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Derek Thomas
1 Posted 06/04/2020 at 01:35:24
Nice piece, Danny. I always like to find out who is our spiritual counterpart in different places... and they usually feature blue somewhere on their kit.

Re Jonjoe Kenny. I have to agree, he's not for where we want to be, but we aren't yet either and Coleman is not getting any younger at least he remembers to put his socks on and will save us £14M... Ancelotti may have other ideas though.

Alan J Thompson
2 Posted 06/04/2020 at 08:07:15
An enjoyable read, Danny, and coming from South Liverpool myself and living abroad now, I found a few similarities.
Peter Gorman
3 Posted 06/04/2020 at 08:51:59
I enjoyed that. For some reason, I've also had a natural affection towards Schalke since I was a kid and suspect it is the Royal Blue.

Your assessment of Kenny is exactly the kind of thing we don't want to hear - I for one had high hopes he'd be getting more refined tactically and less headless chicken.

Your comment about fan appreciation, though; " It seems more common now for that 'educated' fanbase Howard Kendall once revered, to react to the result regardless of the performance."

I'm not so sure that's true. Evertonians still tend to applaud effort and loathe the lack of it. The negative atmosphere is largely a result of some absolutely stinking, gutless performances these last few years.

Gerard McKean
4 Posted 06/04/2020 at 08:52:18
Danny, I also have many connections to Germany, not least my beautiful Bavarian wife, and I agree with most of what you say.

I posted a reference on TW a few weeks back that my own two sons had travelled to Gelsenkirchen to take in the very same match that you and your lad saw. They reported back pretty much exactly as you called it; Leipzig outstanding and JJ had a stinker.

However, in the post match socialising, in which Schalke fans were delighted to come across some German speaking Evertonians, the locals were at pains to exonerate JJ from any criticism, saying that overall he was having a great season. Should he stay for another? For me, on balance, yes, because we’re still not helping young players enough to make that final transition.

On your wider points: the German organisation of football from grassroots to elite is remarkable and it’s no accident that we have seen the players you mention and many others come through their system so smoothly. It is a great country to grow up in and a great place to learn how to play football.

Danny, thank you for such a positive piece on Germany and its Anglo-Saxon heritage and people with whom we share a close DNA. The wars of the 20th century were horrible, obscene aberrations and it’s time that drunken England fans and intellectual pygmies like Francois, the Tory MP, realised that people like my father and no doubt your own fought not for “glory” but because they had to and to make a better world, like the one in which my sons and yours can go and enjoy a game of footy in another country.

Mark Cuddy
5 Posted 06/04/2020 at 09:50:07
I enjoyed reading this and completely 100% agree with you that “It seems more common now for that 'educated' fanbase Howard Kendall once revered, to react to the result regardless of the performance.”

I think some our supporters think some of our players go out to have a bad game on purpose. Thanks for sharing your story.

Franny Porter
6 Posted 06/04/2020 at 09:58:42
This is a great piece.

I can relate to it as well also being an exiled down South serviceman.

I've fancied going to a Bundesliga game for a while but could never decide on who to watch, no way would it be Dortmund and Bayern is too obvious.

Once all this business is over with Ill be arranging a trip out there next season.

Cheers Danny.

Patrick McFarlane
7 Posted 06/04/2020 at 10:03:30
Mark #5 I'd agree to an extent that today it is the final result that many supporters base their reactions on, however, in Howard Kendall's days they voted with their feet and stayed away from Goodison only to return when there was an upturn in results. The hardcore supporters that stuck with Kendall's team were not always fully supportive either.
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 06/04/2020 at 10:31:39
You held my interest right through your very interesting story, very well told Danny.

Regarding Jonjo, I have to report my absolute bias in his favour, I just hope he had an off day when you went to see him and his team, Schalke 04, by the way Danny, have you heard Jonjo say he wants to stay another year or have you read the same reports we have seen?

Yes the Everton crowds put great stress on the result rather than the performance, and have done so for quite a few seasons, to my annoyance, performance is everything to me, well aside from the obvious games when we desperately need the win !!

As you say everyone is hoping and praying that this plague eases up and we get back to a more normal life, thanks again for your story best of luck to you and your family and don’t need to add best of health as well.

Darren Hind
9 Posted 06/04/2020 at 11:20:02
Marcel Sabitzer eh ?.. I must check him out.

As somebody who knows little to nothing about the German match day experience I thoroughly enjoyed this piece.

Hope your wrong about JJK though Danny

Len Hawkins
10 Posted 06/04/2020 at 13:57:14
In 1962, my eldest brother came out of the RAF. He was the last National Serviceman to leave his camp in Norfolk. He married a German girl and went to live in Germany, first of all in Monchengladbach, then he moved out into a more rural place and finally moved to a stone's throw from Rheindahlen HQ BAOR, a short way out of Gladbach.

My first visit to Germany in 1963, with my Mother and Father, was an eye opener. Less than 20 years after being flattened by bombing raids, everywhere was rebuilt brand new – we still had an outside bog, for god's sake.

Over the years of going to Germany (they moved back here in 1979), I had many a visit to the Monchengladbach home of Borussia Monchengladbach and that was a great day out too, the currywurst in crusty rolls were to die for.

I went home from Goodison many a time with my shirt full of greasy gravy after biting into a hot meat pie, this was washed down with Higson's Brown ale.

They had some great players: Bertie Vogts, Gunter Netzer, and Jupp Heinkes (who went on to successfully manage Bayern).

Gunter Netzer in the 1972 European Championships v England at Wembley gave one of the greatest midfield performances as Germany completely outplayed England.

I was looking through some programmes the other day and one was the Monchengladbach v Everton game in 1971. My brother went and sent me the programme; I was at Goodison for the other leg.

Sadly, I have not been to Germany since the 70s and I would love to go back and visit the old haunts... although I suppose, like everything else, it will have changed.

Sam Hoare
11 Posted 06/04/2020 at 15:38:51
Great piece, Danny. Sabitzer is a very good player and probably on the radar of a lot of clubs. He's what i'd like Gomes to be!
Ray Roche
12 Posted 06/04/2020 at 17:42:32
Good article Danny, very enjoyable. Like others, I now have a connection with Germany through my girlfriend/partner, a place called Meerbusch near Düsseldorf, which I visit 8-10 times a year.

In fact, if you go into the Haus Buderich Hotel, you will see an Everton scarf hanging in the bar. The manager is a Schalke 04 fanatic so we have both football and Jonjoe Kenny to talk about. Or moan about...

Dennis Stevens
13 Posted 06/04/2020 at 18:13:33
What a marvellous read! Thanks for making the effort Danny, much appreciated.

I've not been to Germany all that much over the years and we were discussing plans to visit the country again before everything closed down. Gelsenkirchen will feature in those plans once we're able to start planning for such things as holidays again – even if we're not going when there's a match on!

Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 06/04/2020 at 19:21:52
Very enjoyable story, Danny, and one that had me realising that I should have went to Gelsenkirchen his season to watch Jonjoe and also go inside the only ground I've ever been locked out of, and missed a game.

I grew up hearing only bad things about the Germans, but that's the beauty of this modern world because being lucky enough to travel, made me realise what a fantastic country Germany really is.

I love the German matter-of-factness, I like their common-sense, remember that great night in Nuremberg, a lot of Evertonians, must have felt they were in a big square.

They was in a way, but only because the sensible Germans, closed the street off, redirected traffic, and let the sensible Scousers have a day to remember, which I'm not sure many other people would have done?

Most foreign police forces, would have turned the situation into a riot, and used it as an opportunity to go in heavy-handed, but not The Germans, they let us have our day, and it's one that must still be a great memory for everyone who was there.

I hope Jonjoe has improved, I'd love to get Schalke in the Europa League, it's a very nice thought during these horribly dark times, and with you growing up in Germany, it now makes me understand why you usually talk a lot of sense, when you talk about the beautiful game Danny!

Mark Andersson
15 Posted 07/04/2020 at 02:42:06
Great read Danny insightful and full of interesting points..

The grass routes of German football and your points are so true. The British are still pissing around way behind in so many ways...

I have worked in Germany and loved it... be it as a entertainer for the forces out there..

I lived with a German girl for a spell and she had a fantastic sense of humour in fact she would ask me to tell her a joke every morning before she went to work so she could re-tell it to her workmates.

I ran out of jokes after 15 months so we parted ways when the laughter stopped...

Back to football my first game at Goodison was against Munchagldbach 1971. I was 11 small for my age and didn't see much of the game standing in the packed Gladdess street.

As a blue living in Perth, Western Australia, it's very rare you meet other Everton fans... loads of red gob shites.

I was hoping to get back to the pool in September for my 60th but who knows what's gonna happen with all this lockdown.

Looking forward to more stories from fellow ToffeeWebbers...

Stay safe everyone.

Danny O'Neill
16 Posted 07/04/2020 at 10:49:24
I won't respond to each, but genuine thanks all for the responses, comments and sharing your own insights. I too hope that Jonjoe Kenny makes it and I just caught him on a bad day. Germany is a great country, and, football aside, I always visit a couple of times a year. Agree to on how they police; a sensible approach rather than what we witnessed in Lille a few years back.

I don't view myself as talking sense (but I'll take the compliment!!); I just enjoy sharing views with others on here and look forward to re-joining the debates, discussions, exchanges of opinion however polar opposite or aligned and whether they are amicable or heated!! Speak soon everyone. Glad to have provided some light reading and insight away from the 24/7 news.

Jim Jennings
17 Posted 10/04/2020 at 01:26:06
Good article and I am based in that part of Germany, so I can relate to it. I wouldn’t argue with much of the content although I’m not sure I would say Schalke‘s fanbase is quite so parochial. Sure they don’t have the global reach of BVB but they’ve got a massive following especially in Nordrhein-Westfalen.

I’ve said my piece on Kenny in a previous thread so conscious of repeating myself but I just don’t see him being the level EFC need him at. I’ve watched most Schalke games and have friends / workmates with season tickets. He impressed early on (bar one game versus Bayern where he struggled) and was even their top scorer at one stage. They were pleasantly surprised by him.

But he’s struggled a little bit in the “Rückrunde” (second half of season). Positionally he can switch off a bit. Others have commented on his crossing. I personally don’t see it as a strength. He is a very clean crisp tackler. I don’t think he has the skill set for what the modern fullback has morphed into. I was due to go see him play a couple of weeks ago but for Corona. Here’s hoping.

@Ray Roche - that hotel is about 10 mins drive from my doorstep. I’ve passed it but never set foot inside so must check it out when it reopens. It’s literally across the street from my dentist.

@Tony Abrahams - I was not in Nürnberg but that doesn’t surprise me. As others have commented on, the matchday experience here is fantastic. The main difference for me is how respectful fans are, but that’s a reflection of society in Germany. I would recommend anyone take in a trip if they get the chance.

@Darren Hind - yes Sabitzer is quite a tidy player. He can be inconsistent and a little lightweight but suits the way Leipzig play and looks to use the clever runs and pace of Werner. Side point but god help us if the RS get Werner. Sabitzer scored an absolute belter in a champions league game earlier this season. I can’t recall the opposition but YouTube it and have a look.

Danny ONeill
18 Posted 10/04/2020 at 12:21:21
Fair point regarding the geographical reach Jim; I didn’t mean to portray them as being almost exclusively supported within the city limits and appreciate they have a huge following nationally. Guess they’re similar to us in that manner; big club with a local core that stretches beyond, particularly regionally (e.g. in particular, the North West, North Wales, Cheshire & Staffordshire) and then pockets of followers & supporters clubs beyond that but like you say, not on the scale of more global brands.

I lived more up that way as a kid, moving around NRW & Niedersachsen between Hildesheim, Soest, Paderborn & latterly Krefeld (more Moenchengladbach territory down there). And then I was myself stationed close to Heinsberg on the Dutch border. Good times all around. I was hoping to be out in the Heinsberg region as usual for the May bank holiday, but looking increasingly unlikely and I’ve been reading the German news about the situation in Heinsberg in particular.

Jim Jennings
19 Posted 10/04/2020 at 16:05:04
Hi Danny,

I get what you mean re Schalke and I would agree with you. Having said that, I don't personally have any great love for them but there you go!

Yes you're spot on about Heinsberg. At one point, it was talked about as the epicentre of Coronavirus in Germany and another Bergamo but thankfully there has not been a full lockdown imposed in Nordrhein-Westfalen, whereas a few other states have done.

Everton's Under-19s were due to play in a tournament in Düsseldorf this Easter weekend and I was looking forward to it but there's bigger things to worry about at the moment.

Matt Howard
20 Posted 13/05/2020 at 10:57:13
I have ordered my Schalke shirt to arrive tomorrow and will be wearing it on Saturday to watch us beat the Dortmund scum !
Danny ONeill
21 Posted 14/05/2020 at 20:44:19
Good on you Matt. You can turn your back when Klopp’s ex-club sing the song that should never be mentioned too!!

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