Our responsibility

by   |   04/03/2019  33 Comments  [Jump to last]

After the derby, it seems a good time to mention the responsibility we as fans have.
The impact that the amazing atmosphere had on Sunday can’t be taken lightly. From before a ball was kicked, we were up for it and the team responded by giving us a performance that was 100%.

That atmosphere has been missing too many times over the last few seasons and is non-existent for some games. We hardly ever raise the atmosphere against lower opposition with long flat periods in games while we sit on phones or chat with our mates.

The Goodison atmosphere can be formidable for visiting teams and their supporters. It gives our lads a lift and the more intense the support, the more focused and intense the players are.

It’s no good raising the atmosphere for a few teams, we need to make Goodison Park a place no team wants to come to again. We as fans have that responsibility – it’s our job to make away teams feel intimidated to make sure they are not thinking about their game and to instill the intensity in our team.

The 12th man is us and too many times we have let the team down over the last few seasons – it’s time we stepped up and had a look at ourselves and what we can bring to the team.

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Jim Bennings
1 Posted 04/03/2019 at 17:22:05
I've been saying the same thing for months or even years, Peter.

Our famous old stadium has been too quiet for too long now and the fans are the ones responsible for the atmosphere and noise levels generated.

I can fully understand both sides of the coin when fans say the players need to start giving something back on the pitch, I totally get it.

But there comes a time when as long term match going fans need to remember why we actually go the match to watch Everton.

We aren't going to be winning the league or play in the Champions League any time soon but we go to support Everton Football Club just like we always have.

The 1990s seen many poor Everton teams struggling at the bottom of the table but the atmosphere was always noisy and passionate so we can't just say it's because the team is not playing well.

I think it's over to the fans now or the club to start doing organised things to get an atmosphere rocking once more.

Yesterday was a glimpse of the past in terms of atmosphere and hostility and nearly every Liverpool player looked edgy as a result.

Wouldn't it be great if every home game at least got somewhere near yesterday's level?

Darren Hind
2 Posted 04/03/2019 at 17:55:00
Yeah, let's blame the fans.

This is not something the fans have chosen to do. Evertonians have had their enthusiasm destroyed over a period of time. Those who supported the awful anti-football served up by various managers are now seeing the result. The soul was removed from this club. You can't serve up the sort of shite they have had to endure and expect them to be dancing on the seats.

Let's be clear here: the players are being paid astronomical sums of money to do things with a football the man on the street can't do. The fans are the one doing the paying.

Just look at the atmosphere in the three home league games Rhino has overseen. No magic formula, just displays of passion and the fans responded in spades.

Evertonians don't want much, show them you care and they will back you to the hilt, but they know when they are being insulted and they will not happy-clap cowardly sem- committed shite.

John G Davies
3 Posted 04/03/2019 at 18:06:37
It's general in modern day football. The football fan has changed over the years. No standing has played its part, as have the ticket prices which have stopped a lot of working-class fans attending.

Of course, a hard-working, hard-running, tackling Everton side will get a response from the fans, always has. It's the duty of the team to give the fans something to respond to.

Jay Harris
4 Posted 04/03/2019 at 18:16:23
Whilst I agree, it's up to the players to get the fans roused, Jim has a very good point about us being the 12th man.

What seems to have happened over the past few years is that expectation has risen and so has cynicism. The fans are all too ready to jump on the current scapegoats back and as a consequence the players are deflated rather than inspired.

I also think the manager has to do more to inspire the crowd. I don't want him turning into Klippetty but a bit more passion from the bench would get the crowd going more.

It's all about belief and if the bench, the players and the supporters all have belief that good things are happening, the atmosphere will follow.

Tommy Surgenor
5 Posted 04/03/2019 at 18:31:19
Football has become too nice. We have acquired a number of technical players. It takes one solid challenge or thumping 50/50 then the atmosphere changes. Fans can't be blamed for switching off while watching slow pedestrian stand-off football.
Jim Bennings
6 Posted 04/03/2019 at 19:33:26
Nobody is blaming the fans, Darren. If you read the post, it's saying it's a two-way thing.

Too often, fans just want to sit there and wait for things to happen, turn up two minutes before kick-off and sit twiddling their iPhones rather than actually singing, and getting a bit of enthusiasm about actually being at a football match.

Yes, we have had our spirits broken over years and years of failure and doomed promise not built on but, as I say, we need to remember why we go the match.

We seen first hand yesterday that Goodison was an absolute cauldron of noise and we need that in two weeks time against Chelsea, let's make it a bear pit for them visiting here – not just some Sunday afternoon cakewalk.

Everton are not a great team, we weren't great last season and we won't be great next season either but that doesn't mean one of the most famous venues in English football should be a library with no-mark fans from nobody little visiting clubs taking the piss out of it.

Get Goodison rocking again!

Andy Crooks
7 Posted 04/03/2019 at 22:28:03
Interesting point, Darren. I didn't realise that the atmosphere was so good under the admirable Unsworth. I just wish Moshiri had held his nerve for two more weeks. It could have been so different... and so much cheaper.
Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 04/03/2019 at 22:47:56
One of those games was after Martinez had finally been given the boot, and another one of those games was on the night Allardyce had just been appointed Everton's new manager, Andy.

The other was on a bonfire night and, with Everton two down to Silva's Watford and Liverpudlians beginning to set off fireworks in Stanley Park, our crowd came alive!

I hope Silva turns it around and builds a great team but, if not, then it's imperative that Everton Football Club start using its greatest weapon on a much more regular basis; this will only happen if they can find a manager whose style of play can really engage the crowd.

I read what Steve Ferns writes, I read what a lot of ex-Silva players say about him and think that, maybe with his own squad of players, then Silva, might turn out to be alright, but I honestly think he'd have a better chance with either a Stubbs or an Unsworth as his worthy number two, especially because they both know how to defend?

Mike Jones
9 Posted 04/03/2019 at 22:50:27
Slightly off topic... I went on RAWK tonight. They don't like us. Although similar to most posters on ToffeeWeb, they think we're shite. Maybe we should stop agreeing with them. It perpetuates an inferiority complex.
Jim Bennings
10 Posted 04/03/2019 at 23:12:13
RAWK

What does that stand for?

Really Awful Wanker Kopites?

Brian Williams
11 Posted 04/03/2019 at 23:31:06
Jim, I believe it's actually red and white knob'eads!
Derek Thomas
12 Posted 04/03/2019 at 23:44:02
Darren @ 2; Game, Set and Match. Spot on.

And as for the Club 'organising' something, it takes them all their time to organise half-time entertainment, which nobody really needs, it's 15 mins ffs. All you need, in which ever order works for you, is a piss and a beer.

If it was left to the Club, we'd soon degenerate into that stupid ice hockey organ music... or whatever tacky equivalents they come up with.

Bob Parrington
13 Posted 05/03/2019 at 07:53:47
As soon as this kind of critical analysis comes on here, the blame name has to come out. I suppose it's just human nature but why does a critique have to result in the blame game?

Take it on the chin and accept that every side of the club should be vehemently in support and that does include the team, the supporters, the coaches and management groups, the board and all.

It is not all aimed at "me" or "you" or "them".

Now, get off that fucken soapbox, Bob!

Eddie Dunn
14 Posted 05/03/2019 at 09:47:26
I have been to see Portsmouth home and away with Pompey mates and the atmosphere and support that they create in an old tinny stadium is fantastic. When they got up to the Premier League I went to Goodison and Anfield with them and their travelling support was outstanding.

We moan about fallow years but they won the league a couple of times in the late '40s early '50s. My friends would laugh at my groaning about our hard times. There are many other clubs just like them, who still generate great home support.

I think that the larger percentage of season ticket holders is partly to blame. In the old days, you got up in the morning, fancied going to the match and off you went. Now, if you have invested your hard-earned cash in a season ticket, you feel obliged to go.
I know you can sell them on StubHub etc, but lots of people think "Oh well, I'd better go, or the missus will question me paying out for the next season ticket."

Basically, we are all used to seeing the current crop of teams. They can only bring 2,000 or 3,000 fans so the rivalry doesn't get too important as opposed to when Newcastle could turn up with 5,000, or Man Utd would bring 8,000. Then you would shout louder to counter their noise. It's all more subdued especially as the silver-haired masses have seen success and become accustomed to mid-table safety.

It's understandable that you need a derby, or a Man City game to whet the appetite. It won't change until we have been relegated and out of the top flight for a few years or if we start to show signs of a title challenge or a cup win.

Peter Rogers
15 Posted 07/03/2019 at 09:46:11
My point is that, no matter how the team is playing, if we can come away from the ground and know we as fans have given the team 100%, then we have done our job. The atmosphere is really important to the players but I agree it is depressing when you see the likes of Walcott pulling out of a challenge that he should be winning or Richarlison falling over when he should be battling to get the ball back.

Again, it is our job to make them aware that at Everton that is not acceptable but a muted groan doesn't do the job, by making the team and individual players aware that we demand 100% on the pitch and when they do give us the intensity we demand, again making them aware that is what we expect.

It is a two way thing, as people have said, but we still have to do our part and, as Siva has come out and said in recent articles, it does have an impact.

Steve Ferns
16 Posted 07/03/2019 at 10:16:55
I was a teenager in the '90s, so I'm sure everything from that decade has rose tinted specs. I remember very clearly that the team were shite, particularly in 1994 and 1998. But we the fans knew that. We went to games hoping to win, not expecting to win. We knew we'd be much better at home, and we'd be terrible away.

Sunday's atmosphere reminded me of that. I was listening to something the other day and someone mentioned the word "defiance". For me, that word summed up the atmosphere. Everton fans went to the game intent on defying the kopshites 3 points. The hostile atmosphere came from that, and the club played a part with the sirens before Z-Cars to give us a lift, with something fresh, and then Z-Cars was at a higher volume that usual (how can that be so, surely it's always cranked to the max?)

The atmospheres of the 90s were usually ones of defiance too. More often than not, the opposition was a superior team and we were there to go to war with them and try to nick the 3 points. The players were selected for these battling qualities, and so the players embodied the fans in that there they were giving 100% and scrapping for the 3 points. If we lost, it was very rarely because we were outfought, it was that a better side were just too good for us, and we could accept that.

Moyes was able to take that battling style he inherited and keep it whilst slowly introducing quality. He introduced quality slowly because of financial constraints. He was also a Glaswegian and grew up watching Celtic and knew that their fans and our fans want the same thing.

Martinez came in and introduced some brilliant football as we had a magnificent season and got 72 points. Watching brilliant football meant the fans got behind the team and there was some good atmospheres. However, we were trounced in the home Derby. I remember the Man Utd and Arsenal games being special.

The next two seasons it was shite, to reflect the downturn in quality on the pitch. We lost games at home and the players were outfought rather than outplayed. That's something Everton fans cannot accept, and Martinez could not take on board. He would never adapt or encourage a battling style.

One thing that has changed for me, since Moyes, is our home record. Even in our darkest of days, we never lost very many at home. We'd pick up points at home, but struggle away. Under Martinez, we started to win more away, as our style suited away matches more than home games, when opposition sides could park the bus and try to pick us off. This continued under Koeman and now Silva.

Allardyce never really brought back that battling style, for me. Unsworth did it, to an extent. The Watford and West Ham games had plenty of battling spirit. Even the Atalanta fiasco was a battling performance of a very under-strength, out of form, and out of confidence side.

I think it was Tony A who wrote about Big Nev telling players to go and whack someone to get the ground going when the atmosphere has gone flat. I hope Silva has realised this. He has the perfect player in Gueye to put in a big tackle or two, at crucial times. Of course, you need to be careful in this day and age, not to get bookings, or worse, but a skilled tackler like Gueye can crunch someone without picking up a booking. Not just him either, surely the players can recognise that maximum effort is all the fans want.

I think Silva's style, when working properly, will compliment what the fans want to see. He wants to play with high tempo, pressing, and direct and getting at teams. It might be a modern style, but it's not that different from the style we enjoyed in the '80s.

Jim Bennings
17 Posted 07/03/2019 at 10:55:39
Steve

That's a good post!

I think in the 1990s also there was still the national belief that Everton were one of the Big Five just going through a couple of bad years, as bad as the '90s was at times it still brought an FA Cup to the table and numerous fan heroes like Ferguson, Kanchelskis, and players that probably knew what it meant to the fans and the fans in equal measure responded.

I think there was more surprise element about football in general then also, whereas these days we have practically become accustomed to not beating one of the Big Six – so much to the stage I don't even really bother to talk about it anymore, back in the 90's Everton regularly took on the top sides and beat them, the FA Cup Final against Manchester United a prime example.

Moyes in the early part of his era still had that kind of fan around the club but I think we've somehow lost that kind of supporter of the last 10 years or so.

Sunday's derby was a rarity to hear Goodison so atmospheric and that was once the norm. I doubt we'll ever get it back as a regular thing now but it was nevertheless nice to see a little glimpse of its former glories last Sunday.

Tony Hill
18 Posted 07/03/2019 at 11:34:32
Support has been subdued because we have been poor and have failed for a long time. That is for all sorts of reasons. Passion and gung-ho football in a losing cause will do for so long, but not for very long.

Build success which lasts and the crowd will cheer, even if the process is a tough one.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
19 Posted 07/03/2019 at 11:48:54
Good crunching tackles. Did Phil Neville's one on Ronaldo turn our view of him from a retired Red to a Blue. I recall it changed the atmosphere and our performance in that game.

Did we love Horne, Ebbrell and Parkinson, Joe Royle's Dogs of War?

Have you watched American Football players in the pre-match huddle screaming at each other "This is our house" before home games? Nobody comes into their home and steals things without a fight and their stadium is the same.

There is a curious dynamic. Because communication is so vital for the attack (offence) then the crowd make so much noise when the opposition have possession. I have NEVER heard Goodison Park as loud as an open-air stadium over there.

Let the opposition know, 'This is our house!'

Brian Harrison
20 Posted 07/03/2019 at 12:12:59
I think what has happened is we have become spectators rather than fans.
The dictionary describes a spectator as a person who watches an activity, especially a sports event. A fan is described as someone who admires and supports either a person or a sports team.

How we get back to being fans instead of spectators is a hard one, when I started going to Goodison in the 50s it was something magical even though the team was very average. Back then there was no MotD so you had to go the game to watch your team, and for most of us, it was the highlight of the week. Nowadays, supporters have become a lot more critical of players than they did in the past, maybe the salaries players get make supporters demand more from them. Also, there is that much football on television, going the game doesn't seem to be the special event as it was when I started going.

Maybe the big difference has been that all grounds are all-seater which seems to have had an effect on crowd noise. But it was enjoyable being inside Goodison on Sunday and again being able to sample that unique atmosphere that only a few grounds can generate.

Steve Ferns
21 Posted 07/03/2019 at 12:16:24
Phill, that's not going to go down well on here!

I've never been a fan of any of the American sports, and I hate huddles, and all that "our house" stuff. It seems a load of fake nonsense, and it's not how we do things, and would not help in any way here.

As for Goodison never being louder than an open air American Stadium, really? I find that astounding and very much contrary to my (extremely limited) experience of "spectators" rather than fans and absolutely no atmosphere whatsoever, which I put down to a lack of away fans and a difference in culture.

Edit: Brian we posted that at the same time!

Len Hawkins
22 Posted 07/03/2019 at 12:27:40
Jim Bennings #6,

I agree with you, if the crowd rouses the players and gives them a feeling of inspiration and will to play well and they respond... great; if the crowd sit there like the audience at the Royal Ballet, waiting for them to turn it on, then it may never happen.

A crowd baying for blood from the off is preferable to the Deaf, Dumb and Blind Christmas get together.

Eddie Dunn
23 Posted 07/03/2019 at 12:31:06
Steve, the player who can get the crowd going with a crunching tackle is Jonjoe Kenny.
Tony J Williams
24 Posted 07/03/2019 at 12:59:38
What does that actually mean?

Do our part.

What are we supposed to be doing so much differently than we do now? Sing songs when we are playing shite or shout at the players to give them a kick up the arse... "FUCKING MOVE FOR A PASS, YOU LAZY FECKER!!!!!"

The model professional footballer has laser pointed concentration so is probably not even aware of the sounds of the crowd.

Please explain as to how us being noisier will help the useless twat Walcott grow a set of balls?

Please explain as to how us singing louder and more often will make our forwards suddenly turn into Aguerro or Kane?

Shite!

Jim Bennings
25 Posted 07/03/2019 at 13:04:18
Tony 18

I don't think having a poor team really dictates the reaction to the crowd atmosphere.

We had relegation scrapes in the '90s but the atmosphere was always electric even for games not classed as that big.

Watching footage on DVD etc from the '90s for instance, the roar seemed different too, it seemed more primaeval.

As I say, I think people in general have changed though since, what with mobile phones etc now giving young (and old many times) an alternative option when sitting at the game, fans just seem to “watch” rather than support the team.

Daniel A Johnson
26 Posted 07/03/2019 at 13:19:32
Works both ways. I'm still in shock about how bad our half-arsed performance at home was against Leicester after Xmas when we got beat 1-0.

To suggest we should be fervently up on our feet cheering and shouting on that level performance is laughable.

The whole problem with this great atmosphere is that it was against THEM!

You can't expect us AND the players to replicate that, week-in and week-out – it's not possible. I and the derby on my mind for weeks before the fixture; I didn't about Cardiff.

Michael Lynch
27 Posted 07/03/2019 at 13:21:00
I dunno, most grounds I've been to in recent years have been subdued compared to when there was terracing and you paid on the gate to get in. The only exceptions seem to be shitty little clubs who are just happy to be in the Premier League, so sing all game.

Having said that, there's no doubt it's got worse over the past few years at Everton as we've become more cynical as fans here. We've been treated to some dreadful shite, including this season under Silva, so it takes a lot to rouse us, like on Sunday when – as Steve says – there was an air of defiance from the minute I got into the ground. It was brilliant, and I'd love to see more of it, but I just think football has changed.

I go to away games when I can, and you always get far more singing from our fans, but even that has tailed off in the last few seasons. I think the last time I heard our boys make a load of noise at an away ground was in the early days of Martinez when we were full of hope.

Anyway, count me in. I'm always up for a chorus or two.

Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 07/03/2019 at 14:53:45
I think Everton know their football and will not be kidded by some of the managers and players we have had over the last decade or three, we can smell shite a week before it gets here and let the ones providing it how we feel.

Fans still went to the away games under Moyes’s lack of an away win in forty games against the top four, how they put up with that I’ll never know.

Martinez in his second season bored the life out of me with Everton playing “ keep the ball “ with twenty or more passes and hardly gaining a yard before they lost it, Koeman didn’t appear interested once his second season started, Allardyce came for the money and once we were safe carried on with the same negative football.

After all that we are still getting full houses for all the home games and take a full complement of fans to the away games, we are the most patient fans in the premier league, but can’t be expected to cheer the drivel we have had to put up with constantly over a very long time.

When we are needed to cheer we never let the team down, and quite a lot of times have made the team get off their lazy, couldn’t give a fuck attitude and have a go, usually with a positive result, it’s definitely a two way thing, let us see that the team care and ready to have a go, our voices won’t be lacking, give us the drivel and we will let you know about it, and even if you fail but show willing, like the recent Man. City game, we will show our appreciation.

John Raftery
29 Posted 07/03/2019 at 15:16:57
Michael (27) You are right about the noise from the away support tailing off in recent years. Our very poor away form is the most likely explanation. Yet we continue to take up our full allocation for away matches with the recent match at Cardiff being the first in a couple of years not to sell out. So people are sufficiently interested to buy a ticket but that level of interest is not being matched by vocal support on the day.

Usually we hear the fans shouting a few chants just before kick off and in the early minutes before retreating into their shells as the full horror of another abject display unfolds. If as often happens the team is playing badly many fans do what is habitual at Goodison and retreat to the concourse for refreshments. If the team is losing many leave the ground early; if the team is losing heavily many try to escape at half-time as was the case at the Emirates or Stamford Bridge in recent seasons.

Modern day fans in the top flight will only display enthusiasm if their team is winning. But has it ever been any different?

Rob Halligan
30 Posted 07/03/2019 at 15:44:15
We've sold out Newcastle on Saturday, but I doubt that any noise we generate will be heard by the team as the away section is literally up in the gods at St James Park.
Mark Murphy
31 Posted 07/03/2019 at 15:46:16
To be fair, John, the Cardiff game was probably not sold out due to the logistics of getting there and back for a midweek night match. I thought about going (I live in the southeast) but even then I wouldn't have got home until after 6 am the next morning.

The fixtures panel need to consider the fans more when choosing the midweek or Monday night games.

Jay Harris
32 Posted 07/03/2019 at 16:00:00
It's very hard to sing or get excited when you've had the stuffing knocked out of you on so many occasions and Mancs and Reds take the piss out of you all the time.

We need more performances like the last two to restore some pride and lift the supporters.

I said recently that the supporters and the players needed inspiration and that I didn't see Marco as being capable of inspiring anyone.

Maybe... just maybe, the penny has dropped and he now realises it's down to him and his support staff to generate some enthusiasm from the players and the crowd and to generate some belief so we can all regain our pride.

The jury is still out but at least and at last we have some green shoots.

Neil Copeland
33 Posted 07/03/2019 at 22:59:42
I went to Southampton and thought our support was quiet which was unsurprising given the team's performance. It was much better at Cardiff despite there being fewer there but the team performance was also much better.

I am going to Newcastle and hoping, like most, that we are on a roll. If so, I am sure the support will be vocal.

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