

Life is all about light and shade ? sometimes you have to endure the darkness to appreciate the light.

When Chelsea beat us in the FA Cup Final hundreds/thousands of their supporters left before the final whistle, trudging off because beating the tube queues was more important than seeing their team lift the FA Cup.

From your post, I don't think you're that type of lad ? so stand tall, take deep breaths and hang in there.

Evertonians are born, not manufactured.
We do not choose ? we are chosen.

Those that understand need no explanation.
Those that don't, don't matter.

COYB!

Prediction for today? 1-1

Grumble... grumble....
Michael Kenrick
32   Posted 21/05/2011 at 07:07:04

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Today? Nothing happening today, Mike. Move along...
Mike Green
33   Posted 21/05/2011 at 07:10:47

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Michael - I was refering to AFC Wimbledon v Luton. What do you tink I meant? Ehem (cough) ; )
Ryan Rosenberg
34   Posted 21/05/2011 at 08:32:24

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Thanks everyone
James Newcombe
35   Posted 21/05/2011 at 08:48:50

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Just be pleased you missed the Walter Smith years!
Christopher Brown
36   Posted 21/05/2011 at 13:46:01

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Saw my first match aged 8 on December 28, 1982. My uncles took me to the game at GP, seats in the Upper Bullens. We beat Forest 3-1 and I was hooked from then on.

Supporting the Blues since then has been painful for the most part, but then I took my nephew to his first match four years ago - my first match at GP for a while... and we thrashed Sunderland 7-1. He's now hooked!

Which proves that God loves Everton... he just enjoys testing our faith :)

Keep with it and good to hear from you!
Nick Entwistle
37   Posted 21/05/2011 at 16:02:00

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If I could still support Everton after the 6-2 thrashing by Villa live on The Match, then you, you soft Aussie child, can do better than to moan over a season of not-so-thrilling football.

We're born not manufactured etc etc... anyway, as to your last point, I have complete apathy over the tail end of this season as I believe that, if you're not in top 4 or not going down, then we're all the same.

Roll on next season. 2005 we had a poor squad, and look where we finished. Time for Moyes to bring out another good season!
Denis Byrne
38   Posted 21/05/2011 at 16:57:43

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It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal.
The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.

It is not a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled.
But it is a calamity not to dream.

It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal,
But it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture.

It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars.
But it is a disgrace not to have stars to reach for.

Not failure, but low aim is a sin.

Dr Benjamin Elijah Mays
1894-1984
Dalziel Kane
39   Posted 21/05/2011 at 18:17:41

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Some good summing up and a multitude of answers by other participants.

I like to think I've seen pretty much everything that Everton Football Club has to offer, the League Championships of the mid 1980s, some FA Cup triumphs, A European prize, some damn fine teams along the way, good managers in place, great soccer, and at times it did feel like you were behind one of the best teams on the planet.

On the other hand, the negatives seem to outweight the finer points, Walter Smith, Johnson, Kendall second and third time around, some questionable signings, any point between 1990-2003, barring the FA Cup win and the season after (6th place), which was a welcome relief amid years of garbage for one of the founder members of the league.

I always remember back in 1991 when I was at college at the time, and the day after we beat Liverpool in the FA Cup, I had an Everton holdall with me, with a great club badge, and I took it around campus with me like it was the most important thing in the world, I even displayed it in windows for a while if memory serves, it was simply the emotion of the night before, and of course back then, Liverpool were just about still a massive club, I was just so proud.

With hindsight it seems a bit adolescent now, but it was just the emotions of the time, similar events happened with Wimbledon 1994 and Coventry in 1998, just days when emotions get the better, but they do become more benign with age.

I was fortunate enough to hands on a copy of 'Everton FC' history, narrated by John Motson a year or two ago, about 70 minutes of greatness and awesome players, Dean, Labone, Lawton, Sharp, Southall etc, sadly these may be days that may not be replicated in our lifetimes again, but they were always be on films and archives, and we can look back and say, bloody hell, that was us.

Just saw someone mentioned the Aston Villa game from TV years back.

Bonfire Night 1989 5th November.

you don't forget days like that, they went six up, we got one back from an own goal from an ex-player I think, and either Cottee or Sharp got the second, Southall was in goal and was at the time, still one of the best 'keepers in the world.

Just a game I still remember.
Craig Walker
40   Posted 23/05/2011 at 13:18:40

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I've supported Everton for 30 years now. This season I've been getting more and more dispirited about the whole game to be honest. I love football but dislike footballers.

I was in Manchester on Saturday to see Roger Waters. I live in the Midlands nowadays so travelled up. The hotel we stayed in was full of United fans from all over Europe. I'm a very mild mannered person and don't posess an iota of hatred in me but my blood was boiling by their arrogance dressed in their "19 times" t-shirts. They probably couldn't find Manchester on a map prior to 1992. Give them a football and they wouldn't know how to pump it up but they can go on and on about who was greater, Cantona or Best. They couldn't remove their red-tinted specs for one second. I just hope Barca tonk 'em next week. It was my brother who pointed out "they think they're better people than us because they chose to support one of the richest clubs in the world. Who couldn't do that?".

Prior to this, I work with a Liverpool fan. He emailed me the other day "finished above you sorry Blues again". I had a response typed up about how first is first and second's nowhere and how it's now an achievement to finish above a poor Everton team without a pot to urinate in. It quoted Brian Labone etc. I've spent the last 20 years arguing this crap. I've got arguments like this ingrained in me. I ended up binning the email without sending it. I just couldn't be bothered anymore quoting Dixie and the School of Science, Heysel, etc. etc. What's the point? Club after club spending money they don't have to chase 3 prizes and ultimately win nothing.

That day I got home and the away kit for next season had arrived, purchased by the missus for my birthday.

It just encapsulated being an Evertonian for me. Sick to the back teeth of it but can't give it up.
Dean Frank
41   Posted 23/05/2011 at 17:57:24

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I totally understand his post and being dissapointed. But, I can understand the formation. Everyone loves an attacking formation but games are won on defense. And if you don't have the attackers, your best chance at winning is to be around near the end of the game. What good is it if you're down 3-0 or even 2-0 at the half? That is not good football tactically. Plus with the young guns Moyes had to put out there, down 2-0 and they'd never recover.

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