There's an old saying that "Today's news is tomorrow's fish and chip paper." In my profession, there is a similar ethos — it doesn't matter what you did yesterday, it's all about producing today. Once upon a time, top flight footballers also believed in this concept. Hence the much quoted "You're only as good as your last game." Sadly, this is no longer the case.
I think the malaise began with the Sky money when model professionals were gradually molded into jobsworths. Case in point is Tim Howard. He's had an awful season but he has said he's not even going to review his form until AFTER the season. I can't imagine someone coming to me and saying "Kieran, you're doing a lousy job" and me replying "to Hell with you, I'll reflect on my work performance at the end of the year." Well that's precisely what Tim did including the bit about "Hell." Clearly, he feels that he's entitled to his place in the team on account of his past endeavors. He believes you only need to prove yourself once before you reach a plateau where you can coast. I believe you should prove yourself each and every game but I'm in a minority it would seem. Tim's own boss, RM has repeatedly stated that Tim will always be the number one regardless of form. Again, I couldn't imagine my boss telling me I can get away with doing a crappy job because I've done well in the past. In turn you wonder where RM gets off coming out with this nonsense. Well look no further than his bosses.
Firstly we have Dave Whelan. Dave unwisely ran up £90 million in debt trying to keep a tiny club in the top flight. He stated time and again that the club would be in real financial trouble if it were relegated. For several years they did OK until RM came along and got them relegated at the fourth attempt. How did Dave respond to this dismal failure that puts his club's very existence at risk? Well he said RM should be in the running for the Barcelona job. Bill Kenwright had similar thoughts when he rewarded RM's failure with a contract at Everton.
This jobsworth malaise is sadly pervasive in the Premier League which is why we have no teams left in Europe. If you play for Porto or Dinamo Kiev, you have a financial incentive to bust a gut because if you do really well you could get a move to a big club where you'll earn a packet. If you're at Bayern, Juventus, BarÃ§a or Real, you bust a gut because none of the other clubs in your league can afford to pay the wages you're on. If you get cut by BarÃ§a, you'll end up earning pennies with OFM at Sociedad.
In the Premier League it's different. Like Chris Samba you can earn six figures playing badly for a relegated club. Or you can be like Winston Bogarde and take home a massive paycut without even bothering to put your boots on for several years. Oh yes, Slaven Bilic pulled the same stunt at Everton. Worse case, you get relegated and your pay drops to maybe £20k a week. Well you're still better off financially than your counterparts at Brescia, Parma or Zaragoza.
To make matters worse we have people making excuses for the jobsworths. When all the premier league teams lose in Europe we're told "the premier league is still more exciting." Is it? Is it exciting when Mourinho parks a bus? Or when Lambert's Villa have total control of possession for nine games without scoring? I could have sworn everyone and their brother has complained about Man Utd being so boring under Van Gaal. Then we have the lack of competitiveness whereby four or five teams compete for the top spots year after year. And Everton, now coached by the cavalier RM who supposedly came to save us from the tedium of dire Davey. Well, I think we can all agree that 90 minutes of passing sideways with the occasional interruption for an amateurish error is hardly anyone's idea of excitement.
So on we roll with Phil Jagielka stating that Everton are "a good team" in spite of all the results. With words like that they should make him captain, oh they already did. If only these jobsworths had to live in anything like the world the rest of us live in. How about working for your money? How about accountability? What about showing some pride. Don't these guys ever feel embarrassed when their pampered asses get handed to them on a plate by a bunch of nobodies in a war torn nation? No they don't because these days fish and chip shops don't wrap food in newspaper so there's nothing to remind these jobsworths how good they have it.
Reader Comments (57)
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1 Posted 20/03/2015 at 23:41:56
2 Posted 21/03/2015 at 00:19:34
3 Posted 21/03/2015 at 00:23:15
But in the last 12 months they appear to be playing casually and without much pride in their shirts. That could be down to not liking the manager, it could be down to knowing that they are probably not good enough to break through that 'glass ceiling' or some other reason. Whatever that reason is, it isn't acceptable and the malaise seems to have spread through the camp like a virus and nobody in power at the club seems to have the will or the commitment to arrest it.
Footballers are mercenaries that's just the way the game has gone and has probably been for over 50 years, but the lack of skill the lack of effort throughout the Premier League has reached an alarming level. I can't remember watching a game of PL football either live or on TV that was so good that I was on the edge of my seat for the whole 90 minutes, perhaps its an age thing but the standards are pretty dire for most of the teams.
Where are the true artists of the game in the Premier League, which player if you weren't an Evertonian would get you off your sofa and make the effort to watch him play Â– very few if any in my estimation, the game has lost the X-Factor and with the multitude of clipboard managers around it will be a long time before we are able to watch 'footballers' rather than athletes who can kick a ball.
4 Posted 21/03/2015 at 00:31:53
In Barry's case why did the Club allow the manager to give a 33-year-old player a three year contract? It is absolutely nonsensical. So we are stuck with a slow, ponderous defensive midfielder for the next two years! Where was he for Dynamo's first goal? Miles away from the attacker. As far as Baines is concerned, I did not see Garbutt doing too much wrong at left back. Why drop him? Will he sign a new contract with with a clueless, inflexible and incompetent manager? Rant over.
5 Posted 21/03/2015 at 00:49:04
6 Posted 21/03/2015 at 01:23:51
The fraud sqaud shold be investigateing Everton F,C. from the board ,through the manager and the majourity of the first team squad......
I,m sorry to say the club i,ve always loved is becoming a laughing stock that I find hard to defend to fellow "football" lovers,
kieran,love your script,,,
7 Posted 21/03/2015 at 01:46:15
This article should be required reading for everybody from chairman down to the trainers.
8 Posted 21/03/2015 at 02:59:11
Howard, Robles, Cech, and every other keeper review what was done to determine positional errors, etc. as well as directing defenders. It is what I do with my keepers and what my son who is a college GK does with his GK coach.. I know the Howard critics will come on indicating he is not learning anything but they refuse to blame the golden boys such as Stones (full of positional errors this season, not getting goalside etc) and McCarthy etc. Idon't care if you don't like Howard but stop misquoting him.
9 Posted 21/03/2015 at 02:43:34
As evidenced this season, most of our lot fall into that category. Think of those aged around 30 and ask which of them have shown any improvement or are they as good or bad as they have ever been. Far from getting better you will find they have in fact got worse.
Progress of younger ones such as Coleman, Stones and Lukaku has stalled or even gone backwards. It saddens me to say that under Martinez this club is heading south. If the above three had any ambition, it would be better for them to seek a move.
10 Posted 21/03/2015 at 03:37:36
Money has allowed the top teams to drain talent from the non-moneyed teams and hoard these talents with them even though they don't have places for them on the team. So rather than spreading these talents throughout the EPL, they spend their most productive years wasted in reserve teams and are finally thrown out to the lesser teams after they've become fat and lazy.
Hence, the English national team suffers because English talent aren't given a chance to breakthrough. There're so many things wrong with English football today. It's an artificial bubble inflated and distorted by crazy amounts of money. It will burst someday. We should all hope that day comes soon. Then, and only then, will football truely "come home" & belong to the fans.
11 Posted 21/03/2015 at 05:13:10
13 Posted 21/03/2015 at 06:20:19
14 Posted 21/03/2015 at 06:32:46
My alarm bells really started to jangle when he dished out pointless contracts. Hibbert for 2 years when he was finished, Howard who I've always thought sub standard, Osman, McGeady, Kone, Alcaraz, 3 years for Barry and then to really nail it, a 3-year extension for Naismith, our very own Forrest Gump.
We are like a retirement home, we give out charity contracts and overpay, which means we are stuck with utter shite that we literally can't give away.
We urgently need some hard-nosed business people at the club and we need to add some steel and ruthlessness from the board to our pathetically quiet, nice boy players.
15 Posted 21/03/2015 at 06:53:10
Money does motivate but only up to a point and after that when you only have to turn up to get paid. There are a good number of very average players in the Premier League taking home more each year than the rest of us can only dream of.
16 Posted 21/03/2015 at 07:01:57
If football really is a business, Everton would be well and truly close to investigation. 3 years for Barry, Naismith. 2 for Hibbert? Man Utd have just offered Carrick one year. Incredible.
17 Posted 21/03/2015 at 07:36:57
19 Posted 21/03/2015 at 07:36:48
A player can sit tight in a top ten team and do very nicely thank you. Particularly when his chances of international football are gone, or he is guaranteed a place in a small national team. The comfort zone is where they all reside, and in our case, the young bucks who are out to prove themselves, are made to wait, whilst they watch seasoned pros make mistake after mistake, rewarded with contracts and undeserved riches.
Teams in the top 4 or 5 don't do this, because the prize is even bigger, and the penalty for failure is the sack. The bigger budgets mean high turnover of players, which equals, "perform or we will buy someone else".
Martinez has joined on the understanding from our nice Chairman that he will have lots of time to create his legacy (Ã la Moyes). The mural was a little premature, but the comfy scene has just lulled one and all into a sense of mediocrity, and almost every player has had a dip in form at some point.
It was the crowd that got through to the players against Newcastle, and at home to Kiev. Suddenly, the bubble was burst, and the real world intruded on their pampered little existence. Too many nice guys, not enough spikey, nasty bullies.
QPR await; have we got enough bottle?
20 Posted 21/03/2015 at 07:59:12
If I had a day like that in the office, I'd be incredibly motivated to do better next time, fearing that I could lose my job. I sense with some of these players, that fear doesn't exist and therefore they'll be no improvement.
We can criticise Moyes but at least his teams played with a spirit of "we are in this together" and there was most times a reaction after some terrible performances. I just don't see that with this current side. We'll see tomorrow.
21 Posted 21/03/2015 at 08:12:36
I can't see how it can end unless all the other teams' 'bubble bursts'. I wish I didn't care so much! As for the players caring... I'm not sure?
22 Posted 21/03/2015 at 08:25:58
Then there is the crappy "Champions" "League" (it's not for Champions, and by the time it gets competitive, it's not a league. This appears to be another method of funnelling as much money as possible to the top x teams in the various leagues to ensure that the same lot can win in their respective home leagues.
We all know that Fifa is probably the world's most bent organisation, we all see the 50:50 decisions go disproportionately to the Sky 4, and we see the finances rigged to ensure that there is no real competition at all.
This "sport" is wrecked. Frankly, I saw more excitement in the 80 minutes of Wales-Ireland rugby last Saturday than I have over the entire history of the Premier League and Champions League. That is how sports should be played.
23 Posted 21/03/2015 at 09:26:59
Forgot to also mention Howard being given a 4-year contract extension in 2014, at age 35, when he still had 2 years left on his old contract. He could be with us till he's 39!!
Re the Premier League, it's going to get interesting when the number of CL places drops to 3. Only one out of Arse, RS or Manure will make it every year. I guess though with this new ridiculous TV deal, clubs probably won't even need the CL to earn 𧴜m plus a year in just Sky money! So the only aim every season is simply staying in the Premier League Â– which has been the case for around 15 clubs for the last decade at least.
24 Posted 21/03/2015 at 09:54:38
We've loved seeing all these posers monopolise our game as we have come to see 𧶀k a week as the right reward for the games top players. One tenth of that is a joke for some of Everton's pretenders.
Until we turn our back on this farce of a game, fish and chips will be all we deserve to gorge on!
25 Posted 21/03/2015 at 09:38:37
26 Posted 21/03/2015 at 10:59:46
27 Posted 21/03/2015 at 11:06:43
28 Posted 21/03/2015 at 11:33:18
29 Posted 21/03/2015 at 11:22:55
30 Posted 21/03/2015 at 12:08:20
And as for Jagielka... he Â– along with Baines, Howard and the other long-termers at the club Â– is a specialist in failure, despite his undeserved remuneration.
I wonder how many of them gave any more than a cursory thought to the poor souls who sat in the stands in Kiev weeping at the humiliation served up by the team? It calls into question the whole sanity of following a football club, or at least, one as disgracefully run as ours.
31 Posted 21/03/2015 at 12:31:57
I'm glad you singled out Tim Howard who has been on autopilot all season. He recently said that he wasn't bothered whether Man Utd won or lost when he was their GK, saying that he was just bothered about how he performed himself in a game.
The first part of that still seems to be the case.. He rubbished rumours of a return to the MLS the other week saying he wouldn't be leaving Everton. "The chairman pays me well". I didn't see anything in the interview about ambition for himself or the club.
Howard's no fool..He's on a cushy number and he doesn't even have to keep his own form in check like at Man United, when our manager more or less says he's our Number 1 no matter how he plays.
As someone said on another thread, he doesn't seem arsed no matter how many goals he concedes. He just has a look of resignation. What's happened to the Tourette's fits he used to have when the ball went into the back of the net?!
For me, he's the epitome of this jobsworth malaise that's now pervasive in the game.
32 Posted 21/03/2015 at 12:47:13
If you owned a restaurant and the food was mediocre to put it kindly, but you had queues 'round the block with not a table to be had. What do you do, sack the chef for incompetence?
Like everyone else I've been waiting for the EPL juggernaut to hit the wall for some time-or should that be hoping, because like Kieron points out it has created a value system of " 80k a week to sit on the bench again-lavee jublee"
my hobbyhorse is that it has also ended the practise of top pros becoming player-managers I'm lower leagues which has been a valuable apprenticeship through the years; in addition it might has seen more black managers coming through.
The EPL needs to fail and fail spectacularly in order to bring some sanity to the game. But while theres an endless supply of hungry customers this isn't going to happen anytime soon
34 Posted 21/03/2015 at 13:23:35
Since leaving Liverpool nearly 30 years ago, I have lived in many places in Britain. When I first moved, lots of people were interested when I mentioned I was an Evertonian and knew lots about the club. Granted, they were recently Champions and very successful. However, over the years, we have dwindled in significance and are generally looked on in the same light as Stoke, Burnley, Sunderland etc.
I now live in York and very few people I know and work with bothered to watch the last British team in Europe on TV. In fact, most of them didn't even know or care that we were on TV!
Sad, when you consider how far we have fallen.
35 Posted 21/03/2015 at 13:19:34
If we go down that will pretty much end my viewing.
I'd get an occasional game on BeIn sports.
36 Posted 21/03/2015 at 13:34:05
Didn't Burnley beat City last week? (What they can't do of course is do it week-in & week-out over the course of the season, so that statistically, yes, the money will out eventually but, on a game-by-game basis, nothing can be taken for granted.) As to no great games Â– what about Spurs - Chelsea a couple of months back?
Southampton might be on the cusp of proving that a club with a fantastically well-run youth set-up can start to compete. I for one certainly hope so, and would love to see Everton take a look at their youth system.
Ultimately though other than not going and/or refusing to take an interest, what can we do? (I was offered two 㿔 tickets in the QPR end for tomorrow's game Â– the guy wanted 㿨 apiece. I refused to go beyond 㿞 and he apparently flogged them for 㿲 each. I have been an Evertonian for over 40 years but 𧵄 to watch two utterly piss-poor sides scrap their way through a relegation battle? Madness.)
37 Posted 21/03/2015 at 14:14:30
Perhaps Mirallas's attitude problems related to this. "Them? What about me?" Could be.
Wouldn't surprise me if Coleman feels that way, too.
Should be an interesting Summer.
38 Posted 21/03/2015 at 14:25:53
The thing that makes me sad is that a lot of supporters do not want to see Everton run by a consortium of mega rich oil people or some billionaire and that means, in today's Premier League, where it is money that counts, we are going to have to except to finish between 5th & 10th and hope for a good cup run.
39 Posted 21/03/2015 at 14:45:11
40 Posted 21/03/2015 at 15:08:33
The Martinez problem is a quick fix if he is fired. The Chairman and Board are the major problem as the major shareholders. Unless we get someone to buy all BK's shares and become the majority shareholder, BK is here to stay.
The only other alternative is if we get someone to buy the club and if you believe him BK has been trying to do this for 24/7 for a number of years.
41 Posted 21/03/2015 at 15:25:46
42 Posted 21/03/2015 at 15:35:17
That said, whatever your criticism of Moyes and Neville, they did always seem to demand hard work at the very least. They didn't suffer lightweight application or effort like Martinez seems to.
43 Posted 21/03/2015 at 16:00:28
44 Posted 21/03/2015 at 16:13:18
When is that slated to happen?
45 Posted 21/03/2015 at 16:15:26
46 Posted 21/03/2015 at 16:14:29
Also it has been explained on TW that, yes, he may have mortgaged his house but it was not to put money into Everton FC it was used to purchase shares.
47 Posted 21/03/2015 at 18:50:23
48 Posted 21/03/2015 at 18:52:58
1) Kenwright is the largest individual shareholder.
2) Kenwright does not own the majority of shares (with 35,000 outstanding, a 'majority' would be 17,501 or more).
At least according to the database, on the presumption that he actually owns the shares registered in his name... Perhaps he does technically 'own' them, even if someone else actually gave/lent him pots of mullah to buy them!
49 Posted 21/03/2015 at 19:59:55
But if anyone was to buy BK's shares, is it possible he would become a board member as the largest individual shareholder?
50 Posted 21/03/2015 at 21:40:58
You are spot on and that is why we are already in big trouble next season. The already old squad will be a year older. IMO we will need to spend about 㿞M on at least 5 players just to survive. As if that's going to happen.
51 Posted 21/03/2015 at 22:36:40
However, will anyone buy BK's shares? Again, based on past history, highly unlikely.
If we assign probabilities to these events, the results are interesting:
P1 = probability of becoming Board Member,
P1 = 0.9875
P2 = probability of buying BK's shares,
P2 = 0.0000000135
P3 = combined probability of buying BK's shares and becoming a Board Member,
P3 = P1 x P2
Ergo, P3 = 0.00000001333125
Or 1 in 750 million.
So not something I would worry too much about, tbh.
52 Posted 22/03/2015 at 00:21:23
53 Posted 22/03/2015 at 00:45:47
MK, I was thinking of Kroenke's former position at Arsenal where he was a major shareholder but couldn't get a seat on the board. Maybe our company structure is different giving an automatic right.
54 Posted 22/03/2015 at 01:16:49
The attitude of the players with the exception of Besic, Stones and Jagielka has been appalling. Most of them still think they're in pre-season messing about with the ball continually.
They have a manager who, after playing direct football against Man City and West Ham and actually playing some decent stuff decides to go back to pissing around with it against West Brom. Martinez has no passion at all he has lost the support of the majority of fans he has been booed during numerous games this season.
This never happened under Moyes even in 2011 when we had a awful start. Moyes set up a team who at the very least gave 100% in games. Look at the win against City in 2013, that was a typical example of what Moyes achieved.
Moyes was moaned at for his negative tactics in derbies however this season's derby at Goodison was one of the most negative line up I've seen in recent years. I'm not renewing my season ticket. Why should I pay huge amounts of money to watch a team who no longer care about how they play?
55 Posted 22/03/2015 at 11:48:25
With specific reference to Everton, I don't see this as the cause of our problems this season (with a couple of exceptions, notably Mirallas, but what's new?). As set out on TW again and again, the way that the team has been trained, set-up and selected from pre-season onwards has been disastrous. Football is a confidence game and the team has looked disorganised and demoralised (though it's also true that we lack enough scrappers and leaders on the pitch). Tim Howard is a scapegoat. He has not been at his best this season, but he has been a good servant and I think he gets the club and its traditions (see the work he does off the field for example).
Fans find it difficult to square their passions with the pragmatic attitudes of players. Few players are loyal, at least in the sense that we are. That is hardly surprising. Players are, in essence, tradable commodities. Clubs show no loyalty to them and actually neither do fans. Every day on this site we get numerous posts along the lines of "get rid" and "massive clear-out" irrespective of contractual circumstances. Though agents have undoubtedly made the mercenary trading worse (Eddie#19), it is not new Â– from Bobby Collins to Alan Ball, players have been sold irrespective of their wishes.
Many fans are also fickle. If this article had been posted at the same time last year with Everton riding high, do you think it would got the same response? We feel worse about football in general when our team is worse. And it certainly has been!
56 Posted 22/03/2015 at 20:14:32
Fickleness of supporters has always been around since the inception of the Football League in 1888 and the acid test is how many people are passing through the turnstiles - which in Everton's case has been remarkably high for the last couple of decades.
Perhaps you have a point that not so many TW's would have responded to this article 12 months ago - but we can't be certain that the response would have been much different - still you make some valid points on other aspects such as the general need to make certain individuals scapegoats and I agree that Howard has come in for more criticism than he probably deserves and I never like to see any individual made into a hate figure for the sake of it.
But a certain amount of licence has to be given to those who are passionate but sometimes forgetful that their words are read by many - on the whole I think the editors have a pretty good grip on those type of issues.
The article itself captured the mood that has been at Goodison for the best part of this season and in that sense it was apposite and provoked a positive response.
57 Posted 23/03/2015 at 00:13:14
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