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Talking Points

April 2020 Archive   |   Submit a topic

Grumpy Old Men

As the years have passed, I have noticed more and more little things niggle away at me; I feel I am turning into my parents.

Back in my youth, I would get, "waste of money, football is not like it was in my day, they would put in a shift, there was none of this kissing or going down and doing several rolls on the floor, well maybe if a Norman Hunter tackle caught you."

Players were paid bonuses for wins and gate receipts. Even back then, I never complained about the dodgy hot-dog stands outside the ground, the Bovril, tea, or packet of crisps option in the ground.

Even being in a good spot at Goodison by 2pm, only to lose it by 2:50 as Richard Osman arrives from the pub, and decides the spot right in front of you is the best speck... Then waiting for your moment, for a sway in the crowd, to seize your moment, and nip in front of him.

Those things caused just a little sigh and tut on your misfortunes, but you accepted it, with the only talking point being the ref.

Now, though, I get wound up with simple things: players trudging off slowly after being subbed, shaking everyone’s hand, waving to the crowd, before finally leaving the pitch.

A corner being taken outside the quadrant, with his own player a foot away, holding it up in the corner, constant shirt-pulling and holding players down in the penalty area.

Some guy next to you in the seat, taking part of your seat up as well... even a bit of sun in your eyeline is more annoying than it used to be.

In hindsight, it has gone full circle, I have become my parents, and my kids have become a younger me.

Brian Wilkinson     Posted 29/04/2020 at 16:08:13

Behind Closed Doors

I recently had a request from the Lowry Theatre who are planning a strategy for re-opening when the social distancing rules are relaxed. It included questions such as when I would be prepared to return to the theatre, what arrangements would I be happy with (eg, reduced capacity, spacing between seats etc).

Would it be worth ToffeeWeb / Everton doing something similar, I wonder? I have missed a handful of home matches in the last 15 years or so but am struggling to come to a decision about when I'd be prepared to return to attending matches. Would I be happy, for instance, returning to matches at the start of the next regular season, if allowed to?

The answer is that I doubt it – maybe not until an effective vaccine has been successfully implemented – which may be God knows when.

What do other match goers think? Does there come a point when the punter becomes so bored with social distancing that they say "What the hell?"

What percentage of spectators would be prepared to return? There must be a large number of "older" season ticket holders who might be more cautious than their younger counterparts.

I'm afraid that behind-closed-doors football may become a reality for the foreseeable future. If not, then the suspension of the sport altogether.

Everton and all other clubs need to do some serious long-term planning, I think.

Ray Robinson     Posted 25/04/2020 at Sat, 25 Apr 2020 09:40:30 +0100

Yobo has upbeat outlook for Iwobi

After scoring two goals in his first two starts for Everton, Alex Iwobi has failed to deliver on the promise of his high-value move from Arsenal that could cost the club up to £34M.

However, former Blues defender and fellow Nigerian international Joseph Yobo believes the attacking midfielder needs to be given more time to impress:

“Arsenal is a club he knew too well because he came through the academy and he understands the structure of how they play — a style he knows.

“Moving to Everton was a good move for him because he wanted more game time. Unfortunately, it takes a longer time to settle down in a new environment because only a few players move to another club and settle immediately,

“In between him adapting, he had a number of good performances for Everton. He was getting familiar with how Everton play and was becoming one of the key figures in the team before his injury.

“After his injury, it also took him time to break into the team because Everton also have other good players as well, all that happened before Coronavirus ensured the league was suspended.

“I think we should be patient with him because we can't doubt his talent. He has unbelievable talent and work rate.

“I know he is going to achieve more with Everton, it is just the timing of everything happening to him. He will surely come good.”
      Posted 08/04/2020 at Wed, 08 Apr 2020 08:03:49 +0100

Visit with an old friend – podcast with Adrian Heath

Hi folks...

A friend of mine lives in Minnesota, and his son plays in the youth program at the MLS club Minnesota United. The gaffer of that club is Adrian Heath, who has been managing on our side of the pond since 2008.

The club has posted a podcast interview with Adrian, conducted by veteran football commentator Callum Williams. If you have an hour free (and who of us doesn't??), this is a very pleasant way to spend it.

Listen here

Mike Gaynes     Posted 04/04/2020 at

The one that got away – “I wish I was there.”

This has probably been done before, but instead of walking around saying, “We’re doomed” in a thick Scottish accent, I was thinking…

Andy Crooks asked fellow Toffees what was their greatest moment as an Evertonian. I enjoyed reading people's recollections. So, following on from that, I too have a question: Do you have a game that escaped you?

For me, like thousands of others, I was locked out of the Wimbledon game in ’94 because of the reconstruction that was going on in the Park End. I was gutted. These were the days when walking to the ground and paying on the turnstile was the norm. We got to the ground with loads of time on our hands but just couldn’t get in.

After trying to find a tree that wasn’t occupied in Stanley Park, me and my mate consoled ourselves in the pubs on County Road. For me, it was the game that got away – I wish I was there.

But for my mate, it wasn’t the worst experience of “the game that got away.”

Nine years earlier, he was caught bunking school and, as a punishment, his parents stopped him going to the game that night. That game was the Bayern Munich game – ouch!

I was wondering, did anybody else have a game that got away? Something they still wished they didn’t miss but fate and circumstance conspired against them – the one that got away, “I wish I was there.”

Mark Cuddy     Posted 01/04/2020 at 13:50:49

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